Issuu on Google+

PARTICIPANT GUIDE

1425 René-Lévesque Blvd. West, Suite 1100, Montreal, Quebec, H3G 1T7 514-288-3282 or 1-800-361-7248 info-canada@afs.org www.afscanada.org


What we do You will soon leave for a foreign country as part of an AFS program. This project is important for you, and it requires attention and effort on your part to become a reality. AFS Interculture Canada encourages as many Canadians as possible to access its programs, and to achieve this goal it has set up fundraising and bursary programs. This manual will help you plan, organize and succeed in your financing and fundraising activities. It will give you ideas, examples of donors and activities, advice, tables to complete, forms, and much more. A well-prepared fundraising campaign is the key to success! Let’s begin your AFS experience.

Mission of AFS Interculture Canada AFS is an international, non-governmental and non-profit volunteer organization that offers intercultural learning opportunities through international exchange programs whose goal is to bring about a more equitable and peaceful world.

Our core values AFS programs enable participants to gain a greater understanding of the world and to appreciate cultural differences and common interests of different peoples around the globe. AFS Interculture Canada activities are based on the values of dignity, respect for differences, peace, tolerance and awareness. Like several other institutions that provide education such as colleges, universities or research centres, AFS Interculture Canada relies on community support. Contributions from individuals, foundations, companies and corporations help AFS provide its high-quality, life-changing programs. The fundraising is done by finding donations uder the name of AFS Interculture Canada.

AFS Interculture Canada - www.afscanada.org - 1-800-361-7248


Fundraising Section Why use fundraising programs? Fundraising activities are beneficial for participants. They foster the development of knowledge and skills that will help them in foreign countries and life in general. Resourcefulness, initiative, and networking are some of the skills that fundraising develops. We believe that participants must make a commitment to their projects. Through fundraising they build ties to their communities and relations that will help them later in life. Fundraising requires preparation, organization and entrepreneurship. AFS Interculture Canada encourages personal commitment that contributes to the life of the community through volunteer activities and the outreach of the AFS mission. Fundraising lets participants help as many Canadians as possible access overseas programs, regardless of their economic situation. Fundraising is required. It is an integral part of the AFS learning, preparation and commitment program.

Why donate to AFS? In 2006, Canadians generously donated $8.5 billion to various charities. Donors have many reasons for giving. Some do it to encourage a young person they know as a token of their support and affection. Others are motivated by the desire to encourage youth development and prepare tomorrow’s leaders. The promotion of intercultural learning and a peaceful, more equitable world also attracts many donors. Some contribute to AFS because they know the organization or have previously participated in an AFS program. Tax deductions, while not the primary motivation of donors, are a much appreciated benefit.

How are donations used? AFS Interculture Canada’s goal is to raise $400,000 in donations from members of the public, companies and associations who wish to support youth and intercultural learning. These donations benefit the community and are redistributed to: • • • • • • • • •

Grant $50,000 in bursaries so that as many participants as possible can access AFS programs, no matter what their economic situation is; Provide AFS volunteers with intercultural training to support participants; Publish the training manual Get the best out of your intercultural experience; Offer, in the 2008-2009 school year, a language and intercultural training and certification program to 14 students aged 15 to 18; Extend the intercultural training and certification program to all AFS school program participants in 2009-2010; Recruit and train 35 intercultural education mentors to supervise AFS participants; Translate Bettina Hansel’s book Exchange Students Survival Kit into French; and Distribute the Exchange Students Survival Kit free of charge to all Canadian AFS participants.


How does it work? AFS Interculture Canada is a charity registered under number 100071927RR0001. As such it is authorized to collect donations from members of the public, companies and foundations and to issue charity receipts to these donors. Donors benefit from deductions that reduce their taxes. AFS solicits potential donors and sets up programs that enable participants to achieve their programs’ fundraising goals. Participants must therefore ensure they do everything possible to respect their commitments. When participants are recognized as AFS fundraisers, they receive a letter authorizing them to collect donations on behalf of AFS. Participants are asked to prepare their fundraising plans as soon as possible and to remit donations to AFS on receipt. Donors can also send their donations directly to AFS Interculture Canada, indicating the name of the participant/ fundraiser. AFS Interculture Canada issues charity receipts to individuals, companies and foundations for donations of $20 or more. Cheques must be made out to AFS Interculture Canada and sent to the national office. Receipts for tax purposes are issued in the month following the donation receipt date and are sent directly to the donor. It is therefore important to ensure that the full name and address of the donor are clearly indicated on the cheque or accompanying letter. When receiving cash, you must issue a receipt confirming the amount of the donation. You must also write the donor’s contact information on a copy of the receipt and attach the copy to the “Donation record and summary” included with this guide. In addition to collecting donations, you should include other financing activities in your fundraising campaign such as the sale of various items and goods, as well as activities that help people contribute to your project. (These may include walkathons, bicycle rallies, dances, spaghetti dinners, etc.) These activities can reduce your costs (participation fees or pocket money), but AFS cannot issue charity receipts for any of them. See the “What a fundraising campaign is” section for more information on these types of activities.

Questions about donations Who can make a donation? Any individual, Canadian company or foundation, except the participant. Is there a limit on donation amounts? There is no limit on donation amounts, with the exception of the participant’s father and/or mother, who may not contribute more than $3,000 each. Are donations refundable? In accordance with tax and Canadian government requirements, donations may not be refunded, even if the participant withdraws from the AFS program. Donations do not belong to the participant/ solicitor as they are made to AFS Interculture Canada. What happens if I collect more donations than the required amount? Additional donations will remain in AFS Interculture Canada’s funds. They cannot be used to reduce the participation fee or any other fees to be paid by the participant. What is a donation and who is not entitled to a receipt for tax purposes? A donation is an amount in cash or goods given freely by the donor without any compensation. Money received from the sale of an item or in return for a service rendered is not a donation. Please see the list of fundraising activities on page 12 of this guide to see those for which no receipt is issued for tax purposes. Even though these fundraising activities cannot be used for a tax deduction, they are still an important part of fundraising plans.


Important general knowledge Before requesting money from anyone in the community, whether an individual or group, you must understand and be convinced of the reason why they should support AFS Interculture Canada. Words should come naturally when you talk about AFS Interculture Canada. Be ready to answer the following questions: • • • • • •

What is AFS Interculture Canada? What are the program’s goals, objectives and components? What are the benefits of the AFS experience? How would you explain the program clearly and concisely? How long does the program last? Where will it take place? Why do you want to take part in this project, what will you get out of it, and what will you learn? Who else in the community has supported the program? This information may influence possible donors. Is there anyone else in your community who may have taken part in the program?

You the fundraiser Your best assets for successful fundraising are ENTHUSIASM and PREPARATION. Show potential donors your enthusiasm! As with most human endeavours, success will depend in large part on your attitude and preparation. When approaching a potential donor, it is important to feel at ease, and you can achieve this by believing strongly in the project being presented. Here is some advice that will help you feel more at ease with this task: •

• •

Believe in yourself. You were chosen to take part in this program because of your personality, interests and skills. Only a limited number of people can travel to a foreign country and expose themselves to so many new and different things. Know the program well. Read the AFS Interculture Canada documentation to familiarize yourself with the program’s goals and various components. If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t be embarrassed: you don’t have to be an expert! Find out the answer and contact the person as soon as possible with your reply. Be yourself while acting like a “professional.” Show your enthusiasm and dress appropriately. Set realistic goals based on the amount you need to raise and the time you have to collect it. For example, if you need to collect $4,000 in donations in 40 weeks,

you will therefore need to find $100 per week. Set yourself a schedule (see the tools at the end of this guide) based on your goals. This will help you track your progress and take action when necessary! Anyone with a goal to achieve must take the time to develop a strategy and action plan. Don’t count on chance or good luck! When it comes to fundraising, your mental attitude is your strongest ally, but it can also be your worst enemy. Some people think that fundraising is like begging, and that asking for money is embarrassing. But remember: in 2006, Canadians donated $8.5 billion to various causes, because they considered it important, because they wanted to support someone in an organization, or because they wanted to do something good for their community and humanity. Remember that the contribution to AFS will help bring cultures together, and to promote a more equitable and peaceful world. Remember that what you learn from AFS can help you become a better person, one who is more competent, more aware of global issues, and more open to cultural differences.

Making lists Make lists of people who can help you, not just those who can make donations. Start by making a list of people you know and your parents know. Do any of these people work for a company that could make a donation? Do they know someone else who could make a donation? Beside the name of each person on your list, write down two objectives that you can meet. The first objective can be an amount of money that you will ask the person to donate, while the second one can relate to the way this person can help you in your fundraising efforts. Would he or she be willing to refer you to a colleague and/or friend who can make a contribution to your financing activities? Make lists of the activities you would like to do. Selling items or providing services are possibilities. Think about the things you already do and like: if you play the piano, why not give a few shows? If you like to cook, why not make some cakes or jams to sell? Ask your friends to help you and note their special talents. Are any of them musicians or actors?


Meetings with donors

What to do when you receive a donation for AFS Interculture Canada

1. Identify the most appropriate person in a company (such as the human resources or public relations manager) and send him or her a letter, then follow it up with a call to request an appointment. 2. Know who you will be talking to: learn about the organization, and in particular, determine how its goals and objectives line up with those of the program. Choose convincing arguments and decide how you will explain them. 3. Find out how much time you will have and what kind of meeting it will be. This will help you determine how long your presentation should be. 4. At the meeting, use the AFS International annual report (available on request, but only in English) to make your request more credible. (The report is also available at www.afs.org in the “About Us” section) 5. If you have to make a presentation to a group, you can use a variety of tools, such as easels, slides, PowerPoint presentations, information posters, cards, etc. Visual aids make it easier to address an audience and will give your presentation structure (you can do practice presentations to your friends). Ask former participants to give you photos of their overseas trips. Why not use the information and images from our Web site? 6. Dress appropriately. Be on time! If you are meeting with a group, arrive early. This will give you an opportunity to meet people and make individual contacts. 7. Set aside time for questions: try to get your audience involved and be prepared! 8. Don’t forget to mention any special events you have planned. These people may be able to help you with other activities. 9. Thank the people you meet, even if they don’t make a donation. 10. Whether they make a donation or not, it may help to ask them if they know others who can help you. Ask if you can mention their names when you contact the people they refer you to. 11. Send a thank-you letter whether you received a donation or not! 12. And when you are overseas, send postcards to the donors.

• • •

Remember to send the donor a thank-you note or letter. Ask for a cheque or money order made out to AFS Interculture Canada with “DONATION” written on the front of the payment. Make sure you have the full name and address of the donor clearly entered on your list so that we can send a receipt for tax purposes. (We suggest you use the Donation record and summary form.) Send donations to the AFS Interculture Canada office as soon as you receive them. Do not wait until you have received all your donations. Make sure you clearly identify the donor and provide complete contact information.

Recognition of donor contributions When people help someone reach a goal, they like to have their gesture acknowledged in some way. By recognizing donor contributions: • • • •

you make the community aware of those who support your efforts; you show gratitude to those who support you; you make them proud of their actions; and you help future AFS Interculture Canada participants obtain financial assistance from these same donors.

Record keeping and forms Keeping your records up to date is important for tracking your fundraising progress and adequate follow-up. Keep all originals to make copies if you need extra forms.

AFS Interculture Canada - www.afscanada.org - 1-800-361-7248


Potential donors Personal network: relatives, friends, friends of the family, neighbours. Businesses: Businesses and organizations active in your field of study and area are the best targets for any fundraising campaign. So don’t be shy: contact the vice president or human resources manager. Look in the phone book (yellow pages), your local newspaper, etc. Several businesses in your area or neighbourhood will have a budget for supporting community activities. Before making a request to one of these businesses, use your contact network: do you know someone who works for them? If you do, how can this person help you? If not, do you know someone who knows someone else who works for this business? Education: If you are still a student, get in touch with teachers, your student association, or other campus groups. Be certain to contact alumni associations, as they are often great sources of financial support. These different groups can also help you organize an event or give you a percentage of the profits from an upcoming event. Examples include teachers, colleges, student associations, university groups and parent committees. Religious organizations: Churches and affiliated groups are often willing to make cash donations. Churches are good resources if you plan to organize an event. Contact mosques and temples. Do not overlook any organization, including those that have a spiritual rather than a religious vocation (meditation or yoga groups, etc.) Examples: United, Catholic and Anglican churches, Mennonites, Buddhists, Hindus, etc. Social clubs: Social clubs have funds to support projects like yours. Over the years, several of them have offered generous support to AFS Interculture Canada participants. These clubs meet regularly and they often invite speakers. This is a great opportunity to improve your public speaking skills. Club members will surely want you to talk to them before agreeing to make a donation or in exchange for one. Remember that many such groups do not meet during the summer months and that it is best to contact them before the end of June. Examples: Richelieu, Kiwanis, Optimist Club, Lions, Knights of Columbus, women’s clubs, ethnic groups, 4-H, etc.

Development: Subsidiaries of national and international organizations that promote peace, environmental protection and other causes can be found in many communities. You may participate in one of their events, or they may be willing to make a small contribution in exchange for a presentation relating to their activities when you return from your program. Examples: multicultural and ethnic organizations, Native Friendship Centres. Politics: Many representatives, whether elected or designated, may be willing to make personal contributions even if they are unable to use public funds. In the past many have turned out to be faithful allies, although they are quite busy. They can often give you access to photocopiers, fax machines, and other tools. In addition, you can generally count on them to donate pins (for Canada, the provinces or municipalities) or various badges and pennants. These can make good souvenirs for gift giving during the program. Members of your provincial legislature have budgets for supporting volunteer work. Ask for these subsidies right away. Examples: your local mayor and municipal council, members of your provincial legislature. Others: Local businesses and financial institutions often make donations or have special funds that you can take advantage of. Many businesses will respond favourably to the type of request you make because they hope to obtain something in return. In the world of fundraising campaigns, this is called “What’s in it for me?” This means you must think about how you will thank these donors. Examples: unions, local media, local libraries, credit unions, your bank, insurance companies, fire stations.


Participation fee section All participants must pay the participation fee for their chosen program and country. The cost of each AFS Interculture program includes: • International round-trip travel with your AFS group • Round-trip travel between the airport in the host country and your host family • The AFS medical and supplemental insurance plan • Room and board with your host family • Orientation workshops or camps in your home and host countries • 24-hour emergency assistance in Canada and your host country • Support throughout your experience from a network of trained volunteers

What a fundraising campaign is Fundraising campaigns enable participants to raise the money needed to take part in AFS programs. Each participant must pay the participation fee for the chosen program. Financing activities can help participants reduce their participation fees or earn pocket money. Note that AFS Interculture Canada does not issue charity receipts for the activities mentioned below. There are a number of possible activities, so use your imagination and talents! If you are a musician, why not give a concert? If you’re more of an artistic type, you could set up an exhibition. You will find some ideas for fundraising activities later in this guide.

Planning and activity ideas Before you commit yourself to organizing an event, consider all the tasks that will be required to get the job done right. Will you have to invest a lot of energy? Are your friends and family able to help? What other events are taking place at the same time in your community? What is the maximum amount of money you can make from the event? Finally, is it the best way to spend your time and energy? Organizing an activity. Follow these steps to make sure your fundraising activity is a success. Figure out what you want to do. Ask your friends and family members for activity ideas. Here are some examples: Washathon: Get your friends to help out. Ask the owner of a nearby service-station or corner grocery for permission to use a part of their parking lot and water supply. Your local hardware store might be able to give you detergent and sponges. It doesn’t cost anything to ask. Prepare posters, dress up, make yourself noticed… and get ready to do some washing. If you have enough people to help you, and if you have a good location and good weather on your side, you should be able to make a few hundred dollars. This activity requires a fair bit of physical effort. Bottle collection: Be sure to get permission from your city. This activity requires a lot of people and cars. You have to knock on a lot of doors and explain to people why you are collecting bottles. Bring along handouts and information brochures or a newspaper article. Garage sales: Contact your city first to find out about the by-laws. Many cities require a permit. Ask your friends and family to give you things they no longer need. Place an ad in your local paper and put up posters around town. Remember, some cities organize garage sales on specific dates, so do it with them! Inform potential purchasers that the money collected will be used in part to pay for your program. You can also take advantage of this opportunity to sell homemade cakes or cookies, soft drinks, raffle tickets and all kinds of other things.


Product sales: Selling products is an increasingly popular fundraising activity. It is very important to do a little market research before you begin. Check with your family to see which items they would buy before ordering anything and compare prices to make sure you can be competitive. Be realistic. It is better to reorder the same product several times than it is to order too much and not be able to sell it all! The challenge is to make sure you get a profit out of the sales. * Note that AFS is not responsible for any agreements made with suppliers. Visit the Equita Web site at www.equita.ca. Be well aware of the importance of sales in your overall fundraising strategy. You don’t want to sell two chocolate bars for a profit of $3.00 to someone who would be willing to make a $25.00 donation. Don’t forget that a substantial donation is always more profitable than a small percentage on a sale. People will often buy a product for what it is rather than what it represents (a way to support a cause or program). Take the opportunity to tell buyers about AFS Interculture Canada. Theme dinners or video/slide show events: Invite a few friends, community members, or a particular group. If you would rather it be just for friends, invite their parents and ask them to donate a few dollars. If you are a member of a group or know someone who is, you can organize a film or video screening.

Endurance activities: • Marathons*: • Social or aerobic dance marathons • Yoga • Rockathons in a shopping mall • Walkathons • Skate-a-thons (ice skating or roller skating) * This type of event will work if it receives local publicity and you get your friends and family members to participate. Prepare a commitment form to give to everyone who participates. It’s a good idea to collect all the promised amounts before the event to avoid worries. Other ideas? • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Supermarket barbecue Physical fitness challenge Bathtub race School bake sale Raking leaves in the fall or shovelling snow after a storm Booth at your school Cook-off Christmas gift wrapping in a shopping mall Collecting loonies at a sports event Karaoke party Tearoom in a home for the aged Sponsorship activities such as eating competitions Dance contests Musical or cultural activities like benefit concerts or film screenings Art or photography exhibits Hat day or casual day at work or school


1. Set up a team: Ask your friends and family if they want to help out. Assign roles to team members. If you give everyone something to do, you can avoid being overloaded with work. 2. Prepare a budget: It is important to know the costs of your activity. See the attached budget form. 3. Prepare a calendar: You will have to plan your activity: reserve the location; seek gifts in kind (products or other items); organize entertainment; see about food; contact the media (newspapers, radio, television, Web); print tickets and posters; set up an AFS Interculture Canada information booth. On the day of the event you must set things up, coordinate the activities, clean up, and send thank-you letters. 4. Set the date: You can have your fundraising activities coincide with holidays and celebrations held at different times during the year. Some examples are your own birthday, Grandparents’ Day, Canada Day, Christmas, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, Hannukah, Divali, Idul Fitri, and the summer and winter solstices. Remember to choose a date that will leave you enough time to prepare your activity! When you plan an activity, think about the dates. Will your event conflict with another important event in your community?

8. Contact the media: The purpose of your awareness activities is to raise interest in the community and facilitate your financing efforts. You can contact local newspapers, radio and television stations, and elected officials in your region. The success of your public relations activities will depend on your knowledge of AFS Interculture Canada and your expectations regarding the program. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. If you don’t meet people to ask them for support they can’t give it to you. If people in your community see you as committed, a role model, you can be sure that they will be willing to support you. Be prepared to work hard and make yourself known! Don’t settle for just one type of fundraising activity.

Legal matters and insurance You ARE NOT covered by AFS Interculture Canada insurance during your fundraising activities. This means that you are responsible for all aspects of your fundraising campaign when working as a fundraiser. If you organize a public event and you think that insurance will be required, this is your personal responsibility.

5. Reserve the location: Make sure you find a good location to reach as many people as possible! Make sure you have all the things you need close at hand!

You may not use the AFS Interculture Canada charity number for any activity that you organize during your financing campaign, such as for a liquor permit, draw, lottery, etc., without first obtaining our written authorization.

6. Seek sponsors: You may be able to get people to sponsor your activity. Don’t forget to thank them afterwards!

You must therefore demonstrate sound judgment and a responsible attitude, as well as take appropriate safety measures throughout your campaign.

7. Send invitations: Once the steps above are completed and confirmed, send invitations to people you know, the mayor’s office, and local newspapers and businesses. Make your invitations clear! Indicate the date as follows to make sure there are no misunderstandings: September 6, 2009. And don’t forget the address! For outdoor activities, create a Plan B in case it rains and mention it on the invitation.


Resources included in this guide • • • • •

Donation record and summary: This form is very useful for keeping track of your donations. Use it to keep the total amount of money received up to date. You can also use it as an address book when sending postcards to donors. Planning calendar Contact list: This is a great tool for preparing your list of potential donors. Letter confirming your participation in the AFS program. Make photocopies to use during your campaign. If you need extra original copies, please contact us. Standard letters for businesses, social clubs, etc.

* Available on request • •

AFS flyers AFS International annual report (in English only). This is also available at www.afs.org in the “About Us” section.


Letter confirming your participation in the AFS program

Date Contact name and organization Address City and postal code Dear Sir/Madam, I am pleased to announce that I will participate in an AFS Interculture Canada exchange program. AFS is an international non-profit volunteer organization that organizes exchange programs to provide intercultural learning opportunities. AFS programs enable participants to gain a greater understanding of the world and to appreciate cultural differences and common interests of different peoples around the globe. They give young Canadians an opportunity to develop their intercultural abilities while exploring their talents in dealing with other peoples. The program offers a means of understanding the cultural, social and economic features of a country that have an impact on how people perceive themselves and others. AFS is recognized as being of public interest by UNESCO. Under this program I will travel to a foreign country, where I will live with a host family and attend school. This will help me to learn the language and integrate into the host society and culture. Like other institutions that provide education such as colleges and universities, AFS Interculture Canada relies on community support. Contributions from individuals, foundations, companies and corporations help AFS provide high-quality programs. I have therefore made a commitment to AFS to raise funds, which in itself will be a learning opportunity, and this is why I request your help with this project. Your donation will help me realize my dream of a rewarding and unique experience in (name of country). AFS Interculture Canada is a recognized charity organization and issues receipts for tax purposes for donations of $20.00 and more. I will be in touch soon to set an appointment and discuss this in more detail. Yours sincerely, Your name Address Telephone number


Follow-up letter for potential donor A.

If you have been promised support:

Date Dear Sir/Madam: I would like to thank you for agreeing to meet with me yesterday afternoon. I am grateful for both your time and the opportunity to explain the overseas project that I will soon take part in through AFS. I am particularly touched by your generous donation of ($ amount). Your cheque has already been forwarded to the AFS Interculture Canada office, and you will soon receive a receipt for tax purposes. On behalf of myself and AFS Interculture Canada, I thank you once again for your attention and generosity. Sincerely, Your name Address Telephone number B.

If you have not been promised support:

Date Dear Sir/Madam: I would like to thank you for agreeing to meet with me yesterday afternoon. I am grateful for both your time and the opportunity to explain the overseas project that I will soon take part in through AFS. I understand that you receive many requests and that due to limited resources (uncertain economic situation or other reasons put forth) you are unable to contribute to every cause. As you suggested, I will contact you at a later date to see if a donation is possible at that time. Your enthusiasm over the experience that I will gain from the program is a great encouragement. I hope to be able to tell you about it when I return. Sincerely, Your name Address Telephone number


Contact list Contact name and title

Full address

Telephone number

E-mail

Results and follow-up


Donor name and full address Amount received Payment type

Donation record and summary (keep one copy for your files and one for the AFS office) Name of participant:

Donation date

Date sent to AFS


Weekly objective

Planned activities

Planned activity calendar and results Week starting:

Activity results

Amount collected Total amount this week collected


Fundraising Guide