Dollar-match scheme to see more students serve overseas
A new dollar-match scheme between a humanitarian agency and Avondale that has halved fundraising costs for overseas trips should see more students in mission.
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Australia uses donor funding made available to match funds raised by students at the college of higher education. The students must join an ADRA Connections trip through student club One Mission. Although the trips are short term, they are part of larger long-term projects giving those who join an opportunity to practically support ADRA’s humanitarian work in a safe and culturally appropriate manner.
The scheme has two aims, says ADRA Australia Chief Executive Officer Mark Webster. The first: to encourage more students at Avondale to join an ADRA Connections trip. The second: to increase the number of donors because “fundraising is more effective when people who donate feel their donation will be matched or extended in some way.”
The scheme is a relief for Cherie Tamanalevu, who is leading an ADRA Connections trip to Vanuatu for One Mission. She is keen to help others in a practical way but “I’d find myself stressing about ways to come up with the target. So, I feel like God has answered my prayers.”
The scheme has helped generate more interest in and commitment to the trip—her team grew from five to 11 members in only a few weeks.
A more achievable fundraising target is not the only benefit of the dollar-match scheme, says Webster. “[Students] can participate in a high-quality experience rather than one designed to be as cheap as possible.”
One Mission Cambodia team member Lachlan Harders also says the scheme has allowed him to prepare for his ADRA Connections trip in other ways. “It means I can spend less time raising funds and more time on learning about the people and the culture.”
Webster expects the dollar-match scheme to continue as ADRA secures more funding. But he and his team will evaluate it to determine its effectiveness.
The students travelling to Cambodia and Vanuatu, and on a third trip to the Philippines, will do so in November this year.
ADRA is the official humanitarian agency of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.