Charity Donation Requirement


You do!

One of our main principles is that we don’t blur the line between giving money to charity and having a fantastic, life-changing adventure on one of the greatest modes of transportation in social history…

UTC doesn’t touch a single penny of donated money: it goes direct to our Official Charity for UTC13. You can be sure all your hard-earned donations go to the right place.

Participants are asked to raise a minimum of $500 US ($500 US / €380 / £309 / $475 AUD) for UTC’s Official Charity by the end of the UTC13, which is May 31, 2013. Any additional funds may also be directed to our recipients OR a charity of each participant’s very own choice.

UTC13 official charityAs a huge bonus to UTC13, Intrepid Travel has agreed to match each contribution dollar for dollar, up to a $10,000 total. Thank you so much to Intrepid!

Official UTC Charity: Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation

Blue Dragon has a variety of projects in Vietnam that change the lives of kids who have often been given a pretty rough hand in life. The funds from the UTC will help support the running costs of village outreach and programs.

Working in Vietnam with the most vulnerable children Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation supports street kids, children with disabilities, the rural poor, and victims of trafficking. Blue Dragon have established several unique programs which address the issues keeping children and families in the poverty cycle. They employ psychologists and lawyers to work directly with children and take an individualised case work approach, unique in Vietnam.

Children may be in the programs for a few months, or several years, depending upon the level of their need. Blue Dragon’s main aim is to help kids go to school or receive vocational training, and they support them to do so until they no longer need formal education. Blue Dragon’s support for child victims of trafficking involves short-term rescue operations, as well as long-term support for them to return home and continue at school. They work with the local media and government to help them understand and fight the causes of child trafficking, so that their work can have an impact for generations to come.

Blue Dragon works in both residential and non-residential settings. If kids need a home, they will provide it, along with top quality care for their health and psycho-social development.


Donating online

It is possible for you to collect donations online through various online fundraising portals that allow this. US-based is a terrific option and its international counterpart for non-US residents.

Offline Donations

If your supporters donate money directly to you, you can aggregate these and forward it to us in one lump sum by the end of the UTC13 in May.

The first $500 should be donated to the official UTC charity, Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, so we can maximize our effect via the matching offer by Intrepid Travel. After that you can of course choose to fundraise additional proceeds for a charity of your choice (or just continue to to raise for Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation). Just make sure the charity you select is signed up to one of the fundraising platforms listed in the charity manager page of your team website so that the funds you raise are counted towards the total raised by UTC teams each year.

Finding out more

If you have any questions about the Official Charity or about the charity bit of the UTC in general, then either contact the charity directly, or give us a shout at . This is a vital part of the UTC and it makes a massive difference to the people who benefit from Blue Dragon’s excellent projects.


People will want to know why they should sponsor you, so you’ll need to tell them

  • what you are doing,
  • why you are doing it,
  • who the charity is,
  • who they benefit/ how they spend the money.

The more you know about the awesome cause you are supporting, the more convincing you will be to potential donors.

Remember to keep any PRE-APPROVED outside charities informed of your efforts and ask them for any help you need. They may provide you with leaflets explaining what they do and how your sponsorship will be used. The charity may also be able to help with further fundraising ideas.

Play the Numbers

Ask as many people as possible because it is often the people who you least expect to support you who will surprise you with a pony-up. Plan a target group – think of everyone you know and make a list (friends, family, work colleagues, clubs or teams.) Put your request for sponsorship in writing, and always personalize it.

Let them know exactly why they should support you. Explain who are you going to be helping and why.

The fewer the obstacles in their way, the more likely you are to receive a positive response. Make it simple for them to help you and more importantly, help the children in Vietnam that Blue Dragon is going to be working with.

Be Innovative

Don’t randomly send letters asking for money, you’ll rarely get a response, let alone any money. Instead of asking someone outright to put their hands in their pockets and give you cash, why not give them something back in return?

In addition to examples on our website, there are a number of ideas worth replicating:

  •  Find a [movie/ music/ performance venue or theater] that will allow you to sell ticket blocks at a few dollars’ premium to actual ticket prices and pay the establishment their regular cover price for those tickets, keeping the charitable premium towards your goal.
  • Invite friends to your next [birthday, anniversary or special event] party and ask them not to bring a present but to sponsor you instead. Charge friends/ supply drinks and you might be surprised how much you can raise in a one-off event.
  • Collect loose change in buckets.
  • Get friends to empty change in pockets & purses as they leave gatherings; or pass around a pint glass for collections.
  • Crowd-sourcing websites (though you may have to provide something in return, so be thoughtful)
  • Work: Always a great place to get sponsorship requests circulated. Many people will admire what you are doing and will be willing to support you financially as they know that they would never do it themselves: notice boards, company newsletter.
  • If you work for a large corporation, they may have sponsorship or specific departments to match funds. Find out who to contact and arrange a meeting. Their advice will be valuable whether sponsorship is given or not.
  • Smaller companies are also great targets (less formal steps required than in large corporations.)
  • Home: It is always advisable to start the conversation with “Don’t feel obliged BUT”… Ask friends, relatives, people at your local pubs, clubs, fitness establishments and local businesses – they are all potential sponsors. Keep reminding yourself that every penny counts! Never leave home without details of how they can donate.
  • Sponsored blogs or newsletters from the road. If you have a dedicated audience for your blog and/or regular newsletter that includes regional media, you can ask supporters & readers to sponsor you.

Despite the borderline genius of many UTC supporters, there are a few caveats we ask you to dutifully respect in your fundraising endeavors:

Overall event sponsorship – it has to be absolutely clear that your supporters are sponsoring YOU or you as a team rather than the UTC event itself.

Sponsorship of a documentary or film. You can do as much filming as you like during the challenge if the video is for personal use. But any broadcast or commercial use of footage of the event has to be approved by HQ in advance. Also No-No’s:  selling as DVDs or videos of the run yourself without permission from HQ.

Basically, it’s really important that you contact us about filming projects to avoid complications further down the line. We’ve got official sponsors with legally binding terms, media & talent rights considerations, and company rights/ compliance/ & usage issues to monitor.

Of course, beyond the standard trip updates and fun posts, YWNR welcomes any and all submissions for future promotion and inclusion in marketing images and materials. We can’t commit to compensation in exchange for your content, but we will ALWAYS give credit where credit is due. We’ll even authorize your efforts to evangelize your creative prowess to would-be clients and collaborators as an official UTC/ YWNR contributor.

*The Charity component is a win-win for everyone!*

kids in vietnam with USA shirt on