So, you’ve chosen to volunteer abroad, and you need to raise your funds to get out there. It can be tough to save any money as a student, but fortunately, here at RouteSalad we’ve done this a few times. Here are our top tips on how to raise money to volunteer abroad and reach your fundraising target with ease.
#1: Set up an online giving page
It’s quick, easy, shows everyone that what you’re doing is legitimate and affiliated with an organised charity. Plus, it takes all of two seconds to show your support, giving friends both nearby and afar little excuse to help you reach your fundraising target.
#2: Sign up to an athletic event
Run, swim, cycle, walk or take on crazy challenges like Tough Mudder or Iron Man to raise money for volunteering abroad. It’s probably the first thing anyone thinks of when fundraising, and these events are very well set up for raising your cash and awareness online.
#3: Use social media
Set up a Facebook Page and promote your cause to ensure that everyone knows what you’re doing, and why. Again, peoples’ support and generosity will astound you.
#4: Get baking!
It’s more popular than ever at the moment, so take advantage.
Hosting bakesales and neighbourhood coffee mornings is a fab way to raise money and awareness for your cause – whilst having a good old natter and stuffing your face.
And if you have a stall set up anywhere near your university library during exam periods, then you’re certainly on to a winner!
So get busy making your homemade crafts and foods for sale, from bracelets to jam. Check out Buzzfeed’s DIY section for some great tips and inspiration.
#5: Get local businesses involved
Talk to local businesses about donating raffle prizes to help you reach your fundraising target. It’s amazing how many students will donate a quid if they know there’s a way for them to get a free meal/prize out of it.
Also, ask local cafes and restaurants if you can put donation tins on their counters – you’ll be surprised by who’ll say yes.
#6: Do some odd jobs
Cat-sit, dog-sit, house-sit, mow lawns, wash cars, sweep up driveways, paint fences… the possibilities are endless and those tiny sums really do add up and will have you volunteering abroad in no time!
#7: Use your local community
If you’re a member of any religious group, make sure they know what you’re planning – they’ll often support your fundraising and even help you to organise bigger and better fundraisers to volunteer abroad!
Also, you should get advance permission to do street collections and supermarket bag-packing. If you’re organised enough to do that, the rewards can put a serious dent in reaching your targets. I
#8: Host an event
Organise a dinner function, race night, casino night or ball. Beware though: these events are often appealing because they’re glamorous, but don’t have the best profit margins and can eat up a lot of your time and energy.
…don’t forget to prepare your hard sell:
- Make sure you know enough about the country, culture and community you will be joining so that you can tell people a bit about where you’ll be!
- Take the time to pinpoint exactly what you will be doing out there, and find out how it contributes to local development.
- It’s pretty handy to have some basic statistics relevant to the work you’ll be doing – for example, the country’s literacy and numeracy rates if you’re volunteering in a school, healthcare statistics for medical placements, conservation information for animal-related projects, or the number of people displaced or otherwise affected for disaster-relief work.
Photo credit: @lusi, @13dede, @bjm on sxc.hu; BBC