Fundraising Ideas For a Volunteer Abroad Program

Four Friends Travel

So you decided to volunteer abroad? Great!

Volunteers often find themselves surprised by the costs of a volunteer program as they generally need to cover the costs of transport, accommodation, food, and contribute towards the administrative costs for the organisation.

This may seem daunting, but don’t worry! This money doesn’t need to come straight from your pocket!

You are about to embark on a life-changing trip, for you and for the communities you want to work with.

There are lots of ways to raise money towards such a mission, leaving you able to enjoy the experience and make a positive difference!

Volunteers play game with local children in North Uganda
Volunteering abroad can be expensive

How Do I Fundraise To Volunteer Abroad?

Here are our 9 top ideas:

1.Define Your Motivations

The first thing you need to do is define your your reasons for volunteering.
Is it a passionate desire to help those less fortunate? Do you have statistics and facts that explain the issue you are going to be working for.
For example on our program you may explore the school drop out rate in Uganda, or impacts of music on youth development.
Having that passion and defined reasoning will be helpful when asking for donations!

Volunteer teaches guitar

2. FundMyTravel.com

Or any crowdfunding site. Fund My Travel is specifically for travelers looking to fund a trip! It is really simple to set up your campaign page which you can share directly to any online platform.

They also have fun extras such as Donor Rewards. These are promises to people who donate certain amounts. For Example: 10$ – I will send you a postcard, $20 – I will cook you dinner, $25- I will make you a bracelet with your chosen flag. It can be anything!

Group of friends in Uganda

3. Use your human connections

Fundraising doesn’t need to mean standing in the cold with a bucket for hours.

Chances are, you know some humans in this world.

Your friend who works in a bar could put a fundraising jar there for customers to put their change in, or let you host a pub quiz where the proceeds go towards your trip!

Does your aunt work for a large corporation that would sponsor you? (Great for their social media).
Or maybe someone works in an office where you could hold a lunchtime bakesale!

Sell tea and coffee at your little brothers Saturday football games.

Make a list of all your connections to see how they could help you fundraise towards your goal!

Volunteer group teach Ugandan locals how to make liquid soap

4. Social Media

Simply sharing your story and crowdfunding page link to your social media, family and friends is a very effective way to get donations!

Write about the work you will be doing and why it is important

For example why music is important in the lives of youths!

Use statistics and facts that relate to your volunteer work when posting on social media, and post regularly.

Ask your following to share your posts, so that people who don’t know you personally can donate too!

Share your link in relevant groups; such as a facebook fangroup dedicated to your favourite singer, maybe people will support a fellow Directioner/Beyhiver/Little Monster….

Landscape of North Uganda, huts, hills, green

5. Utilise YOur local community

Are you part of a faith group, such as a church or mosque? These are very effective groups to tap into for donations towards your volunteering trip.

Talk to local schools, especially your old school…

You can give a talk in an assembly about your volunteering mission!
Not only would this inspire the younger generation to get into volunteer work, they can fundraise for you.

Suggest a ‘no uniform’ day– where each student donates $1 on that day in exchange to not wear uniform
>>> This could raise a huge amount towards your trip!

Most schools also have monthly or weekly newsletters, you can ask to put your story and a link to your crowdfunding page!

Think about other ways to use the local community, such as any groups you are a part of, local newspapers…

Money in a hand
Your local community can help you raise money to volunteer abroad.

6. Do Something Crazy! for money!

You can get really creative here!
Sign up to run a marathon, cycle from Edinburgh to London, complete a thru-hike, do a skydive, shave your head, get a tattoo, complete the 3 peaks challenge…

One idea is to use Facebook live or use Instagram stories and ask for donations in exchange for dares.
For example someone could say I will donate $30 for you to dye your hair green / sing a song / eat a jar of pickles… And then you do it live on camera!
This brings in high volumes of donations!

Girl doing a skydive
A sponsored skydive is a great way to raise money

7. No Presents This Year…

If Christmas / your birthday / Eid / Graduation, or any other occasion you may receive gifts is coming up… tell everyone that instead of a gift for yourself, you want donations towards your volunteer trip!

If each family member that would buy you a present instead donated the money to your trip, you can reach that target much more quickly.

People might even be more generous as a result of your selflessness…

You can set up a Birthday Fundraiser on Facebook!

Pile of Christmas presents
Forgo presents this year to reach your fundraising goals

8. Ebay!

Create some space in your life and reach your fundraising total by selling that stuff you don’t use or wear on Ebay!

Those shoes never fit, that portable DVD player you haven’t used since you downloaded Netflix, a broken laptop someone could use for parts, your ex partners sweater… Sell it.

You can raise some serious cash AND de-clutter your life to make packing for your trip that much easier.

9. Use your skills

What skills do you have that you can use?

Maybe you can make friendship bracelets, hair wraps, take great photos, sing… offer to babysit, be designated driver for the month, write beautiful personalized wedding invitations?
Mow a lawn, offer to fix up a website.

Anything you can do in exchange for money! It’s getting you closer to your target.

Person cleans a toilet
People will pay you to clean for them.

Now you know how to fundraise, it’s time to apply for our volunteer program!

Click here to apply.