Volunteering

Your time and money abroad can be a life-changing experience for both you and the community you work in

Volunteering abroad also has some costs. Volunteers typically cover their own travel costs, room and board, insurance, and fees to support the administrative expenses of the program. Don’t let this get you down! There are many ways to offset your costs. Here are a few of our favourite way to do this:

Create a Website

Peer fundraising websites have come a long way in the last few years. There are many out there, the best we’ve found is GoFundMe. It allows you to create custom fundraising page you can direct all your donors too (with fun social media integration that can help your campaign go viral).

https://www.gofundme.com/volunteer-service/

Hold a fundraiser

Fundraising events can be fun, creative and inexpensive! For example, one volunteer offered to get all her hair cut off in return for sponsorship! Another volunteer raised funds by asking for sponsorships in several open water swim races.  The more interesting and unique the event is, the more attention it will get. Contact your local press about your event and don’t forget to thank your sponsors for their support!

  • Trunk sale / Car boot sale / hold an auction
  • Shave your head/Wax your chest
  • Sit in a bath of beans
  • Do a walk/cycle/run/marathon/swim

Focus

Focus on your reasons for volunteering

You’re truly passionate desire to share the life skill of swimming and help build awareness for environmental stewardship will help bring in donations. People are always more willing to help fund a trip for a larger cause. Hit the pavement and let your goals and passions speak for themselves.

Utilise your relationships

Successful fundraising costs little and reaches a wide audience. Always think about who you know that could help you. For example, if you have a family member who works in a large company, you could ask about being sponsored by them. Or if you have a friend who could get you a venue, you could hold a fundraising event. Start by making a list of everyone you know and how they might be able to contribute toward your volunteer goals. Every little bit helps!

Get the company you work for behind you – your co-workers may help with fundraising events and spreading the word.

Set reasonable goals

Start with a clear goal as to how much you need to raise from each fundraising activity and record your progress along the way. Follow up and assess how much you expected to raise against what you actually do. Be realistic and innovative: some ideas work, others won’t, but don’t repeat the same mistakes.

Ask for specific donations

It’s a good idea to request a specific amount to let your donors start somewhere and have a benchmark – but that doesn’t mean you need to stick with that number! Asking for a specific amount will also let you plan in advance how much you will need from each donor to accomplish your goals. It may help to go after your biggest benefactor first – people often follow the leader.

Write well-targeted letters

Address letters and emails to individuals, and individuals within companies, asking for their support. Check out the tip below to Writing Successful Fundraising Letters.[

Offer incentives for donating

Turn the situation into a win-win for every sponsor who makes a donation. By giving something in return to all donors, they will have an extra push to donate and spread the word! This could be as simple as sending them updates on your adventures abroad via email or postcard when you are abroad, or giving a presentation about your experiences when you return.

Plan ahead as much as possible

Even when you are as prepared as possible, there is a chance you’ll forget something or have trouble reaching all your targets. Get ready to face challenges and overcome them with preparation.[

Use your time wisely

Fundraising can take a lot of time so make sure to prioritise. Work a timeline into your goals, especially if you’re on a tight deadline.

Resources for Fundraising your Volunteer Trip Abroad

International Volunteer Programs Association:Fundraising Tips