We all want to travel. We all want to volunteer. And we all want a life-changing adventure. While some of us are fortunate enough to have the cash to pay for an overseas trip, the reality is most of us don’t have the money just lying around.
A smart traveler is someone who can get others to help pay for their trip, and ISV has had PLENTY of smart travelers and excellent fundraisers who have traveled abroad without having to eat Ramen noodles for 6 months to help with the finances. Here are a few fundraising tips that work:
ISV’s Top Fundraising Methods for UK and Europe
1. Recycling for Cash
These days there is plenty of opportunity to recycle unwanted items that are just collecting dust sat around the house! Visit this great web-link and learn about the websites and companies that will pay cash for unwanted CLOTHES, CDs, GAMES, DVDs, BOOKS, MOBILE PHONES, ALUMINIUM CANS, and INK CARTRIDGES! http://www.lovemoney.com/news/money-saving-tips-bargains-and-freebies/money-saving-tips/3385/six-things-you-can-recycle-for-cash.
With so many potential recyclable items there is huge opportunity to earn cash, especially if you get your friends and family to help you. You could collect BOOK donations around campus or ask your friends to donate their old Spice Girls CDs to help raise the money needed for your volunteering adventure!
When it comes to ink cartridges and aluminium cans, don’t be shy to approach local offices, restaurants, cafés and your student union. Some students have reported collecting £500 in less than a week just from pro-active recycling; which is definitely reachable when you consider 1 empty ink cartridge can be recycled for £4.50 with www.cashforcartridges.co.uk
2. ISV Sponsorship Letter
Thousands of students have raised their program fees, flight costs and even excursion fees by asking for donations from friends, families and businesses. Once you are confirmed to travel with ISV, we will give you access to a customizable letter that you can send out asking for support for your volunteer trip. This is so easy, and just takes a little of your time to send the letters. Start with family, friends, friends of friends and then move on to businesses. Include some photos and let them know you are volunteering to make a difference in the world. Then, follow up with a phone call and ask if they can support you. It will also be very valuable to let them know you will report back to them on your experience and what their contribution allowed you to do. You will be surprised at the results from just a few hours' work. We see countless stories of volunteers who raise enough money to travel with ISV multiple times, all funded by others.
3. Matching Gift Donations
Many companies have a ‘matching gift donations’ program where they will match or double the contributions of an employee who gives to a non-profit or service oriented organisation.
- Identify companies that offer matching gift donations.
- Ask employees for a donation and let them know their contribution will actually be matched by the company.
- Fill out necessary forms and receive you super donation gifts!
- Again, start with family and friends first as these will be the people who know you and want to support you.
4. Social Media
The World Wide Web opens up your fundraising network to far beyond your immediate contacts. As we are not a registered charity in the UK or Ireland we cannot utilise websites such as JustGiving or Virgin Money Giving, but don’t let this stop you using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or personal blogs to spread the word about your fundraising attempts, and ask for support from your online friends and communities! Post online information on your fundraising goals, country or project details, pictures, videos, etc and share with your Facebook and email contacts and people can donate easily online!
5. 50/50 Raffles
50/50 Raffles are really popular in the USA, and their success is being mirrored here in the UK and Ireland! Imagine a raffle drawing, but instead of sourcing prizes from sponsors, you say that the winner will get 50% of raffle monies collected and you keep the remaining 50%. So set a goal at say £1,000. Ask people to donate £2 to your cause and they will get 2 raffle tickets. When you reach your goal they will have a 1 in 500 chance of winning the grand prize - £500! That is much better odds than any lottery.
6. Company Sponsorship
Approach a company or service organistion like Rotary (www.ribi.org) or Lions Club (www.lionsmd105.org), etc. and ask if they will sponsor you on a project and in return you will do things for them such as:
- Create a certificate showing they are supporting global volunteering
- Speak at their staff meeting and report on what you did on your trip
- Volunteer when you get back for a charity of their choice!
7. Travel Grants and Scholarships
Service learning and volunteering is a growing part of university life! Check with your university for travel grants and scholarships for international volunteering. We have seen universities offer grants up to £1000 as part of programs or schemes offered to students who want to volunteer their skills abroad. These programs are not always widely advertised by universities so you will need to ask department heads, administrative offices or student support services.
Good Luck – Fundraising is not hard, it just takes time. Contact gro.sreetnulovsinull@gnisiardnuf-ku if you have any more ideas, questions, or success stories that you would like to share.