Fundraising Ideas that Work!

by alrahmahsolutions on Friday, 27 January 2012

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


1. Recycling for Cash

This is a great method ANYONE can use. It works and it works real fast. Numerous recycle centers pay money for cans and bottles that can be recycled. ISV has many students who ask for materials to recycle. Try friends, family, university unions, etc. Restaurants, bars and night clubs produce THOUSANDS of recyclable materials every night that just go to waste. Ask if you can collect them and turn them in for cash! You may also like to purchase yellow bags and write your name and ISV on them and hand them out to those helping you so they remember to put them in the bag. Offices often have recycle bins that they actually pay a company to come and collect. Why not ask them to give you their cans and bottles? You can also ask offices to donate empty printer cartridges which recycle for up to $25 each. Some students have reported collecting $800 in less than a week just from pro-active recycling!

2. ISV Supporter Letter

Thousands of students have raised their program fees, flight costs and even excursion fees by asking for funds 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 financial support 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. Crowdsourcing Websites

The World Wide Web opens up your fundraising network to far beyond your immediate contacts. Crowdsourcing websites are very common and VERY successful. Set up a profile on a crowdsourcing website such as Volunteer Forever – Invite all your friends and online network to support you by making payments online. Tell a story with your profile, use pictures and videos and most of all – SAY THANK YOU!
Set Up a Profile Here.

Think of it like a personal blog, where you can list your fundraising goals, project details, pictures, videos, etc. You can then send this to all your Facebook and email contacts and people can give easily online! Check out this great page full of usefiul tips for crowdsource fundraising.

4. 50/50 Raffles

50/50 Raffles are really popular in the USA, and are also successful around the world! 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 give $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.


5. Company Support

Approach a company, service organization (like Rotary, lions club etc.) and ask if they will support you financially on a project and in return you will do things for them such as:

  1. Create a certificate showing they are supporting global volunteering
  2. Speak at their staff meeting and report on what you did on your trip
  3. Volunteer when you get back for a charity of their choice!

6. 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. The University of Newcastle in Australia has the ‘ilead program’ which offers up to $1500 to any of its students wishing to volunteer with ISV in the summer. Check with department heads and student life for special interest grants that can be given. Some study areas such as agriculture and education often have private grants available to students who want to volunteer in their field abroad.

Good Luck – Fundraising is not hard, it just takes time. Contact if you have any more ideas, questions, or success stories that you would like to share.


{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }