Many participants fundraise as a means to off-set their programme registration, visa and travel expenses. We have compiled the following tips to help you plan your campaign.
The most effective way to start your fundraising is through an online campaign website. It provides a quick, efficient way to reach out to all your friends and family.
Creating an online campaign page is a simple and effective way to start fundraising for your trip and is more enjoyable for both the fundraisers and the donors and volunteer organisations.
Approach local newspapers or radio stations (find their contact details on the internet, via the town hall, at your local library or in a media directory).
A journalist may be willing to write up a short piece about you, or you could write your own article and address it to the News Desk. Whatever you decide to do you need to think of an angle that will be of interest to the readers. Think of the most common questions people are asking you about the trip and try to answer them.
Make yourself available in case they want to interview you. It may help to offer a follow up story on completion of your placement or issue regular email updates while you are away.
Finding donors and sponsors
Consider anyone and everyone; if you have a fundraising page you can email it to everyone you know.
Friends, relatives and work colleagues may also be able to offer support and good ideas for fundraising events.
If they can’t sponsor your trip perhaps they could provide you with something to give your volunteer project, such as pens, paper, text books or toys.
Put a collecting tin in your local pub, or hairdressers; you won’t need a permit for collecting in this way as long as you have permission from the proprietor.
You may approach local companies for sponsorship, in which case remember that this is very competitive. Consider the following tips:
Letters should be well presented, personal and well-written
Address a specific person if possible, generic letters are not as successful
They will want to know what your project involves and why you are doing it
Keep it concise, ideally one page
Outline the benefit to the sponsor – for example promotion of their company at your fundraising events
As an alternative to a cash donation ask for something that you could raffle.
Trust funds and grant making bodies are funds set up for good causes and can be a useful resource for raising funds.
Search the internet for list of trusts and grants, additionally, the ‘Directory of Grant Making Trusts’ (from your local library) is a useful resource.
Trust funds usually have very specific funding criteria so make sure you address all the relevant points. Try to give a specific breakdown of the costs and provide information about what you are doing on your project.
Common methods of fundraising include:
More common methods of fundraising include:
Car boot sales
Sponsored events: either externally arranged such as Fun Runs or independently arranged such as a personal challenge
Hold a party during which you invite people to donate gifts or money; include a raffle of donated prizes
The Every Day Hero website includes a list of current events around the country.
A few reminders…
Organise your donations through a fundraising website
Keep a note of who has given you a contribution, and don’t forget about them as soon as you have enough money
Offer to give presentations to trusts and companies that have supported you
Follow ups to newspapers and local radio stations by email or on your return
Photos of you working hard will reassure donors that their investment was worthwhile
Extend a big thank you to everyone who contributes
Last of all, be realistic and don’t expect to cover all of your costs.
Larger UK charities offer useful advice on fundraising – visit their websites for new ideas.
Fundraising is suggested as an option, you are under no obligation to pursue it. The information provided here is offered as a guide only, and we encourage you to investigate alternative options independently. When collecting money, please always check that you are not in breach of any local laws or regulations. Certain events may require a license or permit (entertainment or alcohol licenses for example) and you should check that any venue you use to host an event has appropriate insurance and health & safety certificates. Collection boxes will require the permission of the property owner.
Fundraising for an overseas volunteer community
On occasion volunteers are asked for, or offer money to the community. Whilst it's great to see such enthusiasm we do not feel that offering cash directly to the community is the best way to help; it can lead to issues of dependency, as well as a lack of accountability for the money raised. When we send volunteers overseas it is with the understanding that it is their time that is of value not their money. As an alternative we would suggest that you consider helping a project find local sponsorship or help to provide them with tangible items (for example school books). If wish to make a financial contribution you should do so via a registered charity.
If you have any questions about how you can further help the community that you’ve volunteered in please don’t hesitate to contact the volunteer team at BUNAC.