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Raising Funds to Travel

Updated: Dec 12, 2019

Not everyone has a secret stash of money stored away ready to jet off on around-the-world adventures. Does that mean your dream of volunteering abroad is out of the question? Certainly not!

These days it is getting easier and easier to fund raise for volunteering abroad. The world is opening it’s eyes to the needs of the less fortunate, the plight of endangered species and the importance of self fulfillment through travel. It is clear that giving your time is one of the greatest ways to make an impact.

Volunteering with a reputable organisation is important to ensure your time and finds are supporting sustainable projects, and that you will be safe and well cared for. That comes hand in hand with an organisation that employs reliable and knowledgeable project managers, holds insurance and puts money back in to the community. So, if this is where your project fee is going, how can you raise the cash and seal the deal?


1.Get in to blogging. The more people know about your work, studies, interests and achievements, the more likely they are to support your trip. Help spread the work about what you want to achieve and why it is important. You can link your blog to other people’s blogs and social media sites to help you network.

2. Creating a profile on a crowdfunding website, such as ‘Go Fund Me’ Your friends and family will always support your passions and dreams, and through this site they can all chip in to help you achieve your dream.

Be specific about where and when you are traveling, what will you be doing there and why the trip is so important to you. Be sure to make a compelling case as to why someone should give you money to travel.

3. Birthday or Christmas coming up? Got a few too many bubble bath boxes already? Ask people to donate towards your flights or trip costs instead. People love giving things that make you excited, and getting you one step close to your dream trip will certainly achieve this. You can always write to relatives before the event informing them. Add links to your crowdfunding page if you have one.

5. Arrange a competition. A raffle is a fantastic way to raise money and gone are the days of 2nd hand teddies on dusty school tables. Find something people are keen for (you may even get something sponsored if you ask around) and use Facebook and Instagram to promote what people could win if they donate to your trip. Maybe they can enter by pledging to your crowdfunding page. Remember to tell them all the good work they will be supporting by entering.

6. Check to see if your company or employer has a donation matching program. Some companies offer one for one matches if you write a check to any charity. Even if your employer doesn’t offer matching gifts, reach out to your spouse, family or friends to see if their employers do.

Also, many organizations have a policy for giving extra paid days off if you are doing volunteer work, which would save you from burning your vacation days.

7. Use your skills or hobbies to make extra cash. Cook a special meal for your friends, have a themed party or hold a gig. Team up with a local pub or bar and run a karaoke night with a % of the door fees or brinks profits going to your trip. Use this chance to let people know about your trip and spread the word about how you hope to bring change for the better, and how they can do so to!

8. Ask your friends for frequent flyer miles, airline vouchers and buddy passes to help cover the costs of your flight. You may know people who travel a lot for work and don’t always use the airline miles they accumulate. Ask them if they could sponsor your ticket using their miles (you can pay for the taxes and fees), and it wouldn’t cost them a dime.

9. Partner with a local restaurant to host a fundraising dinner. Going to Thailand? Get a Thai restaurant on board, India?…you get the idea! People love supporting their home country and it brings in new clients for the restaurant. Make it special, maybe arrange an act (singer, comedy etc) and people will be delighted to come along. You can put up posters or table booklets about what you will be doing and how they can help further.

10. Ask for a grant. Your school, college, university and local council may have grants available for your voluntary work. Don’t forget to make a good case about why you are getting involved in this work. Remember they may know nothing about your cause. Some employees and larger corporate companies offer grants if you are in full or part time employment.

11. Find any opportunity to share your story. Each of the fundraising strategies requires some effort and a lot of outreach. This may be the time to use all of your social media skills to get your story, events and requests in front of people. Additionally, you may want to send personal emails to friends and co-workers, and snail mail letters to older family members. Make sure to send reminders, updates on where you stand towards your goals, and thank you notes.

Reaching out to local organisations like churches, rotary groups may also allow you to find people who want to

support your great cause.

Consider writing a press release and reaching out to the local media, asking them to run a story about your upcoming volunteer trip. You may even end up inspiring some people to go on a volunteer vacation themselves.

Always remember to thank your donors after your trip. Invite them round to see a slideshow of photos, cook them a diner or bring them home a little souvenir. Who knows, they may want to support you on further adventures in the future!

Looking to help us abroad?

Veterinary students volunteering with wildlife zebra in Africa
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