THINK YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO DO A PROJECT? – THINK
You can fundraise for your project.
We'll give you lots of tips and ideas on how to do this!
Many people raise all the money they need (and
and usually very quickly! My name is Rachel and I raised more funds than
I needed to do my project. You can do it, too!
“If you don’t ask, you don’t
objective of fundraising is to obtain/earn sufficient money to enable
you to travel to a different culture and gain a better understanding of
different ethnic groups and how they live, at the same time perhaps
helping underprivileged children or doing your bit towards conservation.
when dealing with people who’re hopefully going
to fund you, emphasise the good you’ll be doing while on your
placement and the benefit you’ll derive from your placement in
your future life/career.
Nobody’s going to give you money to travel to some faraway contry to …
lie on the beach! But you already know that otherwise you wouldn’t be
reading this booklet. Voluntary Project or Work Experience
Internship, they both contribute to community development, cultural
exchange, stimulating the local economy and your personal development. Lots of
companies, trusts, charities and individuals believe
community development and personal development are vital in today’s
world and will fund individuals to do this – so shout about the
good results your project will achieve – it could get you a long way!!
WHERE TO START?
The objective of fundraising is to raise sufficient money to
fund your placement.
We can’t tell you to "go to so-and-so and they’ll give you the money",
but we can give you lots of ideas on how to earn or raise funds. It’s
then up to you as to how determined you are and how hard you’re prepared
to work. There are many things you can do to raise funds for your trip, including:
PUBLICITY - THE MORE YOU GET, THE BETTER!
Your small local paper is often on the hunt for stories with a local
interest. Contact them – it’s great publicity for you and a great
story for them! You’ll be able to shout about the fantastic things you’ll be
doing on your placement, which the local community will love to hear about!
Don’t forget to ask to include contact information and details of how
people can sponsor you – you never know how many people will read the article and chip
in to the cause!
research and then contact magazines that may be interested in sponsoring you /
advertising for you. If you’re a keen writer, you could suggest writing some
small articles for the Magazine in return for sponsorship. For example, if
you’re teaching Drama or Arts, you could contact a local Arts & Crafts
Magazine and offer to write an article about your placement in return for
sponsorship and publicity.
Local Radio Stations
They're always on the look-out for interesting local
stories too! A presenter may want to have you as a guest on his show to talk
about what you’re hoping to do – and then another
interview on your return about what it was like in the country you volunteered in. The
may not sponsor you themselves but many of our volunteers have been invited
to talk about their upcoming adventure, and many have had the presenter slip in a mention about
your need for sponsorship and a contact email or telephone number.
Start a blog and and tell people what you’re doing! Gina volunteered in
Knysna with Travellers and started a blog to which people could donate – she
raised $5000! (about £3,125). Since returning from her placement, she’s been raising funds
to send to the Centre where she did her project. You can view her blog
It's a quick and easy way to tell people what you’re up to! Tell your
friends on Facebook, Twitter or any other social network you’re a member of!
Set up a Paypal account and ask people for donations – if each of your Facebook friends donated £1
to £5, how much would you raise?!
Local Funds and Charities will sometimes sponsor
people to either get involved with projects that improve the lives
of less developed communities, or to help you develop as a person
through an activity that will benefit others too.
UK SPECIFICALLY: In your local library there
should be a book called ‘Directory of Grant Making Trusts’ – it is
usually reference only as it is very expensive (£120). It is a comprehensive
list of all the local grant making trusts and charities in the
UK and details who is eligible to apply. It also tells you how to apply
to each of the different charities.
Remember each Library in the UK
has an online catalogue, so check the book is stocked in your local
library before visiting - you can request books if they are unavailable
at your most local library (they’ll transfer them from another
library for you!)
When applying to charities and trusts, only apply to relevant ones that you are eligible for, otherwise
you’ll be wasting time and energy.
WORLDWIDE: You can apply to
charities and trusts in your local area. Some countries will have an
equivalent book to ‘Directory of Grant Making Trusts’ (see
above). For example, in the USA there
is a book of the same name (Travellers is unable to
verify its content, though.)
You may also find it helpful to ask your local
government if they have a list of Charities or Trusts that give grants. If
they don’t have such a list, they may be able to tell you who to contact
in order to get one.
If you are between the ages of 17 – 24 you should
also ask around at school or university as a lot of teachers are involved
with charitable trusts themselves, or may be able to advise you where to
If you’re not between the ages of 17-24 it doesn’t
mean that you won't be eligible for this type of sponsorship, it may
just be harder to find appropriate trusts and charities to write to.
Some of you will be
lucky and raise enough cash very quickly - others may find it harder. You must remember that not every
letter you send will be successful, but don’t give up hope. One volunteer wrote 40 letters
and only got 6 replies ... but she raised over £750 from those 6 replies!
If you’re going to Sri Lanka to teach football to poor kids, contact
a Sports foundation because, let’s face it, what you’ll be doing is
pretty unique. You could mention that the first few Travellers
volunteers who went to coach football in Sri Lanka ended their project by organising an
Inter-School football match for a “Volunteers Trophy” (which they bought
at a local store). As a result, Travellers now sponsors an
annual event at the schools. The children's standard of football improved dramatically
and so did their confidence. Our volunteers teach the students
a sport – and valuable life skills too.
That sort of on-going help resulting from a
few people doing a voluntary placement together and teaching football is
pretty impressive - and there are many charities out there who would view
your sponsorship favourably.
Other Useful UK Publications:
The Directory of
Grant Making Trusts
The Directory of
Smaller Grant Making Trusts
The Guide to UK
& Donations Year Book
The Complete Guide
REMEMBER: The old cliché of “If you don’t ask,
you won’t get” is true. If you do ask, you may get!!
BUSINESSES AND COMPANIES
Some local businesses and
companies have a 'Charity Budget' that they must use up every
year. If you are lucky you may persuade them to use some of this budget
towards your project.
Ask around – friends of friends
might work for companies like this. It’s always good to have insider knowledge
about whether companies are likely to contribute or not.
Keep it short! Make sure that your letter to
the company is informative but concise. If they have to spend a lot of
time reading exactly what you want, they might not get to the end of the
letter! Emphasise the good that you’re doing and the personal
development that will be achieved.
If possible apply to relevant
organisations – i.e. if you’re taking part in a law placement in Sri
Lanka, write to the local law firms in your town.
Tell them what you
will do for them, i.e. mention the company's kind contribution in any
blogs, social network pages, or stories that you submit to newspapers or
Offer to let them have
a report on your placement so that they can see what you've been able to
achieve while you were there as a result of their generosity.
Some companies may
only donate if they can send the donation directly to us – this is not a
problem, we will deduct the donated amount from the total cost of your project.
There are some
fantastic companies and educational trusts that offer scholarships to
deserving volunteers. Ask around and check publications in your library
for more information about schemes in your area.
If you look hard enough you'll find
some great international schemes as well. For example
scholarships of US$1000 to 'anyone participating in a volunteer program'
- regardless of nationality or age. For more details on their
scholarship scheme please
FUNDRAISING EVENTS YOU CAN DO
Organising a fundraising event isn't as scary as it sounds! It can be
as simple as organising a barbeque for your friends and charging £10 per
person entry – provide food and people will come, but you’ll still make a good profit
towards your project!
Below is a list of some suggested events,
it’s far from comprehensive, but should inspire you:
Remember: some of the activities listed
below require permission from the appropriate
authorities – please ensure you comply with the law.
A cake sale
at school / work – ask your friends or colleagues to donate cakes for
the event and sell them to make a profit.
car boot sale – or ask one of the local car boot sales to donate their
profits to your cause one day.
Take part in
a car boot sale – if you (or your parents) have lots of junk around, get
down to your local car boot sale and sell it – remember every penny you
fundraise adds up!
Dress up and
collect on the street – make sure you speak to your local authority
first and get their permission.
sponsored – shave your head, run a marathon, bathe in baked beans etc…
auction or raffle in your local town. Ask local businesses to supply
goods (i.e. a free haircut, a voucher for a meal in a restaurant) and
either auction the prizes for charity, or raffle them off! If you decide
to auction, you must find a public place to hold the auction – your
friends could sell tea and cakes for added funds!
If you’re musically minded, approach your
local shopping centre management and ask if you can busk at a popular
time of the week – explain it’s for a good cause and advertise this as
Throw a party / event – charge an entrance
fee. When people know it’s for a charitable cause they’re more likely to
invite their friends and attend. If you’re unable to host the event at
home, ask your local school / town hall if you can use their facilities
– you’ll still have to pay the deposit but it should be returned to you.
Remember to emphasise that it’s for a good cause and they may waive
their usual fee. Make sure everyone pays for their ticket up front!!
Local Fairs: If you live out in the sticks
there are always summer fairs and local fairs where they have tombola’s,
cakes stalls, guess the weight of 6 bicycles, 2 cricket bats and little
Johnny. Well, think of something you could do, a stall you could run,
perhaps busking your way around the fair, a service you could offer,
like dressing up as Captain Kirk or Spiderman and have a friend who can
take instant photos – then persuade Johnny’s mother to cough up £2 for a
souvenir photo of Johnny with his hero!!!
Make the most of your friends and
relatives!!! In your Christmas Cards (or Holiday Cards) this year add in
a little note explaining what you’re doing and how they can help you, if
they wish to donate!
Set up your own weekend CAR WASHING business
– ask some of your friends to lend a helping hand and get them busy with
sponges. You’ll soon build up a regular clientele! If you don’t like the
idea – why not wash windows, that’s a job no one wants to do and you’ll
raise money very quickly!
BOOK AHEAD, WORK HARD & SAVE UP!
Well there is the plain old
fashioned way! People book projects with Travellers 6 months, 1, 2, even
3 years ahead (our orang-utans in Malaysia have appointments well into
the future) Payment for your project is not due until 3 months prior to
your departure with just the deposit of £190.00 required upfront to
secure your place. Book a project for next year giving yourself 12
months to save up and set up a direct debit into a different account to
help you put aside a little each month.
Let’s take an example, one hundred
pounds a month for 12 months - plus the deposit you’ve already paid -
and you have just under £1400. Enough for a return flight and a months
Add to this any kind relations or
friends who might want to contribute to your fund over the year for your
birthday or Christmas say (£10/$10 here and there adds up and they can
pay directly into your project via our payment login button on the
homepage) and you’re looking at even more! With this additional money,
you can bring the date of your trip forward, or buy some fancy
travelling kit, or add an add-on project, or extend your trip by a week
or month or include some independent travel afterwards…
If £100 a month is too much, book
your trip for 18 months ahead and put aside £70 a month (that’s just £17
a week). Or maybe you can budget for more if you can making more drastic
changes such as reducing your rent costs or taking on a temporary second
job for example.
“I wanted to
travel so much that I moved back in with my mum after living on my own
for 3 years. I got a full-time temp job doing admin in an office, on
top of this I took on a local bar job some evenings and weekends. I also
fitted in some swimming teaching lessons I was qualified to do on
Sundays. All this work meant I didn’t have time to go out anyway but I
chose to stay in or opted for free fun with friends and always the ‘take
your own’ option! I didn’t go shopping at all and made minor everyday
changes such as making my lunches at home and taking coffee in a flask
saving me £10+everyday. I sold my clapped out fiesta and a few bits on
eBay. You know what, within 9 months I was on that plane to Sri Lanka
and I didn’t return for 14 months, a browner, satisfied and more
accomplished version of myself. I now know how to budget when I want
something and it was the first of many great lessons travelling gave me.
You can create whatever you want - even when you start with nothing.”
Letitia Beisly, elephant orphanage volunteer, 2002
If cost is a huge option and you want
to go soon, pick a cheap project for 2 weeks in a destination that is
not expensive to get to. For example 2 weeks in Morocco including a
return Ryan Air flight from the UK and you’re looking at around £750 -
internal travel, food and accommodation included! Start with something
you can afford and see a destination you would never have dreamt you
would visit. All this is building your confidence and life experience
and maybe next time you can commit to a longer project or a further away
Part of the process is figuring out
how to fund this experience. That’s part of what makes it so rewarding
once you get there, as well as particularly impressive to employers who
can see you’re able to take initiative, source funds and invest in
yourself wisely. Great skills to have. If you’re not one of those to be
offered this opportunity on a plate, don’t worry, you’re in the
majority. We speak from personal experience when we say trust us, you’ll
enjoy each moment even more once you do get there!
“I applied in
October for the following March for a 3 month placement in Knysna. At
the time I was renting student accommodation and earning minimal wage on
my industrial placement year at Uni. I immediately took on an evening
job waiting in a restaurant and worked all the shifts they gave me
(including Christmas Day – great tips!). My parents bought my flight as
a joint birthday/Christmas present and within 5 months I had the funds I
needed, plus enough to stay for an extra month for some independent
travel around South Africa. Since this placement with Travellers I’ve
visited a further 27 countries! ” Andrew Kemp, design-tech
volunteer teacher, 2002
SUGGESTIONS: WHAT OTHER
VOLUNTEERS HAVE DONE TO RAISE MONEY SUCCESSFULLY
Remember, you will have to WORK HARD – it doesn’t come easy (usually), but you’ll feel that your efforts were all well worth it when you’re trekking through the jungle in Borneo or teaching English in Brazil!
one young volunteer raised over £1,000
Planting trees for the local district council – raised £400
Organised school friends on a sponsored litter collection – raised £1,000
Collecting bottles from factories – raised £240
Designed a conservation oriented tea towel and had them printed. Cost £1.20, sold for £3.00 – Profited to the tune of £450
Lots of car boot sales – raising between £30 and £600 – many people advertise for junk in local papers and then sell it at car boot sales
Coffee morning cake sales in the local Church Hall
Organised car boot sale in school grounds and charged £5.00 per car to sellers.
Organised a Ceilidh – raised £600
Organised a black-tie Rhythm-&-Blues Ball – raised £2,400
Champagne Party – appealed to a local brewery who donated a case of champagne – some bottles used as prizes for raffles, others were sold – raised £210
Wine and cheese party – “Gues the Cheese” – asked for donations.
Race nights in the Pub – and lots of Pub Quizzes with donated prizes and entry fee charged.
Raffles – wrote to companies for prizes and received things like Holiday for two, Telephones, Jewellery, Haversacks, Beauty vouchers. Sold 5,000 tickets, 20p each – raised £950.
Skittles evening in local Working Men’s Club. – raised £200
Porridge sit-in (sponsored, and money raised from passers-by – raised £330 from passers-by and £1,320 from sponsorship
One girl spent a day on a building site in fancy dress
(very scantily clad! – embarrassing … but she raised £300 and lots of publicity.
excellent case study by a group that raised the funds to work with
township schools in South Africa
Sponsored silence (made a lot of people very
Spaghetti soak in a bath in the centre of town – raised £115 from passers-by and £800 sponsorship.
Parachute jump – lots of people have done these – raising anything up to £1,500
Marathon mountain trek – climbed 15 mountains in 3 days – raised £600
Walked coast to coast across Wales – raised £1,600
Lots of mountain climbing events – sponsored – raising anything up to £1,000
Three-legged walk in fancy dress – raised £1,650 plus £200 from other people who took part
26-mile blindfold walk – raised £1,100. Sent out lots of letters asking for sponsorship.
Fancy dress canoe trip – raised £1,000, including sponsorship from Rotary and various pubs
Sponsored swim – raised £800
One volunteer organised a 3-day fashion show that included food, raffles and prizes and raised a lot of money. The models were friends of hers. Of course, to do something on a grand scale like this, you need some money up front (borrowed and repaid after the event?) up front to pay for a facility, food, prizes (although you could ask local companies to donate prizes) etc. and this may not be practical. You’ll also need a lot of publicity from
local radio and in your local newspapers.
24-hour pony ride – complicated by having to change horses regularly. Post Office donated postage for sponsorship appeal letters. – Raised sufficient money to cover her entire placement in one go.
24-hour trampoline jumping
London Marathon – raised £1,500 through sponsorship.
Lots of sponsored bike rides – raising anything from small amounts up to £1,600
Sponsored bike ride London to Monte Carlo
Diet– sponsored per lb of weigh lost. 60 people joined in the initial diet, 30 returned 8 weeks later. Result? 30 happy slimmer people and £1,000 raised. Clever catchwords in resulting newspaper coverage were “The Weigh to do it” and “Pounds for pounds”.
Sponsored silence for 1 hour in a pub on campus – raised £75 in the hour.
Fashion show – raised £600
International evening held in school hall – about 80 people attended – everyone who attended brought one international dish for the refreshments AND paid £2.50 per ticket.
letters – lots of people have done this – general advice is write to
companies, your old school, friends and family, local religious
organisation or other local associations. Success is more forthcoming if
you explain that your placement will benefit not only to yourself, but
also some disadvantaged people, communities or a conservation project.
"For fundraising, firstly I applied to the school PTA and board of
governors, after writing a letter I got a cheque for £100. I think it
helped that I have done loads of things around the school/college, like
Drama and the student council so I'm pretty well known. I also
wrote to the local Rotary club, who are donating £50. I was unsuccessful
with groups such as the Lions and the Conservative club.
I've had a jumble sale, which raised £130 and we've got enough stuff
left to have another one. I went through our loft and study and sorted
out our books. I managed to sell all my old revision
guides and school books back to school for £50. A family friend, and
ex-English teacher was moving house and gave me lots of English books,
which I sold to school for £25. I sorted out the garage and shed and
sold things like old bikes and furniture left over from our previous
house in the local paper, which raised lots of money.
At the moment I am doing a Calendar draw, where each date on the
calendar is worth £1. Each participant then pays a pound to 'buy' a day
of the year - usually a birthday. When the calendar is full, I'll cut up
the dates and draw them out of a hat. Lots of prizes have been donated
by local businesses, such as hairdressers. I didn't receive any
help from large businesses like banks and clothes shops.
So now I've got just over £1000."
Look locally – people are more willing to
fund local people.
Ask around– you may well hear about a local trust / memorial fund
that doesn’t advertise – if not many people hear about they may not make
donations / approve sponsorship each year. Take advantage of this and
write to them!
Remember many religious organisations, educational establishments
and town councils have bursary / award schemes. Past volunteers of
school leaver age from the UK have successfully applied to the
BFSS (British & Foreign School Society.).
This page on their website may also be useful:
Focus on matching interest and criteria - don't waste time randomly
hitting everyone; target companies or people more likely to
have an interest in what you’re doing. They will appreciate the fact
that you’re going to them specifically (which implies you have a
knowledge of them) rather than the thought that you’re going to anybody
and everybody and just hoping to get lucky.
Remember charitable organisations such as Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs
and Roundtable Clubs – All of these organisations donate money to
local people. These associations’ members are usually local business people
who socialise together and have lots of business contacts. If they can’t
help you, maybe they know someone who can!
Bear in mind you might need to do something for the donation –
Rotary clubs in particular may stipulate that you must give a short talk
about your experiences on your return – we can vouch that our placements
are worth 5-10 minutes of your time!
Be professional with your approach.
PRACTICALITIES OF FUNDRAISING
- TRAVELLERS TIPS
You may wish to set up a separate bank
account for your Voluntary Placement Fund – you'll be motivated to raise
more for your placement when you see it increase!
Make sure your contact details are
professional. E.g. if your email address is
CHANGE IT! You won’t impress your potential sponsor and your letter may
well just go straight in the bin.
If you’re writing to companies and
charitable trusts. Keep your letter concise – one page, preferably 2-4
short paragraphs maximum. They can ask you for more information if
they’re interested! Make sure you mention that you’d be delighted to
provide more information / give them a talk or presentation in person if
required. (in 9 out of 10 cases you won’t actually have to do this!)
Stick to the guidelines the charity /
trust supply – i.e if they ask for an application form, make sure it’s
included, if they ask for a proposal, write one (we can give you more
help with this if you wish – just ask!)
ALWAYS BE TOTALLY HONEST – If they catch
you out on a contradiction, you probably won’t even know it – they’ll
just refuse you, whether you’re deserving or not.
Ring around all the Organisations that
you intend approaching and ask for the name of the person you should
address your letter to. Nobody likes mail addressed to “Dear Occupier” –
the personal touch is the ONLY way to go! If you’re pushed and they want
to know what it is all about before you send it, ensure you’re speaking
to the relevant person first – and then be brief. If they want to know
more, they’ll ask you. Make sure you have all the information to hand!
Follow up your application with a
telephone call to the relevant person. Allow at least two days for the
post to arrive on their desk and for them to read your letter. If you
ring too soon, your call will be ineffective because they won’t know
what you’re talking about. If you leave it too long, any enthusiasm they
may have had for your letter may have waned – or they may just have
forgotten what they had read! Don’t leave a message on voice mail –
rather try again later. Have a notebook in front of you and make notes
about the conversation.
You can print this page or you can
download this Document in .pdf format
DON’T FORGET: Once you have applied, we can provide you with a letter of support stating
that you’re taking part in one of our placements! We can also help you
with examples of the type of letter to write when approaching
institutions for funds.
GOOD LUCK !
We hope you raise
lots of money and that you
join us soon - you'll love it!
THIS is when your
hard work pays off - you're finally there and exploring the places you
had only read about!