So you’re tempted by the lure of a gap year or volunteering programme abroad?

Of course you are! There are so many fantastic reasons to choose to volunteer abroad. Many people see volunteering abroad as the ultimate way of giving back. You’re pitching in and getting involved in a community totally outside of your own, all the while finding common ground with people who have a completely different background and view of the world. 

Volunteering trip

From a personal viewpoint, volunteering abroad is also a chance for you to travel and explore the world (in an ethical and responsible way). You’ll gain new skills, not just for your CV, but for practical, real-life application. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience and something which you’re sure to be talking about for years after you’ve returned.

However, choosing to volunteer abroad will be a much bigger financial commitment than local volunteering, particularly if you’ll be away for a long period of time. Many programmes will ask you to fundraise several thousand pounds in order to finance your time on the programme. So, we bet you’re after some fundraising ideas that aren’t too time-consuming but will earn you a good amount to be able to secure your place abroad? Look no further.

How To Fundraise For Your Volunteering Trip

1. GoRaise

The simplest of all, GoRaise lets you raise money for your trip every time you, your friends and your family shop online. Every time one of you makes a purchase online, a percentage of what you’ve bought will be donated towards your fundraising. All of the cost is covered by the retailer, so it doesn’t cost you anything extra. Simply register your challenge on our website to get started.  

2. Online giving page

Setting up an online giving page means that you can ask friends and family to donate to your trip by sending them the link to your page. That is much simpler than collecting cash all the time! You can set up your online giving page at the start of your fundraising mission and watch the donations roll in as you share the page on social media and with your networks. GoRaise also integrates with some donation platforms, such as Virgin Money Giving, JustGiving and 

GoFundMe, so the funds you raise via GoRaise can be transferred straight to your online fundraising page.

3. Selling a product or service

It’s likely that you’ll be fundraising for this trip for at least a few months, so you might start to feel embarrassed of asking for donations all the time. The best way to counteract that feeling is to offer something in exchange for a donation. For example, a product you’ve made or a service you can provide. Are you great with a sewing machine? Can you code and build websites? Think about something you could do which is helpful for others and start advertising your services in exchange for a donation to your cause.

fundraise for your volunteering trip

4. Cake sales

Cake sales are one of the most fail-safe fundraising ideas out there. Everyone loves a sweet treat! Whether you’re at school, university or you work in an office, find a place where you can hold a fortnightly cake sale during your fundraising mission. Bake some cakes to sell (or buy some if you can’t bake) and charge £1 per slice or cupcake. Make sure that everyone knows what their donation is going towards, as they’ll be more likely to donate if they understand more about the cause.

5. Matched giving

Being able to find someone who will match your fundraising total is a massive help. Imagine being able to double your efforts in one fell swoop? Seek out any individuals or companies who would be willing to fund part of your project, either out of the goodness or their hearts or as part of their corporate social responsibility programme. It’s a good idea to start out by contacting people you have an existing relationship or connection to, as they’ll be happier to help.

Top tip: Don’t leave your fundraising to the last minute! Start thinking about how you’ll fund your trip at the very start of the process so that you have as much time as possible to get all of the donations you need. We recommend giving yourself at least 4-5 months to fundraise. Be super organised and give yourself a fundraising goal for each month, so that you can check you’re on target.


6. Mini challenges

To keep the momentum of your fundraising going, you might like to organise mini challenges for yourself along the way. This could be anything from a 5k run to a sponsored silence. Just make sure that it’s an activity you can shout about to remind people that they need to donate to you. Remember, the more that the challenge takes you out of your comfort zone, the more likely people will be to donate.

7. Car boot sale

How much stuff do you have lying around that you never use? This could be a great opportunity to clear out your home and fundraise at the same time. Find a local car boot sale and gather up everything in your house that you no longer need. This could be books, DVDs, children’s toys, furniture, or anything else which is still in a good condition. Take it all along to be rehomed by others, in exchange for a donation to your volunteering trip of course.

8. Donations instead of presents

If a birthday or Christmas falls in the time period that you’re fundraising, you could ask your friends and family to donate to your cause instead of giving you presents. This is a super easy way to raise hundreds of pounds for your cause (and you won’t get any new stuff to fill the clutter-free home you created in step seven!)


Feeling stressed out by the thought of having to fundraise for your cause? Just remember that the fundraising process is all part of it. By allowing yourself enough time and trying out all of our quick and easy ideas, you should be able to raise enough money for your trip and build up your excitement about the trip while you fundraise.

Have you started planning your volunteering trip abroad yet? Let us know what you’ll be doing and where you’re going in the comments below, we’d love to hear about it! If you’ve got any questions about how GoRaise can help you to fundraise, we’re happy to answer them too – get in touch today.