7 Tips To Fundraise A Volunteer Abroad Trip Over The Holidays

By Jake Muniak

Fundraising over the holidays is

the best time of year to gain support

for your volunteer trip

You know that volunteer abroad trip you’ve been thinking about over the past few months? Wouldn’t it be great to build community around you while fundraising for a volunteer abroad trip?  With the holidays right around the corner, there’s no better time to fundraise for your GIVE trip; not only will you give others the chance to help you do good in the world, but you’ll strengthen your relationships with your friends, family and local community! Now that sounds like the holidays to us ♫♫♫ Here are 7 proven tips to help you fundraise for a volunteer abroad trip this holiday season;  


1. Set Up A GoFundMe page

One of the most sure-fire ways to raise money for your volunteer abroad trip is by setting up a GoFundMe page. Now more than ever, people don’t have cash on hand, but still want to help you reach your fundraising goals. A GoFundMe page simplifies the digital money collection process and allows you to store it all in one place; this enables you to collect money from anyone, anywhere, and makes tracking your financial fundraising goals easy. And you might also have a Venmo or Cash App, which can also be a great tool to share with people as a quick way to send you a donation.

Now, these avenues of donations won’t bring in funds without some exposure! The best way to bring in donations is to ask people individually. Write up an easy template to copy & paste to send as texts, DMs, and emails that includes your GoFundMe link. Public posts to your followers are great reminders. Use this break time prep some reminder posts for your Facebook, Instagram, and Stories to share throughout the next few months. Bonus points to plan out your posts on a calendar before life gets away from you. What your high school teachers would always say does actually hold some truth – preparation is the key to success.

2. Used Clothing Drive

Most of us have many used clothes laying around that we no longer wear, and many people are looking to buy clothes as gifts. Why not earn extra money, connect your community to great gifts and cut down on unnecessary clothing waste? Sell your “pre-loved” clothes on your street, on campus or in your hometown. Better yet, mobilize your friends so that you can all pool your clothing into one giant, pre-loved clothing sale! Any clothes that aren’t sold at your yard sale, sell them on apps like Poshmark, ThredUp, or make an Instagram account to continue your secondhand sales.

3. Go Giftless

You know that $25 Smoothie King gift card you got for Christmas that goes to waste because there’s not even a Smoothie King in your state?  Get out in front of those less-practical gifts and fundraise for your volunteer abroad trip by going giftless this Christmas season. Use social media to let your friends and family know that instead of gifts this Christmas, you’re seeking donations for your GIVE trip. This is where a GoFundMe page comes in handy; you can easily point them to your page as a convenient resource to digitally collect funds and showcase your fundraising goals. When people know that what they’re donating towards is a good cause, people will often times donate even more to your trip!

4. Have A Christmas Dinner Party

The holidays are about reconnecting with your friends and family; why not make a dinner out of it! Gather your friends together and host a dinner party, charging a small admission fee that will go toward your volunteer abroad trip. Not only does this give you a chance to get closer to friends and family, but it gives you the chance to explain in more detail exactly what you’ll be doing during your volunteer abroad trip. Bonus points if you cook the entire meal yourself!

5. Partner With A Local Restaurant

Many local businesses love supporting their community members and contributing to a great cause. See if a local restaurant is willing to hold a fundraising night where 10% of the night’s proceeds go toward your GIVE trip. A few quick tips on this;

  1. Approach local businesses with the Volunteer Endorsement Letter that’s in your Fundraising Toolkit. This legitimizes your trip and gives you a professional reference to get your conversation started.
  2. Stress that if it is marketed well, the restaurant will likely get more customers in on a fundraising night because community members want to support a good cause and a fellow community member.
  3. Offer to help with the marketing! Make flyers and post them throughout the community, try to find your way onto a local radio show, post regularly on social media, anything you can do! Creatively explore your options to get the word out and, when you tell the restaurant owner about all the publicity you can attract for your fundraising night they’re much more likely to accept your offer.

6. Christmas Cookies Bake Sale

Come on, who doesn’t love Christmas cookies. And who wouldn’t love buying Christmas cookies for a great cause?! A Christmas cookies bake sale is a great strategy to fundraise a volunteer abroad trip; by setting up in a high foot-traffic area you gain huge exposure. Not only can you get the chance to sell your cookies, but by putting out flyers at your bake sale you’ll have the chance to get the word out about your trip, and potentially find some more donations!

7. Sell Your Skills This Christmas

People are always looking for creative gifts for the holidays. And if they can find a gift with a good story behind it? Even better. So this Christmas, sell your skills to friends, family and other local community members as a way to fundraise your volunteer abroad trip. If you’re a skilled bracelet and craft maker, excellent. This is an opportunity for you to showcase your skills, sell your handicrafts, and get the word out about your volunteer abroad trip. Maybe you’ve never made and sold anything before! Well hey, this whole experience is about stepping out of your comfort zone. Hop on the internet for some ideas of something inexpensive to create and see if you can do it yourself! Have you ever looked at how to make a candle? Anyone can melt some wax into a jar and sell it for $10! Do your research, make it look nice, and most importantly let people know what they will be supporting.

Remember again, sales don’t come unless people know about it! Plan out posts for your social media for reminders each week so that you can get consistent orders. More marketing means more sales, which brings in more funds for your trip!

Tips To Keep In Mind For Fundraising


Set realistic expectation for yourself

Nothing is more disheartening than failing to reach your goals.  By setting reasonable expectations for your fundraising goals, you’ll likely set yourself up for success. When fundraising, stick only to your trip. Avoid the thought of, “I should fundraise for local school supplies there too”, or “I should also fundraise for elephant conservation projects before I go”.  Focus on the primary goal: your volunteer trip. Because you’ll be addressing these needs (local schools, wildlife conservation) on the trip, it’s better to focus all of your resources on one singular goal than spread yourself too thin. Make yourself a payment plan, stick to your goals, and start now to give yourself the necessary time.

Clearly and concisely define that you’re fundraising for a volunteer trip

Think of yourself as a salesperson.  Whenever you meet potential donors, you want to have a strong and straight-forward elevator pitch that tells them exactly where their money is going, what you’re going to do with that money and why it’s a good cause. If you can address these three key aspects in a minute, and do it convincingly, you have a far better chance of fundraising for a volunteer abroad trip. Utilize the information on the GIVE Volunteers website to best inform you on the projects you’ll be involved with and the bigger impact of GIVE’s mission that you’re helping move forward.

Show people you appreciate their donation

Find a way to tell people that their donation is actually going to make a difference and that you appreciate them. Maybe it’s a small thank you card you give to every donor, a small gift you bring back from your trip, or maybe you set up an exclusive blog available only to donors where you record your travels.

Remember that fundraising for a volunteer abroad trip is doable! And this Christmas is a great time to do it.  Need some extra inspiration? Check out some volunteer abroad fundraising success stories and first-hand advice from previous volunteers. And remember, GIVE HQ will always be there to listen to your questions, get you unstuck and help you chart your best course of action. This is your chance to see the world and do good in it, and now is the time! So go out there, get creative, get inspired, work hard and be the roots of change!

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