Lattitude encourages you to consider fundraising for your gap year as early as possible. Many of our volunteers have demonstrated fantastic initiative and dedication in raising funds; with a clear strategy and a bit of effort, it is amazing what can be done. Don’t think of fundraising as a chore that has to be endured before you go away, think of it as part of the whole experience of your time overseas. The happier you are about fundraising the easier you will find it. Here’s a few tips to help you on your way:
Make the most of your strengths and skills
If you are sporty then put on a competition, charge teams an entry fee, or get your mates involved in a sponsored event. If art or music is your passion then think about putting on a play, an exhibition or a concert. If you are running an event always include something extra, like a raffle or a sausage sizzle, especially if you can get the goods for free!
Arrange your own sponsored activity
We have see A LOT of brilliant initiatives over the years. Everything from a long walk with a heavy backpack, a run, a sky dive, a head shave, a 40 hour famine… be inventive!
We are always happy to support your endeavours, and write a letter of authentication to verify your activities. Consider setting up a crowdfunding page to maximise your donations!
Hold a stall at a car boot sale, garage sale, or sell items on social media
Clear out your cupboards of all the unwanted Christmas presents or toys, books and clothes you’ve grown out of and take them to a car boot sale, or have a classic weekend garage sale in your front lawn. You could also offer to wash people’s cars at the event in return for a donation. Alternatively, sell unused items online through social media marketplace.
Hold an auction
Go to all your local shops, explain what you’re doing and see if they would like to donate a prize – you’ll be surprised at how many of them will be happy to give you something! Ask friends, family and colleagues if they would like to donate a gift or the promise of a service. Perhaps they have a holiday home that they would happy to offer a week in to the highest bidder? The auctioneer doesn’t have to be a professional, but ask someone who knows how to keep an audience engaged, entertained and feeling generous!
Hold a talent show
Hire out your local community hall (remember to mention you’re doing it for charity and they might offer you a discount or even waive the fee!), or any other venue that might be available in your area. Have a prize for the winner and offer your guests a meal included in the price of their ticket such as a simple pasta dish (something you can make in big batches!)
Ask your school or college for help
Ask your school or college for any help they can give. Some may have student funds which you could apply for, others will let you have venue space for events.
Pack bags at your local supermarket
Supermarkets in some regions will often allow you and your friends to assist with bag packing for an afternoon and it’s a wonderful way to get donations from shoppers while you talk to them about your volunteering plans.
Approach local businesses and community groups
Even if they can’t offer you money, most will be more than willing to contribute goods or gift vouchers for raffles, cakes stalls, sausage sizzles etc.
Spread the word!
Publicise your event well in advance and as widely as possible, giving people enough time to arrange their plans
Contact us for promotional material which you can have on hand at your events for people who want to know more. Don’t be afraid to talk about what you are doing and where you are going to anybody who will listen, the more information you give them, the more likely they will be to sponsor you.
Mix it up!
Try and strike a balance between your different fundraising ideas, for example don’t just do sponsored events, as you sponsor numbers will dwindle after the first event. Fundraising is a big commitment. Try and make sure that you are not pinning your hopes on one or two big events which take a lot of planning and input. If you can have ongoing things in the background, like babysitting, doing odd jobs, or selling things then it takes the pressure off your bigger events.
Work as a team
If you are organising a big event, think about doing it with other Lattitude volunteers, you can share the load and your skills. If you are not based near any other volunteers you could team up with a group of people and donate half of the proceeds to your volunteering and half to a nominated charity.
Use your networks
Do you have a part time job? Ask your company if they can match the amount of funds you receive from your sponsors – this means you can double your fundraising!
Use your personal contacts! Ask friends and relatives to help organise some fundraising activities to sponsor you.
Are you a member of a society or club? Get them involved too! They could help you to organise a sweepstake, sports tournament, auction, or party, to name but a few activities!
Research local and national organisations that would be interested in what you are doing, for example Rotary Clubs and local youth groups.
Engage with the media
Engaging with the media can be a great way to boost your fundraising activity, learn new skills and raise awareness for Lattitude and the great work our volunteers do around the world. Local newspapers are always keen on hearing about members of the community undertaking interesting ventures, and will often be happy to give you a write up and plug your fundraising efforts. Your local news station is also worth approaching. Feel free to contact us for press release material to help brief the journalists accurately about our organisation.
Check you’re legal!
Depending on the fundraising activity you’ve chosen you may need a licence or local council permission. Lattitude can provide a letter of authentication confirming that you are fundraising legitimately. If you have any questions about your fundraising, please get in touch with the us. We will be happy to help where we can.
Other things to consider
The flight cost is the biggest variable to consider when planning your budget. Flights closer to home are much cheaper which means that placements nearer you offer the best value if your budget is tight. And don’t forget that a small amount of pocket money is paid to volunteers on placements in some of our participating countries, which covers most of your daily costs overseas. Contact us for more details.
Don’t forget to send us any photos or news from your fundraising and use our hashtag #LattitudeVolunteering in your posts. And remember, we are always happy to provide a letter of support and promotional material to volunteers as needed.