This is where your international volunteering adventure starts! There are heaps of different ways to reach that target from traditional fundraisers to some crazy activities. Some could be on-going, others are one-time events. No matter what you do, always keep this in mind:
Have fun! Choose fundraising activities that you enjoy doing.
Use your talents! Are you the next Jamie Oliver? Do you have an amazing voice? No matter what your talents, are, use them!
Be creative! Be as unique as possible and don't limit yourself to the norm. Try something new and give it your own touch!
Get your mates involved! They might not be able to help with cash, but they can certainly give you a much needed hand!
Stay focussed! Stick to your fundraising plan and set goals. Remember the incredible experience that awaits!
But… the best piece of advice we can give you is to get started as early as possible!
See below for an A-Z list of ideas:
Auction of promises: Get your friends involved and auctions off services like washing cars, mowing lawns, housework or babysitting
Art exhibition: This one works best if you’re good with the paintbrush…
Beard shaving: Grab some hairy mates and shave them… Fundraise by getting people to sponsor them to go through with it. And by the way: you can shave heads, legs, backs… the possibilities are endless!
Bike: Leave the car in the garage and start using your bike. Saves you some fuel costs and gets you fit at the same time!
Bingo: Charge a small entry fee and start playing. Get local businesses to sponsor prices or by a bag of candy!
Birthday presents: Obvious, isn’t it? Instead of giving you “real” presents, ask your family and friends to donate to your exchange year.
Cake sale: Get baking and sell the cake at school, your workplace, or to some random strangers. Yummy!
Calendar: Make calendars and sell them before Christmas.
Car-Wash: Most fun with a couple of friends on a nice sunny day! And most entertaining for others to watch if you dress to impress!
Christmas presents: Same as in Birthday presents…
Concert: You play an instrument or sing in a band? Great! If you don’t, maybe you know someone who knows someone who knows someone…
Dry cornflakes eating contest: Get a big box of cornflakes, charge a small entrance fee and move back to avoid the spraying crumbs.
Dog walk: Offer your services as the neighbour dog-walker. Raise some funds and get exercise at the same time!
Easter egg hunt: This works best if you’re fundraising over Easter… but might be fun at any time of the year!
Easter bunny: Get sponsored to dress up as an Easter bunny and wear your costume to school or work.
E-mail: A very cheap way of fundraising! Get your mission out there and ask for donations. You can email, friends, family, friends of friends, but also try local businesses, newspapers etc…
Fill Smartie tubes with coins: Pass out some empty Smartie tubes to friends and family and ask them to fill them up with lose change. You could empty the Smarties in a jar and use them for a Guess the number fundraiser as well. Don't have any Smartie tubes? Any other tubes will do as well!
Garage Sale: Get rid of things you don’t need any more and ask friends, family and neighbours to donate some unwanted things as well! Be sure to advertise your sale.
Guess the weight: Find something suitably heavy – anything from a jar filled with lollies to your grandma – and charge people a small fee for guessing how heavy it is. Get a small prize for the winner.
Halloween party: Works best around the 31st of October, though you could consider hosting an out-of-season Halloween party as well.
Hot dogs: It’s ridiculous how many people would happily enter a hot dog eating contest! Charge them a fee to enter and get the winner a prize – maybe a free hot dog?
International Evenings: Hold a themed evening event to let people know more about your host country. Prepare some food for the country, show some pictures, dress appropriately and don’t forget to pass the donations bucket around.
Instruments: If you play an instrument that’s a great fundraising tool as well. Give some lessons, organize a concert or enter competitions.
Jewellery: If you’re an artsy person fundraise by making and selling jewellery!
Karaoke: Have a Karaoke Party or hold a Karaoke competition. Persuade the local pub to let you host your event there for free and look for a good deal on the rental of a Karaoke machine.
Kite flying afternoon: Organize a fun kite flying day for kids. Start off with a kite making workshop and provide refreshments throughout the day to earn some money.
Kids’ birthday parties: Do you know some busy parents? Organize their kids’ birthday parties for them in exchange for some cash.
Loose change: Start a line of coins in your local park. Publicise what you're raising money for and get passers-by to add their loose change to the line. Try to make it reach from one side of the park to the other.
Magic show: If you know some magic tricks, this is a great way of entertaining some people! Set up a show on the street and pass the donations bucket around or get paid to perform at kid parties, in schools, day care centres…
Mid-winter Christmas: Organize a mid-winter Christmas market or party and dress up as Santa!
Muffins: Everyone loves muffins, so start baking some sweet little cup-cakes!
Murder-mystery-night: This could be great, especially if you’re part of an amateur dramatics group or acting in your school drama club.
Name the baby: No! We’re not suggesting you’re having a baby and auctioning off the naming rights, but instead get a picture of a friend’s baby and charge people to guess the baby’s name (you might give them a list with 100 names to choose from). Whoever gets it right wins a small prize.
Netball Tournament: Organize a Netball Tournament for the local schools, charge an entry fee and get some businesses to donate cool prizes.
New-Year’s Eve party: Another opportunity to have some fun! Can be as big or small as you like…
Obstacle course: Set up a hard as obstacle course and charge people to race it.
Odd jobs day: Lawn mowing, DIY, carrying shopping or walking the dog… offer services in your neighbourhood – no job is too small. Wear a superhero costume to get noticed.
Outgrown clothes sale: Good if you know lots of families with kids. They bring clothes that their little ones have grown out of and buy clothes that others have brought.
Parties: Host a party and charge a small entrance fee or ask for donations. You could make it a themed event, a beach barbeque, a candle-light dinner…
Photography: If you’re into photography and reasonable good at it, this might earn you some bucks. Get paid for taking pictures at office Christmas parties and other events. If you’re good enough it’s very lucrative to shoot wedding photos as well.
Pram push: Dress up, put your mate and push them around the town while shaking your fundraising bucket. Be prepared to tell lots of curious bystanders why they should donate their lose change to you.
Pub games: Darts, pools, cards… Charge people to enter, the landlady/lord will appreciate the custom and might agree to donate free drinks to the winner. You could even make this a weekly league.
Quizzes: Host a quiz in a pub or at home, or offer your services to the local day centre for older people.
Races: Get sponsored to participate in mud races, bike races, high heel races etc…
Raffles: Get friends and businesses to sponsor cool and unusual prices like a candle-light dinner, takeaway pizza, day in a spa, surf lesson etc.
Rugby: Organize a Rugby Match and charge spectators for the tickets. To attract extra crowd play in drag…
Sausage sizzle: Easy to set up and well known! Be sure to have some info up, telling the hungry crowd about your future volunteering and your upcoming fundraising events.
Scholarships: Another reason why it’s good to start early, as deadlines apply…
Silly games afternoon: Egg-spoon races, wet sponge-throwing, silly races… endless possibilities and a great way to let your inner child go wild!
Slave auction: You need some mates for this one! People bid to have one of the slaves accompanying them for a day. Ask the Slaves to dress up creatively to get higher bids.
Sports event: Any sport can bring in some money, think creatively! Either charge teams to enter the competition or spectator to watch the fun. Selling some food at the event will earn you some extra cash.
Swear box: Put up a swear box in your office or classroom and charge people a dollar for every swearword.
Trade me: Get rid of all the old stuff you don’t need anymore. Ask friends and family to donate things for you to auction off as well.
Unwanted gift sale: Collect unwanted gifts from your friends and families after Christmas...
Valentine’s Day: Another chance to make some money! Dress up as Amor and deliver love letters, auction off your (single) friends for dates or (if you’re not a happy Valentine’s Day person) organize an Anti-Valentine’s Day Party.
Variety show: Needs a bit of organizing, but if you know some magicians, dancers, singers, comedians and people with crazy talents this could be a great fundraiser!
Waxing: A hair-raising experience! Get sponsored to get your legs, arms, chest, back… waxed. If you’re too scared, grab some willing, brave and hairy mates.
Window cleaning: Most people hate window cleaning, so offer to do it for them. Ask for donations instead of setting a fixed rate and you might even earn more.
Work: Having a job is probably the easiest and safest way of earning some money. Consider working part-time or get a job during the school holidays.
X-rated: Throw an event for adults only! This could be anything from an underwear party to wine, vodka or whiskey tasting.
Yodelling: Will people pay you to yodel? Maybe not, but they might pay you to shut up…
Zoo: Offer to help out at your local zoo for fundraising money. Maybe they need a hand with cleanup, mucking out, or those jobs that no one wants to do. That's where they money is!