Feeling a little intimidated by the costs to travel abroad? ILP Volunteers have paid for a huge chunk (and sometimes all of it!) by fundraising and we've gathered all of their tips here.
Want to know all about fundraising? You are in the right place.
We know for many, the costs of traveling abroad are usually what makes it or breaks it — travel is expensive right? Well, it can be, but doesn't have to be! A semester with ILP means your program fee includes airfare, food, housing, visa and culture classes for the entire semester!
Need more fundraising help?
We have this guide that’s all about fundraising
It takes time and effort, but if you find what works for you, it can make all the difference. Here are some examples of what has worked in the past for volunteers, broken up into different categories depending on what would work best for you:
Reach Out To Friends and Family
One of the easiest ways to fundraise is to talk to friends and family so they know what you are doing abroad! Tell them about the service you will be giving, the experiences you can have, and how grateful and excited you are for this opportunity. Reaching out can be a little intimidating but here are a few easy ways to do it!
Use Your Instagram Stories
Send A letter
Pick Up The Phone
Everyone loves a good T-shirt so incorporate that into your fundraising. Design a cute t-shirt talking about your cause and get your friends and family on board so everyone has matching shirts! Here is how to pull that off.
Host Some Challenges
Invite your friends, your neighbors, or post it on Facebook, but sometimes that competitive edge is what you need to fundraise the last bit for your semester abroad. Here are a few ideas to get you started, though there really are limitless options:
Have A Guessing Game Night
Do A Beard Challenge
Have An Envelope Challenge
Get Your Community Involved
Get the word out to your community about what you are doing! There are a million things you can do, here are a few to help you get you ideas rolling.
Sell Yummy Treats
Bake sales are the classic "fundraising event" and many of our volunteers have had great success with this. Get creative with how you sell the treats and branch out to other ways like Grace and Ashley, past ILP volunteers did. Grace sold cookie dough and made thousands of dollars to go towards her semester abroad and Ashley did a unique bake sale on Instagram to raise fund for her trip. Here are the details on what they did here.
Throw A Car Wash
Host A Lantern Release
Try A Balloon Raffle
First, see if anyone is willing to donate a couple of prizes for your raffle. You could have donated meals or desserts, services (like free snow shoveling or baby sitting) or small DIY presents (like bath salts or salt scrubs). Create numbered tickets and put them inside each balloon. Once your guests arrive, have them purchase a balloon for $1 (or more). Since each balloon contains just one ticket, chance are higher if they purchase more tickets.
Have guests line up and pop their balloons to reveal the winning raffle tickets.
Host An Art Show Or A Car Show
Host A Concert
Have A Dance Party
Host A Spaghetti Dinner
Spaghetti is cheap and easy to make and you may even be able to get it donated by a grocery store. Doesn't hurt to ask! Hand out fliers to everyone in your neighborhood or create the event on Facebook, inviting friends and family.
Decide what the cost per plate will be and then do a small presentation during dinner explaining what the proceeds will go towards — it may be rather fun to serve foods from the country/region you are volunteering in if you're up for the challenge (have an Asian inspired version of pasta for an example)
Or, forget the idea of spaghetti and just serve dishes/snacks that are particular to where you are volunteering — tropical fruits, yummy juices, beans and rice with fried plantains, tacos, etc.
Many restaurants are willing to help with fundraisers for non-profit organizations (which ILP is!). Check with restaurants in your area to see if a percentage of their proceeds could go to your cause of helping children to learn English. Check out this website for ideas.
Have A Yard Sale
This has been a popular one with many volunteers. Get items donated and then hold a yard sale....that way, you get 100% of the money! Find a "Yard Sale How To" here.
Have A Pet Party
Hand Out Donation Jars
You know how you walk into a small business and they have a jar at the cash register with a picture on it so cute or heart wrenching that you just can't NOT put your change in? Do that! Guilt people into donating for your cause. It works, people. Talk to local businesses that you think might be willing. Ask if they wouldn't mind setting out you donation jar. Cut out cute picture of the kids, add an easy to use tag line like "donate to help me teach English in Thailand" and leave them with the business. Come back in a couple weeks and see if you had any luck.
Have more questions about fundraising or volunteering with ILP?
We have representatives in the office who love to talk to volunteers and share their own experiences with the program! Whether you are still deciding if ILP is right for you or you know it is and your ready to go, talk to a rep and ask any questions you have!
Click the button below to get connected with a rep!