These websites have helped make fundraising just a bit easier.
Fundraising sounds big and intimidating, but we have had so many volunteers fundraise half or even all of their semester fees. Yep, it takes some effort, but so worth it right? Suddenly the idea of spending a semester in Africa or Europe seems much more attainable if you can fundraise some or even most of the cost!
To make fundraising even easier for you, we have pulled together a tip or two: You’ll want to pick a project that works for you and one you’re passionate about to help make the work easier — it’s more doable if you’re actually enjoying what you’re doing.
Looking for even more ideas?
Our best fundraising ideas are all here
When it comes to fundraising, there's endless ways to do it. Online sites can be a fantastic resource because they're usually relatively quick to put together (unlike a yard sale or a bake sale which can pull in a lot of money but takes some work). Plus, you’ll be able to reach a lot of people if you share your fundraising goal online. Online fundraising makes it easy for you to share, for your mom to share, for your cousin to share, etc, all to help you out. The more people who know about your goal the better chance you have at reaching it!
Here are a few popular sites to check out that might be helpful (and a handful are ones past ILP volunteers have had success with):
Have a Facebook? You’re set! You’ll be able to create a fundraising Facebook page that lets you explain what you’re fundraising for, add a picture, and has a simple “donate” button for your friends and family to help you out. Include a little description to let people know exactly what you're doing and that you’re fundraising for a great cause.
The thing we really love about using Facebook (instead of competitor sites like GoFundMe) is that they absorb all the fees (like transaction and hosting fees) when you fundraise for a charity (ILP’s a non-profit, so you can totally do this). Most popular fundraising sites charge processing and additional fees, so the fact that Facebook is completely free is huge.
A few other perks? You don’t have to reach a certain minimum, so you can set your fundraising goal as high as you’d like without worrying about taking a hit if you don’t meet your goal. Facebook is a popular option for our volunteers, who have raised anywhere from $50 to over $3,400 (wow!). You’ll need to be persistent, sharing your fundraising page with lots and lots of people but it’s worth the effort.
Get more about fundraising with Facebook here.
Why We Love It:
Free to use, easy to share, and quick to set up, with no fees for you or your donations
Have you ever thought about fundraising in your Instagram stories? Like Facebook, it’s totally free for you and for your donors. Instagram (and Facebook) don’t charge any fees, not even credit card fees and since they are run under the same umbrella, both have easy-to-use features that make fundraising easy.
Although since launching, Instagram fundraising hasn't gotten quite as popular as Facebook, it's still an option. We have step-by-step instructions on how to fundraise with Instagram here to make sure you’re set up for success.
Why We Love It:
Free and easy to use, quick to share, with no fees for you or your donors.
This is a fantastic option for those who want to help you fundraise, but can't really afford to just give you cash donations. It’s really really handy for all of your friends who are in college and might not have the spare cash to help you out, but still want to help you out, you know?
Best Company is a site that hosts reputable reviews for thousands of companies. You’ll find review for car companies, home security companies, pest companies, life insurance, etc. Their goal is to provide honest, detailed reviews from actual customers to help people choose the right company for them. Best Company has created a platform called “FundRaising Your Voice” which lets someone like you (through ILP) earn donations when their friends and family write reviews for companies found on Best Companies.
In a nutshell, it works like this: You’ll fill out this application to start a campaign with Best Company. They’ll give you a URL for your fundraising campaign, which you can share with your friends and family. Friends and fam can click that URL and will be able to write reviews for companies they have personal experience with. When you fill out the application, you’ll set up a campaign date and any reviews written, submitted, approved and published within that date will raise a $2 donation towards your ILP fee.
So, let’s say your mom writes a review for Orkin pest control because she had a great experience working with them — that gets you some money towards your ILP semester! Then your sister writes a review for Honda because she’s loved driving her Honda Civic: another $2 for you. Get the idea?
We’ve had a few volunteers use this fundraising strategy raising anywhere from $6 to over $600. It all depends on how many reviews your friends and family write, but when it comes to fundraising, every little bit helps! On average, reviews take about 2-3 minutes each to write. Most participants submit about 10 reviews, but some have submitted over 50 which can really help you reach your goal.
Once your campaign date ends, a check is sent to ILP with a breakdown of how much money you raised, then we’ll apply that fully to your program fee.
Why We Love It
Just requires time (not money) from your friends and family (this is HUGE!)
Fundraise With T-Shirts
With most of our volunteers trying at least one or two things for fundraising, we’ve realized a couple of things about how to make it more successful. People tend to be more willing to donate if they get something out of it. So, choosing a fundraiser where your donors get something back too tends to do better than ones where you’re just asking for a donation. Which makes sense! How much more fun is gift giving when you’re also getting a gift, instead of just giving one?
There are tons and tons and tons of fundraising techniques that use this strategy but we've seen volunteers in the past make and sell t-shirts. We love using a company like Bonfire who allows for options, provides inspiration if you're not much of a designer, and ships it all for you. It makes it all so easy for you (and we're definitely a fan of that). You create a design and get to selling. We’ve broken down all the pros and cons of this t-shirt fundraiser to give you some more details about this, to make it even easier.
Why We Love It
Your donors are able to help you out and get a little something-something in return
Sell your artwork on Society6! If you haven’t heard of it, here’s the inside scoop. Basically, Society6 is a platform for artists and creators that makes selling their artwork easy! Simply upload a digital file of one of your unique prints or original pieces of art that you would like to sell and then based on the pixel dimensions of your uploaded artwork, they will automatically apply your artwork to as many products as possible, and you will be able to see what your artwork would look like on everything from wall clocks to t-shirts. And the best part is that they fulfill, print, and ship all orders so that you can get right back to making more art! Do keep in mind that Society6 artists only earn 10% of the retail price on all products (except for things like art prints, canvas prints, and more — those types of items you can manually mark up the price higher).
Don’t forget to promote your Society6 Products to all of your friends, family, and followers! Are you ready to get making? Click here to start your Society6 account.
Why We Love it
It is a super creative way to make some money through your talents and original artwork!
Host a Venmo-Food Social
There is nothing starving college students love more than cheap food and supporting a good cause! So one way you could fundraise is by hosting a Venmo Food Social!
You've probably already heard of Venmo, but in case you haven't it's a super handy little app that you can download onto your phone that connects to your bank account and makes it easy to send and receive money! Let everyone know you will be taking donations through Venmo and all proceeds will go towards your semester abroad where you will be serving local kids! Whip up some waffles or pancakes and provide all the toppings (something super cheap and easy to make in big batches) and invite everyone in your apartment building. But don't stop there! Think about inviting peers from your classes. You could also post about it on your Insta and have your friends tell their friends! Not only is this a great way to make some quick cash, but it’s a perfect way to socialize and meet new people (one of my best friends met her husband at a waffle night we hosted in our college apartment). And don’t forget to charge a $2 Venmo entry fee at the door!
Why We Love It
It's a super fun way to get to know other college students and make new friends, plus almost everyone uses Venmo already so it's really convenient.
Register with the shoe drive organization Soles4Souls, and they will collect your donated shoes and give you a check per pound of shoes that you provide! Check here to find the organization closest to you for the best details.
This is an easy way to get your whole community involved because everyone has a pair of old shoes lying around that they don’t wear anymore! Tell your friends, family, the people at your gym, your church leaders, your school teachers, and make sure you post about it to your social media letting everyone know that you are collecting shoes to raise money for your semester abroad teaching children English!
Why We Love It
This is an easy way to bring your community together to help those in need, so not only are you raising money for your semester with ILP but you are also doing a great service!
Looking for a little bit more help?
ILP's focused on making this as affordable as possible for you, so come talk with us! We have discounts you may apply for, ways you can save even more and have some suggestions on how to make it all happen.