Fundraising may sound unrealistic or intimidating, but it's more than worth the effort, especially if you can raise more than $1,000 in a single Saturday.
If you've looked into spending a semester abroad, you know it has its costs. It depends on the program you're working with, but as far as International Language Programs goes, volunteers pay a program fee at the start of the semester and it covers things like your roundtrip international flight, housing, meals, WiFi, training, and support for the semester.
Are you dreaming about traveling but not sure how you're going to work it into your budget? It's time to get creative! Over the years, we have seen story after story of people just like you (busy, working, in college, short on cash) who have successfully fundraised part or even all of their ILP program fee.
We have a guide that's all about fundraising crammed full of ideas.
That link above has tons and tons of other fundraising ideas you can check out, but one of the more successful strategies we've seen is to a yard or garage sale.
How To: Hosting A Garage Sale
Are you down to trade in all of the things you don't use and put in some work in exchange for a semester of priceless experiences? One of the most successful ways to fundraise is to have a garage sale — take advantage of the good weather during the summer months when people are on the prowl for a good deal.
Garage sales are great because they yield very quick results, you get paid on the spot (no more waiting for your friends to finally sending in a donation check), and it's a lot less intimidating than calling and just asking for a donation.
We also love that it really doesn't cost any initial investment. Volunteers also love (and often have great success) with bake drives like selling cookie dough, but you've got to consider that you have to buy all the supplies needed to have an item to sell. With a yard sale, the goal is that you can use all unneeded items that have been donated from friends and family so that your earnings are purely profit that you can use for your goal. A yard sale is a lot of time and hard work, but minimal cost.
A Success Story Or Two
One volunteer earned over $1,700 with her garage sale — count that as a huge success!
Mckall, spent a month watching her local classifieds on KSL, collecting free items. Once she had a big enough collection, she posted an ad about her sale on KSL and earned $1,000 the day of the sale.
Chantel is another volunteer who had quite a bit of success fundraising for her trip to Europe. She did a yard sale and asked everyone she could think of if that had any junk items that they wanted to donate. Chantel said that the "trick is to sell it all for really cheap!". She raised over $900.
Fundraising Tips for a Garage Sale
Collect Free Stuff
Look for items like lamps, rugs, pillows, furniture, picture frames, artwork, knickknacks, pet supplies, kitchen equipment, shoes and clothing, sporting equipments, books, DVDs, blankets (towels, tablecloths, other linens), etc.
- 1. Things from friends/neighbors/coworkers
- 2. Free items for local pickup on sites (like the KSL classified ads for example if you're in Utah)
- 3. Other yard sales — head to a yard sale at the end of the day and ask if they would like to donate their unsold items to your yard sale. It's a win-win if they don't have to worry about getting rid of it while they're cleaning up, especially if it goes to a good cause like your fundraiser
Spread The Word
Set up + Sell Other Things On The Spot
Don't Set a Price
One of our volunteers recommended not setting hard prices on the objects that you are selling at the garage sale, and instead have every customer pay "what they feel good about!" That's one strategy to consider.