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Fundraise Over $1,000 For Your Semester Abroad In One Saturday

Posted by Jen King on 7/18/19 10:06 AM

ILP Uganda

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. But don't let the costs keep you from making it happen! 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 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. 

A Success Story Or Two 

One volunteer earned over $1,700 with her garage sale.

Mckall, spent a month watching the local classifieds on KSL and 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 to donate something. Chantel said that the "trick is to sell it all for really cheap!". She raised over $900. Another success!

Fundraising Tips for a Garage Sale

Collect Free Stuff 

Ask your parents if they have anything around the house that they wouldn't mind getting rid of. Promise you'll clean out the basement, the garage, or their office to find items to be donated. Ask friends, co-workers, and church groups if they have any items they want to get rid of. Everyone has something they don't want, you just have to ask for it!

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. 
Places to get items for your fundraiser:
  • Things from friends/neighbors/coworkers
  • Free items for local pickup on sites like the KSL classified ads 
  • Thrift Stores — maybe they have items they would be willing to donate free of charge 
  • 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 to raise money for your semester.
Pro Tip: Ask for cash donations while you're asking friends and family for items to be donated. Some people may not have any furniture or sporting equipment they want to give away, but would love to still donate to your cause. You can have them mail a check to ILP (or call our office) for a tax-deductible donation, or they can give you cash or send you something over Venmo. 

Spread The Word

Let people know about your event and don't be afraid to play up the fact that the proceeds are going towards a good cause. Something like "Money raised at this yard/garage sale go towards providing an English education and drinking water to children in Africa" sums up what the money will be used for, and motivates people to donate to something so worthwhile. 

Create an event on Facebook and then another reminder post the day of. Put signs up around your neighborhood 4-5 days before. Post on your Facebook page or make an event. List your ad in the newspaper with other garage sales. Use a photo of some of the cute kids you'll be helping (we give you permission to download and use the one we've posted on any ILP blog). It's hard to say no to smiles like that!

Set up + Sell Other Things On The Spot 

Make sure you have space to store the items you are selling before your event, and somewhere to put all the items out where people can see them. Your friends will come in handy to help you out on this— does anyone have garage space to hold some furniture until the day of the sale? Can anyone lend you a truck to transport items to your yard the morning of the sale?  You'll also want friends there to help you organize items into bins, put on stickers that name the price for the items, and help spread the word about your event.
You can also ask friends to help donate their time and services to help you raise even more. Think about selling cold glasses of lemonade at the same time as your yard sale, or bags of popcorn for people to munch on while they browse your collection. Maybe the local bakery would donate a box or two of donuts for you to sell. Have your artsy friends do a face painting booth, or sell balloon animals. So many ideas to help you reach your goal! 
You can also add a "donate anyways booth" somewhere at your yard sale. Maybe people didn't find anything they'd like to use, but would love to donate towards your semester anyways: Having a donation jar out or your Venmo handle will make it easy for people to donate. 
ILP Haiti

Need a little more help? 

We have you covered. We know our volunteers getting ready to help out in Uganda are looking for every way to help them raise money for their semester. Alumni have added their success stories and fundraising tips to help you raise the money you need for your semester: 

Help Me Afford  A Semester In Africa



Topics: Get Ready For Your ILP Trip, Saving Money + Fundraising


*Because of the worldwide pandemic, travel options are limited and frequently changing. You'll need to do additional research as resources + activities shared in this post may or may not be available at the time of your trip.

ILP volunteers — work closely with your Program Manager who can help you understand current country entrance requirements which will determine what countries you can visit during your semester. 



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