<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=766060260189124&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

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

Posted by Jen King on 4/20/23 6:30 AM

ILP Adventure

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 

Ask your parents if they're ready for a spring clean. Are there any items that they've been wanting to get rid of anyways? Promise you'll clean out the basement, the garage, or their office for them if you can use junk items in your yard sale. Ask friends, co-workers, and church groups if they have any items they were planning to drop off at a donation center. 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:
  • 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

Let people know about your event and don't be afraid to let everyone know that the proceeds are going towards a good cause. "Money raised at this yard sale helps fund my volunteer trip to give a free English education to kids in Nicaragua!" Loved ones want to support your dreams and goals as much as they can, but it can be even more motivating when they know they're also supporting a bigger cause at the same time.
Create an event on Facebook. Post it in your stories on Instagram. Put signs up around your neighborhood 4-5 days before. List your ad in the newspaper with other garage sales.

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 makes it easy to let people donate if they want to.

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. 

ILP adventure

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: 

Download My Free Guide



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

Hey friends!

We are ILP, a Utah-based non-profit org that has service abroad opportunities for college-age volunteers. We love travel so we're sharing all our tips for making the most of your time living abroad + seeing the world, and how to do it all on the tiniest budget.

  • There are no suggestions because the search field is empty.

Need More Travel Tips + Volunteering Updates?

Popular Posts