12 of the best fundraising ideas for volunteers

    Posted: June 1, 2022

    Is volunteering on your bucket list for this year but you’re not sure how to fund your program?  With flights, visa and program fees, it can be a daunting task to save enough money to cover the cost of your trip. That’s why we’ve put together some of our best fundraising ideas to help you meet your goal.

    1) Set up a fundraising page


    This is the first and most crucial step in your fundraising journey. GVI has launched a fundraising platform for you to set and share your goals. The GVI team is also available to offer you support throughout your fundraising journey.

    When you fundraise for a volunteer program with us, you’ll be able to set up your own fundraising page, keep track of your progress and share your story with the world. 


    2) Use social media



    Now that you have your fundraising page, it’s time to harness the power of  social media. Share the link on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok accounts. 

    Post it in relevant groups and reach out to influencers on Twitter and Instagram who may be able to help spread your message to their followers.


    3) Take part in a fundraising challenge


    This is one of our favourite fundraising ideas because you can get really creative with it. Sign up for a run or cycle event and ask your friends and family members to donate per kilometre completed. 

    Or, why not help the environment by hosting a webinar to raise awareness on sustainability and conservation, asking people to donate whatever they can as an “entrance fee”.  


    4) Sell pre-loved items


    Original image: by Becca McHaffie on Unsplash


    If you have unused clothes, books or other items – such as furniture, unused electronics, childhood toys etc –  that are still in good condition, it might be time to let someone else put them to good use. You can also ask your family and friends if they have any unused items you could sell.

    You can list the items on platforms such as Facebook Marketplace, Yaga or create a new Instagram profile to showcase and sell your gently worn and loved garments. You can also visit your nearest secondhand shop. This will not only help you make you some extra cash, but also encourage a more sustainable way of shopping in the process.


    5) Go giftless


    If you have a birthday or celebration coming up, why not ask your friends and family to donate to your fundraising page rather than buying you a gift.


    6) Host a bottle drive



    Ask your friends and family to collect all their empty recyclable bottles, jars and cans. You  can then take them to your local recycling location to be exchanged for cash. 

    This is an easy fundraising idea and it helps to keep your community clean while raising awareness and encouraging others to recycle.


    7) Host a virtual or in person cooking class


    A really delicious way to fundraise is to put those cooking skills to good use and host a virtual cooking class. 

    So, research the local cuisine of the country you’ll be visiting, perfect your chosen recipe and then invite your friends, family and neighbours to an in person or online gastronomy adventure in exchange for a small donation.

    8) Partner with a restaurant



    Partnering with a local takeaway restaurant is a great option for both of you. All you need to do is approach a restaurant about having a fundraising night where a cut from all takeaway meals ordered that night is given towards your cause. Spread the word among your friends and watch those orders start flooding in!


    9) Host a quiz night


    Hosting a quiz night is a great (and fun) way to raise money for your trip.  You can even approach local businesses and chat to them about donating prizes to your cause. Participants will pay an “entry fee” and the winning team will be given the donated prizes.


    10) Ask for frequent-flyer miles


    Original image: by Kevin Bosc on Unsplash


    Airline tickets can be costly. If your friends or family can’t donate money, ask around to see if anyone would be interested in donating their airline miles. It’s a great fundraising idea to help get you to your destination and will help you cut back on costs.

    11) Use your skills


    Use your skills to your advantage when trying to raise money for your trip. For example, if you’re a photographer you could sell your best pictures as prints or volunteer your photography skills to local businesses or individuals  in exchange for a donation . Get creative and start thinking about how you can use your talents – such as playing an instrument or singing, fixing or building things, or tutoring –  to help meet your fundraising goal.


    12) Have a bake sale


    Bake sales – they’re the oldest trick in the book. People love sugary baked goods and bake sales continue to work whenever there’s a need to raise money. Set up a payments system to receive payments, and get baking and delivering those cookies and cakes!

    We hope this list of fundraising ideas has helped your journey seem less daunting, more doable and a lot more fun! 

    Find out more about GVI’s international, award-winning volunteering programs, online programs and internships. Choose from hundreds of community development, teaching, women’s empowerment and conservation projects worldwide. Be sure to check out our fundraising guide to get your goal started.


    We understand that you may have questions about how COVID-19 will affect your travel plans. Visit our FAQs page which explains our latest safety protocols in response to COVID-19. 

    Disclaimer: The images in this article were taken pre-COVID-19.