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30 Aug, 2019   |   

5 Fundraising Ideas on a Budget

Gap year students in performing artsIn the words of John Denver, “All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go.” With all of the excitement for starting your gap year traveling abroad, there may be a part missing within the big picture. How will you afford to travel?

While there are  many scholarship and grant opportunities available, they  may not cover your entire cost as well as some of your day-to-day expenses. Instead of spending a ton of money on fundraising, here are some inexpensive and budget-friendly ideas to help you raise the money you need to fund your semester off from college.

1. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Why not tap into the resources you already have? Peer-to-peer fundraising is when you build upon the relationships you have already made with your current donors. Your biggest supporters are already advocating for your success. Asking your friends and family to help you spread the word about your goals is an absolutely free way to start networking and raising money. Plus, it multiplies the impact on what limited resources you may already have.

2. Find a person or organization to participate in donation matching

Donation matching is an incredible way to expand your fundraising goals. Find a person or local business that matches your values, and ask them to support you through matching donations. It could be a match on all donations you receive or just a portion, but either way, it is more of an incentive for others to continue increasing your total donations.

3. Use a skill or asset you already have

Everyone is good at something, and it’s time to start utilizing that in your favor! Maybe you are an amazing painter and want to host a painting lesson. If you’re a singer and performer, then why not put on a show or sing-a-thon? One study abroad traveler in Up with People even created and sold a cookbook because she absolutely loves cooking. Get creative with it!

Leadership skills during your gap year abroad4. Host an event at your home or local community center

Thinking of using one of your amazing skills to host an event? Talk to your friends, neighbors, colleagues, peers or even your parents about where you could host these events for free. There are certain community centers and local facilities that occasionally offer free use of their venue for nonprofits or for fundraising. You’ll never know until you ask!

5. Crowdfunding and social media

Want to run a successful online fundraiser? Crowdfunding is on the rise and is a very successful way to help raise money for your travels abroad. All you need to do is find a platform to use and start sharing it on your social media or through email. Set a goal, tell a compelling story and start sharing!


Any tips for future travelers? Share your fundraising ideas and tips in the comments below!


“It’s where you’re goin’ and where you been
Cuz the beginnings never end.
Another road, another chance
To move ahead… take a step.
Oh… a single step”

A Single Step © Up with People

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