Volunteer Africa is a registered British charity. Our British charity registration number is 1097963.
As a member of the Volunteer Africa Volunteer Programme you are required to raise a substantial amount of money before you leave for Tanzania. The 'experience' has already begun as you embark on your pre-departure preparations.
Fundraising will be a major part of your life prior to your departure. Fundraising is a valuable skill and can be great fun, but it also involves hard work, planning and dedication. Rise to the challenge; don't be put off.
Once interviewed and accepted into the programme, all volunteers have access to our Fundraising Manual. This manual draws on experience and comments collected from hundreds of volunteers who have finished their fundraising. It contains resources designed to support you in your own fundraising efforts.
Reading the manual itself does not guarantee success. This will come only through your own hard work and imagination. But the manual should make it easier for you to get started and to maintain your momentum. Keep referring to it as your plan progresses, and always feel free to contact Volunteer Africa if you need further advice.
Before you begin fundraising think of the answers to the question, 'Why is anybody going to give me money?'. Some people will give you money for the cause and the type of thing you are doing, but many will be giving money because it is you. Remember this and constantly demonstrate your commitment and enthusiasm. This is what will ultimately persuade people that you and Volunteer Africa are worth supporting.
Top Tips for Fundraising
- Keep the FUN in FUNdraising. Be confident that what you are offering is worth supporting. Often people are happy to give money to something they agree with.
- Your fundraising should approach different sources as described in the manual. Don't spend too long or invest too much hope on any single area of fundraising, unless you are absolutely certain it will bring returns.
- You will need to work hard, plan ahead and involve your friends and contacts with what you are trying to do. Take into account the payment deadlines and the need to put a lot of work in at the beginning and then maintain the effort until leaving for Tanzania
- Concentrate your efforts on a local or regional basis and talk to people about what you are doing; the contacts will slowly develop.
- Don't waste too much time writing to big companies and trusts as the response rate is very small (unless you have personal contacts or connections).
- Investigate possible grants from local councils, local trusts, local Rotary Clubs, your old school or college etc. Start thinking about organising parties, a sponsored event or garage/car boot sales. Maybe a friend or relative will undertake a sponsored event for you.
- Be aware of overhead costs incurred in running events or making something.
- Involve as wide a range of people as possible (individuals and organisations) and remember that if they think they are getting something out of it as well, whether it is a service, a meal or just good fun, you are likely to get more support.
- Always tell people you are a volunteer and that you are fundraising. You may be surprised that many people will give discounts or waive fees when they hear what you are doing.
- When selling yourself and Volunteer Africa please take care over how you talk about Volunteer Africa. The main point is that we work very closely with Tanzanian NGOs and local communities on long-term projects. Point out the differences that exist between other organisations and us.
- Be selective about what you send and to whom. They will appreciate it and there will be far less waste.
- If you can exceed your target all extra money raised goes directly to the host NGOs in Tanzania.
- Keep your own records of who has supported you; so you can write to them from Tanzania and show them it was money well spent.
- Keep in touch with Volunteer Africa and let us know how you are getting on.
Remember you are selling yourself and Volunteer Africa; be honest, enthusiastic and determined!
Fundraising Success Stories
Recent Fundraising Events
Wear your heart Fashion shows in Melbourne, Australia
Sing your heart out for Africa in Hong Kong
'Fundraising is going great, my whole family is getting really involved and are helping so much. We have raised almost $2,000. We have been putting on bookstalls at the local markets, selling preloved books which people in my neighbourhood have donated. It is working fantasticially :) We are also in the process of organising a raffle in the local tavern to raffle off seafood trays... The markets have been really successful though, we painted a huge sign that has a bit of info about Volunteer Africa which we put up at the bookstall, and a lot of people are really interested and come to chat, and once I talk to people for a while about what I'm doing, a lot of the time they are happy to donate money without even buying books. fundraising is proving to be a great experience in itself, everyone is so supportive'. Ashleigh Elford, Queensland, Australia
'When I told my workplace that I was leaving to carry out volunteer work in Tanzania, they were really supportive and excited for me. However, I didn't realise just how practically supportive they would turn out to be! We were all sat in the staff meeting one day, and my manager informed me that the whole staff team had decided to do a sponsored walk on my behalf. I was gobsmacked, and instantly relieved, as I knew it would be a challenge to raise the fee without help. A few weeks later, we set out on an 8 mile walk near Mam Torr in the Peak District. We estimated it would take about 4 hours, but adverse weather conditions and unsteady knees meant that the whole walk took us over 6 hours. For the weeks after the walk one of our team volunteered for the arduous task of collecting the money. On my last day, I was given ?603! I couldn't thank them enough. They even gave me a big bag of leaving presents including a tick remover (nice), an outdoor shirt and water purification tablets. I can honestly say it would have been difficult to go without their help'. Fiona Simpson, Manchester, UK
'Starting out with this project I knew that I was going to need to raise a lot of money in order to make this trip a feasable one for me. I am between colleges, having left one during the winter and attending another for the fall, and so whatever money I am able to earn while working during the off period was going to have to go towards school. Having attempted many fundraisers before for different projects and organizations, I knew one thing very well. Unless you have very great philanthropic connections, the people who know you the best will normally donate the most. For this reason I chose to focus all of my fundraising efforts towards my family and my church. I often times perform musically in church, given my history as a performer, so it seemed obvious to stick with what I know and what other people know of me. I decided to hold a benefit concert, and with the allowance of the church deacons I was able to choose a date and begin announcing my concert which was to be held at the church, making it free of cost for me. Within the first week of my announcement of the trip and of the cause, I was able to raise approximately $1,500 dollars. Throughout the next few weeks I continued making annoucements, and many generous people continued making donations. I've found that another crucial aspect to fundraising is "keeping the pressure on" so to speak; in other words never let your zeal and energy for the cause die down. The date finally came for the concert, and having created a playlist to fit my audience, I played a solo accoustic set, and at the end had a couple other musicians from the church join me on a couple songs. During the concert I raised over $1,700. I am very happy to say that my fundraising effort, though at first seemingly farfetched, was a total and overwhelming success. In the end, through family and friends, I was immensly proud and overwhelmed to announce that I had raised over $7,000'. Billy Keane, Connecticut, USA