Foreign Fundraising

7 mins read

Fundraising away from home might not be something most people would think about doing, but if you want to do something new and exciting then why not consider looking for some charity challenges abroad? Challenging yourself, or even getting a group of like-minded people together to come up with a challenge can be made more fun if you do it in a different country.

Why do it abroad?

Foreign Fundraising

You can do most things for charity at home, but there are things that work better in other countries. You want to organise a sponsored swim but live in the UK where the water can be a bit on the cold side, then why not venture further south, go to France and undertake a swim challenge there instead? What could be better?

Volunteering Abroad

A great way to travel to other countries is to sign up with charities that carry out relief work and other such charity events abroad. You should find a cause you are interested in and then find a charity that supports it. When you have found the right charity for you, it is a good idea to go on their website, if they have one and ask if they have any traveling programmes. Some will let you travel for free, provided you meet the goal they set for fundraising.

Be sure to look into all of your options though as some charity organisations will charge you considerably more thanif you were to organise a group of friends and do it yourself.


If you are set on the idea of going overseas to do your fundraising then you need to figure out how you are going to fund the whole thing. Some charities will help you out, however you may find that you have to raise the money needed to both set up the event and travel by yourself. If you do not have the funds available, but do want to make a difference, there are several options available to choose from.

A good way to get the funds is to apply for a grant from a trust that supports the cause that you want to raise money for. You can also apply to local businesses but be weary they may only fund you if it can benefit them somehow. You can also look at fundraising at home. Consider it a practise run for the big event. Doing an event to raise money can point out any flaws or issues in your plan. If it doesn’t quite work or raise the funds at home, you can make the necessary changes before it’s too late.

If you do decide to ask a trust for the funds, then you will need to write an application to the relevant trust. Here is a quick step by step guide on how to do that:

1: when you have found the relevant trust, contact them for more information and an application form. There will be criteria listed in the leaflet which will tell you if you qualify for a grant. If you find that you are an appropriate candidate then go for it.

2: Don’t just apply to one trust. The more you find that you like and apply for the more likely you are to be accepted by one. Do make sure that you contact the right ones though. It would be a complete waste of time to apply to a trust for funding for something they don’t support.

3: Keep it formal. Your application needs to be sincere, serious and meaningful. If you are contradictory or not clear in your intentions then the trust is far more likely to overlook you.

4: You should write a cover letter explaining why you chose the trust and why you think they should fund you. Personalising the letter is a good move as you can address the person who makes the decisions directly. In this letter you must state what you intend to do, where and why. You must mention the name of the organisation you are working for, it doesn’t have to be well known but it does have to be a legitimate charity. Explain how the grant is crucial to your work and why.

5: Break down costs. Saying you need x amount is not good enough, they will want to know why and how you calculated everything properly. Write down each expense.

6: You are more likely to be approved for funding if you show that you are actively trying to raise the funds yourself and just need that little bit of extra help. Tell them about charitable things you have done in relation to the cause you are trying to support. Doing this will make it apparent that you are committed to raising the money needed.

7: Apply early. Don’t try to ask for funds after you have organised everything and only have a short amount of time before you are due to travel. Ideally you should ask for funding right at the start of your venture.

What can you do?

If you have explored your options and have decided you do want to raise money abroad, the next thing you need to do is decide what type of challenge you wish to do. You will need to factor in the costs of travel, accommodation, food, length of stay and any equipment needed.

You might also need to ask for permission from the local authorities before doing anything and check any rules or laws regarding the challenge or event you plan to set up. One good idea is to consider organising team charity events as you have people there to help set up and organise the event with you.