Fundraising for Volunteering Overseas 

The majority of overseas volunteering projects have associated costs. The amount varies between organisations and projects and depends on:

  • What country the project is in (this affects costs for flights, visa’s, vaccinations);
  • How long the project is for;
  • What kind of accommodation you will stay in (e.g. camping /homestays /guesthouses);
  • Daily living expenses and other activities that you might want to take part in.

Organisations often breakdown their costs as follows:

  • Project costs - This includes pre-departure preparation such as training, handbooks and support, and in-country costs e.g. local orientation, staff support, accommodation, project-related travel and some meals.
  • Getting there - on top of the above you will need to factor flights, visas, vaccinations and travel insurance.
  • Spending money – This will depend on the local living costs, and what you plan to do in your spare time. The organisation will be able to advise you on how much you can expect to need depending on your project.
  • A fundraising donation to the charity – many organisations will ask their volunteers to raise a set amount of money that will go towards the work of the charity.
  • Deposits - Some organisations require a deposit, in most cases, this is a portion of the above costs.

All of the projects with our Trusted Partners have been checked out in terms of how much they charge and where the money goes.


  • For projects that are not funded volunteers are not expected to cover the costs from their own pockets, but are encouraged to fundraise which can be a lot of fun and will help you to prepare for your time overseas
  • Some overseas volunteering projects (including Team Uganda and ICS) are funded, which means that the majority of the above costs are covered. However, all volunteers are still expected to fundraise towards these projects (this can vary from £500 to £1,500). 
  • You could do a bake sale, take part in a sponsored run or mountain climb, or put on a themed event.  There are literally hundreds of ideas for fundraising ideas that you can find online.  Our advice is to choose something that relates to the cause and that works well with your skills!
    The University offers grants that you can apply for:
  • The Global Impact Awards - awards of £250 to help you bring practical or social benefits to an international community
  • We also offer 3 Travel Awards annually, with various amounts of funding available for students wishing to travel overseas
  • The Work Experience Bursary for undertaking career related work experience
  • You can also consider Crowdfunding, a way of raising money and support for a project from the general public.
  • The University of Manchester has a crowdfunding platform that you can request to use
  • How it works:
  • You can pitch an idea and if people like what they see, they can back it with a ‘pledge’ to donate.
  • The donations will only be secured if the target is reached
  • Everyone that donates receives something in return, e.g. an online photo album or special blog video from the trip.
  • Contact Kiera Gould
  • All of the Trusted Partners that we advertise have fundraising support in place – always check what this includes before applying
  • Support may include: handbook, training, fundraising ideas and suggestions, one-to-one support, materials (e.g. t-shirts / branded items), access to events they are organising (e.g. street collections) and information about the charity so that you can communicate this when doing your fundraising
  • The Volunteering Team also provide lots of advice and support, including the Fundraising Toolkit, and one-to-one and group fundraising advice.
  • Some organisations will organise group fundraising activities, particularly if a group of volunteers is recruited to take part in a project together for example East African Playgrounds and Think Pacific
  • Manchester RAG (Raise-and-Give) is the fundraising arm of the Students’ Union. They are a group of students who want to make a difference through raising money for charity – and have fun doing it! They can provide advice and support to students on fundraising as they have a wealth of expertise in this area.
  • You will need to factor in any time you will need for fundraising
  • Some organisations have deadlines for some costs, we encourage you to check these before applying
  • If you would like to take part in a project but are not sure whether you will be able to raise the funds in the time scale given please speak to the organisation or to us
  • If you are planning on finding your own volunteering opportunity abroad (one that is not promoted through us) we recommend very carefully checking out the costs and where the money goes. Get in touch if you have any questions or need help with this
  • Fundraising for an overseas volunteering opportunity is an important part of pre-departure preparation. It can seem daunting at first, but it is possible and can be a lot of fun
  • You will learn new skills, meet new people and push yourself out of your comfort zone. You will get to know the charity that you will be volunteering for, and it’s a great way to engage your friends, family and peers in your activities before you fly out
  • We have many students who successfully fund raise each year. If you'd like to share your fundraising success story to help inspire other students please contact us

Apply for funding

Funding crib sheet