If you want to take your elective overseas but don’t have the funds to make it happen, don’t panic. As well as applying to bursaries, grants and various other funding bodies, you can also take matters into your own hands and start fundraising yourself.

You should neither doubt the power of fundraising nor your potential to become an excellent fundraiser. If you’ve got enough enthusiasm to sign yourself up for an overseas elective placement, you’re probably more than capable of throwing yourself into a fundraising campaign and reaping the rewards.

To help you get the ball rolling, we’ve compiled a list of fundraising classics you can tweak to your interests and skills:


  • Sales & Events – Whether it’s your old ‘vintage’ clothes, homemade organic flapjacks or car-washing skills; we bet you’ve got time or assets to cash in on. Creatively bringing these classics to life might inspire more donations – so perhaps think about hosting clothes swaps, dinner parties, film nights, themed parties or an open mic night – anything that requires a ticket to get through the door.
  • Sponsors – Give up something you love and get some sponsors in return. This could be anything from chocolate to speaking. Alternatively, take up a physical challenge like running, climbing or swimming.
  • Competitions – There are thousands of options when it comes to competitions and raffles, so your best bet is to get online, search through ideas and pick ones you like the most. Make sure you’ve got an attractive prize, charge a small fee for every competition entry, collect all the correct answers and draw a winner. Simple!
  • Weird and Wonderful – Fundraising has a long history of people taking baked bean baths, waxing their legs and bungee jumping for a good cause. You’re free to get as carried away as you like – just remember to cash in on your fun when it comes to an end.


Once you’ve got your idea, it’s time to get organised. Plan in advance and make sure you promote yourself. If social media isn’t already your friend, now is the time to get acquainted. Create Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages to start telling stories about your event and get attention. You could even link these to fundraising sites like gofundme.com, gogetfunding.com or kickstarter.com so your donors can pay from wherever they are. When using these services, be sure to read each site’s terms and conditions thoroughly to make sure you’re not breaking any rules!

Don’t forget to go old-school and communicate with those who might not be on social media too – older relatives are an easy one to miss but might prove generous and supportive.


Lastly, remember to say thank you! We’re sure you’ll be very grateful but it’s easy to forget the simple things, especially once you’ve got money in your pocket. Thanking donors on social media where possible might prompt others to donate too, as they’ll know how much you will appreciate it.