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Once you have decided to take part in a volunteering program, 50% of your work is done. The next big hurdle is how to generate funds. The first thing you need is determination. Once you are determined to go through with this, the next step would be to think of ideas for fundraising events and how to organise them.

The best way is to get everyone involved. The more people who know about what you are doing, the more support and encouragement you will get, which is half the battle. That includes family, neighbors, friends, and even friends of friends. Also, be prepared to fundraise in many different ways, you must be able to pursue various fundraising techniques. You could also write to local businesses, trusts and even your local MP.

It is worthwhile finding out about any funds that are available through your school or college. You could also produce a detailed fundraising leaflet that introduces the project you may be doing, your reasons for taking a year out and other information on volunteering in India. These leaflets could appeal for sponsors’ help, stating also what you would do in return for any financial assistance

Think of really good ways of presenting the project in a colourful, informative and accessible way. Do remember, however, to respond to any help by keeping in touch with sponsors. Other usual ways include working summer jobs, part time work and saving up.

Although getting financial support is incredibly hard work, it can also be a lot of fun. You could do various fun fundraising activities, for e.g. persuade your friends into wearing wellies filled with jelly for a day, announcing a “Jelly Welly Day” throughout college or place of work. Have a casual day at work or go for a sponsored run etc. This helps to draw lots of attention – and sponsors.

All these combined together will help you raise money for your volunteering programs – an entirely worthwhile and satisfying experience. There may be a lot of letter writing, phone calls and organising, but it is amazing how many people are willing to support someone willing to take time and effort to volunteer abroad. It helps raise awareness about volunteering opportunities and what it has to offer young people. These programs could very well become one of the most enriching chapters of your life.