Foreign Exchange Fundraising Ideas

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Foreign exchange programs can be expensive; beyond the initial administrative costs, you will often need money for food, entertainment and travel in the country. If you are struggling to meet the costs of a foreign exchange program, try setting up fundraising events to build your bank account.

Business Sponsorship

  • Many companies can benefit from knowledge about foreign cultures, particularly if they conduct business in other countries. To raise larger amounts of money quickly, approach businesses in your community and ask them to sponsor your trip. In return, offer to give presentations for their company or send regular reports to them during the program. You can also offer publicity in exchange by putting a thank-you and their logo on your blog so the business will have exposure and the positive association of sponsoring a student.

Online Campaign

  • Make it easy for people to donate to your foreign exchange fund by starting an online fundraising campaign. Set up a page on a site like First Giving and spread it to everyone you know. Put out the link on all of your social networks, send it to your email mailing list and ask that your friends and family do the same. Ask people to make small donations and in return, pledge to do something that will benefit the host country: volunteer at an orphanage or take part in a cleanup committee, for example.

Alternative Gifts

  • When your birthday and holidays roll around, family and friends often spend a great deal of money on presents. To help with your fundraising efforts, ask for cash instead of birthday and Christmas presents. If you start far enough in advance, you can raise a decent amount of money. Let your family and friends know by sending out an email or calling people who are likely to give gifts. Tell them how important the exchange program is to you and how it will change your life; because your loved ones want to see you happy, they are likely to agree.

Country Theme

  • Team up with other study-abroad students for a large-scale fundraiser by holding a party or a carnival that uses the theme of each country. Incorporate elements of the culture from each country or city like food, music, costumes and pictures. Use your school as the site to save money and ask local businesses to donate supplies for the party or things for an auction or raffle. Charge an entrance fee to the event and make it open to the whole community.

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