We will let you into a little secret, fundraising isn’t all about cake sales, and running marathons. There is a little help in hand, and it comes in the form of a bursary, grant and sponsorship. It’s not the full golden ticket, but it really helps towards your dreams.


A sponsor is a business, group or individual who will donate money to your cause in exchange for promotion, or as a donation. 

If you work, part-time around yoru studies, or work full time with an organisation or company, this is your first port of call. You will already have a relationship with the people in the workplace and usually companies have money set aside for employee development and interesting projects happening within their teams. So ask! 

Your hometown local businesses or businesses in your current community, like pubs, travel agents, hairdressers, sports clubs often have a goodwill pot, which they invest into community projects. 

If they don’t or can’t give you significant sponsorship, then very often they will donate towards your fundraising. The more people you reach out to, the more chance you have or adding to the final fundraising target. 

If you are looking for corporate sponsors then look around your network, and find out a bit about who works for who. You might yourself work in a corporate, so speak to your manager, and combine your sponsorship efforts by hosting an office or company charity fundraising day.


Gather all the information about your trip and the reasons why you are embarking on this project. Share your connection to the community and how your story might help inspire others to follow in your footsteps. We will send you a complete guide after you pay your deposit which will include email templates, images and background on the specific project. 


  • Remember to do your research and find out about some of the companies CSR or previous charity involvement and then tie in your trip to this. 
  • It’s always great to link in the experience you’ve gained within the local community or specific company, and how you will use and apply this whilst on your placement. 
  • Detail how the skills exchange and cultural education will benefit the project. How experiencing a low resource setting and gaining further insight will help your peers when you return. 
  • Personalise each letter and address to someone specific, or ask which is the best person to speak with. Always compliment their work, and give evidence of the research you’ve conducted about their recent projects. 
  • Proofread and then ask someone to proofread. This is often a professional approach and you will gain a lot of insight into communicating with professionals. 
  • Think about what they will gain in return? For many companies, especially if you are an employee, sponsoring you will show they care about their employees and often they will be able to use your story in future to indicate their responsibility and charity donations. Some companies can offset charitable contributions against their profits, so it’s always worth asking what paperwork they need. 
  • Always offer to give them feedback, either as a presentation, or a blog post, or regularly tagging them on social media. How can you thank them for their investment in you? 


It’s ok. You will probably get some knocks when you are striving to do something new and exciting. It’s part of the journey. Don’t worry if you get turned down, you can still ask if they could send your fundraising page round the office, or if you could pop by to do a cake sale, or host a pub quiz for the staff. The more people that hear about your fundraising efforts, the more you are likely to receive funds.


Often you will need to present a budget to anyone you are asking to support financially. People like to know where their money is being spent. Some people won’t offer you cash, but if you have a derailed list of things you need, you might be able to get a discount on luggage, or flights or other equipment you will need. 

Many volunteers will take additional donations with them, like footballs, or colouring in books, or reading resources for the children.


There are usually lots of bursaries and grants available to students, whether it’s research funds, or development trusts or philanthropic donations made to the university to support aspiring students, there is opportunity to tap into extra pots. 

We have a comprehensive list of university grants and bursaries, which we will share with you once you have paid your deposit. There are often specific deadlines for when to apply, so it’s good to start the research and process early.


Speak to your course supervisor or manager. There is usually a careers advice service, or volunteer and travel service in each university, and some departments have their own. They will usually have spoken to Vocational Impact and will have heard of our placements. 

Your university might have a specific travel bursary for volunteer trips abroad, so ask your course leaders as a starting point. 

Each bursary, trust, and grant making body will have different criteria. Vocational Impact can help you complete the paperwork for this once you have paid your deposit. Our main advice is to focus on one funding body at a time. Many will ask if you are applying to others, so be careful not to kill your chances by not being focused enough. 

You will need to provide the specific details of the placement, and your reasons for undertaking one. They will want to know how the work you will be doing will impact them as an institution. Others may want you to describe your research proposals or the methodology behind your work. 

You will often have to provide reports in return, and monitor your placement as part of the agreement of the grant. Data is king, and reflective essays are often required as a term of the bursary. This fits in well with the Vocational Impact ethos, as we ask you to observe your learning and how the placement affects you personally and professionally. 


Some bursary and grants are set amounts. In some cases you’ll have to ask for a specific amount. We are very open about the costs of the trip, and can provide details about where and how this money is spent. We are also governed by the UK Charity Commission so this adds an extra layer of security for the grant making body.


You will need to be clear about why you are embarking on this trip, and specifically why you want to travel abroad, what you hope to learn, and when you want to go. 

If you are required to write a reflective project, you should give an example and project outline. You should also provide a brief background to the project and Vocational Impact. You will be required to provide plans and often ask you to discuss with your supervisor. We will provide you with compliance documentation and health and safety which will often be required for your application. 

You will have to provide a CV and cover letter. This is to give background about yourself. We have written a guide about writing a CV and cover letter and we often provide additional career advice services. Don’t feel daunted about your CV, this is just to show what you have been up to. Be honest. It’s there to help the funding body make a decision. 

We will provide you with a comprehensive list of trusts and funding bodies you can approach once you have paid your deposit as part of our fundraising guide, which includes email templates, setting up a fundraising page online, background information, project specific information and images.

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