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Gap year fundraising through Coronavirus

Florence Midwood — 4th May 2020

Gap year fundraising through Coronavirus

How we wish money grew on trees! We could go outside, pick off the leaves and book our ultimate dream gap year for 2021. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work like that, and now seems to be the most challenging time of all with this destructive virus causing chaos and uncertainty across the globe.

Travel seems temporarily doomed. The lack of tourism in many community-led conservancies is causing huge concern for both people and wildlife. If anyone ever wanted to help or support during a gap year, 2021 is your year! You are needed and your support is required.

But how do you go about paying for it during these difficult times? We’ve outlined a number of suggestions below and hope it helps you get back on the positivity path. 

Raising money for a gap year during the Coronavirus crisis requires personal drive, enthusiasm and good communication and negotiation skills. You have time on your side and the internet at your fingertips - but many uncertain people to face. They are not going to part with their cash easily. You will have to engage and persuade them, showing them value and passion in what you are doing. One thing’s for certain, you’re not going to make any money by endlessly binging Netflix.

Set up a personal enterprise

Everyone can do this, let your creative side take over! Think of something you enjoy or are good at, create a product from it and then sell it to your family and friends. A few examples below:

  1. For the artists, graphic designers and photographers among us, you could turn your work into postcards, thank you cards, t-towels or t-shirts…you get the idea…. and sell to your friends and family. I believe rainbows are currently trending… 
  2. How about making jewellery or painting stones to use as doorstops? 
  3. If you’re good at cooking, you could ‘bake and sell’, dropping off delicious goodies or healthy baskets at front doors around your local area. 
  4. Like to be outdoors? You could offer a painting or cleaning service for farm yard outdoor buildings or even gardens (everyone can pick out a weed). 
  5. Follow in the footsteps of Joe Wicks and set up online fitness or yoga sessions. Aim for weekly subscriptions to guarantee further income.

Bonus point: A personal enterprise looks brilliant on your CV and shows you have your own drive, intelligence and initiative. It will also give you multiple useful skills in the future about the basics of business management.

Spring clean sale

Clear out your bedroom and sell the things you don't want on Depop or Ebay.  

Bonus point: This is super easy and develops your online skills which you can note on your CV and talk about in interviews.

Pick for Britain

This amazing company is actively looking for young students who want a proper paid summer job by picking fruit on farms in different locations around the UK. It’s the perfect way to have regular income while helping the country get through this crisis. It also enables you to legally get out and about in the world right now. Check it out here.

Bonus point: This is a proper paid job with a formal application process so will gleam and sparkle on your CV. Variety of roles available: “From fruit pickers and packers, to plant husbandry and forklift drivers, there are a wide range of roles available.”

Online tutoring for younger children

For those considering a teaching future or wanting to help nurture the minds of the next generation…What are your strengths? Are you able to offer some assistance to parents online through informal tutoring? Maybe you can help younger year students with language practise or a subject you are strong in. The average hourly rate for online teaching of 5-7 year olds is £29. This wage increases as the pupil age increases. If your service was aimed at the right audience and came with a message that you are "fundraising for a worthwhile experience to develop personal skills while supporting local communities in need" it might help boost your income further.

Bonus point: You get to interact with other human beings! Develops great leadership skills and highlights maturity and reliability which will look great on your CV. A good option for gathering future references.

Set up a Go Fund Me page

This is a great platform for you to raise some extra cash should you write a heartfelt note and deliver your message of purpose successfully. I think people are more likely to help support gap year travel if they can see you are being proactive and positive while also wanting to do some sort of charity/volunteering/educational experience. 

For example, I have recently set up a Bracelet project to help bring in additional funds to the communities Culsans with in Kenya during the Covid crisis. Because of the gesture, people are donating additional money and just asking for 1 bracelet. I think this can be very similar with gap year fundraising. If you make it personal and explain the worth in your trip people will be more likely to support it. See here.

Bonus point: Quick set up time - your donation page can be created in 1 day. Showcases empathy, drive and determination which are all good skills to note on your CV.

Host an online fundraiser - quizzes, bake offs and events

Like most of country at the moment, I'm doing a lot of virtual bake offs, take part in a weekly online pub quiz and have regular family ‘olympics’. All are great fun and good ways to connect with people. Why not start your own? You could charge a small fee from your guests with the knowledge that you are fundraising for a purposeful gap year experience. If they wanted to donate more after the quiz/kitchen Olympics/egg and spoon race challenge make sure you have the online fundraising platforms ready!

Bonus point: Good fun and you get to interact with other human beings! Develops great leadership skills and initiative which you can note on your CV.

Pound for pound pitch with your parents

I'm not saying you necessarily would, but you can't just ask your parents for money. I think you should pitch a concept and earn it instead. Just think of it as Dragon's Den. You should outline what you want to do, how you aim to raise the funds, what you will get out of it and how you will use these skills in the future. You need to showcase it as a personal investment. Rehearse your pitch in your room before formally delivering it to your parents/godparents. Finish by asking them to agree to a ‘pound for a pound’ scheme. So, every pound you make yourself they would match it.

Bonus point: You can double your money while showcasing professionalism, public speaking and concept development.   

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