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How I fundraised for the trip of a lifetime - by Lara Scott

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Jan 12, 2020 | Latest News, Sri Lanka

Lara Scott raised £1,405 in 3 months. This paid for her Sri Lanka Trip with VoluntEars. Below Lara explains how. 

Why did you join a VoluntEars trip? 

“It had been my passion to travel and help in a developing country to gain the enriching experience culture in deaf community. I applied VoluntEars because of my brother, he recommend me to apply for the trip, as I love and it been my passion to help out to make a difference and do hand-work such as DIY work, Painting and Decorations. This trip is perfect for me to go make a difference and achieve the life along dream.”

What are you hoping to gain from the VoluntEars trip to Sri Lanka? 

“I am hoping to gain new friends and knowledge of the developing world deaf community first hand. I want to go there and then come home with the knowledge of being in developing country and see the world and lifestyle differently, and step out of my comfort zone and come back home with more knowledge and great memories to inspire me to do more thing to help to make the differences.”

What is your fundraising target? 

“My fundraising target was £1,100 for the trip to Sri Lanka, but I raised over my target. In total I raised £1,405 within three months.”

Tell us about all the different ideas you had for fundraising

“I contacted the local newspaper to create articles about the fundraising and explained why I did it and the VoluntEars organisation. Once the GoFundMe page was set up, I made the plan/brainstorm many different actives. Don’t be afraid to go big or do the impossible, the list of fundraising ideas:

  • bake sales
  • quiz night / raffle
  • car washes
  • painting fences, do green-finger (gardner) work at other people houses (people who you know and trust only)
  • boot sales
  • sale sweets
  • park run
  • marathons
  • contact local companies and ask around if can book the table to do fundraising by meeting people 
  • booth games
  • set challange, e.g… dye your hair, go in ice bath for 10 minutes, run for 10 miles or more, and so many more kind of challenge you can set for yourself (but nothing dangerous)
  • boot camp
  • and many more…

What fundraising activities have you organised?

“First off is to set up the GoFundMe page, and contact the local newspaper to create the articles about the fundraising and why am I doing it (as not all people are using facebook only). I received highest generous donation £100 from a stranger who read the newspaper and wanted to donate for Sri Lanka Deaf school so it show how the newspaper can be best way to spread the words toward hearing people to wider range of people.

I post it on Facebook and ask around friends to donate and spread the words to outside of local people for donation to help with fundraising.

I have ask around to family and friend (only those who I trust) to do painting work on their home, fences and gardening for any price, and I did went over their house to do couple work.

I went to deaf centre to do the presentation about VoluntEars trip to Sri Lanka and fundraising, because once the GoFundMe page had been posted it on the facebook which target for youth community people for spread the word and donations, however older generations people don’t really use facebook or any social media, so I went to deaf centre on Tuesday which is bingo day with wide range of number are attending there and did speech there, which help massively toward the fundraising also I find approach people worked better than via social media message, as many people had been told me that they felt uncomfortable to use the online bank transfer or anything relate to online, so I approach them for cash donations.

I came up with Quiz night and BBQ for wide range of community, I went to The Boundary Pub to booked the room and talk to the boss who very generous donate the food for BBQ and prizes for raffle (tombola), we had come to agreement, then I ask around for help to organise the event as I never really do thing like this before, it out of my comfort zone, so I ask around people who done this before to help out give me advice. I work alongside with one friend and family, and set up facebook page to promote to spread the words, however you have to be prepare before promote.

What thing you have and ideas that reasonable that you will provide on the night? Mine is BBQ and quiz night and Tombola (Raffle).

When the perfect date? Mine was on 10th of May.

How many people is your target to come? Before you think up number, make sure you have the tickets, and work out between the room space and thing you will provide is it enough for this amount people? Mine is 30 people at least.

How much is the ticket? Make sure it reasonable price and cheap, but work out from thing you will provide? Mine is £5 for quiz night entry fee and £5 for BBQ unlimited.

I had done those checklist before promote, I was very nervous about this, made few mistake and hit few bumps along the way. However the main thing just relax and do what you can do, do not I repeat do not over do it, otherwise people will find it uncomfortable or confuse. If you planning for quiz night provide quiz games and drink/food, then people will come to have fun that the main thing of the event, that and fundraising of course. 

For the raffle prizes I had add to the table from the prize donations, me and my hearing friend who is interpreter had contact and promote the word for prize donations:

  • community champion
  • small companies
  • Tesco 
  • Aldi
  • Sainsbury

Me and my friend made the letter to go to couple shops meet them personally and give out the letters about the fundraising i am doing and why? I attached the proof of letter that VoluntEars will provide, to show that you are doing fundraising legally and real.”

Which fundraising activities were the most successful? 

“Quiz night and BBQ.

I went around to people house to paint their house however it does not make a massive donations, but I did not stop there, and I try to think up something new and different that the people would say yes and be more interesting to donate.

I had made a lots mistake and learn new things, which is useful to know, also by doing the fundraising I like to think outside from the box.”

What advice / tips would you give other volunteers who are worried about raising the money for their trips?

“I would say please try not to worry too much, just do what you can, if you made mistake or hit few bumps, try not to panic just think if that not work what can you do to change that plan and why?

Ask around your family and friends who you trust or who have experience with fundraising before to help out with the your fundraising, also to spread the word and ask around for donation. Make sure you go for wider range of people with a welcoming and positive vibe attitude, make them feel more comfortable to make the donations. Don’t be afraid to make your voice heard about the fundraising, I had made couple new friends and meet new faces.

Also start small to spread the word as much as possible to get donations, then build your way up to something bigger. Try not to rush into it, just take your time and do much as you can.”

Has your fundraising been successful? How much money have you raised?

“Yes, it has been massively successful! I’ve raised over the target, total is £1,405.”

Are you looking forward to the trip now?

“I am very nervous of course, but mostly excited and cannot wait for this trip!”


If you’re interested in joining a trip like Lara’s, find out more here: Sri Lanka 2 Week Group Trip.

Got a question? Contact us now!


Here’s Lara in Sri Lanka:


Lara Scott doing activities with local students on her 2 Week Group Trip to Sri Lanka with VoluntEars

Lara Scott doing activities with local students on her 2 Week Group Trip to Sri Lanka with VoluntEars

Lara Scott cooking local Sri Lankan food during her 2 Week Group Trip with VoluntEars

Lara Scott cooking local Sri Lankan food during her 2 Week Group Trip with VoluntEars

Lara, other volunteers and a huge tree in a park in Colombo!

Lara, other volunteers and a huge tree in a park in Colombo!

Find out more about our trips to Sri Lanka here: Sri Lanka 2 Week Group Trip.


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