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Build abroad prides itself on being an extremely affordable way to volunteer and travel the world. As a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, we do not make any profit off our program fees, which go directly toward costs like building supplies and your accommodation. This allows us to offer our volunteer trips at a price significantly less than a traditional vacation, usually start at under $700 a week. That being said, many volunteers will find that they can take a trip with us for even less than the program fees listed on our website. Read on for three easy ways to help fund your trip!

Fundraising is most often the easiest way to lower your total trip costs and you will find that many friends and family members are happy to help you go on your adventure. In the last decade, crowdfunding has taken over as the de facto route to raise travel funds. For this reason, we have partnered with FundMyTravel, a unique crowdfunding site that focuses exclusively on travelers taking on meaningful projects. They offer free access to their useful Fundraiser’s Toolkit which walks you through creating a fundraising campaign, giving you the head start you need to be successful. FundMyTravel was started with the main purpose to increase financial support for those desiring to study, intern, volunteer, or just travel abroad — our kind of organization!

Fundraising Blog Posts

Group Volunteer Trip

How to Plan an Unforgettable Group Volunteer Trip

| Fundraising, Travel, Volunteering | No Comments

For most people, a volunteer abroad placement is something they embark on solo or with a close friend to fit in with their individual work or study schedules. But with some careful planning,…

Crowdfunding platforms

The Top 8 Crowdfunding Platforms for International Volunteering

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Even the cheapest volunteering programs can start to get expensive when you factor in costs for flights, immunizations, and travel insurance. One of the most common ways to combat these costs is to…

Volunteer grants

How to Find Volunteer Grants and Scholarships

| Fundraising, Travel, Volunteering | No Comments

If you’ve ever searched for volunteer abroad placements and tallied up the costs associated with airfares to get there, travel insurance and vaccinations, it can get pricey. Even if you select one of…

Creative Fundraising Ideas: Putting the Fun in Fundraising

| Fundraising, Volunteering | No Comments

Fundraising is a great option if you want to volunteer internationally but need help affording the program and airfare. While some people think fundraising is just asking close friends and family members for…


Scholarships, grants, and fellowships are usually available for international volunteer programs such as Build Abroad. You just need to know where to look. If you are a college student, start by talking to your academic advisors, study abroad office, or financial aid advisor (certain Build Abroad programs are even available for college credit!). We also want you to keep in mind that Scholarships are not limited to college students. Many alumni, professionals, and even retirees have been able to get grants and fellowships for international travel. Start by looking at your alumni association, service organizations, or simply through searching online.

Build Abroad also now offers its own annual scholarship which you can apply for here.

Get Creative

In tandem with your crowdfunding platform, you can have a little fun along the way. Use your already established group of supporters to try out creative and new ideas. Who doesn’t like having fun while lower trip costs at the same time? It’s a win-win! We’ve compiled a few ideas below to help you get your creative juices flowing.

  1. Cook, cook, and cook some more. Invite everyone you know over for a cookout in the name of the culture and country you are traveling to. Enjoy local cuisine, good times, and an easy way to raise some money towards your trip. Take this as far as you’d like playing country specific music or movies, having language exchanges, and getting the group involved in traditional games that come from where you’ll soon be volunteering.
  2. Do you have any special skills? Think outside of the box to start trading your valuable talents for donations. Artsy? Make your friends and family a painting, sculpture, or anything else they might need. Start an Etsy shop selling anything you create from jewelry to organic soaps! Do you like taking photographs? Snap shots of your friend’s wedding, a reunion, or event. It really depends on the skills you have and a positive spirit to get out there and spend some time making your trip a reality.
  3. Do you have a lot of clutter? It’s about time you held that garage sale you’ve been putting off. Don’t be afraid to ask around in your network for other people needing the same thing. Not only do you get money towards your trip but you’ll also get the satisfying feeling of a clean house no longer full of those things you have no use for. People are literally coming to take them away and paying you for it – doesn’t get much better than that. Don’t forget to have signs up to inform people of the good cause they are supporting.
  4. Your pain is your gain. Have your network sign-up to pay you a certain amount for every mile you can run in an hour, every day you go without shaving your beard, or any other creative challenge people can support. You can customize this to anything meaningful to you or as a way to challenge yourself in something you enjoy.