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Fund-raising Ideas to Help Finance Your Break

By: Sarah Knowles BA, MA - Updated: 28 Nov 2012 | comments*Discuss
Fund-raising Finance Career Break Ideas

Going on a career break involves money - and raising funds can actually be part of the fun. There are literally hundreds of ways to get the money you need by fund-raising in your community. Look on-line and see what appeals, but before you do set yourself a reasonable target. This will help you to not only take concrete steps to reach your goal, but will let others know that you mean business.

If you're looking for sponsors, especially ones that will match funds, remember that worthy causes have the upper hand. People and organisations are more likely to stump up the cash if your career break involves something like helping save elephants in Uganda or giving people access to clean drinking water in India. It's unlikely your employer - and your friends - are going to finance you to lie on the beach in the Caribbean for six months. Then again, you might get lucky...

Here is a list of tried-and-tested ideas. Remember, you are only limited by time - and your imagination. So get going!

Flog Your Stuff

Whether it's an outdated sofa or a no-longer-needed rocking chair, you'd be surprised how much money you can get by finding a new home for old things. What better way to clear your house of clutter - and make money - than by selling unwanted possessions on-line or participating in a car boot sale? Look in your local newspaper for details of car boot sales in your area, and ask an eBay pro for help if you've never sold anything on-line before. Not only will you make money, but you'll come home to less mess and more space.

Selling your car is also a good idea if you'll be away for an extended period of time - much more economical than paying to store if for years. Auction houses are another profitable way to get a bit more money inside your career break coffer. Usually you can email photos of your furniture, antiques or paintings beforehand to get an idea of what they're worth - and see if it's worth the effort.

Host Your Own Fund-raiser

If you're taking a career break either at home or overseas to volunteer for a worthy cause, you're in luck. Staging a fund-raiser to help finance your tip may get you the funds you need. If your company has a matching scheme for charities your employer may also match your funds - offering £1 for every £1 raised is not uncommon.

Ideas for fund-raisers include:

  • Sponsored walk: Ask friends and colleagues for cash for every mile you walk - or run.
  • Raffle: Use prizes donated by companies that support your cause.
  • Bake sale: This can be fun either at work, church or even your children's school.
  • Dance-a-thon: You'll be quids-in if you know how to tango.
  • Karaoke evening: Hold this event at a local restaurant or pub, or rent a machine for a home-based evening.
  • Do a sponsored hang-glide, parachute jump or other hair-raising activity. Make sure you're insured first...
  • Auction of Promises: Hold an evening at your local pub and auction off chores you'd be happy to do (you may be able to rope willing friends in as well). Ideas include an evening of baby-sitting, three hours gardening, window-washing, dog-walking.

Involve Your Children

  • If your career break revolves around charity work and involves the entire family, speak to your children's headteacher about holding a fund-raiser at their school. Whether it's a school disco, Quiz Night or plain old social evening, there are great ways to get both children and parents involved. This is a great way to draw attention to your cause at the same time.

The opportunities to fund-raise for your career break are endless. Speak to others who have successfully held a fund-raiser before to get the inside scoop on how it's done, and look on-line for inspiration. Organise something that you personally enjoy doing, like a wine-taster if you enjoy a glass or two, or a sponsored run if you can't live without your jogging shoes. Dream big, but don't forget that sometimes small events are the most successful ones.

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