An organisation that gives money to charities is known as a grant-making trust. Many trusts prefer to keep a low profile so it’s hard to know how many operate in the UK. However, a European Union estimate puts the number at 8,800. The EU also believes that the top 500 of these trusts hand out an amount in the region of £3.3 billion in the UK each year. Many of the trusts maintain a discrete presence to prevent them from being overwhelmed with requests for money, but their desire to fund charitable work is no different to that of more high profile trusts.

Anyone with an idea for an unusual expedition abroad, or a trip that has a purpose other than a holiday, should seek details about available grants. There are a wide range of bodies willing to help with the cost of setting up an expedition. Some of them are also able to attract publicity and further sponsorship.

Help can be found at Grants Online »
This is an interactive grant database that allows you to search for grants using a range of project criteria or key words.

Other websites offering advice are:

Approaching local businesses

Local businesses are often well aware of the benefits of providing funding for their local schools. Encouraging your local press to carry news stories of local business funding can help the business with local advertising and could be a better use of their own marketing budget.

Of course not all local firms will be able to offer a financial commitment but other help can be obtained with the right approach. For example, a local business may be able to offer prizes for an auction, raffle etc. It is also well worthwhile asking parents during your launch/first parents evening if they or their employers would be interested in becoming involved.

Larger Companies

Krispy Kreme Doughnut do a great fundraising deal where they sell you doughnuts cheap and you can sell them on for a profit! Find out more »

Every little helps…

Even the smallest amount of funds raised helps with ensuring a successful tour. Many of these events will heighten the profile of the trip within the school as well as provide valuable team building events which go towards the overall success of the tour. Almost any idea can be considered. The key is to keep it simple – the best events often take little organization, time or money. For example, ask your school whether they will run a non-uniform or fancy dress day in aid of the tour. In return you can offer, for example, a presentation following the trip to the younger years, even a share of the profits to the school.

Here are some more ideas:

  • If there are school events already being run ask if you can organise a raffle on a school concert night / parents evening etc.
  • Personal sponsorship – be it an individual challenge or a group effort. Sponsorship is one of the easiest ways to raise funds.
  • Prize quiz sheet – prepare a quiz sheet and sell for £1 each. The winner receiving a prize / voucher.
  • Supermarket packing day – contact your local supermarket and ask if pupils can assist with packing and carrying bag to cars, for a small fee. A student prepared display with enthusiastic pupils in the entrance hall will help make every one aware of what is on that day.
  • Ebay sale – open an Ebay account and ask for as many sellable donations as possible to raise a joint fund. Turn Dad’s old records into cash, but remember ask him first!
  • Car wash – use the school playground to set up a car wash day – £5 per car will soon mount up.
  • Trip auction – a charity auction type event offering prizes as well services e.g lawn mowing etc.
  • Wacky ideas – how brave is the head of Boys PE? Just think how much sponsorship you could get if he agrees to shave his head!
  • Commercial products – there are some commercially available products to assist with raising funds. For example ‘Find the Hidden Square’ sheets. Find out more at Charnwood Catalogue »

For a vast database of fundraising ideas check out