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Fundraising Advice

Fundraising Advice

When presented with the opportunity of a lifetime there tends to be one major factor that holds people back… expense! Fundraising is an integral part of any expedition and, in many ways, it may appear to be the most difficult challenge you will face. Remember though, this has been achieved by countless other volunteers and with little bit of hard work, determination and a helping hand from us, you can do it too!

Whenever we visit a University, we aim to set-up an effective fundraising group so students can maximise their fundraising potential with both individual and group efforts. Group fundraising might involve holding events on (with permission) and off campus, while your individual efforts can incorporate applying for grant funding as well as planning activities and events within your own community.

After you have secured a place on an expedition, you will have access to all of the fundraising information that we have gathered over the years, and continue to build as more and more students share their success with us. This will be provided for you in an electronic fundraising pack containing multiple useful documents, equipment discounts, volunteer case studies, lists of potential grants and a recording of the Opwall fundraising presentation – just in case you missed us at your Uni. We cover everything from setting a realistic target and creating a fundraising plan, to how you can write a grant application letter and successfully organise events for maximum profit.

If you have any queries about fundraising, please contact your local fundraising team:

UK –
Canada –

Four Main Ways to Fundraise:

  • Grants and Sponsorship
  • Fundraising Activities
  • Raffles and Prize Draw
  • Working for It

Wallacea Trust Grand Prize Draw 2019-2020, postponed.

Due to the current coronavirus pandemic we have unfortunately had to postpone the raffle draw which was due to take place on Monday 6th April. We will reschedule the draw at a later date as soon as it becomes feasible. Thanks for your understanding, the Opwall Fundraising Team.

Fundraising Overview

In our experience, there are four main ways in which you can raise funds for your expedition:

  • RoundTable

    Grants and Sponsorship

    Probably the most lucrative area for individuals. Charitable trusts, universities, councils, local companies and organisations all have funding opportunities for Opwall volunteers. The nature of our expeditions means that we fulfil a lot of different funding criteria; you can fit your expedition in to applications for travel, education and career development grants to name just a few. We are always happy to offer advice on your applications, so run them past your local Opwall fundraising team before sending them off!

  • Events

    Fundraising Activities

    Likely the first thing you thought of when you read the word ‘fundraising’. This area can encompass an array of different ideas including sponsored events, bag packing, car washes, cake sales, car boot sales, gig nights, themed parties… the options are endless! We will give you an A-Z of activities to give you some inspiration and case studies of the most successful events we have seen from our students. We can also offer advice on how to plan these events, advertise them and maximise profits by seeking out free or discounted venues, entertainment and refreshments.

  • Raffle Draw

    Raffles and Prize Draw

    Raffles are massively lucrative as they have a great return and people love the chance to be a winner! Approach local companies for raffle prizes and hold your raffle alongside a big event for your friends and family to attend. UK students also have the opportunity to sell tickets for the Wallacea Trust Grand Prize Draw – we have sourced the prizes and printed the tickets for you, so all you have to do is sell! These are an easy and effective way to raise money over the course of the year – one of our 2017 students sold 800 tickets! Please see below for more info.

  • Work

    Working for it

    The most obvious way to raise money for your trip as you are guaranteed funds for the hours that you put in. We understand it can be difficult to balance a job alongside your studies, but if you do have some extra time on your hands this is a productive way to use it! Think about picking up a weekend job during term time, or a temporary position over the holidays. As well as actively earning money, you may also be able to utilise your work-place and colleagues to help you fundraise! If nothing else, this will definitely take the pressure off looming payments.

  • Alfred Russel Wallace Grant

    To encourage students to follow in the footsteps of this great explorer and naturalist, Operation Wallacea offers the Alfred Russel Wallace Grant. There are two forms of this grant, both aimed at students looking to join our biodiversity teams working around the world in the Summer of 2020.

    The first is for UK university students. We have ten grants of £1000 each, sponsored by Premier Oil and available to students studying at a UK university and taking part in a 2020 expedition to Indonesia. Research Assistants and Dissertation Students may apply.

    The second is for US university students. We have one grant of $1500, one grant of $1000 and three grants of $500 available to students enrolled at a US academic institution and taking part in a 2020 expedition to any country. Again, both Research Assistants and Dissertation Students may apply.

  • Martin Suthers' Grant (UK & Ireland)

    Martin Suthers was a good friend to Operation Wallacea, and acted as Trustee and then Chairman for the Opwall Trust for 16 years. When Martin sadly passed away in 2016, he left a legacy to help students get out in to the real world and gain the hands-on field experience required for a career in conservation.

    The Martin Suthers’ grant is available to UK and Ireland University students who are embarking on any expedition in 2020. There are two grants of £250 available and, as with most grants, there are specific criteria that volunteers must meet to be eligible to apply; they must demonstrate that they have fundraised a significant proportion of their expedition already. After raising a minimum of £500, students may apply by telling us exactly how they did it. Make sure you take lots of photos and keep copies of any posters or flyers you create – these will really make your application stand out!

  • Murray Foundation University Award

    The Murray Foundation is a UK registered Charity (No. 1162333) established to support young people participating in projects which advance education and develop an understanding of environmental processes. After two consecutive years working alongside Operation Wallacea and supporting school groups on Opwall expeditions, the Murray Foundation have generously provided a further £5000 in funding to support UK and European students completing an undergraduate dissertation or masters thesis in 2020. Ten awards of £500 are available.

    To be eligible for this award you must be a resident of any European country (including UK and Ireland), enrolled in any UK or European university and booked on to an Operation Wallacea dissertation project in 2020. This award is not available for research assistants.

  • Raffle Tickets (UK only)

    Tickets for the 2019/20 Grand Prize Draw can be purchased from our online shop. These are bought at £3.50 per book of ten and can be sold on for £1 a ticket – generating a profit of £6.50 per book. The money volunteers spend on tickets is used to fund our three cash prizes of £3000, £1000 and £500!

    Wallacea Trust Grand Prize Draw 2017 – 2018 Results

    3rd Prize – £1000 cash – Nik Antona #19512

    2nd Prize – A 4 week Opwall expedition – #11852

    1st Prize – £5000 cash – Gill van Wyk #1107

    “I am going to put the prize money to good use. I have just completed writing a book entitled ‘Life on a Limestone Hill’ – an artists journal of my experiences in the fynbos biome of the Cape Coast of South Africa, illustrated with 150 watercolour paintings – part of the prize money will go to the publishing costs. I also wish to make a donation to the Save the Rhino Fund, for as is well known there is a world wide problem with poaching of these animals. These two projects are very close to my heart and will benefit greatly as a result of the prize which I have received. My sincere thanks to all of you at Wallacea.”

    Buy your raffle tickets here!
  • Easyfundraising (UK only)


    Here’s a quick, FREE and easy way of raising funds. Collect FREE donations towards your trip when you, family and friends shop online! You can get started straight away by registering your expedition as a cause with easyfundraising.

    There are over 3,500 retailers giving donations on everything from groceries and DIY, to takeaways and fashion, to holidays and insurance. Hundreds of our volunteers have used easyfundraising to date and raised a MASSIVE £89,000, to help them fund their expeditions!

    To help you get started, we’ve created a simple guide giving you details of how to use easyfundraising and explain to family and friends how they can support you. You can view it here.

Wallace House, Old Bolingbroke, Spilsby, Lincolnshire PE23 4EX, UK
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