Fundraising Advice

When faced with the opportunity of a lifetime there tends to be only 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, it has been achieved by countless other volunteers.

After a group has confirmed their expedition we visit to give a presentation and discuss fundraising ideas.  It is our aim to set-up an effective fundraising group.  The best way to ensure success with your fundraising is to mix individual with group fundraising, so events as well as grant applications. A full informative booklet is provided at this point – whilst it does not cover every possible fundraising avenue it does provide information on what ideas and events have worked for our groups and us in the past.  We concentrate on ideas that work with minimal lead-time and as little initial financial outlay as possible.

Throughout the pack we cover everything from writing a letter of support, who to approach regarding financial assistance and what events and ideas really do work. Through our experience, we have devised our advice around four main ways of raising the funds.


Fundraising activities

These are probably the first things you thought of when you considered fundraising. This would cover your sponsored events, as well as events such as cake sales, car washes, gig nights etc. There are so many options in this category and many events you can repeat over and over. There is also an A-Z list of fundraising events that you can consult in the email that follows your booking on if you are ever low on inspiration.

Raffles and Prize Draw

Raffles are massively lucrative as they have a great return, get local companies to donate raffle prizes and organise a big evening event where friends and family can attend. However, a raffle can be quite a lot to organise, so if you are from a UK school and don’t want to run your own Opwall has done one for you. We’ve got the licence, got great prizes and printed the tickets. We sell the tickets to you for 35p each, in books of ten (so £3.50 per book) and you sell the tickets for £1 making £6.50 profit per book. They’re a great addition to any other event; one girl made £500 in a few hours selling outside Chelsea Stadium! More details can be found below.

Grants and Sponsorship

This is probably the most lucrative area as an individual. Applying to local companies, charitable trusts, organisations and councils as these will all hopefully have some funding available to volunteers. The nature of our expeditions means that we fulfill a lot of different funding criteria – if you do a bit of investigation you can spin your cause to fit so many options! If you are interested in making any applications for funding, please contact your local Opwall fundraising team as there are so many ways you can improve an application.

Working for it

Might be obvious, but this is your only guaranteed money per hour. Think about Saturday jobs, raking leaves, walking dogs, baby sitting etc. Takes the pressure off looming payments, and you can utilise your work contacts. Contacts is also a huge area to consider (most people think that they have no contacts when it comes to funding, but nearly everyone you know will be able to help you in some way) and there is lots of advice regarding this in our booklet and talks.


After your fundraising meeting…

The Opwall team are here to support you throughout your fundraising journey, we are happy to come in to the school to discuss fundraising ideas or hold a virtual meeting. Shortly after the fundraising meeting we will send you a link to the private Operation Wallacea fundraising pages, which are designed to provide you with all the tools you need to raise your target amount. The information you will be provided includes:

  • A list of grants in your region that you may be able to apply for.
  • Tips on how to develop your fundraising plan.
  • Tried and tested examples of how students have raised the money in the past.
  • A calendar of dates you can optimise for your fundraising.
  • A checklist of tasks to complete during your fundraising.
  • An example fundraising planner and tips on how to create your own.
  • A huge list of fundraising ideas from A-Z.

To find out more or for help and support with fundraising please contact your local Opwall fundraising team.

UK  and New Zealand students please contact our UK fundraising team on 017907 63194 or email:

Rachel Daniels – rachel.daniels@opwall.com

Georgie Scott – georgie.scott@opwall.com

Carys Cunningham– carys.cunningham@opwall.com

Pippa Disney – pippa.disney@opwall.com

We also have a great Operation Wallacea Fundraising page where other students and the Opwall staff post ideas alongside plenty of hints and tips on fundraising. Be sure to check it out here.

US students please contact our US fundraising team on 9739200487 or email:

Kristen Pickford – kristen.pickford@opwall.com

Canadian students please contact our Canadian fundraising team on 9052312095 or email:

Stephanie Blair – stephanie.blair@opwall.com

All other countries please email our international team:

Charlotte Palmer – charlotte.palmer@opwall.com


Success Stories

Every year a lot of our volunteers put in so much effort into their fundraising and we are pleased to say that the majority are really successful with this! Below are a few examples of some of the school group’s successes:

  • Harry Fox from St Albans Catholic High School (UK) raised £1,100 by completing a sponsored 10km mud run.
  • Kings of Wessex Academy (UK) raised £3000 from bag packing alone.
  • Clifton College (UK) ran a Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, and this has already raised over £600 through entry fees, with more to come from card and calendar sales.
  • Alex Bailey from St Leonard’s School (UK) raised £1600 from holding a race night and a bingo night.
  •  International School on the Rhine (Germany) raised ran a waffle stall at the Neuss Further Nikolausmarkt from the 4th to 7th December and they had such a fantastic success! They raised over €5000 which was nearly half their overall expedition costs to Greece.
  • Seven Oaks School raised £3000 running a Burns supper at the school and an extra £2000 from sponge throwing.
  • Internationella Engelska Gymnasiet (Sweden) pulled off an amazingly successful evening hosting a Indonesian food night raising a whole 6100kr (~550 pounds) as profit!
  • King Edward VI Community College (UK) raised £700 with a curry night.
  • Queen Elizabeth Grammar School (UK): one pupil collected scrap metal with his dad and they sold it for £900.
  • Kerri Evans from Neston High School (UK) has made £400 from 3 car boot sales.

Get involved – sell raffle tickets!

To purchase tickets for the 2016 – 2017 draw please give the UK office a call on 01790 763194 or by going to our shop and following the instructions on the page. Tickets for volunteers are £3.50 for a book of ten which can be resold for £1 each. Prizes include a brand new car, a four week Operation Wallacea expedition and £1500 cash prize! Prize draw will be held on Friday 8th September 2017, with all completed stubs being returned no later than Friday 18th August 2017 and unused whole booklets returned for a refund by Friday 30th June 2017 (separate small p&p fee applies).

UK Annual Operation Wallacea Grand Prize Draw – results

Operation Wallacea Trust grand prize draw 2015 – 2016

1st prize – A brand new Fiat Panda or the cash prize equivalent (pending decision) – Bela Mehta

“Never say never…I still can’t believe it, I have never won anything until I got the phone call on Friday. I’ve won a car, the words still resonate over and over”

2nd prize – A 4 week Operation Wallacea expedition – Laura Heyworth

3rd prize – £1500 cash prize – Eve Burton

Operation Wallacea Trust grand prize draw 2014 – 2015

1st prize – A brand new Suzuki Alto, but opted for £5000 cash alternative – Max Robson

“I still can’t believe I’ve won first prize! I got the tickets to sponsor a friend – actually winning seemed out reach! I joked that I could go on a Kilimanjaro expedition with the winnings. Now I can!”

2nd prize – A 6 week Operation Wallacea expedition – Juliet Popham

3rd prize – £1100 Gapyear travel vouchers – Jo Dixon

“I’m delighted! First time I’ve won anything in a long time. Thank you Operation Wallacea.”

4th prize – £1000 STA travel vouchers – Curtis Sage Passant

“Very excited to be the winner of the travel vouchers and am thinking of an America holiday already!”

Operation Wallacea Trust grand prize draw 2013 – 2014

1st prize – A brand new Suzuki Alto, but opted for £5000 cash alternative – Jacqui Danby

“Thanks for the fantastic news; never won anything other than lemon soap before!!! After a weekend of celebrating and deliberation we have decided to take the cash prize. We are going to let Jess [her daughter] recreate the 3rd week of her amazing time with Operation Wallacea and go back to Akumal in Mexico as a family to scuba dive with the turtles and venture into the rainforest too.”

2nd prize – £2000 of Travel Vouchers – Dave Flello

3rd prize – A 6 week Operation Wallacea expedition – Pete James