ask a business to help pay for your trip

Having a sponsor to help finance your Work the World trip can relieve a lot of pressure.

On this page you'll find out about:

  • Types of sponsor
  • How to approach a sponsor
  • What to do if they say no
  • Alternatives to monetary donations

Types of sponsor


Businesses in your community, like local solicitors or estate agents, may have an allocation of funds for philanthropy and goodwill. National companies with branches in your town are also likely to be allocated funds as part of their community projects.


As with local businesses, local groups, like interest or social groups, may also donate towards your cause or organise some fundraising alongside yours. Remember that every little helps, no matter how big or small the amount is.


With corporate sponsorship, it’s often about who you know. Call in some favours with contacts at national or even international companies and see if they’re interested in sponsoring your trip as a company.


Here are some top tips to give you the best chance of securing funds:

  • Find the best person to contact, it’s much more effective than “Dear Sir/Madam” — a little research goes a long way
  • Outline the reasons for your trip, like experiencing healthcare in a low-resource setting, cultural and language exchange, and learning about other disciplines
  • Personalise each and include details about why you like their work, any experiences you’ve had there or why you’ve chosen them to approach
  • What are they getting in return? Could you write an article for their company newsletter, or come in and give a talk about your experiences? Maybe you could thank them on your blog, or write a case study for your university and mention your sponsors


You’ll have to make a few attempts before you find a sponsor — it’s likely that the people you reach out to get requests like this frequently.

You'll almost certainly hear 'no' a lot, but persistence pays off.

And there are still ways to involve those who have said no. You could ask if you could go to their offices with some cakes and do a collection, or invite staff to a pub quiz you’ve organised. Try to think outside the box.

Cash isn’t always king

Often, sponsors will want to know exactly where their money is being used, and so why not cut out the middleman and ask directly for some of the things you need? If you’re approaching a local travel agent for sponsorship, you could ask them to organise your flights for you with a discount. A local luggage store might be able to donate you a suitcase to take on your travels, or a high-street sports retailer might offer you some gear, like walking boots or waterproofs.

If trying to find a sponsor doesn't seem like your thing, why not try hosting a fundraising event, apply for bursaries or grants, or become a master of budgeting to raise the funds for your trip?