International volunteering for 18-25 year olds

Getting local support

Approaching local community groups (for example Rotaries, Lions, Soroptimists and WI), or church groups and youth groups (such as Scouts and Brownies) can be a very successful way of raising money or receiving support for your placement.

By offering to hold a presentation about ICS and your placement, you can secure a donation as well as raise awareness of the charity and other international development issues. Don’t forget that you might need to be flexible in setting a time and date. Many groups have breakfast, lunchtime or evening meetings so please bear this in mind when contacting a group.

A few tips for your letter to community groups

  • You will get a better response by writing to local organisations, rather than national headquarters.
  • Address your letter to a specific individual such as the Chair of the International Committee, Secretary or Events coordinator. This is much better than ‘To whom it may concern/The Manager or Sir/Madam.’ This information can usually be found on the internet or, if not, take the time to find a phone number and call in advance.
  • Always personalise your letters and if applicable, mention any personal links you already have within the group or the person who suggested you write to that particular group.
  • If you don’t hear from the group, don’t just forget about it. Follow up with a phone call to find out if you have been successful.
  • Always send your letters out in plenty of time; you won’t get a response if your letter arrives the week before you would like to do a presentation or only a few days before you depart.
  • When describing your placement, don’t go into too much detail as you can do that during the presentation. Just give an overview in the letter to give the reader an idea of what you will be doing but try to convey the sense that they ‘want to find out more’ as you can go into more detail in person.

​You can find an example letter for you to use below.


Approaching local businesses and organisations can be a very successful way of raising money or receiving support for your placement. You might also want to approach a business to donate a prize to a raffle or sponsor an event. 

A few tips for your letter to local businesses

  • You will get a better response by writing to local organisations and companies rather than national headquarters.
  • Try to find out the name of the right person within the organisation to write to -  addressing the letter to a specific individual is much better than ‘To whom it may concern/The Manager or Sir/Madam’
  • Personalise your letters. If applicable, mention any contact you already have within the organisation or the person who suggested you write to this company.
  • Make sure you add any promotional material such as posters or maybe even a pair of free tickets to your event catch the eye of the company.
  • Make sure you include your contact details so that the company or organisation can contact you easily about your letter.
  • If you don’t hear from the company, don’t just forget about it. Follow up with a phone call to find out if you have been successful.
  • Always send your letters out in plenty of time; you won’t get a response if your letter arrives the day before your group departs or only a few days before the raffle is due to take place!
  • Don’t forget to sign (in pen) and date your letter!

You can find an example letter for you to use below.

ics_fundraising_-_writing_to_local_community_groups.doc

ICS Fundraising - writing to local community organisations
Lots of local community organisations are keen to support ICS volunteers with their fundraising. Find out more with this really useful resource.
Microsoft Office document icon ics_fundraising_-_writing_to_local_community_groups.doc

ics_fundraising_-_writing_to_local_organisations_and_businesses.doc

ICS Fundraising - writing to local businesses and organisations
Writing to businesses and asking them to donate towards your ICS fundraising target is a good way of meeting your target. Find out more in this resource.
Microsoft Office document icon ics_fundraising_-_writing_to_local_organisations_and_businesses.doc