Skip to main content

Fundraising during Exams

It’s that time of year again! A year of skipping lectures to have a lovely lie in and putting off essays to the last minute comes back to bite. EXAMS!! But, fear not! With a little careful planning and creativity there’s no reason why this needs to impact on your fundraising.

Plan! Plan! Plan!

Example of a network map

You’re going to be super busy and even if you’re one of the lucky few not pulling your hair out in the middle of exam and dissertation hand in season, chances are your friends are busy with this instead. Planning ahead is key. Decide now what events you want to hold and when. By taking a few minutes to sit down and plan you could save yourself a lot of stress later down the line.

Work around your busy schedule

Unfortunately, you’re basically going to be living in the library for the next few weeks, so you might as well settle down and make the most of it. Hold a bake sale and brighten up everyone’s afternoon with some snacks in return for donations.


You’re also going to need some brain food beyond cakes and brownies to fuel those long study sessions. Why not turn your evening meal into a small dinner party for a few friends? Or bring a few bits and bobs for a study group picnic lunch.

Volunteer behind table selling cakes
VSO volunteer Calum Kinsella running a successful cake and scone sale
I picked up my camera and made a video to publish online explaining to all my Facebook friends exactly what I was venturing out to do. I know this seems daunting, and don't get me wrong I was scared to publish it, but I am so glad I did as I found a video allowed me to fully express my passion and enthusiasm for my project.
Chloe Bradbury
ICS volunteer fundraising ahead of her placement with VSO in Tanzania

If your studying is anything like mine, you’ll spend almost as much time on social media passing time while you desperately try to convince yourself you’re working. Let’s be honest, you’re going to do this anyway so you might as well make it productive! You're on Facebook - so are your friends. Share your Just giving page and updates on your fundraising as much as you can. To encourage people to donate online try a sponsored challenge. Some challenges like the £5 food challenge, where you live off £1 a day for 5 days, take little or no extra time. Not for you? Try a hair shave or leg wax or something equally quick. Selling online is also super quick and easy and you can pop things on eBay at 2am if you happen to still be in the library (or you could go home and sleep….)

Post exam celebrations!

People at a music gig
Gig night fundraiser for ICS

When you finally escape from the library you need to celebrate your freedom! This could be after each individual exam or hand in, or a big event to celebrate the end of term for you and your friends. Take what you usually do to relax and turn that into a fundraiser. Chances are your timetable won’t match up perfectly with all your friends, but don’t panic if not everyone can make it to your small dinner party or film night. It’s better to hold a small event with 4 or 5 friends than none at all. You could even heat up leftovers the next evening for other friends to save on cooking time. This gives you an excuse to have a nice dinner twice and raise even more money - it’s a win win!

If it’s a big post-term celebration think about a pub quiz or karaoke night or something you could invite all your course mates along to celebrate together. Plan it now before the exam stress really kicks in and then you're ready to rock up and host it as soon as you’re free. If you’re looking for tips on how to actually plan your big event, check out this step by step guide to planning a quiz. You can simply adapt these steps to any other event you want to run.

Still need some more inspiration? Here’s how Imogen did it! She raised a whopping £1500 in just a few weeks in the middle of her finals.


Dfid Logo

Funded by the UK Government.

ICS is funded by the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), which projects the UK as a force for good in the world, including reducing poverty and tackling global challenges.

Find out more