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3 Tips for Funding Your Gap Year Excursion

Taking a gap year (otherwise known as a year off) before starting college is pretty common outside the U.S. I’ve heard some chatter from my executive friends that they are encouraging their offspring to take a year off before starting college to do something creative or different. With a tight job market and student loan obligations looming in the horizon post-college, why not take an adventure while you’re young? If you are that offspring and looking for ideas to fund your gap year trip or subsidize key parts of it, here are three ideas to raise some cash outside of lifeguarding or working in retail during the school year.

Funding Your Gap Year (Photo: iStockphoto)

Organize a fundraiser
A great way to raise cash with a lot less effort than working 20 hours a week when you have homework is to organize a one-day fundraising event. Pick a cause you believe in and run a raffle, potluck dinner, or pick up on any of these ideas from Split the proceeds between your personal goal and the charity, and you can be well on your way. On top of netting the funding you need to make your gap year trip a go, you can also take leadership credit and be pleased that your efforts are benefiting something other than you

Consider a sponsor
It’s no secret that there are many people in our great city with more resources than they know what to do with. And many of these people have good, kind, hearts and would be more than willing to sponsor a gap year trip that doesn’t exclusively involve all night benders on Mykonos and Santorini. If you can work in volunteer capacity for a charitable cause you are passionate about into your gap year trip, you might be able to tap into a sponsor network to find a benefactor willing to give you aid. Have a detailed plan ready to go and practice your presentation. The more professional and ready you are with your story, the more likely you will find success.

Throw a party
See if your school will allow you to use the auditorium or gym or whatever you might have to throw a party (formal, costume or otherwise-themed highly recommended) and organize a ticketed event. It would be advisable to link this move with a charitable cause so you can market effectively. This is probably the most fun type of event because you could also do something completely separate from your school that would allow you more freedom. If event planning is your thing and you have a gap year coming up, what do you have to lose? Go for it and enjoy.

Debra Wheatman is a certified writer and career coach who has guided the professional development of thousands of clients globally. She is reachable at

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