Challenges of Fundraising

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This is the first real time I’ve had to fundraise and for those who have done it before will understand the challenges.

I am currently fundraising for a charity called Tearfund, which is a Christian organisation that helps fight poverty all around the world. The reason that I am raising money for them is because I am doing voluntary work in South Africa with them in January for 3 months. As part of my commitment to Tearfund, I need to raise a sum of money, which is all part of the experience.

This is one of my first challenges of this experience. If you know me, I love a challenge.

At first, the concept of raising £800 seemed ridiculous to me. How was I going to get this much money? What am I going to do? Do I have enough time?

I decided to start with a sponsored challenged. After debating with different ideas like below the line weeks, running races, I decided to do an Escape and Evade challenge. Next decision: who do I go with? How long for? Where roughly do I go? What not to spend money on?

I decided to do try and get as far away from my hometown on public transport for 3 day with 2 friends, where we were not allowed to spend money on transport, food or accommodation. (I had done a similar thing before so I knew how to be safe – this is important). Through this I managed to get lots of sponsorships from friends and work colleagues.

Next I did two cake sales: one with my class at school, where they made and brought in cakes and them we sold them to parents and teachers. The other one was a Krispy Kreme Sale at my church. If you didn’t know, Krispy Kreme allow you to buy in bulk to sell at your own price to raise money for a charity. The challenge with the latter is that I did not sell all of them, therefore even though I got to eat Krispy Kreme donuts for free, I didn’t raise as much as I wanted. You need to make sure, somehow, that all of them go.

After I contacted local community group, where I asked if I could do a talk on what I was going to be doing for a donation. Through several emails going back and forth with the Lions Community Group, they donated a large sum of money. I am extremely grateful to them. I also realised that the people I don’t know are more generous than people I do know.

Lastly, I organised and put on a quiz night. The best thing to do is find a free venue and an audience, and the rest is pretty simple. All I had to do was prepare a quiz, buy/ make some snacks and drinks and get others involved. I did get some friends to agree to do some music in the break but in the end it didn’t happen due to equipment issues.

Throughout the whole process, I have constantly been pestering my friends on Facebook and other social medias to support me by giving to Tearfund, which they have done. I appreciate all the donations and generosity from my friends, no matter how small.

I had one experience in particular which I found slightly disheartening. I contacted a group, where I had worked for them for a year, gave a lot of time to them, done voluntary work with them in other countries recently as well as a few years ago, always did extra things for them. I asked if I could do a presentation as well as a cake sale and basically got rejected. I was given every excuse why I couldn’t do this. I found this hard but I moved on.

Even though there were challenges and worries through out the process, it has been an amazing experience and I have learnt a lot from it. I want to encourage anyone doing fundraising that you can do it.

Tips for fundraising

1. Breakdown your fundraising into smaller, achievable chunks (plan a number of activities or events, each raising £100 or £200).

2. In each event, get as many people involved – selling refreshments, doing sponsored challenges with you, playing music in a break, making cakes. There will always be someone willing to help.

3. Contact your local community group – Find your local Rotary, Lions group, Soroptimist group and WI and write to ask if you can speak at one of their group meetings in return for a donation.

4. Do different types of fundraising and them aim at different friends, family, work colleagues, people – one sponsorship event, cake sales to different audiences, quiz night.

5. Do oddjobs – For family, friends or neighbours. Try anything from gardening to car washing, nail painting, ironing, dog walking, lawn mowing, piano/music lessons, window washing, tutoring or babysitting!

6. Do primary and secondary school talks and fundraising – as well as raising awareness of your charity, try to gather some sponsorship from old school teachers or by doing a cake sale/Krispy Kreme donut sale at break/lunch and do a non-school uniform day.

7. Bag packing in your local supermarket – Go along to your local supermarkets armed with charm and your letter of authority and ask for a bag packing date for you and friends

8. Selling your stuff! Have a clearout and see if friends and neighbours have stuff they don’t want too:
• eBay, ASOS Marketplace or Gumtree
• Music Magpie, We Buy Books, Zapper, Ziffit – easy websites that will pay you for your old DVDs, CDs, books and games!
• Car boot sales – check out the website Your Booty for your local car boots.

9. Do a flagpole fundraising event like a BBQ, Quiz Night, or Karaoke extravaganza…
-Secure a free venue and sell tickets beforehand…
-Stuff the event with smaller fundraising activities like a raffle or sweepstake…

10. Do a sponsored fundraising event…
-It could be a run, it could be something as simple as a sponsored silence or a food challenge.
-Put it up on your JustGiving page and Facebook… the more committed you are to your cause, the more donors are going to donate!

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