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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ICS Tearfund Volunteer Programme

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In January, I will be volunteering for 10 weeks on a development programme in South Africa with a Tearfund.

I need to raise £800 for them.

This is part of International Citizen Service (ICS), which brings young people together to fight poverty and make a difference where it is needed the most. I’ll be leading a team and working alongside other volunteers from the UK and volunteers from South Africa, for an organisation called ‘Zoe-Life’. The goal of ‘Zoe-Life’ is to transform the lives of children, vulnerable families and communities that have been affected by disease, poverty and injustice.

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What is ICS?
ICS is a UK government-funded development programme that brings together 18 to 25-year-olds from all backgrounds to fight poverty in overseas and UK communities.

Throughout the programme ICS will send 7000 UK volunteers to work alongside 7000 local volunteers in developing countries, so they can share skills, knowledge and passion to make a meaningful contribution to fighting poverty. Think about the bigger picture – by sharing skills and knowledge within the community overseas, think about how many people you will be reaching.

The volunteers’ impact does not stop overseas. By August 2015 ICS will have created 14,000 active citizens who will take their learnings and energy from their ICS experience to help shape our future for the better.

ICS volunteers live and work alongside local people on projects of lasting value. All ICS projects are committed to delivering real impact on the ground in partnership with local communities. And every overseas community that we work with has specifically asked for the energy and enthusiasm of our youth volunteers.

What will I be doing?

We’ll be working with a group of well established projects, in association with Tearfund, who achieve some incredible things in the local communities.

These projects include:

The 1000 Hills Community Helpers – improving the lives of HIV/Aids infected and affected children and adults through treatment, clinics, feeding schemes, counselling, Home-based care, crèches and support groups;

Hillcrest Aids Centre Trust – a multifaceted HIV/AIDS project that serves all those impacted by HIV/AIDS by providing unconditional love and hope in practical, sustainable way;

Ingane Yami Children’s Village– working with house mums who have given up their lives for orphaned children in order to restore hope in their lives;

Lily of the Valley– a Children’s Home situation in Eston, between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, which accommodates children who are abandoned or orphaned as a result of parental AIDS suffering;

Focus on iThemba – Located in KwaZulu-Natal, this innovative organisation is driven by five core pillars: the iThemba Academic provides Foundation Phase schooling for disadvantaged children; the iThemba Homes offer quality foster care homes for vulnerable children; the iThemba Community uplifts crèches in the Valley of 1000 Hills; the iThemba Campus celebrates our indigenous flora & our iThemba Friends & Donors sustain the good work that occurs here daily.

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School fees in Zimbabwe

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I have recently come back from Zimbabwe, where I taught in a Secondary School. I met some amazing pupils and teachers. I still have the joy to chat to them on a daily basis through Whatsapp.

I was sadden today when I was talking to a form 3 (equivalent to year 10) student today in Zimbabwe. I knew that it was a legal requirement to go to school but the families have to pay school fees. It works out about £40 a month per student. That’s nothing in our society, where we earn double or triple this in a day!

However, to these families it is everything. Only 10% of the country are employed so the others have to scrape money from anything they can sell. Most people won’t buy things off them as they can’t afford it themselves. These people live in tiny one room houses, where they are six or seven people living in them. They live in poverty.

When chatting to her, she was saying that she is currently not allowed to go to school as her Mum has no money to pay the fees. All she wants to do is learn. This brings tears to my eyes. Apparently schools think that money is more important than the pupils.

She asked me to come back to teach her.

I know I have made a difference in their lives and helped those in need.

You can too.

Donate here and you will be helping me go to South Africa to help children like these. All they want to do is learn.

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Click the button or text TFUN99 £10 to 70070

Escape and Evade challenge poem

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One of the challenges set was to write a poem about our experiences:

There once was some crazy lasses,
Who set an impossible challenge,
They had to get far without any dosh,
And this was what the adventure entailed:

Generous, drunk men,
Short airport sleeps,
London chatty skateboarder,
Filled out days.

Yummy McDonald brekkie,
Much-needed, hot tea,
Fresh pastries galore,
Filled our tummies.

Stagecoach, Megabus, National-Express,
Trains, tubes, cars,
Peterborough, Exeter, Bristol,
Filled travelling hours.

Escape and Evade challenge completed: part 4

This is the final part of the Escape and Evade challenge, where we had to get as far as possible in 55 hours without spending any money on transport, food or accommodation.

We were in Bristol. Contacting my cousin was a great idea, we were definitely in need of some rest and food. When they picked us up from the busy train station, we drove, to our delight, through a McDonalds drive through. We hadn’t eaten since 9 in the morning. Full of appreciation, we scoffed the food down as quick as a flash.

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About an hour later, displayed on the dining room table, was an array of delicious, healthy buffet food. After tasting a bit of everything, I was completely full. And that was before the dessert came out – cheesecake and chocolate ice-cream. I thought it would be too rude to decline so I munched slowly through some. I was well and truly stuffed.

That evening, I curled up in bed pretty early due to the lack of sleep and the feeling of being exhausted.

The next day, I was so thankful to my cousins for sleep and food. When we got dropped off at the train station, we spoke to the lady at the barrier, who wouldn’t let us on so we headed for the coach station. On the way, we got given some Ritz biscuit, which we gave to a homeless person (one of our challenges). Once we had stepped through to the coach station, we found a coach to London that we wanted to get on. The driver was happy to have us on his bus, however, we had to speak to the managers and with pleading and persuading, he would not let us on. We got suggested to try Megabus. Our last hope.

When we arrived at the stop, we found that the only buses in the next hour were going to Plymouth or Birmingham: not where we wanted yo go. The next bus to London was in two hours time. Was it worth waiting two hours to get rejected. Maybe not but we had no other choice.

Walking around town, we got some free sample of food from Marks and Spencer’s. Then we decided to enjoyed our packed lunch that we were given. While eating, a man carrying a large, wooden cross was staggering around, telling people that ‘Jesus loved them’. Amazing.

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We also saw a bus that looked like it had been stolen from Brighton.

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Eventually, the Megabus came to a halt at the bus stop. There was a large queue and I was slightly worried that there wasn’t going to be any room, even if the driver did let us on. We spoke to one bus driver, who told us that he wasn’t the one who was going to drive to London so we had to wait for the actual driver. Departure time had passed, the driver still wasn’t there. Five minutes late, the driver turned up and was happy to have us on the bus. Great news.

The journey was uneventful and smooth. When we got into London Victoria coach station, we walked around the corner to the train station.

The last leg home. At the barrier, we spoke to several train workers. As the guy was shaking his head, he put his card down on the card reader and let us through. Finally we got a train to Brighton then onto Portslade. One the way back, we wrote a poem about our adventures (another one of our challenges). I will post it on my next post but I have to say I’m no poet. There was also a man, who kept leaning and falling on me. I was getting closer and closer to the window as he was having a nap.

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After three days, on an adventure, we got back to where we started.

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Final count: 737 miles, 55 hours, no money for transport, food or accommodation.

The reason for this challenge was to raise money for an amazing charity called Tearfund, who transform lives and poverty around the world. I am doing this, as I’m going to volunteer with them and lead a team in South Africa for three months.

I would love if you could sponsor me, anything small or big would be greatly appreciated. I also want to say a massive thank you to all those who have already donated and those people who were generous on our Escape and Evade challenge.

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