Fundraising Success Stories
Katie had to raise £3,550 to cover the cost of her gap year, which she spent teaching in rural China with Project Trust. Sounds impossible? She actually raised £4,350 - £800 over target - and all this while still at school. Here's how...
- Most of my funding came from charitable trusts. I spent around 20 hours in libraries looking through directories of charitable trusts. This gave me 110 addresses of trusts who might consider giving me a grant - I sent a letter to all of them. The response rate was about 10% positive, 30% negative, 60% no response. The average contribution was £280 which made the total funds from this source very high.
- I spent six hours designing a fundraising leaflet on the computer. I sent these out with all my letters, and also handed them out to anyone who'd take one and left them in my local pub etc.
- I was interviewed twice by local papers to raise publicity.
- I handed out Smarties tubes to friends and neighbours. Once people had eaten the Smarties, they filled the tubes with 20 pence pieces. When they returned them they were entered into a prize draw to win something with a Chinese theme...
- I had a stall at my old primary school's Christmas Bazaar. I sold homemade jam made from berries from the garden and had a raffle to win a bottle of Glenfiddich whiskey. I also received a lot of money in donations at the bazaar.
Here's a pie chart to show how I raised the necessary £3,550. Bear in mind that I actually raised £4,350, so I kept the extra £800 from individuals to cover extra costs. This means the pie chart is a bit misleading - the actual funding I received from individuals is higher than it looks.
Stuart has decided to spend his gap year doing a six-month AFS project in Brazil. He needs to raise £2950. Here's how he's doing it:
- First I did a couple of car boot sales on consecutive days, and raised nearly £50
- I did a sponsored headshave (my hair was getting too long for most people's liking), and I raised nearly £80
- I wrote to my local MEP and got £50
- I got three friends of the family to give me a total of £40
- I saved around £460 from working at Asda
- My Dad raised over £600 doing a sky dive
- I approached my old school, and in return for putting up a website and giving talks about my project, they pledged me £200
- I approached NUS via my student liasons officer and they pledged me £200 from a party
- I have had money from my parents (around £200 so far)
- I cross-dressed for a day in college, and raised around £170
- Current total £1,900.
Future plans include two talent contests, an art exhibition, a Portuguese night, an auction, more car boot sales, a college pool tournament and another sky dive for my dad, this time involving five other friends of his who will also raise money for me. Brazil here I come.
If I can do this, then anyone can!
Other Fundraising Success Stories
Tori Set Her Sights High
Name: Tori Oram
Amount needed: £5,298
Fundraising events: Face painting, karoake night, 'Become a girl day' and sitting in bath of catfood
A good way of raising money was face painting. I'm trained in face painting, I've had to do it for three of my previous jobs (and they train you each time!). I visited local boot fairs and sat in the corner with a big sign offering face painting for £2 a face. I start by face painting one kid for free. This is the best advertisement you can have! Once children see them, they all want it done.
Local events helped a lot too. I went into my local pub and asked if I could put on an event there. I discussed it with the manager, Kevin, and we eventually decided to do a karaoke night. I have my own karaoke machine and CD's so I made a song list on the computer and got it laminated. I designed all the posters and stuck them around town and we agreed to charge £1 per song. The manager was sooo sweet, he said he wouldn't take any of the profit (but I think he trebled it in bar sales!).
Sponsorship has helped me in a big way! I got sponsored to 'become a girl' for a day! I spend my whole life in trousers. I'm a complete tomboy. I don't own a handbag, I haven't worn a skirt since school when it was part of the school uniform, I own two pairs of comfortable trainers and no sandals, and if you showed me an eyelash curler, I would think it was some medieval torture device and run screaming for the hills... As you can tell, I am totally not a girlie girl.
Finally I got sponsored to sit in a bath of cat food for an hour. Work supplied the cat food and the event made over £1,200.
Laura's 16 Mile Walk
Name: Laura Middleton
Amount needed: £700
Fundraising event: 16 mile sponsored walk
To raise money for our African Conservation Experience, we knew we had to do some fundraising and we knew we had to something a little bit different. In the end we decided to do a walk in animal costumes. All we had left to decide was how many miles we were going to walk and the places we would go to. In the end we decided to walk from Brixham to Newton Abbot which is approximately 16 miles. We did the walk on November 26th 2004. I was dressed as a lion, Ben was a tiger and Lyn and Frankie both dressed as pink hippoes.
When the day of the walk came we were all nervous but very excited. We started the walk at 9am at Brixham Town and we eventually finished around 5pm after a couple of hour long breaks. We were lucky enough to get lots of money from people on the way, as well as lots of encouragemnt from people in cars after they heard what we were doing on the radio. In the end all of us raised around £700, so it was well worth it!
Name: Graeme Gregory
Amount raised: £200
Fundraising event: Busking
"I have done busking before. I found the easiest thing was to improvise rather than following sheet music. Also, I busked during a children's festival the first time and after that when tourists were getting off a cruise ship at the local dock. The one thing about this fundraising idea is that if you pick the right moments, you can make a lot. One thing I learned was that having people chuck dirty money in my flute case was a bad idea - I had a time of it cleaning the money smell out. All in all, it was an awesome experience, especially the very first time someone dropped money in my case. Even when they didn't, it felt awesome when someone would walk up to me quietly and compliment my playing. For me, this was a great fundraising experience."
Tracys and the 80s
Name: Tracy Hutcheon
Amount raised: £1,200
Fundraising events: 80's themed disco and raffle
When my work placement with African Conservation Experience was confirmed, it quickly struck me that I was a broke student that needed to raise £4000 in the period of a few months. Initially, it didn't seem like it would be a hard task as I was motivated and excited about working in South Africa. It turned out to be more work than I imagined.
I decided to have a fundraising 1980's themed disco in the local town hall with a bar and a raffle to make money. The hall cost £140 to rent for the night. I needed to make as much money as possible so that I could cover all the costs of the night and still raise money! A friend suggested that I should buy all the drinks myself at supermarket prices and sell them on the night for a profit. I ended up buying 1000 beers and 30 bottles of spirits for the 200 guests that I expected on the night. I knew I probably wouldn't sell it all so I made sure that the shop accepted returns so that I could get my money back on the excess.
I also wrote to large companies on the off-chance they might give me something for the raffle I was to hold on the night and I had a good response. I ended up getting donated drinks and merchandise, a DVD player and even a £100 meal for two at one of Scotland's leading restaurants.
I didn't really get to enjoy the night like everyone else did, because it was so much pressure, and I had to supervise the bar and make sure everything was running smoothly. I ended up making £1200. Some people had also been very generous and given me donations which amounted to another £600 on top of my profits from the night.
Beki - 4K for South America
Name: Beki Lea
Amount needed: £4,000+
Fundraising event: Writing letters and sponsored run
I had to raise about £4000+ to go to Guyana and Venezuela - this included flights and kit - it's amazing how much it all costs! At first I tried sifting through a book of Charitable Trusts and writing letters, after sending out loads and loads of letters, I finally got some responses and raised £200 this way.
I also decided to run the 'Flora Light Challenge for women' and got sponsorship from my friends and corporate contacts through my Dad. I raised about £1500 this way - even my old school gave me £200.
I decided to be realistic and that I couldn't put much more time into fundraising now that I was working full time, so it was through my job that I managed to raise the rest of the money. As my placement was a once in a lifetime experience, the very long hours didn't really matter.
My message to all fundraisers would be that it is possible to raise money, especially if you have loads of passion for your placement or destination. I did it, so there's no reason why you can't too.
Sarah Pearce Raised £11,000
Name: Sarah Pearce
Amount needed: £4,000+
Amount raised: £11,000
Fundraising event: Fashion show
Sarah organised a fashion show, a three-day event with models, music, food, raffles, amazing prizes and raised £11,000. £5,000 repaid the loan from her parents to pay for insurance, the deposits for the lighting, disco etc. £1,000 went to Cancer Research. £4,000 to Trekforce for the placement and then the rest for the trip where she travelled around Mexico afterwards. Clearly Sarah had a fantastic time...
I thought about a gap year since the age of 14. I wanted to do something constructive and never thought it'd be as expensive as it was. I thought 'Wow this is going to cost a lot of money!' I thought I would work for six months but then fell on feet with mum working with Cancer Research and having the idea for the fashion show, definitely more rewarding than sitting in an office from 9 to 5! I was terrified that we wouldn't sell the tickets to cover the costs but had loads of publicity on Capital FM and Kiss FM and all the local newspapers and the place was packed.
We held it over three days in the Landmark Arts Centre, Teddington. It was really hard work, getting the models (mates) to come down and practice and the odd problem like not having clothes racks for the clothes. I would definitely do it all again in an instant and am going to do the same for my sister. It was definitely worth it. If I can do it, anyone can do it. I hope more people do go through with it, if not, they're missing out!
How S'n'K Went Away
Name: Simon and Kate Hardman
Fundraising events: Concert, parachute jump and sponsored silence
Simon did lots of fundraising, playing in a band around Buxton, organizing a concert, doing a parachute jump etc... He also managed to get donations from the local Round Table and Lions Club. Currently in Thailand and with Kate about to finish her gap year, we decided the time was right to speak to their mum...!
For the money my kids have worked, got weekend jobs and have done sponsored events. Kate did a sponsored silence that everyone was very grateful for - 24 hours - it was brilliant! We did concerts for both Simon and Kate. You do have to help and Simon's school was very supportive as were some of their friends who went around the pubs in fancy dress collecting money.
It is quite daunting and you have to have courage, but so many are doing them nowadays. It can be a lot of money, but raising it can be done. Between them they wrote loads of letters and got sponsorship from Lions, Rotary and local charities, but none from companies. We didn't actually know about the local charities, but then found out from a friend about one and they were very generous. If you are fundraising for a charity it is a lot easier as the money goes to the communities where my kids went. You've got to have ideas and Trekforce helped out with a great deal.
Sarah Stoney's Spooky Success Story
Name: Sarah Stoney
Amount raised: £1,300
Funrdraising event: Halloween supper
Nineteen-year-old Sarah did a spot of spooky fundraising in order to fund her teaching and conservation project with i-to-i. By organising a Halloween supper and quiz at the restaurant where she worked part-time, Sarah raised £1,300 in just one evening.
Sarah plans to spend three months in Ecuador. For ten weeks she will teach English in the country's capital Quito, followed by a four-week stint doing conservation work. To finance her placement, she needed raise vital funds to cover training and placement fees, flights, vaccinations and also food and accommodation for her time overseas.
Sarah said: "I work at a restaurant, so it seemed like the obvious place for me to raise money towards my trip. My boss kindly cooked the food the Halloween supper - clearly she knows why I'm waitress and not a kitchen worker! - and provided the premises, food and use of equipment free of charge. My i-to-i placement will do some really valuable work in an underprivileged part of the world, so I'm really pleased that people were so generous with their support.
'I also had some support from the i-to-i press office who wrote a press release to advertise my event. It worked! I was in three newspapers with a sizeable articles and one had a photo. We were inundated with phone calls we had to turn away at least 50 people. It was also good for the restaurant as they got extra bookings as a result. The restaurant only actually serves 54 people and we got 73 people in with 20 chairs borrowed form the local sports hall. Very cosy! Also a photographer came which I was really pleased about as Dad told me photographers don't come out on a Sunday night. Well he did! It goes to show what can be achieved when you really put your mind to it."
Fundraisin' with Sam Mason
Name: Sam Mason
Amount needed: £3,000
Amount raised: £850
Fundraising events: Raffle, bag push and a sky dive
I initially thought £3,000 in a year and a half... no problem! It was more of a feat than I thought, but I am all there now and bought my last bits today! My 18th birthday was good as I said to everyone 'Give me cash!'...and they did!!" Sam's events included a 13,000 sky-dive, £200; 'Bug Push' - pushing a VW Beetle for five miles, £250; A very successful raffle amongst friends, family and work colleagues where she was donated champagne, chocolate, ice skating tickets etc. - £400.
How Gillian went to Sri Lanka
Name: Gillian Porter
Amount raised: £2,500
Fundraising event: Football lottery and disco.
Gillian volunteered as a community development worker in a Sri Lankan orphanage with i-to-i in late 2002 and had so many good ideas for her fundraising that she managed to raise over £2500 in the end, covering the entire cost of her placement, travel and living expenses.
Gillian used cards of famous football players to get her friends and family to place charitable bets on which player's team would win at the weekend. The winnings went towards her placement fee. She also obtained a free round of golf for a group of 2 to 4 people her local golf club, 2 executive seats at Old Trafford (Manchester United's football ground), as well as autographed CDs and watches, all of which she auctioned off to the highest bidder. She also held a disco in her local community centre, using a local DJ for free and raffling off any other goods and equipment she had obtained.
Monkeying Around with Chris Beddows
Name: Chris Beddows
Fundraising events: Human fruit machine, sponsored swim and dressing as an orangutan!
Chris's fund raising events included swimming the length of the channel at the Aquatic Centre in Manchester, running round town dressed as an orangutan and the unique idea of being a human fruit machine: three people tied together with aprons full of pieces of fruit. The "player" pays his money and the three guys each select a fruit from their apron without seeing each other. Hey presto a fruit machine!
Anna's Approach: Trusts, Grants & Bursuries
Name: Anna Powell
Amount raised: £2,100
Fundraing event: Letter writing to Trusts
Anna Powell went on a Gap Year Quest to Tanzania with Quest Overseas. Anna helped to build a nursery school in a rural village in Tanzania for 6 weeks before heading off with her team on a 6 week adventurous expedition round Southern Africa. Her Expedition with Quest Overseas cost £3,430 and she managed to raise £2100 through writing 100 letters to trusts and charities - it only took her a weekend to compose, write and post them.
Quest totally opened my eyes, every single second was worthwhile. I had perhaps the best three months of my entire life even down to the blood, sweat and tears! I will always look back on the time we spent in Africa with the best and happiest memories. I had good involvement in where my donation was spent and I could see where all the money went.
Chris Goes Full-Nelson
Name: Christopher Nelson
Amount needed: £5,000
Fundraising event: Cheeky calendar
Seventeen-year-old Christopher Nelson decided to bare (almost!) all for a good cause, by putting together a cheeky fundraising calendar. Following in the footsteps of the legendary Rylstone Women's Institute, Christopher and friends Jamie McCloud and James Watson stripped off to raise money for two volunteer projects which Christopher plans to undertake in Latin America next year.
Through the international volunteer organisation i-to-i, Christopher will spend four weeks working with special needs children in Guatemala in March 2005, followed by a 12-week stint at an orphanage in the Dominican Republic later in the year.
Christopher says: "To make my trips possible, I need to collect around £5,000, so I thought in order to raise funds, I would also try to raise a few eyebrows! The calendar was a lot of fun to make, and all the photography is tastefully done, so it's an ideal stocking filler - with no worries about shocking your granny!"
By volunteering with i-to-i I will be able to help children in some disadvantaged parts of the world. Depending on how much we raise, my friend and fellow 'model' is also considering volunteering with i-to-i in Guatemala, so I really hope that my calendar has the same response as the WI version!"
Jilly Humphry: Facepainting and Card Making
Name: Jilly Humphry
Amount raised: £600 (so far)
Fundraising events: Sponsored face painting and homemade greeting cards
I raised about £500 through a sponsored face paint. I am a teacher in a special school and I got parents, family and friends to sponsor me. As it is only a small school I expected to raise £100-200. However, I never anticipated the support and generosity of the parents. This activity was not very time consuming and cost very little to undertake.
I have also raised about £100 by making and selling cards. Very time consuming, but if you like to do that sort of thing it is fun too! Also - beware costs, as they can mean very little money is actually raised!
Faye Wilkinson's Jelly Wellies
Name: Faye Wilkinson
Fundraising events: Jelly welly day, a college band night and a sponsored swim
I knew that a year out with GAP Activity Projects was impossible unless I could raise enough money and completely determined to make this happen, I set about the huge task of generating ideas and putting them into practice. It is worthwhile finding out about any funds that are available through your school or college. My college decided to give me 10% of what I needed (£200), my college student council gave me £50 and my previous high school, £100.
Although getting financial support is incredibly hard work, it can also be a lot of fun. I got friends roped into wearing wellies filled with jelly for a day, announcing a "Jelly Welly Day" throughout college and drawing lots of attention - and sponsors. I also arranged a college band night that was a huge success and a sponsored swim.
The next project I am planning to do to raise the rest of my funds is an evening with a quiz and meal. As I am going to Peru I plan to make a traditional Peruvian meal and charge people to come along. Not sure how successful this will be yet.
Rosemary's Sharpe Ideas
Name: Rosemary Sharpe
Fundraising events: Car boot sales, raffle and a curry evening
We started off doing quite small things, like getting all our old junk together and selling it a couple of car boot sales. Also I made a large football card with all the teams in all the league in small boxes. It was a bit of a raffle really. Everyone paid £2 per team and the person who had the winning team (which had already been chosen, written on and covered up on the card) won £30. I found that £30 was a good incentive and I soon found the card was complete. I think I managed to raise about £170 from this. It would be easy to do more than one for use at different peoples work places, social clubs, friends down the pub etc.
I also found that once people heard what I was doing people wanted to give donations - this ranged from around £5 to £50 and a some friends businesses put in £100. Also one our friends who runs half marathons took on my cause and said she would do a sponsored half marathon. Lots of people at her work in London sponsored her and this raised a fantastic £500!
The grand finale was a great Curry Evening at my parents house. This took a lot of organising and hard work but it was definitely worth it. We sold tickets at £5 each and charged £1 for each alcoholic drink. Lots of friends, family and other people who had helped me to fund raise (a few free tickets were given out) came and we had a great evening while raising money at the same time. We also did a raffle on the night which helped to boost the coffers as well. The curry evening was also a great opportunity to thanks to everyone and let everyone know more about the work I would be doing.Overall I raised more than the cost of the Cross-Cultural Solutions programme and so the rest of the money went towards my flights.
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