Have you got £1500 to raise in 10 weeks? What a daunting thought. Why not divide it into smaller and more manageable goals? Think about climbing a mountain for example, if you only focus on your end goal, the top, it can feel like it’s taking a lifetime to get there. But if you say to yourself, I just need to get to that tree, then I am a quarter of the way there. And when I get to that rock, well, I am half way there. Before you know it, you have conquered that mountain!
2. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket
Planning one big event or having one huge idea is great, but don’t solely rely on it, just incase it isn’t as successful as you thought it would be. If you were sent on a quest to complete a mission, would you have just one plan? Or plans A, B and C? Because I know which one I would choose. Try lots of different things, have some back up plans.
3. Be unique and get creative
Things like bake sales and raffles are great, but don’t you find that people are doing them all the time? Thinking out of the box and doing something that stands out from the crowd may just boost your funds. Rather than sell cakes at a stand, why not sell smoothies? Get a cheap blender from the supermarket, a bunch or fruit and veg (which you could even ask your friends and family for – maybe they have some left over that they wont be using) and why not even grab some reusable cups to sell too? You could even help the environment whilst reaching your target.
4. Do your research
Why should people donate to the charity you are fundraising for? What has stood out about this charity to you? Why are you passionate about it? Try to communicate these points to your target audience. Get them motivated and excited about being a part of your journey. If you’re passionate about it, then the chances are that others will be too.
Another great tip is to look for fundraising ideas on sites like Pinterest. I found a wonderful idea for loose change collecting. Rather than just having a bucket with a sign on that people won’t take the time to read, why not start a competition or a vote? Separate the bucket into two or get two buckets and have people vote on which they think is better, iPhone or Samsung? The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter?
5. Confidence is key
Don’t be afraid to ask. The worst someone is going to say is no, that’s not so bad is it? If you haven’t ever done any fundraising before, it can be quite daunting asking people for money or raffle prizes, but there is nothing to be afraid of. Know your facts, know your goals, and aim for the stars. You can do this!
6. Sell away
You will be amazed at what people will buy. A car boot sale or an Ebay session can go a long way. I am sure everyone has that cupboard jammed full of junk like Monica Geller from Friends. If you don’t have one, what about your parents or your siblings? You would probably be doing them a huge favour by making them some extra space around their home. I am sure they will be more than happy to help out.
7. Make it relevant
Is it Easter, Halloween or Christmas? Themed events or plans are very attractive to the public and their family’s. You could even do a theme based on what country your placement is in. An Indian Bollywood movie night, a Nepali banquet, a South African pub quiz. Don’t these sound exciting already?!
8. What are your skills and talents? Use them!
Whether you’re a dancer, a cross stitcher or a painter, any skills you have are a great asset to your fundraising journey. I am sure you can get super creative and come up with some really unique ideas. For example, putting on a dance show, selling some t-shirts or painting some caricatures of your friends.
9. Utilise everyone around you, and their skills.
If you feel that you don’t really have any skills you could utilise or you don’t have any ideas for them, why not ask around? Do you know a musician, a couple of actors or a comedian in the making? You could ask them to help you put on a variety show, and you could be the host!
If you have put up a post on Facebook or Instagram about your exciting new venture, not everyone you know might have seen it. That’s why it’s a great idea to individually message everyone you know, whether you do that by a message in a bottle, a carrier pigeon or a more convenient text message.
Once you have hit your target, why not keep going? See how much more money you can raise for your chosen charity. I am sure they would be extremely grateful. You could even keep fundraising whilst your on your placement, or once you return with your amazing stories.
The great think about fundraising, is you learn a lot of skills which are very transferable. These skills will come in handy at many moments in your future, maybe at a job interview, at an audition or in your personal life. Don’t see fundraising as a burden, see it as an opportunity to learn more about not only yourself, but your community.
My final tip is to have fun, make memories and be proud of yourself, you are doing an amazing thing.
Anna is a freelance content creator and an activist who is extremely passionate about the environment. She loves to write and blog about her passions and experiences. In 2018, Anna was a Youth Reporter and volunteer on the ICS placement in Nepal with Restless Development. Many of her articles share stories, tips and advice for future ICS volunteers.