So £500 was my initial target to raise for the Al-Dora children’s hospital in Gaza. I had just a few weeks till the sponsored walk, yet somehow with a combination of God’s will, a very special dinosaur called Aldora, and some beautiful people (that’s you guys!), we raised £1170!
I decided to write this blogpost as a few poeple asked how I approached fundraising. So let’s start…
Get ready to be rejected!
I faced a whole bunch of rejection on the streets of London but hey it happens! Get over it and keep trying! There were times when I wanted to give up, standing in the freezing cold with a bucket and leaflets, feeling absolutely invisible. But I’m glad I didn’t. Why? Because it only takes one person to come along and pay the slightest bit of attention the work you’re doing, to restore the balance of the 100 rejections you faced earlier.
Be creative! Aldora the dinosaur (and Tiger of course!)
Enigma is crucial in whatever campaign you’re doing. You want people to be intrigued, get them wondering what you’re doing, engage them and let them take part. I decided to make this:
I have no idea why I chose to use a dinosaur as dinosaurs have absolutely nothing to do with the hospital or the charity but I figured everyone likes dinosaurs. It received a great response from an intrigued public… as well as some expected strange looks.
Don’t be scared of having fun!
There should never be any reason to doubt the issue being a serious one. But there is no harm in being positive and having fun whilst doing a good thing. Hence dinosaurs and the help of my darling Tiger:
Whatever you’re using, decorate it. Create logos, drawings, colour. Creativity is the one!
Things to decorate:
IMPORTANT: Get permission!
Oh dear lord, wherever you go to fundraise get permission! Don’t just stroll around Liverpool St. station with a bucket as you might get kicked out, not that it happened to me or anything….
(this was pre-dinosaur stage of the campaign. Aldora of course, would have won security over!).
Don’t just target the target audience!
Though it may have been smart to focus only on communities who had interest in Palestine or Gaza, I wanted to target everyone. Children’s healthcare is a human issue, one of which every human can understand no matter who they are or where they’re from. Though it may seem smart to target richer communities, target every community. I found that those in less affluent areas seemed more interested than those in Liverpool st for example.
You never know who may take an interest.
Religion doesn’t matter!
A couple of people wondered why a Hindu would chose to raise money for an organisation called Muslim hands. The truth is, when it comes to charity, religion does not matter. City University’s Sikh society invited even me to one of their events to fundraise. Thank you!!!
It’s an easy way to get people to donate online or via text. Some find it a little tedious to donate via this procedure so make sure you accept cash donations too! It surprised me to see that many of the online donations came from people I did not even know.
TWEET. TWEET. Post. Post. Post. Post. Post.
Mass postage through social networking: facebook and twitter. It won’t make you very popular, but it will get the message across! Cross platform your justgiving page on both twitter and facebook using the applications available. I set up a facebook page for the Al-Dora campaign which was updated almost daily, telling people where fundraising was taking place etc. All the pictures and videos went there too!
Phones are also very useful. Texts. Blackberry updates. Whatsapp. Etc!
Get snappin’ and filmin’!
Instead of merely approaching people and asking for money, I asked to take a picture of them holding Al-Dora. I then gave them leaflets the charity gave me advertising the walk. On the back of the leaflets I gave them the link to the facebook site where they can find their picture, and also the justgiving site if the wished to donate. This way they would not only donate, but raise awareness and engage in the issue
Although I felt silly, I made a quick video appealing for people to donate.
And another thanking people for donating and showing them that I had gone on the walk that they had sponsored me for !
Don’t forget the issue!
Raise awareness about what you are raising money for. There’s no need to re-write what the charity is about as the charity should have their own website and facebook page so share this with your friends! Your aim should be to tell people why you are raising money, and keep them updated on fundraising is going! Maybe create a blog.
Contact the charity
They may be able to help with fundraising, providing buckets, security seals, leaflets etc.
- Stuff I wish I’d done:
And cookies. And doughnuts. And cookies. Lots of cookies! Have a cake sale! Everyone loves cakes 🙂 Decorate them accordingly! Did I mention cookies…?
Contact Large companies
Large companies may be willing to sponsor you for your event
Contact high-profile humans, dinosaurs and other such creatures
Get their support and you’re guaranteed to have their followings support too. They are people just like you, so don’t feel intimidated or shy. Also, sorry to break it to you but their tweets and facebook posts may get a little more attention than just your own.
Contact interested organisations/groups
Get permission to go to events and promote/fundraise. Ask them if they’re interested in helping out. Universities and student unions are great for this!
Supermarkets allow you to leave a bucket at the end of their tills. Spend a day there and pack peoples bags. You’re guaranteed to get a response!
Though I had amazing support from everyone who knew about the campaign, it would’ve been great to have a team out together. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Be organised and make sure those in your team are reliable. Anyone willing to help with anything is a super shiny star! Get T-shirts and hit the streets together! Fundraising has the potential to be on a much larger scale, more fun and more effective.
So yes… that was the Al-Dora campaign… it was great fun and I think we made a real difference. Thank you again to everyone who engaged and good luck to all those doing charity work! Hope this blog helps.
Peace and Love