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Fundraising is an opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people and raise money to cover your trip costs, but knowing where to start can be difficult if you have never done it before. Gill, our Partnerships Co-ordinator, runs half-termly online fundraising workshops to help our volunteers with their fundraising journey. During these workshops, Gill has been asked some great questions by our volunteers and joins us for this week’s blog to share some of them with you to help inspire and get you one step closer to reaching your fundraising target.

Q – What would you suggest as a starting point for fundraising?

A – This depends on your situation – do you have a lot of support from friends and family and how long do you have to fundraise? From speaking with other volunteers, I would say to find something you enjoy. Try something and see how it goes – learn what works for you and what doesn’t. As an initial piece of advice, start small and grow as your confidence does. Try getting some football scratch cards to ‘sell’ amongst your friends and family or download our sweepstakes fundraiser and use this as a starting point.

I found out in February that I had a place on a trip to Ghana, so I began planning my fundraising events and in just three days, I was doing a cake sale at my school’s parents’ evening. Shortly after, I sold sweets for Valentine’s Day around my school. I planned both events with friends, as organising events becomes much easier when more people are involved. These events together helped make a dent in my fundraising goal. I continued planning events like these as no matter how big or small they were, everything helped. Caitlin, Volunteer.

Q – What is your favourite fundraiser to do?

A- My favourite fundraiser would involve something to do with sports, as that is my background. Running a netball or football tournament is a terrific way to combine several income sources; from charging teams an entry fee, collecting items and running a raffle on the day to selling drinks and snacks – it can be an excellent return for your time and energy. The one thing you will need to be for something like this is organised and clear on the entry expectations. Drawing in friends and family to help with various elements of this type of event is essential and it is something you would want to plan for the future, not something you can pull together within a week if you want it to run smoothly.

I have always wanted to do a half marathon but never had the motivation to do it. So, when I was thinking of fundraising ideas, I thought I would set myself that challenge! Therefore, not only would I be ticking off ‘volunteering in Kenya’ on my bucket list but also ‘completing a half marathon’! For fundraising, I recommend doing something you enjoy so you can make money and have fun! Ellie, Volunteer.

Q –  What’s the best way to explain to potential sponsors what I am doing and why they should sponsor me?  

A – We have a lot of suggestions from people who have been involved in our previous workshops on how to go about drafting your story, such as our ‘Reframing your story,’ ‘Will’s Story’ and ‘How to get sponsors’ videos. These videos can be found under the fundraising workshop section on My AA. We also have a template letter that our volunteers can use and adapt to their own story. This can be found in our resources section of My AA. We would recommend planning out your story prior to writing your letter by thinking about why you are fundraising.

Q – Where is the section to set up a sponsorship page with African Adventures?

A – If we are collecting your payments, you can set up your own sponsorship page through your My AA profile. To do this, you can find the sponsorship page within the fundraising section of My AA and can follow the simple steps to set it up. Once set up, you can share the link through your social media, create posters with a QR code to promote your page, as well as passing it out to friends and family to donate directly to your fund. All payments made via this method come straight off your trip fees, so you can see your overall total decreasing as you go.

Q – What type of businesses do you recommend asking to sponsor you?

A – Getting businesses to sponsor you for your trip is a great way to pay for a sizeable portion of your trip fees. There are a few ways to do this to make the most of your sponsorships – we would recommend, to start with, you approach businesses with the same ‘story’ and letter as mentioned in the previous question. Using your social media, accessing local business sites or local community groups within your region is a fantastic way to contact local businesses to ask for sponsorship. In return, you can offer them promotion via your social media or wear their logos on your free African Adventures t-shirt. This allows you to reach several different businesses who can choose to get involved in your cause.

In terms of what type of businesses would be the best to approach directly, this is entirely different and depends on your area and personal reach. Physically approaching local beauty salons, motor businesses, cafes, or restaurants to ask for sponsorship or even raffle donations are a great starting point. You could also aim bigger and go for local solicitor firms, building companies or car showrooms to ask for a more extensive sponsorship package to be agreed.

“I have asked family and friends for their support by donating prizes or experiences to my raffle. A local garage has donated a free MOT, my riding instructor has donated an “Own a Pony Day”, and I had several local businesses sponsor my African Adventures T-shirt.” Winnie, Volunteer.

Q – How do you organise multiple fundraisers?

The way to organise multiple fundraisers is about being organised and planning things. Our Calendar of Events in our resources under the Fundraising section in My AA is a great starting point. We would suggest planning for what you would like to do, when you want to do it and what your target is so you can get a good overview of your fundraising journey in the time you have available. Do not forget to try and combine events where possible – run a raffle alongside your quiz night, a guess how many sweets are in a jar alongside your bake sale. Our A-Z guide of fundraising ideas is a fantastic way to look for things you can do in combination.

Are you looking for more inspiration? Join us for our next online fundraising workshop on Wednesday 28th June at 6pm, where we will talk you through how to maximise an ‘event’, volunteer success stories and Suzi, a volunteer who has volunteered in Ghana with us twice, will be sharing with you the fundraising activities which helped her to reach her target.

Book your place by going to the fundraising section on My African Adventure. See you there!

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