Seven Things I Learnt From My Fundraising Experience

If you know me personally (or are a Facebook friend) then you will probably know that I am going to Morocco in June to help build an education centre, to be quite honest if you do know me you are probably fed up of hearing that. In order for me to go on this trip I had to raise £1750 for Childreach International, I can now proudly say I have reached that target, and I think it’s fair to say it has taught me a lot.

One – fundraising is hard work

There is no easy way to ask people for money, especially when everyone you know is a student. They just simply do not have the cash to hand out to you on a silver platter, you have to beg like your life depends on it and this still only results in minimum cash intake.

Two – Plan ahead

I am so unorganised it hurts my brain. When I put my mind to it I get the job done, when I organised a battle of the bands it didn’t go horribly wrong (yay). I wish I had known this at the start because I could have organised so many events if I had just planned ahead and thought about the resources that I had available to me. I could have raised a lot more money if I hadn’t mucked myself around for so long.

Three – Failure is an option

Just because you failed the first time doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try again. Like I said everyone I know is skint, but just because they didn’t have any money the first time I asked for help doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have money the next time I asked. Failing is an opportunity to rethink you strategy, it is not a disaster.

Four – Learn from your mistakes

This links nicely back to three. I made a profit of £139 from my battle of the bands, by far my biggest amount raised at once. This didn’t mean it was perfect though. I made a lot of mistakes while I was organising this event but it has taught me a lot about how to plan one in the future ( if I ever want to go through that again) like try not to make an event the week before payday, or maybe give yourself longer than three weeks to organise it and try not to go to paris for a week the week before your event. All bad ideas but hey, alls well that ends well.

Five – Don’t be afraid to ask for help

God I wish I had just asked for help when I was struggling. There was help available to me, I was just to scared to admit I was having a hard time to ask for it. If I had asked then I would have saved myself a lot of stress. If there is help available take it, don’t be scared that you need help, everyone needs help and there is always someone who is willing to help you.

Six – If you have friends and family, use them

This isn’t as mean as it sounds, when I say use them I mean ask them to help you out. I asked two of my flat mates to work the door at an event and they were more than happy to do it. Leaving them to handle the door meant I could run around doing the ten billion other things I had to do that night. I also asked a friend to help me set up and some others to go around with collection tins at the end of the night, I could not have done my event with out them. Your friends will help you out because they love you and want to see you succeed, it is the same with family, I wouldn’t have had three of my bands for Battle of the Bands if it wasn’t for my sister. I am eternally grateful to everyone who helped me out, thank you again from the bottom of my heart.

Seven – Your loved ones will more than happily throw gunge at you

One of my fund-raising ideas was to get people to dare me to do things. One of these things I was dared to do was get gunged. My flatmates happily  agreed to through all sorts of disgusting things at me, my mum and sister were thrilled with the opportunity to film it, while other friends kindly donated all sorts of questionable food stuffs for the gunge. Give people an opportunity to embarrass you and they will lap it up. Another thing I learned that day: Gunge is cold!!

This year has taught me a lot about myself and fund-raising has taught me a lot about life and how you will only get out what you put in. I am so happy that I managed to raise the money I did and I can not wait to go to Morocco in June, Childreach does great work all around the world and I am proud to be a part of it.

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