Alistair Duncan is currently on a Challenges Worldwide ICS placement in Accra, Ghana. In order to take part in the DFID (Department For International Development) funded programme Alistair was required to raise a minimum of £800; vital funds that would go towards the sustainability of the programme. Here he gives his account of fundraising for ICS.
Hi Alistair, could you tell us what you did to reach your fundraising target?
“The most successful fundraising activity I completed was doing odd-jobs for my neighbours. I designed Christmas Cards on Microsoft Word which advertised what I was willing to do. I printed 300 of these and then delivered them to each house on my road through their letterboxes. By the next morning I had an offer to look after a dog for 5 days for £120. By the end of my fundraising, I raised over £500 doing jobs such as clearing out sheds, gardening work and washing cars. Other activities I did included donations in return for challenges (such as flushing my head down a toilet) and directly reaching out to family and friends.”
What do you think were the highlights/ lowlights?
– It’s a great feeling every time someone gets in touch to ask you to do a job for them
– Meeting some of my neighbours for the first time and getting to know them
– Waking up knowing you’re going to be helping someone that day
– My local MP accepting my Christmas card and offering to help if she could
– Feeling so grateful that you almost feel guilty when someone gives you more money than you feel the work deserves
– The weather; I did a lot of outdoor work over the Christmas period when it was rainy, windy and cold
– Feeling like you cannot say no to a job when someone gets in contact
– Finding out that when a dog owner says ‘you won’t need to clear any poo up often’, what she really meant to say was ‘you will clean it twice a day (at least)’
– Not being paid as much as you may have expected
What top tips would you give to other fundraisers?
- Reach outside your friendship circle – I found that many of my closest friends did not donate and most of the people that donated were those that I knew not as well
- Get going – it’s easy to overthink your fundraising activities and perhaps delay them for a better time. Today is (almost) always better than tomorrow
- Social media – post at least once a week to update your circle about your fundraising activity and progress (people do care and want you to succeed) – always include photos!
- Minimise your expectations – be grateful and give gratitude for each and every donation you receive. Offer your time and effort with the expectation of nothing in return
- Prioritise fundraising – some activities will raise considerably larger amounts of money, perhaps even for less effort. With limited time and resources, it’s important to plan and select your activities. However, don’t hold yourself back, generally if it raises money – do it!