Thursday, December 9, 2010

Central American Themed Art Session Fundraiser

When I found out that I was accepted for the Spring Expedition to Costa Rica & Nicaragua, as well as achieving the Graduate Bursary Award, this gave me a great feeling of accomplishment. However, I had not quite reached my end goal with the next challenge being the fundraising.

I have fundraised for numerous organisations such as Oxfam, Cancer Research, The Anthony Nolan Trust and other local groups. However, advertising to others to help fund my expedition brought some scepticism, as many weren’t convinced that their money would genuinely go towards a good cause.

My thoughts were ‘how can I make others understand that my commitments are truly to help others and emphasise that this expedition was NOT A HOLIDAY!’

On first instance, I contacted my previous educational establishments with a covering letter suggesting an offered service supported by a personal leaflet. The latter was aimed to capture the attention of the reader by providing a summary of my efforts.

Consequently I was contacted by my previous high school, Harvington School, where I was Head Girl in 2003 and which has now converted solely into a preparatory school. I offered to provide a Costa Rica & Nicaraguan art session for the pupils and in return they would hold a non-uniform day to raise some funds. The inspiration for this idea was due to my awe of the colourful artwork from Central America and I needed to provide a fun activity to cater for the young students.

On 24th November 2010, I prepared a PowerPoint Presentation for the morning assembly so the children could understand the purpose of my visit. Using the much loved cartoon characters, Handy Manny and Dora the Explorer, I explained the details of my expedition making statements such as ‘like Manny I will be building things’ and ‘like the inquisitive Dora I will be learning a new culture’.

Later in the day, I hosted three art sessions for Years 3, 4, 5 and 6, with great emphasis on shapes and bright colours as the theme. Using my own art work as examples, I demonstrated how to get a similar look with poster paints. The students thoroughly enjoyed themselves as they expressed their creative side during the art sessions and overall appreciated the need to help others especially those less fortunate than them.

My local paper, the Gazette, covered this particular fundraising venture. The article enabled others to understand the extent of my passion, and possibly encourage donations to help reach my offline target by contacting me via email (

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Fundraising bike ride

So, it was about 8 weeks ago when I started to think of ideas to raise money for my 13 week volunteer manager placement to Costa Rica. Various ideas were thrown in the pot and vetoed, however one theme remained consistent between all of them; and that was cycling.

In June of this year myself and 3 friends cycled 2500km from Stockhom to London in 21 days, to raise money for Sustrans a well known sustainability charity. Alas, I thought it would be good to try and use a bit of this fitness for another challenge. My original idea of cycling for 24 hours solid was quickly ruled out by a friend of mine, who amongst other things said that not only was the idea stupid but incredibly dangerous for my health. A fair point, seeing as just staying awake for 24 hours is hard enough, let along cycling for a full day!

I eventually settled for a cycle challenge of a 10 hour solid ride. It would take place on the well established 7 mile loop around Richmond Park, thus allowing friends to come along and join in for a lap or two if they so chose to keep me company. The preparation went well; not enough training, a mountain of work commitments enough to snow under an Eskimo, and the dreaded (and life threatening I might add) Man Flu which plagued me a week before the ride.

I gave myself a night to relax 2 days before the ride; a coffee with a friend along the Strand. I cycled there on my beloved bike, and carefully locked it up outside the café in full sight. Unfortunately I am also sad enough to insist we sat in the window in order to keep an eye on it. We chatted away, having a laugh when my friend joked that I am so sad I should indeed marry my bike. I looked across to give the old girl a wink, when I noticed, to my amazement, that she was no longer there. I upped from my seat and ran to the bike rack. I returned to the café with a face like a bag of sand. My bike had been stolen. Two days before my well planned, and much publicised ride, and I had no bike.

Facebook came to my rescue with a mate offering to lend me his bike, a very kind gesture and one I very much appreciated. It crossed my mind to postpone or even cancel the ride, taking the evening as a bad omen. However, there’s one sure fire way to get rid of that much frustration and anger- err, cycle for 10 hours..?

The morning came, and someone upstairs must have been listening as the sun was shining. It was baltic cold, but it wasn’t raining and wasn’t too windy. I set off at 8am and cycled until midday when I had some friends join me on my coffee break. Another friend joined me for a couple of loops of the park although his pace tended to be slightly quicker than mine! I had another friend join for the last couple of hours of the day taking me past the hundred mile mark. It was very satisfying to see the miles counting up on my GPS, and to receive messages of encouragement along the way. The JustGiving updates also kept me informed as to when people donated on my page, which was the best encouragement of all.

You’d think I would have high’s and low’s of the day, 10 hours 21 minutes and 108 miles is a long time to be sat on a very hard seat in November. But being honest, I was smiling ear to ear all day. I even had a cheeky smile at the thief who had stolen my bike 2 days beforehand. He had no idea that his actions had such severe implications, but the fact that my friends helped me out and I decided to go ahead anyway made me laugh. I guess if I hadn’t laughed, I’d have probably cried all the way!

The fundraising continues for my trip to Costa Rica in January. I’m nearly at my target, and have a number of fundraising sessions set up in the coming weeks to get me over the line. There is plenty of planning to do in addition to this, fortunately I had the best part of half a day on my tod to think about it! All in all, I can’t wait to get out to Costa Rica and I can’t help but think that events like this are all part of the journey.

If you’d like to know more about myself or Raleigh International please do not hesitate to get in touch ( My fundraising page is also still open, and any donations as always are more than appreciated.

Monday, September 20, 2010

An alternative triathlon from Chris Boller...

I received the volunteer manger position I wanted in the location I wanted. In January I’m off to Borneo as a volunteer finance manager- very excited!

Agh, the scary part, how do I raise the sponsorship required? I got my thinking cap on and thought of the things I like doing...

As a keen outdoor enthusiast I came up with my take on a triathlon: Running for 10km, mountain biking for 10km and then kayaking for another 10km. With the idea in place I set about consulting the OS map and deciding on a route. I was really excited about the big day but also a bit apprehensive. It was my day to do Raleigh proud; I’d done a lot of preparation printing logos, emailing contacts and drumming up support.

The day started with my support team Keith and Gemma arriving with the camera flashing. We decorated the car with all the pre-printed logos and made sure all the changeover items were loaded!

The run started at 10.30 with the support team blaring Roxy out the car stereo to start me off. Hugely grateful, several supporters were along the running route to cheer me on. Having done the 10km run over fairly hilly ground I quickly changed and set off on my bike.

95% of the bike route was off-road and being along the North Downs was even hillier than the running route including several sections of single track. Again the support team did a terrific job.

I had persuaded one of my friends Keith to kayak with me so I would have some company for the last bit. Arriving at the stepping-stones on my bike for the change over to kayak, there were supporters to spur me on for the final leg. Another quick change and I was off again!

The kayaking would be the slowest part of the day but along the scenic river Mole. The river levels weren’t great but I managed to paddle the whole way with only a few scrapes along the bottom. A surprise sign 10km later on stating “Finish Line” had been hung up against the final bridge, yepie! I had made it!

Not satisfied with just the triathlon, I invited everyone back to mine for chilli in the evening, to truly celebrate an incredible day.

I use the word again: an amazing day. Thanks for all the support especially to CAP (Croydon Active Paddlers) and particular to Keith, Gemma and Mike, without whom the day couldn’t have happened. I’m truly grateful.

I am half way there to my fundraising target. Next on my fundraising plan is doing my 2nd car boot sale. I’ve learnt not to be afraid of the fundraising but to embrace it!

You can still sponsor me at

Your support is really appreciated, Chris

Friday, September 3, 2010

Have I gone bananas?!

Fundraising can be tough, but when it pays off the rewards are big. After signing up to take part on an expedition with Raleigh I knew there was a long way to go before I reached my target but I was excited about getting there. I started off by researching a few ideas; Raleigh’s fundraising blog is a great place to start, although unlike other venturers I’m not going to be jumping out of a plane anytime soon!

I’ve been very lucky to have a few mates willing to help out. One night I fundraised in pubs in Manchester raised a surprising amount; a few people even got us drinks! All it took was a word with the landlord, telling them all about Raleigh. It might have been a bit daunting a first but soon enough it became second nature and ended up being one of the best nights I’ve had in ages. So, put on your Raleigh t-shirt, rope in a couple of mates, grab a few collection pots and get collecting (there might even be a drink or two in it)!

Another way I’ve been raising funds is through writing to grant-giving trusts. These trusts donate money to certain causes, such as helping poor communities overseas and encouraging young people to see the world. Nine times of ten you might not get a response, but that one reply can make a big difference. One trust was kind enough to donate £500. I also had a few really nice letters of support which gave me the motivation to keep plugging away until I hit my target.

For my final round of fundraising I decided to do something big, risking both my limbs and my dignity, I decided I would climb Yorkshire’s three highest peaks in just one day... dressed as a banana (Costa Rica’s most famous export). I set up a JustGiving page, a Facebook page and sent messages to all friends and family. Soon enough the donations came rolling in. I also managed to get a piece in a couple of local newspapers, using Raleigh’s guide (included in the welcome CD) I put together a press release and fired it off to a few local newspapers. I got a response almost straight away and it was printed just a few days later.

Last Sunday I took part in the climb (along with fellow venturer Becky Slater). We might have forgotten the dog, I might have stumbled into a bog, but together we scaled three peaks and hiked twenty-five miles in just ten hours. It was a great day and for anyone looking for ideas I would highly recommend it. The views are incredible and it’s fantastic preparation for the adventure part of a Raleigh expedition.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Eco-friendly fundraising

Hi everybody!

As a Venturer for India 10k (Oct-Dec 2010), and a complete newbie to London, I decided to throw away my Oyster (Tube & Bus) pass, acquire an enthusiastically rusty set of wheels and cycle my way through 1,000km to raise up to £1,000 of my target for Raleigh! I wasn't happy with just doing this and quietly badgering my friends on Facebook to sponsor me, I actually decided to TAKE people on my daily journey WITH me, by strapping my lovely little digital camera on to my handlebars and filming the whole way in to work at 6.30am! To make it more entertaining than 40 minutes of lactic acid, a few near misses and the almighty dangerous london bus, a friend and I had a little play with the film using some editing software and came up with this!

Putting this up on Facebook alone has raised almost £500, as I've sent periodic updates about how sore my bum is, nearly getting squished into the shape of a nearby lampost and documenting the more hilarious moments (a man struggling to multitask being on his mobile phone whilst riding his bike in a suit, complete with briefcase was a sight I'll never forget!)

I think the best thing about doing a video was that it reached so many people over the internet and they could SEE what I was doing to be worthy of a donation - by far the best thing seeing as there's only so much you can lean on those immediately around you before they start avoiding you when they see you coming...

I've still got a couple of hundred kilometres to go before I reach my target, but at least I know now that there'll be no excuse on the trek part of volunteering in India as these calves of steel are currently covering 100km a week!

All the best with everyone's fundraising,


p.s. I can also highly recommend bagpacking at your local supermarket - head straight for the more ethical/green/upmarket ones for best results!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Stephen Nunes throws himself out of a plane for Raleigh

I’ve always wanted to throw myself out of a I saw this as a great opportunity to incorporate my Raleigh fundraising. I decided to pay for the skydive myself and asked people to sponsor me so the money they donated went directly to Raleigh instead of being used to pay for the actual jump.

On the actual day itself I found myself slightly less confident than I had been previously and in a matter of a few hours I had donned a very fashionable blue jumpsuit complete with headgear and goggles and clambered into a small plane.

After around five minutes, my mother who had kindly and somewhat foolishly agreed to jump with me disappeared out of the plane attached to her instructor. Then came my turn and I just had to take a deep breath and pray to whatever God there was!

The actual freefall was over in less than a minute but I don’t think I’ll ever experience another moment as exhilarating in my life again. After coming back down to earth, literally and emotionally, I found the nearest pub and ordered a stiff drink.

To be able to have the experience of a lifetime and at the same time raise money for Raleigh was just fantastic and if you get the chance to do something like this, please don’t think twice.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Helen Nuttall has just completed her ten week expedition with Raleigh in Costa Rica & Nicaragua. Helen joined Raleigh through the Graduate Bursary Award.

“Due to the fact I signed up close to the expedition departure date, I only had about two months to fundraise. Therefore I had to think of short-term fundraising. I decided to do a 10km run and ask everyone I knew to sponsor me, which was pretty successful. After harassing everyone I possibly could, I had about £350 which was much more than I expected and worth the pain and suffering of doing the run! (Plus I got fit at the same time!) I also wrote letters to every trust and charity I could think of, outlining what it was I was doing. To my surprise I got £200 pounds from my local Rotary Club and £300 from another charitable trust. I was absolutely over the moon!”

Helen was successfully featured in her local press before going on expedition. Read the article here to find out what they said.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hannah White is fundraising for her India expedition this Autumn

Hannah White is up to all sorts of fundraising such as a Bollywood party, a 40 mile sponsored hike, car boot sales and more!

I'm going to India in Autumn this year as a volunteer manager. I'm fundraising with a couple of big events which I think should raise most of my money, and have roped in people who can help me.

A Bollywood party: Beer, Bollywood and Bhajis! I've managed to get a great free function room at a bar in Manchester, I have friends with full DJ-ing kit and lights who are doing the music for me, and I'm working on getting some free or discounted Indian catering. I've done a lot of asking friends and colleagues if they have friends who can help me out with stuff - it's amazing who people know!

I'm selling tickets, which another friend has designed for me, and also putting on a raffle on the night, currently working my way round Manchester's Indian restaurants for Indian themed raffle prizes.

A sponsored walking challenge: I wanted to do something meaningful, and came up with the idea of hiking the full breath of the Peak District in a single day, 40 miles from my home town of Sheffield to my now home of Macclesfield. Again I've roped in a few hardcore friends to join me (and help with the map reading!). We've tested the route out over two days and it was really difficult, so doing it in one will be a huge challenge, and hopefully something people will think is worth sponsoring. Check out my just giving page that I'm about to launch:

Top up events: I'm doing a couple of car boot sales next month. I've asked friends and colleagues at work to bring in stuff for me, it's a great way for people to support without having to put their hands in their pockets and I've got loads of stuff to sell. If I need a bit more money after that, I'll be recruiting people to do some baking for cake sales at work, as well as getting creative in the kitchen myself - always a winner!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Stephen Nunes fundraising for his expedition to Borneo

Stephen Nunes is fundraising for his forthcoming summer expedition to Borneo. As well as hikes, runs and skydiving, Stephen is also planning on shaving his head and putting on sponsored karate training sessions...

I decided to raise most of my funds by doing a series of sponsored events and encouraging friends, colleagues and family to donate to my cause.

I got lots of ideas from the fundraising pack provided by Raleigh and decided to try and do events which would challenge me physically and help me prepare for the expedition to Borneo in July.

I did a 16 mile hike and a 26 mile hike back in March and I still have a 5K run, skydive and head shave to do. I also prepared a press release that I sent out to local media and I was able to get an article about my sponsored skydive in my local newspaper.

My karate instructor read the article and offered to organise a sponsored training session at my club. Club members brought their friends and family along and helped raise over £250.

The best part of fundraising for me has been the opportunity to talk to people about Raleigh and what I’m going to be doing!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Narin Cakir is fundraising for her forthcoming expedition in Borneo

Narin Cakir is fundraising for her forthcoming expedition in Borneo this coming July and has just finished a 5km run.

I signed up to a 5K run quite early on in my fundraising plans and it turned out to be a great way to raise awareness of Raleigh and why I was raising money. Friends saw me training or even better, joined me on my jogs and I think they appreciated that I was working hard to earn my sponsorship. It was a great way to keep people updated on my fitness progress through my Facebook group and also give gentle reminders to sponsor me throughout my training. I invited friends to watch me run and they helped spread the word about how hard I had worked and why! In the end it was crossing the line, my own personal sense of achievement and photographic evidence that encouraged friends to visit my fundraising page and donate.

I'm really glad I did it because if nothing else I am that little bit fitter and hopefully stronger for the Borneo expedition challenges to come!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Chris Morris, Graduate, is cycling from Lands End to John O Groats

After weeks of training rides and hours spent preparing for his trip, Chris will be setting off on his bike ride from Lands End to John O Groats this Sunday, with an aim to complete the ride in just ten days. For the past month and a half, Chris has been preparing for the ride by cycling 160 miles a week, buying kit, planning his route and fundraising for the charity Raleigh. With his training complete, kit brought, route planned and fundraising target due to be smashed with the help of fund matching from his employer, Bupa International, Chris is ready and raring to go. Chris commented, “I feel confident and can’t wait to start the ride ... I’m prepared for all conditions, but hope the weather is good and the snow in Scotland has melted by the time I get there!”

You can find out more about Chris’s preparations and follow his progress on the ride by visiting his blog at . Chris will be updating his blog with pictures and a day-to-day account of his ride.

All the money that Chris has raised for his bike ride is going to the charity Raleigh, who help young people, including those disadvantaged and ‘at risk’, to work on worthwhile environmental and community projects that achieve sustainable outcomes. Chris will be travelling to Costa Rica and Nicaragua with Raleigh in July this summer to work on these challenging projects that are positively benefiting local communities. Previous projects the charity have successfully completed have included constructing schools, sourcing water supplies to villages and restoring natural habitats for wildlife.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Louise Norris' fundraising walk for her India expedition

Louise Norris is currently fundraising for her forthcoming India expedition and has shared one of her latest ideas with us, a London Bridge Challenge Walk

On Saturday 27th March a friend and I walked over every bridge from Kew Bridge to Tower Bridge along the Thames dressed as Tower Bridge. I made the costumes, we were dressed as Tower Bridge, with joint hats and stripes on the sleeves for the drawbridge. We collected £28:38 from passersby along the way. I have raised almost £800 from my JustGiving page through sponsors for the walk so far.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Gemma Armes fundraised to join her expedition to Costa Rica & Nicaragua in Autumn 2009

I did various fundraising events and asked for support from friends and family as well as writing to my old school, college, uni and various businesses. I did various events including:

· A 24 hour sponsored famine
· Set-up a Just Giving page and raised awareness through this and social networking
· Sent emails to friends and family
· Held an Alice in Wonderland Tea Party for friends and family as a charity event
· Collected at bars and pubs
· Held a car boot sale and sold off unwanted uni stuff and families unwanted items

Since my expedition, I am interested in learning more about International Development and I now want to get involved in fundraising and promoting awareness for a charity like Raleigh.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Natalie Dilloway is joining Raleigh’s 10 week expedition in India this summer

I think that from doing all the fundraising, I have seen how much fun it is to fundraise and I think it’s the beginning of the journey with Raleigh.

My biggest money maker so far is a charity disco that took place in a local hall and bar. We chose a place which isn't too hard to fill and also one which is cheap on drink. We charged £10 a ticket and sold 100 which filled the hall itself. We went around to local shops, friends and family which donated things for a raffle. We made a total of £1296 and once we took out the expenses we had £900, which took a massive chunk off the total.

I have a close friend who works in a train station who asked around for me and got a set of 4 railway tickets standard class. We sold one set for £60, another set sold for £40. We also had two first class tickets which sold for £80. So that was put onto my justgiving website.

I wrote to the local paper who put me in it and a member of the public rang up and donated. From that article a man donated 23 elephant prints, each worth around £30 pounds. We are gradually selling these prints from £20 -£30 pounds. From this kind gentleman donating these print the paper decided to write another piece on us. We then got given a further 30 odd prints from another man which we are now working on selling to members of the public. We thought that we could rent out a local youth centre where we are going to have a gallery sale.

My dad is doing a sponsored swim; so far he is up to £180 and is still getting sponsored. My dad is doing this with a friend who has raised £50 so far.

My sister-in-law is having a curry night with her work friends. We cook them a meal and me and a friend wait on them. They pay £10s each and so far we have ten people going to this.

Me and three other mates are doing a 5legged race which we are going to set up next week.

I’m doing car boot sales when I can, and everything has been donated and we are selling on. The more decent things we are putting onto the site eBay, so far we made around £100 and people are still donating and helping out.

My brother is seeing if his work can help out and also my sister is as well.

The support that you get from people is outstanding and we are always trying to think of different ways to raise money. The next idea we are trying to set up is a dog walker. I’ll take out people’s dogs for 30mins and charge £6-9 depending on the size of the dog.

And my justgiving website is

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pik Yan reflects on fundraising for Raleigh Hong Kong’s annual event, the ‘Raleigh Challenge - Wilson Trail’, and also for her expedition to India

I graduated from university with an honours degree in 2007 and then worked in a PR and event management company as a Project Officer for two years before I joined the Raleigh expedition.

I helped Raleigh Hong Kong to hold their annual fundraising event, even though I was fully employed, and my job required me to work overtime quite a lot.

‘Raleigh Challenge - Wilson Trail’ is an annual fundraising event of Raleigh Hong Kong, which has just celebrated its 10th anniversary last year. This 2-day-1-night mountaineering competition requires participants to form a team of 2-4 and trek along Wilson Trail, one of the famous trails in Hong Kong. Venturers can raise fund for expedition by taking part in the organising committee and help organising the event. The funds raised are also used to support different voluntary services in Hong Kong, Mainland China and overseas, such as youth development projects, environmental campaign, and community building projects.

For fundraising for my expedition, I mainly raised from friends and colleagues by sending mass messages to all of them in my Facebook. In the message I told them I am going on an expedition, I briefly explained what Raleigh is, what it does and ask for their support to make my expedition possible. I also updated my status in Twitter and MSN to let everyone know that I am fundraising for my expedition. I used an online donation form which made for easy management of donations.
The internet is a really good tool for fundraising; you can raise money from friends overseas. Fully utilising the internet did make my fundraising easier and I was also able to create a good response.

From sending messages to friends and creating an online donation form for friends to fill in, followed by an online database for a donation record and online banking for checking my donation status. By the messages and status updates in different internet socialising sites, good responses are generated. Friends replied really quickly. They can donate through different channels at their convenience.

Challenges: When I was working on my individual fundraising as Raleigh was a relatively low profile charity in Hong Kong compared with other charities, it took greater effort in introducing Raleigh and explaining what it is about to my friends and seek their support.

Now I’m home, I realise I have learnt a lot about Indian culture. And I also gained a chance to face my inner-self which helped me understand more about myself. It is a life-long and memorable experience, and I have definitely broadened my horizon and scope. I had a great time in the expedition and I enjoyed it a lot.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Benita Sabharwal held a charity date auction to raise funds for her expedition to Costa Rica & Nicaragua

I only had a month to raise all the funds so had to work fast. Whenever I could I would be fundraising. When I went out to parties for birthdays I would bring a jar and put it on the bar or ask around in pubs telling them all about Raleigh. On nights out I made signs for all my friends to wear saying “kiss poverty goodbye by kissing me hello” and they would give a kiss on the cheek in return for a pound.

I did a charity date auction where a number of my friends were put up in a silent auction for a date. It was put together in a week which took a lot of planning; getting the venue, guest list and actually finding people to agree to be sold! Overall this event was a success, giving me almost half the money I needed to raise.

My final event was a 40km hike from Uxbridge to Reading in a day. This was done partly to train for the trek that I do on the expedition. I knocked on people’s doors in my area for sponsorship and everyone was generous and eager to help which surprised me. My friend who also did the hike with me got sponsored by people in her home town for me. If I had more time I would have been able to get even more sponsors.
I had to make sure that I got a permit for asking people for donations in my local area and permission from landlords to collect in pubs. I also made sure that Raleigh’s registered charity number was visible so people knew who they were donating to, and used Raleigh collecting tins which had the Raleigh logo and charity number on.

Other things I did included; working and writing to a business that does charity auction items. They gave me a signed football shirt and I auctioned it on e-bay because I didn’t have time to arrange an event.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Andrew Needler recounts his fundraising experience

Were you concerned about raising the funds to join Raleigh?


How did you raise the funds to join Raleigh?

Ann Watson Trust- £250
James Rechiff Trust- £250
Phillip Rechiff trust- £250
20 mile walk- £800
55 mile cycle ride- £500
3 hour swim (wearing a dressing gown) - £600

What was the easiest way to raise funds?

Make an effort, email everyone repeatedly, friends, family, companies.
Use the facebook group (your own) to your advantage- its brill!
Face to face sponsorship- people will help if they see you making the effort and showing enthusiasm.

Did you find it difficult to convince people to donate to Raleigh?

At first, maybe because I didn’t have faith or believe it myself. Once I was confident and backed my own ideas I found it easier to ask for people’s support.

How did you keep people up to date with your fundraising efforts?

Facebook groups, email and word of mouth.

Do you plan to contact your donors post-expedition to let them know how you got on and how their money helped?

Most definitely. I am doing a report and presentation in the New Year.

What are your top tips about fundraising to pass onto others?

Be enthusiastic, think BIG! Ask everyone and anyone, sure you’re asking them to donate for your expedition but you’re doing it for an amazing cause.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bert McGaughey's fundraising for his Costa Rica expedition

I spent the first week or so doing a lot of research in fundraising techniques and ideas, online and down the local library (libraries are a huge source of info, just spend a Saturday in yours and you'll know what I mean!). Initially I gathered e-mail addresses of all my friends and family - no matter how distant - and mail merged them explaining what I had signed up for, my targets (personal as well as financial) and linked the message into my Just Giving page. is the absolute epicentre of my fundraising effort, it is total fundraising! Sign up for free, link your page to Raleigh, and then start spreading the address about. You can integrate your page into your Facebook profile with a widget, and get your friends to have the same box on their profiles. Also Just Giving works with PayPal amongst others, which helps with donors who are apprehensive about card details being used online etc.

Once I started to gear up my fundraising efforts in the last quarter of 2009, I booked a bungee jump with UK Bungee Jump in Manchester (they have other sites covering different parts of the country) which really helped to raise awareness of what I (and we) are working towards. I also thought it would make a significant difference if I get my friends involved, so I contacted my local Riley's snooker and poker club who frequently hold poker nights. The manager was very helpful, and offered his club for a charity poker night, with all the necessary professional periphery to make it a superb night and great success – it helped that they had a bar too...

I recently moved house and figured I could raise a few more pre-Christmas funds by selling all of my DVD's on eBay, anyone can do this, just sell it as a joblot, and ask the buyer to pick the books/DVD's/CD's up from your house – this means zero hassle for you and instant funds.

In the New Year, I am looking at doing a boot sale, I already have several dozen second-hand books, some CD's and old DVD's and am asking any and all to chip in with unwanted bits and bobs to sell. Also my local indy cinema is keen on me renting it and putting on a charity film evening, they like the affiliation with a charitable cause and everyone coming gets to see a great film on the big screen.

The final important source of fundraising are local trusts and bursaries, if you go and ask your local library for help, there are acres of books listing applicable trusts to contact for aid. Remember always to word your letters well, linking to that specific trusts area of work, and always take time to write the letter by hand and lay it out properly. For two Saturday's down the library, I raise £200.

If you take one thing from this blog, it should be start your own Just Giving page and do it now!

P.S. Anyone who would be kind enough to donate any quantity of books et al for my boot sale, please contact Raleigh and they can tell you how. Also look out for news on my cinema evening in Kent, anyone is welcome to come and help raise money for Raleigh while getting to see a top film!

All the best, Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year,

Bert McGaughey.