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.

JustGiving.com 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.


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