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.

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