Alexander Clarke from Loughborough went on expedition to India this summer and wanted to share some of his fundraising efforts with us here on our fundraising blog – which he found invaluable when planning his fundraising. This is his advice:
I found out that I was going on expedition to India just three months before my departure date, so I had little time to plan my fundraising to reach my target. I was very keen to do a physical challenge in preparation for my expedition and I chose to participate in my local 10k run, which was a big challenge for me as I had shown no prior interest in running before. I asked for sponsorship for the run from my friends and family Additionally, I attended a few village fetes where I organised charity raffles with some great prizes very kindly donated from local businesses. The top prize was a full day for two people at a local spa resort!
This ia Alexander at his charity raffle at a village fete.
I came up with my fundraising ideas after looking on the Raleigh International website, where there were some really inspiring ideas. Also I felt less daunted by my fundraising target after I read about other people’s fundraising activities and how they reached their target. I planned my fundraising activities to ensure I could inform people about Raleigh International, especially at the village fete where I would reach an audience that may never have heard about Raleigh before. It was a great way to network too - I met a lady who suggested that I should contact the charity she worked for asking for a donation. As a result they gave me a donation that contributed towards my fundraising target.
I not only achieved my fundraising goal but also gained some new skills that I can apply to my future career such as organisational and communication skills. I found I got a great response to my fundraising and everybody I spoke to seemed interested in my expedition to India. They were willing to help however they could, whether through advice, a donation or a prize for the raffle.
My fundraising efforts really paid off as I have just got back from an amazing time in India. My favourite moment was during the community phase in Kotapadi, where we were in groups of threes building toilets for the local community. This was to improve the health and sanitation of the people living in this community. I felt that I got to know the other two people really well as we were working alongside each other and we made fantastic progress. The lady’s house we were working on, Krishnaveni, invited us in for Chai and showed us her wedding album, even though we did not share the same language it was a unique moment. It was moments like that that made the community phase so special and different to other two phases with Raleigh.
My tips for any budding fundraisers out there are:
• Always have your Raleigh T-shirt and some info about what you’re doing with Raleigh.
• Always carried business cards with a link to your JustGiving page and more information about Raleigh.
• Always keep friends & family updated about your situation. I would keep everyone updated about my fundraising progress through Facebook & Twitter.
• I also tried to be creative with the updates I sent out, I made a video montage of myself training www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdT40f86RfE.
• Ask friends & family for help. I was amazed at how much my friends and family helped me with my fundraising.
• Be organised.
• And lastly enjoy it! It's going to be hard, challenging at times, but I actually really enjoyed telling people about what I was going to do.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed fundraising and I felt that it got me into the Raleigh spirit ready for my expedition to India!