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Fundraising showed Beth the MC skills she didn't know she had

With a new season comes a new group of volunteers kicking of their ICS journey with some great fundraising! This week’s fundraising blog is all about getting started and getting stuck in!

The cake sale

Beth Crawford got accepted onto a placement with International Service ICS 3 weeks ago. She told us all how she got organised and kicked things off with a Mary Berry inspired cake sale!

“For my first fundraiser I did a cake sale at a local Community Family Fun Day and I really enjoyed it! Personally I love baking, (but I haven't always been a Mary Berry!) so this was a great chance to learn some new skills but also the fundraiser itself was really fun. Getting to tell people about why I'm fundraising and having my own little personal stall, I found was really rewarding”.

mic night poster

Beth told us how this was a great learning experience and gave her a big confident boost for the rest of her fundraising - “I learnt that putting yourself out there is really important.  Rather than just sitting at the stall all day, we got up with our buckets and approached people ourselves which gained more donations. I set myself a target of £50 and raised £68.78, so almost £20 over my target so I was really chuffed!”

Open mic night

Beth is also in the midst of organising an open mic night at her local pub, “I have just finished my poster for the event, set up a Facebook event that I constantly share on social media, and I'm going to hand out my posters in my local area on Friday too. When I next post an update I will ask people to bring friends and will message people individually to get them on board!”

“To other volunteers fundraising, my advice is to have fun. Personally I enjoyed baking and creating my stand and that's what it's all about really! Rather than seeing it as a task, see it as an opportunity to express yourself. Also get all your family and friends involved! My friends helped sell cakes on the day but family friends also baked some cakes for me too which was a huge help!” Beth is also planning on dressing up and doing a bag pack with friends, contacting local community groups, £5 food challenge and more cake sales. If that’s not enough, Beth is also planning on doing a sponsored walk to raise awareness about what women could be doing instead of collecting water in developing countries is also underway.


Beth has made a cracking start with her ICS fundraising and she is spot on with her advice - have fun! Whatever your passion is, turn it into a fundraiser, and most importantly be organised and start early!

As demonstrated by Beth, organising an event for your fundraising is a great money spinner and a brilliant way of developing your skills as a volunteer. From community engagement through to project management there’s so many benefits to planning a fundraising event! We realise events can seem like a pretty big, daunting task to take on so read on for some great tips.

Beth's advice

“When you begin fundraising, reaching your target is a daunting task but don’t be intimidated by the amount you need to raise. To meet my goal of £800 I held a charity gig night with live music and what turned out to be a rather comedic raffle.

Hosting a charity night was a lot of fun and acting as MC for the event was an exciting part of the night, it was great to talk about my placement and explain what ICS was aiming to accomplish. The hard work paid off as my charity night raised £226.65. This pushed my fundraising total to £1064.65.

If you are thinking about hosting a charity night to raise funds for ICS and VSO then here are elements you should consider:

  • Discounts: If you do have to spend money don’t be afraid to ask for a discount, you are raising money for a charity and people are often generous if you ask.
  • Advertise: If you advertise your event, it is more likely to attract people from outside of your immediate circle. Use Facebook advertising, which can be cheap and effective, and ask the venue and the act to advertise your night on their website or social media.
  • Raffle prizes: I struggled to get donations for raffle prizes, most came from friends and family. Start looking for prizes as early as possible- contact local businesses and football teams and ask for donations. If you send letters or emails to local businesses, follow them up with a phone call or pop in. If you are not just a faceless email in someone’s inbox you are more likely to get donations.
  • Friends/ Family: Probably the most important thing in your fundraising toolbox are your friends and family. They want you to succeed so ask them to help you on the night by working the door, selling tickets or selling raffle tickets. If you are struggling with fundraising, don’t worry in silence as your deadline looms. The ICS fundraising team are there to support you and your team members will be happy to share ideas and inspiration. Good luck and happy fundraising.”

We couldn’t agree more! It just goes to show that by starting early, being organised and stepping outside of your comfort zone you can turn your worries into a fundraising success! Remember, we love hearing about all of your fundraising activities (big and small) so keep sending through those photos everyone!

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Funded by the UK Government

ICS is funded by the UK Government's Department for International Development (DFID) which leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty.

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