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I raised my target by tapping into the thing people love the most - food

Happy Friday! Before the weekend starts, take a seat and listen to the wise words of two wonderful ICS volunteers who cooked and climbed their way to the top!

Restless Development ICS volunteer, Cheree Vaan Jaarsveld managed to smash her fundraising target by using something that is loved by everyone – FOOD! “I was very nervous at the prospect of achieving my target with initial feelings of self-doubt and not having a clue where to begin. I work full time and was in the process of moving house, so my main fears were about not having enough time to fundraise around my everyday life and whether I was confident enough to persuade people to be generous enough to donate.”

“My advice - get stuck in straight away! Create your JustGiving page even if you have no ideas yet.” Cheree also advises that writing your page helps you to communicate what you want to say about the charity, your reasons for doing it and is good practice for when people fire questions your way about where their donations are going. She also said “this was made really easy for me when assigned to Restless Development and finding out I would be placed in India.”

To kickstart her fundraising Cheree began thinking about the networks around her which were mainly work colleagues, family and friends. She then thought about her own strengths which she felt were creativity, particularly in cooking and baking.


Fundraising cheese wine and chutney night
Fundraising cheese wine and chutney night

“I already pre-determined that I would do a skydive as it was something I have always wanted to do anyway, and there is a skydive airfield local to me that offered a discount if you are doing it for charity so I booked that up ASAP. What I found raised the most money however, were events where people would receive something in return for their donations.” The ICS Fundraising Team couldn’t agree more – skydives and similar challenges are a great experience but can be VERY expensive.  We have definitely found that activities that involve your supporters in your ICS experience are the best way to fundraise, just like Cheree did!
“I started by holding a bake sale and what made the bake sale most successful was my communication. I made posters, sent regular emails up to the event and on the day I put up arrow posters and bunting decoration so there was optimum chance of everyone coming along. The success of my first event really empowered me to carry on my efforts.”

“My next event I held was a dinner party. People are actually very willing to help and I pretty much put together this event with the input of friends’ food and hospitality contributions. I charged £10 per head. This event along with the bake sale and general donations for my skydive, brought me up to my £800 target already in less than 1 month! At this point I was surprised, ecstatic and filled with new found confidence!”

Fundraising sky dive
Cheree's fundraising skydive

“Following the foodie theme, I had been making various homemade chutneys during this time. I would get home from work and whip up a batch on a spare evening. Once I had a good number of jars at the ready, I began to sell them, initially by word of mouth. I gave a batch to family who then sold them on for me to their own friends, and so I managed to reach different target groups. I also made a big effort to sell the chutneys by holding a cheese and wine evening at my home. I simply created a Facebook event and invited lots of friends to bring 1 cheese and bottle of wine along to the night, which again meant minimal cost to me. I had a jar of each open for guests to try and the option to buy any they liked. I ended up having to make extra batches as I began to have a demand for certain types. I sold many chutneys outside of the cheese party so I couldn't tell you how much I raised in chutney sales alone but with everything else I managed to smash my £800 target!”

Fundraising bake sale
A fundraising bake sale is one of the most simple and effective ways to raise money

“I proved to myself that I was capable and actually had a lot of fun on the way. I am definitely more confident at the prospect of achieving a new challenge, finding that I can manage my time as well as achieve a lot in a short space of time. I would say that people are your best resource. People are generally nice and want to genuinely help. If you can communicate the integrity and positivity that your charity embodies passionately enough, your single handed fundraising quickly becomes multi handed fundraising. Happy fundraising fellow volunteers!”

Our next fundraising hero is Y Care International ICS volunteer Edd Rhodes. He did a mixture of activities; including a Senegalese themed dinner party with a quiz, a sponsored walk amongst other smaller things. However, for his main fundraising event he decided to focus on undertaking the UK Three Peaks Challenge which comprises of climbing the tallest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales within a 24 hour period. 

Edd said: “I saw this as a great opportunity to get fit, challenge myself to the extreme and explore some of the most remote and beautiful parts of the UK. I hugely enjoyed the team working aspect of planning and completing the challenge with two friends and my Dad (designated driver). We all learnt valuable lessons in terms of preparation for a challenge of this scale. Physical and logistical preparation are both paramount as there is a very fine line between success and failure over the 24 hour period.

My best advice to any ICS volunteer fundraising through a physical challenge is that preparation is the key. Leaving yourself enough time for training and route planning is vital, as last minute obstacles will always crop up. It's much better to be over prepared than under prepared.” We totally agree – being prepared and giving yourself enough time to plan will ensure you complete your challenge safely and not get into any trouble.

“It's also hugely important to keep safe when climbing the peaks. Research best practise from local mountaineering communities and always be prepared for the worse in terms of weather and injuries. When you're 1,300m above sea level conditions can turn nasty, cold, misty and wet quickly. Add to this a lack of warm clothing or an injury and things can get dangerous. Also remember the golden rule for any kind of physical endurance activity. KEEP HYDRATED!”

“The sad truth is that your friends (especially on social media) love to see you suffer. So go for the sympathy vote whilst publicising your activity on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. Your followers will more than likely cough up if they can see you sweating for your chosen charitable cause. It worked for me, as I surpassed my target. Happy climbing!”

Embarrassing yourself or doing something that really pushes you outside of your comfort zone is a great way to show your supporters you really are committed – if climbing mountains isn’t your style you could always try something less physical like the £5 food challenge, or doing a digital detox! If you want to try a challenge but are stuck for ideas – get in touch with your Fundraising Support Officer and you can chat through your options. 

That’s all for this week, keep up the hard work and thanks for all your efforts so far! Remember if you fancy being featured on the ICS fundraising Blog, let us know as we love to hear what you get up to. 

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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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