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"It was an exciting challenge": top tips from first time ICS fundraisers

Well hello there Fundraising Enthusiasts and a Happy New Year to you all!

We thought we’d ease you all back into the swing of fundraising with some cracking ideas brought to you by our delightful volunteers at VSO ICS and International Service ICS.

VSO ICS volunteer Kwame Dogbe wasn't content stopping at one or even two fundraisers and has been doing several fundraising activities to help him reach his target, great shout Kwame!

From baking brownies to designing and selling homemade calendars, all whilst taking on a sponsored challenge, Kwame is making sure he’s got something that will attract the interest (and donations) of everyone he knows.

Kwame has decided to “carry buckets of water for 3km over a period of 10 days, in solidarity with the young people in Africa, who may have to walk many miles in search of water every day.”

Volunteer Kwame Dogbe decided to carry buckets of water 3km every day for 10 days
© ICS / Kwame Dogbe
Volunteer Kwame Dogbe decided to carry buckets of water 3km every day for 10 days

What is great about this challenge is Kwame really thought about something that would not only be a real challenge for him, but one that can be related to development issues and thus raise awareness at the same time.

He admits it is a real challenge however and says “having done 7 out of the 10 days, I can tell you it’s tough!”

Taking on something that will be a challenge for you personally will demonstrate to your family and friends how committed you are and hopefully this will materialise into more donations! 

The calendars were images of interesting facts about Africa and to save money, Kwame designed them all himself before getting a company on board to make them.

He says: “the calendars brought in a large percentage of my donations...people were willing to pay far beyond the asking price once they knew it will do some good”.

Volunteers often tell us that they find once people know they are fundraising and where the money is going, they are often happy to donate more than the suggested amount. If you want more information on what to tell people about where the money goes, then do ask your Fundraising Support Officer.

International Service ICS Team Leader Louise de Menthon also has some tips and tricks to share with you this week!

Like Kwame, Louise decided to try several different activities and chose to put on a few events, including a yoga class and a pub quiz with a raffle.

Louise admits that it was a challenge. "The task of fundraising can feel really daunting… the amount, coming up with innovative and creative ideas, organising and running your own event?! None of this is easy, and for lots of us, it’s the first time we have ever done it.”

However she also knows that “it’s an exciting challenge and I imagine if you’ve applied for the ICS scheme…you love the challenge!” We know that fundraising can be challenging, but we love Louise’s super positive attitude, and know that this can be all that you need to find fundraising success!

It's okay to feel nervous, says Louise: "For lots of us, it’s the first time we have ever done it"
© Shutterstock / Luna Vandoorne
It's okay to feel nervous, says Louise: "For lots of us, it’s the first time we have ever done it"

To start with, Louise came up with an idea that combined both her passion for yoga and her fundraising, and organised a yoga class where all the proceeds went towards her target.

She says that her best advice would be to plan carefully and think about “what kind of demographic you will attract, the timing, day of the week, accessible location and so on”.

Thinking about these factors in advance is what helped Louise to run a successful event that lots of people enjoyed.

She is absolutely right though when she says “don't forget amongst all the planning and organisation, your aim is to raise awareness of the ICS scheme and raise money!” 

Both Kwame and Louise worked really hard to raise awareness about ICS whilst they were raising money, which is brilliant and we really appreciate you spreading the word!

If you’re keen to find out some more ways in which you can raise awareness whilst you fundraise, get in touch with your Fundraising Support Officer or see the getting publicity section on the ICS website.

That’s it for this week, but I hope you’ve enjoyed the ideas from Louise and Kwame as much as we have.

Next time we’ll be hearing from some more of you, and if you want to get your fundraising stories shared, get in touch with your Fundraising Support Officer. Have a great couple of weeks everyone!

Fundraising for your placement

Click here for more top tips, videos and advice from the ICS Fundraising Team on how to reach your target

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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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