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Less is more: Living below the line and BBQ garden parties

This week’s fantastic fundraisers are proof that you can absolutely raise lots of money without the need for expensive venues and challenging events. Their fundraising activities were cheaper and easier to organise but both volunteers definitely gave their fundraisers the wow factor!

Y Care International ICS volunteer, Fergus  decided to do a classic ICS fundraising challenge which would relate to the people he would be working with in Bangladesh.

He did an extended version of the £5 food challenge and ‘lived on £1 a day for 2 weeks which included walking a 10 mile round trip each day.’ He wanted to do this because ‘nearly 50% of the population [of the world] live on $1.25 per day’.

This impressive venture put Fergus completely outside his comfort zone. He learnt that ‘it’s REALLY tough to live on £1 per day’ and this experience allowed him to get a better understanding of what it’s like to do this every day.

He realised that ‘living on such a small amount each day must be a constant, up-hill struggle, especially if you have a family to feed.’ 

This incredibly demanding experience resulted in Fergus passing his target, obtaining a new sense of resilience and feeling satisfied with challenging himself to raise money for a cause he was passionate about.


Volunteer sponsored walk

One of the benefits of this fundraising idea, according to Fergus, is that he ‘didn't have to train or learn a new skill and so was able to start almost immediately.’

His advice to other volunteers is ‘to have a good think about setting yourself a challenge which you can fit into your life but is also a visible challenge.’

Thinking of something that will stretch you but is also manageable is a great way to raise money. The more funds you raise the more enthusiastic you feel because, as Fergus said, ‘seeing the donations come through each day from my friends and family made it all worthwhile’. 

Not only is this a cheap way to fundraise, it’s also a great starting point for learning more about poverty and how this might relate to the community you will be working with.

Take inspiration from Fergus – could you come up with a fundraising idea based around development issues? Get your thinking caps on and see if you can do something a little bit different!

Fundraising garden party

Restless Development ICS Team Leader, Bernadette initially thought really big with her fundraising, but realised the simpler option was definitely the best one!  

Bernadette initially tried to look into a big public fundraising event but had a bit of trouble as “it was impossible to find a cheap venue available due to short notice.”

Using her brilliant practical problem solving skills, Bernadette realised it’s better to keep her fundraising activities small and manageable, and most of all – fun!

“I wasn't able to find venues for my fundraising party so I decided to throw a bbq party in my garden! I asked friends to bring some people so it would give me more people to get donations from.”

Now that the weather is sunny (ish) a garden party or BBQ is a great fundraiser and so easy to do! 


As well as decorating her garden with some creative and amazing handmade posters, Bernadette provided some great food and entertainment too.

Drawing on her past experience and skills working with young people and children, she set up some cheap activities at the BBQ for children to get involved with  and even set up a giant jenga tournament which people donated to take part in – super fun for everyone!

Bernadette also organised someone to do henna designs which was a great success (just look at that amazing photo!) 

With all of the amazing activities Bernadette had on offer she managed to raise an impressive £225 just through one event at her home!  

Hosting the BBQ in her back garden meant that she didn’t have to pay out for pricey venue costs too. 

You could also ask to host a garden party at a friend’s house if you don’t have access to a garden.  

Best of all, Bernadette has now reached her target a month before her fundraising deadline and has developed some brilliant event organisation skills to take forward to her ICS placement!

Bernadette’s fundraising journey didn’t work out as originally planned but thanks to a bit of creativity she found that the simplest idea turned out to be the best!  

If you’re stuck for a fundraising idea then make the most of the summer and get a BBQ fundraiser planned (whilst it’s still sunny!).

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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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