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Office Olympics, living below the line and mum pilates

This week we feature Fundraising Superstar Becca Foster who faced her fundraising head on – embracing the challenge and getting stuck in. 

She achieved her goal and now has a great story to tell. So, onto her story …

“While trying to juggle an internship/uni work/life in general, I didn't have much time on my hands," said Becca.

"So with this in mind I decided I’d plan several simple fundraising activities that would each easily target different groups of people and encourage them to donate to Progressio ICS.

“I started by inviting colleagues to take part in a 'Mini Office Olympics' were they paid entry to the competition on my JustGiving page and did a simple online speed typing test.

"They then had to screenshot their best efforts and send them to me.

"Next, I signed up to a 10km run - a daunting task for someone who at the time couldn't run for longer than 20 minutes! 

"I found that getting active and challenging yourself was a great way of getting sponsorship from distant family members and friends who lived further afield.

"I also challenged my work mates again through a competition of ‘guess Becca’s 10km time’!”

'Simplicity is key in fundraising,' says ICS volunteer Becca
© ICS / Progressio / Becca Foster
'Simplicity is key in fundraising,' says ICS volunteer Becca

“My third activity, the ‘Live Below the Line’ challenge, was about raising awareness of modern day poverty and getting my social network contacts engaged.

"I went into the challenge, in which you attempt to live on less than £1 a day, extremely unprepared and whilst my attempt was comical on the surface, it opened my eyes to how wasteful I am.

"The public were my next fundraising ‘target’ when I arrived with a car boot full of old wares to a field full of eager bargain hunters.

"Thanks to the generosity of my family’s item donations, I had some impressive second hand goods to sell and somehow managed to raise £120 from one morning alone.

"I also took along some DIY posters, collection buckets and chalkboards to spread the fundraising message, all of which definitely helped me to drive profits – it is incredibly hard for the public to haggle when you reply with ‘but it’s for charity.’

“For my final fundraising activity, I wanted to hold an event that would attract my mum's friends as well as my own.

"An exercise class seemed like the best option and I got in touch with a local pilates instructor who kindly agreed to help by leading a special one-off class.

"Next I found a venue and built on the event concept by enlisting the help of a health brand, Filmore and Union, to come along and make fresh smoothies for all attendees.

"Having the support of a local business was extremely helpful for promotion, as they featured the event in their weekly newsletter, on their social media channels and also on posters in their stores.

"To increase ticket sales further, I approached the local press, who gave the event a mention and even shared the Facebook event page. The event was also an ample opportunity to draw a raffle and I used prizes collected from a range of local businesses as incentives for people to enter."

Becca held an exercise class in her community and secured sponsorship from a local health business
© ICS / Progressio / Becca Foster
Becca held an exercise class in her community and secured sponsorship from a local health business

“What advice would I give to other volunteer fundraisers? For a start, HAVE FUN. It’s called FUNdraising for a reason.

"Secondly, make a list of everyone that you think could possibly donate or help you (e.g. friends, work mates, uni, your college, community clubs, family, siblings' friends etc.) and plan your fundraising activities around this list – what would type of activity appeal the most to each group?

"Breaking down your fundraising like this can make things seem more manageable and help raise as much money as possible, even in a short amount of time.

"My current total stands at £1162.00 (a whole £360 over target) and I couldn’t have done it without this strategy.

"Finally, I’d also planned to hold another event on the evening of the ‘#PilatesforProgressio’ day but realised I didn’t have the time to organize both. Simplicity is key with fundraising, don’t overcomplicate it!”

Sounds like Becca had a strategic plan which she stuck to whilst having fun at the same time!

Huge props to you too as well for finishing the £5 food challenge despite having your wisdom teeth pulled out – ouch – that’s commitment!

You can read more about her attempts here and here.

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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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