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You're a wizard Harry... at fundraising!

When you are right at the start of your ICS journey fundraising can seem like a daunting challenge. Lots of volunteers feel that way, but by the end we find that most volunteers have put in to action some of the most creative and fun activities to hit their fundraising target!

To help allay some of those fears, Harry tells us about his experience fundraising for ICS and gives some of his top tips on how to smash your fundraising target!

So, how did you feel right at the start of your fundraising?

With only having roughly 6 weeks to reach my half way target of £400, I must admit I was a little taken back by it and really knew that I had to get cracking on as soon as possible. Aside from the time scale of which I had to been given to reach my goal I was really not too concerned about the idea of fundraising, it was a new experience for me which I was excited about getting involved in.

How did you start to get your fundraising plan together?

I looked at what I was already doing in my day to day life which could help towards fundraising first of all. Football was the first topic that jumped out to me, every Saturday I play a game of football where over 20 players show up and pay to play football. I knew I could tie this in with fundraising some way.

Before I really decided to plan anything I knew that just getting the message out there on social media was a great way to kick off, it was quick, easy and effective. A good way of planning how to fundraise was just asking my friends and family if they had any ideas, I was surprised at how many different ideas I all off a sudden had to choose from.

Not sure how fundraising fits into your day to day? Check out this network mapping video to help you get started.

Once you’d started throwing some ideas out there, what events did you settle on for your fundraising?

So my main fundraising event was a charity football match with a full meal provided at the local pub afterwards with a variety of raffles, auctions and games. Another of my events was a half marathon, I knew that this would be a reliable way of fundraising as it’s very popular. My final event actually got cancelled which was a table top fair which I was going to be selling homemade Christmas decorations, this then just turned into selling them to friends, family and public by advertising it in the local village magazine.

Volunteer stands in front of a half marathon finish line
© Shutterstock

Did you come across any challenges whilst you were fundraising?

I think one of the main challenges that I had to face was just accepting that some people just really aren’t interested, even people that you are close to that you expect support from. It’s a bit of a rubbish feeling to start with but I got over it by all of the surprising feedback I got back from who I least expected. People have different opinions on things and I just learnt to accept it and crack on. It didn’t change my perception of ICS and VSO in anyway, if anything it made me more passionate.

Awesome! So once you’d hit (actually gone past) your fundraising target, how did you feel?

After completing the charity football match I had smashed my full fundraising target and this was an incredible feeling. It was the first time I had ever done anything like that before. When I stopped the following day and just thought to myself, all of that money wouldn’t have been raised for ICS and VSO if I hadn’t bothered doing anything. It made me feel really good about myself and really good for VSO, you can feel yourself making a difference already.

Finally, what would be your top three tips for other ICS fundraisers?

If I had to give three top tips they would be:

  • Get started straight away with social media, it’s such a good tool for getting the message out there quickly, you will be surprised at how quickly people start donating.
  • Look at your personal life and see where you’re already in a place where there is a large amount of people that you have access to. For example, sport teams, quiz teams, workplace, schools etc.
  • Don’t be scared of bothering people. As long as you respect other people’s opinions and are polite then you have a right to spread your message and let people know what you are fundraising for. The more information provided to the public makes it clearer to them for where the money is actually going to. 

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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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