Being faced with the task of fundraising £6,200 can seem daunting and challenging.  It can be difficult to find inspiration for events and ideas which will then turn into successful fundraisers.

We asked some of our 2019/20 Volunteers, who will be going Overseas this year, and have spent the last 12 months fundraising, to tell us about their experiences over the past year.

Beth – Thailand 2019/20

“My most successful fundraising event had to be my introductory event – a Thai food night – I raised £1,188.97!   Luckily, I managed to get the use of a scout hall for free because I’d been a Scout there and my mum knew the woman who owned it.    

The event consisted of a three-course Thai food buffet accompanied by a quiz between courses; I also decided to hold a raffle to help increase the diversity of fundraising initiatives available on the evening.    As it was my first event, everyone was very excited and happy to come along so I had a lot of people buying tickets (which I’d designed on Word and emailed to everyone who paid).    The tickets cost £10 and I asked people to bring money for raffle tickets and to bring their own bottle.    To add a Thai tradition to the event, I told everyone that they’d be expected to take their shoes off before entering the hall; everyone enjoyed this and found it funny so it was an interesting cultural twist.    I decorated the hall with Thai flag bunting and fairy lights, to add to the ambience I put on some Thai music.    

Once most people had arrived, I gave a short speech and this was a bit nerve-wracking but it allowed me to tell everyone exactly what I was fundraising for and what the evening was going to entail.    Alongside a few family members and friends, we cooked some Thai food, it all tasted amazing and there wasn’t much leftover!  It was a lovely evening and everyone told me afterwards that they really enjoyed themselves.    Despite the stress and nerves that I felt at some points during the evening, I enjoyed myself too and it was so endearing to see how kind and caring people were.”

Eilidh – South Africa 2019/20

“For my fundraising I only held one large fundraising event and lots of smaller events in order to reach my target.    My main event was a live music night; as a Higher Music student and an active member of a musical theatre group I knew many musically gifted people.    By having a variety of different musical genres playing throughout the evening I was able to appeal to lots of different people and increase the amount of attendees.    The event made around £1,500 this was compromised of the entry price and the profits from selling raffle tickets.”

“The most challenging part of fundraising is the balance between school, social life and fundraising as managing to keep all of them up at the same time is rather difficult but believe me you get there!

It’s a lot easier to reach your target than you think!  If you dedicate the time to researching and writing to charitable trusts as well as making a leaflet detailing what you will be doing during your overseas placement they are far more likely to provide you with a donation.    The amount of support that I received from charitable trusts was incredible, in fact it helped me to raise over a third of my total.

The generosity of my friends’ family members was unbelievable; most of whom I had never met.    My friend’s mum ran bake sales at her work a few times whilst I was at school; which was greatly appreciated.    Also, the amount of people I didn’t know directly who provided donations was huge!  The best part about donations is finding the people who support you to the fullest.    For example, I received a £50 donation from a teacher of mine and it came with the comment: “be the change you wish to see in the world.” Project Trust is giving me that chance, which I couldn’t be more thankful for.”

6 Things Alex Learned

Anna – Thailand 2019/20

“After the initial buzz of being selected for a year overseas, very quickly the daunting realisation of having to raise £6,200 hit home.   Faced with such a big task, it was easy to become overwhelmed and feel as if it was never going to happen even after being prepped on Selection with so many different tips and tricks on smart fundraising.   

Although all these feelings are totally natural and I am sure everyone has had these thoughts – getting the ball rolling in any way is the most important thing to do and can bring surprising results.   When I found out that I had been selected, I posted a picture on social media with a caption explaining what it was I was doing and the fact I had to raise £6,200 to get there, I put a link to my virgin giving page on my account and I asked close friends and family to share it if they could, and within 48 hours I had received over £1500 from friends and family.   It really surprised and amazed me how generous and benevolent people were to help me in any way possible; whether that was through donating, sharing my story or offering up venues/ prizes for fundraising events.   

I couldn’t believe it when by January I had finished my fundraising after 6 months, a target that at some points felt almost impossible.   Although I knew that those close to me would be supportive in any way possible, I was honestly taken aback by everyone’s support especially from those who didn’t know me personally or know me very well.   

My advice to anyone who is starting out their fundraising journey would be to accept people’s help in any form and never underestimate the kindness and generosity people will show you – you will be amazed”

6 Things Alex Learned

Lori – South Africa 2019/20

“The most successful event that I held raised almost a third of my fundraising target.  This was a Race Night, and I raised £2,021 from just one night alone.  In Aberdeen, there is a chain of fish & chip restaurants/takeaways called The Ashvale, and these venues regularly hold such events for charity or business purposes.  It was fairly easy to organise a date for my event, I went on their website and chose what suited me. 

I held my race night on a Sunday – so I never expected to raise this much because it was more of a Saturday night event figure.  The owners told me how a race night worked and explained roughly how much I should charge for each aspect in order to make maximum profits.  All that I was responsible for was selling tickets (max.  of 100 people), horses (64 of them, 8 per race), and finding race sponsors (8 total), all of which the venue gave me sheets for that I would need to hand to them a few days before the event so that they could make up a program.  When I received this pack from them it also included tickets for the event that I could hand to those who chose to purchase them – included in the price of the ticket was a meal from the chipper on the night!  

Before the night had even come around, I already had over £1,000 from sales of tickets/horses and from sponsors.  On the night, the venue ran absolutely everything, as they had told me they would – their expertise is definitely part of the reason why my event was so successful.  On top of this, the owner of the horse who won the race received a meal for two voucher from the organisers – courtesy of them.  In order to raise as many funds as possible, I held a raffle at the event which, I had to gather prizes for as well. 

Not only was the night a success, but it was also thoroughly enjoyable for all who attended.”

6 Things Alex Learned