Fundraising can be a daunting experience, and you may think that it’s something outside of your comfort zone. However, you’ll soon discover that fundraising can take so many different forms that there’s always something to suits your personality perfectly.
Do you have any expertise, any niche interests, that you are keen to share with others? Do you own a telescope and want to show others the majesty of the heavens, for a small donation? Are you a keen photographer with a few tricks up your sleeve that you could demonstrate to others?
You’ll be amazed to find out just how many people share an interest in your hobbies, and many more who are thinking of taking up a new project but just don’t know where to start. You’ll be helping people to improve their talents, whilst also raising funds for our veterans.
You don’t have to rely on traditional methods of fundraising, and to inspire you we’ve interviewed a long-time fundraiser for Help for Heroes, Heather Waterfield.
Heather Waterfield hosted a workshop demonstrating the various methods of cooking using an Aga oven, and donated all profits made from the price of the tickets to Help for Heroes. She invited 30 friends to her house, who each invited another friend, as they watched a demonstrator make various meals using Heather’s Aga oven.
A local wine company donated two boxes of wine, so Heather raffled off one bottle of wine while the rest was used as an accompaniment to the meal that was prepared in front of everyone – there’s always a fundraising opportunity to be found! The ticket sales covered the demonstrator’s costs, and Help for Heroes received £500 in donations in one night.
Demonstration nights are fun and successful; the demonstrator does all the work, all you need to do is find enough seats for everyone!
This is, of course, just one way of fundraising, but Heather is very experienced, having been fundraising for many years, and she is keen to share her experiences and advice with her fellow Help for Heroes supporters.
What have you found difficult and what advice would you offer to anybody struggling with their fundraising?
“People don’t realise that holding an event is an easy format for fundraising. For example, something like a quiz night, you need to hire a hall, buy food on offer from a supermarket, and charge £15 a ticket – the food costs about £5, so you make £10 per ticket. People will always come to an evening like that, as they love attending an event. You can also support local businesses at the same time – fish and chips can be delivered locally!”
In your opinion, what has been the secret to your successful fundraising?
“People like to participate, and lots of people come back every year to the same events. Local businesses are happy to donate a prize to be raffled off. Local businesses are keen to support a good cause; my local sausage factory donated 180 sausages to be raffled, and Saracens rugby club donated tickets – don’t forget to ask your local sports teams for tickets!”
Do you have any additional advice that you would like to put forward?
“There are a lot of things that you can do at work. If you buy a bear from Help for Heroes, put 100 names on a board, and ask everyone at work to guess the name of the Bear at a £1 a go, you can easily make £100 or more, everyone’s prepared to pay £1. No matter how daunting your fundraising target may be, slowly but surely you will get there in the end.”