Hiya, I'm Georgia and last year I fundraised £2570 for my trip to Peru! Worried about fundraising? Below is how I fundraised this amount, and some top tips on how I could have done EVEN BETTER next time!

Firstly, I starting by sharing my fundraising page with family and friends before doing anything. However, as they knew I was planning some events, they decided they would rather support me that way and get a mutual benefit. So it was distant family and friends rather than immediate that put money online within the first few weeks- don't be afraid to reach out to old friends to ask for small donations! I raised around £250 from sharing my fundraising page, and this includes donations that people gave at my other events which I will explain below (I had buckets for loose change).

Craft Fair 

Holding a craft fair can be stressful! I organised tea, cakes, a raffle and tombola and stall holders who paid for a table and gave me a raffle prize, in order to sell their own things. You need around a month to gather prizes, get people talking and buy what is required. As an extra idea I also dressed up as Minnie Mouse, which also encouraged more people to come and bring their children too. I held two of these due to the success of the first one and raised £900 in total! That was half my target! 

Christmas Fundraising 

Christmas can be a busy time, so it can be hard to fit in fundraising events, but it is so worth it if you can squeeze it in! I made snowman cupcakes chocolate Christmas hampers which I advertised on my social media. In total, I raised £150 from this! 

Use connections

The people who came along to my craft fair, also often held their own fairs and I was invited along to have a stall at a discounted rate, where I could sell cakes and raffle tickets. I went along to 3 of these events and raised £120! 

Whilst I was asking for raffle donations, one of the pubs I went in too also offered to put on drag night to help with my fundraising, and said I would get the profits.  Along with the raffle I organised myself, and one night that involved pretty much no planning from me, raised another £250.

Think outside the box!

Try to think of ideas that are a little different and aren't your usual fundraising event! I hosted two psychic night (because the first one was such a success!) which I sold tickets for. Although I had to hire the psychic and hire a room to host the event, I sold refreshments on the night and had (another) raffle. In total, I raised £700 from these two events. 

Sell some old stuff!

My nana had a recliner 'old ladies' chair to get rid of which I sold for £150! My Mum then wanted to get rid of some bits, and people gave me things to sell online which was an easy £50 in total.

In total I absolutely smashed my target and raised £2570- £900 extra!!

However, there were definitely some opportunities I missed out on, so here are some ion my top tips:

1.Start fundraising early! II joined later in November,as a challenge leader due to my team becoming extremely large. So it was difficult to plan a big event around christmas time but I feel like I could have taken advantage of the season so much more!

2.Share, share share!! Get families and friends to share your events, it was this that worked well for me as even people you don’t know are willing to come to your events, help or even donate! This allowed me to go to other events for free or a small charge which gave me a break from planning events myself and I was still able to raise some money with little effort.

3.Take a break, sharing is caring! It’s okay to have a break from fundraising. I found that doing bigger events spread out allowed me to relax a lot more than smaller events more regularly. Or even take the stress off a little bit further as i did with partnering up with another charity from my local area. Sharing the stress and the funds allowed us to split the costs of the event itself (room, refreshments and entertainment), share ideas without competition, inviting both of our own friends and family which meant we had a wider audience, and more money as a whole.

4.Small village, big city. It’s important to understand that most of my fundraising was done with a fairly small audience as I live in a little village. I did not once use York to my advantage, therefore this could have been a missed opportunity to gather a wider audience and do something local around my studies with my friends at university. 

5. FUNdraising can be FUN! Once your event has started enjoy it a little! Chat to customers, they will be interested in your trip and what they are contributing to. So try and relax as most of the hard work is done!

I hope this is helpful, fundraising doesn’t have to be difficult, just pace yourself and get as many people involved using social media and you and your family and friends skills to your advantage. Also, remember the Challenges Abroad team and the Futuresense Foundation team are there to help you, so ask for help when you need it!

Enjoy your trip, all the fundraising is worth it!

Georgia x