Branch and Group Fundraising Stories

Fundraising is such a big part of the work that all of you do and we continue to be truly grateful for giving up so much of your time in support of helping us to raise vitally needed income.

There are times of course when it can seem so daunting to think about organising an event or trying something new to make money and this is when we are here to help you.

A fundraising plan for the year is always a great way to start. Our brand new Wirral Group had a visit from Regional Fundraiser Donna Young at their second meeting and talked through the options of how they as a small, new group could make the most of fundraising in their first year.

With a small group and lots to do in their first year it was agreed the best possible way forward would be by encouraging others to host events for them. The group ordered 50 flyers and ten bakeit! packs and using the promotional advice guide for branches and groups that has been written to help you, they will kick off their fundraising with a target of 10 bakeit! events to be held on their behalf.

From time to time corporate opportunities arise to. Thanks to a tip off from our corporate team, the Merseyside and Derbyshire branches with support from the Regional Fundraising team worked on applications to be charities of the year for their local Dobbies Garden Centres.

Lee Parkin from the Leicestershire Branch understands the value of getting support at a local level. A recent pitch to Lloyds TSB led to the branch being selected as charity of the year for the Midlands and will see staff at all of the locations fundraising for the branch.

After a North West Forum, branches and groups requested information about how to access supermarket funding so a document was put together with information about all the supermarkets and how each of them can support at a local level alongside a template letter for requesting support.

Grimsby Branch have learned that partnering with local community groups can pay dividends. Branch Chair, Lisa Blow, gave a talk to the Lord Heneage branch of the Masons and from that relationship thousands of pounds have already been raised through joint events and their ongoing support has been pledged for the rest of this year.

Merseyside had a fantastically successful year in 2013 to celebrate 30 years as a branch. Using social media to inspire and support others to hold events on their behalf became a vital tool in reaching and smashing their fundraising targets.

Lincolnshire Branch are supporting their local Mayor who has chosen the branch as his charity of the year and will be fundraising and promoting them throughout his term. Putting in applications to be considered as a mayoral charity is often really straightforward and can bring some brilliant results.

The South Hertfordshire Branch has also been very successful with raising awareness and funds at The Abbey Theatre in St Albans. This has included productions of Loot’ by Joe Orton and recently The Price’ by Arthur Miller which raised just under £1,000. The branch are very good at generating excellent local PR in the local press and radio station in their area and have built up excellent relationships with both the past and present Mayor of St Albans resulting in their attending and supporting events.

The Dorridge Fundraiser is an annual event now in its 10th year and run by the local church. The Birmingham and Solihull Group became involved with the run and were one of six chosen charities last year. This is a high profile event locally and attracts huge crowds raising over £35,000 for the six charities involved. As this is an open event it gives the group the opportunity to raise awareness outside our normal constituency and also to achieve a higher level of funding than one would expect from pure sponsorship. The group has forged an excellent working relationship with the organisers and even though they are not a main charity in 2014 they will be involved and are hoping to be able to man an awareness stand at the event, and by maintaining this relationship be a main beneficiary in 2015.

These are just a few examples of the excellent fundraising happening in our branches and groups. With so many things to do as volunteers, building local relationships and energising supporters at a local level to take on fundraising for you is a terrific way to go. If you want help, support and advice to find out how to make the best of the contacts you have and also how to attract new supporters then please get in touch with your Regional Fundraiser who will be pleased to help you with your fundraising plans.

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