It doesn’t take a jack-of-all-trades to master the art of fundraising, no matter the time frame. With only two months to raise nearly £3000 Hannah Hughes decided to use her God-given talents (and the power of social media) to raise money for her three month placement in Bangladesh. Read on as Hannah tells the story.
How often do you get the opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and volunteer abroad? For me, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
There’s no feeling like the buzz of excitement you get when applying for a Tearfund Go placement, but after being accepted I felt the pressure of getting everything in place, from clothing and vaccinations to visas and flights.
The thing I was dreading most was fundraising. I had just under two months to raise the money for my placement in Bangladesh. I can hardly express the panic I felt.
Fortunately, Tearfund’s pre-departure training gave us lots of ideas about how we could fundraise. I realised that the best advice is to do what you love.
For me I knew that the key to success was to get my church involved. I told the congregation about my placement and answered questions about what I would be doing. My church community was really excited to see a young person wanting to serve God overseas.
The Film Buff
I love films. At our church we host a community cinema once a week for people in the village to sit and watch a film with family and friends. It’s a great opportunity to socialise and meet new people. I grasped on to this opportunity, and after one of the film nights I spoke to people about my placement and left a basket for any donations. It was a simple but great way to get the word out about what I was doing.
When fundraising, you can’t go wrong with a nice traditional cake sale. I made cakes and flapjacks with my mum, and members of the church were so excited about my fundraising target that they also made bakes for me to sell.
Each Sunday at the end of the service, I’d have my table all set up with my donation box and a delicious array of sugary treats. Through four cake sales I raised £177.
I love everything about writing, so my last (and most successful) way of reaching out to people was through a newsletter. The newsletter explained where I was going and what I would be doing. There was a growing interest, and a lot of people wanted to help me fundraise.
I wrote about why I wanted to go to Bangladesh, what I would be doing and why I needed others to help me reach my goal. I added a photo of my team, contact information and how people could donate before putting it up in my church and handing it out to people.
I spread my news even further using social media (a great way to reach more people). I took advantage of every platform available, and received loads of responses. People liked, shared, commented, and followed the link to my fundraising page.
The positive and supportive responses were so encouraging - coming from friends and family all over. People gave whatever they had to support me, writing a small note of encouragement with the financial gift.
A Fundraising Miracle
It was a miracle I raised enough for my placement within two months. Overall, I raised £2,950 for Tearfund on my JustGiving page.
It is truly amazing how thoughtful and giving my community were: friends, family and church. Even the smallest amount meant so much to me. It was so encouraging to know that I had people backing me to reach my target. I learnt that the most unexpected of people can be very generous.
Inspired? Read our fundraising tips blog for more ideas or if you’re ready to take the plunge have a look at where you could go with Tearfund.