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BLOG September 4, 2007

Fundraising for an ACE Placement

Many of our volunteers FUNdraise to meet some if not all of their placement prices. The challenge of funding the placements can appear daunting, however with some imagination and lots of enthusiasm the task of fund raising can be great fun while working towards a great goal!

Fund-raising should be seen as part of the experience and an achievement itself. After booking your placement you can request our fund raising pack which includes a booklet “The A.C.E. Guide to Fund Raising” which will show you just how much fun it can be! It gives pages of great ideas and the basic information to get you started. The Guide will also tell you where we can give you direct support and assistance and provide answers to frequently asked questions including your requirement to be aware of all laws and regulations affecting your fund raising. We also provide ACE sponsorship forms, DVDs and posters to help you publicise any events and gain sponsorship. Fund raising events, grants and sponsorship are just a few ways to fund your placement!

From our past personal experience of fund raising, and our past volunteer’s, here are ideas to give you some incentive…
* Be Creative
For any of you that are creative and artistic, there are many ways to raise funds! Think about the time of year and what seasonal fund raising you can do, for example cooking Easter biscuits, wrapping and selling them, making Christmas Cards or small crafts which can be bought for presents. Last Christmas, a past volunteer raised a large percentage of her placement cost through making Jewelry and was provided with a craft stall at her local shopping mall during Christmas to sell them! Cooking, from creating international evening dinners to cake stalls at your workplace or college can also be a great way of raising funds.
* Sponsored events
Fundraising events are a great way to involve the larger community in your project, friends and family, local clubs and organizations. You will be surprised at how supportive and intrigued people will be (and envious!) when you explain the purpose of your event! While we provide sponsorship forms for any kind of sponsored event, a great way to secure sponsorship is to make the process simple – there are online fundraising guides which allow you to set up your own personalised sponsorship webpage and always carry your sponsorship forms with you!
* Publicity
Try to involve your local community, workplace, University or college in your events and your fund raising tasks… ensure people know what you are fund raising for and what the funds are supporting. We can provide material for you to give to local newspapers or radio stations who are normally very supportive of publishing articles to help empahsise what you are working towards. We will also support all students with their fund raising and provide lots of enthusiasm and ideas to get you started!
* Environmental Group fundraising Ideas
There are companies which will provide great opportunities to raise fund by recycling inkjet cartridges and mobile phones, while others provide funds for providing old laptops and cameras to recycle.

Faye Sanders raised money by having several African themed dinner parties….

“In order to raise money for my trip to South Africa, I came up with the idea to hold a series of African dinners to which I would invite family friends in the hope that they would sponsor me. I held 3 dinners and invited 4 couples to each. It proved very hard to find suitable African dishes but I got there in the end and ended up with 3 delicious dishes. Cape prawn and avocado salad to start, an apricot and saffron lamb tagine for main and a choice of Moroccan style plum pudding or honey and lavender poached pears for dessert. I then gave them tea or coffee which I served with fresh dates. While they drank their tea I gave them a power point presentation of what I would be doing in South Africa so that they knew what their money would be going towards! The dinners were a great success and I raised over 100 pounds for each dinner. I have to thank my parents for being so willing to help me. They were my waiters for each evening and had to deal with my stress as I cooked 3 dishes for 8 people – hard work!” Faye Sanders (Fundraising for a 12 week placement at Moholoholo and Shimongwe in 2008).

Sarah Brookes raised over £4000 for her 12 week placement earlier this year…

“The daunting task of raising the funds for 3 months in Africa, stared about a year before I flew. Here are a few of the things I tried whist constantly repeating the phrase ‘Every little Helps!’
Letter writing – Describing how much I needed to raise and a summary of the project(s). I sent my letter to many addresses all with the similar aim of conservation or teaching etc. This maybe followed by a phone call or a meeting by any organisations interested, so be ready with facts about your project(s). Car Boot – This can get annoying as people want to pay as little as possible but good excuse to get rid of old junk. People will buy the strangest things! Cake Sale – Your college/Uni is a good place to hold it. Get your friends to make some cakes and put information about ACE around your stand. (The favourite was squares of mars bar and rice crispy cakes!) Family – I held a Chinese Night at my friend’s restaurant where I got a percentage of the profits for filling the restaurant with friends and family. Here I auctioned off a hamper of alcohol etc. Piggy bank – Over a year or so it builds up! News paper article – I invited my local paper to document the cake sale. From this I received donations from people I know who also wanted to help. I also looked to my college and place of work for sponsorship.”
Sarah Brookes (3 month placement at Tuli and Shimongwe in 2007)

Don’t forget to be positive and remember to have fun! Most importantly, be proud of what you are doing…helping to make a difference to some of the most vulnerable yet diverse environments and wildlife in the world!

Author: Alexia Massey

Alexia has extensive (and varied!) past experience in raising funds both for conservation placements and to support environmental and wildlife organizations and would be happy to give you support, ideas and advice for fundraising. Contact us if you would like to chat to her.   

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