Under usual circumstances, I’d be telling you that, in the life of a fundraiser, no two days are the same.
My days consist of anything from networking meetings and presentations to bucket collections and fundraising events. But I’m usually out and about, meeting lots of different people and helping to grow the charity’s presence in Dorset.
So, how does a fundraiser survive in isolation? And how do we raise funds in these unprecedented times with businesses closed, events and activities cancelled and individuals locked indoors?!
Well, in typical fundraiser style, whilst maintaining a sense of humour and remaining sensitive to the world around me, I started to think outside of the box (or perhaps more accurately, inside the box I call home!)
I began thinking about the idea that I am ‘locked in’ and thought I should try and get myself ‘bailed out’ and so, ‘I’m A Fundraiser, Get Me Out Of Here’ was born. Initially, I was just asking for donations to get myself bailed out but as things escalated and everybody was put on lockdown, I thought I should up my game! Friends and family started setting challenges for me to do in return for a donation so I’ve now sung the Hokey Cokey (with gusto!) in the back garden, run up and down the stairs 100 times and flipped a pancake 10 times in a row. Yes, it’s all silly stuff but at times like these, a little light-hearthearted relief can go a long way.
With my personal fundraising plan underway (I’ve raised over £500!) it was time to work with the rest of the Wessex Cancer Trust fundraising team to think about how we could engage a community who can no longer leave their own homes. Usually, we’d be working on bringing people out to events – coffee mornings, quiz nights, sponsored walks and bike rides. It felt like fundraising was virtually impossible. Or only possible virtually…we got it – we need to focus on virtual fundraising!
And so lockdown events were born! You could join us for a Virtual Quiz – you and your friends can form a team without leaving the house. Or perhaps the Move-A-Thon will be more your idea of fun – 6 hours of consecutive exercise classes in the comfort of your own home. We’ll also be holding a Spring raffle – be in with a chance of winning £250 by purchasing a ticket or two online, and hosting a Virtual Coffee Morning – more to come on that soon.
So, what I have learnt so far from this experience? Never say never because anything is possible and where there’s a will there’s a way!
Maria Tidy, Community Engagement Manager for Dorset.