25 August 2009 | Team Tamar

How to fundraise for charity

Ok, so sorry, I don’t actually have the definitive answer to this difficult question, however I wanted to share our experiences of successful fundraising and also some brilliant ideas I’ve seen work for others.

We raise money every year for a number of community projects that we get involved with; the money goes towards materials, equipment and direct project costs, and Tamar and it’s employees donate their time and cover all people costs (food, travel etc). However it’s always challenging raising money, no matter how good the cause is.

In the first year we relied mostly on the generosity and support of our friends and family; and they were extremely generous; enough to build a new classroom at a school in Cape Town. In the second year it was no where near as easy to depend on this source of fundraising so we ran a couple of successful large events which raised enough to renovate and provide equipment for a school in Shanghai (including a new roof). This year has been even more challenging with the current economic climate meaning that even the most charitable among us have had to watch our outgoings. In 2009 we’ve focused on small events which has been successful and fun!

So here are our top tips for fundraising:

1. Do something that people would be paying money for anyway…

We’ve been very successful with selling skills and time, or belongings, to raise money. The types of things that have worked well have been our Charity lunches, having everyone in the office make and sell lunch to the rest of the team, and our eBay auctions, asking for people to clear out their closets or donated items that could be sold for cash.

2. Do something fun!

Everyone loves a quiz, or perhaps a footie match, or maybe dinner and drinks! We’ve had a lot of success through running events where we’ve charged an admission. This years events have included a rock gig, a pub quiz, and greek themed dinner and dancing night, and a five-a-side football quiz. The beauty of this is that different events will appeal to different people, so there’s a lot of opportunity to get everyone involved.

3. Do something different

I recently came across some great ideas where people are going to great lengths t0 do something different to raise money. Sheena Matheiken (The Uniform Project) has committed to wearing the same style dress everyday for a year , although accessorised in completely different ways to raise money for the education of children in India; a fantastic example of what can be achieve with commitment and a different idea. We’ve also had people at Tamar who have raised surprising amounts of money through various body hair removal processes!

In short, the key is to think about who you are able to target and get creative with ideas that will appeal. Good luck!

Team Tamar