What does fundraising mean? What does it really involve? These are questions we asked ourselves when we decided to start fundraising for our chosen intern charity, One-Eighty. One-Eighty works hard to raise awareness of children’s mental health across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, West London and Swindon. We will be fundraising for them throughout our yearlong internship. It’s hard to know what fundraising really entails until you do it yourself. We knew that it would be both challenging and rewarding, however, we’ve come across some interesting and unexpected hurdles throughout our fundraising journey.

Some unexpected surprises

A big revelation for us was that some people don’t actually want to donate to charity – who would have thought it? There are also some people who prefer to choose a specific charity to support long-term, and therefore opt not to donate to others in the work place. There is a wonderful variety of ways in which people choose to donate to charity, and not all of them involve chucking some spare change into a collection box. Money doesn’t make the world go around (although it does help), and some people much prefer to donate their time by volunteering.

Fundraising in the workplace brings a great sense of togetherness. It fills us with a sense of accomplishment to see how willing everyone is to take part in our fundraising activities for an excellent cause – especially ones involving eclectic headwear. Being able to laugh at yourself is a great attribute, even if sometimes people are laughing at you rather than with you for your elaborate choice of hat. Our experience has taught us that fundraising brings a vibrant and dynamic atmosphere to any environment.

Admin, admin, admin!

Regardless of how enthusiastic people are about taking part in whatever activity we throw at them, it does still take a lot of reminders. This is something that will differ depending on where you are doing your fundraising, but in a workplace, reminders have to be set so that people don’t forget to participate. It’s understandable – people are working hard on numerous projects at a time so it’s hard to keep track of things that are going on in the office. However, it only takes a slight nudge (or three) and a reminder the day before to get a fantastic level of participation from all.

But is this a good idea?

There are an infinite number of ways that you can choose to fundraise. Bake sales, fancy dress, bike rides, runs, jumble sales, the list could go on forever. Although this is great as it gives us so many good ideas, it’s also hard to be original and unique as you feel like every idea you come up with has already been done. Trying to be creative with what we choose to do is a big challenge as there is more to think about than you originally anticipate. Is it fun? Will people want to take part? Has it been done before? Is it realistic? These are all things we think about before we decide on an activity, as we always want it to be entertaining for all.

What surprised us was the fact that other businesses were so willing to give us support for our fundraising activities. Some fundraisers require prizes, mainly to help bring out the competitive side of people, but also to encourage people to join in. It was eye-opening to find out that it’s as simple as walking into a shop and asking for donations, and they often give you an assortment of amazing prizes to hand out.

We have been supported greatly by One-Eighty throughout our fundraising journey and have been supplied with collection boxes and merchandise, which has made the process a lot easier. We are closely working with Rebekah Sammut, who has expressed her gratitude for all Pamoja’s support:

“After initially supporting our 2018 Summer Project, we are very pleased that Pamoja Education have become a Corporate Partner with One-Eighty. So far, their interns have organized various fundraising events at their offices including a ‘wear stripes to work day’ and ‘guess the sweets in a jar fundraiser’ and they will be hosting more fundraising activities throughout the coming year. We have lots of other ideas that are in development including support with marketing resources, help with social media and arranging volunteering days including our Make Me Smile project. We look forward to partnering with Pamoja Education over the coming year and sharing further updates with you at the end of Summer 2019.”

It is a great pleasure to know that as Pamoja interns we can strengthen our partnership with One-Eighty and work towards a great cause together. Thank you to the Pamoja team for being so supportive and enthusiastic when it comes to our fundraisers, the donations really mean a lot.

Thank you,

Amiee and Freddy


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