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From the very start, our project has been about creating an active community of supporters – an online family who, together, can help us achieve our goal of building a babies’ home in Uganda.
We have encouraged you to contact us via our website, follow us on Twitter, join our Facebook group, ask us questions, help us with our to-do lists and come and meet us face-to-face in order to get to know us and our charity.
But now the time has finally come for us to ask you to “give us your money” – and we can no longer be shy about it. We have our gift aid code and our Justgiving account is set up, so we need to get raising funds.
We’ve got a massive task on our hands, as our home will not build itself on love alone (if it could be, we would have done it by now thanks to you), so if you can donate, please do: Click to Donate
FACT: If every one of our 1,300+ Facebook group members were to give £5 per month, we’d have £84k in a year– that’s more than a 10th of the way to our target.
BUT having done our Bob Geldof bit, we don’t want this to be just about you handing over your hard-earned cash. Instead, we’d love you to raise money by doing things you enjoy – or that you’ve always dreamed of doing – and using our charity as an excuse. So from sky diving to mountain trekking, or stand-up comedy to triathlons, if you want to do something sporty, musical, amusing, unusual or just generally magnificent to raise money, set up your Justgiving page here and get our community behind you.
And don’t forget to let us know about it – we want to help you as much as possible. Although we don’t have loads of glossy marketing material, we do have masses of volunteers who want to offer their time, including loads of TV people. See what you think of some of them here:
You never know, if you have a cracking idea, we might be able to get a camera crew involved or find you a venue. Just ask and we will see what we can do together.
To keep you up to date with what we’re currently up to, as well as our wonderful Undress For Uganda Campaign (watch the video if you haven’t seen it and email Hazel if you’d like to host one), we’re just about to have a meeting about organising a speed-dating night. Just think, what an opportunity – you could meet someone interesting AND help abandoned babies find a loving home. Watch this space…
Last night, I stayed at my great Aunty Pat’s. She is 83 and likes making teddy bears, so I was suddenly struck by an idea – I’ve asked her to make 50 teddy bears, one for each of our babies.
She thinks it will take two years – I’m hoping it won’t take us quite as long to build the actual home…
Whilst we were discussing teddy bears, I ran a few initiatives of the charity by her.
As you may know, I come from the world of TV and we pride ourselves on the number of celebrities we can name drop in a single paragraph.
How can we use that to our advantage when it comes to fundraising?
Well, we are in the process of building a virtual wall at the moment so that our supporters can help build the actual home by purchasing bricks for themselves or their friends and family. Collette Callus, a friend, assistant producer and super-supporter of Child’s i Foundation has already suggested we pool all of our celeb contacts and ask them to purchase exclusive “golden bricks”. We think this a grand idea.
How many celebrities do you know, or know of, who might be happy to support us by donating a small portion of their great riches?
Aunty Pat gave us her short list: George Clooney (“he’s quite attractive”), Noel Edmonds (“he makes wishes come true”), and her all-time favourite celebrity, Lulu (“what a voice!”) So there you go, Aunty Pat has suggested the first three celebrities. We will do our best to get them involved.
Back to our main aim though – it’s not all celebrities and teddy bears. We are establishing a worldwide community of supporters to work together to build a home for abandoned babies in Uganda. We have been referring to this process and ourselves as “charity 2.0″ as we are using internet-based tools to help achieve this.
But is all this techno-speak double-dutch to most people? To find out I am jumping straight in at the deep end – next Monday I’m going to give a talk about our charity to the Rotherfield St Martin’s senior citizen group. It will be an interesting exercise to see if they understand the concept – and how well I can explain it…
I popped up to the village hall to do some research and talk to a few of the local seniors and potential “silver surfers” . I was excited to discover that a few of them have decided to enrol in Internet lessons to find out what all the fuss is about.
I had a great response, especially from Marjorie and Doreen who were happy to tell me on Flip camera about their experience of the Internet.
Next visit – we are going run a focus group with 16 – 18 year olds who all have squillions of Facebook friends to ask their opinion and get them on our team.
As an homage to Celebrity Big Brother (starting tomorrow) I thought we could all read the title of this first blog post of the New Year with a Marcus Bentley “Geordie” accent:
Right back to business … A new year, not a new start, but an official beginning. This project has been in the making for a long time now (read more about my inspiration) but over the past couple of months we have gained enough critical momentum to allow it to really kick it off. The key drivers:
- gaining charity status so quickly
- launching our first iteration of the website and social media profiles (twitter, facebook, delicious, youtube, flickr etc.)
- gathering a core team that give their time and love to the project
There have been some initial set backs, such as the delay in being able to set up any kind of online donation scheme (and we are still waiting for the relevant code from HMRC). But actually this has worked out in our favour; instead of watching the pennies roll in we have been been building our community, making connections, seeking advice and watching our supporters roll in.
But we do need to start fundraising with force. We need those pennies, dollars and euros if we are to make our promise a reality.
In the next few weeks we are confident we will be able to deliver our much anticipated “buy a brick” campaign and will give our supporters the first chance to buy the first virtual bricks in the wall of our Home.
My mum, very practically, is of course already making us money. Her community fundraising team have created fundraising brilliance with Undress for Uganda.
We really need Supporters across the globe to host an event, if the idea of a clothes swapping for our charity appeals to you please email my mum, Hazel Buck, for further details. It is after all a perfect time to trade in unwanted Christmas gifts or acquire a credit-crunching new wardrobe if you couldn’t face the Boxing Day sales.
There are loads of more fabulous fundraising ideas simmering away that we look forward to sharing with you in more detail over the coming months. But in the meantime, this is just a big thank you once again for your support so far.
Please continue to tell your friends, write about us, blog about us, or get involved. Everything up until now has been a rehearsal for the real show. Day 1 is today.
Being a newcomer to the world of fundraising, Michelle introduced me to the legendary fundraising expert Mr Martin Shaw from Midas Charity Appeals. We wined and dined him (well, bought him a coffee and an omelette) and he very generously shared his wisdom from 30 years of fundraising.
He gave us his top five tips which we’d like to share with you:
As well as getting individuals to donate, we will also be approaching ‘major donors’ to contribute towards the project. I’d love it if we, as a community, decided on who to approach for the money – it could be anyone involved from individual moguls (how about it, Peter Jones? Simon Cowell?) to the people behind some of our biggest businesses. Email: email@example.com your suggestions and we’ll start getting on the case. In our digital world, surely we’re all just six (or better yet, one) degrees of separation from a charity-loving millionaire.
In the meantime, a wonderful suggestion Martin had for us was to organise some community challenges – anything from cycling the Great Wall of China, trekking to the Everest Base Camp, or crossing Mongolian on horseback. Take a look at the Charity Challenge website and send us an email if you are a dab hand at raising funds and fancy the challenge.
And we were very excited to read Howard Lake’s blog post about our charity. We contacted him last week and he gave us loads of great tips for our website. Kirsty and I are looking forward to meeting him for a cuppa tomorrow and picking his brains even more…
Thanks to both Howard and Martin for your time and wonderful advice.
Michelle and I have been writing our Fundraising Strategy and raising the money is going to be a ‘challenge’ to say the least.
We spoke to a professional fundraiser who told us we had a mission on our hands – costly Christmas and New Year are coming up (bad timing) and the global economic crisis means most of us have less money in our pockets (very bad timing). However, John Grain’s blog made us feel a bit better – in bad times, people need to have some fun – and that is exactly what we plan to do.
Giving us your hard earned money is just the beginning of our journey- we don’t want you to just invest your money, we want you to invest yourself.
We will collaborate to raise the money as a community, (See micropatronage) and together create a home to save and give babies a happy life. Through our website, we will connect you to the charity from Day Zero, so you can chart the difference your money is making.
Our fundraising strategy includes approaching High Value Donors, community fundraising, individual giving, events, campaigns and companies. We want to harness the power of our interconnected digital world and make use of those web 2.0 tools available to us (for free) to invite supporters and communities of people to truly become part of our cause.
Last night we put on the inaugural ‘Undress For Uganda‘ event – and it was a huge success. See for yourself on our Flickr album. Thanks to everyone who came along – we raised a truly impressive £713.00 and it was all down to the sterling efforts of our wonderful Community Fundraising Team and the village of Rotherfield.
Our worldwide ‘Undress for Uganda’ fundraising target for is a whopping £99,000, so we’d would love Supporters to put on their own evenings. If you like the sound of it send my Mum an email and she’ll ping back a “how to” pack.
Now all we need to do is think of a community fundraising event for the boys. Men don’t generally tend to swap clothes (but we won’t mind if you want to!), so get your thinking caps and send us your ideas.
Remember – take photos and a video if possible to upload on our Flickr Group – or join our group on YouTube. If we all collaborate, not only can everyone have a fun night – and a cheap new wardrobe – we’ll also get a warm fuzzyy feeling in our hearts. We also need to think of a community fundraising event for the boys. Men don’t generally tend to swap clothes (but we don’t mind if you want to) so get your thinking caps and send us your ideas.
Time and expertise is as vital to this project as money, and people’s generosity has been overwhelming. If I tried to put a price on the amount of time they’ve given up to help out, I think it would come to around £150,000 so far – a huge sum of money.
I am lucky to have made lots of TV contact throughout my career and everyone in my industry has supported me. I will also be indebted forever to my friends and family, who have been buying me food and putting a roof over my head since I quit television in March.
I went out to Zambia and Uganda in March for 8 weeks, and since then I have been working around the clock trying to get this project off the ground. I have probably put in over 2000 hours setting up this project and this is just the beginning… But with everyone behind me, I know we will succeed.
I spent the day with 1,000 professional fundraisers and multimillionaires at a conference called Raising Funds From The Rich, advising how to get the wealthy to part with their money. I couldn’t have picked a worse time to ask for cash – we’re careering into a recession, an enormous amount of wealth has been destroyed, banking has been wiped out and I’ve got my hand out asking for nearly £1 million.
But we got one piece of inspiring advice from Lord Gavron, which was that we need to discourage the rich from spunking money on expensive cars, houses, clothes and jewellery. Now Michelle has had a brilliant fundraising idea called ‘Bling It Back’ where we ask celebrities to donate us something they don’t want we can auction it on eBay. Send us your suggestions of who we should send letters to, and we’ll get writing.
My Mum and her merry team of fundraisers have come up with a brilliant fundraising idea called ‘Undress For Uganda’
We had our first Community Fundraising meeting and come up with ‘Undress For Uganda’. What happens is, we start by holding our own party for girlfriends. They each pay £5 for the privilege, and the host provides wine and nibbles.
They also provide a good raffle prize and tickets for these are sold during the evening. Everyone brings 5-10 articles of clothing in good condition that they do not wear anymore. These garments are hung on a rail and they then buy from each other – every garment costing £5.00 – as few or as many as they want.
All the money goes to Child’s i Foundation.
The only proviso is that at the end of the evening, all attendee’s names go into a bucket and at least 2 people are picked out to host their own party. In this way, it gains its own momentum.
We are holding a meeting on Monday, 6th October and will discuss a pack that can be sent to any prospective hostesses.
It would be a good ‘get together social evening’ as well as fundraiser.
I think it is a brilliant idea. It’s very ‘now’ – Twiggy has done it recently, so it must be cool! My friends who produce I’m a Celebrity are going to film the evening and make a short VT to put on our website to show everyone else how it’s done. Hopefully, that should inspire others to ‘Undress For Uganda’.