Putting the Fun in Fundraising; by Gemma Bryant

Fundraising is vital for any charity. Not only does it mean they have funds to continue with their work, it also raises the profile of the organisation that hopefully makes more people aware of the mission statement and the services and support the charity provides. In the case of Ragdolls UK this is particularly important. Firstly, because there are numerous genetic disorders, all of which deserve to receive funding, attention and support (see a list courtesy of Wikipedia here, though I don’t think the list is exhaustive). Secondly, due to the nature of what a genetic disorder is. The difficulties people are faced with are more poignant because nobody can help their genetics. Everyone deserves to live as fulfilling a life as they possibly can, and money raised allows this to be truer for more people. Furthermore, cash is also needed to help research genetic conditions so that new treatments, and potentially cures, can be discovered. Money also helps publicise the issues faced by people who have genetic disorders so that they have people to fight their corner, for example the petition calling for UN leaders to consider genetic testing as a means to improve the quality of life of those born with Down’s Syndrome, rather than as a means to discriminate against them. On a related note, fundraising helps make people more aware of genetic disorders. With better education comes better understanding, which should, it is hoped, make the lives of people who have genetic disorders easier.

So how can you help?

You can of course donate via the website (click here if you wish to do so), but if you want to be a bit more creative that’s encouraged too! In a world where social media, and consequently requests for money for various charity events are everywhere, fundraising can be a daunting prospect, but it doesn’t need to be:

The More the Merrier: Get a group of friends with a mutual interest together. More participants in something like a sponsored cycle is likely to mean more money for a charity.

Jump on a Bandwagon: To cut out some of the organisation of a fundraising event, join a pre-existing one. Something like The Bank of Scotland’s Great Scottish Run, that let’s you choose the charity you fundraise for, is ideal for those wanting to get fit as well.

Sweet Treats: Feeling more inspired by The Great British Bake Off? Hold a bake sale to raise funds. You could get a whole workplace involved and nominate your very own Star Baker (charging people to enter, as well as to sample the baking). Bring on the gingerbread ragdolls…

Go Clothing Crazy: Have a dress down day at work or school. You don’t have to stop at not wearing normal clothes. You could insist on a specific colour, a dots or stripes theme…it’s up to you.

Bucket List Brilliance: Have you always wanted to do a skydive or a bungee jump? Well, why not raise cash for charity at the same time?

Get Arty or Dramatic: Part of an art class, dance troupe, drama club or choir? Put on an exhibition or a show and raise money by charging an entry fee.

All Nighters Just Got Brighter: Want to party? Or would you rather sit in with lots of good books? You could have a readathon, a danceathon, a themed filmathon….you get the idea. You could charge not just an entry fee, but have the profits from drinks and snacks go to charity too.

Car Boot Sales and Swap Shops: If you are having a clear out have a car boot sale and give the proceeds to charity. Or set up a swap shop that you pay an entry fee to get into. Books, clothes, DVDs…the choice is yours.

Nights In are the New Nights Out: In much the same way that Cancer Research UK does the Girl’s Night In, you could donate money that you would have spent on a night out to a great cause instead. It doesn’t have to cost much. Have people take part in a potluck dinner, BYOB…sorted.

Let’s Get Quizzical: Fancy yourself as a brainiac? Get friends to pen a round each, linked to their area of expertise. That way, everyone can pay to play in different rounds. Or if you were to match it with the name of charity, I can see lots of questions about Frank Sinatra, Cliff Richard, Barbie, the Pussycat Dolls, Rosie and Jim and Child’s Play…

A Non-Sobering Thought: Although there’s absolutely nothing wrong with going sober for October, you don’t necessarily have to make that big a commitment. How about forgoing the takeaway and drink for a weekend and donating the cash to charity?

These are just ideas of course. You are only limited by your imagination. If there’s anything you can think of that hasn’t been listed, please get in touch and let so know, we’d love to hear from you. I’ve tried to be as mindful of different interests and abilities as I possibly can, because it’s important that everyone who wants to raise money for a good cause is able to do so. As long as people are safe and happy, remember that if people see others having fun, they are more likely to participate or donate, so fun is crucial! Happy fundraising!

To set up your own fundraising campaign on behalf of Ragdolls UK and the children with genetic disorders which they support contact ragdolls.uk@gmail.com

For as little as £2 per month you can help us continue to bring hope or new treatments and support to thousands across the UK. Contact us for more information.


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