Fundraising underway — although slowly — and ways you can help

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Donations to the Great Arctic Fundraising Adventure are at time of writing a little shy of £500, which is quite impressive in the time since I signed up.  However, it’s nearly September now and I need to be raising on average £1000 a month between now and January. It became terrifying the moment I signed up, but it seems like a lot of my ideas original for raising money haven’t come through.

The idea of 60 companies donating £100 each seemed straight-forward enough, you think it would be a drop in the ocean and far outweighed by the good PR value — but of course, they are being hit up with requests almost every day.  I have recently contacted half a dozen supermarkets requesting the opportunity to make collections outside of their stores — I don’t know how long they typically take to reply, but it’s been a week and I’ve not heard a peep out of any of them so far.

The next plan is charity collections in key London transport hubs — National Rail,  and both London Underground and Overground stations.  All the respective offices have been very swift and helpful with their responses and sending me the necessary forms to complete.  London Overground have already told me “sorry, no” as they only allow collections by the charities themselves, and not people raising money on their behalf.

Fortunately, London Underground don’t seem to have the same restriction — from what I can tell, they just have to be able to verify your charity is aware that you are undertaking collections on their behalf.  No problem there.  The 3-month wait is more annoying, but if I get the application in now, I can be collecting before December.  It seems that Network Rail have the same policy as London Overground — but I will ask my contact at Macmillan Cancer Support if they will submit the form on my behalf.

Following the press coverage earlier this month, my work have been quite enthusiastic about the fundraising adventure and have encouraged me to use our community.  I have put a page up on our website (which is, essentially, the press release dressed up with some pictures and quotes in big writing) and created a web banner to link to it.  Donations as a direct result, I think, number two so far — but everything is appreciated.

The plan of action now is to contact family members to tell them about my fundraising and ask if they would like to donate.  I think suggesting a specific amount they might like to donate, while perhaps effective, seems rude — I don’t know if anyone reading has an opinion about that.

I might have to “invest” in a printer for home.  It sounds ridiculous, not having one, but I didn’t ever replace my old one when it packed up — but right now, having to rely on printing letters and forms in work is slowing things down, as I barely have enough hours in the day to do all my work, let alone the promotional fundraising activities.

Funnily enough, I am only now realising that trying to raise this money is effectively a full-time job on its own.  There are letters to write, forms to complete, events to organise (I have barely even done more than think about that) — not to mention the time I should spend working out.

I have actually started thinking again about just self-funding the challenge, and anything I raise for Macmillan Cancer support is a bonus, but it comes back to not having £2,500 for it, and no real way to earn it before the trip.

As ever, I end with a request for your help — donations are always welcome, no matter how small, but they are just one way you can help support the Great Arctic Fundraising Adventure.

You can also help me by promoting the challenge through social media — Tweet about it, blog about it, Facebook about it, G+ about it — use every social media account you have and mention it.

Other ways to help are you can offer assistance with organising events — hell, if you were really keen, you could even run your own fundraising events on my behalf if you want to help raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, but you don’t want to go to the Arctic yourself.  Letter writing and printing would also be a help to me.

I have to go to the Arctic on my own, and I have to get myself into shape for it — neither of these things anyone can do for me.  But if you support what I’m doing, please — lend a hand any way you can.  And yes, donations are a quick and easy way to also help — if you have a spare £5,500 then I could devote all my time to training.

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