How to fundraise for good causes
Fundraising for charity is something that we've all done at some time or other in our lives, but the older we get, the more we often make excuses for why we simply haven't got time to do anything.
I know what it's like – you have the best intentions, but then that deadline you have comes sneaking up on you (or you just remember there's a social on this weekend and so you're basically going to be a write off)!
Charity and helping others is actually a subject that's really close to my heart, as I volunteer for a Rape Crisis Centre in addition to having helped at a soup kitchen, too. Not everyone has the time to volunteer though (to be honest, nor do I...) but there are still many ways you can help out without having to go to loads of training sessions or making a regular commitment.
It might not seem like it now, but when you're in University, you'll actually have more time on your hands than at many other points in your life. I know, I know. I sound out of touch – and I can see those medical students from here glaring at me like I haven't got a clue! But these days, a lot of fundraising just takes a bit of imagination, as it can all be done online. The good news? Well, it means that it can be done from your bed.
Crowd funding for good causes on websites like Just Giving can be really effective. For example, right now I'm running a campaign to help empower homeless women at Christmas time with hygiene items and things to make them feel more dignified and 'normal'. I've created a donation page in addition to accepting physical items, so that I can buy lots of goods to hopefully make a difference.
You can use such websites to support any cause you want really. An established charity perhaps, or someone close to you who really needs a bit of help. Lots of people I know use these kind of sites to collect sponsor money for races or walks they're entering for loved ones, or to collect entry fees for charity gigs or sports matches. Thanks to social media, you can promote it to a wide network online, and this form of campaigning is particularly great for catching the attention of the young. Who knows? You might even get some press attention! Just remember – often websites will take a commission, so it's worth bearing in mind.
Liberty Living also has several charities that they support, and there are ways you can get involved very easily. For example, they work alongside Cancer Research UK and The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, and you can have a word with your Residence Team if you've got any unique ideas to help raise money.
You can still do things the old fashioned way – at University, my cheerleading team would put on our uniforms and head into Liverpool town centre during the busy Christmas shopping period with buckets to help good causes – simple, but very effective. The uniforms struck up great conversations in the middle of a dreary English winter, and most people were happy to dig deep and give what they could, even if it was just a few pence!
As a student, you're probably worried about feeding yourself, let alone helping others! But giving a small amount, even £1 to a worthwhile issue or charity can make the world of difference, and that £1 is equally as genuine as £1,000 given by someone with millions in the bank. Good luck!