Top tips taking up fundraising in what appears to be the big bad world

This article explains how one can make the most out of fundraising with some amazing ideas, tips and advice presented from an experienced fundraiser. Some of these may serve as a reminder, be things you already know and some maybe something to try out differently.  At some point you may feel the need to fundraise for your society, charity or a particular campaign so please do have a read.

It’s inspiring to hear that students at Westminster University are raising money for charity! Raising money and awareness can truly make a significant change in the world around us. However fundraising is not always easy. Difficulties range from lack of ideas to lack of motivation and energy. Here are some of the difficulties you may find yourself facing and some ways to overcome them. I wish you all the best and happy fundraising! 🙂

Get ready to be rejected!
During my time fundraising I’ve faced a whole bunch of rejection but hey it happens! This is where resilience and perseverance play a key role – essentially keep trying! There are times where it’s easy to give up, when you’re standing in the freezing cold with a bucket and leaflets, feeling absolutely invisible it’s natural. But don’t! It only takes one person to come along and pay the slightest bit of attention to the work you’re doing, to restore the balance of the 100 rejections you faced earlier. Just stay patient and wait for that person to come along – it’s worth it!

Be creative!
Enigma is crucial in whatever campaign you’re doing. You want people to be intrigued, get them wondering what you’re doing, engage them and let them take part.

Don’t be scared of having fun!
There should never be any reason to doubt the cause you’re raising money for being a serious one. But remember to stay positive and use all energy generated by this positivity!

Decorate EVERYTHING
Whatever materials you’re using, decorate it. Create logos, drawings, colour!
Things to decorate:
Leaflets
Buckets
Cakes
Cookies
Placards

IMPORTANT: Get permission!
Wherever you go to fundraise get permission! There are lots of legal implications if permission is not given. Sometimes getting permission can be as simple as writing an email. Plan ahead.

Don’t just target the target audience!
Though it may have appear smart and strategic to focus only on communities who have interest in the cause, it’s important to target everyone. Human issues are human issues. This means every human can understand no matter who they are or where they’re from. Though it may seem smart to target richer communities, target every community. You never know who may take an interest.

Just giving.com
It’s an easy way to get people to donate online or via text. Some find it a little tedious to donate via this procedure so make sure you accept cash donations too! It surprised me to see that many of the online donations came from people I did not even know.

TWEET. TWEET. Post. Post. Post. Post. Post.
Mass postage through social networking: facebook and twitter. It won’t make you very popular, but it will get the message across! Cross platform your justgiving page on both Twitter and Facebook using the applications available. All the pictures, videos and updates went there too!

Phones are also very useful. Texts. Blackberry updates. Whatsapp. Etc!

Don’t forget the issue!
Raise awareness about what you are raising money for. There’s no need to re-write what the charity is about as the charity should have their own website and Facebook page so share this with your friends! Your aim should be to tell people why YOU are raising money, and keep them updated on how fundraising is going! Maybe create a blog.

Contact the charity
They may be able to help with fundraising, providing buckets, security seals, leaflets etc.

Cakes!
And cookies. And doughnuts. And cookies. Lots of cookies! Have a cake sale! Everyone loves cakes. Decorate them accordingly! Did I mention cookies…?

Contact Large companies
Large companies may be willing to sponsor you for your event

Contact influential people
Get their support and you’re guaranteed to have their followings support too. They are people just like you, so don’t feel intimidated or shy!

Contact interested organisations/groups
Get permission to go to events and promote/fundraise. Ask them if they’re interested in helping out.

Supermarkets!
Supermarkets sometimes allow you to leave a bucket at the end of their tills. Spend a day there and pack peoples bags. You’re guaranteed to get a response!

TEAM Power!
Be organised and committed when you are part of a team reliable. Anyone willing to help with anything is a super shiny star! Get T-shirts and hit the streets together! Fundraising has the potential to be on a much larger scale, more fun and more effective.

Written by Rima Amin…none other than ONE OF A KIND! She graduated from City University with a degree in Journalism and currently works there as the Vice President of Activities and Development. She is also a freelance journalist and author of a popular blog ‘Slice of simplicity’ which can be found here http://sliceofsimplicity.com/. Please do follow and read her work because she is one of the most inspiring people to come by. If you want an example of a person who serves their community then look to her.

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Butternut and pumpkin squash soup

finishing

By Shafina Khatun (SSA Cavendish)

This is my first time making the soup and I adapted it from Lorraine Pascal’s roasted butternut squash soup. She uses a medium sized butternut squash soup which she roasts in the oven for a while before adding it into her saucepan which is mean to bring out the flavour. But me? I couldn’t be bothered. I also only had a small squash and a quarter of a pumpkin…so I made the best of what I had. This soup really is perfect for a cold autumnal evening. I messed around with the images on photo gallery which is why they look so different…I’m not the greatest photo editor :s

Some benefits of pumpkin (for those that care): they have anti-oxidants, are low in calorie, contains no amount of cholesterol or fat. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals.

Some benefits of butternut squash (for those that care): erm… sort of similar to a pumpkin

Serves 2-3

Ingredient

1 small butternut squash diced

¼ of a large pumpkin diced

1 onion chopped

1tbsp butter

1 garlic clove chopped thinly

500ml chosen stock

150ml single cream

Chilli flakes (optional)

Kitchen utensils: Saucepan, food processor or hand blender, wooden spoon, small bowl or mug to ladle the soup, knife, chopping board or a flat plate works just fine if you don’t have a board

step 11)Heat a sauce pan on medium heat and melt the butter. Add the chopped garlic and fry for a minute. Add the onions, some salt and cook until the onions are soft and brown. You can add in some chilli flakes or powder if you wish.

 

2) Chuck in the diced butternut squash and pumpkin and your chosen stock (I used vegetable).step 2

 

 

 

 

3) Allow the vegetables to brew in the stock until they have softened, which may take ten to fifteen minutes.

step 3

 

 

 

 

 

4)Whizz the saucepan contents into a puree in a food processor or by using a hand blender.step 4

 

 

 

 

 

5)Pour the contents back into the saucepan on low heat, add in the single cream and gently heat for around ten minutes. Take off the hob and enjoy with some bread or for some reason my mum boiled a potato which actually went together nicely.step 5

It tasted good and the family approved of it which means something. Next time I might bother to roast the vegetable and I’m quite happy because this is the first food recipe up there.

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It’s here, it’s big it’s…ISOC charity week!!!

Charity week has come again and this year the Islamic Society have chosen to support Interpal with an aim to raise £20,000 to aid towards the building of a school for Palestinian and Syrian refugees. From next week Monday you’ll most probably see brothers and sisters take over your campus with buckets and cake stalls or a little blue envelope, and they need you! Here are ways that you can help.

1) Gain knowledge
The situation in Syria is intense and the people that are suffering are the innocent civilians. For a long time Palestinians sought refuge in Syria away from their homeland, and now they’re finding themselves out of a home yet again. I would advise you to keep up to date with several different news sources if you’re able to, and research when you can. Perhaps a tea break away from assignments whilst reading up, blog posts or watching speeches by activists and journalists may help. The images and videos will be unbearable, viewer discretion is advised but we should want to know when mankind is suffering and try our hardest to offer a helping hand.

2) Know Interpal.
Interpal is a registered charity which has worked immensely hard since 1994 to build a better life for Palestinians. They work on a wide range of projects from humanitarian needs to community development. More information about the charity, what they get up to and how you could help can be found here: http://www.interpal.org/

3) Donate
Buy some cakes for yourself, your friends or put some change in the little green buckets. You may have someone approach you with a blue envelope asking if you’d be able to donate. Please do try as each person that has one of those envelopes has committed to raising £100. It’s okay they won’t bite :p

4) Be happy, grateful and content with what you have.
Smile at the fact that you get to come to University even if the assignments are starting to build up a workload, or that you are healthy and fit. The list goes on, we understand you go through pain, and everyone experiences something different. We can’t compare but when you feel upset, angry or down take a moment to look around and appreciate the blessings you do have.

Islamic Society or ISOC for short, for more information or if you would like to get involved please have a look on the link below. http://www.uwsu.com/?society=islamic-society
Watch out for coverage on different societies coming your way, this month is packed with noble charitable causes that our student societies are working for. Smile and be happy to be a Westminster student!

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Keeping consistent with goals

By Shafina Khatun (SSA Cavendish)

A while back I did an article on defining goals, because having a set plan in life is crucial. But at times we may feel ourselves not sticking to the plan and productivity plummeting. I needed to seek advice, who better than Westminster students own life coach Mr Tarik Mahri?
Sooo.. without further delay here is the tip of the day he advised me with:

The video is accompanied by an article which can be found on his blog: http://tarikmahri.com/how-to-stay-consistent-with-your-goals-tttoftheday-6/

I do advise you to subscribe to it!

Tarik Mahri was our student union president two years running before Kaled Mimouni. He aims to reduce youth unemployment and improve student personal development so that we are able to reach our full potential. He is the founder of the ‘work, chill and serve society’ to get involved or for more information check out http://www.uwsu.com/?society=work-chill-serve

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The bond of community whilst working with children

By Juhie Nazeer

Community! What is meant by community? It is the oneness, the unity, the bond and the gathering of one group of people that share something in common. I teach students aged from 8 to 12 at Slough’s community school, which is also known as Stoke Poges mosque. It is a place of both a mixture of students and teachers alike who all learn something new every day as a community.

1) Be patient:

Teaching kids, especially primary school children is a challenge worth doing. They can drive you crazy at times and you might hear the word “miss” so many times in just 50 minutes that you don’t even know who to start helping. However that’s never the end of it. A teaching role requires patience and kindness. No matter how difficult it may be, our job is to treat the children with kindness and to be patient with them and help them understand the work set.

2) Learn to cope in a thriving environment:
There are so many things to do in the school, being a paid tutor as well as a volunteer means a lot on your plate. You have to run around the place doing errands for others and teach the children at the same time. But I’m not complaining, no. I enjoy my work, I enjoy teaching the children here and working with an amazing group of staff who are all friendly, kind and helpful. No matter how busy we may be during the day we all have time to help one another and enjoy our work at the same time.

3) No two children are the same:

I admire the approach of tutors towards the individual needs of all students. Every child deserves to be treated with the same love, equality and care but if there are students who need the extra help then they will get it. So far in my teaching experience I’ve learnt that every child has their own requirement and it is our duty as teachers to react appropriately and in time to their needs. Although we may feel that things are too much to handle we need to take a step back, think calmly and approach the children with a peaceful mind and attitude. Shouting at children is never the right way of taking control over the children, sometimes we may find that a calm and positive attitude is all that is needed to provide a good lesson where the children learn in a happy environment. A t times we may find our role a little difficult especially in circumstances where we have to teach students with dyslexia or any other medical problems. However we work as a team and try and find ways of teaching students with special needs. I never had the experience of teaching students who require special needs, and so I didn’t realize I had a dyslexic student in my class. As I was not made aware of this I treated the student the same as the others. To me this child just seemed disruptive in lessons, I didn’t once think they may be dyslexic. I only thought that he was being not only disruptive but also wasn’t listening to a word I said as he constantly asked me to repeat myself. I kept telling him off during that one lesson until I found out that this student was dyslexic. As I started to feel extremely bad for the way I dealt with him, I also started to realise that I’ve never worked with a dyslexic person let alone a student.

4) Work as a team and use the help available:
So how was I going to deal with him for future lessons?
This was a big question for me, however I forgot for a second about the wonderful team of tutors including the head of the lower years. We all sat together as each one of us discussed and came up with ideas on how to provide extra help for students who needed it. Finally our head suggested that we teach the child in the same class with one teaching assistant to sit down with the student and go through the work with them. He also suggested that we all go and do our own research on how to aid a student dealing with dyslexia,then we would share our ideas and perhaps hold a teachers training day during our holidays.

5) Build a childs self esteem:
Children, just like adults, should be encouraged when they do a good piece of work in order to build their self esteem. Without this they will begin to develop low self esteem and this would prevent them to stop trying even before they started.
This was a key point that I’d learnt during the rehearsals for the performances they did for the awards ceremony at the end of the year. It was difficult to have them all practising at the same time even though they weren’t placed in the same areas to practice. My job role felt very demanding as I was busy all day and had no free time, no breaks, no nothing. On top of everything the children began to get bored of practicing and even more they were nervous about performing on stage. So I sat them all down, every group every child and told them that they shouldn’t be scared. They were already brave enough to sign up to perform they took a risk and as teachers we saw a new talent in them that we never expected. “We can’t believe that you guys are the same children we teach in our lessons. You’ve all tried very hard and you’ve all done very well. But don’t put all your hard work to waste. You guys are amazing, every single one of you, and I know you can all do it so go out there and just have some fun. Be brave just like the way you have so far.” Well, those weren’t my exact words but they were close enough. However, I saw their spirits rise, they may have been nervous but they began to enjoy what they were doing.

6) Reassure them when they get upset:
You’ll get attached and see children as your own (well maybe)
However, when I came to find out that the day of the performance was after my flight to Sri Lanka I was upset and so were the kids. My sister Sadha, my cousin Azraa and I all worked extremely hard on helping and encouraging the children to participate in the performances and now that two of us could not make it for the day the children began to get upset. We really wanted to be there for them so we can be of some moral support however it was too late for us to change the date of our flight. My sister and I, spoke to the children and told them that they have no reason to worry, that there are many teachers here along with Azraa to help them if they need anything at all.

I had to learn and deal with this for the one term I’ve worked so far. Working with children is an amazing and enjoying experience. Although, you may find teaching lower year groups a challenge as the children will all be constantly seeking your help when you’re trying to help individuals. This is the sort of unity that I understand and see as a community. It is the love, support and share in belief on one aspect of life that brings us all together. Learning together, correcting our mistakes and helping one another in our times of need. SCS really does stand for its name “community”, and the variety of students and teachers alike make the experience of working there a whole lot brighter. I’ve learnt a lot so far in Slough Community School and can only hope to learn more and gain new experiences.

Juhie Nazeer is a first year Biomedical Scientist who tutors children. This is her insight into the skills she’s developed. At some point in our life we will interact with young ones and their emotional awareness is different from ours. They need nurturing, compassion and mostly patience when being dealt with. Hopefully by reading her article it will help you form an idea when working or dealing with children in any setting whether it’s tutoring, your siblings childrens or your own.

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Insight into volunteering: Vice President of Regents

By Shafina Khatun(SSA Cavedish)

Volunteering provides you with skills in places that you may be lacking and helps your CV to stand out. Whether it’s inside your University or outside, no role is too small or big. Even if you’re sparing a couple of hours a week you really will find it enjoyable. Pick something that interests you and as you’re searching for a job try volunteering until something comes up. There are many positions available in University.

Here’s your VP of Regents giving you an insight into his volunteering experience and generally being involved in the student union during his years as a student. I hope it provides you with some inspiration.

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I.T. free…it’s FREE!!!

By Shafina Khatun (SSA Cavendish)

I was lying on the purple bean bag in the Cavendish student union pod when Miriam mentioned to me about the free IT software available for students. She then sent me over a link and I didn’t think free things would make me go a little crazy because…I WANT IT ALL! I might not need it, but I want it because it’s there!!! It might not excite all of you like it did me and some may even know about this already.

First things first…the boring *cough* sorry I meant to say the technical help. The faculty for Science and Technology have a wiki support page which includes how to log your IT issues and how to contact the fixIT centre. Our IT support provides training sessions, usually in the libraries so that we can improve our IT skills. Training sessions can also lead to certificates in programmes such as Adobe and Microsoft packages. For information please click on the link below https://support.ecs.westminster.ac.uk/w/index.php/Main_Page

Now moving onto the free stuff, just check out what you can download. https://support.ecs.westminster.ac.uk/w/index.php/Title:_Downloads

The best for last. Dreamsparks. I didn’t know what that was until I clicked the website, but the name sounded good. It’s a platform, providing free software to students to support them during their time at University. A little bit of description can be found on this website https://support.ecs.westminster.ac.uk/w/index.php/Title:_Academic_Initiatives  AND the free software can be found here. http://e5.onthehub.com/WebStore/ProductsByMajorVersionList.aspx?ws=3c47cf95-846f-e011-971f-0030487d8897&vsro=8&JSEnabled=1  You can download Microsoft products for free however, this doesn’t include office. Sorry people.

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