I’m sure there will be times in everyone’s life when we need money fast. Maybe for a new car or Holiday. Maybe like me, you need to pay for Medical treatment that isn’t available on the NHS. I set out to raise £2500 in 90 days and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I would do it all again in heartbeat if I had to. It may seem small and insignificant to some, but for me it was everything. Here are my top fundraising tips and ideas to help you succeed in reaching your target!
Finlay was born with severe Plagiocephaly and form of flat head syndrome. His head was a rhombus shape, his skull plates were all crossed which resulted in his facial features being pushed out of alignment. This is a brief overview, but you can read in more depth here and here.
We learned of his condition from a private clinic and that the treatment they offered was not funded on the NHS. In fact the NHS offer no treatment beyond repositioning and physiothearapy if you are lucky. For more severe cases, Helmet treatment is often the method that gives positive results. Finlay was almost 6 months and coming up to the end of the window of opportunity for the best results. The consultant did not pressurise, but treatment would cost £2500. We paid £500 deposit and had 90 days to pay the remainder. For a low income family and with me on Maternity leave, it was a dauting task. I had never fundraised before.
My Fundraising tips and ideas:
Fundraising tips and ideas 1: Just Giving
I set up a Just Giving page and linked it to the charity that funded our treatment. I set this up straight away so that I always had somewhere I could direct people if they wanted to help.
Fundraising tips and ideas 2 – Contact all Friends and Family
If you were on my email list, you got an email, telling Finlay’s story. I also shared his journey through Twitter and Facebook. I had so many generous contributions. Even from friends I hadn’t seen in years!
Fundraising tips and ideas 3 – The local Newspaper
I contacted the local newspaper and told them my story. They ran an article that linked back to my Just Giving page. We had some sponsership this way. The newspaperwase also really interested in Finlay’s journey and they followed my fundraising events over the coming months. This was great as it kept awareness up locally.
Fundraising tips and ideas 4 – Set up a raffle
I basically spammed (in a nice way) all the baby brands big and small and told them of our plight. Enquiring if they were willing to donate products as prizes. This achieved over 200 donations. I was given a charity table at the local baby sale twice . I charged £1 a ticket with a 1/5 chance of wining.
Fundraising tips and ideas 5 – Buckets on tills
Finlay’s Nanny works in a well known supermarket. The manager allowed her to print some t-shirts and have buckets at the end of the tills for anyone to drop change in.
Fundraising tips and ideas 6 – Sponsored Buggython
Along with friends we walked from one end of Eastbourne to the other. It was advertised in the newspaper and we had supporters join us. Again this was linked to my Just giving page.
Fundraising tips and ideas 7 – Set up a blog!
Blogging is a great way to raise awareness and highlight your plight. If blogging seems too daunting set up social media pages and give regular updates and information, share relevant content and don’t forgot to share your Just Giving details – Strangers can the kindest if they believe in your cause!
Within 90 day we had raised about £2750. £2500 through just giving and £250 in cash we put towards the £500 deposit we paid on the credit card. We were recognised by our town for our fundraising efforts and awarded ‘Residents of the month’ of Eastbourne and won a dinner out. The treatment itself was amazing. In 2 weeks improvement was already visible and confirmed by scans. Finlay spent 101 days in treatment. He outgrew his helmet slightly early. However, his Plagiocephaly had reduced from 19mm to 7mm. Although not within the ‘Normal‘ range it was only just outside. His head was more round and his features no longer looked out of place. His risks associated with plagiocephaly had also greatly reduced.
So although £2500 may seem like a small goal to some, it wasn’t for me and was totally doable. It was the difference between being able to give a normal childhood to my little boy. Not one with possible complications and bullying. A small price to pay, but the biggest goal I have so far achieved!