20-year-old mental health fundraiser and Co-Editor of Student Life’s magazine in Suffolk, Joshua Hodgkin, shares his hints and tips of how charities can fundraise effectively.

Written by Joshua Hodgkin

Fundraising can be both the lifeblood and the bane of all charities. Poor cashflow means we don’t have the confidence to do the life-changing work we feel so passionately about. But how do we raise eyebrows and get people excited about supporting our fundraising efforts?

One really fun way to pull people together and raise money is to have a daring member of your team take part in an extreme activity, like abseiling or an open water swim. One of our directors did a sponsored skydive! By sharing the day on social media, as well as inviting our supporters to watch, we made an impressive amount of money out of the event. It’s certainly not for the fainthearted, but I would probably take the plunge (no pun intended) and go for it!

What else? Bake sales! I know the idea probably hasn’t crossed your mind since your school days, but what better combination is there? Hungry workers in your office building, and a delicious mid-morning or mid-afternoon cakey snack to perk them up. Great for productivity, great for a charity’s pocket! To maximise revenue, invest around £20-30 in a card reader. That way, ‘I don’t have any change’ doesn’t cut it as an excuse!

Dress-down days are always a hit, especially where companies have a dress code on the more formal side. Get in touch with businesses who may share an office space with you or who may be close to your base. Not only is it an opportunity to gain financial support, but you can get to know your neighbours and spread the message about your great work.

Another really simple idea is to hire out a local school hall at a weekend, offering a family favourite movie screening. You can tell people all about your message, whilst creating a community focal point for the day. Just charging a couple of pounds per head can make a large profit for your event; snacks and drinks are extremely profitable, too.

Some of the best ways to fundraise involve raising community awareness of your work. People will spread your message, and you’ll have an amazing time getting to know local people and sharing more information about your cause. Best of luck!

Joshua Hodgkin

Technology and Finance Co-Editor of Student Life’s magazine in Suffolk

20 year old Joshua works with Suffolk-based young people’s charity Student Life. The charity aims to enrich the lives of young people by providing them with skills in journalism, photography and, most importantly, understanding mental health. Joshua is a Mental Health First Aid England Instructor, and Co-Editor of the Technology and Finance supplements. In his spare time, he studies Sociology at the University of Essex! Or perhaps he got that the wrong way round…