So thats £2k per month, £500 per week, £71.50 per day, for water wells in the Gambia with Penny Appeal, as part of my London Marathon fundraising. How did we do it? They say “it takes a village” and in this case it took a global village. People from all over the world helped me to raise this huge amount in such a short space of time. My family, friends, community, running friends, online friends and social network made it happen. Here is how:
As soon as you know what cause you are raising for open up your online fundraising page and get sharing! Mine is www.justgiving.com/jogonhijabi – and donations are still rising and welcome please so we can maybe build one more well!
5k Community Run in Barking Park – Aug 2017
This was quite easy to organise. I made sure I had enough volunteers. I picked a route that I knew from Parkrun and enlisted helpers from local running clubs Dagenham 88 and Barking Road Runners. I ordered some cheap personalised medals from Ebay and runners paid a minimum of £10 per adult and £5 per child. We made extra donations from doing henna, my friend Bespoke Henna Mua, donated her time to do this, and we also did face painting. Some other members of the public came over and also paid for this. This event raised around £500 including a few online donations from friends who weren’t able to make it. But the best part was the opportunity to bring diverse individuals together. Runners and non-runners joined forces to make it a special day and it was a lot of fun for all the family. It also gave some teenagers the chance to get involved in volunteering and doing something positive as part of their development as young people.
TIPS: Advertise well and have enough hands on during the day and a first aider. Seek permission from local council and ensure no other big events happening that day. Request local business to sponsor. Some supermarkets might provide water and other goodies for finishers. Have provisions in case of rain, like a tent or marquee for non runners and finishers. Get local papers involved before, during and after your events.
Selling T-Shirts – Sept 2017
There are some great companies now that enable you to design your own t-shirts and other products without ever having to worry about stock or posting them yourselves. Buyers can purchase directly from the company and you get to keep the profits which you can set yourself. One of the things I value greatly about running is the way it breaks down barriers and brings people from all different backgrounds together. That’s why I designed a shirt about unity. I also created by own hashtag, following some upsetting incidents in the world – #runtogetherstandtogether – I encouraged people to buy the shirt and show the world that we are united. This made around £500 profit and was a very easy way to bring in money for the cause.
Car Boot Sales – November 2017
Not for the faint hearted – especially over the winter months – you will need to get up early to get to your pitch. I had a good clear out and also asked friends if they had good items to donate and they all rallied around. As they say, “one mans junk is another mans treasure”. I managed to do 3 car boot sales and as it got colder the numbers of people reduced and so did my earnings. 3 car boots got me just under £200. It was actually a lot of fun and a bit of a buzz turning unwanted items into gold.
TIPS: Take a thermos and a packed lunch. Don’t let the professional car booters rip you off buy giving you under the fair price before you have even got it out of your car!
Visiting the project – December 2017
I was so blessed to be able to go and visit the water well projects in
the Gambia while on holiday there with my family. I was able to see with my own eyes how lives were going to be changed through our fundraising efforts. I took lots of pictures and interviewed some of the people who had to go and fetch and carry heavy water in the heat. Sharing these pictures and videos with everyone through social networking and my YouTube channel Jogonhijabi saw donations rolling in and helped me to really validate the importance of this work in future events and when speaking to people. It also helped motivate me on a personal level because it meant so much more to me.
TIPS: Whatever the charity is, try and visit those who will benefit from it . See what your charity can set up for you. If that’s not possible use any media available from your charity or go and interview someone who has visited the projects or has worked for or benefited from it.
Men’s Quiz Night – January 2018
Mainly organised by my husband and his friends, this men’s Grub Quiz with an all you can eat curry buffet at Mahal Restaurant in Ilford was a great success and a lot of fun for the guys! My friends and I, marking the answers upstairs could hear all the banter and laughs going on! The guys gathered good quality items for an auction too, including signed Cricket shirts and a bat from Ravi Bapora, England and Essex County and a signed photo frame by Steven Gerrard, Liverpool FC player. Including ticket price to cover costs, whip rounds and some pledges the guys raised £4040 pounds that night! The main thing was it brought some school friends, colleagues and local lads together for a great night out, lots of laughs and many left saying “this is the best fundraising dinner I have ever been to”. We were also left with a challenge by one of the organisers, Riz Patel, who said if the future ladies night didn’t raise more then “you can jog on hijabi’s”.
TIPS: There was a lot of cheating! Cheaters were charged £10 every time and we made almost £200 just from that lol!
Afternoon Tea – January 2018
I found a caterer called VintageTravelling Tea Party, owned by a lovely lady called Anna-Maria Hawke who offered a great discount. I also managed to get a hall for free, Ford Sports Community Centre, who said they never charge charities. The community came together, purchasing tickets and enjoying tasty sandwhiches and cakes. This captured a different kind of audience, men, ladies and children who enjoyed just a couple of hours out of their Saturday. I showed them videos from Gambia and also some of them tried carrying heavy water in the same kind of containers used by villagers there. This helped build empathy with the struggle. A local business owner sponsored the costs of the event which enabled me to keep all of the £1700 made from the event.
TIPS: To increase promotion of the event I offered 2 free tickets in a draw for all those who liked and shared the post on FaceBook. I kept a vegetarian menu so that everyone would be able to eat.
Ladies Night – February 2018
With lots of help from my closest friends, we brought all our skills and expertise together to make this night a success raising £4800 profit after costs (beating the boys – so jog on lads!). In Saffron Kitchen, Walthom Forest, we held a West African themed night of dinner and delights. Chic Ntoma showed us their designs in a fashion show, Bespoke Henna MUA, Zanga Zanga Fitness dance Demo, Shades of Hijabi girl group performing spoken word and much more! It was a night that saw a huge community of women lifting eachother up. Business women, including Lote Tree Cupping Clinic, Pilates4Her and The Craft Souk used their expertise for wonderful donated items for the auction as well as countless others offering their services and wares. It was a lovely evening that celebrated the culture of a part of the world not usually celebrated or fund raised for.
TIPS: You will likely be inundated with requests for stalls. See what you can sell yourselves to optimise profits, like pick and mix sweets or single roses. Make sure you have a good team because it can get stressful, especially if you are marathon training! Ask local businesses to donate services and goods.
Mosque Friday Collection – March 2018
As a person of the Muslim faith, my family has a good relationship with the local mosque, Beacon Tree Masjid, Dagenham. When they heard about our fundraising for water wells in Gambia they were really happy to help with a collection one Friday during the weekly main congregation. Cash in the buckets that day was £1040 from generous attendees. ,
This was a challenge I set throughout my fundraising campaign. I learnt that women and children were carrying up to 15kg of water in each hand for miles. I wanted people to empathise with this so encouraged them to carry this weight in either water or weights in the gym, take a selfie or video and upload it using the hashtag then donate to my page and nominate others to do the same. Scores of instagrammers all over the world got involved and donations started rolling in. It helped build awareness of the plight of people in Africa and helped people see what I was doing to spread the word.
- Took in old £1 coins out of circulation
- Requested people donate their first new £10 to my cause
- Used media – emailed local newspapers to cover my story
- Appeared on Sports TV, InterFace Gambia TV and Sports 1
- Got my website up and running to show people what I am doing – this was done for free by Web-Editors
- Sold stuff on ebay that was too good for the car boots
- Had an interesting name for social media
- Said yes to going to other peoples events – I met amazing people there who then helped me with mine!
- Placed money boxes from the charity in good places like local hair dresser.
- Anyone who came round for a cuppa had to put loose change in the money box
- Emailed work colleagues and got them to sponsor a mile each for the 26 miles of the marathon
- Fitrah Designs gave us books to sell at our ladies night and we kept 50% profits – The Gratitude Journal
I am truly humbled by the way so many people have joined in on this journey. There are so many people I cannot begin to count you all. I would like to thank each and every one of you for everything you have done, using your limbs, your skills, your business, your wealth and your networks to help me raise this mammoth amount. I am sincerely grateful. I could never have achieved this without all your support nor got to 26.miles on the London Marathon. I am truly grateful. This has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. There was the occasional stress but the joy experienced from this worthy cause has far outweighed any difficulties. Thank you for sharing this journey with me.
I have also been nominated for a community award – it would be great to win – not for me but to win it for the community who did all this for me! If you think it is deserved please vote for me by clicking the following link and selecting Lynne Northcott before 4th May and confirm with the SMS afterall:
Thank you so much and I look forward to future fundraising
Lynne Northcott, Jogonhijabi