Fundraising for your trip

We often get asked how people manage to raise the funds for a Dentaid volunteering trip.  There’s no doubt that fundraising can be a real challenge but  it can also be lots of fun and a great way to let people know about your amazing work.

We hope these blogs by Selina Sufraz, who joined our Cambodia team in October 2018, and Sally Reading, who leads our Kenya teams, will prove helpful and give you some ideas!

I decided to combine a quiz night – which is something I love doing with friends – with a curry evening.  With the addition of a silent auction, raffle and drinks sales, I hoped to raise most of the money for my Cambodia trip. 
I managed to get use of the local Scout Hall for free and the curry was to be homemade. I sold tickets at £20 a head and opened a separate bank account to manage the finances.
By holding the event in March, I thought everyone would have had chance to recover from their Christmas spending.
I started asking local companies, businesses and shops for donations for the silent auction and the raffle and also started telling everyone about the date in March. I have 3 jobs, so have a wide circle of people to ask. I managed to sell 100 tickets for the curry and quiz night and lots of raffle tickets. 
The silent auction was a big success – our local MP donated afternoon tea for 2 at the House of Commons and that raised a lot of money.

Do not underestimate the amount of time and effort needed to get raffle prizes- for every prize, I probably had 10 rejections. One day I spent the whole day walking around the town centre and I sent hundreds of emails. I found local small businesses more amenable than large national companies.
I bought a lot of soft drinks and other bits from the local cash and carry.
A friend wrote the quiz and we had a screen up showing a video to promote Dentaid before the event started.
We started setting up at 4pm with about 8-10 helpers including neighbours, scout leaders and my son’s friends. The whole evening was a huge success and we raised £2000 toward my Cambodia trip. 
I totally underestimated how much hard work it would be and couldn’t have managed without my wonderful helpers but everyone had a great time and the single event raised almost all the money I needed for my Dentaid trip. SELINA SUFRAZ

I have been fundraising for Dentaid since 2001 and in that time I have completed several different types of fundraising challenges.
The best events for me and that raised the most were:
The 10,000ft skydive, this raised in excess of £1800.
A mile swim in my pyjamas raising just over £1400
An abseil off Newport transporter bridge raising about £800
A 9 hour karate-athon  (9 hours of non stop karate training) raising over £1200
A 16 mile walk in an NBC suit, flak jacket and respirator raising over £600

Other events which also work well are:
Bag packing in your local supermarkets. This generated around £600 but I also gave shoppers the option of helping me fill a suitcase with toothbrushes.  This was good for people who would rather donate an item rather than money and the toothbrushes are very useful for overseas volunteering trips.
Dental poster competitions for children at local primary schools with a small entry fee and prizes donated by dental companies
Raffles with prizes donated by dental companies and local businesses.
Cake bakes and coffee mornings. I used sponsor forms to collect sponsorship through friends, family and patients of the dental practice I was working at. The advice I would give is get the money up front when they complete the sponsor form, that way you aren’t running around chasing up payments after the event.  Setting up at BT MyDonate page also works well for this.

I always write an article for my local paper about the events I am doing.  I include information about Dentaid’s work and how it makes a difference. They are always really helpful publishing the article including photos and my fundraising page.  I have even had people posting cheques to me at work, made payable to Dentaid.
I think its all about advertising your events and engaging as many people as possible. Social media is a great platform for this.  If you’re having fun while you’re fundraising and telling people about the cause they will be happy to support you.
Good luck!
SALLY READING