I used to work for a charity, and so am really aware that fundraising can be really, really hard. It takes a lot to get people on board with a cause, and we are so often asked to give that we can just get fed up and burnt out.
So it’s been fascinating to have been involved with two big charity projects this year that have done some really magical things.
The #titsoutcollective ran throughout July, with creatives all over the world making and buying things inspired by the amazing Countess Ablaze. She started it (accidentally) with a knitting yarn that the she created in response to an approach from a business to get lots of things for free in return for ‘exposure.’ She raised £3,000 for charity the sale of. that. Then in July, she rallied 287 people to make were making things and donating a portion of their profits to their favourite charities. You can find out more about it all at the Countess Ablaze website here.
By the end of the month, a staggering £55,219 had been raised for those charities, including a whopping £8,000+ just for Mind through a raffle! It was all a bit overwhelming to be honest. The community buy-in and the way everyone was able to so quickly pull something together was inspiring. And the Countess herself, with her huge community of Instagram followers, fans and her general all-round kick-ass presence meant that something huge came together almost instantly. You can read about my contribution to the project here.
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THE DONATION TOTAL OF #TITSOUTCOLLECTIVE IN GREAT BRITISH POUNDS! 13 days to launch. 31 days to sell. 287 official participants. 22 countries. £55,219 donated to charities across the world in July 2018. €62,029 EURO $71,975 USD $93,520 CAD And for a laugh, if I was a Nigerian Prince in your inbox and this money was for me, I'd have a whopping ₦25,645,857 And you know what? That equates to approximately £350-£400k of products sold whilst the northern hemisphere has been basking in a heatwave. Never underestimate the power of people when they come together. So next year, yes? THANK YOU! _____________________ #countessablaze #titsoutcollective #ifiwantexposureillgetmytitsout #craftivism
Meanwhile, the Flower Power Fund, a year-long project which was started by knitter Sarah Holmes in January with a goal of £1,000, has been smashing its target over and over again. Also based in the knitting and crafts community, every month there are new goodies for sale that donate a portion of their proceeds to Marie Curie. The engagement and supportive vibes that are involved in this project are so lovely, and I’ve made so many new friends. It’s awesome!
By the end of June we’d raised £9,121.63 😀
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At the start of this year I came up with a #slightlybonkersidea that I hoped might raise some money for @mariecurieuk whilst also giving some yarny loveliness to all the wonderful people who helped with my #mariecuriesockquest last year. I hoped it might perhaps raise £1000 by the end of the year. I have just totted up the total raised until the start of this month, and it is a whopping £9121.63 – far more than I ever imagined!!! Every penny raised goes to @mariecurieuk who are working every day to support people living with terminal illness and their families. I am overwhelmed with your ongoing generosity and continuing support for the project so this post is here for me to say an enormous THANK YOU to everyone who has joined in and supported the #flowerpowerfund – you are all utterly WONDERFUL 😘😘😘👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
I keep thinking about both of these projects with my charity hat on and pondering exactly what it is that makes them so successful, and in a way it’s something that charities themselves would struggle to replicate because it starts at the community level. Although Sarah works for Marie Curie, its not on the fundraising side and she’s managed to connect with a ready made big and quickly growing audience of enthusiastic and bought-in people.
I am absolutely LOVING working this way, and would love to here from you if you would like any help from me for your charity or fundraising projects, do say hello :