If you're wondering how to make a difference for Fibro in the UK this year, with the International Awareness Day coming up on May 12th, please consider doing some fundraising for FibroAction!
It's an unfortunate fact of life that without money, charities are limited in what they can achieve. FibroAction receives no Government funding and currently receives no grant funding either*. Since I started FibroAction 4 years ago, the charity has been run on donations alone. We've always made a point of trying to achieve the maximum impact with the minimum amount of money and I think we haven't done badly, but lack of money has and does limit what we can do.
The big charities that have managed to make a huge difference over the years to their causes, such as Cancer Research UK and Help for Heroes, have so many people fundraising for them every year. Not just professionals, but individuals like yourself who have decided to do something for charity and have gone out and done it.
Fibro affects around 2 million people in the UK. If every one of us raised even a very small amount for FibroAction, what couldn't we achieve?
You don't have to be an official part of the FibroAction team. You don't have to run a marathon. Here are 10 ideas for fundraising, from the serious to the wacky:
1. Sponsored events - These can be almost anything. Maybe a walk or 5K race if you're up to it. Perhaps a "virtual challenge" of swimming the English Channel in your local pool. Or shave your head or dye your hair. If you're a guy then sponsored waxings or fish pedicures can be popular! Or get a tattoo. Or get sponsored to sit in a bath of beans. Or hold a sponsored video gaming marathon! Or just give up chocolate for a month. It almost doesn't matter what you do, so have fun!
2. Open garden. Some supporters did this in aid of FibroAction and Help for Heroes jointly a few years back. They asked for a small sum on entry and then took donations for cakes and tea as well.
3. Ask for donations instead of presents at a special event.
4. If you're artistic or crafty, ask for donations in return for a piece of your work. Or organise a local craft fair.
5. Put your cooking to the test and host a dinner for friends, asking them to donate what they think the meal is worth to FibroAction!
6. "Guess the..." competitions. These work best when you have a group of people easily available - e.g. your local support group or at work (ask your boss first!). Whether it's identifying who the baby photo is of, or how many jellybeans are in a jar, or how much a colleague's new baby weighs, you may be surprised how many people will pay a couple of quid to have a guess!
7. If you or friends are beauty therapists or complementary health practitioners, host a pamper day or evening, maybe for your local support group members and ask them to donate a small amount for each therapy - you could ask for donations for refreshments as well.
8. Hold a bake sale, maybe at your local support group or a local event.
9. Organise a quiz evening.
10. Bucket collections. Maybe ask your work if you could take a collection bucket around (the UK Awareness Week could be a good opportunity for this). Or see if you can apply for a collection slot on behalf of FibroAction at your local store or sporting venue. Do remember to contact us so we know you're doing this on our behalf though - and we should be able to loan the buckets if you can organise this and get a few volunteers locally.
If you're fundraising for FibroAction, we can send you out a fundraising pack with a t-shirt, flyers, sponsorship forms and details of online fundraising. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with details.
Small Amounts x Lots of People = A Big Difference
*If you have experience of grant funding applications and would be interested in helping us out, we'd be very interested to hear form you - please email email@example.com.