Girlguiding Greater Manchester West
Girlguiding Greater Manchester West

Fund raising Diary

Written by Gaynor Portlock
At the beginning of 2009 Ashton South Rangers and Guides decided to go on their first International experience. Michelle Farrington was the guider in charge, while Gaynor Portlock was given the role of fund-raising £100 per person. Altogether there were 9 people going including leaders, so this ment that a total of £ 900 was needed.
To start the ball rolling Jane Killworth (Ashton South Guides Leader) cleared her house and we had our first Car boot Sale. As it was January, this car boot sale was held at Bowlers in Trafford Park. As this is an indoor space you need a minimum of two people to run a car boot sale here. I was on my own and I was hip deep in punters who wanted to buy my stuff, I managed to get the Security Guard to help look after my stall while I unloaded and because the place was quite, they let me have a table spot for the same cost as the floor. As I had good quality stuff, this first car boot sale raised £ 60.
A parents meeting was then held and a schedule of car boot sales were organised where the girls were responsible for collecting the stuff while I sold it. In the end I did 6 car boot sales raising £268, from which I learnt the following:-
  • Bowlers - This is an inside space and you need two people to set up the stall in the morning. They charged £17 for the floor and £22 for a space wth table. Wearing your guide top can help as they offered me the table and didn't charge extra.
  • The Cheshire lounge - Outside. They charge £10 for the space, but you can run the car boot sale by yourself. You do need to be here until 12 because it doesn't pick up until 10. Avoid when the clocks spring forward because this leaves you with just one hour of good selling time
  • Local not advertised in the paper - Charged £7 but the takings were very poor because there were just not the number of customers that you needed.
  • Local and a special one on a Bank Holiday Monday (Well advertised in the paper) - They charged £10 for the pitch and although it was raining slightly there were lots of customers.
If you use this method of fundraising, the following is also useful to bear in mind.
  • Always wear uniform and take a sign saying who you are and who you are raising money for. This resulted in one stall holder giving me all her left over stuff at the end of the car boot sale, plus it made people more disposed towards you
  • Set out your stuff in fruit boxes. They are easy to stack and you do not need to wrap your stuff up in paper.
  • Have somewhere to store the stuff between car boot sales. I had to store my stuff in the dinning room and I'm amazed that my husband and I didn't have a row about it
  • This is the most worrying part of doing a car boot sale, but at the end of the sale, take all the money back to whoever you were selling the stuff for and give them the money. They can then give the charity the money. Doing it this way means that the donation is subject to gift aid, as you can get gift aid on donations. I also asked them to sign a slip to say that they had made this donation.
  • Invest in a decorators table, they are light and people respond better to having things at that height rather than the floor
The district also helped by running an event for us. We investigated having a race night but this was going to be quite expensive to run and we were not too sure if we would make profits, so we decided to have a quiz night instead. I was responsible for getting the prizes in while the district advertised the event and organised the quiz. To get the prizes, I sent out a lot of letters and this is what I learnt
  • When asking for a donation, make sure that the business gets something out of it. For example local advertising. I got a great response from local businesses because I could hand the letter to them pesonally and talk to them, they also liked the idea of helping local people.
  • Use personal contacts, I asked the parents to deliver two letters each to businesses that they knew. This resulted in a rugby shirt from cotton traders, tickets to the museums of stockport, wine and chocolates
  • I got no response from letters I sent out, but I did get a polight No from the chill factor
  • Always write a thank-you letter after the event, telling the business owner what their contribution achieved
We got a lot of prizes in, so I went around every one I knew pre selling the tickets, this resulted in £ 90 of raffle tickets being sold before the event took place. We then sold tickets to enter the quiz at £ 5 for a team of no more than 5 people, this brought in another £90, but the room we had was full. Then we sold another £ 90 of raffle tickets on the night. If you run an event like this it is esential that you have a good speaker to run the quiz, ours did an excellent job.
We also sent out letters asking for 1/3 of the total that we needed to raise. I got the girls to write letters about the trip and what they hoped to get from it. I then sent these off to three local organisations along with a covering letter (see writing letters for help with this). From this we got:-
  • Sale Rotary Club - £ 100
  • Sale Lions club - £ 300 (In our original letter, we asked for £300, this was revised down to £ 200, when we received the £ 100 from the Sale Rotary Club. We were then informed that we would get the £ 200. However when the money came it was for £ 300. We offered to pay back the £ 100, but they said keep it)
  • I also tried the round table, but the closest one is in Warrington and this brought in nothing, not even a negative response
In addition to the three activities above, we also did the following
  • Jewelry party. - The girls loved it and we got both sets of commision from the seller as well as the hostess
  • Dog walking and baby sitting( This encouraged the girls to do their bit )
  • Leaflet drop - £ 25 per 1000 leaflets dropped. I don't think we have one girl who now wants to be a postlady(I wonder why)
In the end we raised a total of £1041.10
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