Sponsorship – Running For Charity

A few weeks ago I joined a running club.  I know this doesn't sound very exciting, for me, it was.  I haven't done any exercise for years and the thought of exerting myself was quite off putting.  So when I actually turned up at the Arrow Valley Runners club I even amazed myself.  I've now been five times and have also started running during the week too.

The Arrow Valley Running Club is an excellent opportunity for runners of different backgrounds and fitness levels to run within a group and share training tips. 

Michelle Waldron decided to set the running group up in December 2009 for people who wanted to run in a non-competitive and friendly environment. 

The club is ideal for new and experienced runners who like being part of a group, want to learn more and improve their running skills and fitness.  The Club regularly train for races such as 5k, 10k and half marathons and race participation is entirely optional. The club meet in Redditch Worcestershire, at Arrow Valley lake in the Battens Drive Car Park every Saturday morning at 10 am.

What have I found out about myself?  Well, firstly, I was fitter than I thought I was I think because I do alot of walking, which I really enjoy.  Secondly, I love running!  Fascinating!

So when a friend forwarded on an email she had received from Cancer Research it gave me an idea for a blog and a way of raising money for this charity. 

I was a small child the last time I did anything sponsorship based and have never been involved in anything like that as a fundraising consultant (as it's not my specialism) so thought it was a good opportunity to achieve lots of firsts in one go and support a fantastic charity.

The race is a 10K.  The furthest I've managed so far (without stopping ) is about 2 miles...so times that by 3 and that's a 10K race.  I think I'll be able to do that?

The website is really good for hints and tips on how to get fit for the run.  There is a whole page devoted to a training plan and it also gives you help on how to get sponsorship.  They have even thought about involving people who can't or don't want to run - they can volunteer to help out on the day.

I like the website and layout, it makes it easy to get involved in some way small or large and I think that more charities could take advantage of this kind of event.

Sponsorship as a way of raising funds is a long standing method of supporting charities.  It makes people feel good to take part and it makes donating more personal.  As most people ask people they know to donate, it's very unlikely anyone would say no. 

I've given to charities via sponsor forms before, when people in an office I've shared hand them out, even though I haven't known them very well, because it would have been embarrassing not to have taken part when everyone else is...and a bit miserly too!  I respond better to this than I do to people holding tins out on the High Street...Chuggers as they are non-too friendly called.

 So I will keep you posted on how the running training goes and if you're interested yourself, here is the link:

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/10k/

Funder For Animal Welfare Charities

The Jean Sainsbury Animal Welfare Trust

There is usually a wonderful human interest story behind each trust and this one is no exception.  Jean Sainsbury led a wonderful life, filled, as many peoples lives are, with moments of tragedy and fulfillment.

When Jean's estranged Father died leaving her millions, she decided she would use the money for the good of others, especially the welfare of animals.

The Trust meet three times a year to discuss applications - March, July and November and consider requests from £1000 to £10,000.  They do sometimes also consider smaller applications outside of these dates but these are at the discretion of the Chairman and Administrator.  The deadline for applications received is: 1st February (for March meeting) 1st June (for July meeting) and 1st October (for November meeting).

Someone from the Trust will visit you if you are successful in your application, which I really like the idea of as it links your work with the people paying for it and it also means that any future applications have  deeper connection with the charity.  Another great thing about this organisation is that they are happy to receive repeat applications which so many other charities do not.

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Professional Fundraisers…who needs ’em?

There was an interesting article in this week's Third Sector magazine (6 July).  I shouldn't have received it at all... I cancelled my subscription sometime ago in an effort to be green...I read their news articles online usually, so was somewhat surprised (and shamefully delighted - please don't hold it against me!) to receive the magazine through the letter box.

In this article called The Future of Fundraising, Richard Gutch asks the question: "When do you stop being a government contractor and start being a charity?"

It's a good question isnt it!

Richard makes the point that many of our biggest charities in the UK, receive significant amounts of government funding and it is they that are facing extremely hard times as the cuts are made to public expenditure.

Back in May, Richard had interviewed CEO's in 9 charities asking them the same question.  He found that many of them had not had to do much fundraising at all, so awash were they in government money. In some cases income from fundraising was a little as 10% of overall funds.

"one described their charity as like a branch of the NHS..."

About 40,000 charities are today relying...RELYING...on government contracts to run their charities and deliver essential services to some of the most vulnerable people in the country.  That's 25% of our entire voluntary sector, with some of the largest charities in that 25%.  What this may mean we can only have nightmares about.
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School Grants – The Foyle Foundation

The Foyle Foundation is an independent grant-making trust that distributes grants to charities whose core work is in the areas of learning, the arts and health. As schools are increasingly accessing funding from Foyle, this article will explain what they fund, as well as giving practical advice on making a successful application.

The Foyle Foundation was formed to implement the terms of the will of the late Christina Foyle. She was the daughter of William Foyle who, with his brother, founded the family owned bookshop Foyles in Charing Cross Road, London in 1904. Christina joined the business at the age of 17 and continued to manage it until her death in 1999 at the age of 88.

The foundation came into existence in November 2001, since when it has disbursed 36.4M in grants (to the year ending June 2009). Most of these grants range between £10,000-£50,000 and all are UK based, as the foundation specifically does not fund international work.

Following a strategic review, the Foundation merged with its sister charity The Batty Charitable Trust in March 2009 and from July 2009 has revised its objectives. The Foundation now operates a Main Grants Scheme supporting charities whose core work covers Arts and Learning and a Small Grants Scheme covering small charities in all fields.

Application criteria

Applications will only be eligible for consideration if they are aimed at benefiting people within the UK.

Only organisations which have recognised charitable status can be considered. For schools this means either declaring their charitable status conferred through their affiliation to a church, or applying through a PTA or friends’ group which has gained charitable status. Gaining such status is a lot less complicated than most schools expect.

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Building Schools for the Future

In the news today was a story with a headline that read:  "Could cuts halt school buildings transformation?"  This story is highlighting the intended cuts to the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) initiative, which is to transform many schools from temporary accommodation to state of the art facilities, such as Liverpool's Alsop High as stated in the article.

So it made me think, what the outcome of the cuts would be?  There are 1100 schools signed up for BSF in the UK which begs the question are they really unfit for purpose?  I suspect they are.

Teaching goes on in buildings long past their 'sell by date' which must impact on the quality of the learning experience for the attending pupils.  What hope are we giving to these youngsters for their futures?

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