Without the ongoing support of its wonderful donors and fundraisers, EduMais would simply not be able to function. But if you also want to support the education of at-risk children and teenagers, you may not know where to start. To help you, we’ve put together 12 fundraising ideas to get you on your way! Whether you love pushing yourself to your limits or would prefer to put the fun back into fundraising, there is something here for everyone to get involved in. First, a quick tip. For any fundraiser you carry out, it’s worth looking into match giving. Many employers are willing to support their employees’ charitable efforts by matching the amount they raise. So ask your employer, if applicable, and make sure they know that match giving can be deducted from their corporation tax. You may well see your fundraising efforts doubled! Remember also that because of EduMais’s ANBI status, any donations from our Dutch supporters are tax deductible. Okay, preamble over. Now to the list!
A firm EduMais favourite, setting yourself a running challenge is a great way to raise funds. Better still, form a group to spur each other on, as well as increase the amount you raise. Whether it’s 10km, a half marathon, a marathon or more, you can combine improving your fitness and a sense of personal achievement with making a real difference to the lives of EduMais’s students. It’s a win-win-win. If you want to take the challenge to the next level, why not run in a costume? You could even keep it EduMais themed by running as a peacock! Yes, you read that right. The names of two communities where EduMais works, Pavão and Pavãozinho, are peacock and little peacock in English. Not the easiest costume to put together, admittedly, but wouldn’t it be great to see a muster of peacocks crossing the finishing line together? Well, just an idea… However you choose to do it, becoming a part of EduMais Running is a tried and tested way to make a significant contribution to the cause.
Not everyone is a runner. And if, like me, you’ve had three knee operations, pounding away for hours on concrete is not even medically advisable. But why not tap into the endurance challenge of a marathon in another form? EduMais volunteer, Anna Bowman, took this to one extreme by testing herself across three disciplines – swimming, cycling, and running – in an IronMan 70.3. But there’s no need to go that far. (Unless you want to. You’d certainly have our full support!) You could take it down a notch by walking, or holding a dance contest to see who can shake their hips for longest. Or how about indulging your passion for computer or board games in a 24-hour marathon? The possibilities are endless. Anything that tests your physical and/or mental stamina over a long period of time can be enough reason for people to donate to your fundraiser.
No, not like that! Instead, release your inner adventurer and go mountaineering or climbing. One of the most successful fundraisers for EduMais was in this area: Hamish and David Wilson got sponsored to climb Ben Nevis in Scotland. Follow their inspiring lead and get ascending! Solid ground too comfortable for you? I happen to love the stuff. But if you’re an adrenaline junkie, why not try a sponsored bungee jump, abseil, paraglide, or skydive? Or maybe you know someone who hates the idea of doing one of these things? Try convincing them to do it if you raise a certain amount. Then ask people to support you and make that person confront their fears – all in the name of a good cause, of course!
We love getting our kids to explore their creative side. Why not tap into your own by making crafts and selling them? These could be anything from birthday and Christmas cards to knitted goods or bracelets. Or take inspiration from a workshop Cheri di Renzo gave to the children on our after-school program and make tie-dye t-shirts! Eva Severijns provides a great example of how this type of fundraiser can work. At the end of every year, she makes jewellery and sells it. The proceeds then go to the charity of her choice. In 2018, EduMais was lucky enough to be the beneficiary of her wonderful initiative! So get those creative juices flowing and you may be surprised by what you can achieve.
Everyone has odd jobs that need doing. Actually getting round to doing them, however… You could help out your neighbours and local community by offering to do these things and donating the fee to EduMais. Car washing is a classic in this area of fundraising. But window washing, general cleaning, gardening, dog walking, or babysitting are other ideas you might consider, as well as many more besides. This is a really great way for young people to get involved in fundraising. While helping out the older members of their community, they can also contribute to the education of their less fortunate peers.
As well as raising awareness and funds, events have something else going for them: they’re fun! You could stick to an educational theme by holding a quiz night. Or involve your kids by organising a non-uniform day at school. EduMais has had success with its own fundraising events in the past, such as samba and stand-up comedy nights. Other potential ideas include an open-mic night, a talent show, a school disco, or even speed dating – education is an act of love, after all. If arranging a whole event is beyond your time commitments, consider organising a stall at a wider event. Bárbara Borges showed the potential for this kind of fundraising by having a “barraca do beijo” – a kissing tent – at her work’s June festival celebrations in Rio. Less salacious options are also available. Think cake stand, face painting, beauty treatments, etc. and you soon have a way to put some funds together.
We all have things we don’t need or haven’t used for a long time. Get your family, friends and neighbours to gather these things together before selling them at a car boot or yard sale, depending which side of the Atlantic you’re on! Another option would be to sell via eBay. If you take payment via PayPal, you can then use that to donate directly to EduMais. Easy as that.
There’s nothing like a bit of friendly competition. Why not take inspiration from Rio’s famous Carnival and hold a fancy dress contest? Or if you’re a fan of spicy things, how about a chilli or curry contest? Just don’t make hotness the only judging criterion: it won’t end well. Cool everyone off after with a best dessert or cake or ice cream (or all three) competition. Invite me, please: this night sounds like a blast. If you’d prefer to do something healthier than gorge on excess calories, consider organising a sports tournament. Whether individual or team sports, for the young or old, sport is sure to bring out everyone’s competitive side. And for your EduMais theme, look no further than a football or soccer tournament, again depending which side of the Atlantic you’re on!
With just a small adjustment to our daily lives, we can make a big contribution to charitable causes. For example, if you buy coffee every day at work, consider giving up just one of these per week. If this coffee costs €2.50, you can raise €130.00 over the course of the year. There are one-off ways of giving something up, too. You could give up your voice for a day in a sponsored silence. Or give up your luscious locks by shaving your head. Consider giving up your time as well. A hairdresser could donate the money raised from an afternoon’s haircuts, for example. Or an English or yoga tutor could give up their fees for an evening’s classes. These kind of initiatives are not only a way to raise money but can also create publicity for your own business. Everyone’s a happy bunny.
You’ve probably seen it on your Facebook feed by now: friends asking for birthday donations to their charity of choice. Both birthdays and Christmas offer up chances to raise funds. Instead of asking for presents, you can ask your family and friends to donate what they would have spent on you. But don’t feel limited by birthdays and Christmas. For example, when he retired, Johan Dorst generously requested donations for EduMais rather than presents. Other occasions would work, too. Perhaps a donation could be one of the gifts on a wedding list? Or instead of buying flowers, funeral attendees could be asked to make a donation? And though we don’t like to think about it much, leaving a donation in your will is a lovely way to make a parting gift.
Fundraising isn’t something you need to take on alone. Reaching out to others in your community can help you to pool resources. As an example, EduMais is very grateful to have been the recipient of several church offertories in the Netherlands. Another idea comes from Vanete Barr’s canasta group in Rio de Janeiro. Every year, they raise money together for the children’s Christmas presents at the end of the year. Any community group or organisation you’re involved in is worth considering. Giving together, you have a much bigger impact. And the bonds between you and us grow.
Though less direct than the other fundraising methods, this should not be underestimated. By sharing our posts and fundraising campaigns, or by inviting your friends to like our pages, you help to spread EduMais’s message to a wider audience. To really make this count, let your friends know why EduMais is important to you. Your personal appeal to them is far more likely to gain their support. And if you make a donation to EduMais, consider publishing it on your social media and explaining why you donated. You could even challenge some friends to match your donation. You never know, you might manage to do some fundraising from the comfort of your living room! There you have it: 12 ways to fundraise and become part of the EduMais family. But is there something we missed? Do you have any ideas you’d like to share with us? Please let us know in the comments.