DARE FUNDRAISING TOOLKIT

Welcome to the DARE to Make a Difference Fundraising Toolkit!

If you’re reading this, then hopefully you have decided to do a DARE to
make a difference for VSO, and we’re extremely grateful! We’re here to
help you every step of the way, so don’t forget to get in touch with us if
you have any questions at dare@vso.org.uk.

We’ve put together this handy toolkit to get you started on your DARE
challenge and make sure everything runs smoothly on the day!

Here are our top tips for a successful DARE! Don’t forget to REGISTER
YOUR DARE first on the DARE website www.vsodare.org.uk. We want to
know what you’re doing so we can provide you with the right support.


         1. Get your facts straight
                  - About VSO
                  - How your funds make a difference

         2. Get online to get on target!
                  - Harness the power of the internet
                  - Justgiving
                  - Facebook

         3. Make the most of your contacts
                  - Your University
                  - Your Community
                  - Shout Out
                  - Friends and Family

         4. The Science
                  - The Legal Bit
                  - Be Safe
                  - A Helping Hand from the Taxman

         5. Paying in your Money

         6. We’re behind you all the way
                  - Fundraising Support
                  - Contact details

         7. DARE Ideas

         8. DARE Sample Letter

Make sure you’re armed with VSO facts, as your sponsors will want to know
about VSO and how their donations will be used. Here’s some information to
get you started:

Who are we?
VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) is the world’s leading international
development charity that works through volunteers. We fight poverty in over
44 developing countries. We don’t send food parcels or cash to the poor.
Instead, we send people to work together with local communities to make a
long lasting, positive impact.

VSO works in the areas of education, health, HIV & AIDS, advocacy and
disability. Our volunteers come from all over the world and from many
different backgrounds, aged between 18 and 75. They share their skills to
empower disadvantaged people to change their own lives.

You can find more detailed information on VSO’s website – www.vso.org.uk

How your DARE can make a difference.

Here’s how the money you raise through DARE to make a difference can help
some of the poorest people around the world. We’ve got many more
examples of how your money can change lives. If you would like more, then
email Ella at dare@vso.org.uk.

£150…can help VSO keep an education management adviser in Nepal for
one month, planning education for the poorest children.

£500… can train 10 HIV+ women in Mozambique to start their own business,
giving them and their children income and hope.

£900… can help VSO keep a social work advisor in Bangladesh for six
months, training students to become peer-to-peer educators to street children
in Dhaka.

£2000… can keep a VSO nurse in Nepal to run year-long training for 100
health workers to combat child malnutrition, malaria and dysentery.

The Internet has made many everyday tasks easier and faster. The same is
true for fundraising. You can send a personal message and gather cash at the
click of a button, so the time you would have spent contacting people
individually is free for planning your fundraising activities.

VSO has teamed up with the online fundraising service Justgiving. It uses a
simple step-by-step method that allows you to create a web page about you,
your activity and VSO’s work. You can include a photo, an online sponsorship
form and a totaliser to keep track of progress – and be up and running
between your lectures. To get started, go to:-

Facebook is a great way to tell all your friends about what you’re doing.
Setting up an event page or a group page is easy and quick to do. Invite all
your friends and send them regular updates about your challenge and how
you are getting on! You can also link your Facebook page with your Justgiving
website. Don’t forget to check out the DARE Facebook website and become a


Get your Student’s Union and University Societies involved, for example RAG
(Raise And Give). Your University will have many channels of promotion,
which you could access. Why not ask your university TV society to film your
DARE, make announcements at University events or in lectures, or highlight
your DARE on your Student’s Union calendar. You could write an article for
your student paper or ask for an interview.

Do you have a part time job? Ask your company if they can match the amount
of funds you receive from your sponsors. Use your personal contacts!
Research local organisations that would be interested in your DARE for
example clubs, bars, restaurants and pubs. Write to a local organisation for
funds and sponsorship. We can provide you with sample letters, press
releases and emails to get you going. Check out our website for downloads or
email dare@vso.org.uk. We’ve included a sample letter and guidelines on
how to write a press release at the end of this toolkit to get you started.
Promoting your DARE is the key to success! Don’t be afraid to ask! Tell
everyone you meet that you’re doing a DARE for VSO and ask if they can
help – you’ll find that you can gain gifts in kind, services, free venues and
more donations this way. The DARE team can send you posters and leaflets,
collection tins and t-shirts to help you get your word out. If you would like any
resources, free of charge, then contact Ella on 0131 426 6806 or email

Friends and family can be a great financial and emotional support. Make sure
they are happy explaining how VSO works and what you’re doing, then arm
them with sponsor forms and get the ripple effect working. It often helps when
you’re asking people for a cash donation to remember that you are not asking
for yourself; you’re asking on behalf of all the people whose lives you want to
help change.


Depending on the DARE you’ve chosen you may need a license or local
council permission. VSO can provide a letter of authority confirming that you
are fundraising on our behalf. Email dare@vso.org.uk or call 0121 426 6806
for a letter of authority and advice.

It’s better to be safe than sorry. Always visit a venue where you’re holding an
event and check out safety procedures. Keep your eye out on the day and
use your common sense.

For every pound donated, the Inland Revenue will give VSO an extra 28
pence if the donation is eligible for Gift Aid. You can do this on Justgiving or
by ticking the box on the DARE sponsor form. To make a Gift Aid donation,
the donor must be a UK taxpayer.

You can get sponsor forms and Gift Aid declaration forms from the DARE
team. Email dare@vso.org.uk and let us know what you need.

JUSTGIVING allows you to create a web page about you, your DARE, and
VSO’s work. It’s the most efficient way to collect donations - people can
sponsor you by credit or debit card from anywhere in the world. It’s so simple
to create your page, you can be up and running between lectures!
To create a page, go to www.justgiving.com/vso. Select ‘Make Your Page’.
You can personalise your page by adding photographs and text about your
DARE. Get creative and make your page stand out from the rest! All
donations given on your Justgiving page are received directly by VSO.

DONATE ON VSO WEBSITE Making an online donation is easy for you and
your sponsors. All you have to do is go to www.vso.org.uk/donate and click
‘donate now’, ‘make a single donation’ and complete your details. Please add
‘DARE to make a difference’ and your University name in the free text box.

BY POST. If you collect all your donations and send us the total amount in a
single payment we can claim Gift Aid provided you send in your DARE
sponsor form at the same time. Include your name and your registration
number (on your registration confirmation letter) or your volunteer number.
Make your cheque payable to ‘VSO’ and send it with any forms to VSO
Customer Care Team, Carlton House, 27A Carlton Drive, Putney, London
SW15 2PN, UK.
Please do not send cash.

BY PHONE. You can call us on 020 8780 7500* and use MasterCard, Visa or
Maestro, but paying over the phone means we cannot claim Gift Aid.

The DARE Team is here to help you every step of the way. We’ll be updating
the DARE website and Facebook pages all the time for new tips and ideas for
fundraising, so have a look and keep checking in throughout your fundraising

If you have any questions or would like to request promotional material, t-
shirts, collection tins, sponsor forms or any other resources, then get in touch!

Email: dare@vso.org.uk
Or call Ella on 0121 426 6806

You can also visit our Facebook and Twitter websites for more help and

Don’t forget: The 4 Ws!
Remember the 4 Ws for the key to simple but effective fundraising! Tell

   WHAT you are doing.
   WHEN it is happening.
   WHERE the venue is.
   WHY you are doing it.


                              DARE CHECKLIST

                         1. Register your DARE!
                         2. Set a time, date and venue
                         3. Invite all your friends
                         4. Collect your sponsorship
                         5. Have fun!
                              DARE IDEAS

  Here are some ideas to get you going on choosing your DARE!

Dare to Test your Limits
   - Long distance events such as cycle challenges, marathons, half-
      marathons, 10km runs, fun runs, swimathons, long distance walking.
   - Abseiling – from famous buildings in your local area, university
      buildings, from natural scenery.
   - Sky diving
   - Water sports
   - Jailbreak
   - Jailbreak 2 – take teams to the middle of nowhere and get them to find
      their way home! Trick is they have no idea where they are to begin
   - Sponsored silences or sponsored fasts
   - 24-hour competitions – can you go 24 hours without sleep?
   - Iron Man competitions
   - Swear box
   - The charity push – get sponsored to push a giant object around your
      village or town for a day. Go one step further and do it in fancy dress!
   - Eating competitions/marathons – how many donuts can you eat in a
   - Get in a bath of baked beans – how long can you stay there for?
   - Sponsored detox or give up something for a month!

Dare to Share
   - Charity sports tournaments
   - Pub quizzes
   - Self auction – auction yourself for a day to somebody!
   - Karaoke
   - Talent Contests
   - Open Mic nights
   - Street Busking
   - Bingo
   - Raffles
   - Auctions
   - Cake sales
   - Charity ‘Come Dine with Me’ – a fundraising twist to the popular
      Channel 4 programme.
   - Club nights
   - It’s a Knockout events
Dare to Be Scared
   - Face your fears!
   - Public speaking
   - Try something you have never done before
   - Ride a roller coaster solidly for an hour!
   - Eat something that you really hate!

Dare to be Funny
   - Make a fool out yourself in front of friends or lecturers!
   - Sponsored flash mobs
   - Fancy dress
   - Dress up in a wacky costume and go to University – what about a day
      in your pyjamas or dressed as an animal!
   - Cross dressing
   - Themed parties
   - Sponsored Conga around campus
   - Public body wax
   - Public head shave or shave off your eyebrows?
   - Sing or dance in public
   - Dye your hair a crazy colour
   - Job swaps – you could swap places with your university lecturer and
      teach classes for a day?
   - Sponsored haircut – let someone else decide a style!
   - Gunge tanks/get gunged! – get sponsored to be dunked in gunge!

Other Ideas
   - Street collections
   - Bag packing
   - Car washing
   - Car boot sale
   - Charge for favours
   - Themes are a great way to focus your event – do a themed day with
      activities and costumes.
   - Coffee mornings and ladies mornings

                     How to Write a Press Release
Approaching the Media is a great way to raise awareness about VSO and
your fundraising activities. Journalists are always on the lookout for good
stories. Before you make the first phone call, here are some pointers:

   -   Identify journalists who might be interested in your story Cold
       calling the newsroom of your daily paper will probably only end in
       frustration. Find out the names of reporters who cover similar types of
       stories to yours and contact them directly.

   -   Does your local daily newspaper have a human interest or travel
       section? Is there a reporter in your community with an interest in
       international development? Has your placement country been in the
       news lately? If so, which reporter has been covering the story?

   -   What do you want to say? Journalists from regional and local papers
       want to know what’s happening in their area. Let them know about your
       fundraising activities and when they are happening. Tell them why you
       are raising money, how much you hope to raise and that you need
       public support. Usually the journalist will ask for this information in a
       press release. Take a camera to fundraising events, as photos are a
       great way to get your message across in the media.

   -   Keep it regional; keep us informed We need all the coverage we can
       get. However, coverage in national media needs to be well coordinated
       and often involves harder or more controversial issues. Our press
       office is in constant negotiations with national journalists, so please talk
       to us before making any direct approaches. In any event, please keep
       us up to date. If you are getting great results, it’s helpful for us to be
       able to pass on best practice to other fundraisers.

  There is a standard format for press releases. Journalists working to
  deadlines will do little more than skim through your copy, so presenting
  the information in an accessible way can help get your message across.
  Local or tabloid newspapers use the same format, again and again.
  Here’s how to do it:

• Get the 5 Ws (who, what, when, why, and where) into the first paragraph.

• Your first sentences should grab the reader’s attention. The ‘why’ may take a
bit longer, but still be brief – you can expand later on.

• Type your release one side of A4.

• Keep it simple: use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.

• Editors cut press releases from the bottom up, so don’t leave your key
message until the last paragraph!

• Stick to the facts and use lively quotes to give opinions or add colour to your

• Assume whoever is reading your release knows nothing about you or VSO.

• Explain everything and spell out all abbreviations.

• When you’re happy with the copy, write a short, simple heading for the release.

• Type it in bold, centered capitals so it stands out, and add the date at the top.

• If you are looking for sponsorship, include a telephone number and email
address where readers can contact you, or give the VSO website:

• Type ‘ends’ at the end of the press release to make clear that anything that
follows is an editor’s note, background information etc.

• Add a ‘note for editors’ if necessary. You can give details of special interest in
event and background information that might be useful. If your event provides a
photo opportunity, give details here.

• ALWAYS include a contact name and phone number for more information

Tips for Writing Letters to Local Organisations and Businesses

Writing approach letters
Approaching local businesses, clubs (for example Rotaries, Lions,
Soroptimists) and professional organisations can be a very successful way of
raising money or receiving support for your DARE to Make a Difference.

Here are a few tips:

1. You will get a better response by writing to local organisations, companies
    and trusts, rather than national headquarters.
2. Try to find out the name of the right person within the organisation to write
    to. Writing to a specific individual is much better than ‘To whom it may
    concern/The Manager or Sir/Madam’
3. Personalise your letters. If applicable, mention any contact you already
    have within the organisation or the person who suggested you write to this
    company. Talk a bit about yourself - refer to your volunteer work, university
    and why you want to fundraise for DARE and VSO. Make sure you sign it
    by hand at the end too.
4. Try to keep the letter to one side of A4. But make sure you add any
    promotional material such as posters or maybe even a pair of free tickets
    to catch the eye of the company.
5. Don’t forget to proof-read your letter before you send it – mistakes don’t
    look good.
6. Make sure you include your contact details so that the company or
    organisation can contact you easily about your letter.
7. If you don’t hear from the company, don’t just forget about it. Follow up
    with a phone call to find out if have been successful.
8. Always send your letters out in plenty of time; you won’t get a response if
    your letter arrives the day before your DARE challenge is due to take
9. Make sure your letter includes the DARE and VSO logos at the top of your
    page. This looks official and professional.
10. Let us know about your DARE and the companies you will be
    approaching, we’re happy to support your letters if the organisation wants
    to check you’re credible.

                                 Good Luck!!

Contact Us!
Keep in touch with the DARE Team at dare@vso.org.uk or 0121 426 6806 to
let us know about your successes, if you would like to find out more about
writing letters or other fundraising tips.
                                                          [Your Contact Details]
[Potential Donors Address]


Dear [Name of Contact or Sir/Madam]

[Further to a conversation I recently had with a colleague/friend of
yours/family relation, XY,] I am writing to ask if you would be willing to support
a charity event I am organising. I am a student at [Name of your University] and
I am holding an event in aid of VSO on [Date]. I am doing a DARE to Make
Difference challenge and I hope to raise [£ your target amount] by doing [what
you are doing and details of the dare]. DARE to Make a Difference is a student
fundraising initiative to help VSO raise much-needed funds to continue the great
work they do to improve the lives of impoverished people across the world.

Today, a quarter of the world’s population still lives in extreme poverty. VSO is an
international development charity that works through, and with, volunteers to fight
global poverty and disadvantage. VSO works in the areas of education, health,
HIV & AIDS, advocacy and disability. Our volunteers come from all over the world
and from many different backgrounds, aged between 18 and 75. They share their
skills to empower disadvantaged people to change their own lives. They bring
together people to share skills, creativity and learning to build a fairer world. VSO
volunteers from a wide range of professional backgrounds live and work as part
of a community for up to two years, with the impact of their work lasting far
beyond this time. You can find out more by visiting their website at

I would like to ask if you would consider providing [e.g.
refreshments/prize/sponsorship] for our [event]. We would be very grateful if
you felt able to help make this event a success. In return we will advertise your
support for the event on publicity materials and on the evening to over [how
many people you hope will attend] people.

Many Thanks for taking the time to read this. I do hope that you will be able to
support such a worthwhile cause. Please contact me on [mobile number] or
email address [xxxx] and I would be very happy to talk to you about my
challenge further. If you would like to contact the DARE to Make A Difference
team about my DARE event or the fundraising initiative, then you can email
dare@vso.org.uk to find out more.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

[Your signature]

[Your Name]

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