Syria Relief Donation Drive
Name of Event
Syria Relief Donation Drive
Type of Event
Number of weeks preparation time needed?
I started thinking about a fundraiser event during the winter break, which took place in the second week of the spring term. So, from start to finish, the prep time was around 3 weeks.
Number of committee members needed?
The event required 6 members to plan the event, create a poster, transport the donations, and stand on the stall, however, I would say many more members contributed by advertising the event by word of mouth, which had a great effect!
Any help from outside organisations needed?
The charity we chose to donate to was Syria Relief, who we needed to liaise with for organising drop-off times and the type of donations that were required.
Stepwise guide to preparation in the run up to the event
I would definitely say plan the event early! I managed it in 3 weeks but it really was a push. For example, start calling and contacting charities that you are interested in fundraising for a few months in advance of your planned event. When I called charities, my primary focus was to ask whether they accepted toiletries, worn clothes, shoes, blankets and whether they had a drop-off point in Birmingham. The last point is essential as it makes transporting the items so much easier. As a committee, we all agreed that we would like the donations to go to Syria itself, and although the charity was based in Manchester, we decided that we would drive to Manchester to drop them off. We made the posters relatively early and we also thought to give two donation dates so that students had the choice to decide when to donate. Because people were donating refuse sacks of clothes, we needed somewhere to store it all for a week (as the donation dates were a week apart). From here, I contacted the student guild just as the spring term started to book a stall in the guild and advertise on the guild TVs in the run up to the event as well as a room to store the donations. Finally, plan with your committee who can cover the stall on the day! For us, it was mainly 2/3-hour rotations
Guide to running the event on the day
Setting was actually very simple, as we just had a few posters. Luckily, the guild had a lot of footfall, so most of the advertisement was achieved with minimal effort! Now, the first day we set up we had very few donations, maybe 2 or 3 bags at most. I did start to think whether we had advertised enough, or if the type of donation didn't suit students. After that day, I upped the advertising by messaging my course mates and asking committee and society members to do the same. This really was the most the effective way of advertising, as we received numerous messages from students wanting to donate! I don't think I was prepared for the number of bags we had on the last donation day, which topped over 70 refuse sacks, as well as mattresses! The transport side of it ran very smoothly, and if you're worried about transport costs, your student guild usually reimburses you for travel.
Did you face any issues when planning or carrying out this event? How did you overcome these?
Perhaps not an issue, but we received so many donations that we couldn't fit all them into 2 cars, which was a shame to have to turn people away.
What could you have improved upon and what would you do differently if you ran the event again?
If we had another car, we probably could have taken another 10 refuse sacks of clothes! Overall the event was a huge success and went much better than expected!
What are your top tips and take-home messages?
It was really nice to see students come together and donate to such a good cause!