I was given the opportunity, by our Director, to choose one of Worldwide Experience’s projects to visit for two weeks during the year, but the only trick was, I had to fundraise the costs associated with my placement. Having to fundraise can be really daunting at first, but it’s a really great way to boost your skills and self-confidence – all for a great cause too.
I jumped at the opportunity and I chose Conserving Desert Elephants as my project of choice – the thought of giving up your daily luxuries to sleep on a bedroll in the desert while you’re tracking elephants was calling my name, just the stars in the desert is enough to make you want to go, never mind the incredible scenery, communities and wildlife.
My next challenge was to figure out how I was going to fundraise a minimum of R15,000 to attend the project with any additional funds being donated directly to the project. I really wanted to raise more so that I could make a substantial donation to the project. I started thinking of all sorts of ways to fundraise, from baking Christmas cookies (I am probably the least domesticated person out there – so you can do anything) to making bath bombs and raffling off items. I started off by speaking about my fundraising initiatives to whoever would listen – this proved to be extremely beneficial as I had many people donating vouchers for cakes, beauty vouchers, and more, which I was able to raffle off – this brought in about R2000.
Thereafter, I had a bigger challenge on my hands – to host a fundraiser. This was intimidating but once I told myself I was going to do it; I was going to do just that. We started off by getting a lovely venue on a game reserve for free (Elephants are close to most reserve dwellers hearts😊), and the owner of the venue also offered up her time and skills for free. This meant that I got the food at cost price (along with a few ingredients being donated from someone else), most of the décor which she was either able to do herself or through her connections within the industry. We also managed to organize discounts for almost everything else or organize it for free – there is always something wanting to help, they just don’t know how to assist. You can also look for deals on websites, I managed to get my photobooth and more through local online website deals.
We had to ensure that the music was great, the master of ceremonies was even better, and the food was good too – you also can’t forget the fully stocked bar. I am fortunate enough to have a lot of supportive people in my life, but there are also many people whose hearts are in the right place and do want to help. The biggest piece of advice I would give is to spread the word. Through spreading the word and getting people on board, I was able to raise over R25000 at this function alone. I was donated many wonderful items and my master of ceremonies knew exactly how to raise the funds for these items too, he also had a couple of fun games lined up and we had a theme (Safari) and prizes for the best-dressed couple. Before any of the fundraisings began for the donated items, I presented a video and spoke about the cause and where the donations would end up, this is also very important.
It was an incredibly fun evening for all and more importantly, very successful in raising funds for the desert-adapted Elephants of Namibia.
All tickets were also sold out before the event (This was last minute, so don’t panic if your sales are slow at the beginning.)
I was meant to spend 2 weeks in Namibia in May but due to Covid, this has been postponed. I cannot wait to get out there, meet the team, volunteers from around the world, and of course, the very special surrounding communities and the elephants that live alongside them.
You can view all of our volunteering opportunities here and If you’re interested in fundraising for your trip, feel free to contact us for advice: firstname.lastname@example.org