Where Should I Volunteer?

Do you have some time off this year? Perhaps you have an extended summer break, maybe you have just finished your studies and are contemplating what to do next, or perhaps you are no longer working as often as you used to and have a lot of free time on your hands.

Here at Shareagift we have seen hundreds of projects and campaigns over the years where groups have raised money to sponsor people to go help in far away countries, build or resurrect community projects, and even run a sponsored abseil down the side of a church! If you want to give something back to the world we live in then perhaps one of the following endeavours may interest you…

The Internet is awash with people crying out for volunteers, and it is very easy to get lost in the sheer amount of projects that are available to us now. Over summers it has become very popular to take some time out and go to work abroad in countries that are struggling and need help. Be that helping to build structures for families to live and learn in, working to help teach in areas where education is needed, or working to comfort and heal the sick. The first thing to think about if you are considering working abroad is where do your skills lie? Are you good with people or do you have experience in construction? Take a look at how two of our Shareagifters recently visited Nepal and raised money to help victims of the recent earthquake.

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The next thing to think about is how far away you are willing to travel, remember that working in deprived areas can be very dangerous, how long is your journey going to be to get back home if you have an accident or something goes wrong? The third main point to reflect on is how much your trip is going to cost you and if you can’t afford it how many people do you know that may be willing to sponsor you?

If your considering helping out a little closer to home then again there are so many different projects and charities that you can get involved in. Is there a project in your local community that is close to your heart? This could be something as small as helping to pick up litter around your street to getting involved with building a local park or setting up a youth group.

Even if you only have a few hours a week to dedicate to helping others places like charity shops, youth groups and retirement homes are often crying out for volunteers to either cover shifts or just help out around the place. By doing this you are not only just helping others but it gives you a chance to work within the wider community with people that you may not necessarily encounter in your everyday life.

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Once you decide what you would like to do come and take a look at Shareagift and see whether we could help you in your role. Whether it’s collecting sponsor money for a trip abroad, raising funds for a local project, or collecting money to pay to run activities within your local community, with our newly added option of being able to donate using gift aid we are the perfect platform to help you raise funds.

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Crowdfunding Vs. Group-Funding

Crowdfunding Vs. Group-Funding

One of the questions that always crops up when we are talking to people about Shareagift is what is the difference between group-funding (what we do) and crowdfunding? In some ways they are quite similar and in others they are very different. In order to answer this question we need to look at the key features of both, let’s start with crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding…

..is where a number of unrelated people back or invest in a project.

..has a limited deadline, which is usually thirty days.

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..is usually restricted to specific rules where certain campaigns are not allowed.

..cannot be used by private individuals or charities.

..usually has a rule where if the goal is not reached the raised cash is refunded.

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..can be difficult, as when you create a campaign you usually need to provide detailed and accurate information about what you are raising money for.

..can take a long time to set up.

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Group-Funding (Social Gifting)…

..is where groups can fundraise for anything and everything.

..is specifically designed for private groups, clubs, communities, families, and charities.

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..can have no deadline.

..can be made public or can be kept private as an invite only campaign.

..is ideal for group gifts, personal projects, community projects, emergency funds, medical treatments and charitable causes.

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..can be used to raise funds for any type of campaign but is not suited for financing products or start-ups.

..is quick and easy to set up, customise and activate.

For more information on how group-funding works visit the how it works section of our website or get in touch with a member of our team at community@shareagift.com.

Fundraising Gone Mad: Innovative and Unique Charity Campaigns

Personal fundraising has traditionally been centred on going out of your comfort zone in the name of charity. However, some individuals have taken fundraising into the Twilight Zone. Below are some wacky and innovative fundraising campaigns:

1. Justin Bieber – The Ultimate Fundraising Mechanism

The Evanston Township High School in suburban Chicago fundraised to save a popular arts centre by blasting out the song ‘Baby’ by the sworn enemy of melodies, Justin Bieber. Passing students were only able to stop the onslaught by donating. Amnesty International was quick to condemn the fundraiser.

2. The World’s Largest Water Slide

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Two fun-loving Kiwis, Jimi Hunt and Dan Drupsteen, devised a fundraising campaign that consisted of constructing the world’s biggest water slide in Auckland. The fundraiser and its 650 metre slippery shoot raised funds and awareness for those battling depression, during a two-day festival in February 2013.

3. Wearing the Same Dress for a Year

In 2009, upon launching the Uniform project, Sheena Matheiken pledged to wear the same black dress every day for an entire year. She raised over $100,000 in donations for the Akanksha Foundation. Several men around the world have repeated such a fundraising campaign, focusing on wearing the same clothes for a year, albeit without raising funds for charity.

4. Spider Lock-in

Australian Nick Le Soeuf spent three weeks locked behind a shop facade with three hundred poisonous spiders to raise funds for Variety, a children’s charity. His previous fundraising campaigns have included stints in a snake pit and a shark tank. He is no long particularly fussy about where he goes on holiday.

5. ‘Friends’ Marathon

Steve Misiura watched watched 238 episodes (over 84 hours) of Friends to raise funds, through donations, for a course at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. Sources suggest that he snapped after the 77th declaration of “We were on a break!”

6. Stormtrooper Walks Across Austrailia

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Star Wars enthusiast, Jacob French, walked 5,000km across Australia dressed as a Stormtrooper in aid of the Starlight Children’s Foundation, which fundraises for entertainment, education and family outings for sick children. Fellow travellers in the bush were relieved to find out that they hadn’t hallucinated a stormtrooper as a result of weariness.

Now such lengths are not required because Shareagift makes fundraising easy and seamless!