I’ve always enjoyed fundraising and meeting new people and ideally like to feel as though my work is making a difference. Over the past year or so I’ve met some great people and started working on some really exciting projects.
A great day
Today has been a particularly good day though not especially out of the ordinary.
I started this morning meeting with Louise at Integr8 to explore the possibility of a partnership with Autism Hampshire. Together we are looking at setting up a Cafe that will become the hub of the Integr8 community centre. The Cafe will offer volunteering opportunities and paid employment opportunities for people on the autism spectrum as well as providing refreshments to the many people that access the centre on a daily basis.
Louise is so passionate about community, and has such fantastic vision for the building and the role it can play in the lives of local people. It is exciting to be involved.
My next meeting of the day was with Studio Republic. Studio Republic (SR) are an ethical creative agency with the tag line of “Creative for Good”. We were exploring the best steps to take with regard to improving conversion rates for the Solent Students’ Union lottery that I have been helping the SU to run. The SU lottery has the potential to be a valuable income stream for the SU which will enable them to provide student services which offer representation, advice and assistance to students as well as social, cultural, sporting and recreational activities. The SU believe that “supporting our students is good for us all.” And I would agree with them. It is.
The meeting with SR was a lot of fun and the ideas that Jack and Chris came up with were exciting with so many avenues for potential. I left them feeling that we could very well find a formula that could provide an excellent, reliable income stream for charities. Something that all charities need.
The Handlebar Cafe
My final meeting of the day was at the site for the Handlebar Cafe. I have been working with Mark (SPUD Director) fundraising for SPUD and the Handlebar Cafe since May 2017 after Heather introduced me. Heather runs Bespoke Biking and is partnering on the Handlebar Cafe. Bespoke Biking is a Community Interest Company that will run the Handlebar Cafe when it is built. SPUD will retain ownership of the Cafe and the success of the Cafe will sustain both Bespoke Biking CIC and SPUD.
I was meeting Mark at the site of the Handlebar Cafe where he had been clearing trees and brambles from the site in preparation for the start of the building process.
The Handlebar Cafe needed to raise £350,000 to be built when I joined the project with the fundraising having somewhat stalled around the £100,000 point. Mark had been working hard to push the project forward but with so much other work on his plate and the odd fundraising knock back the momentum for this project was dwindling. For me it was clear that there was so much potential for this project and it was great to get my teeth into it. Over the months we had more success with Trusts and private supporters and the target started to look achievable. There were many ups and downs on this journey with recently added pressure from one of the Trusts that had pledged £50,000 to the project. They insisted that we raise the full amount before March 2018 or they would withdraw their offer.
This pressure ultimately was a good thing and pushed us into pulling out all the stops. We have now achieved our total with another few thousand to add to our offline total.
Over the coming days and weeks the next stages of the Cafe build will start to occur and this time next year there will be a fantastic community cafe which I feel proud to have been a part of.
The rest of my day
After all of my meetings today I went home to Southampton. I got to spend some time with my family and did a little bit of work in the evening on some other projects.
I’ve been writing some applications for funding for the Waterfall Trust and was really pleased to see another one of my fundraising targets met – £420 raised for Hampshire Riding Therapy Centre. Whilst a much smaller financial target than the Handlebar Cafe it was no less pleasing to achieve. This £420 will enable us to submit a planning application to Winchester City Council which is the first step towards generating some sustainable income streams for their charity.
I started Daily Bread Consultancy after feeling called by God to work with small charities and churches. I feel blessed to have had such a successful first year and thank God for a great day.