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Fundraising is the only way we can make our film projects a reality. Every participant will need to help raise funds to take part in a crew, to join location shoots or to support overseas partners. Film equipment is ridiculously expensive and there are no magic fairies able to fund the broadcast-quality gear needed to do justice to volunteer productions. It sometimes sounds an impossible amount, but with some thorough work and a little imagination we can always achieve our fundraising goals.
You may be able to raise funds for all of the costs of your shoot or film partners' needs in one go, e.g. with a non-uniform day at school or college, a benefit, a big raffle, a sponsored event, through company sponsorship, celebrity backing, or, if you are lucky, a grant! Lots of people will help with fundraising: fellow students, colleagues, family and friends, and more. They may have some new ideas as well, so get them to join in and help you! After all, a film shoot is not a holiday, it is an opportunity to learn first hand the truth about another country and challenge misconceptions on your return.
Everyone and anyone who believes in making equality count will support you.
Below are some of the tried and tested ideas for fundraising, but you might have some better or brand new ones. Be ambitious, plan carefully, and pass on your most successful ideas - big or small - so that everyone can use them. We have to raise an enormous amount for location shoots and partner appeals, so there's no time to waste.
Festivals, fetes and benefits can be great fundraisers but need a fair amount of organisation. Plan ahead and get lots of people to help you. Local bands will often do benefits, and publicity is key to making these a success, so make sure the local press or "what's on" guide know about it. Auctions and jumble sales require a good central venue and lots of donated items so they need to be planned well in advance. Keep your outlay on venues to an absolute minimum or you can end up out of pocket. Other good events have included pub quizzes, non-uniform days at schools, car boot sales, cake sales, cabarets, plays, comedy nights and all manner of performances which require selling tickets. You can also organise small local events very quickly, especially collecting days at schools, colleges, a local university or a big supermarket or theatre.
A Sponsored [anything]
What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? What would you like to try? What would other people like to see you try? Ask yourself these questions and then draw up a "sponsor me" sheet, ask everyone to sponsor you, set a date and do it! Effective sponsored activities have included: swimming, parachuting, walking, fun runs, football, eating, silences, giving up bad habits, kissathons, clubathons, danceathons, singing, cycling, situps, rowing, riding, juggling, board games. Virtually anything goes and what a great way to let lots of people know about the film shoot!
These can be a good laugh and a great way to get everyone you know involved in helping to fundraise. There are so many things you can turn into a tournament, not just sporting activities. You need to get lots of people interested, set a date, charge a small participation fee and decide on a prize; either a donated one, a cup or a medal, or perhaps a proportion of the money you raise from the tournament.
Radio and local newspaper appeals ensure the local community know what you are doing. You will need a short press release, a photo for the press and make sure you have a telephone number you can give out. You can appeal for money directly, or for raffle prizes, or for participants for a sponsored event. You can also ask DJs to announce an appeal for your film shoot in local clubs and take a collecting tin around afterwards.
It is often easy to get sponsorship from local companies if you know someone who works there who will be sympathetic. You will need a letter explaining what you are doing and you can show them material about your film project. They might want something in return (some public acknowledgement for example) so make sure you inform WORLDwrite if a company expects to feature in national publicity and promotional material.
Develop a product
Perhaps you can develop a promotional product to help raise funds, but remember you first have to raise the outlay to make these. They could include postcards, Xmas cards, calendars, badges, tie pins, posters, mugs, T-shirts, baseball hats, car stickers, scarves, ties, arm bands, even a CD!
Some individuals may be eligible for a grant according to where you live and your home circumstances. Check for details with your school or college.
Make sure you pass on your good ideas to WORLDwrite and don't forget those thank you letters for everyone who helps you!