This week I looked more at local charities, did a lot of going with what ‘hit me in the face first’, and explored how charities (even ones with exempt charity status) are among the most powerful of brands.
- Monday 25 February – Donated to my old University. See the feature piece to find out how this counts.
- Tuesday 26 February – Bought two raffle tickets on the Have a Heart campaign website.
- Wednesday 27 February – Signed up for an event run by Headway Devon – ‘Hats for Headway’ on Friday 17 May.
- Thursday 28 February – Held a Marie Curie committee meeting to assess the first round of collections and see what could be improved for next time.
- Friday 1 March –Filled out coupon for Headway Devon in Express and Echo for them to get a grant sum from the Cash for Your Communities competition. I have been informed subsequently that they secured £500 of funding. Though this is just £50 up from the bottom amount that could be granted, Headway Devon’s Fundraising and Communications Manager, Holly Keatings, puts this into perspective: “The extra money will be used to buy things like art supplies, which can help improve fine motor skills and are very therapeutic and a great way for clients to express themselves. Popular arts are papier-mâché, watercolour painting, and decorating items (e.g. decorating plain jewellery boxes that can then be sold at coffee mornings and fairs). If you think about how much poster paint and PVA glue £50 can buy then you see how long it’ll help to keep these activities going for!”
- Saturday 2 March – Although the above is not a great photo – slightly blurry and the day was somewhat overcast – I hope it helps give perspective of how lucky I felt to go on such an amazing coastal walk in Cornwall and see all the beauty that this part of the world has to offer. It felt only right to then put spare change in ‘For Sight’ appeal at the Whitsand Bay hotel bar.
- Sunday 3 March – Bought my mum’s mother’s day gift through the Cancer Research UK shop, which I saw advertised via Facebook.
Feature: Monday 25 February
Today I left it a bit late to come up with my ‘thing’ for the day, so I was grateful when something dropped into my lap – a telethon call from my old University. You may not have thought so, but Universities do have exempt charity status.
I picked up the phone to a cheerful student hoping that I would donate – either single gift or regular gift – to the University. Now, I may have been more skeptical about it, had I not been a telethon caller myself once upon a time, and spent nearly three years working for the University of Exeter alumni office.
I know from having seen first-hand that there are great things that these donations go to, including bursary’s and scholarships for gifted students who might not otherwise be able to get to higher education. There’s a full list of projects most recently funded here.
The Annual Fund can have also have impact in the local community, for example the Exeter Care Homes Reading Project, the Community Legal helpdesk based at Exeter Crown Court, and the Sporting Stars Project, which funds students to teach sport in local primary and secondary schools. I have now signed up to be a regular donor to these causes.
It just goes to show that, as with any brand, my money’s gone to where my heart is – the University of Exeter being a place to which I have hugely emotional ties. I will explore more about charities as brands in a standalone feature piece – coming soon!