Our Fundraising Challenge: How Does It Work?

As part of Charity Fast-Track: Foundation you’ll make a huge impact on the lives of children and mothers in Kenya and Sierra Leone. In this post we look at how and why the fundraising challenge is at the centre of Charity Fast-Track: Foundation.

Let’s start with the basics

Our Foundation course exists to help people develop the skills, perspective and experience to become brilliant charity professionals. Whether you’re looking to break into a charity role for the first time, or build on the career you’ve already begun, our expert-informed content will help you to understand:

  • How Charities Operate
  • How Charities Make Money
  • How Charities Communicate
  • How Charities Drive Change
  • How Charities Deliver Impact

What does the course ask you to do?

As part of Charity Fast-Track: Foundation you’ll take on a practical assignment: over 12 weeks recruit a team of volunteers and support them to raise more than £500 for international development charity Child.org.

Since 2015, Charity Fast-Trackers have raised over £300,000, directly funding amazing work across Kenya and Sierra Leone, saving and improving the lives of children and their mothers. 

Who are Child.org and why will this make a difference?

Based in London and Nairobi, Child.org do community-led development. Child.org works closely with people to ensure our work creates lasting change and helps them to lift their whole family and community out of poverty. 

Their pregnant womens’ groups aim to arm new mums with the information and support they need to keep their babies safe.

They deliver hundreds of baby boxes to new mothers, encouraging and improving access to postnatal care, and protecting more mums and babies.

They fund women’s groups, run by the communities they serve, educating women and girls in crop husbandry, agricultural economics, increasing their knowledge and skills to reduce extreme hunger and child mortality.

You can support this work through your learning with Charity Fast-Track.

They fund women’s groups, run by the communities they serve, educating women and girls in crop husbandry, agricultural economics, increasing their knowledge and skills to reduce extreme hunger and child mortality.

What does it look like in practice?

The fundraising challenge helps you to demonstrate three things that charities need:

  • Can you plan and deliver to a deadline, creating something a charity could replicate, scale, and fund great work with?
  • Can you recruit and manage volunteers to lean in to the cause? Our sector runs on great volunteer experiences; you’ll practice leadership skills and coordinate others, and have great fun doing it
  • Can you inspire donors with something special? Create sparkling comms, have fun saying thank you, and make the supporter experience one that they’ll be proud to be a part of

We’ve been doing this since 2015: supporting people to excel at this challenge is something we pride ourselves on. The charity sector needs people willing to get stuck in and push beyond their comfort zone, but that doesn’t mean you’ll do it alone.

What Support Will You Receive?

Our friendly team are here to support you with:

  • Proven template projects for you to follow, or tailored support to design something of your own
  • Detailed feedback on your plans
  • A direct line to Child.org’s Supporter Experience Assistant, Jacob
  • Expert advice from fundraising professionals working in the sector
  • Personal mentoring from Charity Fast-Track graduates, who volunteer to support others on their journey
  • A supportive workshop at Bootcamp, where you can take time to plan and ask questions alongside your peers

How could this help your career?

Our learners have gone on to work in the fundraising departments at Mencap, Parkinsons UK, NSPCC, Global Giving and, of course, Child.org – plus many more. 

With around 50% of charity sector vacancies centred around bringing in revenue, demonstrating that you can bring in the funds to create social change (or be a great colleague to those who do) is a big tick in the box for employers.
Even if raising money isn’t your thing, most charity sector careers require volunteer support skills, great comms, and project delivery. We build your journey from a place of genuine, provable impact. 

What if someone can’t complete the task?

Most people we work with do a great job of fundraising, with an average team total of over £1,000. Sometimes, however, life gets in the way.

Here are three important things to remember:

  • Speak to us: our team is here to support, as are your mentors. Together, we’ll find solutions to help you achieve what you need to do
  • You’re not expected to raise the money alone. Whilst £500 might feel like a challenge for one person, by recruiting a team of fundraisers you’ll multiply the impact of your efforts. We’ll help you to make this happen. 
  • We’ll consider personal circumstances when deciding final course grades.

How do the course fees work?

We exist to make better change makers. We offer great value, and we things differently. 

Joining a course with three months of content and support can be a hugely expensive investment. Despite this, Charity Fast-Track Foundation is charged a £250 – that’s around 6% of the cost of a term at university. A day of workshops in London from sector experts will usually cost hundreds for learners: we provide Bootcamp free of charge.

We set our prices low because we believe that everyone should be able to access proper training towards careers that support social change.

All this is possible thanks to Child.org’s sponsorship of the Foundation programme. Together, we’ve developed a model where everybody wins:

  • You get 3 months of expert-informed, sector-specific career development, spread over 5 modules (plus bonus careers content)
  • You’ll also join a rapidly growing network of sector professionals
  • Child.org will continue to recruit hundreds of new fundraisers, thousands of new donors, and hundreds of thousands of pounds to support its work
  • Charity Fast-Track will continue to make better change makers, flooding the charity sector with the skills, attitude and perspectives it needs to take on some of the world’s most complex problems.

We’re also committed to supporting people who couldn’t otherwise enter the sector. For every ten places on the course we sell, we work with selected charity sector partners to identify and gift support to individuals who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford our courses.

Advice from Fast-Trackers

Here’s what some of our Fast-Track graduates have to say about the experience:

“A really fun thing to be a part of”

I really enjoyed the fundraising challenge although it was definitely something I was worrying about before I started! The course content itself was really supportive through every step of setting up the challenge- and so were all the mentors and other Fast Trackers- so once you get started it’ll definitely seem much more manageable. One of my favourite things about the challenge was recruiting my friends, family and colleagues into the team. I had to pitch it different ways for different people, but I found that once everyone was on board it was a really fun thing to be a part of!

Sarah Thrussell

“their advice worked”

“The fundraising challenge was a fantastic experience. I learned how to recruit a volunteer team, encourage and empower them to raise money and how to plan a fun challenge. We walked 10 miles carrying either 10 kg of rice or carrying our babies, and we raised almost £3k. My success came from taking on all the advice CFT gave, especially the things that pushed me out of my comfort zone, because their advice worked. And I would advise getting as large a volunteer team as possible because it makes it so much easier to get to your fundraising target. Good luck!”

Holly Miller

“Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and have fun”

For my challenge I decided to do a Hong Kong Three Peak Challenge. We ended up being a group of 13 and fundraised around £3700 for child.org. We hiked for 15 hours, but kept each other laughing through the wind and fog. Luckily, between us we had hiked most of the mountains separately and knew the routes well. We did trial runs, took ferries, rented mini buses and carried far too many Jammy Dodgers. CFT provided some great ideas to the fundraising challenge – you could choose one of the existing ideas, an idea of a past fast tracker or come up with a new idea. Once you’ve submitted your idea and its been approved, you are guided through each step – recruiting volunteers, setting up your challenge page, how to ask for donations and tell the world about your challenge. My advice – have confidence in your idea, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and have fun!

Gwendoline Venn

Join our next course

We hope that, like those above, you’ll feel inspired to join one of our programmes. Our next course starts soon, and you can book a place here.