Training for charity careers goes underground

Learning through impact

The practical fundraising challenge is one of the most exciting parts of Charity Fast-Track: Foundation. Designed by fundraising professionals, our learners gain experience in what it’s like to work in a modern charity with a mission to fund. This kind of training for charity careers is unique: over 12 weeks they’re tasked with raising £500 for Child.org through a sponsored event, taking responsibility for project planning, volunteer management, donor support, comms planning, and evaluation. They’ll learn from the best minds in charity, demonstrate they have what it takes to become professional fundraisers, all whilst making a huge impact on some of the poorest communities across rural Kenya.

Adam and Tugba, two of our current Fast-Trackers have been busy collaborating on a 24 hour tube dash for their chosen challenges. Adam is a Civil Servant by profession, and Tugba is an experienced project manager: can they translate those skills into a charity context?

Practical Minds Needed

You might assume that the greatest thing a charity professional needs is to be some awe-inspiring, morally perfect role model. Whilst our learners are usually very lovely people, our charity careers training focuses on high professional standards, sector-specific knowledge, and promoting skills that charities often struggle to source: after all, there’s no point being a saint if you can’t turn good intentions into impact.

The project plans submitted by Adam and Tugba were great examples of ideas that a charity could test, review, scale and replicate. Clearly, they’ve listened to the advice of our experts from charities such as Mencap, Parkinson’s UK and Child.org. – both Bronagh and Franki (pictured) are Charity Fast-Track graduates who now advise learners as part of our courses.

A Plan to Lead Others By

The professional world of challenge fundraising isn’t just about creating fun-sounding events, it’s about leading a charity’s supporters on a journey that’s clearly mapped. It should feel exciting, and makes them feel valued as more than just another participant.

“The details feel really important” said Adam. “I want the fundraisers I’ve recruited to know that they’re in safe hands so that they can get on with the fun side. One of my volunteers, Beth, has promised to bake a cake for everyone who donates £20, so she needs to know I’ve sorted out the logistics”.

The aim is to visit all 270 tube stations in 24 hours. Sounds easy? Well not quite. The world record is an incredible 16 hours, 14 minutes and 10 seconds.

Training for charity careers goes underground

It turns out the quickest way is not to stay underground, but rather to run between some stations. Tube runners are usually very secretive about their routes, but one suggested route (known as the labyrinth ) involves a 1.6 mile run from Morden on the Northern Line to Wimbledon on the District Line, and a 2.2 mile run from Snaresbrook on the Central Line to Walthamstow Central on the Victoria Line.

…. not for me, thanks. 

Tube station toilets map from Training for charity careers
24 hours, 270 Stations: how many loo breaks?

Some logistics

There’s lots of factors to take into account too as Adam and Tugba found out. What about bathroom breaks? That’s a long time not to use the toilet. Fortunately, Transport for London produces a map of all the tube stations with toilets (http://content.tfl.gov.uk/toilets-map.pdf

When is the best time to do it? Well some might say the weekend: avoid the rush hour, off peak travel and even benefit from the night tube?

But what about the week itself? Benefit from more frequent trains and perhaps have a go at that record? Shoot for the moon.

A key part of the task is to manage a team of volunteers. How can you keep volunteers motivated and interested for at least 16 hours?  Adam is thinking of scheduling various activities throughout the day from fun facts about various tube stations to games and maybe even a stand-up comedy set!

There’s lots of things to consider. It’s going to be difficult, but then again … records are there to be broken…

Find out more

Head here to find out more about our Foundation Course’s training for charity careers .

For more information on the support available to our Fast-Trackers, check out this related blog post here

To donate to Adam’s and Tugba’s challenges, follow the links below.

Adam’s page: https://child.org/me/24-hour-tube-dash

Tugba’s page https://child.org/me/it-not-your-usual-tube-ride