According to Sky News, five times as many migrants crossed the Channel to the UK in the first eight months of 2020 compared with the same period last year. Migrant statistics, along with the UK government’s response, has raised awareness of a number of refugee charities who remain busier than ever.
Though, with the cancellation of in-person events, many charities and organisations have been taking their fundraising efforts online to help bridge the donation gap.
Check out KRAN’s story below, written by Media Lead Bridget Chapman.
“Do you think this guy’s for real?” my CEO asked me as we looked at the email.
I work for Kent Refugee Action Network, a registered charity working with unaccompanied asylum seeking children, and we had recently found ourselves the centre of a lot of media attention, much of it quite toxic, as the press turned its attention to the subject of desperate people arriving in dinghies on the Kent Coast.
Our increased press profile had resulted in the email we were both looking at, from a man called Phil Geraghty who was claiming to be from Crowdfund Ready and offering to help us raise funds through his site.
A quick Google confirmed he was genuine. “Yep,” I said, “And we need to bite his hand off!”
We set up a Zoom meeting for later that day with Phil, who turned out to be very cheerful and likeable, and absolutely genuine! While we worried about creating a very polished fundraising pitch, he encouraged us to get something up as quickly as possible to take advantage of our increased profile and use it to our advantage.
I set to work writing a brief summary of our work and why we were fundraising, and made a shaky hand-held video with my phone. Following Phil’s advice, we soft-launched that day and over the next couple of days we shared the link with known supporters, asking them to help us get off the ground.
Once we had a few donations, we went public with the link, sharing it widely across all social media channels, particularly on Twitter where it gained real traction. Initially we set the target for a very respectable £2,500 but we soon exceeded that and raised it £10,000, then £15,000.
Long story short, a month later we’re just shy of our latest target of £30,000. Phil has been brilliant at advising us along the way. There have been times when the fundraising has stalled and he has suggested updates and videos that we can add in order to keep people in the loop and get ‘buy-in’ for what we’re trying to achieve.
I’d absolutely encourage other organisations to have a go at doing this. It’s a great way to get your work shared and to reach new supporters. One of the best things about it is that people have left such positive comments on the Crowdfunder page, encouraging us and thanking us for the work that we do. It’s been a real morale boost for the team at a really rough time so the benefits have been far more than financial.
As I said, we’ve recently seen a large upturn in the numbers of young people arriving in Kent and there is a shortage of educational opportunities for them all, as local colleges are at capacity. We’re using this additional funding in order to rent space and hire extra teaching staff in order to ensure that no young person has a gap in their education.
Anything left over will go towards running activities that help the amazing young people we work with develop their experiences and skills, helping them to live active, happy and healthy lives in our communities.
We really can’t thank Phil enough for their support. It’s been a brilliant experience and one I for one would recommend to others.
Go on – you’ve got nothing to lose and lots to gain!