Our charity partners kindly passed on some feedback about our fundraisers from their staff and members of the public:
At REAL Fundraising we believe in 'walking our talk', whether we are buying recycled products or empowering our staff with ways to make ethical choices in their lives. Most importantly, we are in this industry to provide the most cost effective service to charities.
One way of getting our ethical point across is through our Pro Bono events. We will offer our highly skilled services free of charge for a day or two of street fundraising. Each and every donor we recruit in that campaign is given straight to the charity for free.
REAL staff can nominate charities to fundraise for and often the work is carried out for very small organisations which just don't have the budget for a full fundraising campaign.
We are in this for the bigger picture and want to reinvest in causes that are close to our heart.
On the 28th January 2010, there was a major conference in London on the future of Afghanistan. It was attended by leading figures from the political world, including Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.Even more importantly there were 5 members of REAL Fundraising who had volunteered to work in Green Park for Afghanaid, a humanitarian and development NGO dedicated to working with people living in the most remote and marginalised areas of Afghanistan.
After a 2 hour training session from a representative from Afghanaid they hit the streets. Working from 11am to 7pm, they managed to raise annual gifts worth £2061.54 including GiftAid. The icing on the cake was the final donor of the day; a gentleman pledging £25 a month.
Each fundraiser received only their basic wage for the day and all donor Direct Debits were sent to Afghanaid at zero cost to them. This highlights the commitment to the cause from REAL and our staff. We aim to do further Pro Bono work in the future, giving back to the causes that really need our help
The Tipi Raisers
2014 saw our 5thAnniversary and to celebrate the event we held a Christmas party for fundraisers, office staff and management. We also saw this as a great opportunity to hold a fundraising event for the Tipi Raisers - a very small charity based around the Pine Ridge Native American reservation in South Dakota, which is home to the Lakota Sioux people. The Tipi Raisers work on collaborative projects, aiming to bring ‘homes, employment, pride and a revitalization of culture to the reservations’.
The reality of life at Pine Ridge is very different from our perception of the easy American lifestyle we see in film or TV. There is 80% unemployment because there are simply no jobs, and consequently 49% of people live below the poverty line. Housing is often overcrowded and lacking basic facilities like electricity or running water. Drug addiction and alcoholism affect many families and average life expectancy is between 50 and 66 years. The suicide rate is 3 times higher than the U.S. average and a high proportion of these suicides are young people in their teens.
The Tipi Raisers work on a variety of cultural and practical projects for the whole community; providing winter fuel and bedding for the elders, involving young people in Native American traditional dance, and providing work for the unemployed. They are currently rebuilding an old ski lodge which was donated to the charity and will be used as a visitor and community centre. Their long-term project is to provide new homes for the hundreds of families who desperately need them.
Our fundraising event raised over £1300 ($2000) for the Tipi Raisers, and we'll be helping more in the future.
The word ‘lakota’ means ally and REAL Fundraising is proud of the fact that through our support for the Tipi Raisers, we can become an ally to the Lakota people of Pine Ridge.
When REAL first started, we realised that a crucial tenet of our identity was that we would give something back. One of our founder staff members had recently come back from Goa and found something there that he knew he wanted to help; two children’s hostels, one for girls and one for boys. These children belonged to the Dalit or ‘Untouchable’ caste and had been left to fend for themselves until coming to the hostels where they found shelter, food education and people to care for them. The buildings themselves however, were in a poor state of repair. Working with the Karuna Trust, the umbrella organisation for the hostels, we’ve donated part of our profits (around £8000 to date) to reconstruct the roof, bathrooms and to provide beds for the children.