To celebrate the launch of White Balloon Day 2019, we got in touch with the top fundraiser from White Balloon Day 2018, Isabel from Adelaide. In September last year, she and her sister raised $5,800 for Bravehearts. We asked her to share her experience and some tips for successful fundraising!
How did you fundraise for White Balloon Day?
In September last year, my sister and I both shaved off our hair! The idea actually came about almost a year earlier, completely separate from White Balloon Day. Over coffee, we promised to each other we would shave our hair off within 12 months. As the date was coming closer, we realised that we should raise some money in the process. White Balloon Day was just around the corner so was the perfect opportunity!
Why did you choose to support Bravehearts?
For one, Bravehearts been a charity of choice for me some time. Over the years, I have discovered several people close to me have experienced sexual assault and I really believe that some of these instances could have been avoided or stopped earlier if Ditto had been visiting their schools. Secondly, for their own reasons, which my sister & I completely respect, the survivors we know have chosen not to speak out publicly. But we can be a voice for them. Someone needs to be talking about this crime because it is happening every day, and it happens at some point to 1 in 5 children in Australia. That number is mind blowing. The money raised for Bravehearts is amazing and so rewarding, but just as important are the conversations that were started from this endeavour and hopefully, the realisation for survivors that they have not just me and my sister, but everyone who donated, in their corner should they ever want to speak out about what they have been through.
What did you find difficult?
I mean, the actual experience of shaving our hair off was challenging in its own way, but it is always hard to ask for money from people. We just made sure that people knew that, even though we asked/reminded often and in many different ways, we understand that not everyone can afford to donate. We also did our best to make sure that there was something in it for our donors, so to speak. On the night of the shave we arranged some food and drink, got some prizes and things donated from businesses we knew and really made a fun night out of it. This was intended as a bit of a thank you, but also happened to prompt further donations.
What was the best bit of the experience?
Doing this as sisters was really special. Then, a month later, our brother who lives in Melbourne jumped on board to help us get to our $5,000 goal. In addition, it was so amazing to see donations coming in from friends, family, colleagues and more. We felt so supported and encouraged from all angles. Of course, not everyone will have this experience so it is important to be resilient and remember that every dollar, post, conversation etc is impactful and meaningful to Bravehearts and survivors.
Any tips for this year’s White Balloon Day fundraisers?
Firstly, it is really important to be clear about why are fundraising for Bravehearts so people will connect with the cause. You’ve decided to support Bravehearts for some reason unique to you. Be as open as you feel comfortable being about that reason. Because the reality is that many people have no idea about the prevalence or impact of child sexual assault and until we tell them point blank about it, they will still have no idea. Secondly, have fun with it! Be a little creative. Love wine? Host a wine tasting night. Love games? Hold a family game day in the park. Have a business? Raffle off some of your products as a prize. Love coffee? Host a morning tea. Finally, Bravehearts are amazingly supportive and helped out with decoration ideas, fundraising ideas, social media materials etc. Definitely don’t be afraid to ask them for help!
For more fundraising tips and ideas, go to our FUNDRAISING section!