Our UoN Islamic Society raised an incredible £25,000 for Charity Week. We spoke to Taimia and Seair from the Society about how they managed it, and the things they'd recommend to other Societies and groups hoping to do the same.
First of all, congratulations on raising such an amazing amount! How did it feel when you had the final total?
Absolutely incredible. Although each institution (Charity Week takes place at the same time in the year for universities, schools and colleges) tries to raise as much as they can for orphans around the world, there is some ‘friendly’ competition with our neighbours like Keele, DMU and University of Leicester.
There’s a finale dinner where we find out all the totals for each of the institutions, and we found out that we had raised just shy of £25,000 which is a Midlands record (Big up #TeamUoN)! Honestly speaking, it was such an emotional moment; to find out that as Team UoN we have managed to raise so much, and to have done it together is priceless.
How did you raise the amount?
SELL LOADS OF KRISPY KREMES! It always amazes people that we turnover thousands of pounds in just doughnuts, I guess Nottingham is just a city of doughnut lovers.
A lot of organisation, a lot of planning… I think this year we started in the summer! I think the way we managed to raised so much was that we did it together. We have a Charity Week committee of eleven people working with a team of volunteers and Students' Union (shoutout to Rebecca, Emma, Nick and Shea) to put on the line up of events. Our team of volunteers were AMAZING; they are who makes the week really work! They are who you find on the stalls, they are who you find performing at our events, they are who you find helping us clean up at 2am on a Tuesday night!
Can you please tell us more about the cause you were fundraising for, and why you picked them?
Sure, so Charity Week is a global organisation (born in the UK) brought to the Midlands just under 10 years ago that works with a Charity called Islamic Relief to support four sustainable projects every year supporting orphans and needy children around the world. The money totalled from institutions around the world is totalled, with the projects being supported entirely by the efforts of young people. This year we broke the record and raised over 1 million pounds (with around £900,000 raised in the UK!)
This year we supported the following four projects:
- GAZA- rebuilding Vocational training centres
- BANGLADESH- providing education and medical support for orphan children
- REFUGEES IN EUROPE- providing support for children to be fostered
- SYRIA- provide free medical care for >130,000 children
Why do you think your campaign was so successful? What attracted people to the cause?
Helping orphans (as well as others in need) is valued extremely highly in Islam with Prophet Muhammad PBUH narrating that he will be a companion of those who care for orphans in paradise.
I guess supporting children less fortunate then ourselves around the world regardless of their race, gender and religion was something very close to our hearts. As students, we always see ourselves as “broke” but hearing some of the stories, for example orphan children in Bangladesh having to work to provide for their family and not have the luxury of even getting an education, really made me personally think how fortunate we are and provided motivation to invest time and effort into the cause.
…AND IT WAS FUN! With the help of the team we managed to pull off some amazing events like the Intersociety Football Tournament, Pamper Party, Dinner and Auction as well as this year’s newcomer events: Open Mic Night and Dial a Doughnut (where Krispy Kreme were delivered straight to hall room/ flats)! I personally really enjoyed getting the opportunity to meet so many people from different courses putting on events and doing sponsored events. Especially since the week is near the start of the year (end of October), it is a fantastic opportunity to for freshers and non-freshers alike to meet other people and make new friends, put on events that will be remembered for years to come AND raise money for orphans and needy children.
Do you have future campaigns planned as a result?
After taking a break in 2015, Charity Week definitely marked its return this year. 2017 will see the return of Charity Week again. Watch this space!
What advice would you offer to other societies and groups considering a fundraising event?
Brainstorm early (we’re talking a few months in advance) and decide what event you want to do. Plan, plan, plan. Start planning and organising as early as possible! Rooms get booked fairly quickly so make sure you get room bookings in as early as possible. Make an appointment with the relevant member of SU staff (make sure this is done ASAP) and they will guide you in what needs to be done for your event and give you a rough timeline of what to do with plenty of advice. Don’t worry if something goes wrong (it probably will ;)), just keep calm and be flexible in thinking of ways to overcome the problem. And most importantly, enjoy the ride!
Tell us more about the Islamic Society, what can you offer to students considering joining, and why should they?
The Islamic Society offers a huge variety of events from regular socials to educational events about Islam (anything from talks and seminars to discussions) to sporting activities, and much more! Most of our events are free and as a general rule of thumb we have free food (including our infamous ISoc pizza!) Our events are open to everyone, so anyone and everyone is welcome to come (even if it is just for the food!) The society also offers the opportunity for individuals to lead/volunteer at upcoming events where they can gain new skills and meet new people.
Where can people go to find out more?
We have a Nottingham Islamic Society website. We have also got an app, which was a new addition for this year, which is regularly updated with events and information. There are also our Facebook and Twitter pages. Alternatively, anyone on our committee can be directly contacted (details can be found on Islamic Society website or SU Nottingham Isoc Page). We hope to see you at one of our events soon!