Our Fundraising Events Executive, Neil Roper, joined us shortly before lockdown began in the UK. He explains what inspired him to get into fundraising, the challenges he’s faced while many events have been unable to go ahead, and how CAFOD’s Summer of Hope is helping our supporters recreate the things we’ve been missing out on.
I joined CAFOD in February and had a wonderful induction into this great organisation for just over a month, before the lockdown started. Having been employed as an events fundraiser, arriving at a time when events were being cancelled was an interesting situation to be in!
When I was young, I was inspired by Bob Geldof, the Band Aid single and the Live Aid concerts. I remember the images from the famine in Ethiopia, and the response of so many people to the famine crisis. This early introduction to international poverty work was very important for me, and it is these early experiences that led me to work, first at Christian Aid, and now at CAFOD.
My hope is that through the work that we are all involved with, we can be a sign of hope to those around the world with whom we are working, and to those around us who are looking for the good they can do.
As we continue to focus our efforts on the work of tackling coronavirus in places that do not have the sanitation and healthcare that we take for granted, I hope we will be inspired and inspire others to get involved in this vital task.
Working at CAFOD
It is a great privilege to be able to work at CAFOD. The chance to spend my days working to help those who are living in poverty around the world, combined with the chance to engage with our passionate and committed supporters in this country.
Fundraising during this period has been challenging to say the least. Everything needs to be online, social distanced and in small groups. We are just emerging from this now, but it will still be a while until we are able to fully return to some of the events that we were able to do before.
There has been quite a list of fundraising initiatives during this period. These have included the 2.6 Challenge, gaming fundraisers, virtual pilgrimages, various challenges from our younger supporters, football, parties, meals and quizzes! All this energy has been amazing to see, and very exciting to be involved with.
Summer of Hope
As we continue through the summer, CAFOD has launched a Summer of Hope fundraising extravaganza!
We want to bring hope to the world in this difficult time, where we are all united in a struggle with coronavirus. Summer of Hope is all about replacing the events and activities which we would normally be doing with signs of hope that can be used to have fun and raise money for CAFOD:
- Maybe you would have been watching the Olympics. How about holding an online sports fundraiser (with a medal ceremony).
- Maybe you would have been going to the Proms, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival or some other concert. How about an online concert with friends to raise some money for CAFOD.
- Missing that summer holiday or trip out for the day? You can recreate it in your garden or local park.
There are loads more ideas like this on the CAFOD website.
Another aspect of Summer of Hope is relating to missing out on things we would normally do. For example, a couple who support CAFOD have decided to donate the money from their daily coffee. How about donating the money saved from your gym membership, trips to restaurants, daily coffee, or haircut? It has been interesting during this time to see how people look with longer hair!
As I reflect on my time at CAFOD so far, it has been a challenge in terms of home working and rapidly adapting to a changing situation, but it has also been full of hope through seeing all the people who are getting involved in making the world a better place for everybody.