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Ten volunteering and fundraising tips for learners

This Youth Month (#YouthMonth2021 #LimitlessYouth), not-for-profit organisation, Inyathelo is encouraging young people to realise that they have the ability to participate actively in building a better society.Learners can contribute to their communities by bringing fresh energy and ideas to volunteering and fundraising, in turn developing self-esteem and the power to direct their futures. They can also become positive role models for other youth.

“Volunteering and fund-raising are not only for adults,” says Soraya Joonas, Finance Director of Inyathelo, which has nearly 20 years of experience in supporting philanthropy and non-profit organisations. “Giving back can open young people’s eyes to social challenges and encourage them to learn, gain experience and grow as individuals.”

Inyathelo offers ten tips for learners who are interested in making a difference:
1.Work as a team: You can have more fun and achieve more as a team than working alone. Everyone has different strengths, so take on a role that interests you and which you feel confident in. Key roles are the chairperson to run meetings and projects, secretary to keep records, treasurer responsible for finances, and public relations officer to make sure that other people know what you are doing.

2.Get school support:The backing of your school principal and a committed teacher will help towards a project’s success. You are also more likely to have access to school facilities and equipment.

3.Identify community needs: Ask groups and individuals about the problems that they experience and possible solutions. Make a list of issues and topics and use them to prepare a questionnaire.

4.Analyse your capacity: Find out what resources are available in your group,and which ones you still require, in order to meet community needs.

5.Evaluate beneficiary organisations: Identify several organisations in your community and develop a clear set of criteria so that you select the organisation you feel most comfortable supporting. The best way to do this is
to visit organisations and interview the managers. Find out about the work they do, who else supports them, how many people they provide services to, and how they manage their money.

6.Develop a fundraising plan: The key to success is getting support from other learners, teachers, parents, businesses and community members. Brainstorm concepts that will offer a service, product or experience that people will pay for and enjoy, while contributing to a worthwhile cause.

7.Draw up a budget: You need to make as much money as possible, while spending as little as possible. Ask people to volunteer their time and skills, and to donate goods, to avoid spending money.

8.Manage money: Keep records to prove that the money you raise is used as intended. This openness and transparency will help you to build a relationship with your funders, and increase your chances of receiving further funding.

9.Communicate your plans: Engage through social media, the school notice board, flyers and pamphlets, school magazines, community newspapers and radio stations.

10.Engage with donors: Be respectful, keep donors updated on your progress, let funders know what you have achieved with the money they gave you, and always say thank you. To access more tips and guidelines, Inyathelo has a comprehensive publication, The Youth Philanthropy Action Guide. Download it free from the Inyathelo website

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