Jai Merrick - fundraising - Outward Bound

Jai Merrick - fundraising


Don’t give up! Just keep writing letters – personalise each letter, and only ask for small amounts of money, rather than the full fees.  Be honest! Say thanks!

Elle Bryant

Anakiwa tramping




Evening sail in the sounds





How did you fundraise for your course?
My initial approach was to apply to our local Rotary club. This led to one of the Rotarians, who was a Manager for a local business, offering to help by sending letters to some of his business contacts about my fundraising efforts, asking for donations of no more than $200 each. This resulted in many companies supporting his request- some gave $50, some gave $100, however most donated the maximum $200, so it quickly added.

My next approach was to the local JR McKenzie Youth Education Fund, who, although they were financially unable to support, put me in touch with another Rotary club (JR McKenzie Youth Education Fund is associated with Rotary all across NZ), who supported me. I was also fortunate to receive a grant from my local Lions Club too, who upon receiving my thank you note, doubled my sponsorship! I also sold some unwanted items on Trade Me, worked extra hours at my Countdown job and asked my family for money towards Outward Bound for Christmas and Birthday.  I sent a handwritten thank you note to each individual and organisation who sponsored me - it was the least they deserved. I also offered to speak at the Rotary and Lion Clubs after I returned from OB. 

How did you start the process (what was the first step to starting your fundraising)?
Writing the outline of my letter to the initial Rotary Club I wrote to. However, once this was done, it provided me with a template that could be used whenever I applied to other organisations.

What was the biggest challenge when fundraising and how did you overcome it?
Just getting started and writing letters about who I am and why I wanted to go. I found it hard to think that anyone would sponsor me when they don’t know me. 

Any other comments/suggestions for fundraising?
Work through Outward Bound’s fundraising guide, remembering to pick up a local pokie grant form and send it to Outward Bound fairly early in your fundraising – Outward Bound can then use this once you have heard back from all your applications.