Fundraising Feature - Q&A of all THE most asked questions
Today is the last day of my fundraising campaign (all chef'd up & nowhere to go) that supports Black Lives Matter UK and the Wildlife Trust of India. In total I've raised approximately £700 or INR 70,000 in two weeks. I am so grateful to those who have donated and others who have sent me thoughtful and encouraging messages. There were tons of questions I received over the course of the two weeks, and so the purpose of this blog post is to answer most if not all of them. I hope after reading these, if you haven't already, you'll be prompted to support one of these charitable causes by raising awareness via your social media channels or donating financial support.
Why do you love fundraising? Aren't you sick of hounding people for donations?
I grew up in a family that was extremely privileged in India and I was aware of that privilege when I compared my life to that of our staff and surroundings. I continue to be aware of it as I see people struggle everyday, and fundraising is my small way of passing on that gratitude to someone who needs it. It might sound ridiculous to a lot of people to hound/beg/ and persistently ask for donations, but for me the only downside to that is my ego - which I don't really think is worth it! I've seen even the smallest gestures/donations (of any kind not only financial), something as small as a sandwich make someone else's day! so if I can help, why not?
It doesn't apply to me, why should I donate to BLM UK, I'm not black/coloured?
I disagree, it does apply to all of us. we're in this together. Whether it's black lives matter UK, or US or elsewhere, it does matter and it is your business. By supporting this cause, you're redefining the harsh beauty standards that even you and I have been victim too. You're promoting a world where it's normal to love yourself how you are and not be judgemental about things that are superficial (how can that be bad for you?). You're also helping severely marginalised minorities within the spectrum of coloured people (black muslim women, black LGBTQ) to have a voice. But most importantly, you're helping redefine a toxic mindset that is no doubt holding us back as a global community.
Why should I donate to Wildlife causes, when people are dying?!
There will never be a right time to do something, nothing ever is in perfect harmony. While it may seem insensitive to a lot of people that I'm fundraising for animals in the midst of Covid-19, and the migrant labourer crisis in India, I feel like not respecting nature and it's boundaries is why we are in this position today. Everyone's well aware Covid-19, along with several other deadly diseases emerged from wet markets and the sale/procurement of endangered wildlife. If we could find a way to protect and stop encroaching their territory, we could find a way to protect ourselves too. Moreover, I feel like it's every individuals duty to respect other forms of life, just because they can't talk, doesn't mean they don't feel pain.
But you eat non-veg, how can you raise money for animal cruelty?
It's true, I do eat non veg but in the last few years, I've been trying my best to ween off eating as much meat and as many animal products as possible in a bid to play my part towards reducing animal cruelty but also reducing the burden on the environment. I also strongly believe that as a community our goal should be personal development that helps steer communal betterment. For each of us individually, these goals might differ, it's up to us to take whatever small steps we can towards change. Admittedly, all of us have a way to go, but that doesn't mean we can't start somewhere, or shouldn't. Every small gesture counts for something! I think it's important to do the best you can! and I can definitely say I'm trying to do that.
Where is all the money even going? How can I be sure it's making a difference?
The money you donate (100%) goes directly via the donation links to the Black Lives Matter campaign and the Wildlife Trust of India's conservation projects. One of the things most people don't account for is: administration costs/cost of running NGO's/campaigns/platforms. It's very normal for a % of the donations you make to go towards salaries, basic operational functions, rent, etc. This is NOT a bad thing, I am yet to raise money for/work with an organisation that doesn't need to do this - the Red cross, cancer association, cancer research, etc they all need the financial support to keep doing the good work they're doing! It doesn't mean you're being cheated of your donation! It also means that a larger donation would proportionally make a bigger difference overall (accounting for the % deducted for admin costs) - hence the fundraising activities! In the past, I have always found it incredibly easy to contact legitimate NGO's/trusts and ask them for details on how the money is spent. (I'm going to do the same for the funds that I've raised so far, and when available post/send out an update to those who donated)
Why do you need me to donate? Why can't you donate £700 yourself?
A big part of this fundraising activity was not only the financial donation but raising awareness for BLM UK and the Wildlife Trust of India within my entire personal and professional network. I could potentially donate the amount myself but it's been incredibly rewarding to see so many people come out in support for a better tomorrow and continue having discussions about how we can do this collectively. Like I said before, we're in this together and the more people that are involved - the more traction each cause is likely to garner and thus in the long term be more successful (instead of just die down). In the long term, the goal is also to change the existing mindset, and this can only happen with open debates and conversations on a bigger platform.
A one-time small financial donation doesn't really help?
There are two parts to this question, yes in relative terms, a one time small donation might not be enough on it's own and that's why it's important to "make a noise", i.e fundraising over social media to raise awareness at the same time. The second part is, it might seem like a small donation but every single penny collected adds up, and eventually contributes to the bigger picture. For example: your £7 or 700 rupees can pay for the upkeep of an elephant for a whole 7 days! (when in reality that's a day's worth of star bucks coffee for you!)
I don't really want to donate any $$$, how else can I help?
That's fine! And not everyone needs to donate money if they can't, the best way to help is to spread the donation links among your friends/family or others in your network and educate them about the social causes, and also share it with individuals who are willing and have the propensity to make a donation.
OK, you convinced me, now what do I have to do? and more importantly what do I get out of this?
It's easy, all you have to do is:
1. Click on this link for the Wildlife Trust of India (if you're making a donation in INR) https://donation.wti.org.in/DonateNow/CONSERVATION%20PROJECTS or
2.https://uk.gofundme.com/f/ukblm-fund (if you're making a donation in £).
The minimum donation I've requested is INR 750 or £7.50, however you can feel free to donate as much as you're comfortable doing so.
3. Once you've donated, send me a screenshot with the amount and your email address via instagram DM @alldressedupnowheretogo20 or @farahban
and I will send you this amazing 14 recipe quarantine cookbook that I have been slaving over just for you. (80-85% of the recipes are vegetarian, and can be customised to have gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free alternatives. Every single recipe can be made in 35 minutes or less, the quickest recipe can be made in 5 minutes from scratch.) If you've been following me you'd know how much I love food, and flavour and I can promise you (don't take only my word for it - there is a testimonial page!) that these recipes are delicious! Along with the cookbook, I think it's really important that we instill within ourselves, families and communities, a culture of giving back and not just taking. Making small donations or monthly contributions to social causes can help create a much larger and more sustainable impact over time.
Why a cookbook?
Why, not? But seriously, I love cooking and I've found it to be a great stress reliever in the last few months with all the Covid-19 stuff happening around me. I also found that it helped me eat more nutritiously overall because I knew exactly what was going into my body and the quality of every ingredient. I also found it to be a great way to bond with friends and family through "fake Masterchef competitions" or ranking each other's food or just satisfying a takeout craving! Not all meals went to plan but the ones that didn't made for great stories, I'll never forget making manchurian balls ever again! That's also what's great about this cookbook, the recipes are so forgiving and easily customisable, so even if you don't cook, they're almost 90% full proof. For the remaining 10%, I always have your back, you can reach out and I'll do my best to reply ASAP!
OK, BLM UK is not a registered charity and its met its target, so I don't really feel comfortable donating to them, where else can I donate?
BLM UK has received over £1 million in donations since the protests originally started, they've promised complete transparency on their social media pages and continue to highlight where and how they will spend this money. However, a lot of people did mention that they might want to support another organisation with the same intention. Absolutely! Go Ahead! In fact here are some other options:
1) Stop Hate UK
2) UK Black Pride
3) Show Racism The Red Card
4) The Black LQBTQIA + Therapy Fund
(A full list is available here: https://www.stylist.co.uk/life/uk-anti-racism-charities-black-lives-matter-how-to-donate/395365)
Thanks again to everyone who donated, and I hope this blog post helped answered some of the many questions you might have had, if not feel free to reach out to me and I'll be happy to discuss any doubts you have! I hope that in the last day, we can manage a little bit more and make a push towards £800/80,000 in total!
Have a great week xx