L&BR Trust Member David Cameron has some thoughts regarding fundraising:
Two questions: 1.) Do you have access to the internet? and 2.) Do you ever shop on line?
If the answers to the above are both ‘No’, then please feel free to stop reading at this point and move on to the next article. If however your answers are ‘Yes’, then a third question should be asked:- ‘How would you like to raise funds for the L&B Trust – but at NO COST TO YOU?’
It may well be that many of you are already aware, but there are organisations out there who will donate to the charitable cause of your choice – simply because you have gone shopping!!
The one with which I am most familiar is Easy Fundraising. To help the L&B in this way, first of all, you have to register with EF. They will need to know all the standard stuff like your name and your email address. You must also choose the charity you would like to benefit from your largesse. Registering is free. The important thing then to remember is, provided you have gone to the shopping website via the Easy Fundraising site, any purchases you make will raise a donation for the Trust. EF will wait until they have raised at least £50 for your cause (from all its supporters) and then pass over a lump sum, rather than transfer the odd few pence every so often.
Most of the big name retailers you can think of take part in the EasyFundraising scheme. Amazon is one of the most popular. Then there’s retailers such as Trainline, Argos, Interflora, Waitrose, Sainsbury, M&S, Tesco, Microsoft and over 3,000 more!
Easy Fundraising also produces a ‘league table’ which makes interesting reading. Full names are never shown, and some have even chosen to remain anonymous, but from it we can see that the L&B Trust has just 19 registered supporters on EF. Those supporters have between them raised over £900 for the L&B; way out in the lead, in pole position is ‘Harry S’ who, single handedly, has raised close to £200 for the railway simply by going shopping! There really are no catches - or hidden charges.
It must be said though, that the figure of just 19 supporters is rather disappointing given that it represents less than 1% of the Trust’s entire membership.
Another website which will make donations to the L&B Trust is Give as You Live. Working in a very similar way to EF, you again must register (again for free), and then any shopping you do generates funds for your chosen good cause. While GaYL boasts a larger L&B supporter base than EF (39, against EF’s 19) and a choice of over 4,000 retailers, their total sum raised for the L&B is slightly lower at £825. And they don’t seem to have the little league table which EF has! These figures are correct as in early December 2016.
The two websites for these respective organisations are:-
The L&B Trust has had only moderate success in attracting supporters compared to the Bluebell Railway who also uses EasyFundraising - they have in excess of 400 supporters and have raised over £20,000 in this way; their top fund raiser is approaching his/her first £1,000!
With just a couple of clicks on your mouse, you could be on your way to sending some much needed funds to North Devon simply by oiling the wheels of commerce and enjoying a little retail therapy!