On a Thursday evening in late September, Clare (Director of Development) and Anthony (Youth Enrolment Manager) undertook one of our more nerve-wracking fundraising challenges: pitching at a live crowdfunding event hosted by The Funding Network.
Each of the four charities presenting on the evening had to have been nominated for the event. Grit’s supporter was our long-term corporate partner, Octopus Giving, the charitable foundation of Octopus Investments.
With the help of Ismaaeel, a young person from our current Youth Congress, London community programme, our team faced a packed room of about 80 people, all of whom could pledge to support charities. Each charity was allocated 6 minutes to present to the room, followed by a further 6 minutes to take questions from the floor.
The Grit team pitched for funding towards costs of a programme supporting young people in East Birmingham who had been excluded from mainstream education and are now in alternative provision. In the words of Marie Rooney, Headteacher at EBN Academy, the alternative provider where the project would run, “The GRIT programme is exactly what we need to jumpstart these young people, and give us a fighting chance of saving them from almost certain imprisonment, drug addiction or even death as a result of their involvement in gangs and guns.”
The presentation went well but Ismaaeel was the star of the show. It was extremely impressive to hear him clearly articulate his experience in the Youth Congress programme and handle questions from a roomful of people.
In total, our team secured £8,000 in pledges on the night plus a further £5,000 donation from a donor who left early but visited us two weeks later to see our work in action. Big congratulations and thanks to all who were involved!