We realise fundraising can be tough and how to begin can seem a little daunting and confusion, so it order to give you a bit of guidance we have asked Manpreet Sagoo, previous President of King’s College London Dermatology Society and now Year 2 Doctor in London North West Thames Deanery, to share her top tips.

Prior to the start of Battle of the DermSocs, Manpreet took it upon herself to encourage her society to raise funds for the BSF, which they did a wonderful job doing.

Manpreet says; “During my final year at medical school, I had the role of President of the King’s College London Dermatology Society. We celebrated a fantastic year and one of our proudest achievements was raising £750 for the British Skin Foundation. The BSF is an incredibly important charity and as a DermSoc there is so much you can do to support their fantastic work. And now that the new academic year is fast approaching it’s the perfect time to get planning!”

Here are Manpreet’s top tips for you and your DermSoc to have a successful year of fundraising and put you on the track to become BOTDS Champions!  

1. Create a calendar for the year

 The academic year is always a busy one whether you are in first year of final year. At the beginning of my year as KCL DermSoc President, I made a rough “calendar” for the year to map out a timeline for our academic and fundraising events. Important things to include and factor in are: holiday periods, exam season, other society events that may clash – and remember that different year groups will have slightly different schedules

2. Set yourself a fundraising target for the year

 Having a fundraising goal is always important and is a great driving force. Set yourself termly check-points to assess how your fundraising is going. Don’t be afraid to set the bar high and set yourselves a good challenge – there’s no reason why not. It makes it even more rewarding when you hit that target… or even better beat it!

3. Plan ahead – organisation is key

 So you’ve created a calendar for the year and you’ve got a fundraising goal – great! Now its time to action it and organisation is key. I would always say start getting the ball rolling roughly 2-3 months before (depending on what sort of event it is). Venue/room bookings, organising speakers, creating materials, etc can all take a bit of time alongside studying for a medical degree… 

4. Teamwork makes the dream work

As cliché as it may sound…. I can’t stress enough how important the team is. It’s a good idea to have clearly delegated roles for each event and good communication during the planning stages. Try to get as many committee members involved as possible in your events – they will get their friends involved and their friends and so forth. It’s a great way to spread the word.

5. Organise a variety of different events and be consistent

Our fundraising events ranged from regular dermatology talks to academic revision events to bake sales on campus/at placement hospitals. The aim is to be consistent with regular events throughout the year –that’s how you will create an impact as a society on the student body and get people to stay engaged. Try to have an online ticket system so students can purchase tickets before the event so you know exactly how you are doing for numbers.

6. Revision events are always a huge success (READ: JACKPOT!)

 A majority of the money we fundraised came from revision events including mock OSCEs for all year groups and a revision series in Dermatology for exams. Let’s be honest, medics are always keen to attend anything that is going to help with end of year exams! We ticketed our events – anything from £2-£5 for a revision event usually goes down well with students.

7. Successful advertising = successful event

 It is so important to advertise your event as much as possible and in advance. For most events, try to advertise at least a month before the event date. Use all kind of mediums: social media, posters, shout outs in lectures, messages in Whatsapp groups, reminder emails in your medical school newsletter. Simple and eye-catching designs tend to work well for advertising material. 

8. Collaborate… with other societies and other DermSocs

No matter if your DermSoc is big or small, a great way to get on the radar within your student body is to pair up with another society and do joint events. This is a fantastic way to reach out to more people to raise money at your events. Pairing up with other local DermSocs and running joint fundraising events is also a great idea and a great way to meet like-minded people who are keen about dermatology and the BSF.

9. Try something different

Why not do something a bit different with your fundraising… what about a fun run or a pub quiz or a half marathon or a raffle or seasonal events for Christmas/Valentines/Easter.

10. Celebrate!!!

Whatever amount of money you raise – whether it’s £10 or £1000 – is a fantastic achievement so don’t forget to celebrate with your DermSoc and all your members.