We realise fundraising can be tough and how to begin can seem a little daunting and confusing, so in order to give you a bit of guidance and inspiration we have asked Hira Mayet of St George's University London DermSoc for her top tips. Hira's team was crowned BOTDS Champions for the second year running, so take on board these tips and your team could be on its way to victory. 

1) Start planning early on!

By having a general outline early on of what events you want to put on to fundraise, you’ll have a clearer vision of how you can achieve your goal. I would recommend mapping out a rough calendar – even if you don’t stick to it, it can help to consolidate your plan for the year.

2) Set an optimistic goal for your fundraising!

Even if you don’t reach it, having a number in mind to aspire to will really help to motivate everyone.

3) Find out about your team’s hidden talents!

You might be surprised by how many secret talents your fellow DermSoc members have that can be put to use to help fundraise.

4) Be creative!

Putting on educational events is the most obvious way for a DermSoc to make money and a great way to begin your fundraising year, but getting creative and thinking outside of the box can often help give you that final boost. For example, I sold homemade takeaway food during the lockdown in my village. It did really well as we don’t get a lot of delivery options!

5) Brainstorm with other people!

By talking to other people outside of the committee, such as my friends and family, I was able to come up with ideas that I wouldn’t have otherwise thought of.

6) Harness the power of social media!

If people don’t know what you’re up to, they can’t support you. It’s also worth also keeping a mailing list to keep people in the loop, and reaching out to people who’ve engaged with your DermSoc’s social media accounts before.

7) Reach out to other DermSocs

Whether it’s mutually reposting each other’s events or even collaborating on an event together, interacting with other DermSocs just makes sense. In the end, you’re all aiming for the same thing – making space for dermatology education outside of the medical school curriculum.

8) Virtual events aren’t the end of the world

Although we’re all operating differently to how we did in the pre-COVID era, having to host events online instead of in person isn’t necessarily going to hurt your fundraising. There’s many things you may be able to offer virtually now that you may not have been able to do during in person events. For example, now that location isn’t a factor, anyone can come to your events from the comfort of their own home!

9) Check what technology your university gives you access to

Given that most of our events will be online for the foreseeable future, it’s worth checking what technology your university gives you access to - such as Zoom or other conferencing platforms - for your DermSoc to be able to get the most out of its events.

10) Be proud of your work

Participating in the Battle of the DermSocs and raising money to fund vital skin research is a huge accomplishment in itself. Continuing to do it during a pandemic is an even bigger achievement. You’ve got this!

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