"Do people find it annoying having a fundraiser turning up at their door?"
Well sometimes yes, you just don’t know what is going on in people’s lives when you knock on their door. Sometimes people might start off annoyed but end up thanking the fundraiser for having come round! Because we pick ‘nice’ areas where the fundraiser is more likely to get a positive welcome, often the householder is open to spending a bit of time with the fundraiser. Largely it depends on how sensitive and appropriate the fundraiser is as to how the householder responds. And that’s what the training is all about.
“I could never do that – I hate asking people for money!”
This is a concern for a lot of people coming on Appeal and responses to it are explored through the training. Asking for money can bring up issues around our own worth and fears of rejection. Within the context of having built up some rapport with the householder and having given them a booklet to read about Karuna, you will learn how to mention money in such a way as to give the householder a free choice.
“I don’t know anything about India or Karuna’s work over there
That’s OK. When you meet a householder you give them a booklet which describes the projects Karuna funds in India, so you don’t need to know a huge amount. Fundraising is about the connection made between you and the householder. The connection happens because of who you are rather than what you know.
However, obviously it does help if you know something! It’s a good idea to read a bit before you come on the Appeal (we suggest Ambedkar and Buddhism by Sangharakshita and But Little Dust by Padmasuri). Throughout the Appeal there will be opportunities to learn about the projects through a slideshow, videos, books and discussion. As you learn more and deepen your connection with Karuna’s work, your passion and inspiration will come across to the householders, in turn inspiring them to support Karuna.
"Will the money I raise really make a difference?"
Looking through the telescope of worldwide media at the bigger picture and asking ‘Can we really eradicate poverty?’, may lead to feeling overwhelmed and without any significant influence, which in turn can lead to feeling defeated or cynical. However, turning the telescope around we see the children in the kindergarten and hostel, and the grandmother in the women’s literacy class. To them these projects are making a real and lasting difference. In changing one life you are also changing the whole world for that person.
“I can’t afford to pay my rent at home while I’m on the appeal.”
Karuna offers a support package so that fundraisers can have their costs met whilst doing an Appeal. This includes home rent, bills etc. as well as £60 per week. There is also a seven day retreat allowance, for use at any UK FWBO retreat centre.
"Will I be able to go away for weekends during the Appeal?"
Most weekends are free and so there is the possibility of going away for a weekend. The recommendation is that you don’t leave for more than 2 weekends during the Appeal. Doing an Appeal is a somewhat ‘full-on’ experience and you will most likely want to chill-out on the weekends with the community. Also, the fundraising rests on the ‘retreat-like’ atmosphere creating a ‘going-deeper’ experience, and too many trips away will dilute this.
"Will I be safe on the streets?"
To date, there have been no incidents in the 25 years we have been doing door to door fundraising. We visit the fundraising areas before the Appeal and rule out areas that we don’t feel good about. We know where you are each evening, when you are expected back and sometimes keep in touch through the evening by mobile phone.
If your question is not answered here, please do get in touch with us.