You may know about our three charity partners of the year, for 2020/2021. But do you know about how we’ve selected them?
Each year we select three charities to be our charity partners of the year: a local charity, national and international one. This year these three charities respectively are the Felix Project, St. Mungo’s and Women for Women. (Click on their names to find out more about the amazing work they do for their respective causes.)
We are so proud of our charity partners and we are excited to work with them in this upcoming year. It comes after an application process which, while at times felt testing and demanding, only matched the rigour and passion we looked for in our selected charity partners.
Before I go on to describe the selection process, I want to thank all the candidates who applied this year. We received 57 applications in total, including 23 applications to be our international charity partner alone. Considering how competitive our application process was this year, it doesn’t need to be said that we had to sadly pass over many candidates who were outstanding and had great causes. We hope nevertheless to work with these charities in the upcoming year, especially as we are on the lookout for cool and innovative events ideas as the coronavirus situation means we get more creative.
In June 2020, our applications opened for the charity of the year scheme. We saw lots of interest in the beginning and wanted to ensure that charities were given ample time to apply. By the end of August (our deadline), we saw dozens of charities apply, each with great causes.
At the selection stage afterwards, things looked a bit different from last year. While the shortlisting process continued as normal, where committee members helped to finalise three candidates for each selection category, we decided to switch things up for the final stage of our selection process.
In previous years, we asked our student community at LSE to vote for our charity partners. But this year we felt like doing things differently. Because we couldn’t expect the usual exposure we have with students, we decided instead to hold final votes for our candidates within the committee.
But this only followed our interview stage, a new feature to our application process. Alice, the LSE RAG President, and I (as head of outreach) - along with other committee members who dropped in - interviewed the nine shortlisted candidates. We were looking for passion, energy, commitment - but most importantly the ability to bring to life the causes each candidate cared deeply about, and how candidates could demonstrate this through creative events this year. By the 20th September we had made our decision, after a process of rigorous discussion and voting with our committee.
Being our charity partner is a great opportunity for our charity partners. Last year alone, we raised an average of £11,000 for each of our charity partners.
So what makes LSESU RAG so successful at fundraising?
As LSESU RAG, we are at the forefront of student fundraising on campus. We are unique because we are the fundraising arm of the SU and we work closely with them to deliver events and raise LSE’s student fundraising profile. But also, we are all students at RAG and therefore we put students at the heart of our events. This year we’re putting a special focus on making sure that students feel included and part of the vibrant charity and causes community at the LSE, more important this year given the restrictions put on in person student activities.
Being our charity partner then is a big, big deal. But with such a great opportunity, we also have great expectations for our charity partners. We want them to have a great cause, come up with innovative fundraising and charity events, and keep in regular touch with us so that we can keep track of progress of the year.
I’m so proud to see that our charity partners have not only reached these goals, but have gone the extra mile to prove that they’re more than well suited to work with us. And of course, we thank all those who applied this year.
We are looking forward to a strange, but exciting year to student fundraising at LSE RAG this year.