Charities Institute Ireland joined forces with JustGiving this year to launch Challenge Thirty Two – a fundraising initiative aimed at supporting Irish charities. From 20 June, the people of Ireland were asked to dream up an activity based around the number 32 (the number of counties in Ireland), and to fundraise or donate to help support their charity of choice.
Liz Hughes, Charities Institute Ireland CEO, said:
“Challenge Thirty Two is a great way for people to show their support for a charity that means something to them – and have plenty of fun along the way!”
With over 20% of Cii members taking part in the challenge there were some unique and interesting challenges, not least for Threshold and Brighter Communities Worldwide.
Saoirse Jacoby, head of fundraising with Threshold explains:
“Our home-saving services have never been more important and needed by so many with the Covid-19 Crisis. When the crisis hit, and the job losses started, the phone line never stopped ringing. In fact, the number of calls to Threshold’s nationwide Freephone Helpline from people in need of emergency financial assistance is seven times what it was in 2019.
“Some people in Ireland are going through the most challenging time in their lives right now. And that’s why we need to do all we can right now to make sure no one is without a home.”
Jacoby continues: “Whether it was digging out the runners for a 32km walk, 32 gruelling workouts in 32 days, or a 32km cycle, all of the staff at Threshold came together as part of Challenge Thirty Two to help save even more families from homelessness.”
Brighter Communities Worldwide raised over €11,000 through during the campaign. Like most charities in Ireland their fundraising plans were devastated by Covid-19, but the charity was blown away with the creativity and innovation that came from how supporters engaged with the challenge. Head of fundraising Jane Breare said:
“We had people walk, hike, cycle, kayak, toddle, skip, star jump, plant trees … we had dogs catching balls…children writing postcards, making crafts and baking…people participated in their living rooms whilst isolating, at work incorporating challenges into their work routine … there were many variations on the number – 32 flights of stairs, 32 kilometres, 32,000 steps, 3.2 lengths of the lounge in a baby walker!”
It was a global effort with people taking part in New Zealand, China, Lebanon, UK, Jordan, USA, Portugal and in Kenya where Brighter Communities Worldwide CEO and the co-founder of the charity took part with a team of local staff and volunteers.
Breare continued: “We had an army of supporters taking part and we even had an Olympic Gold medallist and an Irish Overseas Ambassador. We also had great fun and enjoyed a true community spirit …the Brighter Communities Worldwide spirit of passion, togetherness and integrity.”
The Irish people rose to the challenge and the initiative will continue to run in the weeks ahead, with organisers hoping to see it become an annual programme.