Back to Campaigns
Money is always a nice thing to have, especially when you’re
battling a $40 billion company. Funding is needed to support the
international campaign, the
Sambhavna Clinic in Bhopal,
and essential development work for gas-affected communities. Host
a benefit concert, a silent auction, or a community drive to support
the struggle for justice in Bhopal.
Fundraising is a direct way to support the campaign for justice
in Bhopal, and make a difference in people’s lives. Because
it’s so direct, and also because it’s easy to understand,
you may find it easier to rally folks in support of the campaign
– both group members and potential contributors. Although
your efforts won’t necessarily pressure Dow or the Indian
Government to agree to the survivors’
demands, fundraising is critical to supporting the ongoing efforts
of ICJB, the Sambhavna
Clinic, and others working to improve the condition of the people
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How it Makes a Difference
additional $330 million in compensation
Much of what we do requires significant funding, and depending
on whom you decide to support with your efforts – the International
Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, the Sambhavna
Clinic, or possibly both – you’ll be making a direct
contribution to ongoing, critical work on behalf of the people of
International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal
..........• Won an additional
$330 million in compensation
for Bhopal victims
..........• Successfully pressured
the Indian Council for Medical Research to restart
the comprehensive medical studies discontinued in 1994.
Warren Anderson, the former Chairman of Union Carbide and international
fugitive from justice, after more than a decade in hiding, leading
to a formal request for his extradition.
..........• For more information,
The new Sambhavna
Clinic building & medicinal garden
..........• Has provided free
medical care to over 16,000 gas-affected people, and has served
a similar number through community health initiatives in the neighborhoods
bordering the abandoned factory
..........• Offers a unique combination
of treatments including allopathy, ayurveda (an indigenous system
of medicine based on herbs) and Yoga
..........• Has conducted path-breaking
medical research, including a study published in the Journal
of the American Medical Association indicating that the effects
of the gas are multi-generational.
..........• For more information,
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Directly support the work of the Bhopal campaign and help improve
the condition of the people of Bhopal.
..........1. Foster greater awareness
about Bhopal within your community
..........2. Raise a specific amount
of money for the Sambhavna Clinic or international campaign
..........1. Make sure that all your
fundraising events include an element of education
– folks want to know that their money is going to a good cause!
..........2. Reach out to a variety
of communities with an array of fundraising events
..........3. Don’t forget the
most important part of fundraising: asking.
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Before You Start
The basic principles of fundraising are fairly simple:
..........• You don’t get
money unless you ask for it.
..........• The best approach
is the direct, personal approach.
..........• You should always
give people something for their money – even if it’s
only an understanding of how it will be spent, and the knowledge
that it’s going to a good cause
..........• When you do fundraising
right, people give you money because they want to, not because they’re
trying to do you a favor.
One of the first things you should do is set a goal: how much money
would you like to raise? Once you’ve decided, you have to
figure out how to get it. Make an assessment of your group, asking
questions such as:
..........• What material resources
do we have?
..........• Who do people in our
group know? Public officials, religious leaders, college faculty,
entertainers, and local merchants are examples of contacts who may
donate time, materials, or food for your event.
..........• What do we like to
do? Are there group members with special talents? Are any group
members artists, musicians, or experienced speakers?
..........• What other organizations
do members belong to that may want to collaborate?
A poor fundraising
As you create your fundraising plan, you should keep in mind the
Fundraising activities should be fun for the donors and for the
members who have put it together. Activities that are a drag burn
out your members and make people who give feel like they’ve
Keep it simple. The more bells and whistles you add to the plan,
the more things can go wrong.
Hazards: Beware of fundraising that requires large up-front
investment, includes a high-risk of losing money, or could harm
your group’s reputation if you fail to meet expectations.
Explore options for reducing high-priced overhead items, such as
getting food donated.
Involve members and others in a positive way, without drawing time
and resources from other necessary work.
..........• Donor Appreciation:
Make donors feel good about giving. Thank them and, when appropriate,
do so publicly.
..........• Other Events:
Add fundraising to what your group is already doing. Consider how
you can add a fundraising element to already planned actions and
Celebrate victories and achievements. Reward friends, allies, and
hard-working group members.
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Planning & Budgeting
for an event
Make a list of all the jobs that need to be done.
the room reservations, guest speakers, and entertainment.
a permit for food and merchandise sales.
in newspapers and send public service announcements to radio stations.
group members distribute and post flyers.
and confirm microphones, tables, VCR, and other equipment.
information regarding the cases or actions to be presented, including
general Bhopal literature.
other organizations and their members.
a volunteer to take responsibility for seeing that each task is
For jobs that require more than one person, find a volunteer coordinator
and as many workers as needed.
deadline dates for each task.
for “disasters.” Something will surely go wrong, so
anticipate all the possible disruptions of the event (e.g. rain,
not enough food, performers not showing up, etc.). Brainstorm a
list of all the possible “disasters” and then brainstorm
measures that can be taken as prevention or solution to each (e.g.
“get indoor space in case of rain”).
Make a budget for your event and do your best to stick to it. In
order to come up with your budget, make a list of all items that
will involve some expense. Estimate the cost of each (call vendors
to confirm estimates) and determine if any of the items could be
donated. Total all costs, subtract donated items, and you have a
A Note on Potential Hazards: When deciding how to raise
funds, your group should consider factors such as the amount of
money it will need to invest up-front and how much risk is involved.
Events that require little investment and offer high returns include
car washes, bake sales, raffles, flea markets, auctions, and canvassing/membership
drives. Events such as dances or dinners require slightly more investment
and more risk.
Fundraisers requiring high investment and high risk include bingo,
selling big-ticket items such as Christmas trees, selling calendars
(they only sell for a short period of time), races, walk-a-thons,
and concerts. Many of these fundraisers not only require a large
up-front investment, but are costly and time-consuming to organize
and promote. While celebrity events such as concerts can be successful,
you should carefully consider the monetary and time investments
required to produce such an event.
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Cans! Have you ever seen a can or jar asking for donations?
Of course you have – they’re common in coffee shops,
restaurants, and other local businesses. Often they ask for tips,
but sometimes they’re raising money for worthy causes like
tsunami relief, cancer research, or muscular dystrophy. And though
it may not seem so from looking at the nickels and pennies inside,
donation cans like these can raise a lot of money.
Find out more
Raffles are a fun and simple way to earn money. Ask local businesses
prizes and sell tickets for a certain period of time. Some of the
businesses that donated might also be willing to sell tickets. Incorporate
the raffle into the group’s work by having the drawing during
a special event.
A-Thons”. Draw-a-thons, dance-a-thons, skate-a-thons,
etc. take a little extra organizing but can be extremely profitable.
Try to collect pledges in advance. You can ask for a block pledge
($10 for the event) or agree to have a certain number of drawings,
dance a certain number of hours, etc. and ask for payment up-front.
Include a speaker or show a Bhopal-related movie during a draw-a-thon.
Set up a “thermometer” poster that is updated frequently
to indicate how close the group is to reaching its goals.
Meals. These can range in scope and price. A more elaborate
benefit meal might be an Indian dinner, featuring food, music, and
speakers from India. A more simple variation of this theme would
be to hold a pancake breakfast or spaghetti dinner followed by a
movie or speaker.
Concerts can be fun, but need to be planned carefully because they
can easily lose money. There are many ways to hold events with music,
and the music you use can vary widely. Check to verify the musical
tastes of your target audience before you arrange the music. Make
the location fun. Consider holding the concert outdoors in a park
during the summer or at popular venue, such as a bookstore, bar,
Consider putting on performances either using group members or members
of a local drama club or theatre as performers. Charge admission
for the show and then sell refreshments and Bhopal merchandise.
Also, be sure to have a table with
information on Bhopal and your group at the show.
for Bhopal. Get friends, professors, and family to sponsor
your group in a bowlathon.
or Run. Organize a Walk, Jog, Scoot, Bicycle or Levitate
for Justice in Bhopal.
Merchandise. Although the Bhopal campaign does have some
merchandise available which
you can sell to raise money, you may decide to make and sell your
own items, such as recycled notebooks, buttons, candles, artistic
creations or holiday gifts. For groups just starting out, it’s
prudent to sell small-ticket items that don’t require a heavy
overhead. Advice: for such small items, request donations
and then give items away. For example, you might be able to sell
buttons for 50 cents, but if you request a donation for that same
pin, many people are likely to put a dollar or some larger amount
into your collection jar.
No matter what you may choose to do, look at each fundraising expense
and think about ways you can get those needs met for free or at
a discount. Examples of in kind donations include food from a restaurant,
printing from a printer, bowling from a bowler, and penguins from
a penguiner. Always remember to thank donors (with a letter) and
with free publicity if they don’t want to remain anonymous
(e.g. an ad in your program or a letter to the editor after an event).
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One Hundred More Fundraising
One hundred at very least: raffles, bazaars, egg and spoon races,
karaoke evenings, bring and buy sales, auctions of promises, sweepstakes,
spelling competitions, dog and cat shows, pony rides, hoopla, cake
stall, sell home made jams, ditto fruit wines, second hand book
sale, run a marathon or a minithon, car boot sale, sponsored walk,
scalextric racing, garage sale, tug-of-war, worst tie fine, swearing
jar, donate a service, collecting tin in pub, celebrity auctions
(ask them to donate a personal item or give an autograph), put on
a play, singing contest, musical evening, archery contest, make
Christmas cards, organize a Bhopal Day, publish your own poetry
mag, have an art exhibition, vintage car rides, sponsored swim,
face painting, fashion show, summer barbecue, trivia quiz, wishing
well, chess tournament, stage a football match, meet-a-celebrity
dinner (if you can persuade a celebrity, and if you happen to be
a celebrity you could have a quick whip round among your mates),
have an open day in your garden, plant sale, home-made lemonade
stall, guess the weight of the cake (or vegetable marrow), animal
bingo (mark out a field in numbered squares, sell correspondingly
numbered tickets, let loose a cow, if she dungs in your square you
win), barn dance, make and sell paper flowers, hire a band and organize
a local gig, write and publish your own cook book, design a calendar,
organize teams to wash cars, mow lawns, trim hedges, walk dogs and
offer sundry other useful services, stage a talent show, hold a
gurning championship (can't resist sticking in a pic for this one),
have a sponsored haircut, shave off that beard for Bhopal, heck
shave off your eyebrows, give a foot massage, polish shoes, pub
crawl, fancy dress disco, manicure, lunchtime concert in the park,
school play or concert, walk round Wales with a fridge (someone
is actually doing this!). Here are a couple of websites with ideas:
("Kidnap the senior pastor" and "Kiss the cow"!)
an Aussie site with some offbeat thoughts.
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..........• Try this wrap-around
for your donation cans!
an educational resource
and fact sheets about Bhopal
Media Advisory/Press Release
Posters & Graphics
..........• Draft Bhopal Quartersheets:
One & Two
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Making the Contribution
For small amounts, see our donations
page. For questions about larger contributions, contact Ryan.
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