Alice-Azania Jarvis: 'It's all down to timing for my marathon fundraising effort'

In the Red

So, I have made some headway into the troubling challenge of "Fundraising In A Recession". My plan – prepare yourselves, it's quite a stunner – is sell things. Cheaply. Who would have thought? To recap: for those who have missed out on my several unsubtle mentions of this, I should say that I'm running a marathon. The London one in April. It's all in aid of Save The Rhino – a cause I chose having seen the incredible accomplishments of conservationists at work in Zimbabwe.

But to the point: selling things. Cheaply. As regular readers will be only too aware, entrepreneurship is not my strong point. Nevertheless, with the help of some colleagues, I've just offloaded several boxes of second-hand books, and raised £150 from it. I still only have £280 (less than 14 per cent of my total, according to my ever-encouraging JustGiving page) but still – things are looking up. From now on I plan to start collecting as many re-sellable CDs and books as possible.

My next step is a jumble sale. I've already put together four hefty bags full of clothes, accessories, and assorted knick-knacks. It's just a matter of finding a place to sell them (the task of actually holding my own is, at present, beyond me).

Through a friend, I've come across Let's Get Ready to Jumble, an organisation which coordinates jumble sales while stall-holders can choose what to do with their money. They sell everything: records, books, cakes, games, magazines, crafts, you name it. It sounds perfect. The next one's on December 5 (a week today) at the Flowerpot in Kentish Town in London. I haven't been organised enough to sort out a stall for this one, but I plan to! Soon. January, maybe?

Other than that, all I've accomplished is some familiar nagging. I want to set up a Facebook group, but have yet to decide when would be the best time to do so. Getting this right is, I think, crucial: you want to catch people just when they're feeling generous, but not so early that the prospect of the race appears too distant. Everyone is advising me to do it at Christmas, but I'm not so sure.

Personally, I don't feel at all generous come the festive season. Just broke and scrooge-like. But then the New Year may be even worse. It's a tough one. When I do it, though, you can be sure I'll let you know. In the meantime, any giving spirits can direct their good will (come on, you know you want to) towards my Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/alicerunsthemarathon

a.jarvis@independent.co.uk

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