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Fundraising award 2008/09

Winner: Tabard RFC (Herfordshire RFU)

Vicki Hopcroft, who nominated Tabard, says: “The Tabard RFC Social Committee are always looking for different ways to raise much needed cash for the club. They decided to try and host a film premiere and were fortunate in getting Quantum of Solace. Tickets were sold to club members and their friends and the 175 seater cinema was sold out.  Many of the audience came in James Bond dress and a great night was had by all.  Very importantly £975 was raised for club funds; we will definitely do it again!

The film premiere was a fantastic evening and definitely one that could be duplicated elsewhere. I phoned our local cinema and they said they would accommodate us. I just had to book the screening room with a £250 deposit and it was up to us to sell the tickets! The cinema's usual seat prices are £6.50, so we had to be competitive; they also agreed that we could give our own refreshments as part of our ticket sales.
Our costs were: the costs of the showing (£4.50 for the first 75% of the seats and the rest for £3.50).  We decided to give a goody bag which contained a couple of fun size chocolate bars, popcorn, a bottle of water the total costs of which were about £1 each.  I think we could have asked Starbucks or similar to donate the bags which would have saved us £35.  Needless to say, the tickets went like hot cakes!  It was such fun being in a cinema where we knew everyone! We invited members to come as James Bond characters and seeing some of the juniors in bow ties - dressed up as James Bond was great!  We even had an 'Oddjob'! The junior section used it as an excuse for a 'bonding' session and went out to eat en mass before the showing.
It is a fantastic way to raise money, we sold our tickets for £10 for adults and £5 for youth, and they had to sit nearer the front. In total we made a profit of nearly £1,000 for the club and would definitely do it again. The set up was minimal, the interest was huge and the fun was tremendous. We were lucky with the choice of film, but there are always new films coming out, so keep a good look out, check out the internet to see new releases and make friends with the local cinema. They will be pleased to work with you as it guarantees them a full house!”

Runner Up: Cinque Ports RFC (Sussex RFU)

Cinque Ports Rugby, St. Leonards-on-Sea, was founded in 2006 from scratch. The club needed a big event to put them on the map, to let the people of St. Leonards and Hastings know that they had a new sports team in the town, a new club with big ambitions who was keen to promote the sport of rugby whilst promoting itself and raising funds. So what could a club playing in the lowly leagues of Sussex 3 do? Thinking about what would get them noticed by the media and general public, the club came up with the idea of an international rugby match, played on their ground at the Grove School.

Utilising their contacts, the club managed to arrange for the Belgium National Women’s XV to play a South Select Team organised by the RFUW. The club’s main sponsor agreed to sponsor the event, and to present the Cinque Ports International Challenge cup to the winning side. The club gathered sponsorship from several local businesses to cover the cost of souvenir programme. They got permission from the FBRB to use their Lion badge on a set of commemorative Cinque Ports polo shirts, which were sold alongside other club leisure wear on the day. They arranged with the school to set up a bar along with the BBQ for spectators and supporters and put on a warm up match between Cinque Ports and Rye to start off the proceedings.

It turned out be a sunny day, with the game extremely entertaining and competitive and the Belgium women coming out on top in the end. Over 350 people attended the match.

The club developed a successful PR campaign for the local and national media, which resulted in a ¼ page article with photograph in Rugby World, another photo and article in RFU Touchline magazine and two front page news articles online with photographs on the unofficial England Rugby website, four different reports with photographs in our local newspaper Hasting & St. Leonards Observer, two five minute interviews on local radio and an editorial mention on the ITV news website.

Thanks to the main club sponsor and local businesses, all profits from the sale of merchandise, programmes and catering went to the club. They also raised funds for Hastings’ Conquest Hospital by raffling a 2007/08 season of signed Wasps Programmes, very kindly donated by the club. For a small seaside club, they certainly made a splash. This fundraiser had an extremely positive effect on the club, in terms of needed funds, but also for player recruitment which is now in the process of establishing a 2nd XV, women’s team and junior team to run alongside the established men’s team.

Runner Up: Dudley Kingswinford RFC (North Midlands RFU)

DKRFC's changing facilities had become outdated and unsanitary. After much debate, the club appointed a Development Committee to raise the funds and implement the redevelopment work. They were mentored by Luctonians RFC, who raised the money for their project in 5 years; DKRFC completed the project in 18 months.

It was a superhuman effort from the team. Initiatives included selling sponsored bricks, using the facilities as a "park and ride" scheme for local businesses, using the car park for learner drivers. Local tradesmen also helped with goods and labour. Local football teams also hired the pitches for tournaments.
In all about £650k was raised.


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