Charity gets creative in driving forward fundraising activities

Community transport provider, hoppa, is looking to ever more creative income generating and fundraising initiatives to keep its buses on the road and future-proof the service it provides to its thousands of users across the borough of Waverley.

Unlike other transport services, hoppa is a registered charity, and with less than 20% of its turnover coming from grants, its trustees are getting smarter about ensuring it has stable and sufficient income year after year.

Steve Forward, hoppa’s general manager says: “As our public funding has decreased over time so we have become more strategic and ambitious in securing income for what is an incredibly important and much-loved service. Part of this is thinking creatively about ways to raise money and making it easy for people to support us. Amazon Smile is a good example of this: if you shop with Amazon, you can set up your account so that Amazon donates a small percentage of what you spend to hoppa. It requires minimal effort from supporters and doesn’t cost them a penny more. Our website tells you how to set it up.”

Hoppa’s website sets out a selection of other ways to support the charity too, ranging from the award-winning fundraising platform Give as you Live through to its legacy scheme and even donating your old car.

Staff, trustees and friends of hoppa are also getting stuck in by taking part in sponsored events, particularly for specific projects such as its plan to install specialist satnav in its vehicles to improve efficiency. Hoppa needs £11,305 to cover its entire fleet and is already well on the way to raising that money.

Steve Forward explains about one fundraising venture earlier this summer: “Trustees Jenny Brydon and Suzy Naughalty were geared up to give the satnav project a fundraising boost by taking part in the 25-mile Liphook Bike Ride but two days before the ride, Suzy had an accident and managed to break one toe and fracture a second. We are grateful to her friends Clare and Tom Hampshire for stepping in at the eleventh hour to take part in the ride. The Liphook Bike Ride consistently raises over £50,000 for local charities and so we are delighted to have been selected as one of their charities this year.”

Steve expects that individual supporters’ initiatives will continue to play a part in hoppa’s overall fundraising activities.

“Sponsoring friends and family in sporting challenges is a really popular way for individuals to raise money. The online platforms like JustGiving, with which many people will be familiar, make it easier to ask for donations without putting people on the spot and are very simple and safe to donate through,” he says.

Sponsorship activities like the Liphook bike Ride could become a more established part of hoppa’s fundraising portfolio along with taking part in community events such as the Godalming Carnival and reaching out to local businesses too.

One of hoppa’s strengths is being clear about what the money it raises will be used for. Through its Big Give initiative, hoppa is raising money for two key areas of work: its satnav project and a project to install a tail lift and fold out steps to one of its buses. In total, hoppa needs to raise around £20,000 through the Big Give which it hopes will appeal to residents and businesses who like to see how their money helps people.

Hoppa provides transport services to residents all over the borough of Waverley. Its customers are often people who can no longer drive, have mobility issues, no access to public transport and are rurally isolated. Most of the buses are wheelchair accessible and in a relatively rural part of Surrey with limited public transport, hoppa’s services are vital in enabling people, particularly those who cannot afford to use taxis, to get to shops or medical appointments.

To find out more about hoppa’s fundraising initiatives look at the About Us / Fundraising page on the website.