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How to run a $2 A Day Challenge

This page offers practical advice for groups wanting to run their own $2 A Day Challenge. All the resources you need are on this page, just add some time and committed people, and make it happen! It's great publicity for your group, can be used as a fundraising exercise, and the more groups that run the challenge, the bigger our voice, and the more we can get rid of poverty.

You can find all the resources you need here, including posters, flyers, logos, diaries, recipie books etc.

There is also an invaluable tick list of everything groups need to do to run a good challenge. The rest of this page is a practical guide to running a challenge, giving ideas and advice. If your group wants copies of the video on VHS or CD, just e-mail Don't forget to use the message boards too, to post extra ideas and let everyone know about your challenge. Good luck! The 2005 challenge starts Friday Feburary 25th at 7pm... see you there!

This section of the website is designed to help groups who want to run their own $2 a day challenge. It will cover everything, from deciding to run the challenge, planning and promotion, running the week itself, and feedback after the event.

The very first thing you need to do is decide to run the challenge in your group. You need to consider if your members have enough time to do the preperation and the week itself, and make sure that all the work doesn't go to one person.

You also need to decide how much money you want to spend on the challenge. You will want to spend at least £10 on promotion, just to cover photocopying. If you want to do flyers, leaflets, A3 posters, t-shirts and badges, you could easily spend over £100. Running the challenge itself won't cost a lot of money, but you might need to consider expenses for speakers, materials to go in the spice pack, a party at the end, and if your group will buy food in bulk to sell cheaply onto challengers.

You will also need to decide what events, if any, you will run during the week. Some ideas are getting a speaker, showing a film, a ready steady cook challenge, a soup kitchen, and cheap social events. Make sure you have enough people and time to run all the events, and book venues or a room for each one. Having a few events is a good way to encourage people to take part, and also promote what you are doing. However, doing too much and having it all going pear shaped is much worse than having a few, well planned events.

Once you have made a democratic decision on all that, the next step is to go to the $2 a day website at www.2 and download the resources. This will provide you with all the materials you need to run the challenge: leaflets, posters, flyers, recipie books and sponsorship forms. All you have to do is open the files, put on your dates, times and group name, and print in bulk! If you prefer, you can design your own materials, and the website has logos and pictures to help you.

Now comes the fun part, and the most important: promote, promote, promote! Posters are a good way to get people's attention, so put lots of them in prominent places. Just make sure it's ok to put them up before you get into trouble for putting them on your vice-chancellors office window... Good locations could be around campus, in the student union in bars, toilets and common rooms, cafes, local shops, departments, libraries, wherever you think likely participants will be looking.

The same goes for flyering too. Look for busy places, but beware if there are already lots of flyerers, people get fed up and won't take 10 different flyers. A good tip is to flyer in queues, like for cash machines, food, tickets or outside clubs, as people can't get away! You will always need more flyers than you think, as a guideline one person can easily give out 100 flyers in an hour, so print them in quantity! Make them eye catching but small and black and white to keep costs down. Get a group of volunteers to do an hour or so at lunchtime or at busy times between lectures, just be confident and friendly.

You could also run a stand or table at special events or around your student union. This is a good base for flyering from so people can go up and ask questions, and also means that flyer-ers and table-ers can swap and have a sit down. Catch people's attention by giving out free food, big banners and by having friendly knowledgeable volunteers. Publicity stunts like dressing up or running a soup kitchen at lunch time are great for getting people and press attention.

Let whatever media you can know about what you are doing. Write press releases for the Union newspaper, local press and campus radio, and badger them until they give you airtime or column space. The focus of all your promotions should be on the first meeting. Here you will tell people what the challenge is, why they should do it and how it will work. People will be able to ask any questions and decide if they want to do the challenge. Don't have the first meeting too close to the start date, people need time to consider and prepare their cupboards. A week before or the Monday before is a good guide.

After this meeting, get a list of everyone's e-mail address, so you can send them updates, let them know when events are running or if there is a room change. Promise your challengers that e-mails will be short and occaisional, and stick to your promise. If you deluge people with long daily e-mails people will get annoyed and think the challenge is too much work. Remember that the challenge should attract a wide group of people, and while it's a good way to entice people into your group later, you should try and keep this list seperate from your general People and Planet mailing list so people only get what is relevant to them. Let your challengers know they are part of a national network and can chat to other groups through the message boards on the website. Let them also know about the fundraising potential, for People and Planet or another charity.

Now you should have an awesome plan for the week, everything booked and staffed, and lots of people signed up to take part. Now it's time to do the challenge.

The official start is Friday at 7pm. Check the website for this year's date. It's a good idea to have a meeting at this time to launch the challenge with a countdown and final few minutes of gluttony. Then you can hand out recipie books and spice packs to the people who are definatly taking part. Get people to talk, share ideas, and let everyone know what they are going to miss most. Making a fun inclusive group is down to the people running the challenge. Don't lecture!

Don't abandon people during the week either, make sure there are chances to meet up, especially at events, and someone who they can contact if they have a question or problem.

A fun way to finish on the last day of the challenge would be to have a party where you can countdown to gastronomic and alcoholic endulgence. You could hire a room in your union, above a pub, or even a local hall. Don't feel bad about charging party-goers a few quid to cover the cost of the hall or pizza, don't leave yourself out of pocket. Give your challengers a reward, a chance to boogie and meet each other in a fun, relaxed and jubliant environment. This will encourage more people to take part, but only if you are inclusive. Make new people feel welcome, talk to them and introduce everyone throughout the week. They might become your most active members or closest friends.

But before people leave, make sure you get some sort of feedback from them. This doesn't have to be a long questionairre, but get some comments to share with other groups, so we can make the challenge better next year. We certainly want to know roughly how many people took part. Don't be despondant if some people drop out, or you don't get hundreds of people signing up, if you show it was possible this year, you'll convince a lot more people next time. And don't underestimate the publicity the event could give your group as a whole, and that could help you with all your other campaigns.

This website is distributed under a Creative Commons Licence 2004.
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