An aerial shot of Phil performing a tandem skydive from 10,000 feet

When is diving out of a plane a good idea?

Scope’s Digital Film and Media Officer, Phil, talks about his experiences of doing a sponsored skydive for Scope. Visit our website to see what fundraising events you can get involved in this year.

Phil smiles wearing a skydiving jumpsuit

I started work at Scope in November 2014 and within a few months I decided I wanted to do some fundraising. Now, I was a little too lazy to stop eating cake to do a marathon, which also meant that a Machu Picchu trek was a definite no. Because of this, I came to the ridiculous decision that I should do a skydive.

I have many fears… Spiders, clowns and even a ridiculous fear of seaweed (you know, when it brushes up against your leg while you’re swimming in the sea?). But one of my biggest fears has got to be heights.

What better thing for an acrophobic person to do than fling themselves out of a plane? For some reason, it seemed like such a good idea at the time!

Raising the cash

With only a few months to go until the big day, I had to get some serious fundraising underway.

I started with the usual route of sharing my JustGiving page with family, friends and across my social media channels. This got a fairly good response with just over £200 being collected in a week.

However, I knew I needed to do more. I decided to step it up.

My first port of call was Krispy Kreme who offer dozens upon dozens of doughnuts to fundraisers at a reduced cost (find out more about using Krispy Kreme doughnuts for fundraising on their website). One morning, I brought in 120 to the office. News spread and I soon had a large queue forming at the stall I’d set up in reception. Not only is it a surefire way to raise lots of cash but if there are any leftover, you’ve got some scrummy treats to make your success taste even sweeter.

Next was my raffle. I scoured the local area and came up trumps with a whole host of amazing donated prizes. From a signed Man Utd shirt to a pair of cinema tickets to a case of locally brewed ale – there was something for everyone! This is a fundraising technique that everyone should think about doing. All you need is a letter of authorisation from the charity you’re raising money for and to be ready to sell your cause to potential donors.Phil stands in front of a plane with his skydiving instructor

The money was coming in thick and fast now but I wanted to do one final push to raise those last few pennies. I organised a pub quiz at Scope HQ which had a great turn out. There were prizes, drinks and lots of laughs. All in all, it was a fantastic evening.

At the end of my (tiring!) fundraising, I’d managed to raise around £1000, which I was extremely happy with. That was the hard part over. But the hardest part was just around the corner – the skydive.

Facing my fear

The day of the skydive came around so quickly. I’m not even going to pretend that I was calm and collected at this point. Words cannot describe how terrified I was. The video below should give you a good idea of what the day was like.

I would urge everyone to take part in a fundraising event, especially an adrenaline event such as skydiving. What an experience!

My top tips

  1. Start your fundraising early. This will allow you to take your time thinking up the most effective money raising techniques.
  2. Think big. Without doing this, I wouldn’t have got the massive collection of prizes donated by larger companies (including VUE cinemas, Manchester United and Naked Wines)
  3. Persist! You may think you’re annoying people across social media with your constant fundraising asks, but you need to drive the message home in order to raise the maximum amount possible.
  4. Update everyone involved. Make sure you send an update and a thank you to everyone involved in the success of your fundraising efforts. For example, I sent a personalised thank you letter to every company and individual that donated a prize for the raffle.
  5. Have fun! Make sure you fundraise in a way that feels fun and makes you happy – it will feel so much less of an effort this way. If you love baking, do a bake sale!

Phil during his skydive, falling through the air with his thumbs up.

Inspired by Phil conquering his fears? Find a fundraising event you can get involved in this year.