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Fundraising with Team Leader Emerson Gomes

By Juliette


Challenge leader Emerson Gomes is currently volunteering in Thailand on the Elephant and Hill Tribe Challenge. Before he travelled, Emerson organised an incredible fundraiser for his challenge where he sold tickets to a screening of Love and Bananas. This movie was made by Save the Elephant Foundation and tells the story about an incredible elephant rescue by their founder, Lek Chailert, and raises awareness of the plight of Elephants in Asia.

Because Emerson was going to be volunteering at the Foundation’s elephant sanctuary in Thailand, Elephant Nature Park, it was a perfect way to raise both awareness and funds for his trip! We talked to Emerson about his fundraiser so that we could all learn from his experience. 


1. Why did you choose to run a fundraising event?

The reason I chose to run a fundraising event was to further support the economy over in Thailand so that the money raised is taken with us to help support local businesses as well as support our projects in Thailand. 


2. What was your process in organising your event? 

First step was to know what the event was going to be, following that was to find a time, location and people to come. In the process of this being able to advertise where the money fundraised will go was very important.


3. What would you do differently in organising your event? 

The only thing I would do differently is handing out flyers at a train station or outside a Woolworths etc to get more of the public involved and the word out more than just my family and friends.


4. What are your top 3 tips for people who also want to organise a fundraiser? 

a) Why are you doing this fundraising event (what is the money funding for)

b) Advertise your own project at the fundraising event for anyone that may be interested.

c) Find a time and location, make sure to leave enough time (recommend 2 months) so that you can get the numbers you hope to see at the event.


5. How much money did you raise and how was that money used? (If you’re comfortable answering this question)

On the one night with around 10-15 people we raised $550, this money while on project will be used for first aid kits for the local hill tribe community/school, sponsoring an elephant and donating enough money to finish the fund for a water pump and generator for a local school. 


6. Overall, would you recommend organising a fundraiser? Why/why not?

Yes definitely, while in my case I didn’t get anymore people to sign up to travel with me, it helped create awareness and spread the word to other people about our project in Thailand for further fundraising as well after the event.


7. And, how is your trip going? 

While I am only in the middle of our mission in Thailand it feels amazing to be here. Seeing the elephants up close for all these months have been all worth it and knowing that we are doing daily activities to support these beautiful beings makes it feel even more amazing and rewarding. I have loved every moment so far and looking forward to the next week ahead!