Fiona Smith’s birthday was all about the cake, but not for her (as a Type 1 diabetic, she doesn’t do cake): for people going through challenging times.
Fiona pledged her 40th birthday to Good Bitches Baking — a network of people who want to show kindness to people who are having a tough time, by baking them delicious treats.
Her family and friends donated more than $400, which will be lots of cake, cookies and other treats that can be delivered far and wide by the Good Bitches bakers.
Fiona says it felt great seeing donations come in to support the good work that Good Bitches Baking do.
“Good Bitches don’t have heaps of staff, it’s almost all volunteers and it made me feel really special watching my registry and seeing the total go up; it was just really lovely.”
And just as important as the money she raised, was the opportunity to raise awareness about Good Bitches Baking and the Good work they do — and to expose more of her friends and family to the idea of giving donations instead of gifts.
“It was a really good way to raise awareness — especially for a small charity that doesn’t have big marketing dollars, and peer-to-peer awareness is really helpful.
“A lot of people had heard of Good Bitches Baking through the media, but it was a nice reminder that they are there — and one of my friends said that she remembered to donate because she had been eating something that someone from Good Bitches had baked!”
Fiona volunteers for Good Bitches Baking herself, and she also works in fundraising for one of The Good Registry’s other partner charities, Volunteer Service Abroad. So she knows a bit about charity fundraising! And she says that The Good Registry was a fun and simple way to fundraise.
“It was really good and very easy. I set up a Facebook event and said instead of an invitation to a party, it’s an invitation to donate. Pretty much all of my friends use Facebook so that was the easiest way to communicate with people. At a few intervals I reminded people I was doing it. And when you do a Facebook event the nice thing is that people get a reminder on the day that you set up the event for as well. People are really busy, so it’s good to remind people.”
Fiona says that even people who wouldn’t have been able to attend if she’d had a party, or wouldn’t usually buy her a gift, were able to support her and Good Bitches Baking through The Good Registry.
“A couple of my friends who donated have been friends since high school and we have our own separate lives now — they wouldn’t have been able to come if I’d had a party so that was nice that they donated. One of my cousins who lives in Australia also donated so that was really cool as well.
“People are really generous. I’m a fundraiser and I always say to others, ‘you will be really surprised about how generous people are’, but even I was really wowed, and that made me feel really special.”
Fiona thought people might be worried about being the first to donate, or how much to give, so she put in the first donation herself.
“Sometimes it’s really hard work to get that first donation but once you have that first one it encourages people to donate — and because I put in $20, people could see that I was not expecting hundreds of dollars. Being that first donor is something that I would encourage people to do, or have someone lined up to be first.”
Fiona hopes that pledging her birthday through the Good Registry will have flow on benefits too — exposing more people to the idea of giving donations instead of gifts, and hopefully inspiring more people to use The Good Registry and to support charities like Good Bitches Baking.
“No matter what you fundraise, every charity appreciates the effort that you go to. I don’t think people should be worried about how much they raise. Sometimes what you don’t know is what it will mean next time someone sees an opportunity to donate. It might just spark something in the future," she says.
“The more people who use The Good Registry the better for all the charities on it. It’s the collective awareness of all the good organisations doing really Good stuff.”