Raising the bar: how a bold idea sparked success

By Marcus Dysch, February 9, 2012
Emily Charles twists at the 100 for 100 finale event

Emily Charles twists at the 100 for 100 finale event

The biggest Jewish Society fundraising initiative ever undertaken on a British campus has raised more than £11,000 for charity.

Students from Nottingham JSoc took part in the 100 for 100 campaign, which encouraged 100 members to each raise £100. Many raised far more.

The money will be split between eight charities: Tzedek, Save a Child's Heart, Aegis, Age UK, One Family, Tikva, Chaplaincy and UJS.

More than 1,000 people have donated to the campaign, raising £11,100 with more money still to be collected. It has been so successful that students from Birmingham and Manchester asked to join in and were also sponsored. It is now hoped the 100 for 100 brand will be extended to other JSocs around the country.

Organisers Rebecca Schapira, Dan Clyne and Sarah-Jayne Grahame said they had wanted to encourage fellow
students to take part in creative and innovative fundraising initiatives.

Rebecca Schapira and Dan Clyne

Rebecca Schapira and Dan Clyne

Charity efforts undertaken for their campaign included students selling sushi and cupcakes, organising a 24-hour radio show, performing magic tricks, doing sponsored silences, running three-legged races and space-hopping across campus.

The project culminated in a final showpiece event last week, with the 100 participants taking part in a mass game of Twister.

Rebecca said: "We realised that our JSoc had not done much fundraising and we wanted to put on an event.

"I came up with the idea and thought it would be amazing to get 100 students doing something together as a grand gesture and a JSoc-wide project. I saw it more as a long-running campaign than a one-off event.

"Everything went so well. We were bold but you have to be. People need that
chutzpah and desire to inspire fellow students.

"We knew there were 100 students or more who are regular attendees at JSoc events, so it was just a matter of engaging them and making them want to do it."

Students were excited to join the campaign and Rebecca believes its success disproves claims that students are "lazy".

She added: "We cannot just be Jewish students in name; we have to be Jewish students in what we do and how we act. People need to realise that Jewish students are not sitting at home worrying about being attacked.

"So many non-Jewish students have been talking about what JSoc has done on campus. I'm really proud of everyone."

Max Sobell was among those taking part, raising more than £760 by chaining himself to the outside of the JSoc house for 24 hours.

The 19-year-old politics and American studies student went without food to make the challenge that extra bit tougher.

He said: "It's probably the hardest thing I've ever done. I was chained to a post from midnight to midnight on probably one of the coldest nights of the year.

"I tried to keep myself busy by making a video blog but the boredom was pretty bad. I wanted to do it because I thought it was great having so many students volunteering at a grassroots level to raise so much money for such great charities."

Max added: "What got me through was having other people come to see me and the camaraderie of us all working together.

"Now I've done it it's such a satisfying feeling."

Last updated: 1:28pm, February 9 2012