Gulf for Good: Update Report, November 2012
Gulf for Good is a charity that organises adventure challenges in support of needy children around the world. Each Challenge raises much needed funds for a handpicked charity that is working with disadvantaged children in the region where the Challenge takes place. To date, we have organised 40 Challenges, for over 860 participants. Through this, we have raised over US$ 2 million for children’s charities around the world. Our key objectives are ‘Giving Kids a Chance around the World’ and ‘Having Fun whilst Helping Others’.
Challenge and Charity updates
The paragraphs below provide a short overview of the progress made by several of our recently supported charities. Further details can be found on our website: www.gulf4good.org.
In November 2011, we held the “UAE Cycle Challenge”, which passed through all seven Emirates in just five days. The supported charity was the Al Manar Charity School in Ajman. Following a slow start, we are delighted to announce that the first phase of our work (refurbishing two science laboratories) has just been completed. Our Charity Director visited the school last week to see the finished labs. Further projects are being finalized, and mayinclude installation of new playground equipment and provision of further learning resources for use across the school.
One year earlier, in November 2010, our “Revolutionary Ride” took Challengers on a 5-day cycle trek across Cuba. The sponsorship raised by this Challenge has supported the Haiti Hospital Appeal, and specifically the building of a maternity and children’s ward at the hospital in Quartier Morin. In October 2012, we made a further payment to the charity to fund additional emergency equipment. This will enable the establishment of an Emergency Power System, to ensure constant power supply to the hospital even when there are power outages in the main system.
In July this year (2012), we held one of our most popular challenges for the sixth time: the ‘Trek to the Roof of Africa’. This is a 6-day trekking adventure to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro (5,892m altitude). The sponsorship raised by the two groups of Challengers exceeded US$100,000. It will be given to the Amani Children’s Home in Moshi, Tanzania. Amani works to rescue children from the street, helping to reunite them with their families where possible, and providing ongoing care where needed. Currently, there are 75 children living at the Armani Home. Our sponsorship will be used to build a Drop in Centre in nearby Arusha town, to further Amani’s work with street children there.
We have just welcomed back the participants from The Road to Mandalay Challenge in Myanmar (Burma). The participants completed six-days-of hiking and cycling. The money raised by this challenge, will be given to ‘Child`s Dream’. This charity works to empower marginalised children and youth in the Mekong Sub-Region. Our support has enabled the rebuilding of the OCK secondary school in rural Mandalay, giving hundreds of poverty-stricken children the chance of education beyond the basic primary level.
We have four exciting Gulf for Good Challenges planned for 2013: The Great Asian Cycling Challenge (Vietnam and Cambodia), The Palestine Trail, The Alternative Inca Trail (Peru) and The Great Himalayan Adventure (Uttarahkand, India). All of these Challenges will support children’s charities working in the local area.
We really want to thank all the recent supporters of Gulf for Good through GlobalGiving. Your generosity has greatly encouraged us. With your support, we can continue to help children around the world, through our Challenges. Without your help, that would not be possible!
Please, refer to attachment.
This report intends to show all Gulf for Good supporters what Gulf For Good has been up to in 2011. Gulf for Good would like to thank you for your support and your generous donations without which it would not have been able to accomplish as much as it has in the past year. We truly hope that you continue to support us and help us "Give kids a chance around the world"
You will see that the report is in great detail in keeping with our policy of transparency. Please do read on and Keep Supporting!
- 2011 was a great year for Gulf for Good, with 4 challenges, 82 participants and AED 1,066,322 raised for charity. The Trek Ethiopia challenge, Wilds of Borneo challenge, Everest Base Camp challenge and Cycle the Seven Emirates challenge were great successes and have helped raise money for the underprivileged children in Ethiopia, Borneo, Nepal and UAE.
- In 2012 we have China, Kilimanjaro, Romania and Burma. The first Kilimanjaro group filled quickly, so we have opened a second group, which already has 10 registrations. We were very sorry to have had to postpone the Syria challenge, but we will organize this challenge again as soon as the country is stable
All your donations to Gulf for Good have enabled us to improve our capital investments to help give kids a chance around the world.
- Constant Contact, our on-line database management system, continues to be a great asset. We now have 3,140 active contacts. This helps us increase awareness and keep our supporters in the loop.
- Flip Media continue to host our website and we benefit from their on-going support and knowledge/understanding of our website and activities
- They are currently advising us on additions to the website for sponsor and volunteer pages, as well as an Arabic welcome page
- They are also following up on some technical recommendations made by Sekari, an SEO company which has undertaken a full SEO audit for G4G, free of charge
CREDIT CARD CAPABILITY
- The credit card machine is definitely helping us to get, on the spot registration for challenges at Information evenings and socials, which was not possible before
- As the G4G office only had 1 full time and 1 part time employee we have not appointed a new part time Admin Assistance. We have found the role of the Admin Assistant to be crucial to cope with the increased workload due to the success of our challenges. We have re-titled the role to “Coordinator”. She has also taken on the coordination of the training events and allowed the training calendar to be greatly improved.
- We are currently designing a corporate folder for all future Challenge Packs and information packs to be given to potential sponsors and supporters
- We are hoping that these will be a cost-effective way to allow improved professionalism of our presentation
- We are sending at least 3 full Charity Updates to the entire database each year, which are receiving excellent feedback – the latest is attached
- Weekly emails go to the database regarding training and other dates for the dairy
- Our database is now 3,140 strong
- We have found that the most popular email that we send is the full charity update. It receives high open rates and strong feedback from our database
- We produce an e-flyer for each challenge, which is sent to the database and always generates higher open rates and a good response rate in terms of registrations
- Distribution of our leaflets and posters is very good again this year. As we did last year, we will make a second print run of leaflets, probably in April
- The website has undergone a few changes in the last year, especially to the use of the Home page, which is now more regularly updated with current events and charity updates.
- The charity pages are now much more ‘live’ with regular updates as frequently as we receive the same from the charities themselves.
FACEBOOK & TWITTER
- Our presence on Facebook and Twitter continues to grow and both media produce considerable feedback, with Facebook being especially useful for publicizing events
- The Facebook Group has been archived by Facebook as part of their regeneration scheme: 1,449 members
- Twitter: 319 followers
- The training sessions continue to be run practically every week and are attended by quite a variety of people – many past and current challengers, but also many people new to G4G
- We now have a wider range of training offers, with strong support from various companies such as CrossFit LifeSpark, Urban Energy, Optimal Fitness
- We have a new venue for Info sessions – Adventure HQ
- Although, it doesn’t provide canapés, etc (!), the setting is perfect for our needs, being nestled in amongst kayaks, hiking boots, etc and people like to go there as a ‘destination’, as well as shop for kit on the night
- Abu Dhabi will be trying out a new venue this month -Al Manhal Abu Dhabi by Rotana
- The G4G 10th Anniversary party in June last year was a great success
- We are now attending far more local events in a more official awareness raising capacity. For example, we had a booth at the Standard Chartered Marathon, a team at the Dubai Cares Walk for Education and the Small World walk in Abu Dhabi
- We have been becoming far more involved in community events, such as the Heels and Deals (women entrepreneurs networking group) SME event, at which our Governor, Tricia Evans, was the facilitator. Another is the Outdoor UAE beach party on March 30, at which we will be one of several outdoor activity providers exhibiting and providing action-packed entertainment
- We will be presenting at the Al Ain TEDx conference to an anticipated audience of 800 in April
- We also hope to organize a large event in the coming year at which we would be able to significantly raise our profile and, hopefully, raise some funds too
- We are working on building more coverage in the Arabic press and now have the promise of help from a new PR agency called Grace and Garbo
DAILY NEWSPAPERS AND MONTHLY MAGAZINES
- Local newspapers continue to support G4G with features and promotion of upcoming events. The most supportive publications are 7 Days, Time Out, Friday magazine, Abu Dhabi Week and Explorer Magazine, but we have finally made some inroads into the National! In other countries, the Kuwaiti English language press are now following our stories, but only with a lot of post release follow-up from us
- You can see links to all articles, etc on our website at http://www.gulf4good.org/en/section/media-center
TV & RADIO
- We have had to reduce our involvement in TV and Radio due to lack of resources and, as reported last year, the fact that we do not see an increased enquiries as a result
- However, we did have a very good feature on MBC TV on the Cycle the Seven Emirates Challenge, as well as some very good coverage on Dubai Eye radio
- In 2011 we have received a significant donation of a little over AED 55,000 including AED 7697 received from Living Social during their "12 days of Giving" program via Global Giving. This does not include a AED 100,000 donation received from Dubai Duty Free Foundation and AED 50,000 received from Landmark Group for the Cycle the Seven Emirates challenge in December 2011.
- Hosting Dubai-based information events
- Providing vouchers for competition prizes
BRITISH BUSINESS GROUP
- The BBG has given 2 members of G4G team free membership of the BBG. This should prove invaluable for networking
- CrossFit LifeSpark - 50% discount to all registered G4G challengers and free monthly beach circuit session
- Optimal Fitness – free weekend training sessions
- Urban Energy – free training sessions
- Trespass, Dubai Mall - 50% discounts to all G4G registered participants
- Lifestyle 360, Shk Zayed Rd - discount to all G4G registered challengers on certain bikes
- Adventure HQ – up to 15% off all purchases to registered challengers
- Sakeen Trading provided us with a huge number of free, branded sporks for free gifts to attendees at our 10th anniversary party. They also gave us 100 seat pads which we’re giving to all registered challengers
- Kersten Elliott, Podiatrist/Chiropodist – 50% discount to all registered G4G challengers on consultations and boot selection advice pre-challenge
- Dubai London Clinic are helping us by signing off our medical kit when we need to transport it overseas
- Pinnacle PR have provided our Head of Communications, Patricia Anderson, with free Communications and PR training to allow her to streamline her work. This is proving invaluable
- Sekari have undertaken a full SEO audit and are currently implementing their findings
G4G REGIONAL EXPANSION
- The volunteers in Abu Dhabi and Kuwait have worked hard to promote G4G and start building awareness in those cities
- We have received increased registrations from both cities
- Unfortunately, the volunteer in Kuwait has had to move to Morocco, so is unable to continue her great work in Kuwait. However, we are hoping that she might be able to make some headway in Morocco!
- We are continuing to deal with the press in Kuwait from our Dubai office
- We are working on 3 other target countries for increased awareness of Gulf for Good. These are: Saudi (Aramco), Bahrain and Qatar
BRITISH CHARITY REGISTRATION
- As a British Charity, we are trying very hard to set up a UK Bank account so that our challengers can start using the on-line fundraising site, Just Giving. However, this has not been an easy process and we are working hard towards making it happen.
- We are still receiving an influx of high-caliber volunteers, who are coordinated by the Governor role for Volunteers
- We now have 10 ‘Goodwill Ambassadors’ drawn from many different backgrounds: Emirati, Lebanese, Indian and British
- They are supporting us in many different ways, including representing G4G on TV, radio, conferences, social/info evenings, etc when required
- Their participation in any event is purely voluntary and is only if it is convenient to them
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