How fundraising makes the uni experience more fulfilling

As a third-year student, I believe that I have a good authority on what makes for a fulfilling student experience. I’ve tried it all: part-time work, student journalism, sports teams, and I’m even the president of a society. Despite all of this, the one thing that I have found the most fulfilling and worth my time is charity work. Whether it’s raising money for Children in Need or doing a sponsored hike, there’s a load of ways to get involved and help your community – and your CV too! How fundraising makes the uni experience more fulfilling…

Charity work at uni is so fantastic because of the opportunities it opens for you. Not only do you meet new people and support a fantastic cause, but there are also tonnes of awards and accreditations that you can get as part of your work. For instance, at my uni, you can be nominated for our annual Student Union Awards which show that your contribution to your local community has been recognised.

However, the rewards aren’t the only reason to do charity work. Over my time at uni, I have worked with Action Tutoring. Here, I tutored Year 11 students who were failing in English, and I managed to help three students achieve B-C grades for both English Language and English Literature GCSE. It felt amazing knowing that I had helped them secure something that is deemed so essential for students and to help them flourish in college after they left school.

How do you get involved in fundraising, then? The best way to get involved as quickly as possible is with your university’s Raise and Give (RAG) Society! They will host frequent fundraising events and are always looking for new volunteers to work with them. If you’re already in a society, why not do a fundraising bake sale with a portion of the proceeds going to your chosen charity? It’s a great way to come together as a team within your society and do some good for your community!


Here’s a recipe that I use for my fundraising events from Minimalist Baker to get you started:

VEGAN PUMPKIN SUGAR COOKIES

COOKIES

1/2 cup vegan butter (such as Earth Balance // softened* // 1 stick yields 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup organic cane sugar (plus more for topping)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

1 1/2 heaping cups unbleached all-purpose flour (sub up to 1/3 whole-wheat pastry)

1/2 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder (for thickening/binding)

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon * 1 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)

ICING (optional)

1/2 cup vegan butter (such as Earth Balance // softened* // 1 stick yields 1/2 cup)

1 1/2 Tbsp 1 1/2 Tbsp pumpkin butter* (optional)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar

1/4 tsp each ground cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice

1 splash non-dairy milk

Instructions

  1. Add softened butter to a large mixing bowl and cream with a mixer for 1 minute.
  2. Add sugar, brown sugar and vanilla and beat for 1 more minute. Add pumpkin and mix once more.
  3. Set your sifter over something that will catch fall-out and add dry ingredients. Use a spoon to briefly stir, then sift over butter and sugar ingredients, to combine.
  4. Mix until incorporated, being careful not to over mix. Then add almond milk and mix until a soft dough is formed. Freeze dough for 15 minutes, or refrigerate for 30 minutes (or chill overnight), preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (176 C), and position a rack in the center of the oven.
  5. Scoop out heaping 1 Tbsp amounts of dough and roll into balls. Place on a clean baking sheet 2 inches apart to allow for spreading. Dip a glass into cane sugar and then gently smash the cookie ball down into a disc (see photo).
  6. Bake on the centre rack for 10-12 minutes or very slightly golden brown.
  7. Let rest on pan for a few minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Prepare icing in the meantime.
  8. FOR ICING: Wipe/rinse your mixing bowl clean and add softened butter. Beat until light and fluffy. Then add vanilla, spices, and pumpkin butter (optional) and mix once more.
  9. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time and continue mixing until thick and creamy. Drizzle in a little non-dairy milk to thin. You want this frosting to be pretty thick so it will hold its shape once on the cookies, so only add a little milk and add more powdered sugar if it gets too thin.
  10. Once cooled, frost cookies and top with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon. Store leftovers covered at room temperature for up to a few days. Freeze for longer-term storage.

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