Wednesday 20 January 2016

Knickers: Model's Own

Solo charity fundraising can be tough. To succeed you need tenacity, enthusiasm, some social media savvy and above all else, an idea to hook people in.

Caroline Jones has all of the above in spades.

For the last year, she has worn an outfit sourced entirely from the racks of Cancer Research charity shops every day. Posting pics on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, her Knickers Models Own campaign has raised over £49,000 for CRUK, and made her something of a social media star in the process.

For Caroline, it's personal. Her mother died of breast cancer last year, and she began the fundraising project using clothes from the Harpenden Cancer Research shop at which both she and her mum volunteered. Initially, it was a way simply to deal with the grief.

Caroline's wisdom, warmth and good taste shone through the posts she placed online, though. Soon she was getting a ton of attention. After the BBC interviewed her, Cancer Research began to offer support, and opened up the racks of their shops across the country.

The key is in how Caroline talks to her audience. Cleverly, she uses different platforms in different ways. Instagram connects the creative community. Fashion brands check her latest outfits out on Twitter. Facebook works on a much more personal level. It's where Caroline chats with her female followers and offers tips on how to get the best out of vintage clothing.

She's realistic about the challenges. Her advice: understand that it can be lonely, and break the task down into daily chunks. But don't miss a post, and be sure to connect with your followers.

It's been a crazy 2015 for Caroline. She's had an award from Cancer Research (and a spiffy lab coat with the campaign name across the... erm, lower back portion) and JustGiving named her Creative Fundraiser of the Year. She also has a curated rack of clothes at the CRUK branch where it all started.

Somehow, I think her mum would be pleased about that.


For more info, and to donate, check out Caroline's JustGiving page. Or, if you want to dig into Caroline's tips into looking good using charity shop finds, head on over to Facebook and join the party:


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