I toyed with the title of this blog post for a while. I imagine many of you might relate the title to regular bowel movements and, as important as these are, it’s not what my blog relates to!

Instead, I am wanting to highlight the importance of regular donors, those who give a monthly gift to Alopecia UK. Putting it simply, we HUGELY value each of the 149 people who currently give a monthly gift to the charity. Not only does the income from these generous individuals help Alopecia UK to keep on doing the work we do, it really means a lot to know that 149 people value the work that we do enough to want to support us on a monthly basis. As a member of the charity staff team, it helps me to know we have these fabulous folks in our corner, 149 cheerleaders so to speak.

You may think it’s a bit weird that I’m being so specific with the number 149. Well, I’ve just done a reconciliation of our monthly donors so the number is fresh in my mind. It’s a lovely number to have but, in an ideal world, we could really do with popping a zero on the end of that figure!

Why are regular donors so important to Alopecia UK right now?

Our fundraising activity has dropped. We understand why. This is a hard time. We are all familiar with the words ‘Cost of Living Crisis’ and we know it is affecting us all in different ways. We are seeing the affects at Alopecia UK, namely with a drop in our fundraising activity. In a recent poll in our private Facebook group, 42% of those who responded said they are not planning to fundraise for AUK in 2023 because the cost of living crisis means they feel uncomfortable asking friends and family for money.

Believe me when I say, I get it. Things are tough. But if the reality is that people don’t feel comfortable fundraising at the moment, we really need more people from within the alopecia community to commit to a monthly donation to Alopecia UK. We know this might not be affordable for some, but we also know that there will still be many people within the alopecia community who can afford to give the price of a cup of coffee, glass of wine or pint of beer each month. Are you one of them?

We have thousands of people who we reach each month via our website, social media channels, groups, emails, phone calls and newsletters. Thousands of people who I hope find things a bit easier because Alopecia UK exists. 149 is a small number of people compared to the number of people we are in touch with and the number who might be able to support Alopecia UK.

We all have the power to make a difference

It’s easy to think that a fiver a month won’t make any difference but I promise you it does. Small charities like Alopecia UK cannot exist without the support of regular donors and fundraisers. Alopecia UK receives no statutory funding or government assistance.

I am a regular donor to Alopecia UK. It makes me feel proud to support the charity that supported me all those years ago when I was first diagnosed. And I also like to feel that I am contributing to the charity’s aims of Support, Awareness and Research. Anything Alopecia UK achieves, I want to think that I contributed to that (aside from any contribution I make as a staff member). I also want to practice what I preach. I don't want to ask the alopecia community to support Alopecia UK and not do my own bit too. 

Over the years, I have also encouraged family members to donate to Alopecia UK. My parents make a monthly donation (which they have just increased – thanks Mum and Dad!). One of my best friends is also a monthly donor (thanks Gem!), and one of my local friends who I met through my choir has just signed up (thanks Emily!). So, if you are not able to commit to a monthly donation yourself, perhaps you could plant the seed with others around you and ask if they are able?

Big or small, we appreciate it all

The monthly gifts from our 149 monthly donors range from big to small, with the average gift being £8.66. Something to consider, if every member of our private Facebook group gave just £1 a month, this would far exceed Alopecia UK's income last year from fundraising. Imagine the difference that could be made...

I know I will not be able to convince thousands of people to start a monthly gift from one blog post (I realise my words are not that powerful!), but I am hoping that I might convince a few who read this blog. Perhaps you could be our 150th regular donor?

There is power and strength in monthly giving. It keeps small charities like Alopecia UK doing what they do, offering support, raising awareness, funding research, and advocating for new treatment options. But more than that, it personally feels good. I will do it for as long as I can afford to. If you can afford to make a small monthly gift, I ask you to do consider doing the same.

Start your monthly gift today

Thank you so much to everyone who gives a regular donation to alopecia. We appreciate you. You demonstrate the importance of being regular.

And on that note, I’m going to get myself a snack.. 😉