Milton Keynes Cheerleading Academy
Milton Keynes Cheerleading Academy (MKCA) is a non-profit community interest company that provides high level cheerleading training and coaching to people of all ages and abilities.
MKCA joined Localgiving in 2018. At the time MKCA were exploring various ways to raise funds for a specialist training facility. As Paige Hottor, Programme Director of MKCA, explains:
“We started our journey with Localgiving last year. We needed extra funds to get a new premises. We were expanding and needed extra space to offer new classes for different ages and abilities”.
“We took the time to look at a few different online fundraising platforms. However the match funds, competitions and other incentives Localgiving offered were a real bonus.
“Being able to set up multiple pages is also a huge benefit (fundraisers, appeals and a central donations page) – enabling us to fundraise in different ways”
Since joining Localgiving, MKCA has raised £30,000 through the platform. This has included £6k in Gift Aid which Paige sees as a “huge plus”.
“We are not a registered charity and so being able to claim Giftaid through Localgiving makes a massive difference. “
MKCA have also brought in £1,300 in match funding and competition prize money in this time. They found particular success during the Local Hero fundraising competition, winning three prizes in two years. During this annual spring competition, fundraisers from across the UK compete for prizes ranging from £100 to £1000.
In 2019 two MKCA teams made it onto the Local Hero leaderboard, finishing in 4th and 12th place and winning their club £600 in prizes. MKCA’s innovative approach to the competition really contributed to their success. As Paige explained:
“We took part in the Local Hero campaign in 2018, with some success, so when we noticed it was coming up again we jumped at the chance to get involved.
In 2019 we tried a different tactic. Rather than having a single MKCA Team, we decided to create a competition within a competition, with MKCA teams competing against each other. The fact that the teams were up against one another made it really competitive.
Our athletes train together between 45 minutes and 15 hours per week. They spend a lot of time with each other and are proud of their team. Local Hero brought out a real entrepreneurial side– our athletes would go into supermarkets and chat to people on the street about their team and the competition. The fact that the competition was about the number of donations that a fundraiser could bring in, not the donation size, helped a lot. It was easier to approach people by asking for £2 and explaining that each donation counted towards a possible prize”s part of this year’s competition we arranged a cheerleaders’ sleepover. We had loads of different challenges throughout the night. We tried to make it a full experience that was about far more than just raising money”.
To date, the funding that MKCA receive through Localgiving has primarily been used to cover core costs. However, MKCA are now looking to extend their services to new groups in their community and plan to use some of the funds brought in through Local Hero to engage and cater to these needs of the groups.
“At the moment we are trying to find ways to engage more people from across our community, from various backgrounds and with different abilities. We particularly need specialist equipment to ensure our special needs classes are safe and as accessible as possible”.
To find out more about MKCA or get involved as a volunteers, a fundraiser or a donor, please visit: MK Cheerleading Academy