So, you’ve signed up to run that first 5K, you are organising a MacMillan coffee morning or cycling from Lands End to John O’ Groats and pledged to help your chosen charity… When do you start fundraising? How do you part friends and family with their cash to reach your fundraising target and raise as much money as possible?!
Panic not! Mr. Bownes had a chat with Creative Chiropractic’s Marketing Geek, Rebecca Rowe, who has raised over £3,800 for Women’s Aid in 2013-2014 by running Tough Mudder and the London Marathon and is now fundraising for Make A Wish by running the Great North Run in September 2015. Here, Rebecca shares her top fundraising tips and ideas for you to get organised…
Set up a personal online fundraising page
“I’ve always used JustGiving to host my fundraising efforts because it has the most easy to use functionality. For example, the web link to your fundraising page can be customised to make it memorable (e.g. I’ve got ‘RunForWishes’ for my Make A Wish page). Just Giving is also easy to share on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as email.
They offer TextGiving in conjunction with Vodafone to enable your supporters to send a donation via a text message by texting your unique six digit code and donation amount (up to £10) to 70070. The donation is then charged to the donator’s phone bill. Around a quarter of all my fundraising has been raised in this way because of the convenience of sending a text over typing in card details onto a web page, so it’s a great and easy way to fundraise!”
“I can’t stress this enough..! Here’s what you need to do…
– Post your fundraising link to social networks. It’s free and it’s quick! I picked up over £1000 in donations in 2014 just by posting my fundraising link to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram so it’s really valuable.
– Communicate your story. How are you training, why is it hard, are you having to stick to a special diet, why is that charity important to you? You will need to think about other things to post other than just your fundraising link. Lots of people fundraise online nowadays so unfortunately there’s lots of ‘competition’ for those donations so you have to ‘sell’ your story..!
Talk about your training. Your training is what’s going to part people with their cash, more so than the actual event, so communicate your efforts with pictures, posts about those early mornings or training milestones and maps of training runs (Nike+, Garmin, Map Your Run apps all have the functionality to share maps and run/ cycle data online). I bought my new running trainers from Neil at Sportlink last year, so I even posted a photo of the trainers online and tagged in Sportlink. There are so many opportunities and angles to tell your fundraising story! Don’t forget to add a link to your fundraising page and TextGiving code as a ‘Call to Action’.
– Take pictures! In the run up to the event, when you’re training, holding fundraising events or on event day, photos are a great way to tell your fundraising story and raise extra pounds online.
My boyfriend, Sven, ran the London Marathon this year for Make A Wish and on the day, I created a Facebook photo album (make it Public) with his JustGiving link and TextGiving code in the description, so whenever I posted photos of him at the startline, during the run (managed to chase him around London on the tracking phone app to spot him three times!) and at the finish line, his fundraising info would ping up alongside the pics. He tipped over the £3k fundraising mark on the day, so it’s good to have somebody to do this for you while you’re taking part in your event (unless you can run and tweet, which I haven’t quite mastered yet!)
As much as I would encourage taking photos to demonstrate how hard your training is to raise money, etc, definitely don’t post online any photos of lost toe nails from marathon running. Nobody wants to see that..!”
“More often than not, the actual event isn’t enough to raise the fundraising target, so you have to get creative to bring in those extra pounds. Here’s a few ideas…
– Auction Night In February 2014, I organised an auction in my local pub to raise money for Women’s Aid and asked local businesses to donate prizes: meals, hair products, flowers, personal training sessions, dance classes, hand made jewellery box, meat hampers, vouchers, boat trips on the Norfolk Broads, all sorts! Even my local MP donated tea for two on the terrace at Houses of Parliament which eventually raised £175 (thanks, Norman!) I promoted the event on social media and family, friends and locals came out in their droves to support me and bid for prizes. I ran a raffle and a tombola too to raise extra money on the night and told local press. All in all, I raised £1365 towards my £2,500 target.
– Bucket collection at your local supermarket (speak to the community manager to get permission). Sven and I raised over £400 for Make A Wish in the foyer at Morrisons in Cromer this year. We picked a day for good footfall (Valentine’s Day!) and printed heart shaped stickers for collection buckets on every checkout! We gave away Make A Wish balloons and stickers to children too!
– Bake Sale Host your own and ask family and friends to bake cakes or sell them for you too. Equally, they may have a great venue to host the sale (I have a cousin who works in a busy hair salon in Norwich and she hosted one for me – thanks, Ruth!)
– Car wash So this summer I’m going to hold a car wash in aid of Make A Wish and my helpers are going to be dressed as super heroes! I’ll keep you posted on how that one goes! Again, a little more creative and it’s fun!”
Run a Competition
“Local businesses are great for providing support (and prizes!) as an incentive for people to donate to your cause. I used to work for Sponge.co.uk in Holt and they’ve donated cakes before for me to give away. Set a closing date and say anyone who has donated up to that time will be added to the prize draw. Promote the company on your social networks with their logo, pictures of the prizes and that all important fundraising link.”
“Get in touch with press, especially local press, and tell them your story and all about your event. If they publish it in print or online, it’s great publicity for promoting the charity and your fundraising.”
Coordinate with the charity you’re raising money for
“Charities will send out newsletters and email campaigns and have websites and social networks which can all be used to promote your fundraising. Get in touch with the fundraising manager and ask if you can be featured.
– If you’re hosting a fundraising event, the charity will have balloons, banners, stickers, money pots that you can use. Give them enough notice to post them to you before the event.
– Make A Wish and Women’s Aid both supplied t-shirts for me to wear while I was training so I could promote the charity literally on the run!”
Say thank you
“Tell everyone after the event how much you raised, how the money will help your chosen charity and thank your donators (a really important one and often missed!)”
There are great other ‘knock-on’ effects besides the fund raising total for you personally. Many of our patients talk about how it has encouraged them to get fitter, given them a real focus to lose weight, meet new friends, think more carefully about their nutrition and just a general overall improvement of well being in their mental and physical self as well as the feel good factor in the knowing that you have helped your chosen charity. A great sense of achievement and a real win win all round!
Hopefully some of these ideas have provided additional inspiration and ways to help you in your fundraising efforts. There are fantastic individual physical and mental feats, achieved by many of our patients who push themselves, in their own way, to raise money for charity. To all of you out there that do so, and to all those who support them in their efforts, we admire and support you.
If you would like to ask Rebecca about her fundraising tips, you can click here to tweet her at: @rebeccarowe