Fundraising tips for charity runners — part 2

More tips to help you maximise your charity fundraising running potential

When you've made the decision that running for charity is your goal, it's important to know how to best achieve your fundraising target. Here's part 2 of our fundraising tips for charity runners.

Continuing with our fundraising tips, we've got some advice for those of you looking to maximise your fundraising. Here with part 2 we have plenty more tips on how to reach your sponsorship target, including: 'Creating your own sponsorship website', 'Being creative with your fundraising', 'Collecting the sponsorship money', and 'Helping your charity' during the fundraising process. (Check out part 1 of our charity fundraising guide.)

'Creating your own sponsorship website'

Use online sponsorship

Make the sponsorship process easier by creating a personalised online sponsorship page. It’s easy to create and costs you nothing. A good example is virginmoneygiving.com. This allows people who want to support you to donate by credit or debit card, so you don't need to handle any money at all.

Tell your friends about your fundraising efforts

Email friends and families a link to your fundraising page. Make sure this link goes to everyone who might sponsor you, and ask them to pass it on to anyone else that they think might know you or want to sponsor you. The internet makes it easier to cast the fundraising net wider. The internet is global, so aim to make your fundraising global.

Enlist support of local media

Make use of publicity in the local media to aid your fundraising. An article in a local paper, or an appeal on a local radio station, can give your fundraising a massive boost. Ensure the media publish or broadcast a link to your own webpage, so that readers and listeners can simply find you online and sponsor you direct. A good way of gaining some publicity is by sending out your own press release. Make use of the cause you are running for to gain maximum effect.

Email your supporters with updates on your progress

Let supporters know how your training is going and how much you've rasied so far. Let them know what a donation will buy for the charity so they have a firm indication of what their donation will buy. An update is a matter of courtesy for those who’ve already sponsored you, and it's also a reminder for those who haven’t done so yet.

Use your own email for seeking sponsorship

Familiarity with your own email system will allow you to set up groups and send more emails at once than you can via your sponsorship page. Also, many people on your mailing list may feel more comfortable opening an email that that comes directly from you.

Publicise your efforts on your email signature

On all your email accounts, add a link to your fundraising page to raise awareness of your efforts and ensure that every email you send out potentially could help generate a donation.

Get publicity on your workplace website or intranet

If your workplace has a company website or an internal intranet, see if they are prepared to add your site to its public website or private company intranet. Many companies are keen to promote charitable activities in the workplace, so you could en up with lots of extra donations from this.

'Being creative with your own fundraising'

Think creatively when fundraising

Clearly sponsorship will provide the bulk of the money you raise, but it isn't the only way to raise money. Coffee mornings, charity quiz nights, or even swear boxes are just a few ideas. Here are some more for you to consider:

Take some cakes or sweets into work

Take some cakes or sweets to work and leave an honesty box asking people to leave their donation. Make sure you remind them what it's for so they do actually leave some money.

Car boot sale

Clear out the clutter from your home and hold a car boot sale. Ask friends, family and colleagues if they have unwanted goods they can contribute too. If there's anything left over, you can always donate that to a charity shop.

Party on while raising funds

Tell everyone that you are holding a party with the intention of raising money. For a 'cover charge' , you  could include food and/or drink, but make sure you're going to end up with a good profit margin.

Sponsorship quiz nights

Organise a quiz night at your local pub/work’s canteen, and charge teams to enter. The winning team could win a percentange of the takings or you could have donated prizes as the reward for the winning team.

Hold a dress-down day

Hold a dress-down day at your place of work and ask everyone to donate money for the privilege of doing so. Alternatively, fancy dress could be another option.

Be a 'slave' for the day

Offer up your services to the highest bidder. Make yourself available for a day to do household chores in return for a decent sum of money.

Host a barbie or picnic

As as many friends, family and colleagues to come along and charge either a flat fee or per item fee for everything they consume.

Do some car washing

Have a car washing session. Drop flyers round to all your neighbours or colleagues at work to let them know you are having a car washing session. It will be a lot easier if you get some of your friends to assist you with this task.

'Collecting the money'

Plan your collecting

A little bit of planning in readiness for collecting your sponsorship will save you a huge amount of time and effort after the event and will undoubtedly raise your fundraising total.

Here are a few suggestions:

Collect sponsorship money as you go

If at all possible, try collecting the money as you go along, rather than having to re-trace your steps and collect all the money after the event. Many people will be happy to pay up front, even before you've done the event. 

Bank the money early

Sponsorship funds can usually be submitted to the charity before the race if you would prefer. The charity will bank any sponsorship money received and keep you advised of your running total. If you are fundraising over period of time, this money can also generate interest.

Post-dated cheques

Even though cheques are used less and less these days, some people may still wish to pay you by post-dated cheque, on the understanding that you promise to sponsors that they won’t be cashed if you can’t compete. Thankfully, most people will be happy for their donation to stand irrespective of whether you finish the race or not.

Build-up a mailing list

You’ll want to write to all your supporters once you have completed the race to thank them — and they’ll want to know how you got on, so compile a list  as you go. 

'Help your charity'

Make cheques payable to the charity

Cheques can be made payable to you, but it is far simpler if cheques are made payable to your chosen charity from the outset. Some sponsors may prefer to make their cheques payable to the charity anyway.

Avoid sending cash

If you collect cash, it would be very helpful if you could bank the money yourself and then do a bank transfer to the charity or issue your own cheque.

Simplify sponsor administration

If you do send donations in early to your chosen charity, it is important for them to know who the sponsorship is from — particularly if you are forwarding your own personal cheque to them.

Keep your run sponsorship forms safe!

In order to make an Gift Aid claims for sponsorship completed on a paper form, your charity will need you to provide them, so keep them safe.

And finally … Be proud of your running efforts

In a cynical world you are actually doing something to make a difference, so it's something to be proud of rather than approaching your sponsors with trepidation. When you’ve finished your event, be proud, and then start collecting in the money.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Always check with your chosen charity with regards to any of the above suggestions before going ahead. Each charity will have their own fundraising policies governed within certain laws.

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Know everything there is to know about fundraising but don't have an event to compete it? Check out our charity challenges section to find a challenge to fuel your fundraising efforts.

Comments (1)

  • andyjogger2011 'I've come up with a really easy and win-win way to raise money. I approached a brand that really helped me in my training and asked them to sponsor me for every person i got to like their page on facebook! http://www.avogel.co.uk/outward-bound All it takes is some courage to call someone up, but it's a great idea and alternative to asking friends and family too much!'

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