How to maximise your sponsorship potential as a charity runner
Top tips to get the most out of sponsorship
As a charity runner you are going to want to maximise the funds that you raise for your worthy cause. Here's your guide on how to get the most out your charity run through sponsorship.
Start seeking sponsorship early
Plan your approach to fundraising as much as you are planning your training. Know exactly what you plan to do and when. Always carry a sponsorship form with you.
Ask friends and family to help
Enlist as many family and friends to help seek sponsorship on your behalf. The more people out there the better, but try and get each to target different people.
Where is the money being spent by the charity?
Ensure you and your fundraising team are well informed and know all about the charity you are collecting sponsorship for. If you can be specific and tell them that '£2,000 feeds 200 kids for a month' then that will meet with a more generous response than a vague indication.
Use online sponsorship
There are plenty of providers of online sponsorship pages which take the hassle out of collecting money, and the best one to use is Virgin Money Giving. Unlike other sites, Virgin Money Giving is 100% not-for-profit and has been set up specifically to ensure that more of your sponsorship money goes to the charity you are raising funds for. It’s fast and easy to make your own personalised online sponsorship page and you'll be able to keep track of your sponsor donations and encouraging supporter messages, and even access your page on the go with their mobile site. Supporters can donate by credit or debit card, and their money goes directly to your chosen charity. What's even better, if you are in the UK, is that it's all tax-efficient – earning your charity more for each donation through Gift Aid.
Make your paper form easy for sponsors
Divide the sponsorship form into a table format with easy-to-fill-in sections for the sponsor’s name, address, telephone number and pledge amount. Try and get the first sponsor on page to give a high amount and then other will follow suit. The charity can reclaim Gift aid, which means they get 28 per cent back from the tax man, provided your sponsors have provided their full details and are UK taxpayers.
Face-to-face contact is best
While an email appeal sent round may get some response, approaching people face-to-face is better. It is more difficult for sponsors to say 'no' if you’re stood right in front of them. If you do email people, be sure to send them a link to your online sponsorship page.
Get sponsorship matched
At work, see if you can target managers who control budgets and ask if they will do some sort of matched fundraising e.g. for every pound you raise they will give 50p.
Increase your profile
Get out and meet as many potential sponsors as you can, and make sure you contact the local media to gain some publicity. Depending on where you work, it might be worth seeing if you can get some publicity in your company newsletter.