Preparing for your event or challenge might seem like a leap, but sometimes fundraising poses the biggest hurdle of all. How can you encourage people to get behind you? Ella Brocklebank raised £11,000 for Pilgrims by taking on 13 challenges in memory of her dad. Here, she shares her top tips.
With celebrities scaling Everest or swimming the channel it can be particularly tough for ordinary people like you and me to generate interest. Even running a full marathon – a gruelling 26.2 miles – isn’t always enough to get people to part with their hard-earned cash, so you have to be bold!
1. Start early
The sooner you ask, the more opportunities you have to ask again (and again) for support before your event.
2. Set up a JustGiving page
Share this with everyone. It’s an easy way to collect money and means less hassle chasing up pledged donations after your event. If it makes it quicker and easier to donate, people are more likely to support you.
3. Get a main sponsor
Are you lucky enough to have an employer who will sponsor you a sizeable sum in return for advertising their logo on your vest, or mentions in press coverage or on your fundraising page? Or they may offer to match fund what you raise. If you don’t ask you’ll never know.
4. Harness the power of social media
Promote what you’re doing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to spread the word far and wide. Pilgrims are on Facebook @pilgrimshospices and Twitter @PilgrimsHospice; mention them in your posts so they can see and share for you.
5. Make it personal
If you’re fundraising for a particular reason (i.e. in memory of a loved one), share your story. A heartfelt plea gains great support.
6. Don’t be shy
Ask everyone you know to sponsor you and don’t be afraid to remind people who’ve made a pledge. People with busy lives need a little nudge!
7. Explore other avenues
Hold another event to support your main challenge, like a quiz, tea party, themed night, cake sale or charity raffle or auction. If you’re going to run a marathon, hold a ‘guess my time’ competition in your office or amongst friends and family; the closest guess gets a prize, and money raised goes towards your sponsorship target.
8. Ask local press or Pilgrims marketing team
See if they will run a story to raise awareness about your event or challenge; you’ll be surprised how many people this will reach if they do.
9. Gift Aid it
If people Gift Aid their donation an extra 28% goes to your chosen charity at no extra cost to them or to you.
10. Got a birthday coming up?
Ask for donations to your fundraising instead of gifts that you don’t really need.
11. Be positive
Positivity and enthusiasm are infectious; they make people want to support you. Chances are they would rather part with their cash than join you on the race track!