Once you have decided what you want to do to raise funds, make a list of your contacts and then invite them to support you, either by donating online or through sponsorship. The more personalised the approach, the more likely you are to get a response. Send out emails, add some images to show what you are doing.
Tell your friends and supporters, letting them know how much you are doing to ensure your event is a success, how many hours you are training and the sacrifices you will make in order to achieve your goal. If you are using sponsorship forms don’t forget to ask your supporters to complete the Gift Aid column as this will increase their donation by 25%.
Provided your activities are safe and within the law, there are many ways to raise funds. This could be your own personal activity, or one that involves other people. You might be challenging yourself to do something that you have never done before, like a Tandem Skydive, or abseiling down the side of a tall building. Make sure that any organised event you take part in has been approved by the local authority, has been awarded the necessary certificates of authorisation and has the relevant health and safety documents. We hope this advice will help you to identify and plan the activities that will achieve the best results for you.
If you work, you will no doubt be urging your colleagues, bosses and business associates to add their names to your sponsor form, but don’t let that stop you dreaming up other ways of persuading them to give you their support and donations!
You probably spend as much time with them as their own families and this puts you in a good position to know what kind of event they are most likely to support, e.g. a race night, quiz in the local pub, or a cake sale at work. Think about the activities they have supported enthusiastically in the past, before making your plans.
When are they most likely to support it – lunch time, after work or at the weekend?
How should you advertise your fundraising activities – email, intranet, poster, or a newsletter?
Some of the best ideas actually take the least time to organise, for example a dress down day or sweepstake guessing how long you will take to run the half marathon.
When you have exhausted your contacts for personal sponsorship you may want to consider approaching local businesses. Try and find out who the manager is, or establish the name of the key decision maker in the organisation. Speak to the individuals face to face if you can, or by phone, emailing should be the last resort as there is no guarantee it will be read.
Do not be tempted to plan an event before thinking about those who might support it. It is much easier to work the other way round and identify the people who might like to support you, than choose something to suit them.
Plan well ahead and check that the date does not clash with a local or national event or a crucial time in your training schedule! Recruit volunteers to help so that you are free to oversee the smooth running of the event.