What’s harder, running a marathon or fundraising for one?
Perhaps the latter. After a week of work and training, raising money is the last thing on your mind. But there are funds to be had. In 2014 the UK was ranked eighth (out of 130) on the World Giving Index and we gave £10.6 billion to good causes. Sponsorship was the third most popular way to give (after direct donations and donated items). Take a dose of Born to Run (the song AND the book) as inspiration, and digest these simple tips for fundraising glory.
The number one reason people give is because they were asked. Start with your family, friends and colleagues. Kicking things off with a few chunky pledges (the average in 2014 was £10) from your nearest and dearest will influence subsequent donor behaviour.
2. Make it personal
Tell your story. Why do you want to run the length of 400 football pitches? How are you finding the training? Why is the cause important to you? Be funny, be honest. Take people on your journey with regular updates.
3. Use technology
Digital platforms can help you reach more people than ever before. But reaching them isn’t enough. You need impact. Refer to the previous tip. Take time to make your page and posts unique to you. Videos and pictures are even more powerful than words.
4. Go offline
Charitable giving was around long before social media. Many older people are not online (only 15% of donors gave online in 2014) and the most popular method of donating is still cash (55% of donors used this method). Arrange to meet face to face: it’s much harder to say no in person!
5. Demonstrate impact
Donors are primarily supporting you but that doesn’t mean the cause is not important. Understanding exactly how a donation will help is a strong incentive to give. Also, think who in your circle shares an interest in the charity, then make a personal approach.
6. Bring people together
Put the fun back in fundraising (groan). Where there are good vibes the feeling of obligation is removed. Give your friends a great time in exchange for their donation by hosting a movie night or dinner party.
7. Strength in numbers
Marathon fundraising teams raise on average 10% more than individuals. Training and fundraising partners are good for morale.
As race day approaches you’ll have your plate full so ask a family member to manage your fundraising for you. They can send and answer emails, and upload new photos and videos.
9. Say thanks
The post-race high will inevitably be followed by a low. But that’s no reason to forget your fundraising. Let everyone know how you got on and thank them for their support. Up to 20% of donations are made after the event so this is more than just politeness.
10. Get inspired
By Steve Chalke. In 2011 he entered the Guinness Book of Records with the highest amount ever raised by a single marathon runner: £2,330,159.38. It can be done.
Lucy Witt, Senior Consultant – Claremont Communications
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