For a surprisingly large number of our challengers, it is not the thought of cycling for days on end, or trekking for over 8 hours a day or even summiting a volcano that makes them quake in their boots. Instead, it’s the rather terrifying notion of fundraising enough money to meet their sponsorship target!
To provide a helping hand, we have a page on our website dedicated to fundraising, and also an ‘A-Z of Fundraising Ideas’ document. But we understand that the very best fundraising tips are ones that come first hand, and tried and tested by someone walking the same footsteps as you. So, with help from some of our Charity Challenger Facebook friends, we’ve put together a list of 10 top ways to fundraise big money for your charity.
1) Get in touch with your Charity
It is as much in their interest as yours that you do well with your fundraising, so your charity will be more than happy to give you advice and ideas about how to go about your fundraising, and provide you with any necessary or official documentation you may need to get started.
2) Set up a fundraising page online:
The first real step of your fundraising campaign is to set up a means whereby money can donated to your charity in reference to your cause. For many the simplest way to do this is to set up an online fundraising page at sites such as Justgiving, Everyclick and Virgin Money Giving. Using this page, your friends, family and well wishers can donate to your cause with minimum hassle.
3) Get the word out
Now that your fundraising page is set up, make sure people know about it. Email your page’s link around to everyone you know, put up a link as your Facebook status, tweet about, etc. Don’t be shy with this, taking on a challenge of a lifetime and raising money and awareness for a deserving charity is about the most interesting thing you could be doing and people will want to hear about it, and more than likely will want to donate as well! Don’t stop at friends and family, get in touch with your local paper and publications as well, your challenge will make an excellent story for them and get your cause some great publicity.
4) Get Family and friends involved
According to our recent Dog Sledding challenger Siân Gillham the key is ”Delegate, delegate, delegate! Get your friends and family to help you, its hard work on your own.” And she’s quite right, raising sponsorship money can be a daunting prospect, so get your friends and family involved in braining storming fundraising ideas and helping you out with the groundwork. After all, charity and fundraising is all about putting time and money aside to help people out. Escambray Encounter Challenger Susan Carroll was even able to combine fundraising with socialising – “When I was fundraising for a challenge, I held a dinner party called wine, dine and donate, everybody who came brought a dish and donated a tenner”.
5) Approach Local businesses
This is an aspect of fundraising that unnerves quite a lot of people, but it really is worth conquering those nerves and remembering that the worse they can do is say no! Charity challenger Kate Jones recommends visiting the all your local shops, “my sisters and I go around our local shops asking if they’d like to donate anything for our fundraising night for st davids hospice. We usually get quite bit!” As it will help give them a good reputation and a bit of publicity, businesses will likely be willing to do something to help you with your fundraising campaign, such as give you items to use to raffle prizes, or let you rent out a space for an event free of charge etc. Getting in touch with local organisation worked really well for upcoming Trek to The Home of the Dalai Lama Challenger Shauna Mullan – “I sent out letters requesting bag packs to all the usual stores & got a lot of support from smaller branches of M&S/tesco.”
6) Sell stuff
Sometimes you don’t need to look further than your own attic to find a way to raise your minimum sponsorship. So why not do a bit of spring cleaning and put aside some items that you wouldn’t mind parting with. It’s surprising just how much money you can bring in by selling your stuff on ebay or by spending a couple of early mornings at your local Car boot sale.
7) Organise an event
A great way to fundraise a substantial amount of money is to set up a special event, and the sky’s the limit with what you can do! Challenger Shauna Mullan arranged a Teddy Bears picnic and got her daughters school involved. Veteran Charity Challenger Jo Buckett organised Race nights (an evening watching video of horse racing, plus betting), pub quizzes are a classic and ‘Zumbathons’ are apparently all the range right now, challenger Marion Baker Was Dance even had the creative idea of setting up and selling tickets for a paranormal ghost hunt! Organising events such as these can be hard work, but they are great fun and can help you raise lots of money and awareness for your charity!
8) Every little helps
For those of you who just don’t have the time to arrange big events, there are lots of lower key everyday things you do. For challenge veteran Jo Berridge cake baking worked a treat; “I made cakes and took them to work and then conveniently left a sponsorship form next to them. I didn’t ask for donations/sponsorship in exchange for cake but everyone just assumed that was the deal and I raised almost £200! No effort involved other than baking the cakes”. You won’t always raise big money, but it all helps and takes you that one step closer to your fundraising target.
9) Think big
Don’t be afraid to be think big with regards to your fundraising, Etna Volcanic Adventure Challenger Rob Sharp wrote to big corporations and a couple of celebrities in his quest for sponsorship, which paid off with a very exciting and mysterious £500 anonymous donation. Don’t be shy of thinking outside the box either. Great Wall Discovery challenger Emma Stanford had an inspired idea. “We put together a special Cook book! We collected recipes from family, friends,Gary Rhodes and phil vickery. Had our local craft centre for adults with disabilities do the art work. Found a local printer who printed 300 books for free. Sold them all for £3.95 each. Even got some signed by phil and Gary!”
10) Embrace it
Fundraising as much as you can for your charity is as much part of the charity challenge experience as the challenge itself. So embrace and enjoy it! You may have to take yourself out of your comfort zone and do things you never thought you would or could do, but going above and beyond and achieving something that will not only change your life, but also the doubtless hundreds of lives that your charity effects, is what charity challenge is all about! So work hard for your fundraising and be proud of what you raise.
We hope you found this article useful! To learn more about all our charity challenges, Please visit our website at www.charitychallenge.com and to keep up to date on all our challenge news, subscribe to this blog by clicking on the orange RSS button, you can also enter your email address into the adjacent box to subscribe to our mailing list.