Fundraising

Five steps to fundraising for your challenge: Whether this is your very first fundraising challenge event or you’re a seasoned trekker, cyclist or mountain climber, follow the 5 steps below to help you raise as much as possible for your chosen charity.

1. Choose a charity that’s close to your heart or that of a good friend or family member or a cause that you strongly believe in. You will be more motivated to crack on with your fundraising and you will find the whole fundraising process so much easier and rewarding. Break down your fundraising target and set yourself mini-financial milestones and the pathway of how you’re going to reach them. It’s far less daunting than the big figure.

2. Set up an online fundraising page through the well renowned providers of Justgiving, Virgin Money Giving or Everyday Hero. Each system is user friendly and provides step-by-step guides on how to set up your page. It’s a fast and secure way to donate, and you don’t need to handle any money as these providers send the fundraised monies straight to your charity. Remember to personalise your page with your story and photos!

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Key tips when setting up your page to help boost your fundraising potential:

  • Tell your compelling story as to why you are fundraising for your chosen charity. People will be much more interested if they know your connection and motivations
  • Briefly explain why you are doing the challenge and highlight any key areas which will motivate people to sponsor you ie. lack of toilet facilities, no showers, the heat, the cold, camping etc
  • Tell people what your fundraising target is and what their contribution will help achieve for your charity
  • Treat your fundraising page like a blog by adding updates, photos and progress reports whenever you can
  • Communication is key. Send an email or pop up a Facebook post when you’ve updated your page, to let everyone know there are new things to see. People who have already sponsored you will be interested in how you’re getting on, and it’s a reminder for those who didn’t sponsor you the first time around to make a donation
  • Whilst you are building up to an incredible challenge, your fundraising forms part of your journey. Bring your family and friends on this journey with you and upload photos and footage of you training for your event. Images of you getting outside when it’s cold, dark, raining, before work or at weekends will really demonstrate your commitment to the cause and people will be inspired by that.

 

3. Spread the word through social media and add it to your email signature plus ask your family and friends to do the same for you. Social media offers you a great way to promote your online page and the huge challenge that lies ahead for you. Not only is it quick and easy to use, it can get your message out to a large audience of potential sponsors. Remember to use all platforms too – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Google +, Blogs. Plus make sure you send an email or pop up a post just before you depart on your challenge – take a photo of your kit bag or the plane as it’s just another reminder for people to sponsor you. Some interesting stats for you – on average, a fundraiser will share their online fundraising page on social media twice a month and 50% of donations on Justgiving come directly from Facebook referrals (March 2015).

4. Even more ways to help boost your fundraising ‘offline’ which you can update on your online fundraising page with.

  • At work – cake sale (especially around the time of the Great British Bake Off), guess how many sweets are in the jar, Grand National sweepstake, any World Cup sweepstake, hold a coffee morning, wear jeans to work day for £2 etc. Check with your employer for permission and whether they offer a matched giving scheme i.e. if you raise £500 for your charity, they will match it.
  • Socially – hold a Ball, have dinner i.e. at a local Indian restaurant (or a restaurant of the country you are visiting on your challenge), have a car boot sale, brave the shave and shave your head, hold a pub quiz, organise a raffle, go sober for a month (ideal for your training) etc.

5. Thank your sponsors. Once you’ve returned from your amazing challenge, upload your photos and footage to social media and your online fundraising page with a brief description of how your challenge went. Send a personal email to all your sponsors thanking them for their support. Plus pop up a post on all social media platforms with your photos and your online fundraising page link as a friendly reminder that people can still sponsor you. Outline some ‘challenging’ encounters that you faced on your event to help encourage more sponsorship and add a thank you note too. If you are still short of your fundraising target, mention this on your post that you only need £X to hit your target.

Good luck with your fundraising. It’s a significant part of the challenge and if you raise most of your sponsorship before the event, it will make the challenge that much more gratifying. You should be proud of what you are undertaking and the difference you are making for your chosen charity.

Fitness training

Fitness Training

Before you start - Do not underestimate the importance of training before your challenge. Even if you are active and exercise regularly, it's good to adapt your training towards your chosen challenge activity. This is vital in building strength, cardiovascular stamina and muscle endurance for the challenge ahead.

We provide plenty of additional information and guidance in your personalised login area, including warm up, stretching, cardiovascular training, exercise intensity, cross training, resistance (weight) training, cool down and the hazards of over-training.

We recommend you seek advice from a fitness professional, so as to develop a programme tailored to your needs, lifestyle and fitness level. Besides specifying the types of exercise, duration and intensity you need, a good trainer can also advise you on nutrition and diet.

Training principles - At the beginning of any training programme it's always a good idea to establish your fitness objectives and goals. These should be realistic and achievable, but definitely challenging. Aiming too high will set you up for a failure, which could dent your enthusiasm for the challenge. It's equally important not to overdo it and injure yourself. Review your objectives every couple of weeks to ensure you are still pushing yourself and adjust your programme where necessary.

Start your training programme as far in advance of your challenge as possible. We recommend a lead-time of at least 16 weeks prior to departure, but obviously this is not always possible so do your best to start as soon as you can. This will allow you time to build up your fitness level gradually, thereby reducing the risk of injury.

Training weekends - If you would like to get a feel for our challenges ahead of your departure, consider booking a training weekend. Running from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon, these take place in national parks across Britain and are led by highly qualified and experienced expedition and mountain leaders.

Weekends comprise of several treks or rides to monitor fitness levels, as well as informative talks on clothing and equipment, expedition health and wellbeing, trekking skills, basic outdoors first aid advice and techniques, walking techniques and teamwork.

The training weekends are a fantastic opportunity to meet people in the Great Outdoors, share fundraising stories and gain valuable advice and support for the challenge ahead.

Top tips - The Charity Challenge team is always on hand to advise and support you in preparation for your upcoming expedition, but in the meantime here are some top tips:

  • Get up an hour earlier for a brisk walk before work – or even consider walking to work, where possible.
  • If you commute to work, get off the bus or train a couple of stops early and finish your journey by walking.
  • Walk or exercise during lunch breaks.
  • Take the stairs instead of the lift – and stick at it.
  • Cross training such as swimming, squash, badminton, cycling is great for upping your fitness level.
  • Walk as much as possible in 'real' hiking conditions, being sure to wear your rucksack and boots.
  • Join one of our invaluable training weekends.
 

Travel

 

Before your trip - We will help you prepare for the more formal side of the challenge administration which covers the entry requirements such as flight tickets, passport and visa requiremens, and health formalities which in some cases is a pre-requirement to enter the country. Its essential to get this right otherwise you could be denied entry to your destination country.

Travel tips - Part of the enjoyment of overseas travel is experiencing a different way of life and different cultures but it can also mean experiencing different levels of safety and hygiene than you are normally used to. We therefore provide you with some detailed support info in your login area that covers a multitude of risk management advice including FCO Travel Advice and specific tips on Health, Travel, Accommodation, Food and Personal Safety.

 

Insurance - We provide a comprehensive policy which covers – among other things – medical (emergency, evacuation and repatriation) arrangements, cancellation and curtailment and cover for specific adventurous activities.

Visas

Visa - We provide advice on any potential visa requirements for British Citizens in the Tour Info section of your challenge. Please apply for your visa in plenty of time before departure to avoid a last-minute panic.

Tickets

Tickets - Where your challenge includes flights, we will issue your tickets at the UK departure airport. Check the return flights match up with the details you have and notify our staff of any discrepancies.

Passport

Passport - Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the end of your challenge. If it isn't, you may be refused entry to the country you are visiting. If you need to renew your passport, please allow plenty of time.

 

Health

Travelling to new climates and exposing yourself to extreme exertion and high altitude can takes its toll, so its vital to look after your health from the moment you sign up.

We provide comprehensive guidance and advice in your login area, in order to ensure you are fit for your chosen expedition. The likelihood of serious problems is minimised when youre well prepared.

General Medical

Heat – Beware of dehydration and heat-related conditions, especially when exerting yourself. Drink three to four litres of water per day. Add extra salt to your food and use electrolyte solutions if dehydrated.

Sunburn / sun damage - Sunburn is distressing and can have long-term effects, including skin cancer and premature skin ageing. To avoid it, wear a hat, use 50+ sunscreen and wear 100% ultra violet glasses.

Insect borne diseases - Biting insects can spread disease, including malaria. Use anti-bug sprays, preferably containing DEET and cover up at dusk and in wet weather.

Here are a few further tips to staying healthy:

  • Wash hands thoroughly after going to the toilet, before handling food or eating.
  • Carry anti-bacterial hand gel.
  • Stick with bottled water and avoid ice unless you are sure it is made from treated water.
  • Eat freshly cooked food, and ensure it is piping hot.
Protection

We provide guidelines on the vaccinations and malaria protection needed (if applicable) for all of our challenges. Please refer to the Tour Info for your challenge. These are broad outlines and you should consult your GP or travel health clinic at least two months prior to departure for further advice. Some vaccinations cannot be given at the same time and some take time to be effective. For example, immunisation against Hepatitis B can take six months to give full protection.

See your doctor even if you are going at short notice, as some protection may be better than none at all. Some immunisations are free on the NHS. For others, there may be a charge. If you need anti-malaria medication, your doctor will advise on which is most appropriate. Some anti-malaria tablets are available from pharmacists without a prescription.

High altitude

Many of our challenges take place at high altitude. Healthy people may travel to altitudes up and above the height of Kilimanjaro (5,895m) as long as they are properly acclimatised. If you are not acclimatised, you could suffer from hypoxia, which means a lack of oxygen. As you ascend you will notice an increase in pulse rate and breathing rate as your body works harder to get available oxygen to the muscles.

All our high altitude challenges are graded as 'extreme'. When designing our itineraries, we ensure that we provide adequate time to acclimatise so that the majority of healthy participants can function unhindered. Sufficient acclimatisation is imperative so as to avoid illness when at altitude. Check in to your login area for more detailed advice and guidance, as well as videos and support on how to reduce the impact of high altitude.

 

Equipment and clothing

It is important to make sure you have the right clothing and equipment for your challenge. The right kit, such as rucksacks and walking poles, can have a big impact on your overall experience it makes sense to shop carefully. Charity Challenge will provide you with a detailed kit list, including everything you might need – from bags to boots and sunscreen to sleeping bags.

Buy

Buy - We know that good challenge kit doesn’t come cheap and shopping around can be time consuming. So we’ve teamed up with The Outdoor Shop to help you get the best possible kit at great value. You’ll find some items with as much as 30% off the recommended retail price. Check out the Clothing Equipment section in your login area for videos, guidance and advice on choosing the right gear.

Hire

Hire – If you’re concerned about cost and feel your chosen challenge may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, then consider hiring some of the more expensive items. We have teamed up with equipment hire specialists Outdoorhire, to offer you a range of quality kit, perfectly tailored to your challenge. As a Charity Challenge participant, you will be eligible for a discount.

Discount

Discount – As a Charity Challenge participant, you will get discount at a wide range of clothing and equipment suppliers including The Outdoor Shop, Outdoorhire, Cotswold Outdoors, Nomad Travel Store and Clinics and Hire Fitness. You will find the discount codes to use in your login area and if you have travelled with us before, you’ll get an even more generous discount!

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BELIEVE >> ACHIEVE >> INSPIRE

ATOL protected

We hold an Air Travel Organiser's Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 6546. Many of the flight-inclusive challenges on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. This ATOL protection only covers challenges that include flights booked by Charity Challenge and that originate in the UK. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate

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