How To Raise £1000+ ($1600+) for Charity
This post covers my journey from being lost and worried about raising cash for charity (minimum £750) – to meeting then beating my target. Hopefully someone else will find it useful.
In your time as an up and coming athlete or weekend warrior, you’ll get the chance to combine some of the most exciting physical challenges with raising money for a good cause.
One such opportunity came through my work charity partner (Teenage Cancer Trust). They devised a grueling race over 2 days of a 9 mile canoe, a 15 mile bike ride and 18 mile hike in Wales. All this in just 24 hours, in teams of 6 people – with the team accumulating the most points being the winner.
The minimum fund raising target was £750. I decided to sign up first and worry about the fund raising part later. But about 10 minutes later I was worried! With no prior fund raising experience, it all seemed a little daunting…
But… I made it. Here were the methods I used:
While obvious, it is the first thing you need to get out of the way to get started. Depending on what you say on your online donation page, it can also be time consuming. So don’t leave this to the last minute, or I promise you will procrastinate your fund raising.
Here was the page I made for the fundraising:
If you are racing in a team, you should also make a team page so you can raise money as a team. Team page: http://justgiving.com/namuk
Make a viral video
The video (below) was sent with any social network updates where I asked for donations. The video was a really worthwhile exercise because it got my friends talking to me about my challenge , it was a laugh to make and helped a good mate polish his video filing and editing skills. I sent it to Teenage Cancer Trust during the quiet Christmas period to give them a laugh (who ended up using it in presentations to Nomura as well as other companies they worked with). Giving me my 15 minutes of fame… I’d say the video contributed to the majority of donations.
Emphasise that all money goes to charity and not your costs
Make it 100% clear that no money goes towards the costs of your challenge and that every penny goes directly to the charity.
Arranged a meeting with members of the charity
This gave me ideas about what other teams/individuals were doing to raise money. Nothing like a bit of plagiarism to get things moving.
Told my friends about the physical training/pain
After flogging the video until it was a dead horse, the other appeal that seemed to raise the most money, was writing about the summary of the training I had been doing on Twitter and my Facebook status. Here’s an example:
100km cycled, 30km canoed, 20k run in preparation for the Nomura Challenge so far. Its for a great cause, please donate at http://justgiving.com/chrishalfpenny
I didn’t try this (but it probably would have worked).
Corporate Jeans Days
Speak to a boss about letting staff dress down on a Friday for Charity. Its hard for them to say no (and everyone looks great in jeans).
Corporate donation matching
Some companies will match the donations you make to charity. In my case Nomura matched a £500 and bought some equipment for us. This took our team of 6′s fund raising to nearly £10,000. Result.
You wouldn’t believe how well these work. Get people to give you something for charity and do a raffle (bottles of whiskey, luxury stationary, Champagne, Hampers) . Try it with your sports teams and work colleges, or maybe do it in a sweep-stake format.
Experienced bakers at work took pity on us and baked cakes etc then put them on offer in exchange for a donation. The most successful cake sale was on Valentines day with a fixed costs list for the cakes.
How others raised large sums of cash
One team raised THOUSANDS OF POUNDS over 2 days with a sponsored head shave. Initially one team member shaved his hair in the middle of his office (in the middle of a trade floor no less) and also got support in from senior management that if people raised over a certain amount, they would shave their heads too. Needless to say, overnight, the donations went through the roof.
Whatever you do, watch this inspiring video by Taylor Conroy, where he talks about raising serious sums of cash to build schools in Kenya.
In my paranoia of not raising the cash, I learned some decent lessons for first time fund raising, mainly start as early as possible. I also learned that asking people 5 times is the magic number for them to donate. In the challenge, we came 4th out of 13 teams and all had a great time. The sponsorship video won critical acclaim
and an oscar and a bottle of champagne from Teenage Cancer Trust in the awards ceremony. If you’re thinking of signing up to do a big challenge and are worried about the fund raising, you’re probably being more paranoid then you think. Stretch yourself!