As a registered charity, we’re setting the participants of this year’s journey the challenge of fundraising a £250 contribution towards their place. We’ve pulled together this blog post to give some ideas that will hopefully get you into a positive mindset to raise money, whether you are one of our participants or not!
Fundraising for the first time can be daunting and you might be looking at the figure that you have to raise, not imagining that you could ever reach it. Or perhaps you’ve fundraised before and you feel that you can’t ask your friends and family for money again. Fear not. We are here with some tips and advice to help you develop your own personal approach to fundraising – not everyone can bake in order to hold a charity bake sale and not everyone wants to run a marathon!
Before we go into tried and tested fundraising ideas, here are some things you might like to think about before getting started:
- Create a fundraising notebook
Whilst fundraising you will be coming up with ideas, planning, brainstorming and organising. Pulling things together requires you to visualise and map out the ways you will reach your target. Therefore it’s important to buy a small notebook and carry it around with you. It means that fundraising will be on your mind and any ideas you come up with you can write them straight down.
- Map out your networks
One of the most important things to think about and ways of maximising the amount you can raise is thinking through the networks that you have available to you. Start with drawing a spider diagram. In the centre write NETWORKS and then off this write the networks you have eg. Work colleagues, family, uni friends, home friends, church group, sports group etc. From this first tier of networks, add any others that branch off from these eg. From family you can add – Mum’s work colleagues, Dad’s group of friends, Sister’s boyfriend who’s a DJ, etc. Who do you know and who do they know that might be of help whilst fundraising?
Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance
Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance
Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance…etc….
However you want to say it, do not underestimate the importance of planning. The further ahead you plan the more likely it is that you can reach your target in time. Planning and scheduling in events or activities over a set period of time gives you more freedom. For example, if you spend a month planning for one event and it doesn’t go as well as planned, then you have put yourself at a disadvantage by having to then plan another event from scratch. The key is to plan as many events as you can in order to always have the ball rolling with your fundraising.
- Break it down
You may look at the total that you have to raise and feel daunted and doubtful that you could raise it. You might just be picturing that amount of money sitting in front of you on a table. How on earth could I get that amount of money from anywhere?! It’s important to breakdown your total into smaller, more manageable amounts. View your fundraising in bitesize chunks. You could set the target as £100 for each fundraising event for example £100 from friends and family, £50 through a number of cake sales at work, £150 from a pub quiz etc. Unless you’re lucky enough to have someone hand over the full amount, it’s going to have to be a series of small events and activities that will steadily get your total increasing.
- Have fun
As mentioned earlier, you might not want to run a marathon or you bake terrible cakes. So don’t. Can you use your strengths with your fundraising? This will make you more positive about raising money and more interested in what you are doing.
Some people hate the thought of standing in a supermarket packing bags for charity, other people love interacting with the public and would feel confident that they could make it a success.
- Don’t be shy!
Busy people can be forgetful so they might need a few polite reminders to make a pledge, don’t be shy about reminding them! Remember a single post on Facebook won’t be seen by all your friends, so you need to post regularly and at different times of the day to reach different people or giving them a gentle reminder.
Now for the fundraising ideas…
We’ve listed lots of tried and tested ideas below. Some will work for you, whilst others won’t, so have a think about those which are most relevant and achievable.
- Just ask
First things first, set up your own personal fundraising page so you can send it out to friends and family. You will need to include some information about what you’ll be doing and you should personalise it by adding details about why this experience and cause is important to you. Once you’ve set up your page and personalised it with your story and some pictures, you can start sharing the link on social media, via whatsapp and in emails to family members and friends. We recommend always sending a personalised message along with the link!
- Host an event
Pub quiz, poker night, clothes swap, international night, BBQ, fundraising dinner, film night, cocktail party, charity club night, wine tasting night, games evening… there are a lot of ideas to pick from!
- Get friends and family to help
What networks do your friends and family have? Could they organise an event with their friends – wine and cheese night, dinner party? Could they help you to fundraise through their hobbies – golf day, zumbathon?
- Do something at work/Uni
Cake sale, dress down day, you in fancy dress for the day, sponsored silence, dress down day, sports tournament. Put some thought into how you can you get the people you see everyday involved in helping you achieve your fundraising goal?
- Have a clear out and sell your unwanted items
We all have things lying around that we’ve been meaning to sell or give away to charity. This is the perfect chance to have that clear out whilst also adding to your fundraising. You could sell stuff online, or if you have a lot of stuff to sell, why not look into car-boot sales in your local area? This website will help you find one nearby: www.carbootsales.org.
- Call in favours
Have you contributed to someone else’s fundraising page in the past? Chances are they will be happy to return the favour. Don’t worry if you haven’t spoken to them for a while–use your fundraiser as an excuse to get back in touch and update them on what you’re up to!
- Via a blog
Do you currently write a blog? Or do you plan to write one whilst you’re taking part in the experience you are raising funds for? You could start it early and encourage people to donate via the blog and keep them updating with how you are getting on with both your fundraising target and in preparation for the event itself.
- Give it up
How much money could you put towards your fundraising if you gave up that cup of coffee a day? How much would you save if you walked part of the way to work or uni? Pick something that drains your finances and give it up until you reach your target. You’ll be surprised how much it will add up and boost your fundraising!
- Funding from Foundations and community groups
You may not know this, but there are local groups in your area that give money to local causes. We advise you to contact your local Lion’s, Rotary and Women’s Institute group and let them know what you’re doing to see if they can support you.
We hope this post has given you some new ideas and the confidence to tackle your challenge, however big or small! If you have another great idea that we’ve not included here, why not leave a comment below and pass on your knowledge!