Running The Big Half for charity but not sure where to start your fundraising journey? Never fear, we’ve put together 13.1 tips to help set you on your way to your goal…
Set up your fundraising page
There’s no time like the present, and it’s important to get your online fundraising page set up as early as possible.
Set your target
Make sure you set a fundraising target and display it for all potential donators to see. Research has shown that fundraisers who set a target on their e-giving page for the London Marathon raised on average £1,495, compared to an average of £914 raised by those who did not share their goal. So state your target and get set for fundraising success!
Personalise your page
Your online fundraising page is your opportunity to share your story. Let people know why you’re running The Big Half and write about your personal connection to the charity you’re running for. And don’t forget to include your photo: London Marathon participants who uploaded a photo on their page raised a staggering 123 per cent more than those who did not.
Thanks to social media, it has never been easier to reach out to people all over the world. Harness the power of Facebook, Twitter or Instagram by sharing your fundraising page with your friends, family and followers and keep them updated on your training progress with regular updates.
Signed, sealed, delivered
Even if you’re not planning to send a string of emails about your training progress to your contacts list, you can make people aware of your fundraising efforts regularly by adding a link to your page to your email signature with a short note explaining the you’re running The Big Half to raise funds for your chosen charity.
Word of mouth
You can reach lots of people online, but there’s no substitute for sharing your genuine enthusiasm with someone in person, so make sure everyone you meet knows you’re running The Big Half for charity and why your chosen cause is close to your heart. Then, the next time they see one of your online posts, they might be encouraged to give generously.
Host an event
If you’re not comfortable with asking friends and family to give up their hard-earned money, why not offer them something in return? Fundraisers have struck up agreements with a variety of venues in the past to host pub quizzes, curry nights and concerts all in the name of raising awareness – and money – for the cause.
There are some fundraising classics you can always rely on to get the donations coming in. Bake sales are perennially popular – who doesn’t love a sweet treat? – while raffling off prizes, perhaps donated by the company you work for or other local businesses, can be handy money-spinners. Your colleagues might also be willing to pay a small fee for a dress-down day if your workplace approves.
Get to work
You might not want to ‘spam’ your colleagues with email after email, but there are other things you can do in the office to give your fundraising a boost. Put a note up on the noticeboard in the staff canteen detailing your efforts, and ask if you can leave a collection bucket in reception. Or, take inspiration from the Grand National and run a sweepstake at work, taking guesses on your finishing time in exchange for a donation.
Time your approach
Consider the timing of your online pleas for donations. Fundraisers in the TCS London Marathon have reported that sending emails on a Monday morning – with everyone putting off the return to ‘work mode’ after the weekend – brought positive results, while posting updates on social media on Thursday and Friday night, with revellers at their most merry and feeling warm and generous, also proved beneficial.
Rise to the challenge
Why not accept some challenges to spice up Event Day for your donators? Some people might be more encouraged to give if, for example, you pledge to get around The Big Half in a certain time – just make sure it’s an achievable time! You could also offer to shave your head, grow a moustache, paint your face or wear fancy dress for the big day. Remember, it’s all for a good cause!
Event Day raising
The fundraising doesn’t have to stop on Event Day while you’re busy running the event. Offer local companies the chance to sponsor your running vest and try to get your picture wearing the vest in the local paper. Or, if you’re planning on listening to music as you run The Big Half, ask your friends and family to make suggestions for your running playlist for a donation.
Ask your loved ones to bang the drum on social media during The Big Half – they could even post live updates on your progress if they’re coming to watch. Get them to post photos and video of you on social media as you run around the course, always linking to that all-important fundraising page.
13.1: Keep going
Your race may be run, but you can keep the donations coming after The Big Half by sharing your achievements with your friends and family, whether it’s in person, by email or on social media. Keep directing people to your fundraising page even if you’ve already smashed your target and you could keep the money rolling in for your cause long after Event Day.
However you choose to raise money for your chosen charity, good luck reaching your target and we hope you have a great day at The Big Half!