So you need to raise £1000? and you need some help? Fortunately there are probably a thousand ways to raise that thousand pounds, but some work better than others. You could pick 100 people who are your 'friends' on the Facebook and pester them relentlessly until they each give you ten English pounds, you could sell your blood and sperm, or you could do something a bit more fun. Here is a bit of help taking the pain and tedium out of fundraising.
People will want to know why they should sponsor you, so you'll need to tell them what you are doing, why you are doing it, who the charity is, how they will spend the money and who will benefit. The more you know about the awesome cause you are supporting, the more convincing you will be to potential donors. Remember to keep the charity informed of your efforts and ask them for any help you need. They may provide you with leaflets explaining what they do and how your sponsorship will be used. The charity may also be able to help with further fundraising ideas.
Play the Numbers Game
Ask as many people as possible because it is often the people who you least expect to support you who will surprise you with a fat wedge. Plan a target group - think of everyone you know, friends, family, work colleagues, and make a list. Put your request for sponsorship in writing, and always personalise it if you know the person well enough - never use Dear Sir/Madam. Let them know exactly why they should support you. Explain who are you going to be helping and why.
If you have a personal link to the charity, give some details. Include some information to show how the money that this particular charity has received in the past has helped specific cases. Make sure you include details of your fundraising profile on JustGiving.com. See the user pack on the site to find out your team specific URL that you can send out to the world.
The fewer the obstacles in their way, the more likely you are to receive a positive response. Where possible, offer something in return.
Don't randomly send letters asking for money, you'll rarely get a response, let alone any money. Instead of asking someone outright to put their hands in their pockets and give you cash, why not give them something back in return.
An example is to find a cinema that will allow you to sell tickets for a specific showing on 'sale or return'. You can sell the tickets for £10 each to a new film, and pay the cinema the cover price i.e. £6. If you manage to fill the cinema, you could raise your entire donation in one go. If you don't mange to sell all of the tickets, give them back before the film's screening and you will have lost nothing at all.
Or you could invite friends to your birthday party and ask them not to bring a present but to sponsor you instead. Negotiate the free hire of a bar and charge friends (advertise in local papers) £10 admission, find a DJ and again with good support, you might be surprised how much you can raise in a one-off event.
Every pound counts. Here are a few ideas on how to make that little extra:
● Collect loose change in buckets, not tins
● Get guests to empty their pockets as they leave your event
● Fine people for not participating or donating enough
● Pass around a pint glass to be filled with pound coins
Make a comprehensive list of potential sponsors and supporters. Include relatives, friends, neighbours, sports & social club contacts, school/college friends, colleagues, business contacts, bank manager, Christmas card list, etc.
This is always a great place to get the sponsorship requests circulated, or perhaps a mass e-mail sent out explaining what you are doing. Give people as much information as possible. Many people will admire what you are doing and will be willing to support you financially as they know that they would never
do it themselves. Put some information on notice boards or in your company newsletter about what you are planning to do, how much you need to raise, and where the money is going. Ask customers and suppliers (if appropriate to do so), and stand by busy areas (the canteen or gym at lunch time) with a collecting tin.
If you work for a large corporation, they may have sponsorship or specific departments to deal with charitable donations. Find out who to contact and arrange a meeting. Their advice will be valuable whether sponsorship is given or not. Many companies now work on a match-giving scheme whereby the company matches any money raised by you. Smaller companies are also great targets as opposed to large corporations where no personal contact is available. Try asking family and friends for any contacts they may have.
Anyone who comes to mind, don't be afraid to approach them to explain what you are doing and to ask them. It is always advisable to start the conversation with "Don't feel obliged BUT". Ask friends, relatives, people at your local pub, sports club, and local businesses - they are all potential sponsors. Keep reminding yourself that every penny counts! Never leave home without details of how they can donate.
Teams in the past have sold t-shirts and the like to help raise their charity donation. But be warned - you are only exempt from paying tax on profits if you comply with the following regulations: the profits are applied solely to the purpose of the Charity; the trading is not regular; the trading does not compete with other legitimate businesses. Your merchandise needs to be clear that it represents a team taking part in the Rickshaw Run rather than the overall Run itself. You also need to check out the guidelines on using the logos when you download it from the team area of the website.
When making collections, you should think about carrying change in case someone only has a large note that they are not prepared to part with. Most charities have their own stickers and collection boxes, but there are certain rules:
● Collections must be licensed by the local council or its equivalent; collectors must be over 16;
● Collectors must carry collection permits (ask the charity);
● Collectors must wear an official badge (ask the charity);
● Money must be collected in a sealed tin or envelope;
● Boxes must be opened and money counted in the presence of two or more people; a return must be made by the licensing authority;
● Street collectors may not cause an obstruction or solicit activity for money (don't rattle tins).
Ants Top Tips
Ants who worked at Adventurists HQ raised nearly £50 000 from one of her adventures when she drove a tuk-tuk from Bangkok to Brighton, which we reckon qualifies her to know what she’s jabbering on about. So here’s what she’s got to tell you...
“Fundraising is a competitive business these days. Everywhere we turn people are trying to make us part with our hard earned cash in order to support a worthy cause. In the last few months I’ve had friends swimming the channel, trekking across deserts, climbing mountains and running marathons; every one of them for a good cause and every one of them wanting my support.
As the challenges get wackier and the causes seem to multiply, standing out from the crowd is becoming increasingly hard. If you want to achieve your fundraising goal you’ve got to be innovative, passionate about your cause and unerringly determined. However, don’t be deterred, if you go about it the right way and give yourself enough time fundraising can be incredibly rewarding.
First things first. Before you do anything you need to decide which charity you want to support and what your fundraising target is going to be. You can then start to dream up ways in which you are going to raise this money. Having agreed on this the next thing is to work out a fundraising plan. How are you going to raise this money and how long have you got to do it? What events can you put on in order to raise funds? This could be anything from a curry night to an auction of promises to a fancy dress dog show. Because I had past experience in putting on club nights and contacts with some DJ’s and bands we opted to put on a party at a club in London with a well known band, DJ’S and a fantastic raffle. The latter alone raised £500.
The main thing to remember is that when it comes to fundraising there are no rules*. The more you can innovate and the more determined you are the more successful you will be. Make sure as many people as possible get to hear of what you are doing and don’t be afraid to step outside the box and try things that haven’t been done before.
(*Obviously you are bound by The Institute of Fundraising Code of Practice but you can still be original how you raise your funds within their guidelines).
How To raise £50,000
● Give yourself a realistic amount of time to achieve your goal
● Choose a charity that means something to you. If people see you have a personal relationship with the cause they are far more likely to donate.
● Be creative in your approach to fundraising; think of ways to make people part with their money and get something out of it at the same time.
● Make friends with your local press and get them to publicise your cause or any events you are putting on. Publicity is one of the best ways of raising money.
● Be bold. Don’t be afraid to stand out and make a fool of yourself! Make people laugh – humour is key in getting people to support you.
● Write a really good, punchy letter describing what you are raising money for and why and send it to as many people as you can think of. Family, friends, local businesses... The more people you write to the more money you will raise. I must have written about 400 letters in total to get the money for my adventure.
● Find out which celebrities are associated with your charity and write to them via their agent. See if they will endorse what you are doing in any way, even a quote can help. Press in particular will prick up their ears if you have celebrity endorsement.
● Find out if there are any charitable trusts in your area and when they meet. There are hundreds of these in the UK and they normally meet twice a year to decide where to distribute their funds."