We understand that fundraising can sometimes feel as much a challenge as the event itself. However, by breaking it down and with a bit of planning (& roping in as many people to help as you can) we know you will not only reach but smash your target! We’re here to support you every step of the way so read on for some useful advice.
How do I get started with my fundraising?
To get started, it’s a great idea to plan out a timeline and a contact list. Note down who you will ask for support, when you’ll ask them and how you’ll ask them. You could also hazard a guess at how much they may donate to give you some idea of how many people you need to ask in total. Think about whether you will be making a direct ask with a personal email or letter to ask for their donation and set out time frames to ask, remind and ask again.
Try to bring in helping hands to work with you on co-ordinating the fundraising. Someone who may not be up for the physical challenge but can wax lyrical about you and the effort you’re putting in to your training may be the perfect person to assist. Your best friend, your spouse, your mum, your boss, your colleague – get them on board and ask them to share your story with you.
What can I do to let people know I’m raising funds?
It’s a fact that the more people that know about your challenge, the more funds you’ll raise. Small donation amounts add up so do ensure you’re dropping it into every sentence, putting a link to your online fundraising page on your email signature and sharing it to social media at any given opportunity.
Talking of social media, it’s one of the best ways at the moment to get your message out there. You can easily post video or picture updates of your training with a word about how you’re feeling, you can tag potential sponsors if appropriate, direct people to your online fundraising page and you can instantly thank supporters for their kind donations. It’s free, it’s easy and it’s quick, so make sure you’re sharing on social wherever you can! If you’re taking on a corporate challenge, use our ready-made social media images which can be found on your challenge page. If you’re part of TeamYAT and taking on an individual challenge, check out our Resources page.
Should I contact local press for publicity?
It’s a great idea to contact your local or regional press and local radio to see if they can help you to get your story out there. It will reach a wider audience and you never know who is going to see it and want to offer you support.
Depending on the challenge you’re undertaking, you’ll need a specific press release that you can send to the relevant places. We can help you with putting one together so please let us know if you need one!
How do I ask for donations?
It can be daunting to ask friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances for money! But, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Remember to make any request for sponsorship as personal as possible. Be honest, open and ready to answer questions about why someone should donate. Use case studies of the vulnerable young people the Youth Adventure Trust supports as an incentive – supporters need to know the impact their donation will make.
Explain the challenge that you’re undertaking – why is it a challenge? What’s going to be difficult about it? Supporters will more than likely donate if they’re inspired, impressed or in-awe of how much you’re challenging yourself.
Remember to always ask politely, to get permission from a generous donor and ask if they’re happy for you to thank them publicly and don’t take rejections to heart. There are always more people to ask!
Should I run smaller events as part of my bigger challenge?
It can be a good idea to run some smaller events or fundraising activities in the lead up to the challenge itself. This will ensure that you’re gradually raising funds and not leaving it all to the last minute, as well as involve your contacts with the challenge while giving them more insight into the work of the charity.
If you’re part of an organisation that could help you, ask for support! Could a sponsored Zumba-thon be held at that local Zumba class you’ve been shimmying at for a good few years now? Could a chess tournament be put on with your fellow games night friends? Could your local pub help you with organising a quiz? We’ve gathered our Top 15 Fundraising Ideas, so take a look for some inspiration!
Will my workplace help?
Your workplace or employer may be a great asset to you throughout your fundraising journey. Firstly, use all means of promotion at your disposal to get the word out! The intranet, company newsletter, website, poster display, upcoming launch party are all just waiting for you to tell your story, but you could think outside the box – a flashmob or publicity stunt might be a fun alternative!
If you’re in regular contact with customer and supplier networks, as well as professional advisors such as accountants and auditors, it may be worth thinking of the best ways to ask for support from these companies and individuals. Remember to ensure your employer is brought in and on board with your plans!
Could your manager or employer ask their contacts for support or could they introduce a company-wide initiative such as a fancy dress day or sports day to raise funds? Could a supplier or contact include their logo on the sleeve or chest of your event t-shirt for a fixed donation (i.e. £250 Chest, £100 Sleeve)?
It might be that if an individual or company can’t support with a monetary donation at this time, they might be able to supply a raffle prize or experience to be auctioned off. All support helps!