Welcome to our second UGM Runners’ blog, where we dedicate a weekly post to helping our 2016 International Runners prepare for their six-day adventure. We cover everything from training advice to fundraising advice, and will even cover travel tips closer to the event.
This series of blogs is all about helping you, our runners, to have the most fun in your training and fundraising leading up to the event, drawing from my experience as one of UGM’s International Runner in 2015.
Our first blog covered tips to get you started in your training, and this week we’ll cover tips to get you going in your fundraising. As sign ups have ranged from this month, all the way back until June last year, everyone is a different point with their fundraising, so I’ve tried to include something that will be relevant to everyone, whether you’re yet to start, or raised hundreds of pounds already!
Here are 10 tips for kicking off your fundraising for your Uganda Marathon challenge…
1. Get Started- Choose Your Project
As with anything, the hardest part can often be getting started! But the sooner you get started, the sooner the donations will start rolling in. Typically, the earlier you start, the more you’ll raise long-term.
The first step is a simple one- choose the project(s) you would like to fundraise for. There’s lot of information available on our project pages if you’re yet to decide. Just pick a cause you’re passionate about, as that will really help you with fundraising and running in Uganda.
Once you’ve picked your top three choices, just email them to [email protected]
2. Set up your fundraising page
Once you fundraising choice is confirmed by ourselves, the next step is set up your page with BT mydonate.
It doesn’t have to take too long- short and concise is good. Just be sure to personalise your page (as people tend to sponsor people rather than causes), and include things such as photos, what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
A fundraising target is great too- and research shows this can boost your fundraising total by several hundred pounds!
(We have some great fundraising page resources, which I have linked at the bottom of this blog, if you would like more advice surrounding your page.)
3. Get close family and friends to sponsor you first…
Get people who are likely to sponsor you the most, to sponsor you first. By starting a trend of bigger fundraising amounts of your page (from people close to you), it encourages your subsequent donations to be around the size of your initial donations, or at least larger.
Long-term, this will help you raise even more!
4. Spread the word…
Once you’ve got your close friends and family to support you, the next step is to spread the word to as many people as possible.
Let people know about the epic challenge you’ve taken on, and why you’re doing it, over as many channels as possible- both face to face and online.
5. Use Social Media
Social media is a great resource when you’re fundraising. You can tell people what you’re doing, promote your cause, tell the story of your training (to show people the effort you’re putting in!) and much more. Don’t just limit yourself to text, but use pictures too, to grab people’s attention.
Use platforms you already use everyday, which hold your biggest networks, whether that’s Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or even YouTube or a blogging platform.
Just be sure to include a link to your fundraising page in your posts- you want to make it as quick and easy as possible, to encourage people to sponsor you.
Regular post on social media over the next few months will help you raise a lot of money.
6. Get family and friends to help!
Get your friends and family to spread the word your fundraising, whether it’s in-person or online (eg. sharing your social media posts, telling their work colleagues & their friends). That way, you’ll be branching out to as wide an audience as possible, even to people you might not normally have contact with, but might be willing to sponsor you regardless.
7. Get work involved too
Your work colleagues will be more than willing to sponsor you and help you fundraise. Widespread emails and a collection bucket on your desk can help. Sometimes your company will even be in a position to help financially too- if you ask them.
Last year I think my work colleagues contributed to 50% of my fundraising!
8. Think outside the box
You’ll certainly get a lot of donations by telling people about your awesome challenge, and then waiting for the donations to come in. After all, running in Uganda…that’s awesome!
However there’s a lot you can do as well proactively, which will really boost your sponsorship. Small-scale events such as pub quizzes, bake sales, work dress up days, raffles, car boot sales, car wash days and birthday donations can boost your fundraising.
Personally I reckon doing just one of these events each month until the race, could potentially double what you raise! For example a bake sale can raise £100+ per event.
9. Gift Aid
Encourage everyone who can to gift aid. This will massively boost your fundraising, and help us to help even more people in Uganda reach their potential!
10. Don’t be shy- every £ helps!
Finally, don’t be shy about letting people know you are running in Uganda. What you’re doing is amazing, and people at first will be stunned…but then they’ll be more than willing to sponsor you.
The number one reasons people give to charity is because they’re asked, and often the reason they don’t, is because they forget. Don’t be afraid to keep mentioning what you’re doing and keep posting online. As a general rule, the more you mention it, the more you’ll raise.
And every time you do a Facebook post, or mention your running the Uganda Marathon in a conversation, you’re not only potentially raising more money, but helping to change lives in Uganda!
In summary…kicking off your fundraising…
The best advice I can give with fundraising, is to just start as soon as possible, and then the more you’ll raise! Get friends and family to help, post often, throw in a few small fundraising events, and push for every pound, knowing each pound is helping a person to reach their potential!
Until next time… Good luck! 🙂
Not signed up, but want to come to Uganda this June and participate in a race like no other? If you do, we still have a final few places left!
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