Welcome to our next installment of the UGM Runners’ Blog – our series of blogs sharing advice to support our runners in their preparations for the 7-day adventure. Written by a former participant, he draws on his experiences from the event and shares tips on training, fundraising, travel and more.
It’s now only three weeks to go until you travel to Uganda (woooo!!) and participate in the challenge of a life-time! With the event edging closer, you’ll really notice your fundraising begin to peak over the coming weeks…
If your fundraising is going anything like mine did, you had donations coming in when you first started telling people you were running a race in Uganda, but then things started to slow down. But the great news is, now is the time when your fundraising is really going to gain momentum with the clock ticking down to the 4th June, especially if you can make a push over the final weeks leading up to the race.
Here’s four relatively easy tips to boost your fundraising and maximise on that momentum, as every extra pound/euro/dollar you raise makes a big difference to the projects and charities you’re fundraising for!
Use Social Media
Many of us love a good social media post, whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, or other platforms. And many of us have large social networks on these too- so make the most of them in your fundraising!
In 2015, I used to worry I’d ‘over do it’ by posting too much on social media about my fundraising, but the truth is people don’t tend to see all your posts, so post away! A big part of successful fundraising online is frequent posting.
The other key ingredient is: variety. Mix up your posts with text, photos and even videos. Make the posts engaging as well, with subjects such as:
- Tell people your story- why you’ve taken on this epic challenge
- Why you’ve chosen your project/charity/cause
- Talk about your nerves of visiting a new place, or taking on the hills, or running on the equator!
- How hard you’ve been training, or how hard training is…I even talked about my failures eg. it took me three attempts to reach 18 miles plus. After all, it’s all part of your story that you can share!
Seriously, don’t be shy on social media. You are doing something amazing, and your posts are helping to change lives in Uganda! Shout about it!- one quick post could boost your fundraising by another £10!
The essential thing to remember to include in your posts is your link….people need to be able to sponsor you quickly and easily.
Your work can help you in a big way!
My work colleagues were incredibly supportive in 2015, sponsoring me and some even helping me to fundraise. The main thing is to just get the word out about your challenge, whether that’s a quick chat at break time over a cuppa, or a mass email to everyone. You spend a lot of time with these people, so they’ll be up for helping you to do something awesome!
Many companies also offer to match employee’s fundraising for charity, so it’s worth asking to see if your company would be willing to do that for you. Even if they can’t match it, they might be willing to contribute. It’s always worth asking the question….you might double your fundraising over night!
Sometimes overlooked, but I swear a cake sale can boost fundraising by £50 to £100, especially if you can add tea & coffee as well. People love cake, and even more so when it’s for charity. Also quite often when there’s a bucket there collecting change, people will add a little extra too!
If a cake sale isn’t really suitable in your workplace, why not try doing it in your local pub, or hold a small dinner party in your home instead? Maybe sell some old things and put the money towards charity, or a small quiz night at your local?
All these types of activities can move you significantly closer towards your target.
Don’t be afraid to ask people directly
You’re doing something fantastic for charity, so don’t shy away from asking people. People are often more than willing to give to charity, but they don’t always get around to it. So why not draw up a list of people, and drop them a quick message directly? If you can personalise it as well (as opposed to copy and pasting the whole message), this can work really well, as it has a personal touch.
Reach out to all your different social groups, past & present: family, friends, work colleagues, gym buddies, people who share your interests, people at social clubs, old uni/work friends…and so on.
The key is to let as many people as possible know you’re running in Uganda for a great cause. That way, you’ll have more chance of sponsorship.
Bringing it all together
Like anything, the more you can do, the more you’ll tend to raise. And just doing a few of these things, can make a big difference! The incredible thing is, for every effort you make, you’re helping to change people’s lives, which is amazing!
I certainly wasn’t the highest fundraiser in 2015, but some of these tips really helped me boost my total, and made the whole fundraising experience a lot of fun too!Let's get social! Stay up to date with amazing news and photos from Uganda, plus race tips and more: