Fundraising Support Officer, Ela, gives some advise on raising £1000 leading up to your deadlines.
Fundraising can be difficult to fit in around daily life, especially if you’re at university or working or doing both! While it’s not recommended to leave fundraising to the last minute, it happens quite often and from personal experience I know how difficult it can be to come up with ideas of how to fundraise large amounts of money when you have a short deadline.
This is my guide on how I fund-raised £1000 in two months. I started by mind-mapping all the ways I could raise money and created a table of all the minimum and maximum amounts I thought I could raise from each activity. I definitely thought this was highly unrealistic when I first set out to try and achieve it, but when I broke the fundraising down, it suddenly looked manageable.
(Disclaimer: reading this and following my suggestions won’t guarantee that you can make this amount of money in a short space of time, but it’s a good place to start)
Friends and Family
Asking my friends and family is always my first move when I need donations. It is a great starting point and gets my confidence up in talking about the charity and knowing how to approach the subject with different groups of people, as I’ve learnt that different people react to different things. For my family and more charity orientated friends – I talk about the cause and why I am supporting a certain charity, how their donation will help and the impact that the are making by donating. For my friends who aren’t as charity orientated – I talk about the challenge and how amazing it is going to be, focusing on the personal achievement and the scale of the challenge to get their interest in it.
Facebook /Instagram Donate Button (for RunThrough Race)
This was not something I had ever utilised before and having already put out posts on Facebook, I didn’t think that creating a Facebook Donate Button would make much difference, but I was so wrong! With the Donate Button, you can INVITE your friends to donate to you and it sends out occasional reminders to everyone that you invited – this meant that friends ended up donating to me throughout the last two weeks of trying to reach my deadline.
Shopping Centre Collections
Shopping centre collections are great for speaking to lots of people in a very short space of time. While it didn’t raise lots of money for me, it did raise awareness of the charity and the cause. Fancy dress definitely helped at this type of fundraiser, and I saw that the crazier I dressed, the more likely people were to donate to me.
Bag packs provide a good chance to tell the general public about the cause you are fundraising for. While a lot of people didn’t actually want my help with packing their shopping, they were happy to talk to me while they packed their own shopping and it was a great chance to talk about the charity (and the challenge) in a bit more detail.
Something that can be difficult to secure is sponsorship for a challenge. While people usually have connections that allow them to secure this, mine came from simply talking to people. It was amazing and really uplifting to see that people will donate just off the back of a conversation. Alternatively, sending letters and emails to local companies also works.
Cake Trolley Service
Something I learned quite early on,
is that one of the best ways to
maximise donations, was to use ALL the connections you’ve got. I had a friend who was doing an internship at an office over the summer, so I asked if there was any way that I could do some fundraising at the office. They agreed to let me do a cake trolley service around the building which ended up being successful, so I ended up doing four over the course of two months.
Whilst fundraising I worked at Weatherspoon’s, I saved all of my tips and donated it to my fundraising page. This didn’t make a massive amount of money, but it did add up over the two months – especially as I was leaving my job so lots of people gave me money as a leaving gift.
Guess the Name of the Teddy
This was an amazing idea in theory, but it really never worked in practise. It may have would’ve worked better at an event where the bear could be shown and people would want to donate £, but over the internet I struggled to get any interest in the Teddy and I only ended up selling about 9 names. I didn’t expect every fundraising activity to go really well, so I didn’t let it get me down that this one wasn’t as successful as I would have liked.
Although not technically a fundraising activity, I got a part time job doing promo and event work that I paid straight into my fundraising account. This job was in the evenings so it worked around my other job really well and topped up my fundraising nicely.