Whether you’re running your first 5K or running a marathon, committing to fundraising for a charity can be stressful – particular when race day is fast approaching and you’ve left it until the last minute! When you’re so focused on your training goals (to ensure that come race day, you can in fact complete the distance you’ve committed to running), it’s easy to let the fundraising take a back seat.
If you’re one of those stressed out fundraisers do not panic. There are things that can be done. Whether you’re running the VMLM in just over three weeks time and falling short of your sponsorship target, or running in one of our fast-approaching WR10K races for Alzheimer’s Society and want to raise as much as you can, we’ve collated our top tips to help you reach your target – fast.
Reflect on your story
Have you told your friends, family and Facebook audience the reasons you’re doing the challenge? If so, how emotive or personal have you made your story? If you’re running for a charity close to your heart, tell your potential sponsors why! What does the charity mean to you and why? Make your story personal and post it on Facebook.
Women’s Running reader Susan Thurgood took part in a fundraising challenge for Alzheimer’s Society. Susan found that explaining her reasons for running for Alzheimer’s Society was key to helping her achieve her target. ‘I sat down and crafted a letter to my friends and colleagues, which I posted on Facebook and even sent out by email, explaining my reasons for fundraising for Alzheimer’s Society,’ Susan says. She added:
‘I gave a very personal account of what it’s like to live with someone who has dementia, explaining how it affects not just the lives of those who have the condition, but those around them. After I sent out this letter, I had a surge of new sponsors because I think people could then relate the situation to their own lives and imagine how they would feel if it had happened to them or someone in their family.’
Get your charity to help!
With so many people running various events and requesting sponsorship cash left, right and centre, getting your story at the front of mind can be difficult. Telling people how the money you raised will be used is key to this. Speak to your charity and ask them to explain how and where the money you raise will help.
Update your friends via social media
Ok, so it’s too late to blog about your progress. If you were going to blog about your training progress, you probably should have set up your WordPress account 12 weeks ago… But that’s not to say you can’t update your friends on how your training is going via social media. Inspire your readers with how far you have come! Tell them about your gruelling long run, your painful interval session after work last night and your epiphany that, in three weeks time, you will in fact be able to run 26.2 MILES! YES 26.2!
Post event photos on social media
Don’t forget that, in many cases, you can still continue to fundraise after you’ve completed the event. Immediately after your race, you could upload an image of yourself with your medal on Facebook and social media and encourage those who haven’t yet sponsored you to dig deep. They will admire your achievement and may donate – you may find they’ve been meaning to sponsor you and haven’t got round to it yet.
When you do get sponsored, tweeting or posting a thank you on Facebook goes a long way when it comes to recognising the generosity of your sponsors. ‘One of our runners named his training runs after particularly generous sponsors and then tweeted about them as a way of saying thank you and spreading the word,’ says Charli Payne, Virgin Money London Marathon project manager at the NSPCC.
From hosting a 24-hour ping-pong-athon to a works ice-cream eating competition, there are lots of creative things you can do and events you can host to raise money. You might only have two weekends left before your race but that’s two weekends of huge fundraising opportunity. Pick a Saturday evening, beg your friends to save the date and then get thinking! Why not host your own version of Channel 4’s ‘Come Dine With Me’? Charge your friends to attend and enjoy an evening of eating, drinking (and a good dose of healthy competition)!
Lastly, do not panic! Many charities do not ask for a sponsorship target, so simply do the best you can in the time you have. And remember, if you do have a target to meet and are feeling increasingly anxious that you will not be able to meet this, talk to your charity as soon as possible.
If you’re running in our WR10K Race Series, Alzheimer’s Society do not prescribe a fundraising target, they just ask you try and raise as much as you can! Alzheimer’s Society will kindly provide you with a fundraising and training support pack, regular newsletters and your very own Alzheimer’s Society running top to wear with pride on the day. For more information on running our WR10K Race Series for Alzheimer’s Society, visit: http://bit.ly/1EUTEDr