Fundraising, its easier than you think

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If you are reading this post then you are considering some kind of charity, volunteer or fundraising work, so congrats ! Getting involved in any of the above is a really unique and special experience, one that involves taking on a lot of additional hard work and effort. That being said fundraising offers so much more than just well …. ‘fundraising’. I have had two really amazing experiences from getting involved in charity work and i’m here to encourage you to take the plunge and take on a fundraising challenge. There are so many reasons to take on charity work, from feeling personally connected to a particular charity or cause, for social reasons and even for those who are just looking to do some good. If i could ask you to do one thing for yourself this year i would say take on a challenge, i think challenges push us to become better people and why not make it a selfless one. Fundraising may seem like an impossible and daunting task, but if you really feel passionate about your goal then i believe you can achieve any target whether €100 or €10,000. It is totally possible and i promise the return you will get from this type of work will out way any hardship you may in counter on this mission. Yes you will have to dedicate time, effort and energy into this goal but you will come out the other end with an unbelievable sense of achievement. You will also be doing your bit for charity, which i think everybody should do at least once in their lifetime. This post is not limited to purely fundraising for a particular organisation, maybe you want to raise some money for a local scheme or facility, sports club or group. Today i want to share with you my tips and tricks for raising money for a good cause, because guess what ive done it. Yes i wont lie to you, it was challenging at times and i can assure you that it is not for those inclined to be lazy or procrastinate.

So for those who are willing to role up their sleeves and are actually ready to take on a charity fundraiser then listen up. I’m going to share with you all the advise and support you need and hopefully encourage you to make this year a year to do some good.

Whats your cause /

I personally think if you feel passionate about a cause you are more likely to be successful with your goals. Maybe you have been personally impacted by something like cancer, heart disease or alternatively maybe you feel strongly about something like animal welfare, feminism or human rights. You could also feel passionate about your local area or a service and possibly want to do some good in that area. Everything is a possibility and there is no limit to what or who you can help. A lot of organisations will have pre-organised campaigns which are pretty handy to sign up for like The Womens Mini Marathon or The Trek4life Campaign. You can also just decide to raise money for something you feel strongly about, either options are super.

Have you got all of the information /

Information is power and in this case it will not only offer you support, guidance but it will also act as the content for your promotion. Also you really want to be well informed before you sign on the dotted line, there is nothing worse than committing to a project then realising it doesn’t suit your schedule or you were not prepared for all of the work involved. Don’t let other people down and most importantly don’t let yourself down, get all of the information prior to signing up. We live in a generation where we have access to all of the information we will ever need, get online, check out the charities website and social channels. Also get on the phone and call them, ask what campaigns they have coming up and how you can get involved. Also don’t hesitate to suggest some ideas, be creative and put ideas out into the universe

Who will be involved /

Are you going to take on this challenge all by yourself or will you get a friend involved. Either way offers two totally different but special experiences both fun and so enjoyable. Also from my own experience don’t wait for others to get involved, don’t be afraid to jump into a project all by yourself. I met some wonderful people and became a better person from a recent solo fundraiser. Support from a team mate is wonderful, but dont let it stop you from believing you can achieve a big fundraising target alone, because you can do it.

What is your target and deadline /

Pretty obvious to point out but important to get it down on paper and be aware of your goals. Planning is key and i highly recommend writing a critical plan for your fundraiser. How much money do you want, need or have to raise. What is the deadline for this target, six weeks or six months. Be aware of every little detail because time simply disappears, so get proactive and put your plan into place ASAP.

Are you ready to be forward and confident /

This may seem like a silly tip but you have to be willing to put yourself out there, ask for favours and pitch ideas. If you are insecure about your project then you probably wont be successful. Listen you are doing good work and you should be proud of that, tell everybody about what you have planned. Charity work is something you should be so proud of, so you should be shouting it from the rooftops. You will be surprised how willing people are to help if you are genuine and passionate.

Fundraising plan

  1. Make it public –  There is nothing more motivating than making your project public. It makes it that little bit more difficult to pull out and will also push you to follow through with your fundraiser. Post it on Facebook, tell your work friends give your gran a buzz. Tell everyone about your good work, your plans and of course your target. Spread the good word and in turn motivate yourself, also you will no doubt be praised and supported.
  2. Online fundraising – Ill be honest and say this is not the most effective way of fundraising, but it is a super convenient method and also something that can be present on your social media channels at all times. Be sure regardless to set up a page with either I Donate or My Charity and make sure to make it easy to access from your Facebook page.
  3. Make a list – Make a big list, and i dont mean with just a couple of names on it. I mean at least 100 people from family, friends, cousins, uncles, work colleagues, gym friends and everybody in between. Write their name, phone number and email address because you need to get in touch. Its not a time to be shy remember, this will be your first point of call for your sponsor card, and will be a great way to lock down small donations. Get in touch with every single person on this list whether a phone call, text or email explain in full what you are doing and what you need from them. Maybe they can donate anything from €1 – €100. Also this group of people will be likely to give you the most support, ask them to share your fundraiser on their Facebook page and to tell their friends and family too. This group is key and you will see yourself with at least €100 towards your goal if you really commit. Make it personal, don’t just assume people will donate via Facebook or Twitter.
  4. Promo – If you have a large fundraising goal then its time to take out the big guns, because the reality is you wont be able to nail big donations from friends and family alone. Yes social media is key, tell everyone on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Keep everyone up to date on your plans and progress and be consistent. Make some cheap posters for local advertising, whip something simple up on word and hang them in your local shop, shopping center, church or community center. You never know who might see it and lend you a hand or some support. Get on to local newspapers and radio stations, which is a pretty easy process. Make phone calls, send emails and tell people about your campaign. Why not go one bigger and get on to national papers, magazines, radio stations and even television channels. You never know who might come back with a yes, just put yourself out there.
  5. Ask the charity or company for tips – Look no doubt the company will have a massive list of tips that have worked for past volunteers. They will be a source of support so check in with them on a regular basis.
  6. Trade services for donations – Maybe you have a skill or a talent, maybe you know people who have a particular skill. Can you offer something in exchange for a donation, i cant tell you specifically what that is but get creative and brainstorm.
  7. Bag packing – I have heard from so many people that this is one of the most effective ways to fundraise and you will get a lot of support from local shops like Dunnes, Tesco, Aldi or Lidl. Just be sure to book your place well in advance because rumour has it spots are limited and shops are overwhelmed with requests. This is also a great way to reach your neighbourhood and tell locals about your campaign. Rope in friends and family members to give you a dig out on the day. Get some charity tshirts, buckets and have some fun on the day.
  8. Corporate sponsorship – Ok here is where you need to be pretty forward and brave, but one needs to be careful and professional when approaching corporate sponsors. First step is write a list (Yes another list) except this time your list will include local and national businesses and brands. Get a smashing email together including who you are, what you are up to and of course the details of your target, again its not a time to be shy and be sure to divulge all of the work you have been doing. Explain how they can help and if you can offer something in exchange, maybe you can share some content on their social media channels. Just remember to always be polite and grateful and be sure to thank everyone, even if the company cant offer a donation. Send as many emails as possible because the reality is you will only hear from a small number of people, so think big.
  9. Pull in favours – I am sure there have been some times where you have helped a friend out, maybe you gave them a lift or maybe you jumped in as weekend babysitter. Well its time to call in those favours and make the most of them. Possibly you have friends who are hair stylists, makeup artists, journalists or photographers. Meet these people and see if there is some way they can help you, remember explain about the charity project and why they should help you.
  10. Follow up – Remember that list of people you wrote and all those emails you sent to companies, well time to follow up. Maybe some people promised a donation but possibly forgot, well jump on that phone and remind them.  You may have also sent 100 emails about corporate sponsorship and only heard back from 10, get back in touch and say hello. Also constantly follow up with regular social media posts 🙂
  11. Events – Here is where the real hard work starts and also the most fun part of fundraising. Rather than explain to you how events work, i am just going to give you a load of ideas. Nobody can do the work for you, so you are just going to have to figure out the logistics of putting an event on.
  • Bake Sale
  • Car boot sale (Rope friends and family in to donate product)
  • Bowling night
  • Karaoke night
  • Table quiz
  • Beauty day for girls
  • Comedy night
  • Local family fun day (Bouncy castles, facepainting etc)
  • Sponsored walks
  • Local fitness event
  • Fun auction night
  • BBQ Night
  • Sponsored head shave night
  • Cycle-a-thon
  • Bingo night
  • Car wash
  • Fancy dress party
  • Coffee morning
  • Board game night
  • Movie themed night
  • Talk or demonstration
  • Yoga day

 

Lastly GOOD LUCK.

The rewards you will get back will be endless.

KELLY

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