How to meet and beat your fundraising target
An insider’s guide to achieving your goal
Colin Burgin-Plews, better known as the ‘Man in the Big Pink Dress’, is one of the most recognised charity marathon runners. With so much experience of raising thousands of pounds for charity, he’s shared with us his top tips on when to get started with your fundraising and how to achieve your fundraising target.
In the beginning
“I started fundraising about four years ago. At the very start I did the usual stuff – handing out sponsorship forms and collecting money from family and friends – but after a while you soon realise that you can't keep pestering the same people to donate.
So to overcome this I had to think of new ways to raise the funds I needed, as if you’re doing something like the Virgin Money London Marathon and it's a charity place then you usually have to raise between £1,500 and £3,000 which can feel impossible. But believe me, it’s not!”
Create your fundraising page
“My first piece of advice is as soon as you know you have a place in an event, like the Virgin Money London Marathon, then be sure to create a fundraising page on Virgin Money Giving. It doesn’t take long to set up your fundraising page and it really helps to bring to life why you’re running, what your fundraising target is and what difference sponsorship would make to your charity.
You normally find out if you have a place in the Virgin Money London Marathon in October, which means you only have about seven months to raise the money you need, which averages out about £200 to £400 per month for a charity place.”
Host an event
“So what are my best fundraising ideas? Well, the best ones are usually the unusual ones. It's all very well putting on a tutu for a day at work and raising a few pounds that way, but I think you need to think bigger and bolder to get peoples’ attention and encourage them to donate.
Last year, my friends and I organised a charity ball, which raised almost all of the sponsorship money we needed for our charity places. We booked a venue, arranged entertainment and ensured there was enough going on so people wanted to buy tickets. If a big event like this is something you’d like to do to boost your fundraising efforts, then be sure to involve your friends and family as this really helps to take some of the burden off you – after all, you do have a marathon to train for too!
And if a big event seems too daunting, then why not organise a smaller charity event at your local pub? You’ll be surprised at how generous people are and every penny makes a difference!
Whatever size event you choose to organise, then think about selling raffle tickets to win prizes too. People love to be in with a chance of winning something, and so why not contact some local companies to see if they’d be willing to donate prizes (for free!) to your good cause.”
Mix it up
“Other, simpler, fundraising ideas which I’ve had great success with include:
- Cake sales – who doesn’t love a good cake stall? For very little upfront costs, you can often make a brilliant return on your money when people buy a slice of delicious cake. And if it’s homemade cake – then even better!
- Bag packing – donating your time at a local supermarket is also a great way to raise your profile and collect donations from people.
- Blind bingo – host an evening with a game of blind bingo, where the winner keeps half of the money raised from selling the tickets and the other half goes towards your fundraising. You can buy these cards relatively cheaply online.
- Sponsoring my running outfit – people have also sponsored me in return for putting their name on my big pink dress (and maybe claiming that they’re ran the marathon with me!) But even if you don’t plan on running in fancy dress, then you could still use this idea to increase your fundraising.
Whatever you plan to do to raise money to achieve your fundraising target, always remember to stay positive and have fun – it’s all part of the amazing journey you’re on when running something like the Virgin Money London Marathon. Good luck to you!”
If you’re looking for further inspiration from fundraisers, check out Your top ten fundraising tips.
Image by Prince Wor photography