It’s a slog getting ready for the London Marathon. In January and February it’s Baltic outside and most of your weekday runs are conducted in borderline complete darkness. In March your mileage is obscene and your legs constantly ache. In April you’re tapering and crabby as hell.
It’s still fun though, somehow.
For around 15,000 runners each year who receive a charity place there is also the additional consideration of your marathon fundraising minimum requirement, typically around £2000+. It’s not a small amount of cash and can be stressful if you see the clock ticking down to race day and you’re still stuck in the three digits, having already tapped up all your friends and family.
Fear not! There’s a load of things you can do to maximise your marathon fundraising, here’s a few tips & ideas that might help you on your way…
It’s All About Timing
Everyone wants to give to charity, and people are happy to donate for something as tough as running a marathon. However, at the beginning of the year people are still reeling from Christmas and need that little cash bump in order to be in a position to donate.
Try to remind people on, or just after payday. For your colleagues, that’s an easy one, just send out your emails the day you get paid, and for your social network do it on the 1st or 2nd of the month (on the theory most people get paid at the end of the month).
Tell Your Story
It sounds a bit cold but at the end of the day people aren’t really donating to your charity, they are donating to you. Explain to them why your chosen cause is so important to you, or why you feel passionate about it.
By having a fuller understanding of the positive impact of their donation, people will be much more willing to go out of their way to donate.
Speak To Your Company
A lot of companies now offer donation matching as part of their charitable initiatives. Sometimes they’ll match donations up to a certain amount, or for (x) amount of events each year.
Along with this they might be able to advertise your fundraising to a wider audience, sending out your fundraising link to their mailing list, adding your story to their website, or any manner of things. Speak to the relevant people in your company to see what’s available to you. HR is a good start.
People love a bet. Now imagine betting mixed with giving to charity, that is a no-brainer. Make a chart with a time window 1 hour either side of your target time. Split the time into 3-minute windows and put a £5 price tag onto each time window. The right guess wins £25. That’s £175 net profit for not much work, and you can probably get people to do this alongside their charity donation.
Because of how amazing the London Marathon is in providing you stats after the race you can also create a sweepstake for your 1st and 2nd half time, final finish position, or any manner of things.
Get the Word Out
Ask your mates, colleagues, family etc. to post links to your fundraising page on social media. Do this separately to asking for donations and they will be more likely to do it. Each share theoretically is worth £10, so it’s well worth doing.
As well as this, don’t be afraid to reach out to companies, or people who have a connection to your cause that have a good following on social media. Most of the time they will be more than happy to repost your links.
Pub quizzes are a cracking way to raise a decent bit of scratch. If you get 10 teams of 5 at £5 entry each that’s £250 banked instantly. Speak to your local, there’s a good chance they will have a room you can use for free for charity events (as they’ll be getting the drinks cash).
You can increase the revenue at your pub quiz by also offering a raffle if you can rustle up some prizes from your network, and don’t forget you have a charity bucket handy and people may be willing to donate their change from their drinks orders as well.
Divide and Conquer
When sending out emails to your work colleagues, try to avoid sending one email to everyone. It’s too anonymous and people are more likely to ignore it. Maybe divide it by department, or by groups of 4 or 5 people at a time if it makes sense and personalise the email accordingly.
By doing this people will take a bit more time reading the message and are more likely to donate to your fine cause.
Persistence Beats Resistance
Just because someone didn’t donate the first time they saw your message doesn’t mean they’re not planning on. But if you don’t ask them again then they almost definitely won’t. Ask and ask again, and then keep asking. Yes, you might have one or two people on Facebook who get sick of seeing your posts, but come on, it’s for charity. Forget them.
It’s Not Over ‘til It’s Over
Most charities give you time after the race to finalise any charity efforts. In the wake of your amazing achievement is a cracking time to get those final donations in. Post a picture of you at the finish line, medal in hand and thousand-yard stare, with your fundraising link and people will be all over that.
Post something when you’re at the start line as well, it’s incredible the amount of donations that go through during the hours the marathon is taking place and you don’t want to miss that boat.
Hopefully these tips will help you on your fundraising journey, good luck and thanks for reading!!
So what do you want to do now?