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So, you've decided to raise money to enable more young people to attend a much-needed respite break. Fantastic! But what's next? How can you maximise the sponsorship money you raise? Today, our Fundraising Team would like to share a few top tips to help you secure as much support as possible from friends, family and coworkers.
First, make sure you have an online sponsorship page set up. Use a service like JustGiving or Virgin Money Giving, or set up a personal page on CHICKS' own Everydayhero portal. If you're raising money for one of the 2019 CHICKS Santa Fun Runs, we have individual pages for the Tavistock event and the Callington event.
Now it's time to share, share, share! Post about what you're doing and share a link to the page on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; then email your friends, family and coworkers with the link, too. It's also important to update your followers on your training and fundraising progress, so that they can feel like a real part of your journey.
"Fundraising online is now easier and more common than ever, and with people spending so much time on social media, it's important to use those channels. Make it clear why you feel so passionately about raising money for CHICKS, and have some fun with it!" – Katherine, Campaigns & Communications Manager
While it's really important that you raise money online, you shouldn't neglect the old-fashioned methods! Printing out a sponsorship form that you can physically hand to people is a sure-fire way to gain more support, especially from those who may not have access to the internet or do not use social media on a regular basis.
By using a paper form in conjunction with an online sponsorship page, you can increase your reach and gain support from those who might not have the money on hand immediately; simply record their details and collect the money after the event. Sometimes people may even give more than they pledged in the first place!
"When asking for support from people we know, we often find success in using a printed sponsorship form alongside your online page. People are sometimes more willing to pledge money they don't have to pay then and there. Just remember to collect the money afterwards!" – Kayleigh, Events Fundraiser
Nobody likes receiving an email or message that they can tell has been copied and pasted for lots of people. Make sure that when asking for sponsorship, you write personalised messages or speak to them in person. Your friends and family are much more likely to contribute if they can see how much the cause means to you.
"Donating to a charitable cause is an emotional process, so there's no better way to get others on board than to approach them directly. Show people why you care, and it's likely they'll respond in kind." – Mabel, Partnerships & Regional Manager
At the heart of your fundraising campaign is the cause – in the case of CHICKS, the children and young people to whom you want to give a much-needed respite break. This will always be the strongest message to use when approaching potential sponsors, because you can empower them to make a real difference by pledging.
"Stories about the children and young people on CHICKS breaks resonate really strongly with our supporters. People like to know that they are making a difference to other people's lives, because in the end, it wouldn't be possible without them." – Katherine, Campaigns & Communications Manager
It's never too early to start securing sponsors for your challenge! Once you've arranged the event and set up your online fundraising page, it's time to start sharing. Keep your page updated with training updates, photos and maybe a video or two, so that your supporters can see how dedicated you are. Mix up the times of your posts on social media, too, to make sure as many people as possible see it!
"Fundraising can sometimes take a bit of time to get going. If the donations aren't rushing in straight away, don't be discouraged! Start early enough and you will have plenty of time to build momentum on your campaign and reach your targets." – Mabel, Partnerships & Regional Manager
To encourage people to pledge more to your campaign, why not introduce some added incentives? You might offer to write someone's name on your running vest for a £50 sponsorship, or feature a business as an official sponsor of your challenge for a pledge of £100. There are plenty of creative things you could do!
If someone else you know is completing a challenge for another charity, offer to sponsor them in return for a sponsorship in kind. This is particularly useful early in your campaign, or if you're struggling to get the ball rolling on pledges.
"The key to a great fundraising campaign is to really make it your own, and to show potential sponsors that you are passionate about the cause. By using some fun incentives, you not only encourage more sponsorship, but also make the challenge even more fun!" – Kayleigh, Events Fundraiser
Reach out to colleagues and other people at your place of work to increase sponsorship. Ask to be included on a staff newsletter if there is one, or put a notice up on a noticeboard to advertise your challenge. Also, ask friends and family to share your fundraising page with their own contacts and networks to increase your reach.
Also, don't forget to tell us about your challenge! We will very happily share your campaign with our followers on social media and maybe even write a blog post to go with it. After all, it's your hard work that enables us to run our breaks.
"When taking on a challenge for charity, you might be surprised by how many people want to support you! If you know anyone with good contacts in local business or a large online profile, they can help you to promote your campaign to more followers. And of course, here at CHICKS we'd love to share your story!" – Katherine, Campaigns & Communications Manager
Last but not least, it's important that you thank everyone who has pledged to contribute to your campaign. Whether it's by donating directly to your online fundraising page, adding their details to your sponsorship form, or even just by sharing your campaign, show gratitude to everyone who has helped you to make a difference.
Many online fundraising platforms will send out pre-written "thank you" emails to contributors, but a personal message from you will go a long way to making them feel involved in your fundraising campaign and sharing it with others.
"Everyone likes to be thanked! Fundraising brings people together, so it's a great idea to celebrate with your supporters and thank them for making a difference to your chosen cause." – Mabel, Partnerships & Regional Manager