Gone are the days of trekking round all your friends, family and colleagues with a clipboard to extract promises of cash if you can only endure that marathon/bike ride/bath of baked beans – these days fundraising has gone digital, and it’s heartening to see how much cash your peers are willing to part with for a good cause.
Fundraising websites are growing ever easier to set up, and integrate with your social networks so you can spread the word as thoroughly as possible. No longer must you chase people for the promised funds after the event – your chosen site will take secure payments from your sponsors, apply Gift Aid (where applicable), and transfer funds straight into your chosen charity’s account. This also means that there’s no fear associated with being responsible for vast wads of cash – and your sponsors can sit comfortably, knowing that you won’t succumb to temptation and skip the country, instead of banking their donations.
How to make your fundraising page look great
Use a photo! Preferably one of you, maybe with something relevant to your event – dress yourself up in sweatbands and awkwardly tiny shorts, like the 118 men, or pose with a large can of beans and a despondent look on your face. Whatever you choose, a photo of you will personalise the page and inspire trust, interest and hopefully friendly generosity from your sponsors.
Be clear. Don’t waffle on. Explain why you’ve chosen this particular cause in simple language – not because your readers might be stupid, but because they don’t have much time. We all have to wade through many words online, so it’s wise to get your message across in as few words as possible. That said, it is also important that people understand you, and why this fundraiser is important to you! Just try to include what’s necessary – why you care, what you’re doing about it, and what you hope THEY’LL do to support you.
The best fundraising websites let you log in with Facebook or integrate your social media in some way, providing sharing buttons so you can share your page, post progress updates, and
nag encourage your friends to support you. It may also include sharing for sponsors, so they can show off how generous they’ve been, and hopefully spread the word to their own friends, too.
Update to inspire
Although you probably shouldn’t bombard your sponsors and potential sponsors with hourly reminders, do remind them when something changes, or significant milestones are reached. Publicly thanking people who HAVE sponsored you is likely to encourage those who haven’t got round to it yet, and pointing out that you only have, say, £45 to go to your next milestone is a great incentive for people to dig deep and help you round up the numbers.
If you’re doing something that requires training, like a marathon or bike ride – especially if you’re starting out in pretty poor shape – you can post preparation updates too. If getting out for a run every day used to be an achievement in itself, and you’ve just managed to do it every day for a month, that’s definitely worth posting about – preferably with a nice flattering picture of you looking all sweaty and dishevelled at the end of it.
This post has been written in collaboration with Just Giving, for more information please see our disclosure policy