How I'm Fundraising for London Marathon 2017

After standing on the side lines as a spectator and cheering my friends along their London Marathon journeys last year there was not a doubt in my mind I wanted to run it in 2017. Unfortunately the ballot for the London Marathon is notoriously tough and I didn’t get a place. Not one to let a silly little detail like a ballot place stop me, I began to look into running a Gold Bond Charity place and 3 months later here I am well over half way to my total goal. 

I’m no pro fundraiser. I have fund-raised for a couple of Cancer Research UK Race for Life events in the past; cheeky cake sale, bit of a raffle and a lot of social media begging, but only ever on a small scale. This is why I think this post is even more valuable because I’m a real, normal person with a job, friends, family, hobbies and limited free time for elaborate fundraising schemes and yet I’m well on my way to raising £1500 in 5 months. 

1. Social Media. As our biggest resource these days social media gives you the ability to plonk yourself in someone’s living room, on their commute to and from work or in bed with them at night (figuratively speaking of course). I post the link to my Virgin Money Fundraising page AT LEAST twice a week and I could still do more. In fact here's link - HOP TO IT. 

Don’t be shy – promote the hell out of yourself.

2. Blog/YouTube. If you have a blog or YouTube Channel make sure you utilize it! At the beginning of my fundraising journey I wrote a testimonial explaining why I have chosen my charity and what it means to me. I used it to tell my story and promoted that so people can get to know me, have their heart strings tugged and donate to someone they know a little more about.   
If you don’t have a YouTube channel already why not get sat down in front of your iPhone camera and have a chat. Talk about your charity, talk about your journey and get that video up on Facebook. 

Utilise multiple platforms of interaction between you and your potential donors so that they can get to know you and they’ll be more likely to donate.  

3. Scratch Cards. Whilst brainstorming ideas for my fundraising I stumbled across pre-made scratchcards that are designed for charity fundraising, school fates etc. I have used two ‘Guess The Name Of The Bear’ scratchcards and sold each square for £2 a pop. They cost around £3 for both, with 40 squares on each I had a potential return of £160. When running this scratchcard online I suggested people donated their £2 on my Virgin Money Fundraising page and 9/10 people would always donate £5,£10 or even £20 instead.

The more ways you can drive traffic to your fundraising page the better – once someone is there they are likely to donate, and likely to donate more.

4. Smartie Tubes.
 This is my favourite thing I’ve done for my fundraising so far! I think it’s such a fun way to get people involved without just asking for a cash donation. You give a person a full tube of smarties and ask them once they’ve enjoyed all the chocolatey goodness to keep the tube and fill it with 20p’s. I have friends who keep theirs at their desk at work, whose family post them 20p’s or friends whose families have asked to get involved! It spreads the ‘pressure’ of the donation; they collect over a longer period of time and they can get 20p’s off other people. Each tube holds £11 worth of 20p’s so I bulk bought 48 tubes of Smarties for £20 with the idea I would get at least half back, generating £264. If I managed to get all 48 back (impossible because I ate like 4) I would get £528.

Make your fundraising fun and different. Don’t just ask for donations, get people involved, make it silly, keep them entertained and you’ll find people are more than happy to donate their time and energy as well as their cash.

5. Events. My event is coming up fast on Saturday March 11th and I have recruited two of my very good friends who happen to be excellent at throwing a party to help me. The main event will be a quiz complete with baby pictures round, spot prizes and challenges but we are also playing Bingo, Beer Pong and lots more! I have created an event on Facebook, invited all my friends and again promoted the hell out of it, giving people the option of a £5 ticket or a £10 ticket with different things included in each. On the night there will be treats for people to buy and buckets all over the place for donations. Capacity at my venue (that the owners kindly gave me with no charge) is 60 people. So if half capacity came and bought £10 tickets that’s £300.

An event is a lot of work. Don’t try to do this on your own – get your friends and family to help, when it’s for charity people are always willing to get involved.

6. Trading. I’m forever clearing out my wardrobes and drawers and selling on Ebay. Sometimes though my clothes aren’t worth selling on so in an effort to reduce my carbon footprint I often reach out on social media offering them to my friends for free. Whilst I’m fundraising I ask that anyone who takes my second hand items to make a small donation to my fundraising page. 

That’s just some of my thoughts and the things I’m doing to hit my fundraising target – there are so many more ideas out there on the ol’ interweb you will never be short of inspiration. If you're one of these amazing people who have sponsored me, bought a ticket for my event or sent me words of encouragement thank you SO much. It means the world to me.

In case you missed the links in the post, click here for my Virgin Money Fundraising page and here to read my testimonial. 

Are you fundraising for a cause? Are you a fellow London Marathon runner? Do you have any top tips for me?

Until next time . . . Take Heart x 


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