Before the internet if you were taking on a fundraising challenge the only way you could ask for sponsors or donations would be by sending a sponsorship form round your office or begging friends to part with their hard earned cash while constantly reassuring them its going to a good cause and not into your pocket. These days it seems everyone wants to do a good thing (or at least be seen to be). I am now one of those people. I am braving the murky Thames, dodging trolleys and swimming to raise money for the mental health charity Mind.
I have done this challenge once before and found that last time the pressure of trying to get people to donate was far worse than the actual event itself. This time its different. I’ve done it before, that means…I now have a personal best! This means I don’t just have to finish it, I have to beat my time. Those that know me will probably tell you that I am slightly competitive… ok very competitive and now I have two things to worry about: 1. My motivation levels and dragging myself out of bed to train and 2. Raising more money than last time.
The first point I need to sort out by myself, unless anyone is willing to coming to my house 3 times a week and drag me from my slumber?, No? Ok so onto the second. How am I going to get people to donate their money to my chosen charity when not a day goes past without there being 3 of the same pleas plastered all over their news feed? Well that’s a question I wish I could answer. I do have the benefit that no one is normally as stupid as I am to go wandering into the scuzzy Thames! On the other hand the charity I’m raising money for isn’t one that crops up everyday and mental health is still seen as a somewhat taboo subject.
I am, therefore attempting to practice what I preach and approaching this as a sort of business. Business’ need to raise money, I need to raise money. So why not implement a few of the techniques I have been harping on about? I am making a plan of action and not just running into this full force, all guns blazing , begging for peoples money. I plan to only message (with no prompt from others) twice a week trying to encourage people to sponsor me and donate to Mind, incorporating facts about the charity and stories about where and what peoples money will be going towards to try and make them more comfortable about parting with it. I will also publicly encourage sponsorship by showing my appreciation to those that have donated by mentioning them in posts and comments and try to get them engaged. I don’t want to bombard my friends and family but i don’t want them to forget either, so I will post updates of how my training is coming along, this will provide subtle updates/ hints without pressuring people to act.
I will return with updates on if my strategy has worked. In the meantime please feel free to browse my Just Giving page and I you have any tips on how I can get donations and sponsorship please do let me know!!