It's now been 4 months since returning from my Kilimanjaro climb and I still think about this amazing experience every day. Not only was it a huge personal achievement to climb one of the world's great mountains, but also the amount of money raised will be able to help support the improve lives of vendors in the area I work.
It hasn't been easy and it took 9 months of dedication and hard work to reach my fundraising target; however, I want to be able to share my experience of fundraising and help support and inspire others who are taking on fundraising events and challenges or looking to do so.
The fundraising I undertook was quite diverse and I will share with you my top 10 tips below:
1.Start with friends, family, work colleagues and those who know you. This is a good starting point as it's easier to ask those who know you for support and it's a good way to initially start to build up cash towards your event.
2: Bake sales - everyone loves bake sales especially on a Friday when diets become more relaxed and people are in the weekend mood or just after payday. I have to admit my skills do not lie in baking cakes so stick to easy to make cakes (rice crispy cakes), ask people you know who are good at baking whether they can make some cakes for you, approach local cafes for cakes to donate and also approach local supermarkets community champions to see if they can supply some baked goods for you.
3. Ask local businesses for support. I was lucky enough to be sponsored by Elite Health foods who put up a collection pot in their shop, had their name and logo printed on my training tops, attended my fundraising events and provided me discounted protein and health foods to take on my climb. In return I posted about their business on social media and in publications to the press.
4. Pub quizzes - this event was hugely popular and an event that people all had interest in attending. A local pub agreed to host the quiz, prizes were gifted from local businesses and a raffle also took place which helped raise money.
5. Exercise, although doesn't appeal to all but physical activity is a great way to encourage people to get active and raise money which both have a positive impact on our mental wellbeing. I undertook a charity spin class at the local gym I attend and also a clubbercise class at a local bar. Both events were fun and well attended.
6. Fundraise with a friend, this helps give you some additional support and 2 heads are better than one when planning events. I fundraised some of the events - pub quiz and clubbercise with a friend who was raising money for a different charity and spilt the proceeds raised.
7. Use social media this is a powerful way to help raise awareness of your event and reach a large target Audience. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram were all used to document my fundraising events, talk about my progress and also promote the charity. Friends and followers also shared my posts which helped spread the message wider.
8. Charity car wash, particularly popular in the summer. Look at local community sites for potential places to undertake car washes and ask friends and family to support you on the day with cleaning cars or bringing theirs down to be washed.
9. Talk and advertise your event. This not only helps raise awareness of the amazing event you are undertaking for the charity, but it gets people talking and spreading the word. I had training tops made which I wore in my gym and had posters printed and displayed in multiple locations.
10. Ask for support from the Big Issue fundraising team. They are there to support you through your journey. They were great at helping to create letters for me to take to businesses to prove I was fundraising on their behalf, creating fundraising posters for me, reposting my posts on social media, publishing updates of my progress on the website and newsletter and being able to give me ideas and suggestions to help fundraise.
Hope this has been helpful and if you're considering taking on an event or challenge it will be an awesome achievement and one you won't forget so must advice would be don't make excuses as to why you can't do it, get it booked in and tell people about it, that way you won't go back on you word.