March 25, 2016

Five Do's for Race Fundraising

When I took a chance and applied to run the London Marathon for the National Osteoporosis Society there were many questions in my head about how to go about raising the money and what were the "rules" of fundraising.  Let's face it, no one is ever thrilled to donate to a charity unless the request is done in an appropriate,  professional manner and in a heartfelt way.


Here are some of the things I have learned while fundraising for the past few months.

1.  Choose a charity that has specific meaning to your life:  When looking through a list of potential charities find one that you can easily relate to that has a cause you truly believe in.  The National Osteoporosis Society wasn't my first choice initially, but it resonated with me because my mother, sister and I all suffer from the disease.  I've seen many of my mothers friends fracture bones and Osteoporosis causes thinning of bones which can cause these breaks.  I love little furry pets and one of the animal charities would have been my first choice, but after careful thought, this one had better meaning for me and so it was easier for me to support.

2.  Be the first to donate to your charity   It is important to show those who you are asking for donations that you believe strongly in the cause and are willing to donate your money before anyone else.  Oops, my page went live and a friend donated before Tom/Pam had a chance. If I ever do this again, I will be better prepared.  Thanks Lois!

3. Work hard training   If someone, especially a friend or relative is donating their hard earned money so you can run the race of your dreams, make sure you are training to the best of your ability. It is really unfair to slack on training if you are asking people to support your race.  Training for London has been a weekly challenge for me, not because I did not want to but due to my IT Band injury back in early January.  Thankfully my coach has included alot of cross training and I should be ready on April 24th.

4.  Offer incentives   My first suggestion is to offer a song on your race day playlist for anyone who donates a certain amount.  I chose $26 for the marathon distance leaving off the point 2.  Other options are offering a gift card giveaway or running gear giveaway.  I chose a combination of things since many of my contributors would not be runners.  Let's face it, they don't need a Garmin watch or a new hydration belt.

5.  Keep in touch with your charity contact   My contact in the UK changed recently, but when I first started out, Claire could not have been more supportive and kind.  She suggested some things to get started and also called to wish me a Merry Christmas and make sure I had gotten my race vest (singlet) and package of materials.  That call made my day.

6. (a bonus) Thank you   I'm old school and write thank you notes, but even a nice email would be appropriate to thank anyone for their contribution to your chosen charity.  No one is required to donate and their support should be appreciated in a thoughtful way.

Last of all, I am so thankful to everyone who has donated so far to my charity.  There are just a few days left until I draw for some awesome prizes so if you would like to donate, here is the link.


We are linking up with Mar, Courtney and Cynthia for the Friday Five.  This week the topic is free Friday!  Please check out some of the other blogs.

(Pam)


38 comments:

  1. Thank you notes go a long way in showing appreciation. They might seem minuscule, but its a great way to acknowledge just how much a donation or gift means to you. Even though I'm way behind on thank you notes for all the wonderful gifts we've received for little man, but hopefully our friends and family will appreciate receiving their thank you notes, even if they're a bit delayed.

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    1. Yes, your family will definitely appreciate those notes and will understand your time frame.

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  2. Kudos to you for working hard for this charity. It's nice that it is one that you feel very strongly about!

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    1. I've really enjoyed this experience and yes, I am focused on this charity which made it alot easier.

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  3. Those are really great tips! I have a small family, small circle of RL friends, so fundraising is always hard for me. But next time I try it, I'll incorporate some of your tips for sure!

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    1. You'd be surprised how many people are willing to donate.

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  4. It can be tricky to ask friends to donate to a cause. I like the idea of donating first instead of at the end to show your commitment.

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    1. I agree and really I just let people know I was doing it in a very benign way so no one felt obligated to make a donation.

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  5. Great tips. I'm an ambassador this year for Venus de Miles and I have to fundraise. Which I hate. But it's the best cause--the Greenhouse Scholars. So there's that...

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    1. As long as you can stand behind the charity, I am sure people are willing to make donations.

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  6. These are great tips! I haven't fund raised for a race but it's something I might consider in the future. The incentives and thank you notes are a great idea.

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    1. I do think showing your appreciation to those who donate goes a long way.

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  7. Thank you notes are always such a nice way to say thank you. It really makes me feel appreciated if the person takes a moment to send a card. When I was little my mom taught me to send a thank you note for everything, but it seems to unfortunately be a dying art.

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    1. It is a dying art, and yes, my daughter teases me that I taught her to write thank you notes in the womb.

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  8. I think choosing a charity that really speaks to you on a personal level makes fundraising a whole lot easier. You can genuinely ask your friends and family for donations if it comes from your heart. Oh, and I do love handwritten notes! I think a little thank you goes a long way.

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    1. Yes, I totally agree Lisa, thank you notes are very much appreciated.

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  9. Those are some great tips. I still appreciate sending/receiving cards through the mail. It was nice to receive your thank you card.

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  10. Fundraising is almost as hard as the training itself! But I think your tips are great and will definitely help anyone out there struggling. I especially agree with saying thank you. It goes a long way and people will always appreciate the time you took to say thank you.

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    1. I hope these do help people for future fundraising. It is not easy, but I think it can be accomplished with hard work.

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  11. I've never run a race for charity, but if I do, these are great tips! I love that you're running for the National Osteoporosis Society, something we older women need to be very aware of.

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    1. Exactly Deb. I chose this charity (well actually they chose me after I applied!), but women do need to be aware of this disease.

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  12. I haven't run for a charity yet but I am thinking about it. It is not that common here in France but very big in the UK. Thanks for the tips.

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    1. Oh I do remember that being really popular in the UK. Actually I donated to a friend while we were living in the UK!

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  13. I've fund-raised the last two years for the kids of St. Jude in the Memphis half marathon and this race is by far so very humbling. I have always met and even exceeded my goal. I am disappointed I'm going to miss it this year but I have a feeling I will be back in 2017!

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    1. That's such a great charity. I'm not surprised you exceeded your goal

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  14. I 100% agree with you on all of these tips, especially #1 and #6!! :)

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    1. I'm so happy to see other people like thank you notes!

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  15. Your tips are great and very useful- in fact, I think anyone who wants to run for a charity should read this and consider them. I like that you picked a charity YOU believe in, and one close to your heart. Plus osteoporosis doesn't get as much attention as some types of cancer or other diseases or causes, so you're bringing awareness too.

    And I agree 100% with working hard in training. I would not want to donate to someone who was not working hard training for the race, or who I thought might not actually do it.

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    1. Thanks Amy. It has been tough training through an injury, but I would not feel right taking donations if I wasn't giving it my all for every aspect of the race from training to fundraising.

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  16. This are great tips! Definitely bookmarking in case I choose to run for a charity :)

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    1. Thank you. It's been a learning process for sure.

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  17. Great tips - I'm going to be raising money for RMHC and this was very helpful! :)

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    1. You will do great Courtney and Ronald McDonald House is a great charity.

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  18. These are great tips! Definitely choosing a charity that you truly support is important. I haven't raised money for a charity in awhile but Girls on the Run is one of my favorites. Good luck, I'm sure you'll do amazing in the race and fundraising!

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    1. I think any runner would be happy to donate to a Girls on the Run program.

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  19. These are great tips - #1 and #2 are so important, as is #5. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks Coco. It has been a fun process and now I'm getting excited for race day.

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