A guide to fundraising for your event
You’ve registered for the event, be it a fun-run, a marathon or even an ultra-marathon, and you’ve also taken on the extra challenge of raising money for a worthy cause. You’ve got your training plan sorted but you’re wondering how you can begin your fundraising efforts and start seeing the donations roll in.
Whilst fundraising can be more daunting than the run itself, the long-term benefits are far reaching. We’ve put together a guide to help answer your burning questions and push you in the right direction towards your fundraising goal.
Step 1: Choose who you want to support
As a general rule, you’ll find the fundraising process much easier if you are passionate about the organisation you are supporting. Maybe you love animals or perhaps you want to help disadvantaged children or maybe you want to contribute to medical research – find something that resonates with you and that’s the first big step.
Another option is that often the event that you are taking part in will have a list of charities that they are associated with and you can join in to support one of these. Have a look on the event website to find out how you can help. A good example of this is the Real Insurance Sydney Harbour 10k run.
It’s important to remember that no matter who you choose to support, you can’t make a wrong decision – all charitable organisations will be grateful for the donations.
Step 2: Setting up a donations page
To set up a donations page, all you need is access to the internet. It’s really easy.
One of the most popular options is to use one of the many online fundraising platforms such as Everyday Hero. All you need to do is register, choose a charity and follow a step by step process to build your online supporter page. You can upload photos, write your story, post updates and videos and link it all in with your social networks. The donations process is all taken care of safely and securely by the provider and passed onto your charity. All you need to do then is share the link to your page and tell everyone about it!
Step 3: Tell everyone about your page
There are so many tools at your disposal these days to help spread the word. Below are the two best ways to let everyone know what you’re up to:
1. Social Media
If you’re on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any of the other zillion social media sites then you will have access to lots of people who in turn have access to lots more people…and so on.
Simply write a quick post/tweet to tell your friends and followers about your event and that you are raising money to support your charity. Provide a link to the donations page to make it easy for people to click on and go straight there.
Email might seem a bit old school but it allows you to reach people who you may not be friends with on social media, for example, work colleagues. Let people know in the subject line what it’s all about e.g. I’m running my first 10km! and then write a short blurb about your story, what you’re doing, why you are supporting your chosen cause etc. Don’t forget to include a link to your donations page.
When requesting donations, don’t forget to thank people and also let them know that even very small donations will be very much appreciated. You don’t want anyone to feel so worried about not being able to afford large sums of money that they end up not donating at all!
Step 4: Give your fundraising some love
Once you’ve completed steps 1 – 3 it is very easy to think you can just sit back and watch the donations roll in. To try and maximise your fundraising efforts you need to look after not only your donations page but also the people who have donated and those who are yet to donate! Here’s how:
1. Regularly update your donations page.
If you’ve been training hard or trained in some interesting places, take a photo or a video and let everyone know about your progress.
2. Update those who have donated.
It is nice to let people know how much money has been raised and what can be done with the money. For example ‘Hi everyone, thanks again for your very kind donations which will help support the Guide Dogs. We have now raised $800 which will be used to purchase 2 brand new leather harnesses for the dogs…’
3. Remind people
Remind people about your cause on social media and via email. There may be people who wanted to donate but forgot or lost the email so don’t be afraid to remind them.
Be aware, the key to giving your fundraising some love is not to kill it with kindness. Whilst your friends and family are interested in what you’re doing, it may get old very soon if you bombard them with updates and information and requests.
What other ideas are there for fundraising?
There are a number of ways you can fundraise for your event and have fun at the same time. If you get creative, the sky is the limit. Here are a few of the more popular ideas:
1. Host a bake sale at work – ask for a gold coin donation from your work colleagues.
2. Host a trivia night – you can raise finds from the ticket price or hold a raffle.
3. Mufti-day – ask your work place or your kids’ school to have a mufti-day and ask for a gold coin donation.
4. Swear jar – this is a fun one in the office. Set up a jar in the office and every time someone swears, they have to put a pre-determined donation into the jar. The penalty varies depending on the severity of the offence!
5. Office sweepstakes – people guess how long it will take you to complete the event. It costs a certain amount to enter the draw, but the winner will receive a prize.
Don’t forget, donations may be tax-deductible
Many donations are considered tax-deductible in Australia. If the charity is Australian-based and endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as a deductible gift recipient (DGR) then the donations will be tax deductible. You can check this with the organisation you want to support before you get started so you can remind everyone when asking for donations.
In order for a supporter to claim tax, the donation must be over two dollars and needs to be claimed in the tax return for the income year in which the donation was made.