Boost your fundraising online You’ve signed up for your first-ever 10k run and thinking about the huge challenge you've just taken on. If this event is outside your comfort zone, then it makes it the perfect opportunity for you to raise funds for Haven House at the same time. Here are my top tips to make the fundraising element of your challenge easier. 1. Set a target You already have a challenge goal as you know how many miles you’ll be running. The same is true for fundraising. Once you’ve set out what you want to raise you’re part way there to achieving it. People who set a goal, raise significantly more than those who don’t. For your first 10k run you could reasonably expect to raise £150 (that’s only 30 people giving you £5 each). 2. Get online Online fundraising pages have taken over the traditional sponsorship form, just like video killed the radio star. It’s quick, easy and safe and keeps all your fundraising and messages of support in one place. You can set up a page for Haven House Children’s Hospice here. 3. Plan who to ask It’s tempting once your online fundraising page is set up to shout from the rooftops that it’s open for business. Before you go ‘public’ though, think about who within your close family and friends is mostly likely to give you the biggest donation and ask them to be one of the first to donate to your page. There is some psychology involved here: People like to donate to pages that already have donations – sending round a blank page is not motivating and nobody wants to be first on the list. Having larger donations on your page first will encourage people to leave slightly larger gifts after them. No-one will want to be seen to pledge £2 after someone has given £50. If you already have 20% of your fundraising target, then everyone else you ask is helping you to get closer and closer to 100% 4. Go public Once you have a few donations already pledged, now is the time to share your story. Be bold, be loud, give lots of information – why are you running, what do you want to achieve, what are you most scared of, how will you feel when you finish. Don’t hold back on how hard you think this will be, now is not the time for humility or modesty. Telling your friends and family the reasons for your challenge will help them to understand why it is a big deal to you and they will want to support you. 5. Take them on your training journey You were once one of those people who watched from the side-lines. Now you have a training plan and are sacrificing nights out and time with the family to make sure you cross the finish line. Plan a weekly/bi-weekly update on how your training is going for facebook updates or email. Take some selfies after a training run (show them what training really looks like!). Video generates huge interest, film a training run or record a message for your supporters after a particular hard session. Tell them what you’ve learnt and experienced as you’ve added on the miles and minutes (my favourite is that after rain there are an awful lot of snails on the pavement). 6. Added extras To add some competition to your challenge, ask your friends to predict your time or place a bet on something happening during the race. For example if you’d like to run a 10k in under an hour (something you’ve never done before), would your supporters be happy to give you a £1 for every minute you go under 60. Or would people be more likely to support you if you do it in fancy dress? 7. Do it all in one go If you’d prefer not to ask for donations, arrange a bake sale or a raffle with the school mums or within your team at work. This can help you to achieve your target all in one go. Don’t forget to still have a sponsorship mechanism ready as you’ll find people will still want to sponsor you once you tell them why you’re putting on the event. 8. Gift aid it If your supporters are UK taxpayers, make sure they gift aid their donation. This gives us an additional 25% - at no cost to them. With little effort your £150 target becomes £187.50. 9. Say thank you (twice) All being well you will make it to the start-line injury-free, having exceeded your target. On the morning of the race, if you have the head-space, drop your supporters an email or message to say thank you. Tell them that they are going to help you get round today – and they will. When your run becomes too hard, think of those people that have donated to your charity and it will help you keep going. Once you’ve crossed the finish line and with beverage of choice in your hand later that night, reflect on what you’ve achieved and how amazing you feel. Send a final note that night or the next day to your supporters telling them how you did. They will want to know – and they will also want to know the gory details, including the chaffing, achy hips or black toe-nails. Good luck! You are a Haven House Hero.