Fundraising is daunting but it can be as rewarding and enjoyable as a Challenge Ride itself!
We know that the hardest part is just getting started, so here's a simple fundraising guide with useful and practical tips to help you achieve your target.
Make it easy to donate
- Firstly set yourself up with a fundraising page on a site like JustGiving (opens in new window) that makes it easy for people to donate to you, especially friends and relatives on the other side of the world.
- Make sure you have sponsor forms with you wherever you go. Approach absolutely everyone you know.
- Make a list of everyone you know and have ever known - friends, neighbours, relatives, college and school pals, people you know from riding schools or livery yards, work or school – then get in contact. Think about the best way to contact them – one to one if you are going to meet them or via facebook, email, letter or sending an early Christmas card. Tell them how they can easily donate.
- Ask all your local shops to support you – your tack shop, feed merchant, gym, swimming pool, dentist, doctor, hairdresser. Ask any contractor who has done work on your house – decorator, plumber, electrician, window cleaner – even your postman or milkman.
- Ask your closest families and friends to do the same, think of all the above people they could rope in too making your contacts list even bigger and hence your potential donations pot.
- Remember that your commitment by doing the ride is significant and be enthusiastic about your endeavour. Your excitement will encourage donors to be generous.
Work and business
- Many employers are eager to encourage their employees to participate in charitable events. Many corporations offer matching funds for the donations you receive from colleagues at work, or even your total donations. Contact your human resources director to see how they can help you. Ask your company to make a big donation to get you started.
- The workplace is a great venue for fundraising. If you work in a large organization you have plenty of options. Get permission from your employer and spread the word to all the departments in your workplace. Use your notice boards, intranet, staff newsletters, email and reception to help you spread the word.
- Ask companies you do business with and suppliers to make a good size donation. Approach all your business contacts or clients, large and small and ask them to sponsor you.
- Sell home-made cakes to your colleagues.
Small fundraising events
- Ask your local riding schools, livery yards, pub or sports clubs to organise a small event for you – e.g. a quiz night, darts night, raffle, karaoke night, sponsored pub crawl, car washing, bed push, the list is endless.
- Ask your friends and family to hold an event for you – jumble sale, car boot sale, garage sale, disco, themed party evening and so on. Just think, if five friends did a car boot sale each for you and raised £100 each, you would have your first £500!
- Hold your own event, e.g. a quiz night, folk concert, riding challenge or ball – it will be fun! Don’t forget you can have a 'private raffle – which doesn’t need a promoter’s licence – at any function you organise. Ask local businesses and shops to donate prizes.
Making a splash
- Don't forget the press. Contact local newspapers, radio and television stations and community newsgroups to help you spread the word. To get your name and story in print is one of the most effective ways in gaining support for your cause. If you send the local media a press release, make sure you follow it up with a phone call in case there are any unanswered questions. Send a photo or make yourself available for a photo call if required.