Tips on fundraising online
Using an online fundraising page through Just Giving or Virgin Money Giving is an easy way to collect donations or sponsorship from your friends and family.
Go to Just Giving or Virgin Money Giving and set up your own page. You can write a little bit about yourself, put photos on it and tell potential sponsors what it is you’re doing. Supporters can then sponsor you online using their credit or debit cards, and the best thing is, any Gift Aid is calculated automatically and is sent to us under your name.
Here are some useful tips from Just Giving about how to maximise your fundraising online:
1. Personalise your page
Make your page as compelling as possible by adding your own photograph and text. Make sure your page communicates the reason you have chosen to raise money, and why you believe your chosen charity deserves support. Be creative!
2. Email your family and close friends first
Before sending an email to your entire address book, asking your closest friends and family to donate first. An empty page can be a little intimidating, so do make sure to capture a couple of donations before contacting your entire list of potential sponsors. People tend to match the amounts already listed on the page, so do target your most generous supporters first!
3. Tell everyone you know
Email your family, friends and colleagues with a link to your page, but don't forget other groups of potential supporters: former colleagues, old school and college friends, fellow members of a church, club or PTA — you may be surprised how many would like to sponsor you.
Encourage them all to pass on the message to anyone else who might support your chosen charity. Also think of those people living in different parts of the UK or abroad. The Internet is global — so make the most of it!
4. Contact your local media
Publicity in the local media can be an invaluable fundraising tool. A few lines in the local paper, or an appeal for sponsorship on your local radio station, can yield amazing results.
With Justgiving, attracting sponsorship couldn't be easier — readers and listeners can simply visit your page and sponsor you direct. The best way to get some publicity is by sending out a press release.
5. Keep your page updated and email your friends — again
Be persistent. It takes more than one round of emails to reach one's target. Encourage people to re-visit your page by regularly updating it.
Change your picture, post updates on your progress and, if you are taking part in a sporting event, keep a training diary. Let supporters know how much you've raised so far. An email update is interesting for those who've already supported you and a nudge for those who haven't.
You know what it's like - people mean to donate, but sometimes they don't quite get round to it on the first request.
6. Use your own email as well as the facility on the page
Because you are already familiar with your own email system, you can set up groups and you'll be able to send more emails at once than you can via your sponsorship page.
Some of your potential supporters may feel more comfortable opening an email that comes from you personally through an email address they recognise.
7. Change your email signature at work and/or at home
After your name and title etc, add a line at the bottom including the address of your web page. This will raise awareness of your event and ensure every email you send has the potential to prompt a donation.
8. Communicate what a donation will buy
Let your supporters know what their donation will buy for your chosen charity. For example, £40 will buy one hour of valuable research time, which could lead to a potential cure or better treatments of neurological conditions.
9. Put a notice up in your gym, church, college, children's school, etc.
Don't just rely on email. A simple poster asking people to visit your fundraising page can reach people whose email address you don't have. You might also consider printing some flyers to hand out to people when you see them.
10. Ask to be on your company's website
See if your company would be prepared to add your web address to its public website or private intranet. Many companies like to promote the charitable and public-spirited efforts of their staff and you could get a lot of extra donations from this.
Some companies may even offer a "matched giving" scheme where they offer to match any amounts you have raise, so this action could help you reach your target even faster.
11. Personalise your thank you email
When you create your page, you have the opportunity to personalise the thank-you message each donor automatically receives. In addition to expressing your thanks, use this opportunity to ask supporters to pass on your web address to anyone else who might be interested in sponsoring you.
If you have already created your page, you can log in to your account to personalise the thank-you message at any time.
12. Keep fundraising after your event
Some 20 per cent of all donations through Justgiving come in after people have completed their fundraising event. So don't stop fundraising once you've cross the finish line. Update your page and email your supporters with news of your success.
Remind those who haven't yet donated to do so, and ask others to donate again in recognition of your achievement.