11 Essential tips from fundraising heroes

Donation tips from fundraisers

There’s loads of creative ways to raise money other than just asking for sponsorship, but it’s often hard to keep thinking of new ideas. So we thought we’d help you out by sharing some of the ingenious, fun but overall successful ways other fundraisers just like you, approached their fundraising.

Some require a little more effort than others, but we’re sure you’ll find some inspiration from our favourite responses below to get your creative fundraising juices flowing.

1. Get creative

1. Get creative

I am running for Clic Sargent and have been collecting items that can be traded in for money. I use a company that collects clothes and shoes in exchange for money, for fundraising. It means people can offload any unwanted items which is sometimes nicer than always asking for cash. It’s easy to set up, you just need space big enough to store the items while waiting for everything to be collected.
– Elaine Dee-Dee Waldie

I made a life size cardboard cut-out of myself in my marathon gear and then kept it in the waiting room of my fertility centre, with my poster detailing my story in the middle. This alone has raised £10,000. A friend also created a colourful eye-catching poster which was posted in local businesses near their tills and every department at my work.
– Donata Marshall 

2. Social Media is a great tool

2. Social Media is a great tool

Think about the timing and number of your social media posts. Too many people switch off. At the start of the month do a big update, hopefully just after most people have been paid! And sharing your long training hours, puts people in awe and it’s more relate-able when it’s an area they know.
– Andy Knapp

Fancy dress in training not only on the race day can be tough, but it gets you noticed and remembered which can help with fundraising. Putting it on social media helps too!
– Nikki Linford

3. Look beyond your family and friends

3. Look beyond your family and friends

Use the general public to help reach your target. If you regularly run or do other fundraising events you may not realise it but friends and family after a while feel like they have to sponsor you, not because they want to. One year I stood in my local Asda on a Saturday in my Ninja turtle outfit with a poster saying I am running the London Marathon, with the charity advertised and got £400 in donations!
– Garry Hall

4. Your hobbies are great fundraising opportunities

4. Your hobbies are great fundraising opportunities

We started dog walking and it’s really going well. People around our estate sometimes struggle to get their dogs out as much as they would like. So we’re doing it for our charity MENCAP. And it’s keeping us fit, dogs happy and raising loads of money. Win. Win. – Terry Pritchard

5. Call on your local community

5. Call on your local community

I’ve got a local pub to donate 5p per pint of London Glory. – Jonathan Bishop

I went to my old high school and asked if they could hold a non-school uniform day. So the 500 students who go to the school all gave £1 each and then the school donated a further £250. Meaning they raised £750 for RNIB. I’m also holding a charity night as well in a local pub.
– Matthew Compston

6. Food is your friend

6. Food is your friend

I made £575 in 45 minutes at work by setting up a mini production line and selling hot dogs and soup. I work for an engineering company so the Management thought it was great that we combined our expertise on feeding over 200 people so quickly. A huge success! – Kevin Gani

I had a coffee morning at a village hall. They only charged me £30. All cakes, tombola and raffle prizes were donated. With a 50p entry fee that included tea and coffee, I raised £450 in one morning.
– Katie Chedgey

7. Use your skill to fundraise

7. Use your skill to fundraise

Use your skills to offer something of value. I’m a fitness instructor and I have organised a “learn the MJ Thriller dance” night and a “back to the 80s” aerobics class. People LOVE getting dressed up and getting friends involved. Once they are there, I get my young daughter to sell raffle tickets. Who can say no to an 8 year old with pigtails?
– Andrea Woodhead

8. Challenge yourself to challenge others

8. Challenge yourself to challenge others

Don’t be afraid to do something outrageous. I shaved my head which I had never done before. Also, I walked from home to university every day for five days (it’s about 8.5 miles one way, so about 3 hours of walking in the morning). Doing these “stupid” things really shows commitment and gets people to donate. Good luck to everyone fundraising, you will all smash it.
– Yash Mudumbai

9. A simple ask can go a long way

9. A simple ask can go a long way

I am running the marathon for Duchenne UK. My tip is that I say to all the people who like my posts on Facebook – if you like it that much, please spare a little. – Matthew Stone

If you plan to hold a raffle, just email companies and ask. Don’t be afraid of hearing no, as a lot of companies support certain charities already. Be prepared to email A LOT, but also be prepared for some wonderful donations. It’s totally overwhelming the support that you receive! I wanted 10 prizes and received over 30.
– Laura Goodbourn

10. Make it personal

10. Make it personal

I find sitting down and writing a letter to all your contacts about what you are doing, why it would be a good idea to sponsor and what the donations will be used for really helps. People feel personally addressed and have got a physical reminder on paper that they can hang up on their fridge door.
– Bithja Jones

11. The power of thank you

11. The power of thank you

Always say thank you to people in one way or another! People hear or see you say thank you and it prompts them to sponsor you as well. I was able to give over £6,000 to charity doing three London Marathons just using my manners.
– Amanda Head