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Handy tips on raising sponsorship for the BHM

Vitality Bath Half Marathon charity director Mel Taylor offers some handy tips on raising sponsor money

Over the Christmas holidays Bath’s streets will be peopled with runners putting in the miles of training ahead of the 2015 Vitality BATHALF marathon on Sunday 1 March. Quite a few of those runners will have committed to raising money for their favourite charities and race charity director, Mel Taylor has some handy fundraising  tips for the lead up to the big day.

This year alone the world has seen a social media fundraising storm with both the extremely successful ‘no make-up selfie’ and the ALS Ice Bucket challenge far removed from the modest charity box. Still though, one of the biggest ways that charities raise money is through teaming up with running events such as the Vitality Bath Half Marathon (Vitality BATHALF).

When Bath based family business, Running High Events, took over the organisation of the Vitality Bath Half in 2000, the event was raising just £30,000 a year for charity, but since then the event has grown year on year, pushing new boundaries and smashing fundraising targets.

Funds raised by Bath Half runners has increased every year for the past 16 years, bringing the total raised in that time to around £16m. Over the years, the number of charity partners has evolved from just one in 2000, to more than 90 local and national charities today. Last year, runners helped raise over £2million for their chosen good causes and the organisers hope to beat that record again in 2015.

If you are fundraising for a charity that is close to your heart by taking part in the 2015 Vitality BATHALF and you’re a little unsure of how to get the best out of your endeavour, here are some top tips to get you on your way to fundraising success.

[alertinfo]Register for a place with The Forever Friends Appeal in the 2015 Bath Half Marathon here[/alertinfo]

Mel Taylor’s top fundraising tips:

• Be passionate: Whether you’re running for an animal charity, children’s charity or local good cause you have to be passionate about who you are dedicating your challenge to.

• Share your story: The only way to increase the amount that you raise is to share your story anywhere that you can because you never know who you might inspire. Make use of social media – it’s free, quick and easy to use. Remember, the more people that see it, the more likely you are to receive donations. We are also always looking to share stories of our inspirational runners so make sure that we know about it too, as well as telling the charity that you are running for.

• Create an online donation page: In order for people to donate to your cause quickly and effectively it’s best to have an online donation page. They are great because the donation is instant so you don’t have to worry about collecting the money yourself and the sites give you the option to be a bit creative. Our favourite is uk.virginmoneygiving.com where you can set a page up for free and it takes minutes to complete.

• Team up: When thinking about signing up for a large event like the Vitality BATHALF it can be quite daunting, especially if you are going solo. Teaming up is a great way to fundraise for an event for many reasons: there are more of you therefore you can share your story wider, you can create fundraising days together and share out tasks, and most importantly if there is a team of you training for the race you can keep each other motivated.

• Create a blog: People love nothing better than a story that they can follow. Document your progress with training, donations and any fundraising days that you have and allow people to really get behind your story. You could do this in any way that you like whether it’s just a series of Facebook posts, an online journal or a series of Instagram pictures – anything you can think of to share your journey will benefit your cause, you may even motivate and inspire someone to join in.

• Be creative: Another way is to host a fundraising event. My advice is to start simple and build up to the more creative and wacky ideas. Why not host a dinner party and ask friends to donate what they would spend eating out to your cause? You could also go to your local bar or cafe and see if they will host a quiz night and ask people to donate there. Another thing to note is that most charities will have a fundraising pack available to download or order with posters, leaflets, sponsorship forms and will have plenty of hints and tips also.

• Think local: Thousands of local events and fairs take place locally so keep an eye out to see if there is anything happening where you may be able to set up a cake or craft stall or even better , find out if any traders will be willing sell products on your behalf to generate donations. The best place to check would be on council websites who will usually have a directory with all listed traders.

• Have fun: Most importantly, enjoy yourself. Be proud that you are making a difference. There really are so many worthwhile causes out there and every penny counts. So get your fundraising cap firmly on, pull on your running shoes and join us to be part of what we hope will be another record breaking year at the Vitality BATHALF in terms of fundraising.

This year’s featured charities are: Lead Race Charity, Teenage Cancer Trust; Official Fun Run Charity, Jamie’s Farm; Local Charity of the Year, Bath Rugby Foundation; and the Featured Appeal, RUH Forever Friends Appeal. In addition to the featured race charities, the organisers of the Vitality BATHALF work with more than 90 local and national charities who all have reserved places available in the race.

Story from http://thebathmag.co.uk/proud-making-difference/

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