#fundraiserfriday: Free Ali Carnegie

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At 9:30am on Friday 24 February, Ali Carnegie will be one of twelve people arrested by local police for “diary disasters”. After a brief court appearance, he will be placed in the cells at Devonport Guild Hall where his bail will be set at £999 – every penny of which, if raised, will be donated to the Children’s Hospice South West.

The crime

At Virgin Money Giving, we love new and interesting ways of fundraising so when we saw Ali’s extensive crime sheet, and the manner in which his freedom will be acquired, we had to hear more.

We were informed that recently, Ali had arrived exactly one month early for a networking event and even managed to triple book himself in Plymouth, Exeter and Taunton on the same day; it seems the evidence is mounting.

The plea

Ali has pleaded not guilty to the crimes for which he has been charged, stating that his ‘occasional’ diary blips are, in his words, “completely due to technology (and my wife)”.

Whatever the reason behind Mr Carnegie’s poor diary management, Children’s Hospice South West will no doubt be able to make an amazing difference to the lives of very ill children with the money raised for his bail.

The fundraising challenge

This fantastic fundraising event, run by the Children’s Hospice South West, will culminate in the trial and jailing of the twelve accused on Friday with the hope of raising more than £11,900 for the charity.

You can donate towards Ali’s bail and have a look who else might deserve freeing from jail via the Children’s Hospice South West website.

 

Heidi takes on fundraising with Instagram

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Coming up with creative ways to keep up the momentum of your fundraising can sometimes leave you feeling a bit stuck. But often it’s simple things done well and using every day tools such as social media which really does rally the crowds and help keep you motivated.

Meet Heidi – not only has she smashed £2000 (and still rising) in donations for Tommy’s, who research how to save babies’ lives, she has also cracked Instagram to a T.

It’s clear that Heidi really does know how to work her audience, so we got in touch to find out a bit more about her story and how she’s approached her fundraising.

1. Use hashtags to get connected

Heidi says, “It’s about finding the right hashtag to connect with others. You need to find out what others are using.”

Heidi uses #thisisforbabyjames to personalise her story and to make it easier to follow, and also uses #marathontraining and #babyloss to connect with like-minded people.

2. Take people on your journey

When Heidi shares a photo, she makes sure to share the story behind the photo. She says that you need to “find something memorable in your runs. People need to be able to imagine what was happening. They need to find emotion, feel something and get lost in it. They need to connect with people.”

3. Choose your photos with a purpose

Sometimes a photo speaks a thousand words. Finding powerful photos really help tell your story. Heidi says “pictures help you to find the words when you just don’t know heidi1what to say”. One of Heidi’s photos is her Tommy’s running vest, which is covered in 63 stars; each one represents a child who was lost whose family she has met on her journey.

4. Connect with your charity

Heidi says that tagging the charity you’re running for is a great way to keep up to date with what you’re charity is doing, which allows you to share your learning about your charity with others. This ensures you’re always creating new opportunities to fundraise.

She adds “Tagging can also be reassuring. It’s the opportunity to talk and be supported by your charity so you’re never on your own. They understand and they want to support.”

5. Share your target

Heidi says that when you share your target and your running total, “people who’ve donated get excited. It’s all about looking how far we have come – the fundraising is a team effort.”

Sharing her target was a great way for Heidi to keep everyone involved and focused on a collective goal. It’s a call to act now rather than later. She adds “It’s making everyone feel good and getting the buzz going. Everyone wants to be that person to get you over the line.”

6. Thank people

Heidi says “Share your appreciation and people will be inspired to share your story again and feel a part of your team.” Regular sharing also means you’re rarely out of sight, therefore out of mind.

7. Make your Instagram public

Heidi says “Having a public page helps to open up your fundraising to a wider network. It doesn’t matter if people don’t know you because it’s easy to be compassionate when it’s close to your heart. People want to get on board, and it’s contagious.”

8. Start posting early and post regularly

Make the most of the time you’ve got. Heidi’s been posting for 29 weeks, and the Marathon isn’t until April. She’s showcased her whole journey so far, kept everyone up to date and taken her followers on her journey with her. She’s a constant reminder to her followers of why Tommy’s is so important, and why they should donate.

9. Mix it upheidi2

We know Heidi’s journey is not just about running. It’s about support, hard work, emotions, memories, brownies and more! She’s shared stories of raffles, new things she’s learnt about Tommy’s and those very special moments with her family that make it all worth it.

10. Always link back to your fundraising

Seize every opportunity to share a link to your fundraising page and include a link to your fundraising page in social posts or emails. Don’t forget to include it in your profile like Heidi.

If you want to change your URL to make it easier to remember, just sign in and select ‘change address’.

Have you cracked social media to inspire more people to donate? Share how you did it with others @VMGiving or on Facebook

#fundraiserfriday: My mum will be cheering me on in spirit and in mind

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In under three months, tens of thousands of people will take to the streets of London for the biggest single day annual fundraising event in the world; the Virgin Money London Marathon. One of those people will be Peter Izard who is taking on the challenge in memory of his mother who died at the age of 50 from Sepsis.

The charity

Peter tells us that his mother died “far too young” at the age of 50. He adds

“She lead such a fulfilling life and ensured she lived it to the full. I was only 22-years-old when she passed and always wanted to ensure her memory lived on for my siblings and her future grandchildren, who she never had the chance to see.”

Over 44,000 people die from Sepsis yearly and many of those deaths are entirely preventable. The charity Peter is fundraising for, The Sepsis Trust, aims to train medical professions in spotting the signs early and thus delivering the necessary medical care to save lives.

The challenge

Peter chose the Virgin Money London Marathon for this challenge after completing the event last year and deciding to really push himself again, lowering his time while also enjoying the atmosphere on the day. He adds

“Few runners can say they have run consecutive London Marathons and I want to experience the day knowing what to expect with the benefit knowing what lies ahead”

Despite the freezing weather, Peter tells us that his training is going to plan after overcoming a tight hamstring and some blisters. Not content with the one long run, he has booked himself on two half marathons on the run up.

When asked what will keep him going during the training and the run itself, Peter says he often thinks of his Mum, the good times they had “and her wonderful personality“.

“Her belief in me as a son and her support to back me in whatever choice in life I made [will keep me going]. I know she is looking down on me now, cheering me on all the way and she will be with me on day in spirit and in mind”

How you can help

You can support Peter’s fundraising for The Sepsis Trust by donating to his fundraising page.

Planned website maintenance this weekend

As part of our ongoing commitment to improve our services, we’ll be upgrading our payment systems on Sunday 29 January.

The really good news is that this will:

Make it quicker and easier for your donors to donate
Give your donors a first class experience across all devices

As a result our website will be unavailable between: 14:00 on Sunday 29 January and 08:00 on Monday 30 January.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

As ever, if you have any questions please call our team on 03456 01 10 45* or email us at theteam@virginmoneygiving.com

We’re here 09:00 to 17:30, Monday to Friday.

Thank you.

The Virgin Money Giving Team

Sticking to the New Year resolutions

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Need a hand sticking to your New Year’s resolution?

Feeling guilty after too many mince pies last Christmas, and determined to get in shape this year? Had too many weekends binge watching the latest Netflix trend and want to get active? Or maybe you got a little too merry last year and want to put down your wine glass for Dry January.

Whilst picking your resolution might be easy, sticking to it can be hard.

Get your New Year’s resolution off to a good start, by giving yourself another reason to keep going. Instead of just running for you, run to make a difference to the people or causes you care about, and ask your friends and family to sponsor you for every step you take. Instead of just giving up your glass of wine, donate what you would have spent. Instead of just giving up your couch potato habits, donate your time to volunteering.

Of course, your first step is to set up your Virgin Money Giving fundraising page.

Set yourself a goal

Decide what you want to achieve and share it as much as you can. Let your friends and family know what you’re doing and why. Write it down, put it on your fundraising page, your social media pages, or even post-it notes round your house or office. Never forget what you want to achieve and, even more importantly, why you want to achieve it. What difference will you make?

Be specific

You want to keep yourself motivated, so keep timescales in mind. Factor in that some weeks, things will crop up and get in the way. If you want to start running, set yourself a distance you want to run or if you give something up, decide whether you go cold turkey or reduce the amount per week.

Don’t give up

Some days it will be harder than others, but don’t give up if you hit a bump in the road. Just because you didn’t meet your target or slipped up one day, doesn’t mean your resolution is over. Nobody’s perfect. What matters is that you pick yourself up and try again the next day. You can do it!

Celebrate your successes

Celebrating your successes will make it easier to recognise what you have achieved so why not set yourself milestones and celebrate each one? Think about doing a weekly shout out of what you’ve achieved to remind yourself to keep going, and to ask others to support and sponsor you.

Make it a game

See if you can compete with yourself by remembering where you used to be and comparing that to where you are now. Remember the difference and keep striding towards it. Team up with friends, compete against each other and support each other. You could do a weekly tally of who had the most steps, who had the most donations, or who completed a whole week.

Get committed

Remind yourself every day why you’re doing what you’re doing and the difference it will make. Find out what your resolution will do for your charity, what difference you could make to them and the people they support. Find out what your time and donations means to them, and share it with your supporters.

If you haven’t already, set up your Virgin Money Giving fundraising page and stick it to those New Year resolutions.

#fundraiserfriday: Laura lost her husband 5 days after sinus pain

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In May 2016, Laura Barley‘s husband Euan complained of sinusitis and ear ache. Five days later, he had died from what turned out to be meningitis. Euan left behind a shocked and devastated Laura and their one-year-old son, Lucas.  Laura was determined to do something for a charity which could stop others from going through the same – Meningitis Now – and conquer the Great Wall of China.

The charity

Meningitis Now‘s vision is a future where no one in the UK loses their life to meningitis and everyone affected gets the support they need to rebuild their lives.

Since Euan’s death, Meningitis Now have supported Laura and Lucas. Laura says “I want to help raise awareness about meningitis, I often wonder if we had been more aware could things have turned out differently?

The challenge

Laura tells us that she was looking through the featured fundraising events on the Meningitis Now website and the Great Wall challenge immediately appealed to her as Euan had spent part of his life in the Far East and China. Laura adds that incredibly, the Great Wall was one of the things she and Euan had discussed on their first date! She says “I felt it was a perfect thing to do in his honour.”laura-barley-for-blog-2

The training involved in such a challenge is significant! Laura and her team (cousin Emma and friends Alison and Lauren) – who Laura says have bonded well over their training – will have to be pretty fit to conquer the steps of the Great Wall.

When asked What Laura is most looking forward to about the challenge, she says she is most looking forward to seeing the finishing line and her son, Lucas. “The sense of achievement will be fantastic and knowing we have done something so challenging for such a good cause will, I’m sure, be quite overwhelming,” she says, adding;

“Completing this in Euan’s honour will be a wonderful incentive too. I know he would be immensely proud.”

How you can help

You can sponsor Laura and her team by visiting their Virgin Money Giving page and help to raise funds so that others might not have to go through what happened to Lucas and Laura.

10 Virgin Money London Marathon places competition winners

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In October of this year, we launched a competition to give away 10 places to run the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon and we are delighted today to announce the ten winners who will be storming up the Mall on the 23rd April.

A huge congratulations to:

Karen Slater
Tiago Cleto Machado
Emily Cox
Claire Wragg
Tracey Roberts
Steven Brown
Paul Brewer
Angela Parry
Karen Unger
Alannah Rohan-Wild

Don’t forget, if you’re running the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon you could win one of 600 cases of wine and an exclusive VIP upgrade including accommodation and entry to an after party simply by setting up your London Marathon Virgin Money Giving page and getting a donation!


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