Posts Tagged 'fundraiser'

Whatever you do, be creative

“Being happy to be alive and urging for more progress with brain research is my #ReasontoRun

One thing we’ve learned this week is that when you’re fundraising, it’s really important that your donation requests, your story and your page stand out. If they are different, if they grip your supporters, you interest people and interested people make donations. If there’s anything you can do to really bump up your donations, it’s to captivate people with your creativity.

This week, we spoke to fundraiser Michael Nollet. He’s raised over £3500 so far for Brain Research Trust, who research neurological conditions such as brain tumours and Alzheimer’s Disease. We believe his fundraising has been successful because of how he shares his story on his blog.

Be unique

One way to grab people’s attention is to share your story your own way. Give it your own personality, and if you can, add photos to help people visualise it. Michael’s story worksMichael Nolet - Early 2006 well because he presents it not only in a blog, but in a comic strip that’s easily digestible, quirky and gets his point across.

Have fun with it

Don’t be afraid to share the positives of your story; the moments that kept you going, or made you smile and step back for a minute. Michael does this by taking one of his most vulnerable moments after his surgery, and turning it into something funny. It’s okay to laugh; if anything, it helps people connect with you.

Give people a reason to explore

Michael says, “Design a site people can surf around a bit with. Better they feel there’s more to explore – so long as it’s interesting – than that they’ve seen it all on first visit.” He does this by having separate tabs to help guide people to the content they want to read: ‘My Story’, ‘My Blogs’, ‘Gratitude’ and ‘DONATE’.

Find a thread

Michael says, “Create an excuse to keep blogging – whether it be milestones in your fundraising or simply a mile per blog.” This way your blogs are connected so people know what to expect, and they’re more likely to come back to read again and, with any luck, sponsor again. This way they can follow your whole journey.

Mix it up

“Keep your blog content varied; repeating the same sort of stories gets predictable which could mean people will stop following your blogs,” Michael tells us. His blogs vary from sharing his own experiences of having a brain tumour, to how the research can help so many different causes. It never feels like the same story, there’s always something new, a different angle, something fresh.

Keep it up

Michael says, “Get ready for an initial burst in sponsorship followed by a big drop off. Each blog’s worth lots of potential sponsorship, so work hard at them all.’ So if you make sure to post regularly, you can maintain people’s interest and keep the donations coming in. People can’t forget about you if you keep them in the loop. At the same time, each blog needs to have a purpose – post every day and you might lose people’s interest.

Share photos, not just links

Michael says, “Don’t just post links to your blog on Facebook – add photos.” This way your blog can reach more people, and also catch more people’s attention.

Help them understand

If your supporters can really understand what happened, they can understand your motivation. Michael lets his supporters into his memories, so they can really feel how he felt when he had a seizure. It’s the difference between just telling them what happened, and helping them feel as if it happened to them.

60 seconds. Thousands of aggressive, electrical charges force my fingers to move in random directions.  Someone else is in control – I’m a passenger in my own body. I want whatever’s taken over to stop. But the waves keep coming. If only I could stop this invasion

Give it some perspective

Michael shares how one of his friends – who also had a brain tumour – said “I have the MRI scans at home… and I have one framed on the wall. When I am having a really bad day I look at the scan and think if I’ve dealt with that – then it doesn’t seem as bad.” With his Michael Nolet - Stitched Upown scan in the blog, it shows the reality of his situation and helps you to really appreciate the everyday moments, and why his fundraising is so important.

Bring it back to fundraising

Michael often writes about his cause as a way to connect to his fundraising, like this excerpt from his blog:

“The good news is that the average brain generates around 50,000 thoughts per day. However, the bad news according to scientists is that disturbingly 70% of these thoughts in most people are apparently negative!

So with a cheeky smile, and in the words of my friend Tom Burmester, I say to you: Do something good! Sponsor Mike.”

Not got a lot of time?

Don’t worry, you can still take a few pointers from Michael. If your event is coming up soon, you could create a photo based blog with shorter written text, or you could write about the countdown itself, or maybe even as a way to let people know what’s going on in the run up to the day, and how things went on the day itself. You can put as much or as little into it as you like, but whatever you do say, don’t be afraid to be yourself with it.

Have you found a creative way to share your fundraising story? Share it with us on Facebook or @VMGiving


RideLondon fundraising hero: Martin cycling for Tommy’s

martin and amelia
On Sunday 31 July, Martin Phillips will be one of thousands of cyclists taking to the road for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100. But Martin isn’t simply hoping to complete the 100 mile challenge, he is doing it for the charity Tommy’s.

Why RideLondon?

Martin decided to take on the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 after moving to the Surrey Hills a few years ago and being inspired by the cyclists whizzing past the end of his road during last year’s race. A truly unique challenge, RideLondon weekend – a festival of cycling – sees amateur cyclists riding alongside professionals round a 100 mile course for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 as well as a 46 mile version and a family friendly free-cycle, amongst other events.

Why Tommy’s?

The decision to fundraise for the charity Tommy’s was a personal one, after experiencing what Martin describes as the “amazing support and care” he and his family were shown by the charity after an extremely traumatic time. His daughter Amelia was born at 29 weeks, weighing two pounds and six ounces, nine weeks after Amelia’s twin sister was born who, sadly, lost her life. Martin says

“At the time I vowed to do an event to support Tommy’s and ten years on, am taking part in the 100 mile ride for them. Amelia will be in my thoughts for most of the ride and she will be there on the day supporting me, along with my wife and other two children.”

Martin has so far managed to raise more than £6,100 including gift aid, a figure which he expects to rise over the coming weeks. He points out that the hills in the area might be beautiful to look at but are “much less fun, trying to get up them on a bike made for Bradley Wiggins and not a middle aged Headhunter“. However he adds that it will all be worth it once he completes the race and comes home to “a barbecue and a couple of glasses of well deserved wine“.

How you can help

You can support the charity Tommy’s and Martin’s fundraising efforts by donating to his Virgin Money Giving page.

#charitytuesday: Whizz-Kidz Christmas campaign

whizz kidz christmas

Love it or not, we are sliding ever more quickly towards the festive season. ‘Tis the season of delicious over indulgence, of dozing on the sofa and watching Christmas movies, of mulled wine, egg nog and Christmas parties. This #charitytuesday, Whizz-Kidz are suggesting a healthier run up to Christmas, all for a good cause.

So why not shake off the winter cobwebs by taking part in the Whizz-Kidz 12 days of Christmas Fitness Challenge? Running from 1-12 December, they want you get active and have fun in the gym, at school, at university or at work.

Whizz-Kidz Fundraising Manager JoJo Blythen said,

“It’s such a quick, simple and fun thing to do with your friends, family or even at work in the festive period.  It will support families across the UK that are currently waiting for the right wheel chair to change their lives.”

To take part in the Whizz-Kidz 12 days of Christmas Fitness Challenge, register online.

Whizz-Kidz supports young disabled people to access the right mobility equipment including powered wheelchairs. We deliver wheelchair skills-training, work placements, and other life-skills to help their transition from childhood to adulthood.

Once you’ve registered, don’t forget to get your fundraising page set up, share it with friends and family and get those donations rolling in.

#fundraiserfriday: Phillip’s 7 marathons for The Maypole Project

Vitality Run Hackney Half Marathon

The endurance of some of our fundraisers’ challenges never fail to amaze us, and 7 marathons in 48 hours is definitely up there! That’s exactly what today’s #fundraiserfriday star Phillip Price intends to do in September 2016.

Phillip’s story

“My story begins 6 years ago when I volunteered at one of the first activity days at The Maypole Project. The Project work with children and young people who have complex medical needs, life threating illnesses and disabilities. The project support the young people and their entire family through emotional support and activities. I had never worked with children with any type of illness, disability or complex medical need and after spending just one afternoon working with these children, I knew that The Maypole Project’s services needed to be supported as much as they could. Six years on, one trek up Kilimanjaro, several half marathons, marathons and ultra-marathons later, I have seen first hand how the power of running and taking part in challenges can change life for the better and can give these families opportunities they may not normally get.”

Phillip’s challenge

“In under a year, I will run 184 miles in 48 hours. This will push me to my limits both physically and mentally. It’s going to be the toughest thing I have ever trained for and it won’t be pretty. I know there will be times when it will all get too much, there will be tears and tantrums and there will be times I’ll want to quit. But with the reason Why I Run, to raise vital awareness and funds for this wonderful and inspiring charity who families refer to as “a life line for a life time“, I know I will do it.”

How you can help

You can support Phillip’s intense challenge via his Virgin Money Giving page, or if you want to support The Maypole Project yourself, you can set up a page and fundraise for them too.

#fundraiserfriday: Channon’s story


Today is #fundraiserfriday and we’re delighted to bring you a guest blog from Channon Titley. Channon battled with an Anorexia Nervosa for around six years, during which time her life was in severe danger. Thanks to the support of her family and the charity Beat, Channon is now in a position where she is participating in several runs throughout the year to return the support that Beat gave her.

Channon’s story

“When I was just 13 years old I was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa. At my lowest point, my weight had plummeted to a dangerous level and I was told that if they didn’t get me to a hospital that I would be at great risk of death. I had an irregular heart beat and my blood pressure became dangerously low meaning that I was constantly fainting/feeling faint. I had Osteopenia and and my ovaries had shrunk due to not having any periods, I was told there was a great risk I may be infertile as I grew older.

My battle with Anorexia went on for around 6 years where I would have relapses and go back to old habits. I was in and out of hospitals, inpatient units, day clinics etc and fed via nasogastric tube when I gave up on the battle completely. Times got so dark I honestly couldn’t see a way out and it felt like a drug, sucking the life out of me. I couldn’t see anything but Anorexia and it had me stuck in the depths of its grip.

When I was first admitted to hospital my Mum stayed by my bed side day and night for over a month, washing me, holding my hand, reading to me and trying to bring back that smile that she loved so dearly until a bed finally became free in the special inpatient hospital. My parents were my rock throughout everything and I would like to thank the charity Beat for all the help they gave me and my family throughout this dark time. There needs to be more awareness of young people with eating disorders because I believe if you catch the signs and symptoms early enough it can and will be beaten.”


Beat is the UK’s largest national charity supporting people affected by eating disorders, their family members and friends, and campaigning on their behalf. Beat provides Helplines and online message boards, information and support groups.

We aim to increase knowledge, awareness and understanding of eating disorders; to provide support, help and information to people directly affected; and to increase the understanding and skills of professional staff.

You can help

Channon ended by explaining why she chose the picture of her and her father.

“I lost my dad in July of this year just before his 50th birthday. He is the greatest, kindest and most heroic man I have ever know and without him not only would I not have raised half as much money as what I have but I may not be here today. He helped me become the woman that I am and I owe so much to him.”

You can support Channon and Beat by donating to her Virgin Money Giving page.

Our Fundraiser Video competition winner – Iain Fryatt

iain 2

At the end of May, we launched a competition which would send one inspirational fundraiser to New York City. We asked fundraisers up and down the country to send us a 90 a second video showing us their fundraising, telling us why their charity was important to them and what motivated them to undertake the challenge.

We received a huge number of incredible entries, each one an inspirational story, whether it be overcoming hardship, supporting a loved one or fundraising in memory of someone special. After managing to create a shortlist of ten, it was an extremely difficult job to pick a winner. One story, however, stood out: an incredible story, an arduous challenge and a truly inspirational fundraiser.

We are delighted to introduce the winner of the Fundraiser Video competition, Iain Fryatt.

At the age of 9, Iain was diagnosed with Friedreich’s Ataxia; a disease which causes progressive damage to the nervous system and can often result in heart muscle disease and diabetes. 18 years later, the disease means that Iain has problems with his balance, speech, swallowing and spine and is in a wheelchair. Despite the issues with his health, in October of last year – accompanied by his dad Graham, dad’s partner Karen, brothers Callum and Craig, cousin Billy and Nick the mountain medic – Iain took on one of the world’s toughest challenges, he ascended Mount Kilimanjaro and became the first person to ever complete the challenge on a Mountain Trike.

Iain and his companions raised over £11,100 for Ataxia UK – the leading national charity for people with ataxia, their families and carers, providing support and aiming to find treatments and cures. We believe that Iain is an extremely deserving winner of this competition, a sentiment mirrored by Disabled Motoring UK who have shortlisted Iain for their O A Denly award. This award will recognise a disabled person who has taken on a truly inspiring challenge.

You can still donate to Iain’s Virgin Money Giving page. A huge congratulations to him and those who ascended the mountain with him, we hope he has a fantastic trip to New York.

Kate Gross, Someone Special

kate draft

2015 saw the launch of Virgin Money Giving’s “Someone Special” fundraiser functionality, whereby numerous fundraisers can open pages in honour of someone special, whether that be to celebrate a person’s recovery, to support someone by raising money for a cause important to them, or to fundraise in someone special’s memory.

Today is #FundraiserFriday and we have a special guest blog from Jean Gross on why it’s so important to hit the £15,000 Virgin Money fundraising target for the charity Street Child.

“My daughter Kate Gross died on Christmas Day at the age of 36, ten minutes before her five year old twin sons Oscar and Isaac woke to ask if they could open their stockings. She’d been diagnosed with advanced colon cancer two years before.

I wrote about her death in an article in the Guardian that has now, amazingly, been viewed by more than a million people.

After someone you love dies, you search for meaning. A friend of mine said, when her partner died ‘I searched everywhere but I couldn’t find any’. She’s right – you can’t always find meaning. But what you can do is make meaning. And that is what we are doing by trying to raise funds for the charity Street Child.

As a small child, Kate became quite worried about the possibility of losing parents. ‘Is she a ‘norphan’, Mummy?’ she would ask, a question shaped by favourite books (The Little Princess, Ballet Shoes, The Secret Garden) and Disney movies (Bambi, Snow White). When first diagnosed with cancer, she wrote a blog post about her fear that her children too might end up as ‘norphans’.

They haven’t, and there is no reason why they should. They have a lovely Dad. But other children are less fortunate.  When Kate died, she asked for donations in her memory instead of flowers at her funeral, to be made to her favourite charity, Street Child.  The charity supports children in Sierra Leone, where Kate herself had worked, and it has much to do with ’norphans’. A few weeks ago we had an email from them, saying that they are planning to open new starter schools in rural areas once the Ebola epidemic is over, and wondering if they might name one after Kate. One day, we hope that Oscar and Isaac will visit that school.

Our target is to raise £15,000 for Kate’s school. We are getting there. Please donate today to help us build a future for these children.”

You can find out more about the Someone Special functionality on our website.

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