“My #ReasonToRun is that following my battle with Testicular Cancer and chemotherapy, I will continue to run with fight and determination for those who can’t, whilst fundraising along the way.”
Putting your charity front and centre of everything you do, really helps to drive your fundraising and get your supporters to really understand why it matters.
We caught up with Jonathan and his wife Lauren, who have run 12 Marathons each and raised over £54,000 from seven of them. Whilst it takes dedication to raise this much, everything they did is simple and easy to apply to your own fundraising.
Know what drives you
Jonathan starts by saying it’s incredibly important to know “why you’re doing it”. He adds “If you’re not running because you have a personal connection to your charity, you have to know your drive for doing it. And your supporters have to understand why you’re doing it too. There are all kinds of stories, you just have to find yours.”
Embrace your charity
What makes the real difference for Jonathan is he is personally connected to all his charities. Jonathan has had cancer, has been personally treated by Chai Cancer Care and has come out the other side. His mum Valerie was also a volunteer for Chai Cancer Care, and North London Hospice enabled her to pass from her own cancer with dignity and in peace. “You need to know exactly what your charity does, and why it really matters to you.”
Share your vision
Knowing what he was fundraising for and having a goal in mind really helped Jonathan. Whilst his mum was alive, he had a target of £50,000 for his charities. He’s now surpassed that and is hoping to raise £1000 for every year of his life – only £4000 to go to hit his target this year! Plus, Jonathan says, “having someone to support and help you keep going is a real game-changer; running without my wife would just not have been the same.”
Make a personal connection
Jonathan is happy to nudge people. He gets most of his donations simply by emailing people personally. If it’s addressed to them, they’re more likely to take notice. He’s taken the time to build a relationship with his supporters, and sends over 500 emails for each Marathon.
Make your charity visible
Just by wearing his charity vest on his training runs, he’s been able to meet new people he wouldn’t have normally and get new donations. It helps that his charities are both local, and people recognise his vest and start talking to him. Also by talking about his fundraising in his day to day life, he’s been able to get donations even from acquaintances. People just need to know about it.
Keep your supporters involved
Jonathan isn’t afraid to follow up with the people he’s asked to donate to his page, particularly to those who have expressed an interest, but have forgotten or haven’t gotten round to it. He also makes sure to go back and thank people for their donations, and let them know how he’s getting on.
Ask first to get generous donations
Starting early in December really made a difference to Jonathan. This way when he’s asked people for donations, they’re likely to give more generously to his page. He says “If you leave it later, people often give less as they’ve already donated to other fundraisers.”
Don’t ever give up
Jonathan shared the fact that he’s run the New York Marathon, the Chicago Marathon, the Berlin Marathon and it’s his sixth Virgin Money London Marathon. He tells us that his determination really came out for New York. He had intensive chemotherapy for 3 months, and only had 8 weeks to train for the Marathon. He said at the time:
“One last thing, I can’t promise I will start the 2015 New York Marathon. I can’t even promise that if I start the 2015 New York Marathon, I will finish it……But one thing I promise you, I WILL TRY TRY TRY”
With the help of friends and family, he raised a staggering £12,000 in just five days.