Posts Tagged 'Fundraising'

#ReasontoRun

This year, the Virgin Money London Marathon has a very special theme. We are asking people to think about their #ReasontoRun. Hugh Brasher, the race director, explained;

We know every single runner has a unique #ReasonToRun the world’s greatest marathon. Whether it’s to set a PB, to raise money for a cause, to remember a loved one, to break a Guinness World Record, to win, to remain an Ever Present, to qualify for Great Britain or just because it’s always been a dream to run the London Marathon – the reasons are endless and we would love to hear them.”

We decided to ask some of our fundraisers to share their reasons for taking part in this amazing event. You can click on each fundraiser’s name to find out more.

Heidi fundraising for Tommy’s in memory of her son, James.

“My #ReasontoRun is my baby James and all the steps he will never take and to raise funds for Tommy’s so they can help future babies find their feet rather than their wings.”

Jonathan is fundraising for North London Hospice and Chai Cancer Care following his own battle with cancer.

“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.”

Michael is fundraising for Brain Research Trust after undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumour.

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

Nick is fundraising for Macmillan and Treetops Hospice Care.

“It’s easy to just exist when you live with long-term conditions, so my #ReasonToRun is to live, not simply exist, with persistent pain and fatigue.”

John is fundraising for Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland following the sudden death of his best friend.

“My #ReasontoRun is that following a serious illness, running gave me a new lease of life – it’s great”

Peter is fundraising for The Sepsis Trust in memory of his mum.

“My #ReasontoRun is to help prevent more needless lives being taken from Sepsis so my mums life will not have been in vain”

Be your charity’s hero

“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.

Have you gone the extra mile to inspire more people to donate? Share how you did it with others @VMGiving or on Facebook

#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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“My #ReasontoRun is my baby James and all the steps he will never take and to raise funds for Tommy’s so they can help future babies find their feet rather than their wings.”

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

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.

#fundraiserfriday: From finding out I was expecting a baby to saying goodbye to my inspirational little lady

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In the short space of 18 months, Victoria Guthrie went from the elation of finding out she was expecting a new baby to saying goodbye her ‘inspirational little lady’. Victoria and Henrietta share today’s #fundraiserfriday star.

Henrietta’s story

After a normal pregnancy, baby Henrietta surprised everyone with her quick entry to the world, which revealed that she had Noonan syndrome and an extensive list of life limiting conditions. These included JMML which is a form of Leukaemia, Tetralogy of Fallot and bi-ventricular hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, characterised as the thickening of both sides of her heart muscle. Henrietta was unable to feed naturally which meant that although Victoria and Henrietta were able to have 9 months of ‘big girl sleepovers’ at a children’s hospital, 7 months of which were in an intensive care unit, Henrietta never got the chance to go home with her devoted family.

Cardiomyopathy UK

During her time with Henrietta in hospital, Victoria saw a lot of incredible charities doing amazing things for the seriously sick children around her but noticed that there were fewer donations given to cardiac babies like Henrietta. Due to the devastating news that Henrietta’s prognosis was a life expectancy of less than 12 months, Victoria felt it was vital that Henrietta experience as much as she could within the hospital walls and that “seeing some children receive virtually nothing, particularly on Christmas day in ICU” is an image she will carry with her forever. Victoria vowed then that she would find a way to help those living with cardiomyopathy and help people understand that heart conditions aren’t just found in the ageing or with poor lifestyles.henrietta-2

Taking on the London Marathon

As a way of coping with the death of her daughter, Victoria turned to running, inspired by her youngest daughter who had become fixated with Mo Farrah. During one longer run, Victoria decided that running the London Marathon would be a great way to honour her “little lady” and teach Henrietta’s siblings that good things can come out of tragedy. She adds “such an inspirational and aspirational event can challenge you personally whilst also allowing you to raise much needed funds for charities like Cardiomyopathy UK.

Victoria tells us that finding time to train can be very challenging at the best of times but with a young family of 4, Victoria’s training has been a full family effort. Rising as early as 4am, with any lie-ins being replaced with long runs and hill sessions.

Victoria’s motivation

If you ask Victoria what will keep her running, even in her bleakest moments, the answer is simple: love.

“All I want is people to feel supported and not to suffer alone, whether they are the patient or the family. We know first-hand that a diagnosis can rip your world apart. Everyone affected deserves the support of Cardiomyopathy UK – to know it’s always there for you. And with Cardiomyopathy affecting people of all ages and being the main cause of sudden death in young people under 35, its work is vitally needed.”

How you can help

You can support Victoria’s challenge in honour of Henrietta by donating to her Virgin Money Giving page. Every penny raised will help to make a huge difference:

  • £7 pays for a 10 minute call to a specialist helpline nurse,
  • £10 pays for 3 families who have a child with cardiomyopathy to get the right information,
  • £20 pays for 4 people to receive a ‘living with cardiomyopathy’ pack,
  • £60 pays for 150 people newly diagnosed to get detailed information from the website,
  • £150 pays for a doctor or nurse to be trained at the annual conference.

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