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It is nowhere as hard as you think. You don't need to start your fundraising experiences by committing to raise thousands in a big marathon in exchange for a guaranteed entry. Why not get your own entry in a smaller event and start slow.


It is nowhere as hard as you think. You don't need to start your fundraising experiences by committing to raise thousands in one of the Majors in exchange for a guaranteed entry. Why not get your own entry in a smaller event and start slow. Just raise what you can with no pressure. Here's how.


The vast majority of charities do not get government funding. They reply totally on support from the likes of you and me. This could be from a legacy, from your wages, or from event fundraising. There are of course lots more revenue streams, but these are some of them. Over the last twenty years event fundraising has become more and more important to them. And it has become more and more important to the events themselves. Charities purchase entries and marketing and they then ask runners to raise a certain amount in exchange for one of these entries. The marketing that they get helps the charities attract the potential runners. The pandemic obviously devastated this model, but we are seeing the start of the long road to recovery. Events that sell out are the most attractive ones for both the charities and the runners, when targeting runners who want a guaranteed entry but when it comes to runners who have their own entry, all events aren't exactly equal, but getting much closer. A runner is as capable of raising $200 in a small event as they are in a big one. As long as the charity is there to support them, the event itself isn't as important. It's how committed are you and do you have the tools in place to hit your goal.

How do you go about supporting your favourite good cause?

Who do you support?

It's really important to select a charity that means something to you, and the closer to your heart the better. Once you've chosen, then contact the fundraising team of that charity and let them know you're fundraising for them and ask what support they can give you. Most charities of a certain size will be able to offer training plans, or have someone offering advice and support. See what's available. You don't have to take it, but it's worth finding out. You have the Sapphire Running World so you don't need to worry too much. One of the best elements of charity support are the race day support and post race parties at the bigger events.

Start early

Once you've decided you're going to support a charity then do it, right now. Don't procrastinate. The earlier you make a start the more time you have to get the money flowing in. Leave it until a few days until race day and it will end up being a challenge you could do without and you'll raise little.

Fundraising page

It is really important that as soon as you decide the charity you're going to run for you set up a fundraising page. There are a lot of fundraising platforms out there so it's best if you ask your charity which provider they use and go with that one. This will be the page that your supporters can use to sponsor you. It's the sponsorship form of yesterday and they are fantastic. You set the page up, you tell your friends, family and work colleagues about it, they go to it and add an amount using their credit card. The platform will take a few percent and the rest goes to the charity. More on this is on this blog post.

Tell people!

It might sound obvious but the more people you tell the better. It's all about getting them to your fundraising page and getting them to donate. Social media has made this so much easier, but it's all about word of mouth as well. Going to a game with mates next weekend? Then tell them all!

Set a target

If you have a guaranteed entry in an event from a charity they will set the target for you. If it's a big event, like one of the Majors, the target could be anything from $3000-$10000 depending on the event and the demand in any given year. If it's a half marathon that a charity has lots of entries in then the target might only be $300. If you have your own entry then the charity won't set a target; they will be really grateful for whatever you raise as they'll have very little cost. These will be limited to running vests and T-shirts if they provide them for you and the cost of any training, or functions. If you are invited to a post race function in one of the big events there may be a minimum fundraising target to get access to that but it won't be much. If you don't have a target set by the charity then you need to set your own. If you don't then it will impact on your drive to raise anything and your potential donors (friends and family etc) won't be as motivated.

Regard your training and fundraising as partners

When you're raising money for charity it's very different from normal training. You are doing something for others. It's not all about you and as such you need to commit time to the fundraising just like you commit time to your training. Put time aside each week and make it count. Make updates to your fundraising page, use social media to drive people to your page and tell more and more people about your achievements and plans.

Enjoy it

It might feel like a bit of a chore to start with but as you see the donations go up and as you get closer to your target you'll get an amazing sense of accomplishment. You are doing some real good and everyone will thank you for it!

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