Every big expedition I have undertaken, charity has been a key aspect. This is partly because I have the philosophy, “if you can help someone why wouldn’t you?” I have raised close to £10000 for a range of charities over the past 5 years. Over that time, whist on the expeditions, I have found the fact that ‘every pedal/step I take is helping someone’, a real motivator.
Organising an expedition to raise money for charity is easier than you think.
From a young age I became involved with the charity ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’, this is a charity which gives children with terminal illnesses a last wish. A charity particularly close to me as when I was younger once of my close friends developed leukaemia and so I helped raise money for him to go to America –luckily he made it through his treatment last year cancer free. This brings me to my first point choosing the right charity. There are many charities and organisations out there and it is imperative to choose the one which relates to you and does work which you deem to be important. Otherwise you may find your self not motivated to bring in funds or not knowing where the money you bring in is going. These are important factors if you want the trip you are embarking on to make a difference; for people to notice. You are likely to have more donations if people can relate to you and the cause to why you are fundraising for a particular organisation.
The internet now plays a key role in fundraising, long gone are the days of a sponsorship form and knocking on peoples doors. Many charities have the ability to create your own donation page on their website. The MS Society does, however on my most recent trip around Europe I opted to use ‘JustGiving’ this website is superb providing tips to gain more donations and ease of access for people to donate quickly. You simply create your page, select your charity, and write a short bio then you’re away.
For those who wish to blog on the move you can doso via your page. We chose not to do this as we did not want the blogging to detract from the expedition instead to do it on return. However we did update the page every day with our whereabouts and a brief summary of the day’s events. People found this entertaining as they could see how their money was propelling us and motivating us. It also allowed us to share any trouble we were having. This meant people came back to the page more often and made more donations because they felt we deserved more. Furthermore on JustGiving people can donate via text, online or offline so if you feel inclined to still get out the sponsor form you are able to -you just put the donations on the website as ‘offline donations’ then send to the charity independently.
It is definitely worthwhile fundraising whilst on a big trip as you are guaranteed to make money if you advertise it well. Just e-mail everyone in your inbox with a link ask them to pass it on and so on, eventually news will spread, email your local newspaper see if they can do a feature on you. The more people you reach the more money you will raise. Simple. I found using social networks like twitter really useful, if you can get famous people to “re-tweet” your page your onto a winner -Ewan McGregor was one of the people that re-tweeted me and that brought my page a lot of activity. Use charity as a motivator to get you through hard times. Use charity to make you feel good when you’re out on your expedition. Use charity to spread the name of a small charity that could do with some much needed funds. Most importantly use charity to help the lives of others.
5 Tips for Charitable Success:
1. Make you’re event stand out from the rest why is it special? Why should people donate to you? What is good about what you are doing?
2. Choose a charity which you can relate.
3. Set up an online donation page so people anywhere can easily donate.
4. Spread the word of your event so you reach anyone and everyone social networks, newspapers, e-mail etc.
5. Complete the event and then continue to spread the news of your success to raise that last bit!