Now you have chosen your event, it's time to get started with your fundraising! It may seem a bit daunting to begin with, but with a little effort, imagination and fun, it is well within your reach.
If this is your first time fundraising - don't worry, for the majority of people taking part in our events this will be the first time they have ever done anything like this before.
Once you've registered, the Events Team is here to support you every step of the way. For starters we will welcome you aboard and send a comprehensive support pack full of fundraising ideas and sample letters.
As a taster we have put together a few tried and tested tips and recommendations from people who have completed their event...
Break it down into chunks
You know how much you need, or would like, to raise. Take the time to create a plan and break down your fundraising target into manageable amounts. Here are some ideas that you might like to work into your plan:
Fundraising for an event
- Ask your friends, family and colleagues for their support. The easiest and most efficient way to do this is by setting up a fundraising page on Virgin Money Giving - you could raise £200
- Hold a themed party - in a local bar (donated venue, naturally) - you could raise £300
- Organise a couple of fancy dress pub crawls (ask the landlords' or bar managers' permission first) - you could raise £500
- Persuade a few friends to fundraise on your behalf, for example by baking and selling cakes at their workplace - you could raise £100
- Hold a five-a-side football or netball tournament - you could raise £150
- Arrange a dress down day at work - you could raise £100
- Try a quiz night - you could raise £350
- Hold a 'Come dine with me' chain of dinner parties and ask your friends to donate what they would ordinarily spend in a restuarant - you could raise £300
- Hold a car boot sale - you could raise £200
- Spend your lunch time washing cars - you could raise £100
- Write five letters to close clients or suppliers - you could raise £300
- Hold a raffle in your local area - you could raise £200
- Put some collection boxes in some local bars or shops - you could raise £100
- Hold a sweepstake relating to your event - e.g. if you're running in an event for Mind - ask people to guess your finishing time and you could raise £100
That's a potential total of £3,000 or more just through your great fundraising idea - and there are so many more ideas out there, it's just a matter of deciding what will work well for you!
Create your very own web page
Click here to set up your page!Setting up an onine fundraising page is an excellent way to raise sponsorship. You can personalise your page and then email the link to everyone you know, allowing your friends and family to easily donate at the click of a button.
It saves you having to ask people in person, and you have the assurance that the funds are automatically and regularly transferred to us, which we will then add to your overall fundraising total.
Once you've set up your page you can link it to your social networking site such as Facebook (use the Virgin Money Giving application), and Myspace, or tweet about it on Twitter. This is a great way to help spread the word!
You can also tell people about Mind by posting the link to our short film - This is Mind on your page. It's a great introduction to our work, and will show them how their donated funds will help.
Guess2Give - an exciting, new, online sweepstake
Guess2Give is an online sweepstake where everyone who makes a guess, could WIN the cash prize.
Run, cycle, swim, trek, wedding speech or paper plane challenge? Whatever your event or occasion, set up a free Guess2Give sweepstake to challenge your friends and raise money.
Here’s how it works:
- Set up a Guess2Give sweepstake for your event or occasion.
- Each guess is just £3
- Up to £2.50 (inc. Gift Aid) goes to the charity while 50p from each guess goes into the prize fund.
- Whoever guesses closest to the result, WINS.
Get the most from your sponsor forms - Top tips
- Carry your sponsorship form everywhere - you never know when an opportunity may arise. By speaking to people in person about your fundraising efforts they will often want to donate on the spot.
- Rope in some help by distributing the forms amongst your family and friends, and they will be able to reach a wider network of people.
- Make up the first amount on your form - for example £20, as normally people will follow suit.
- Need more sponsorship forms? We will provide you with a sponsor form in your fundraising pack which you can use and photocopy as you wish. We can also email you a sponsorship form to print out as much as you like - request yours here!
Think about who you know - get people involved
Try and get people to help you, you're likely to know many other people who are behind the cause and people like to feel involved. It's worth thinking about who you know and what they might be able to offer other than donated sponsorship.
Donated venues: Do you have a connection with someone who works in a pub, bar or restaurant who might be able to hold a quiz night for you, or donate funds from an existing night to your sponsorship?
Donation of skills: It's worth thinking about what your friends do for a living and what skills they might be able to offer in return for donations towards your sponsorship - this could be anything from cooking, gardening, baking, language teaching, massages or gift wrapping.
Donation of gifts: If you're organising a raffle or car boot sale, it's worth asking people you know if they have any unwanted gifts or products to take off their hands. They'll probably be grateful for the favour!
Donation of time: It's always great to get people to volunteer to help with your fundraising activities, and they're often great fun too! A fancy dress collection has the most impact with a larger group - more people should ultimately mean more money raised!
Don't be afraid to ask everyone you know, and ask them to ask everyone they know! You will be surprised who is willing to donate their time, skills as well as money to support your fantastic efforts.
Organising an event or fundraising activity
Make them fun! Organise events that will be fun for your friends, family or colleagues. If it's a well thought out event, and you're offering a good event to the right group of people - you'll find that more people will want to come and will be happy to donate for the pleasure.
Some ideas : Ladies 'pamper' night, darts, pool or 5-a-side football competition, quiz night, themed party, masquerade ball, murder mystery party, golf match.
Give something back: It is good to offer people something in return for their money. If you offer a service or a prize in return for their donation you may find that the same people will keep coming back. Even the chance of a prize is a good incentive to donate - a raffle with one top prize can be enough to sell hundreds of tickets!
Organising a large event
When you're organising a large event, for example a ball, you need to plan it extremely carefully if this is something you have never done before. It might be best to do a few smaller scale events to begin with, so that you know what it entails.
If you do decide to organise a large event, here are a few tips to help you plan and considerations you'll need to make amongst other things :
- Your event - concept and theme - Themed parties are great, but you need to think about your audience - what will appeal to the people you know and your local area? What's topical at the moment, or could you base your event around a date in the calendar - a Valentine or Easter ball, or Halloween party.
- Your audience - Who will the event appeal to, and do you already have a captive audience for ticket sales? You should ask around and guage people's interest. If needed, you should also think about how you will promote this to the general public, and whether you can you get yourself in the local press?
- Initial costs - Write a list of everything you need to make the event successful. Try to secure as much as you can for free, but make sure you are realistic the expected costs. How much will the venue cost, will you have food and drink expenses, band or DJ hire, decorations, marketing? You need to plan well to avoid spending large amounts of money just in case it goes wrong.
- How many tickets do you need to sell to break even (be realistic)? You need to make sure the event is going to make money for Mind, and people will want to know that the majority of their ticket money is going to the charity. You should make this transparent so that your guests know how much of the ticket sales is going to Mind.
- Tickets should be sold in advance, not on the door.
- Timings - You should give yourself plenty of time to organise everything, and build in contingency time in case you need it!
- Event date - Check there aren't any similar events taking place locally on the same day, and make sure it doesn't clash with any other big sporting events, for example a football match or the Grand National. If you're planning a garden party or outside event you need to have a contingency plan if the weather is bad. This is another reason why you should sell tickets in advance.
- Secure your venue - make sure this is confirmed before you start selling tickets. Get something in writing.
Publicise your event
Get the local press involved. It's great to let people in your area know what you are doing, and also raises awareness of Mind and mental health. It is a good opportunity to promote your Virgin Money Giving web page and any fundraising events you are planning. We will provide you with sample press releases in our fundraising pack.
Writing to companies
Only write to companies that you have an existing connection with - otherwise brace yourself for lots of rejection letters. You'll find that smaller, local companies and businesses will be more willing to support your efforts - perhaps by providing a raffle prize or donation. If you have some local press lined up, you can let them know that you'll mention their donation in the paper.
Materials will help your event stand out and will also help to promote the cause. We can provide you with fundraising materials such as collection boxes and tins, lapel stickers, fundraising authorisation letter, balloons, leaflets and posters (subject to availability). Please call 0844 4484452.
Keep going! You are always going to get some knock backs but don't let them put you off, it's all part of the challenge of fundraising. Remember we are here to help if you need any support or advice.
Thank you again for all of your efforts - we really rely on the support of people like you to continue our important work. Your help will enable us to carry on reaching out and supporting the one in four people that experience mental health problems every year in the UK.
If you have any fundraising ideas that have worked that you'd like to share with other Mind supporters - please email them through to us!
If you need any help with your fundraising or just want to run a few ideas past us please contact the events hotline on 0844 4484452 and the Events Team will be happy to help.