So, my friend Katy and I signed up to do the London Landmarks Half Marathon with #TeamNow with just eight weeks to go until race day. We both work for Breast Cancer Now so we see every day the amazing work that our researchers do, and wanted to help power them towards a day where everybody who develops breast cancer lives – and lives well.
The fact we signed up so close to race day was massively daunting for Katy, as it’s going to be her first half marathon. That’s a lot of training to manage in a short time! But the scariest thing for me was the combined fundraising target we’d committed to – it was £800. That’s £100 a week. How were we going to manage that?!
We did some planning, and came up with some ideas. Loads of people do massive events like balls and gala days but we thought that with the time given, we needed to hit our fundraising little and often. We didn’t have the time to plan anything massive. Here are all the ideas we came up with, and I’ll let you know how successful they’ve all been at the end!
Fundraising little and often ideas
Actually beg friends and family
That’s what social media is for. Get sharing your fundraising page - I recommend Virgin Money Giving or JustGiving - and let them know why the cause is close to your heart. I predict this will make up between 30-40% of our fundraising, and has already got us off to a great start.
Get a letter of authorisation from your chosen charity and go around all your local businesses to get raffle prizes. We’re approaching partners that work with Breast Cancer Now, like M&S and Debenhams, as well as small eateries and cafes locally that might donate a dinner for two or something similar. Will charge about £3 a ticket. Hopefully this should raise a couple of hundred pounds if the prizes are good enough.
We’re ditching the bake sales in favour of some savoury snacks. We’ll be the secret Friday hangover office saviours and make toasties on Friday lunchtimes for £3.50 a pop.
Tell your friends and colleagues to hold off that charity shop dash with their black bin bags. Gather everyone together in a pub function room, with their unwanted (clean and not broken) clothes, charge them a tenner each, and get trading. You get donations and your friends get a wardrobe refresh. Fabulous.
Check with the charity if they’ve got any bucket collections organised in the coming months. They normally get them set up months in advance so it’s worth asking about. Breast Cancer Now had one organised in Kings Cross and for a morning’s work Katy managed to raised over £150 on her own! Hopefully I’ll be able to go to the next one and we’ll be able to raise even more with double the buckets.
Donations in lieu of gifts
So easy. Just tell people to make a donation instead of giving you a birthday or crimbo present – Facebook do a really good birthday donation app that could help.
Okay, I lied when I said we were ditching the bake sale. We capitalised on Valentine’s Day and put our colleagues up against each other in a loved-up bake off. A bit of oven based competition means that you’re guaranteed to get a higher calibre of cake brought to the table. Which means you can charge more for them, and raise more cash. Easy, right?
I don’t think this is something that will be easy as we work for the charity already, but apparently lots of banks and business’ will match your fundraising penny for penny if you ask them nicely enough. This can halve your fundraising efforts so it’s really worth finding out if this is an option - ask your partner, parents, brothers and sisters - anyone that works for a nice big rich company.
With all this, hopefully we can smash that fundraising target and help Breast Cancer Now to make life-saving research happen. So far between family and friends donating, bake sales and toastie Fridays we’ve raised an amazing £587 between us! With four weeks to go we’re more confident than ever that we can smash that fundraising target, and the training is coming along nicely too.
Thanks for reading, and happy fundraising. Together with the rest of #TeamNow, we know we can show breast cancer the finish line.
If you need any more inspiration, visit our website to find the perfect idea for you.