Shropshire man shares his secrets on fundraising
A 25-year-old man, from Market Drayton in Shropshire, is sharing his secrets on how to successfully fundraise for a charity challenge.
James Manning, who works as a creative artist in Stoke-on-Trent, has contributed to an online fundraising pack for Caudwell Children, the national charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.
James has successfully completed two challenges for Caudwell Children, raising in excess of £5,000 along the way.
“I climbed Mt Kilimanjaro last year and it was one of the best weeks of my life,” explained James. “There are no words to describe the feeling of standing on the summit after completing a 37 mile trek and climb from start to finish.
“I’ve also done a 10,000ft skydive for the charity, which was simply mind-blowing!
“So when a member of the charity’s events team told me that I was one of their most successful fundraisers, and asked if I could I give tips and advice to prospective participants I was more than happy to help.”
The charity has introduced a number of new international challenges for 2019 and wanted James to help in ensuring that as many people as possible registered for them.
“They explained to me that some people occasionally visit their Challenges page, on their website, and don’t register for a challenge, possibly because of what they perceive as an unrealistic fundraising target.
“That’s such a shame as they’ll possibly be missing out on the experience of a lifetime and with good planning the targets are really achievable.”
James says that with his help he’s hoping that even more people will register for a life changing Caudwell Children challenge this year.
James says that putting on small events really kick-started his fundraising. “By attending an event people get something for their money,” he explained. “It could be a local band night, a disco or a quiz night.”
Venues welcome extra business on their quiet nights and James says that they are more likely to be supportive if you ask to use their facilities at such times.
“If you can arrange an event it’s important to include an auction or raffle,” said James. “You’ll find that lots of local shops and businesses will be happy to give one or two items for a good cause and I raised a good proportion of my target this way.”
Whilst you can also rely on family and friends to support your fundraising James says it’s important to reach out to the general public to boost the charity coffers. He said: “Approach your local supermarket and ask them if you can do a bag pack.
“This can raise hundreds of pounds in just a few hours and by getting people you know involved in the pack it stops them having to put their hands in their pockets again, particularly if you’ve already done a number of challenges.”
James says that fundraisers shouldn’t be afraid of approaching businesses for sponsorship ahead of a big challenge.
“I’m not talking about Nike or Google,” he explained. “Look to smaller local businesses and tell them about your challenge and how it would be a great local PR opportunity for them if they got involved.
“If you tell them how it would give them the chance to gain some local exposure, in return for their investment, they may see the value in it, especially if they have an in-house communications team who regularly work with the local media.”
James advises potential fundraisers to research the charity in detail so that they have a good understanding of what it does.
“For me having the ability to talk passionately and knowledgably about how the charity supports disabled children had a positive effect on my fundraising,” he explained.
Kerrie Davies, Associate Director of Events at Caudwell Children, is delighted that James is supporting the charity with his advice to fundraisers. She said: “James has given us a real insight into why he was so successful.
“Hopefully this information will reassure people and give them the confidence that they can hit their fundraising target and go on to have an experience that they will never forget.”
You can find out more about Caudwell Children Challenges here or you can ring the Challenge Events Team on 01782 433755.