So, Kaye and I did well with our fundraising yesterday. We’ve managed to raise £265 in two days. In fact, with the Gift Aid, we have already broken through our £300 target.
We’re both lucky to be surrounded by a group of very generous friends and family, who have been incredible with their support. But personally I have still found it to be quite an unpleasant experience asking people for money.
This is not because I thought any of them would mind me asking, or begrudge giving the money to charity, but because it is just not a very natural thing to ask people for their hard earned cash without feeling a degree of guilt at the same time.
The only thing which has made it bearable is the fact that I have been able to explain that I am going to be putting myself through a slightly unpleasant experience for this cause.
Tell anyone who cares about you that you will be sleeping outside during November, and they are pretty willing to pay some sponsorship towards it. It’s almost as though they feel this is their way of giving you a warm blanket for the night.
I know that’s not the point. The point of the sponsorship should be all about the wonderful things the charity is doing, and I’m sure that helping a good cause is at least one part any sponsor’s motivation.
But look at any JustGiving or Virgin Money Giving page and most of the messages from sponsors will be words of good luck for the people raising the money rather than heart-felt thoughts about the good work the charity does.
That’s just the reality of the situation and charities need to tap into the fact that although the people who sign up to take part in events may feel some kind of connection to the cause, the people sponsoring them may not.
I think that both the events themselves and the ways that participants can ask for sponsorship need to be tailored to make the most of this reality.