Fundraising tips

Fundraising can be as fun and rewarding as conkerin’ your physical challenge. With a bit of thought, a little energy (not as much as running!) and some persistence you will see those pennies come rolling in.

Chester, our friendly mascot, is an expert in gathering funds (and nuts of course) so has shared some of his top tricks to stash that cash – squirrel style!

  • Fundraise online – the money is paid directly to us so you don’t need to do anything apart from focus on fundraising. Setting up a page is super simple - just visit our Virgin Money Giving event page and click on “Start Fundraising” on the right hand side to get going. You can then share your fundraising page with absolutely everybody – email the link to your friends and colleagues, ask them to forward it to their friends, share it on social media. Don’t forget to thank all your supporters if they have sponsored you!
  • Use social media – it is a great way of getting your message out quickly and simply to all your friends and family. You can easily keep your supporters up to date with your training, how you did on race day and let them know about the exciting and important projects their donation will help support. Tweet your training photos, Instagram pictures of the Royal Parks for inspiration, set up a Facebook group and ask each member for £1 (or more if you like) or if you like writing, why not start up a blog.
  • Get personal - tell everyone why you are running to raise vital funds for the Royal Parks Foundation. We all have an emotional bond with the Parks, whether you run through them, cycle around them, take your dog for a walk, or visit them on a lunch break, they provide a welcome escape to nature as well as having positive impacts on your wellbeing.
  • Double your funds – ask your company if they have a match-funding scheme. Essentially a company donates £1 for every £1 that you raise – who says there is no such thing as free money!
  • Fifteen minutes of fame - tell your local newspaper or radio station. This may sound a little daunting, but it’s really very simple and is a great way to raise awareness about your fundraising challenge. Local papers are often on the lookout for personal stories about their local community so you will be helping them out too. To help you on your way to fundraising fame we’ve created a press release template for you to download, personalise and send to your local media too. Team Squirrel Press Release Template.
  • Gift Aid – money for nothing! If your supporters pay UK tax and allow us to Gift Aid their donation, the government will give us at least 25% on top of their donation – without costing anyone ANY extra.  In simple terms we will receive an extra 25p for every £1 you raise. If you use an online system, this will be built into the donation process.
  • Talk to us - don’t forget to tell us why you are running to help the Royal Parks Foundation. We’re always keen to hear from our squirrels, from how your training is going to your fundraising success stories. We have our own social media channels where we would love to share your running story – helping you to raise more funds and inspiring other squirrels. Email us now! 

Get some fundraising inspiration from some of our successful squirrel alumni:

  • Have a bake sale - lay out all the treats on the kitchen table at work along with a money box and a poster telling everyone about what and who you are raising money for. Use your imagination and make some squirrel shaped biscuits and cakes!
  • Host a comedy night (squirrels are funny creatures after all!). Pubs will often hire out a space for free; then you can simply ask for donations as people arrive/leave. After everyone has had a good laugh and a bit of beer, they tend to be very generous! You can even run extra activities during the intervals, like a raffle or coin rolling competition as well.
  • Try to do something a bit different – host a woodland themed dinner party and charge your friends for the pleasure of it! By theming the event around woodland/nature it ties in nicely with the Royal Parks Foundation.
  • Have a spring clean – edge towards your target by selling any unwanted, re-usable items on eBay or at a car boot fair. It’s always amazing what people will take off your hands.
  • Counteract the Friday afternoon “slump” by setting up a regular “chocolate run” in the office and charge a small fee per bar – even 50p on top of the cost would soon add up. Use a calendar reminder for the team and you’ll soon find people coming to you with their money!