Were you lucky enough to be selected by a non-profit to represent their cause for this year’s Boston Marathon? As part of your guaranteed entry, have you committed to a pledge amount to help support your non-profit?
And finally, are you worried about raising your full marathon pledge amount?
In this post, I am going to tell you exactly how you can raise your full marathon pledge amount with ease…but first, let me give a quick background on the Boston Marathon Non-Profit Program.
Each year, prospective runners in the Boston Marathon can enter the race through two avenues:
- Qualifying for the marathon.
- Applying and being selected by one of the organizations represented in the Non-Profit Program.
In 2015, 30,000 runners participated in the Boston Marathon through the Non-Profit Program.
As a part of this program, runners must pledge to raise anywhere from $5,000 to $7,500 in order to receive their entry into the race.
And while it certainly is exciting to be selected by a charity to receive your running bib and number, raising your full pledge amount can be extremely stressful – especially when you are also training for a marathon!
To help you tackle your marathon pledge requirements and raise money to support your cause, we’ve put together a quick guide on how you can improve your fundraising tactics to meet your pledge goals for this year’s marathon.
1. Create a Fundraising Page
A great first step when committing to your pledge goal, is to create an online fundraising page.
Your fundraising page will be a perfect central location where you can drive your audience and donor base, and will make donating to your cause quick and easy!
There are many services available that allow fundraising hosts to quickly and easily create a fundraising or donation page, and even let you tailor the website specifically for your cause and goal.
When creating your page, don’t hold back on making the page as personal as possible. Spend some time telling your story, about why you chose the non-profit that you are supporting, and why that cause is important to you.
Also be sure to include any personal anecdotes you have about the marathon itself, or your motivation for running the marathon.
Finally, don’t forget to consistently update your donation page!
Did you just have a great practice run time? Did your page reach a milestone in the amount of funds raised toward your pledge? Let your audience know, to keep them engaged and remind them that they are appreciated.
2. Hold a Fundraising Event
Once you’ve created your online fundraising page, it’s time to drive some local buzz for your cause.
One of the best ways to drive support for your event and generate additional donations is to hold a small fundraising event.
While this may sound like additional work, your fundraising event does not have to be anything big – it can even be a small gathering at a local bar or restaurant after work.
You may even want to combine forces with some of your friends who are also running the marathon, to host a larger, combined event. Having a combined event will increase your attendance, and make event setup a lot easier.
The important thing here is that you are providing your friends and family with an opportunity to show their support, both for you, and for your cause.
After choosing a venue and date for your event, spend some time promoting your fundraising event.
Effective promotion of your event will increase awareness for your cause and will lead to higher attendance and donations at your event!
3. Include a Silent Auction or Raffle
As part of your online fundraising page and fundraising event, we highly recommend including an online silent auction or raffle.
Online silent auctions and raffles are great tools to help engage your audience, and will make your fundraising efforts stand out, compared to those by some of your fellow runners.
In addition, silent auctions and raffles provide an added incentive for your donors, in that you are providing them with a chance to actually win something in return for their donation.
And with online fundraising platforms available at extremely affordable prices, you can create an online silent auction or raffle at the click of a button, and can integrate this with your online fundraising page.
Running an online silent auction / raffle, instead of a traditional physical version, will allow you to provide a much larger group with a chance to donate and support your cause!
By collecting and promoting a few great silent auction or raffle items, your cause will appeal to a much larger audience, and can lead to an incredible number of additional donations.
If you’re worried about collecting items for your silent auction or raffle, just follow our guide on how to collect great fundraiser items.
4. Leverage Your Network & Social Media
Our last tip for you to reach your marathon pledge goal is to leverage your network and social media.
If you plan on following the first three steps above, this last step will be a quick and easy way to amplify your message and raise general awareness for your cause.
Regardless of the type of fundraising method you will be using, we highly recommend using social media to promote your cause. As mentioned before, always be sure to make your message personalized, and emphasize why you are running the marathon and the cause that you are representing.
If you create an online fundraising page or online silent auction / raffle, be sure to post your link on your social media accounts – this will give your audience easy access to making a donation!
After you’ve posted a few updates yourself, it’s time to leverage your network of friends and family to help you out, as well.
Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family to post on their social media accounts on your behalf – more often than not, they will be happy to post a link to your fundraising page.
Utilizing your network will allow you to increase the reach of your message exponentially, and will significantly grow your potential donor base. When you combine greater reach and awareness with the online fundraising tools we mentioned above, you will be setting yourself up to FAR SURPASS your pledge goal, while still having plenty of time to train for the marathon!