How to reach your fundraising target!

How to reach your fundraising target!

Raising money for charity can often seem daunting, especially if you have got a high fundraising target. Whatever challenge you have taken on for VSO, there will be something here that will support you with your fundraising so read on. 


Working at VSO as the Head of Community and Events Fundraising I am inspired everyday by the commitment and determination of supporters who climb mountains, run marathons, jump out of planes, and host a range of different events for VSO. I have got lots of experience having walked over broken glass, lived on a £1 a day, participated in running and cycling events and  put on club nights all in the name of charity fundraising!

1. Start early

However daunting it seems, it always feels better when you have a plan and have got a few donations listed on your Just Giving fundraising page. It can be so easy to put it off as it is difficult to ask people for money, but trust me start today.

2. Make a fundraising plan
As well as planning your training, I would encourage you to plan your fundraising – as with everything in life some things just won’t go to plan, and other things will work better than you had hoped! See below a suggested plan for someone who has signed up to an international challenge and has a high target:

Fundraising Idea

Fundraising Target

Set up a Just Giving page and tell everyone about the amazing work that we do and why you are taking on this challenge!


Hold a number of cake sales at work over the course of the year.


Organise a luxury hamper raffle and sell the tickets for £3 each


Give something up (eg your daily coffee or using the bus) and save £60 a month.


Live off £1 a day for 5 days to raise awareness of the 1.2billion people living below the poverty line – ask 3 friends to do it with you and each raise £100


Hold a Come Dine with me event – 3 dinners over the course of the year with 6 friends at each. Ask them to pay what they think the meal was worth (av £25).


Give friends and family a Smartie tube and ask them to fill it with 20p coins. 1 tube can (believe it or not) hold £12 worth of coins.


Car boot sale- with spring just around the corner, it’s time to de-clutter!


Hold a summer BBQ and ask guests for a suggested donation


Hurrah! You’ve met your fundraising target


3. Research the work of the charity 
Remember to tell people how important their donation is to VSO! Tell your friends and family that their support can help send skilled professionals such as doctors, midwives and teachers to live and work in the heart of poor communities around the world, sharing skills and expertise that will save lives and create positive change. Most importantly, this change continues long after the volunteers have returned home, and local people are empowered to lift themselves out of poverty. Find out more about our work.  

4. Set up a fundraising page
This really is the best way to do the bulk of your fundraising and takes just a matter of minutes to set up. If you’ve never done this before here’s a couple of a key tips:

  • Adding a photo is likely to increase your fundraising target by 20%
  • Getting one or two close friends to add a high donation on the page first may encourage others to donate the same amount! 

5. Share, share, share
Tell everyone what you are doing for VSO. Share on your social media sites, blog about it, email everyone you know and shout it from the rooftops. People are busy, and they often intend to donate, but often need reminding a few times before they get around to it. It often helps to make your messages amusing or to post images of yourself training to really bring it to life for them.

Another good tip is to publically thank people on Facebook or Twitter every time you get a new donation. 

6. Think about how your personal contacts could help
Maybe you know someone in a band, or someone who works for a pub or venue? Perhaps you know someone whose business might donate a high-value raffle prize? I once raised nearly £1000 because my sister had a part-time job in a supermarket. It is usually very difficult to hold a collection or hold a park-pack in a supermarket as lots of charities book this up in advance. But because my sister could by-pass the usual authorisation process, I was able to spend two afternoons with a charity collection tin and reach my fundraising target. 

7. Competitions 
Competitions always work well. If you are doing a running event, why not hold a sweep-stake asking people to guess your time? Ensure everyone who enters donates a minimum of£20 and give a prize to the winner. Other popular ideas are guess the weight of the cake, or guess the number of sweets in the jar.    

8. Putting on an event
This can be a little more time consuming, but is lots of fun and it can leave you with a real sense of achievement. Again, I would encourage you to plan this around your contacts or interests. Do you love cooking, then why not organise a food related social event?

I once raised over £3,000 putting on a music night and whilst it was lots of work it was also great fun! I planned the date of the event carefully when I knew lots of my friends would want to meet up as they were home from university over the Christmas holidays.  

9. Fundraising in the workplace
The office is a great place to hold a cake sale, sweepstake or social event to get your colleagues to support you. 

Also make sure you ask your employer about Matched Funding as some companies have a policy to match their employees fundraising £1 for £1 which instantly doubles the amount you’ve raised.  

10. Get support from VSO if you need it   
Here at VSO we support people every day with their fundraising, and we are always on hand to help. Call us on 0208 780 7500 or email us and let us how you are getting on. Make sure you include a photo and we’ll make sure we feature you on our website. 

So, all that is left for me to say is thank you and good luck!

Laura Salisbury,
Head of Community and Events Fundraising

Ps. People spend around the same amount of money on cheese as they do on charity, so don’t worry about asking them for a £10 donation!