Simon Gladwin is one of our star London Marathon runners who will be running the 26.2-mile challenge on 23 April. Having raised his entire fundraising target of £2,500 over a single weekend, (yep you read that right) Simon shares his top tips to raise funds for charity.
Find out as much as you can about the charity to feel inspired by the cause you are running for
Running the London Marathon has been on my bucket list for a long time, so when I saw a Facebook advert promoting marathon places for RSBC I applied straight away. To my delight, it wasn’t long before I was accepted, and keen to find out more about RSBC’s work I paid the charity a visit.
I was really inspired that RSBC is giving blind and partially sighted people the chance to try out new activities for the first time like archery and skiing. This struck a chord with me, as I used to be a teacher, and I know how much joy these activities can bring to young people. Feeling inspired by the cause has made it so much easier to train and fundraise for RSBC.
Drum up support on social media and local press
Firstly I set-up my Just Giving page and promoted that on social media. However, I knew I had to go further than asking a few friends on Facebook to get the money in. So I came up with the idea to host three fundraising events to help me reach my £2,500 target.
First-up I arranged to host a cabaret night. I designed my posters and fliers which I distributed in my local area. I also got in touch with BBC Radio Shropshire who were kind enough to give me an interview. Getting in touch with local press really helped spread the word and get people through the door.
Host a raffle to boost your fundraising
The cabaret night went really well and most of the money raised actually came from the raffle. I found that people don’t mind giving you money when there is a chance they could be getting something in return so it’s a good way to raise cash.
To source raffle prizes I found it easier to approach local businesses as a local person.
I went for prizes that were diverse, like local shop vouchers or meals in local pub restaurants. One of the most popular prizes I got from the local garage. It was a free MOT!
At the end of the cabaret night, I raised an amazing £600.00 from the raffle so I definitely recommend hosting a raffle as one of my top fundraising tips!
Team up with a mate to reach your fundraising target
The idea of raising £2,500 all by yourself can be quite daunting, so I was fortunate that my friend Victoria Peal joined me in my fundraiser. She is also running some half marathons to raise funds for RSBC. Thank you Victoria.
I also teamed up with a friend of mine who lives in Cologne to run my next two fundraisers. He had the idea of running a fundraising day, with a sponsored football match followed by a race night.
The football team that play usually pay to take part and for the hire of the pitch, so this time round the money went into the fundraising pot. The match was really good fun and my team won 4-1!
Watch Simon talking about his fundraising weekend from Cologne
For the race night, we got eight pubs in the area involved. Each pub paid 100 euros to sponsor a race, and then half of the money betted on the horses went to RSBC. That same weekend my mum also hosted an afternoon tea back in England, so in that weekend alone I raised £2,500.
I can imagine crossing the finish line will be very emotional
I’m really looking forward to the atmosphere on marathon day, running with thousands of others being cheered on by the crowds. I can imagine crossing the finish line will be very emotional, as so much has gone into getting to the start line. I can’t wait!
Feeling inspired by Simon’s genius tips? Take on the 2018 London Marathon yourself
Feel the thrill of crossing the London Marathon finish line in 2018 and use Simon’s tips to smash your target and raise funds for blind children. Fill in your details below to register your interest.