Setting up an online fundraising page

Whether you're asking for donations for your birthday, taking on a fundraising challenge or raising money in memory of a loved one, setting up an online fundraising page is a simple, quick and safe way for your friends and family to support you and raise funds for Sight Research UK.

There are lots of different online fundraising platforms, but it is quickest for us to be able to process donations with JustGiving or Virgin Money Giving. Keeping our admin costs to a minimum means that more of your money goes straight to eye research. Make sure you select Sight Research UK as your charity when setting up your page. 

If you have any questions or issues when setting up an online fundraising page, just get in touch with us and we'll be happy to go through the set up process with you.

Here are some tips for making the most from your fundraising page:

Tell your story

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Let your supporters know why you are fundraising, what you are doing to raise money, what their support means to you, and how it will benefit the cause you care about. Post regular updates to let your supporters know how your fundraising/training is going and remind them why their donations are so important.

Show your supporters what they are helping to achieve

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Explain why you have chosen to support Sight Research UK with your fundraising and tell them a bit about what we do. There’s lots of information on our website about how your funding helps to look for new sight saving treatments, or you can get in touch with us directly and we can tell you more.

Upload photos

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Fundraising pages with photos tend to raise more than pages without. Brighten up your page with pictures of you and your team training, or pictures of the people you are fundraising for, and update them regularly to keep your page looking fresh.

Set a target

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Setting a realistic but challenging target is a great way to encourage your supporters and keep you motivated. If you hit your original target faster than you expected, you can always increase it!

Ask your nearest and dearest first

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Try sending your fundraising page link to your family and closest friends first, as they are the most likely to support you. A blank page can be a bit intimidating for people who know you less well, so having donations already on there when you share the page more publicly can help encourage more support. People also tend to match donations already on a page and your family and close friends are more likely to give more generous amounts to set the bar.

Use social media

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Once you have sent your fundraising page to your closest family and friends, using social media is a great way to spread your page far and wide amongst other people you know. Posting regular updates on how your fundraising or training is going with a link to your fundraising page on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram will get the word out and remind people to donate. Don’t just post the link on its own as people are much less likely to click on it.

You could also update your profile photo and bio to be related to your fundraising so every time someone interacts with you on social media they’ll see what you are up to.

Use videos

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Videos are one of the most engaging ways to communicate with potential supporters, and they are so easy to make on camera phones. Post your videos about your fundraising or training on social media with a link to your fundraising page to boost engagement.

Use your email signature

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Add a link to your fundraising page to your email signature to help spread the word. Ask your boss if you can add it to your work email signature as well to encourage donations from your colleagues.

Set up a team page

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If you are fundraising as a group, you can set up individual pages which all link to one team page. This then gives an overall total for how much your team has raised as a whole, as well as including links to each of the individuals in your group’s pages.

Add offline donations

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If someone gives you cash or a cheque as a donation, you can add this to your offline total on your fundraising page, and this then keeps your overall total up to date. Remember that the offline donations will need paying in to us directly. Cheques should be made out to Sight Research UK.

Don't be afraid to ask again

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It takes more than one ask to reach your target. People may have not seen your page when you first emailed or shared it. Or they may have meant to donate later and forgotten, or it may not have been a good time. Send another email and share the page again to remind people. Send your reminders just after pay day might make it easier for people to donate.

Connect to Strava

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JustGiving and Virgin Money Giving both connect to fitness tracking app, Strava, and can post your activity straight to your online fundraising page, which is a great way to engage with your supporters. It could be that you post your training in the run up to your challenge, or if you are doing a challenge over a number of days, you can keep your supporters updated on your progress as you go.

Contact the local press

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Promoting your fundraising on your local radio station or in your local paper can be a great way to increase donations. Make sure they include the link to your fundraising page so it is easy for people to donate.

Say thank you

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Throughout your fundraising, and when you have finished, remember to thank your supporters. You can do this with updates on your fundraising page, sending emails to donors or sharing thank you messages on social media. Let everyone know how your fundraising is going/went and the difference it will make in the search for sight saving treatments.