Why did you choose to fundraise for the RNLI?
My family has always supported the RNLI and my father was fortunate enough to be able to fund the D class inshore lifeboat at Littlehampton. We don’t live by the coast, but I know my father was keen for his contribution to the RNLI to start a wider interest. Just by speaking about the RNLI and especially how it’s funded, I can make people aware of how important their gift can be.
What’s your favourite thing about the RNLI?
The selflessness of the crews to ensure the safety of others - this produces a sense of community and camaraderie, similar to that in the armed services. The difference is that the crews are all volunteers and have day jobs too.
How much did you raise?
£2,651 in donations, which totalled £3,228.75 thanks to Gift Aid.
What did you enjoy the most about fundraising for the RNLI?
Being involved makes you feel that you’re making a contribution to the wider effort.
What are your top tips for fundraising?
Set up an online giving page and make sure that you explain why you’re doing it - make this as personal as possible, and then mention it at every opportunity. This ensures that the message gets through. And remember to thank everyone who donates.
Check to see if your employer will make a donation and promote your event at work.
Get some incentives - I contacted local breweries who made donations of beers, which I then gave to the highest donors.
The RNLI has a network of communities who might be able to help you out. Contact the local fundraising branches and/or lifeboat station press officers about what you’re hoping to achieve.
I initially set my target at about £1,500. As soon as this was reached I raised it slightly in the hope that people would give just a little more to help reach the target … and then raised it again!
Tell everyone you know - talk about your plans and challenge friends to be involved, so they can raise money too! I emailed friends, family and colleagues (use the ‘Bcc’ field so their details are kept private) with progress on my training and said thanks to those who had already contributed and formed a gentle reminder for those who hadn’t. At one point I was sending an email a week and each one generated about £70. Once the email has gone, a mention on social media is a great way to remind people too.
What would you say to someone thinking about fundraising for the RNLI?
Do it! The thanks I received from staff and crews is well worth the effort, and any additional awareness the RNLI can get to support its work has to be a good thing.