NATIONAL charity Twins Trust held its most successful fundraising event ever during the summer of the Covid-19 pandemic, and now for UK Charity Week‘s Fundraising Day, the charity’s Head of Fundraising details what happened.
The charity wanted to raise around £10,000 – which felt ambitious – but the final total, including gift aid, was almost £48,000.
Head of fundraising Shelley Smith explains:
“We knew that many of our members and supporters were disappointed not to be raising funds this year as so many events were cancelled.
“However, we still needed to generate income and conducted a simple survey to find out our supporters preferences on a number of key areas: we asked them about their preferred choice of the virtual event e.g. walking, cycling, running; what distance would be suitable to offer a challenge but not be too difficult; would they prefer to include their children; what areas of our work would they most want to fundraise for; what would they like as a reward for taking part in the event; how much did they feel they could raise; would they prefer a set date for the event or complete it to their own timescale?
“Some clear results came out of the survey – some we could have predicted but some were a complete surprise.”
Twins Trust opted for a 10K walk in August. People wanted to raise money for research into TTTS (Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, a life-threatening condition that affects identical twins in the womb when one twin transfuses blood to the other).
The survey revealed that people didn’t want a medal as a reward at the end but wanted to feature on a digital wall of fundraising heroes on the charity’s website.
‘Walk 10K for TTTS’ was born and caught everyone’s attention with clear messaging and good photographs.
“Building in some flexibility also helped to make the event a success.
“Although we set a specific date, challenge and distance, we also offered a choice to enable wider participation. For those who wanted more of a challenge, they could run it and set a personal time, for those with small children wanting to do it as a family they could complete the walk over the weekend and for those who couldn’t do the set date they could choose another date around the same time.
“Our biggest challenge was recruiting people, but we kept the momentum going because we launched and held it over such a short period of time, everyone at the charity was excited.
“The event was prominent on our website, advertised on our social media channels and we sent a carefully curated series of emails to recruit participants.
“We focused on what could be achieved by taking part and built excitement by bringing attention to the fact that they would be taking part in the Twins Trust first-ever virtual fundraising event for our new Centre for Research and Clinical Excellence.
“Once we had people signed up we were able to use their stories to promote the event further and some even featured in regional newspapers. We focused on why they were doing the 10K and what motivated them to take part. Some had lost their twins to TTTS but others had TTTS survivors and gave hope. All focused on the importance of research to save babies’ lives. These personal stories worked incredibly well.
“We made sure we mentioned the fundraising wall of heroes to help build up a distinct community and a ‘we are all in this together’ feeling. We also set up an events page on Facebook for participants to share any training or preparations, although this was mainly used on the day of the event.
“Fundraising took off quickly and to keep up the momentum and motivation to fundraise we increased the target twice on our campaign page.
“We originally hoped for between 10 – 15 people taking part and we set a target of £10,000, which we thought was ambitious! It turns out this was not ambitious enough – the event was a huge success, raising £47,173.76 (including gift aid) from 1,750 supporters!
“Because we had so many people taking part we ran out of Twin Trust t-shirts and needed to do an emergency order. Having so many people signing up and registering their interest in such a short period of time also put a real strain on the administration side of things especially for a small, part-time team. But these were good problems to have.
“We are incredibly proud of what has been achieved with such little resourcing and were delighted to be told by JustGiving that out of 1000s of campaigns, our page, ‘Walk 10K for TTTS’ was in the top 1%.”
Twins Trust is planning its next 10K event on Saturday, August 7th 2021.