12 Feb 2021 | Student Advice

 Covid-19 has had a catastrophic impact on many sectors, including charity and not-for-profit organisations. These sectors rely heavily on in-store donations and fundraising events, which haven’t been able to take place due to lockdown measures. According to the Covid-19 Voluntary Sector Impact Barometer, 8 out of 10 organisations predict that they’ll be unable to meet their planned objectives over the next 12 months due to the crisis. 

So what can we do to help? There will be plenty of charities out there, both within your immediate community and globally, that deserve your support. Not only can you make a real difference – you’ll probably feel good doing it too.

My New Year’s resolution, like many others, has been to get fitter and start looking after myself more. Many people have been struggling with their mental health during the pandemic and whilst we’re all aware of the many benefits that exercise can have on our minds, it can often be hard to find the motivation to get started. I was the same until I found ‘Maggie’s Centre’, an organisation that encourages people to fundraise for cancer facilities through fitness. In September 2020 I sadly lost my uncle to cancer and this gave me the motivation I needed.

If you want to raise money for charity as well as get a little bit fitter in the process, fundraising through fitness is the best way to do just that. Here are a few ideas to help get you started!

Track your progress

The best way to keep track of your progress, whether you’ll be walking or running, is the Nike Running App. Despite being measured in Kilometres, it has been the most helpful app that I have used during my fitness challenge. It allows you to track both the distance you’ve covered and how many calories you’ve burned whilst doing so. This has given me the motivation to walk or run a little further when I want to burn more calories or reach a certain distance that day! As well as this, it allows you to create your own challenges, invite friends and choose how far you wish to run or walk that month.

Keep it fun and simple

Whilst raising money for charity is a really fun thing to do, doing the same thing over and over can get a little bit boring. Of course, there will be days when you are tired or maybe don’t even feel like exercising, and that’s okay. It’s important to allow yourself to have breaks to keep your motivation up! Finding new routes to walk or run allows you to explore a bit more and also gets you out of the house, which is more important than ever right now! Try to include routes that take you through woodland areas and fields as well as around where you live. This will encourage you to exercise as you can switch up your routes based on the weather, how you feel that day and how long you feel like walking or running.

Don’t be disheartened

Trying to fundraise a certain amount can be really hard at times, especially at the moment where people don’t have a lot of spare income to donate. However, this shouldn’t stop you from aiming for a certain goal! I aimed to raise £150 for my chosen charity, and to be honest, I thought that it would be much harder than it actually was. I was delighted and surprised by the generosity of my family and friends and managed to raise more than my target! That said, it’s important to remember that some people may not be able to afford to donate right now. Don’t take this personally or be disheartened by it. Make sure that when asking for sponsors, ask graciously and don’t be pushy! Whether you raise £10 or £100, every little helps.


Remember, it’s not a competition!

When fundraising, it can be really easy to get caught up in another person’s progress. It’s important to remember that you are your own person, working and moving at your own pace! Don’t compare your skills or your progress to other people’s. Listen to your body and plan your route or workout according to how you feel that day! Yes, it is important to push yourself, but it’s just as important to look after yourself, so find a balance. Remember that it’s important to take breaks and days off too. People around you could start to get annoyed by the amount of times you ask for sponsors, so don’t overdo it! 


Get your friends and family involved

Fundraising by yourself can be fun, plus it’s a lot easier to keep track of your own progress, but getting your family and friends involved can help in so many ways! They can offer you a great amount of support and motivation when you’re having a bad day or are struggling to raise money. Ask them to share your fundraiser, it’s sure to reach someone who will be more than happy to donate. One thing that I found really helpful was sharing my fundraiser on social media. It increases your reach and will higher your chances of raising more money! Not only can you get your friends and family involved to help you achieve more, they can also join in! You could go on walks with your family, or even have a socially distanced run with a friend.

Upcoming fundraisers

Fundraising through fitness has opened my eyes to some really amazing stories and has encouraged me to do something that will become a new hobby of mine. If this has inspired you to start some fundraising of your own, here are some upcoming ones for charities that may take your interest:

February Squat Challenge for Teenage Cancer Trust

Do Your Distance for Dementia UK

Running 100 Miles for Refuge

You can also follow my fundraiser here. Good luck with your future fundraisers and fitness journeys, remember to have fun, look after yourself and others, and most importantly, be kind!



By Chloé Williamson



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