Does your agency give to receive?

This weekend I head off to Amsterdam.

But I won’t be jetting out via a budget airline for a jolly up.

I’ll be starting off from the London Velodrome and using pedal power to ride the 160 odd miles from London to the Dutch capital over the course of two days.

It’s a charity ride to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK and more than 300 people are taking part.

I did it last year and was rubbish. Unprepared, with sloppy attitude and with about much focus as an ADHD suffering goldfish with a bout of concussion. I got overtaken by everyone including a paperboy.

It nearly bleeding killed me. I struggled pretty much from the start and even though I finished I was pissed off with myself.

This time round it’s different.

I’ve done loads of training, lost a stone in weight and surpassed my fundraising target by more than £400.

I’ve taken it seriously and most importantly I’ve had a plan and focussed on it. I’m feeling great about the pending event and very good about myself.

Now I work with many estate agents across the UK who support charities and local good causes. But not all agencies are equal when it comes to giving back to the community.

From my work with them and my recent fundraising experience I feel like I’ve learned a bit I can share with you guys.

So here’s my six quick tips so that your agency is getting the most from giving its time, money or support for charity.

  • Don’t give to receive. You might not instantly receive a flood of instructions. But simply by getting involved you’ll be doing something positive and that alone is good Public Relations and a reward in itself.
  • Choose a cause you care about. There’s no point in just picking a charity or an event because you think you’ll get the maximum return. Do it because you’re passionate about it and the positive impact will be greater and more far reaching than you imagined.
  • Don’t be shy. If you’ve supported a charity or got behind a good cause don’t be scared to publish a news release and let people know. Obviously ask their permission first. They may even do their own promotion including your agency within it.
  • Focus. As I know from my own experience if you don’t focus it’s easy to lose sight of what and why you are doing it.
  • Do it yourself. Don’t just put your hand in your pocket and sponsor or donate think about getting your hands dirty or your trainers on and getting involved. Recently I’ve written up releases on bike rides, colour dashes, marathons and even a skydive. These kind of efforts are also great team building exercises.
  • Pick and plan. Unless you have the generosity of the Dalai Lama and pockets deeper than Bill Gates you won’t be able to say yes to everyone. But you can choose wisely using some of the above criteria. The usual dilemma is local or national – depends on the size of your agency and what your team is passionate about.

Once you’ve made your decision, set aside a budget and some time and plan how you are going to do it and how to make the most of it.

Anyway I hope that helps in some way. I’m off for a last training ride before the grand depart on Friday.

Thanks for reading and here’s to your next instruction.

Jerry

PS: Another little tip, when getting involved with a charity or a community event don’t forget to use all methods available to promote it. Email signatures are great, as are blogs and on that note a link to my fundraising page is below 😉

ps://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jerry-Lyons1?utm_id=13

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