By registering for The Water Challenge, you are committing to raise money for WaterAid and the work we do in ensuring communities have access to clean water, decent toilets, and good hygiene. For just $70, WaterAid can help provide water for a child, which can have a life-changing (if not life-saving) impact. Having access to a clean water source nearby means that child has less exposure to waterborne diseases and is more likely to make it to their fifth birthday. It means their mother can spend less time collecting water, and more time caring for them. And it means that child is more likely to be able to attend school.
But how do you raise money?
To start off, here are a few basic steps to get you going:
- Complete your registration by uploading a profile picture and writing a brief explanation as to why you’re taking the challenge. The more personalised you make your fundraising page, the more likely it is that visitors will drop you a donation.
- Ask someone you know to take the challenge with you. Engaging your friend or family member in a friendly rivalry will make the challenge more fun, keep you more accountable, and make you 43% more likely to raise money.
- Stay in touch with Water Challenge updates by liking WaterAid on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Once you’ve set up the basics, it’s time to let people know that you’re taking the Water Challenge. Our supporters are often surprised by how many of their friends and family are interested in making a donation. We’re not surprised, though – in fact, did you know that over 80% of adult Australians donate to charity ever year?
During last year's Water Challenge, these were the 8 most effective tactics our fundraisers told us they used:
- “I asked for donations via Facebook”
- “My family donated to me”
- “I donated to myself”
- “I used the features on the fundraising website”
- “People gave me money in person”
- “I asked for donations from people in my workplace or community”
- “I asked for donations via Instagram”
- “I asked for donations via email”
Other tactics we heard worked included posting updates on Snapchat and LinkedIn, using a fundraising box, speaking in front of their school/church/workplace community, including notes in their community noticeboard/newsletter, and running a fundraising event.
“I asked for donations via Facebook”
The easiest and most popular way to fundraise is to give your friends updates about your progress over Facebook, Instagram, or your social media platform of choice.
We recommend sharing a few key milestones with your friends:
- Before you begin - Immediately after you sign up, let your friends know that you’ve committed to drinking just water during March. Your friends might not all donate straight away, but they’ll certainly be impressed by your decision to give up your favourite drinks for the month. And who knows – they might even want to join you!
- Day 1 – Let everybody know that your Water Challenge has begun. Remember to let your friends know how much you’d like to fundraise.
- During the challenge – It’s good to keep your friends updated on your progress at least once or twice a week. We recommend sharing updates in those moments when the challenge is extra difficult, like when your colleagues are grabbing coffee without you, or when you’re stuck on tap water at the pub.
- World Water Day (22 March) – This is a great opportunity to reflect on the importance of clean water and why it’s so important. We’ll be creating some content around this time for you to share with your friends, so keep your eyes on our social media pages.
The final day of the challenge – Your friends will want to know whether you’ve managed to last the month without your favourite drinks. We recommend writing a blog post or sharing a video to celebrate your achievement.
Facebook isn’t just useful for public posts, though. We find that sending your friends a private note over Messenger or sharing your fundraising page in an intimate Facebook group can be very effective.
“My family donated to me”
If there’s one group of people you can count on to support you, it’s probably your family. Tell Mum, Dad, Grandpa, Grandma and your sister and brother what drinks you'll be giving up in March and ask them to bring pride to the family name by making a donation. And if you’re sick of getting socks for for your birthday, it might even be worth asking them for a donation in lieu of a present.
“I donated to myself”
You’ll be surprised how nice it feels to give yourself a donation – you feel satisfied in knowing your money is helping to change lives, while feeling the joy of both giving and receiving. Many people like to donate to themselves immediately after signing up so that they don’t have to stare at a fundraising page that reads $0.
By putting your money where your mouth is, you’re also setting a great example to family and friends by showing them you are invested in the challenge you are taking and the work WaterAid does.
“I used the features on the fundraising website”
Once you log-in to the Water Challenge website, you can access your fundraising dashboard. From here, you can:
- Send emails and text messages to your friends to request sponsorship
- Write a thank-you message to everybody that donates to you
- Set custom donation amounts and create additional fundraising challenges (i.e. “Donate $20 and I’ll write you a water-themed poem”; “Donate $100 and I’ll do the challenge for an extra week”)
- Share your page over social media or email
- Create a team and invite your friends to join you
- Increase your fundraising target
- Change your profile picture and event cover photo
- Write and share blogs, photos, and videos
- Download fundraising resources
“People gave me money in person”
When your friends ask you what you’ve been up to, don’t just say “Not much”. Tell them that you've committed to give up your favourite drinks for all of March! Often the best conversations we have don’t happen over the internet but in person and your friends and family may well want to donate cash to you on the spot.
Feel free to accept their generosity, so long as you don’t forget to donate the money onto your fundraising page. The easiest way to do this is to make a donation to yourself from your credit or debit card. If they’d like a tax receipt, use their name, address, and email address when making the online donation. Alternatively, you can donate the cash directly to WaterAid by using one of our Pay-in forms.
“I asked for donations from people in my workplace or community”
Let your colleagues, your teammates, your club members, and your fellow congregants know what you’re up to. Our workplace supporters are time and time again our best fundraisers because they’re able to rally the support of their department or office around their cause.
Here are a few ways you can let people know about your challenge:
- Send an email out to everybody with your fundraising link
- Set up a WaterAid donation box on your desk
- Make a short announcement at a staff or club meeting
“I asked for donations via email”
After you sign up, you’ll start receiving handy updates from our events team every now and then. If any of them inspire you, feel free to forward them to the friends of yours you think might be interested in donating.
If you’re not sure what to write over email, here’s some sample text you can copy and paste:
Very soon I’ll be taking a challenge to raise money for WaterAid, a not-for-profit organisation that is helping people get access to clean water.
I’ll be getting involved in the Water Challenge, which means I’ll be making water by only beverage for the month of March. That means no coffee, no tea, no alcohol and no soft drinks. Just water!
Can you believe that 1 in 9 people worldwide don't have access to a clean water source close to home? This has really serious consequences on people's health, wellbeing, and their ability to attend school. WaterAid is working to change this and you can help WaterAid by sponsoring me at _______________