Hundreds of good causes across the UK are under intense pressure to create effective fundraising strategies. The work that charities like Macmillan Cancer Support, British Heart Foundation and Guide Dogs for the Blind undertake is hugely valuable and those organisations and many others are looking for new ways to raise much-needed funds.
Sports Tours International (STI) is one of the UK's largest specialist sports travel companies. In recent years STI has worked closely with leading charities organising sponsored trips to numerous top international sports events.
Each year Sports Tours International takes thousands of runners, cyclists and triathletes to some of the top sporting occasions across the globe. The ING New York City marathon is a signature event for the Manchester-based company and one where they have built-up an unrivalled expertise. Travel with STI and expect top quality hotel accommodation, transfer arrangements that run like clockwork, lots of event extras and support from the STI on-site team.
We could go on but you get the point, when you go with Sports Tours International you have a guaranteed memorable trip. And what is true of New York is repeated at Boston, Berlin and Chicago, the other marathon majors on the STI itinerary. It's a similar story of precision logistics and friendly service at the other big running events on their listing; and at the other top sports events - STI is the leader in cycling trips too.
As a charity when you know that all the travel details are being taken care of, it lets you concentrate on your fundraisers. You can then focus on the extra attention and care that makes the individual's experience so special that they come back next year or support another one of your projects. And tell all their friends what a great time they had too!
One key partnership that Sports Tours International has built up across 15 years is with Get Kids Going, a national charity that gives disabled children and young people the opportunity of participating in sport. Jane Emmerson at Get Kids Going believes that working in tandem with STI has provided tremendous benefits for her charity.
She told runABC Midlands: "The relationship we have developed with Sports Tours International has been highly significant in helping Get Kids Going to reach its fundraising targets in recent years. Traditionally we've taken big parties to New York for the marathon and knowing that the STI team has everything planned to perfection is very reassuring. With your runners being well looked after, you can start to think about adding value to their experience - visiting nice restaurants, advising on trips, planning social occasions - rather than firefighting to get the basics right.
"Over time we've expanded the number of international trips we've programmed and added other US and continental destinations. Paris and Berlin are two events which have grown tremendously over the last few years; again we've sat down with STI staff to identify new locations that will work for us and agree packages that are attractive to potential fundraisers.
"Over time we've establish a mutually beneficial partnership based on trust, an understanding of what each organisation has to offer and good personal relationships that weather the times when you're under pressure. I'm looking forward to working with Brendan Fox and his team over the next few years - consolidating our existing portfolio of events and creating new projects that will excite and motivate our supporters."
Brendan Fox said: "Jane's comments are very encouraging and they reflect how we've been able to develop partnerships with a number of charities. We focus on what charities need to reward the people who've put a massive effort into fundraising. They deserve a 'once in a lifetime' experience and that's what they get. Although there's evidence that many come back for that 'once in a lifetime' experience again! Proof that the packages we've created with the charity more than meet expectation.
"We also advise charities on how to recruit fundraisers for the prestige events and can point runners, who're planning a big trip and want to mark it by supporting a good cause, towards our clients. On a practical note, we offer the added protection of ABTA membership and air-inclusive holidays coming under ATOL protection."
If you would like to know more about working with Sports Tours International to develop your fundraising capability at international events please contact Simon Monks.