Image: Sport Industry Insider
The most important thing is to have a plan. Sit down with a pen and paper and write down lots of ways that you think you can raise cash. Better still phone a couple of chums, meet them for a coffee or in the pub and get them to come up with ideas. That really is essential principal number two - involve other people. Let your family, friends, work colleagues and club mates know what you're doing and find how they can help you make it happen.
Something else that is key is selling yourself and what you are doing. Remember you will be raising money for some very worthwhile causes, sick kids, the local hospice or cancer research. You are a bloody hero - don't be shy about letting the world know about what you are up to.
Finally give yourself sufficient time to drum up interest, organise specific events and collect the cash. And don't give up - just think about the incredible feeling of well-being you're going to have when you cross the finish line knowing that you've raised £200 or £500 or £1000 for people less fortunate than yourself.
Check our list of 20 Top Fundraising Tips to give you an idea of how to start, generate ideas, promote your events and make sure that the cash comes in.
Choose a charity
For many people the reason they are running in Great North Run or Edinburgh Marathon is to raise funds for a specific charity. They have recovered from breast cancer or their brother was rescued by an RNLI lifeboat and they want to support the organisation that helped them. For those of you who are looking for a charity to run for then choose one that you identify with and will be motivated to work hard for.
Find out how your charity can help you
Backing from your charity can take two forms. One, many charities organise groups preparing for a big event like London Marathon. It can be very motivating to train in a group which is being well-led and where the training is well-planned. Two, regular contact with other people in the same circumstances keeps you going and lets you share training and fundraising tips. Also don't forget to let your charity pamper you on race day; most have post-race parties, some with massage and therapies. Make sure you get a little reward after all your efforts
Phone a friend
Get your friends to help or organise a bigger event with other fundraisers. Other people are crucial to your fundraising efforts.
Planning is everything
Make a list of the things you are going to do - set-up a Just Giving page, print a sponsorship sheet, post information on your club website, write to the local paper, ask your boss if he'll allow a dress down day, book a night at your local pub for the quiz night. Have a plan of action, decide what resources you need to implement it (friends' help, borrowed car, photocopying), make a schedule and then do it!
Let people know how the funds will be used
Find out how the charity contributions you are asking for will be used. Is it a new piece of equipment for a hospital, a new ward for a hospice or a residential centre for street kids in Caracas? Having a specific cause will increase goodwill and donations.
Set a target
Having a total sum that you want to raise will keep you motivated and will be a focus for your publicity.
Tell the world
Become a blabbermouth. Tell everyone you meet about what you're doing - family, friends, colleagues, club buddies, regulars at your local. And get your Mum to tell everyone too!
Tell even more of the world
Set up a website or use existing websites (club, company gym sites) and social media pages and groups; contact the local press (send them details of what, who, why, when and where - also supply contact details and a good photo). Small scale publicity can work too - notices in local shops or announcements at work or club briefings.
Sign up for this online service that allows your supporters to make a donation online and also lets people see who is already supporting you.
Plan small events
Fund raisers all over the UK have used these events - car boot sale, pub quiz, golf day, ceilidh, sit in a bath of beans, sponsored silence, a sports event (5v5, basketball), a dinner. However you should be prepared to think creatively - the ex-Arsenal goalie David Seaman raised a huge amount when he had his pony-tail cut off!
Use the goodwill surrounding your fundraising efforts to ask local shops (bottle of wine) or restaurants (meal for 2) to make donations that you can use as prizes for your special events. Maybe one of your friends is a gardener or a window cleaner (would they offer a deluxe service as a prize?). Your husband's a brilliant chef - how much is a dinner party for 4 worth?
Loose change - keep collecting it
Keep a bucket in the boot of your car and get people to put their loose change in it. Those 1p and 2p coins can be a nuisance in your pocket but they soon add up to a tidy sum.
Issue progress reports
Let your friends and supporters know how your fund raising is going. Post information online - Facebook, Instagram or create a database of supporters and email them with regular updates.
Is there a local company who would sponsor you for wearing their logo. Remember lots of people run in events like Manchester Marathon and there are lots of spectators so your company would get lots of publicity.
Produce a programme
Why don't you produce a printed programme which describes what you are doing and why you are doing it? Then get adverts from local shops and companies.
Have a sponsorship form with you at all times
Makes it easy to sign people up if they express an interest in what you're doing.
Get the money now
Saves all that chasing people after you've run your race.
Gift and pledge
Ask your sponsors to tick the Gift Aid declaration box when they make their pledge. This will increase your total.
Make sure that when you've run your race and your fund raising effort is over you let your supporters know how you've done. Tell them how much they've raised and thank them for all backing. Remember you may want to do it again.
Enjoy the feel good factor
Obviously your charity is going to be delighted with your work and lots of people are going to congratulate you. Don't be modest - enjoy the praise.