There is something exciting and very special about taking on an event to raise money for a charity. We should know, we work in the events team at Mencap! Last year we took on the Step Up challenge and this year we want to share our tips to help people taking part to raise as much as possible for a great cause.

Mencap’s Step Up event is a vertical challenge – in other words a thigh-burning, heart-racing, legs-aching dash up 36 floors to the top of London’s Walkie Talkie building. I took on the challenge with my colleague Amy (she’s the one on the left) last year.

I have completed the Great North Run, and climbed Mount Snowdon before, but this felt like a very different challenge as neither of us had attempted anything like it before. Who knows what it feels like to run up 828 steps?!

Because Amy and I work in Mencap’s fundraising events team, we know how vital it is that Mencap receives voluntary funds to support our work with people with a learning disability.

We also speak to our fundraisers on a daily basis and are constantly inspired by them, and so wanted to do our bit. This was a huge motivation for taking part. That, and the prospect of a glass of bubbly at the top!

So once we’d both signed up, we knew we had hundreds of pounds to raise. It sounds daunting, but once you get started, it’s really not that intimidating.

We knew our colleagues loved cake, so that was an easy place to start. We organised a bake sale in the office, which was great; one colleague even offered to buy a whole carrot cake!

But there’s more to fundraising than just bake sales, so we thought we’d share our top tips so you can hit your target too.

  • Make sure you set up your online fundraising page (like JustGiving) early so you have plenty of time to fundraise and spread the word
  • Make use of social media to jog the memories of your friends who haven’t yet donated (we found this to be a really effective way of fundraising without really pestering people!)
  • Organise a fundraising event like a quiz or raffle
  • Time your asks to when you know people have been paid
  • Try to reach your target before the event – it’s much easier to ask before than after!

Good luck to everyone taking part this year. Remember, do your stretches, pace yourself, and enjoy the view at the top!

Think you could tackle a skyscraper? Step up and sign up to take part here.

For more top fundraising tips, check out our video.