Always the bridesmaid, never the bride

In 2019, on Just Giving alone, there were over 500 fundraising pages created for challenges on the Path, which collectively raised over £700,000 in aid of various causes.

When it comes to fundraising for the South West Coast Path, it seems to be a case of ‘always the bridesmaid, never the bride’.

SWCP_EMM Launch_Facebook 2020_1200x630

Don’t get us wrong, one of the most fulfilling parts of caring for this Trail is hearing from the many enthusiastic and dedicated people who are challenging themselves to take on all, or part, of it for charity. It is thanks to their passion and dedication that thousands of pounds are being raised on the SWCP for all sorts of good causes. Step by step, people are using the Path as a place to generate vital funds for causes as diverse as homelessness, dementia, cancer, mental health, lifeboats, international development, hospices, military, pets and wildlife, to name a few. However, at a time when our outdoor spaces are never more needed, trails are facing a challenging future and relatively few of us are choosing to give back to places that give so much, to so many.

Walking to the coast. Photo By Fotonow

Following lockdown, more people than ever before are walking. Thousands of us are flocking to beautiful protected landscapes that trails like the SWCP take us to and through. But, in the wake of budget cuts, loss of funding due to the impact of coronavirus and the impending threat of climate change – looking after trails is becoming more expensive and more challenging. With this in mind, we wanted to find out more about how people could fundraise on theCoast Path for the Coast Path, protecting and improving it now and for future generations.

So, we asked the folks at the leading fundraising platforms Virgin Money Giving and Just Giving, to tell us more about how the South West Coast Path is currently being used to fundraise. The results were pretty staggering! In 2019, on Just Giving alone, there were over 500 fundraising pages created for challenges on the Path, which collectively raised over £700,000 in aid of various causes. On Virgin Money Giving a further £15,000 was generated last year by those undertaking fundraising activities on the Trail. However, next to  none of these funds came  back to the trail itself. In fact, that very same year through similar activities, we had  just 10 generous soles actively fundraising in whole, or in part for the South West Coast Path. This equated to a very welcome £4,000 for the South West Coast Path, but less than 1% of the money that was raised thanks to it, via Just Giving and Virgin Money Giving alone

SWCP_Caroline_Facebook 2020_1200x630
Click the picture to watch Caroline’s story.

We understand that our cause is not dramatic, heart-tugging, or glamorous, but our work benefits the physical and mental well-being of hundreds of thousands of people each year, many of whom have life-changing experiences walking the Path. Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, we are all experiencing isolation, loss, loneliness, uncertainty and stress – meaning now, more than ever before, we need places like this. And now, more than ever before these places need us.

We want everyone to know that there is a charity looking after the South West Coast Path and for them to consider fundraising to support it, especially if they’re already using the Path to fundraise for other charities. If you know anyone planning a fundraising walk or run on the SWCP, please ask them if they are going to be giving a proportion of their sponsorship back to the Trail. It is very possible they won’t have considered this, but please reassure them that even by allocating a small percentage of what they raise to the South West Coast Path Association, they can help ensure that the Coast Path is there to support fundraising for their favourite cause in years to come. If each and every person chose to give just 10% of their donations back to the Path that made it possible, we would be able to do so much more. To find out more about the kind of work we do on the Path and why it needs your help, click here.

How easy is it to fundraise for more than one cause?

Very easy! Using Virgin Money Giving, there is a very simple way to split the money raised between up to 4 causes. You can even specify the proportion that you want each charity to receive and the income will be paid directly into each charity’s bank account – you don’t have to do a thing!

If you have more questions about supporting the Trail or want to know more about splitting your fundraising efforts between the Association and another charity to care about – please contact our Fundraising Manager Genevieve.

[pull out highlighting Fergus Anderson doing a split this year for us and British Heart Foundation, Brain Tumour Charity and The Army Benevolent Found]

#nevermoreneeded #smallcharitybigimpact #everymilematters

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