We know many of you have a keen interest in supporting charities. We asked our amazing charity and campaigns partner All Heart, who help many players in this area, for some quick tips on how to have the biggest impact and manage your charity work.
1. Focus on Legacy
Start by thinking about the change you want to leave behind, not what you want to deliver.
If you know the outcomes you want to achieve and what difference you want to make in the world, an expert can help you to design the interventions and the activities required to make this change possible.
2. Be Authentic
Choose an area of charity work that you really care about.
If something is important to you you will always see it through, spend more time working on it and be able to passionately promote and explain this to other people. You want your charity work to be a joy, not a chore so choose something that doesn’t feel like work and brings you genuine happiness and reward. By choosing a cause that is meaningful to you, people will also make the connection and see that it is genuine, being more likely to support you. For example, if you have a family member affected by cancer, you and others willreally connect with this cause because ofthe personal element.
3. Be Focused
Choose one area of work and be laser focused on this.
Once you have decided on the cause or issue you want to support, consistently work on and promote this. If you are sharing information about feeding the homeless one day and raising money for cancer charities the next, no-one will remember which cause you are supporting and mixed messages will be given. You want the public to associate you with the cause ie. tackling racism or raising money for cancer charities.
4. Use Your Network
Don’t be afraid to ask your contacts and team mates to support you.
Many athletes are afraid to reach out to others to gain support but often those who know and care about you are keen to support, share information and donate if you speak to them about the cause and how they can help. And this often opens new doors for you and the charity.
5. Be Innovative
Think outside the box! Charity work can be fun and exciting if you are willing to try new things.
The charity sector is highly regulated but this doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun and be creative. Whether it’s letting fans throw custard pies at you or doing something equally silly, people will just grow to love you more for taking on crazy challenges to support a cause.
6. Be Personal
Fans and the public will want to see and hear from you!
Find different ways to give your charity work that personal touch -record videos, visit projects, share content and post quotes from people who have been supported. It’s important that you make this human and relatable. People want to see the faces of those affected, hear about your personal thoughts and stories, and understand the issues being addressed.
7. Choose the Right Partners
Establish partnerships that will help make your charity a success.
Partners will be able to help you deliver your activities, raise awareness of your cause and manage your charity. However, you need to make sure that all partners are credible, you have contracts in place and that both parties understand what is expected.
8. Invest in Your Charity Work
The charity sector is complex and highly regulated so to be successful in your charity work you need to invest in experts. It is important that you have the right team around you to make sure that what you are doing is high quality, safe and in line with all of the regulations in place. You will need expert advice on things like charity law, child safeguarding, equality etc.
9. Be Consistent
Ensure that you promote your charity work regularly. Don’t share content about the cause every day for a week and then forget about it. Think about how you can weave information about your charity work into your social media posts, interviews etc. You can also wear branded goods to raise awareness of your messaging.
10.Don’t Forget Your Day Job!
Sometimes work will have to come first so plan ahead and don’t over commit.
As a professional athlete you will have commitments to your club, brands, and others so do not forget to seek approval and check schedules before committing to events and activities. There can sometimes be conflicts in timings, brands, locations etc with your other commitments so bear all of this in mind. It’s better not to commit than to say yes and then let a charity or the community down.
However, with the right planning, approach and support it can become a very rewarding and fulfilling aspect of your life that you get a lot from so it is worth exploring the opportunities and issues that interest you.
If you enjoyed these tips then check out 7 Tips For Promoting Charities & Social Issues on Social Media (player4player.com).