Raising large amounts of money for charity can seem extremely daunting at the outset, but with a positive attitude and some imagination you will be amazed how soon the money starts coming in. We’ve picked up a few ideas over the years to get you thinking about things you could do. See what you think…
Food and Drink
Find a venue, (in-doors or out), preferably given to you for free, borrow a huge urn and get baking! How many cups of tea could you sell in an afternoon with a slice of cake? Turn it into a bit of a Fete with some other ‘amusements’ thrown in and count the cash that rolls in.
Get everyone you know to give you their favourite (tried and tested) recipes, with a bit of reformatting put them all together and get them printed for re-sale.
Pudding and Wine Evenings
You need a venue, preferably free of charge with a licence to serve alcohol then ask restaurants and hotels in your area to donate a pudding. Sell tickets before hand and on the night. Again max out the evening with quizzes, games and raffles.
Your local wine merchant is probably used to these sorts of evenings and will guide you through what to do to make the most of the opportunity, essentially they give away samples and if your guests make a purchase they will donate a percentage of the sales to your fundraising effort. You might want to call the night an Amateur Wine Tasting, so that those with little knowledge of wines won’t be put off!
Come Dine with Me
Set up a mini-restaurant in your own home one night and charge the diners to eat. Again a great opportunity to sell a few raffle tickets too!
Get the sausages on the sizzle and charge for your baps! Set up the garden with a few games and competitions to keep the appetites keen!
Give friends and family an empty Smartie Tube and ask them to fill it with either 20p coins or better still £1s. Put the Smarties you’ve emptied out into a Jar and then you can run a Guess How Many Smarties are in the Jar Competition as well – genius!
Supermarket Bag Pack
Many supermarkets are happy to allow you to pack shopping and ask each shopper for a donation for doing it. Pick your supermarket, give them a ring and set a date. Don’t forget with 24hr opening you could be in for a long haul.
Ask your friendly Zumba instructor if they will give up their time and hold a half day or whole day session for you. Let people know what percentage of their ticket is going to your charity. Works for any exercise class/gym session.
Negotiate the driving range for free and hold a competition event. People love to outdo each other where golf is concerned so longest drives, nearest the pin competitions, balls in the net etc go down a treat. Golfers pay an entry fee and you provide the donated prizes.
5-a-Side Football Tournaments
Spread the net far and wide to get as many teams as you can together, see if your local football club would like to get involved and see what ‘amenities’ they can throw in. Charge teams to enter and let the fun commence!
Hit them for 6 with a fundraising cricket match. Do a variation on the usual game, but make sure you punctuate it with plenty of meal breaks – a chance to sell more burgers, sausages and those lovely cricket teas. Charge teams an entry fee and spectators to watch.
Do it on your own and get people to sponsor you by the hour, minute, mile or length or take over the pool for a day and hold a team competition.
Make and Sell
Rope everyone in to get crafty and make you something for your stall - Jewellery, greetings cards, candles, pictures, all manner of pretty gifts go down well. Look out for local opportunities to hold your sale, go where the masses go.
Jump on the cup cake band wagon and sell your homemade beauties. Make a large fruit cake and run a Guess the Weight Competition on the side of your stall.
We’ve all heard of the WI ladies bearing all for Jan, Feb, Mar etc. Why not do the same. You need a friendly Printer that wont charge you too much for production.
One packet of seeds could produce you many plants. Scour the shed for a few plant pots and when the time is right and the seedlings have turned into showy plants hold you sale – either at home, work or at your club.
Get all your friends to search out their nearly new clothes and accessories they no longer have a need for and get rid! All the proceeds go to your fundraising target. Hold it at home, in work or at a table top sale in your local hall.
Auction of Promises
Ask everyone you know to offer up their services free of charge and auction them off, this can be done Via Facebook or email to save getting people to a particular venue on a particular day. Anything from 2 hours ironing to half a day garden clearance goes down well.
Get people to donate their unwanted books and hold a sale and add the proceeds to your fundraising target.
Car Boot Sales
More decluttering required! Flog it all at your nearest, well attended car boot; you’ll soon cover your costs.
Too much stuff or too big to take to the car boot… swing open the garage doors and sell it from there – this event will need to be well publicised to ensure the hoards rock up.
Hold a table sale or sell on E-Bay and bank the money for your fundraising target.
Not going to use them? Sell them or raffle them off.
Invite friends over to play Cluedo, Monopoly, Scrabble, Ker Plunk, Jenga etc etc and charge an entrance fee.
Open your house up for the morning and put the kettle on, combine with a Bring and Buy Sale and have a really nice time with friends, family and neighbours for your good cause.
It’s an old favourite but it works. Get your venue, know how many teams it will hold and publicise it well. A tenner a team usually goes down well. Quiz questions can always be Googled and downloaded but beware the pros will know this and be well genned up. Another opportunity for a raffle of course!
Put on a show
Carol Concert/Carol Singing
Everyone loves a sing song, doesn’t matter how good your choristers may be, mulled wine on sale isn’t a bad shout either.
Go the whole hog and put on the ultimate in fundraising extravaganzas. Make it themed and ensure the code is ‘dress to impress’ to endorse the ticket price.
Find your venue and decide on the ‘Classes’, novelty ones work the best ie ‘Waggiest Tail’, find some judges and away you go. Charge entry fees. Put on some dog agility competitions too.
Pick a theme and persuade a few friends to strut their stuff. Could be a good be a good way to sell of the nearly new clothes you’ve gathered together or ask shops to donate old stock for your cause. Charge for tickets.
Sell balloons and write the purchasers name and address on, arrange your release day and let them go, after a given time the furthest flown balloon wins the prize.
Sell numbered plastic ducks and set them off a bridge into the river, see which one crosses the finish line first and award a prize.
Dust off your model yacht and race it with others across the pond. You could of course ‘go large’ and use the real thing!
Odds and Sods
Bad Taste Day
This one works well for the workplace or university etc. Get your colleagues to wear something that’s in very bad taste and ask them to get sponsorship for staying clothed in it all day. For those that refuse to take part – charge them a fine!
Mile of Pennies
Ask your local shopping mall if you can hold a ‘mile of pennies’. Mark out a long thin line in the space you’ve been allocated and passers by place their loose change on the line, filling in any gaps.
Set up your shoe shine in the smart part of town and ask those business types if they’d like their shoes shone for a small fee.
Sell off a day of your Annual Leave
Weigh up what value people might place on winning a day of your annual leave entitlement and sell off raffle tickets to win this super prize. How many colleagues you’ve got and how generous your employer is with the A/L entitlement will make a difference to what you can charge.
There are many days in the year you can ‘hang’ your fundraising efforts on:
Burns Night Suppers
Easter Egg Hunts
Pancake Day Races
St Patrick’s Day
St Andrew’s Day
St George’s Day
St David’s Day
Remember to plan ahead, try to get pledged money from people immediately, and don't be afraid to ask!
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