Chances are, if you’ve come across this article, that you already work for one of these inspirational places and already know the wonderful, life changing work that they do. If not, then I’m sure it doesn’t take much imagination to appreciate the vital work that hospices do day and night, helping people when they need it most.
These are organisations that are thoroughly deserving of all their fundraising efforts, so here is an A-Z of fundraising ideas that might help get those creative juices flowing and the pennies piling in.
Abseiling – I have a friend who abseiled down the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, dressed in a cow outfit with a cape and mask (Supercow, if you like) all in the name of charity fundraising. There are plenty of people out there crazy and brave enough to abseil down all sorts of buildings to raise money for your cause – All you need to do is ask!
Art Exhibition – Exhibit local artists work, charging an entrance fee.
As New Sale – So many people have unwanted gifts, or things they’ve never used, especially at this time of year. February might be a great time for an ‘As New’ sale – People get to clear out their house of unwanted items, and you get to sell all the donated goods!
Auctions – Auctions are a great way of raising money; either a standard auction or blind bidding, it could be for all sorts of donated prizes! From promises from businesses for services offered, to donated items from wine to weekends away. So many possibilities!
Blue Light Charity Fun Day – These types of day out always go down well. A police car, fire engine (probably not an ambulance…) plus the policemen and fireman to go with them – Let children come and explore these intriguing blue light vehicles that they only ever see whizz by in an emergency! Fantastic for little ones, but interesting for older ones too, this is a lovely family trip out. Have an entry fee, and team with plenty of other activities and stalls with lots of opportunities for donations. Put the sirens on for £2? Wear a policemans hat for £1? So many ideas.
Barbecue – Have a barbecue during the Summer months, with big games of cricket and rounders, plus a few cups of Pimm’s. Perfect.
Book Sale – Have people donate their unwanted books, and sell them. Any left over could be donated to your charity shop (if you have one) or maybe even sold to a book dealer.
Bottle Stall – A great little earner at events and fairs. Ask supermarkets and relevant businesses to donate bottles and cans, and then sell them.
Bungee Jump – A fundraising list wouldn’t be a fundraising list without a bungee jump!
Coffee and Cake Mornings – Jumping on the bandwagon a bit, but it’s not just the big charities that can use this – plenty of other organisations are making use of this great fundraising idea. You could contact local offices in your area, and ask them to hold a bake off one Friday afternoon. Employees bake something, pay a small fee to enter, and the other employees pay £1 a slice. All the money raised going to yourselves!
Charity of Choice – Ask local businesses, social clubs and sports teams to be their ‘charity of choice’ for the year. Lots of organisations do this – Not just your big Supermarkets with their tokens, but any business, club or team can choose to donate a percentage of their profits or have a charity donation box in the office or on their cash desk.
Also scout out marketing opportunities with local events. Maybe they’ll feature you in their advertising campaign, or on their website, or even have on-site bucket fundraising that could all earn extra exposure. You could also try to work with your local Round Table community group – They are a fantastic organisation and do so much to help charities local to them.
Comedy Night – See Entertainment Evenings
Collection Boxes – So many local businesses would be happy to have a collection box.
Christmas – See ‘Festive Fun’
Donate Button – Simple but effective. Do you have a donate button on your website? Do you have a link on your social media channels? Do you havea number that people can text to donate? All easy to set up and bound to raise funds easily with minimum fuss.
Entertainment Evenings –
Entertainment – Tribute Night / live band / DJ/ quiz night. Always try and ask for a reduced fee so you can make as much money as possible from ticket sales, rather than using it to pay the band. Entertainers are more likely to agree to a lower fee if it’s not in peak times ie. not on a Saturday in August or December where they could be making big bucks as weddings and Christmas parties.
Venues – Try to choose a venue which has more availability and less revenue to lose by taking a low fee booking, for example, a community or village hall rather than a hotel. Hotels, even the most well meaning, will likely be unable to offer venue space a at a low cost, which will obviously eat in to any money made. Using somewhere like a village hall will be cheaper, maybe even free if local to your organisation.
Easter Egg Hunt – Ask local sweet shops and supermarkets to donate sweets and Easter treats, and then charge families an entrance fee. Children love an Easter Egg hunt!
Festive Fun – Generally at this time of year, people don’t have a lot of money, but also feel a sense of wanting to help those less fortunate than themselves. People do often want to give something to someone this time of year.
One popular festive fundraiser is the Santa Fun Run – You must have seen one! These are so much fun, very festive, and tend to be a great success for raising funds.
Carols by Candlelight is another nice one for Christmastime. Whether people are religious or not, there is something so Christmassy and wonderful about singing carols by candlelight. You could approach a local church about holding it there, or perhaps a rustic village hall local to where you are. Ask for a small fee for entry, and maybe have a table selling mince pies and mulled wine at the end.
Fancy Dress – There are all sorts of days where people could pay to wear fancy dress, or sponsor someone to wear wacky fancy dress whilst going about their normal day. It also gets people talking and asking – Great opportunties for word of mouth exposure to your organisation.
Football Match – Run a football tournament – Maybe you could pitt local businesses against each other? Teams of school teachers, local postmen, get the whole town talking!
Favours – Encourage those having parties and weddings to donate money as their ‘favour’ gifts.
Gameathon – One for the gamers, safe in the comfort of their own home! No long runs or hikes – Just a marathon of their favourite game! It could be a board game like monopoly, or online, cards, charades, anything! The longer the marathon, the more likely they’ll be able to encourage people to sponsor them. Or alternatively, rather than doing 24 hours of solid charades, they could host a games night for friends or family with every guest paying a bit of money to attend. You’re probably looking at something like £5 per person entry, with a set goal of £50 fundraising per marathon gamer.
Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night – The sky is literally the limit on firework night!
Halloween Party – This could be a great opportunity to engage local families, by providing a safe place for younger children to dress up and do ‘trick or treat’ without walking around the streets. Stalls like apple bobbing and guess the weight of the pumpkin are other ways to raise money on the night.
Head Shave – Another classic fundraising idea, and another one that’s great at pulling in the sponsorships.
Inflateable Day – Bouncy castles, obstacle courses; there are lots of inflateable options out there now! Hire out a fall or a field and fill it with inflateables, and then charge an entry fee. You could also have a fair or fete alongside it with stalls to raise money too.
Just Giving – Don’t forget to tell your supporters how to set up their Just Giving page, so all of the donations come straight through to you.
Jumper Day – Like the ‘Christmas Jumper Day’, you could get your town to wear a wacky jumper on a particular day for a small donation – Businesses and schools could all get involved!
Karaoke – Who doesn’t like a bit of Karaoke? Share your inner X-Factor! You could even hold your own talent competition alongside it with judges.
Lego Walk / Fire Walk – This is one not for the faint hearted, but would definitely grab people’s attention when fundraising and more likely to get donations! How many people do you know that have done fire walking? Exactly! And if you’re friend said they were, would you sponsor them? Absolutely! It would take a bit of organising, with an appropriate venue and the professionals there to train them and set it up, but could be very worth it.
Another alternative, perhaps one where children could get involved, is a similar idea but with Lego rather than hot embers. You could even have them running alongside each other!
(With 3 kids at home myself, I think I’d be choosing the hot coals over lego any day…)
Leave a gift in your will – Your organisation will be very special to a lot of people you’ve helped. They may be very grateful but not sure how to thank you – In which case you could suggest that they leave a donation / gift to you in their will.
Mountain Climbing – From completing the 3 peaks challenge, to climbing Mount Everest or Mount Kilimanjaro, these are the kind of things that really get people to sponsor! These activities take effort, many of them months of training and preparation, so there is lots of scope for encouraging their friends and family members to get behind them and raid their wallets.
Marathons – A dead cert for sponsorships, and there are so many all over the country that people can get involved with in addition to the big London one!
Nature Trail – Detail a nature walk in your local area and either charge to do a guided walk, or sell maps so people can do it in their own time.
New Years Resolutions – Another great one for this time of year! So many people set New Years Resolutions but struggle to keep the motivation to keep to them. That’s where you come in! If they’re being sponsored to keep to them it’s win win – They keep their resolutions and you get donations!
Non-Uniform Day – Get your local schools involved.
November – November is World Hospice & Palliative Care Month, so a great time to raise awareness of your Hospice or Care Home. Talk to people about your vital work, and how they can help you raise funds with all these great ideas!
Orienteering – Raise funds by charging entrance, along with additional fundraising activities along side.
Parachute Jump – Another one for the adrenaline junkies.
Parties – Themed parties throughout the year are a great way of getting all of your supporters together, having fun, and raising vital funds. See also, ‘Entertainment Evenings’.
Quiz Night – Pretty self explanatory! Similar to parties, it gets people together for an evening fun whilst raising money at the same time.
Quite for 30 Days – This is great for encouraging healthier habits, and giving people even more of a reason to try and quit! What’s more motivating that knowing you’re getting healtheir? Raising money for a healthy cause! Whether it’s quitting smoking, vaping, drinking, or maybe sugar chocolate or crisps – There are lots of things people could give up, and lots of reasons to sponsor someone who does!
Raffles – An easy addition to entertainment evenings, parties, fairs, fetes, activity days – The majority of fundraising activities could have a raffle added in to get extra donations!
Skydiving – Not one for the faint-hearted but definitely one that gets lots of sponsors!
Santa’s Grotto – One we missed from our Festive Fun section but another great addition to Christmas Fairs, or even something local playgroups could run for you, and charge a small fee.
Swear Box – Ask local businesses, friends, co-workers etc to have a swear box in their office. Everytime they swear or blaspheme, 50 pence goes in the box. Collect at the end of each month!
Tombola – Another great traditional fundraising idea!
Treasure Hunt – See Easter Egg Hunt
Toy Sale – See As New Sale
Talent Competition – See Karaoke
Unwanted Presents – See As New Sale
Vehicle Rally – Ask local owners of vintage or unusual vehicles and hold a rally charging an entrance fee. People love and are fascinated by old and unusual cars!
Valentines Day – You could hold a romantic ball, or dinner party, or even your own version of Blind Date speed dating event with an audience!
Walk, Jog or Run – Don’t underestimate the sponsored walk, jog or run! Family friendly, easy to theme and a popular choice for fundraising.
Wax – One for the boys! They get sponsored for waxing their chest / back / arms / legs.
Wash – Sponsored car wash! All money raised goes to you.
Wine Tasting Evening – Another great evening opportunity.
Xmas – See Festive Fun
Yard of.. – Challenge people to drink a yard of something. Pay to enter and the winner wins a prize!
Zumbathon – Challenge all those Zumba dancers and exercise fanatics to come and join in a sponsored zumba.
The A-Z of fundraising ideas! Hopefully there are some ideas there to get you going!