Any fundraising project can be intimidating, especially when you have a huge target to raise! At the beginning of my second year of University, I volunteered to join a fundraising group with a target of £1,750 each for the FutureSense Foundation. Clearly, this is a LOT of money to raise, and the process was a very demanding and sometimes stressful experience. But, one of many silver linings that came from it was that I learnt some lessons along the way. The project ended up being incredibly rewarding. If you would like to see a post about what I would have done differently throughout this journey, let me know in the comments! But for now, I am going to tell you all about some fundraising ideas that actually work:
A bit of a change and a good night out is sure to attract attention. If you are a university student, see if the bars connected to your student union will let you use their location for free! As well as a cheese and wine night at home, at my university I arranged a Great Gatsby themed party at a student bar. These events were extremely helpful in getting us closer towards our fundraising targets. All you need to do to make these nights a success is:
- Choose a party theme!
- Make a suitable playlist
- Decide how you will raise your money. If you can’t charge entry at your venue, consider asking if you could sell wristbands so people can get drinks discounts. At our Gatsby event, this is what we did and it worked wonderfully well.
- Create some themed food / drinks to serve your guests (cocktails are great if you’re of age, if not, mocktails will do the trick!!)
- Think about what else you could do entertainment wise, (we did a photo booth). Games and activities are sure to work wonders as well, especially if there is a small extra charge.
- Think of other small fundraisers you could add to the night (eg. raffle, tombola, food sales, face paint, temporary tattoos, hair braiding). All of this will add up and get you so much closer to your target.
Get your friends involved in a sponsored sporting event.
I would not have gotten anywhere near my fundraising target without the help of my wonderful friends. The more people you can get involved in a sponsored event, the more money you will raise! I participated in two 10k sponsored walks alongside friends, and the money we raised is a number I could never have made alone.
Bake Sales and Tombolas
Not the most unique way to make money, but certainly among the most effective and the easiest to arrange! Cakes are cheap to make and always are appealing! And, it is easy to grab a book of raffle tickets on the cheap. These small events are most effective in a school environment, where hungry students are likely to be generous, or to help your bigger events earn that little bit extra. Get people to help you out by donating prizes! I raised almost £60 by running a tombola for only an hour at a local school. It can easily be done.
This is one of the easiest events to plan! You can write the questions yourself, or simply have a google and find some online! Along with a friend, I arranged two pub quizzes with the categories: Music, Literature, Geography, History, General Knowledge and Catch Phrases. All you need to do is arrange a location, write the questions, advertise and just have fun on the night! We charged £3 for an individual entry and £10 for a team of up to 6 people. Doing this, we raised roughly £60 at each quiz.
Live music events
Who doesn’t love a bit of live music? It is an amazing experience to go out and watch some local talent! While I lack musical ability myself, I am lucky to have wonderfully talented and generous friends happy to help out. Again, all you need to do is arrange a location, advertise your event, sell tickets and have fun on the night. You could arrange a gig, open mic night or even a karaoke. With the right advertising, these events can up your fundraising total loads!
Sell things online or have a garage sale
You can have a good old de-clutter and raise some money while you are at it! It really is a win/win situation! It is surprising how much stuff you own which you do not really need. These objects can find themselves a new home where they will be more appreciated, and the money can go to a charitable cause!
Yes, fundraising is tough. And I didn’t realise how difficult it would be until I volunteered to take part in it myself. But, it can also be fun and rewarding. If you put work in from the start, you can save yourself a lot of stress and make yourself proud! All of these ideas worked well for me, and I’m sure they can work for you too! Keep going and I’m sure you will see results.
Thank you very much for reading,
Hannah Lucy xxx