Adventures and expeditions are a great way to raise money for charity (as I talk about in the blog adventuring for good). Here are 8 fundraising ideas to get you started.
I tried out most of these ideas when taking on a charity challenge Kick scooting the length of the USA. By the end of this challenge, I’d raised $10,000 for charity. This was from a combination of donations, talks, raffles, corporate sponsorship and events (you can read more about that fundraising journey here).
#1 Set up a sponsorship page
This works best if you are doing some sort of challenge. You can set up a sponsorship page online (Justgiving is one of the biggest) and ask your friends, families and colleagues to sponsor you.
You could do a race or long distance challenge. Or do something more creative like spend a month living in a tent. Stunt challenges like shaving off your hair or having a baked bean bath also work.
If you decide to go down the sponsorship route, check out my tips on how to get people to sponsor you.
It’s also possible just to launch a go-fund-me page without needing to do a challenge. Instead, you have a clear goal in mind for what the money will be used for and ask for sponsorship this way.
#2 Do a real-time collection
This works especially well if you are doing a challenge or event takes you through towns or cities where you will be passing lots of people. Make a sign that says what you are doing and who you are raising money for. It’s good to have a container that you can carry or attach to your bag or bike.
At the very least, create a small piece of paper with your challenge and donation details that you can hand out to people you pass. We did this on Kicking the States and donations from people we passed probably made up about 25-30% of the total.
If this can’t be done on the expedition itself, how about organising some kind of relay or challenge in a shopping center. If you are planning to cycle around the world, for example, you could do a 24-hour static bike ride in a mall and have some friends with you asking people who pass for donations.
To organise this you’d just need to get hold of the shopping centre management.
Check out Jamie Mcdonalds static bike challenge for inspiration on this.
#3 Put on an event
Events can be hard work and time-consuming. But done right they have the potential to raise a huge amount in one go. This would only be the right choice for someone who has good organisational skills to see this through although you could also team up with others to put on an event together which would take the pressure off.
Check out my tips for organising a fundraising event.
As well as making money from ticket sales, you can then look at making even more at the event itself through cake sales, a silent auction or raffle.
#4 Selling things
One of my suggestions for easy fundraising ideas for small groups is simply to sell things!
If you don’t want to go to the effort of organising an event from scratch, then think about ways you can fundraise with an existing audience. Some places this could work include:
- at a school
- a local gym
- community groups (scouts, guides, WI, book club, rotary groups)
- your workplace
This is best done if you already have a connection with a place. And generally, the bigger the audience the larger the potential is to make money.
You could organise a sale such as a bake sale, car boot sale or card sale. This involves a bit of work as you need to find (or make) the produce initially to sell. But you could also look into getting them donated.
A good option could be to sell Krispy Kreme doughnuts. They have a scheme where you can buy them cheap with the intention to sell them at a higher price. Setting this up at your workplace or with a local club could be a really easy way to make money.
#5 Organise a raffle
I think raffles are a great way to raise money. The most time-consuming part is getting raffle prizes. If you get creative though this doesn’t need to be difficult.
Once you’ve got a handful of prizes you’ll need to decide run it.
I once did 5 raffles at 5 different local pub quizzes in the space of a month. All the pubs were busy and drew a big crowd each week for the quiz. I waited until people had their first drink then gave a short talk to pull on the heartstrings. People were very generous when it came to buying tickets….I raised nearly £2000 in total.
For more tips on getting raffle prizes check out:
#6 Sell your services
If you have a skill or a particular talent for something then you can dedicate time to delivering this in exchange for donations. If you are a piano teacher, for example, you could auction off lessons.
This works really well if you ask your friends and family to do the same then create an auction page where people can bid for services. This could be anything from a back massage to having your name as a character in a book (a great one if you have any author friends!).
#7 Look for corporate sponsorship
When putting together my easy fundraising ideas for small groups, I actually thought that corporate sponsorship might be the most profitable if done when. It’s not easy to get companies to donate for your cause but if successful this can really bring the money in. Companies get tax benefits if they are charitable so it is in their interest. Like with most fundraising, this is most successful if you have a personal connection. Either directly yourself or via close friends and family
Put together a letter explaining what you are doing and who you are raising money for and ask if their company would be willing to make a donation. Try and send it to a specific person, ideally the owner of the company.
If you are doing a challenge or event, you could include the company in this. This could be having their logo on your T-shirt, waving their flag at a summit or sending update videos for their staff. For bigger donations, you could also offer to go into the office to give a talk.
If companies don’t want to donate directly you could also ask if they’d be willing to do a small fundraiser. Something as simple as a dress down day at an office can raise hundreds of pounds with little effort.
#8 Deliver talks
If you are a confident public speaker you can deliver free talks about your charity or challenge in exchange for donations. This could be either a direct donation from the company or organisation that has booked you or in the form of a collection from the audience who have come to watch.
Finding places willing to let you give a talk can be time-consuming and just like most fundraising it needs you to be persistent. Some ideas of places you could deliver a talk include:
- in schools
- adult education centres
- clubs (rotary, WI, Lions, etc)
- outdoor stores
Easy fundraising ideas for an adventure
If you haven’t already watched this TED talk on fundraising then it’s a good place to start:
A book that really changed my way of thinking when it came to fundraising is The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer.
Such a great read!
It taught me to approach people and companies effectively and how to get over my nerves of asking.
If you have any ideas that I’ve missed out then let me know in the comments box below!
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