One of the most crucial elements to a successful fund raising event is forward planning and advertising. You could have a great event with lots of interesting things in it but without advertising the event well in advance and making use of all publicity available to you, your event could well be a failure. Free advertising include strategically placed advertising boards and posters, free listings in local papers and radio and via the charities website.
These following fund raising ideas are not original but tried and tested and proven to work:
Doing a sponsored walk, dance- a- thon, mountain climb, parachute jump… it doesnt matter what you choose, these sponsored events are a great way of getting a guaranteed amount of money before you even do the event. Its also a great way to raise the profile of the charity you are fund raising for, especially if you get some kind of media coverage, and the more in advance you start the more people can be asked to sponsor you.
The main disadvantage of sponsored events is that you are asking friends, family and acquaintances for money so you can only run these sponsored events 2 or 3 times maximum a year.
Car Boot/ Jumble sales
Incredibly popular events even after all this time: who can resist the chance to get rid of clutter in the loft/garage or to pick up a bargain. Income comes through what you charge per pitch and any refreshments you sell, plus having your own pitch selling donated items, cakes etc. If you can get some commercial businesses to have a pitch ie bouncy castle, burger van, local businesses selling their wares you can charge twice as much for a pitch. Also dont leave it to chance that people will book a pitch, actively contact local groups who might want to have a stall, for example local womens groups , gardening clubs, other charities, childrens’ groups.
The main disadvantage of organising a car boot sale is that you may well clash with another similar event as they are so popular, and rainy weather can affect success. In order to avoid these pitfalls make sure your event has a building so people can have table tops indoors aswell and check local papers and listings so you can avoid clashing with other nearby events if possible.
An alternative is to simply have a pitch at a popular car boot event and try and get as many donated items as possible. This is also an opportunity to advertise your charity.
An auction is a more successful version of a raffle. The limitation of a raffle is that you are restricted to the number of people at the event who can buy a ticket so no matter how great the prizes are your potential profit is capped. So instead arrange an auction ( could be as part of another event such as a dinner dance or show) with the best prizes you can get local businesses to donate ( gym pass, free meals, free entry to local attractions, beauty treatments, theatre tickets etc) .
Firstly at the auction make sure alcohol is available! You need people to feel relaxed and generous. You also need a charismatic compere to joke and tease the audience into starting the bidding. Also let people know the value of the gifts and start at a reasonably low price so the audience are aware of a what a bargain they are getting.
Once the first couple of lots have gone I have witnessed the rest of the evening go with a swing and the end result is that those who have won their lots feel doubly pleased both with the lot they have won and the knowledge that the proceeds go to charity. And all the auctions I have witnessed have raised £1000 or more rather than the £100 or so a raffle could raise.
Whatever your group or charity an nice and popular event is a talent show or dance show, which is also a good winter event being indoors.
The best way to make the evening( or matinee) a success is to get as many local dance /theatre/music groups involved as possible. All performance schools and groups need occasions to perform at, and everyone is happy to dance for charity. The schools and groups get to advertise themselves and have a performance platform, all you need do is find a suitable venue. If you can apply for a grant, get a local business to sponsor you or can fund raise the costs of venue, hire/publicity and tickets then all the profit can go directly to your charity.
The reason the show is always a success is that the family and friends of the performers like to come to the show, and if you can persuade children’s groups to get involved the grandparents and other relations love to watch their little relatives shine on stage. So if you can get at least 50 performers involved, each performer has at least 2 or 3 relatives/friends come to see them ( often more) so you already have 100 -150 in the audience already.