23 Sep

A Fundraising Boost

Bake SaleThere are plenty of ways you can boost your fundraising efforts; here are RunABC’s top tips for reaching your target amount (and then some) …

You have a place in your dream event - London Marathon, the Great North Run, maybe even New York Marathon. After years of disappointment at the ballot, you have decided to run for a charity. Great stuff - you get a place in the event of your dreams, and you get to feel righteous about it - not only are you doing good for yourself, you are going to raise money for a fantastic cause too. You have committed to raise a certain amount for your chosen charity. At the time it didn’t seem too unrealistic a goal, but now you wonder how you are going to do it! Let us help you - here are our suggestions for hitting and exceeding that target. 
Let Them Eat Cake
Although a perennial favourite, there is no denying that cake sales have risen in popularity thanks in no small part to the success of the Great British Bake Off. People love experimenting in the kitchen and for those less inclined, the exposure on TV to copious amounts of lemon drizzles and mountains of macaroons means they are more than happy to part with some of their hard-earned cash to sample similar tasty treats. 
It’s a good idea to ask family member/friends for help, as you are going to have to bake up a storm to raise lots of money. Get Grandma on the meringues, Mum on the Victoria sponge and best friend on the banana muffins! Pick a date, advertise it well and don’t forget to tell everyone exactly why you are having the sale and who the money will be going to. 
Come Dine With Me
Sticking with the culinary theme – why not ride high on the success of another popular TV show and host your own Come Dine With Me event? You could invite a group of friends to compete against one another. A good example is to organise four groups of four, with everyone putting in £25. The winner from each group then plays in a grand final with the overall winner receiving £100 and the rest going to your charity.
Another version of the same idea, is to invite a group of friends to dinner and cook them a tasty two or three course meal. Then ask your guests to donate what they would normally spend on a meal out, or to give what they think the meal was worth as an alternative to the scoring system in the TV series. If it goes well, you could ask your guests if they would be prepared to host a follow-up dinner to introduce some friendly rivalry!
Flog It!
An oldie, but a goodie. Car boot sales are a great way to raise money, even if you aren’t a hoarder you can ask your friends and family to have a clear out and donate their unwanted items to you to help you raise money. And in this digital age, it doesn’t stop there. How about selling those unwanted items on eBay instead of getting up at the crack of dawn to claim your pitch? You will reach a bigger customer base than at a car boot and who knows you might start a bidding war over that lava lamp that’s been sat in the loft for years. 
Going Going Gone
If you have a talent for persuasion and reckon you could get people to donate some interesting and desirable offerings for an auction night then why not give it a go?  Silent auctions are the most popular type of fundraising auction because they are low key and easier to coordinate. In a silent auction, you publish a list of items ahead of time and accept bids in writing. At the end of a pre-determined time period, the highest bidder wins the item.
The alternative to a silent auction is a live auction. People gather at a venue to place bids and unlike a silent auction, a live auction is fast and loud; bidders either shout or hold up signs for their bids  Live auctions can sometimes become frenzied affairs so you may need an auctioneer to help proceedings run smoothly.
Big Fat Quiz
One place you can always be certain of a captive audience is the local pub! So why not use this to your advantage and organise a pub quiz? To make your life easier you can purchase quiz packs with all the questions ready to go. So all you have to do is come up with a date, work out a suitable entry fee and prize and make sure as many people know about it as possible. Then you simply turn up on the night and channel your inner Chris Tarrant – is that your final answer?
A Night To Remember
You might be someone who likes to think big. So pull all the stops out and organise something that will really get people’s attention. A black tie ball or a battle of the bands evening both require a lot of planning and attention to detail, but the rewards could be huge thanks to big turn-outs and the potential to use the evening to promote other fundraising methods such as a raffle or auction.
Top Tip – Nice and Easy
Raffle fundraisers can be very successful fundraisers. Your costs are next to nothing, and proceeds are limited only by the number of tickets sold. A raffle fundraiser works so well because you can achieve high profit margins. If the prizes for your raffle drawing are donated, the only costs are the printing of the raffle tickets. (But you could get that donated as well!)