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Events & Fundraising
This section contains hints and tips for planning and publicising your event and useful information to help you ensure that things run as smoothly as possible.
It's important to think carefully about your event before you start and do some degree of planning. Think about how long it will take you to organise it, who you could contact to help you and how much it might raise in relation to the effort involved. Try to find something you and others will enjoy.
Potential costs could include postage, printing, photocopying, equipment, catering and hire charges. Try to get individuals or local businesses to donate the things you need. Your income might include ticket/entry fees, sponsorship, donations, raffles, auctions, advertising and sale of goods and refreshments. You need to ensure that your event will raise considerably more than you spend.
Discuss with friends, colleagues, and other committee members how easily the event can be organised. Things to consider include:
- Do we have enough people to organise/run the event?
- Will the event raise enough to make it worthwhile?
- Which dates are suitable/need to be avoided?
- What resources do we need?
- How do we publicise the event?
- Who will do what – assign tasks/roles
Once you have a basic plan, you need you need to consider the event in more detail e.g.
- Where - Always ensure the venue is suitable for your needs e.g size, parking, disabled or pushchair access etc.
- When - To ensure a good turnout, parties are usually best held at the weekends, whereas quizzes can be held any day of the week. With coffee mornings, it’s best to avoid school holidays and busy times of year e.g. Christmas or Easter. Make sure your event doesn’t clash with any other activity or major sporting fixtures.
- Who - As many people as possible. Invite everyone from friends, family and neighbours to work colleagues, members of your gym, school, church, school or community group.
- How - Events don’t have to be huge and complicated to be successful. For example, coffee mornings are easy to arrange, and can be held anywhere.They can also be combined with a raffle, cake sale or tabletop sale to raise more for your charity! Make sure you have enough cups, kettles, teapots, urns etc. and offer tea and soft drinks as an alternative.
Health & Safety
Make sure all venues have been checked for health and safety hazards. Ensure there is adequate disabled access. Confirm that first aid provision, fire fighting equipment and emergency evacuation procedures are in place.
Check what public liability insurance the venue operator/ owner has and that it covers owners’ liability risks. If you contract out activities, assess the safety competence of the contractors before using them. If you’re unsure of your obligations, then visit the Health and Safety Executive website www.hse.gov.uk
If you wish to sell alcohol at your event, this will need to be licenced. If the building in which the event is taking place already has a licence then you will be covered, but you need to check, If not, you’ll need to apply to the local magistrates court for a temporary liquor licence. It is possible for a local Landlord to apply for the licence for you and then run the bar at your event.
If your event involves singing, dancing or live music of any kind, you’ll need to check with your local authority whether you need a Public Entertainment Licence. However, if your event is deemed by the local authority to be for charity then they should provide the licence required free of charge.
Flyers, Posters & Leaflets
It is important that the your charity's Charity Registration Number appears on all printed documents and that you ask their permission before using their logo.
Publicity is essential for successful events. You need to decide on your target audience and the main message you want to promote. Any advertisement or article should be short and simple, but must include full details of the event and charity concerned. Also try and include anything unusual which will grab people’s attention.
There are many different ways of publicing your event:
- Leaflets, flyers & posters can be displayed on community & work notice boards, in local surgeries, schools, nurseries, church & community halls, libraries, hairdressers, local shops, soft play etc
- Word of mouth – email/phone your friends, neighbours, colleagues & family.
- Advertise in local papers, parish magazines, village newsletters, free newspapers, community websites, online event listings etc.
- Media - get the press involved as much as you can. Try to get as much information about your event in the local paper or on local radio as possible.
- Contact the news editor at your local paper and find out the paper's deadlines for copy and photographs.
- Display posters in the window of your car.
- If you've booked stallholders, ask them to help promote the event too by displaying posters etc.
- Use social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and online forums etc to spread the word.
All event publicity needs to include the following information:
- Full details of the event
- Who is involved?
- Why the event is taking place – charity details etc.
- When, where and what time?
- Can people help?
- Contact details for further information
- Charity Registration Number if applicable
Thank everyone who took part and publicise the total raised. Include photographs of the event if possible and also details of how people can contact you to donate to the charity or find out more if they were unable to attend.
This section of Stallfinder contains information and advice for fundraisers. Please note that all advice and information contained here has been suggested by and obtained from a number of different sources and is only intended as a useful guide.
Gift Aid allows charities to claim back tax on every eligible donation from the Inland Revenue. So for every £1 you raise, they’ll be able to claim at least an extra 25p. On every sponsorship form, make sure the sponsor gives their name and address, including postcode, and ticks the Gift Aid box.
An online fundraising page lets friends and family sponsor you by credit or debit card from anywhere in the world. Visit the Justgiving or Everyclick websites for more details.
Matched giving or funding involves financial support from your employer for your fundraising. Ask if they run a ‘matched giving scheme’ where they match their employees’ charitable contributions. Matched funding can help you to raise as much money as possible for your charity, so it is well worth finding out about. Your employer can use ‘matched giving’ to support your cause in a variety of ways e.g.
- 100% match - A 100% match equals each employee's gift pound for pound. It can be capped by setting an annual limit for each employee.
- 200% match - This involves the employer doubling their contribution and paying £2 for every £1 donated by its employees.
- Administration costs - Your employer can agree to meet the scheme's administration costs on your behalf.
If your employer does not currently offer a matched funding scheme for their staff, ask them to consider it. Matched funding can offer a number of benefits:
- Improving staff morale and motivation
- Providing positive PR opportunities
- Creating a a feel-good factor among employees about their organisation.
- Enhancing corporate image and reputation
- Encouraging a growing sense of social responsibility
Having stallholders at an event can greatly increase the total amount raised. The usual arrangement is to charge a fixed table or stall fee or ask for a percentage of sales on the day. Some organisers ask for a raffle prize in addition to or in lieu of a fee. You may want to consider asking for a deposit in case of cancellation and it's a good idea to have a waiting list for tables.
Ensure that all stallholders are aware of setup times, table fees, venue details and whether they need to bring their own table or float. Try not to book too many similar stalls and if possible have a table plan to ensure a quick and logical set-up. If you have labelled envelopes and a checklist ready for collection of stall fees then it will be easier to keep track during the event.
Stallfinder.com can help you to find stallholders by direct sales company, find stallholders by product or service or find stallholders by county. If you can't find what you're looking for please contact us.
This section of Stallfinder contains ideas and advice for fundraising and events. N.B. Information contained here has been suggested by or obtained from a number of sources and is only intended as a useful guide. There are any number of fundraising ideas and events to choose from e.g.
- Sponsored Activities
- Family Events
- Sporting Events
- Other Events
- Additional Attractions at Events
- Other Fundraising Options
- Ladies Indulgence Evenings
These can be an excellent, fun and challenging way of raising large amounts. There are many different activities you can be sponsored for e.g.
- Abseil:Scale a local landmark or office block.
- Aerobics: Organise a sponsored aerobathon with the help of gyms, leisure centres and sports shops.
- Baked Bean, Rice Pudding, Maggot or Custard Bath: Get sponsored to spend the day in a bath of your least favourite foodstuff.
- Boat Race: Sponsored teams build model boats and race them. Alternatively, you could use real canoes or dinghies.
- Bounce: Hire/Borrow a Bouncy Castle and get sponsorship for how many bounces each.
- Bungee Jump: Raise sponsorship by facing your worst fear.
- Bus Pull: Gather a team and get sponsored to heave a bus through town.
- Chariot race: Teams get sponsored to race decorated 'chariots' - these can be anything from a horse and cart, a customised armchair to a sedan chair.
- Charity push: Gather a team and get sponsored to cover a set distance in a hospital bed, shopping trolley, wheelie bin, four poster or even a 3 piece suite.
- Eating marathon: Get sponsored to eat as much jelly,baked beans, grapes, pies etc. as possible.
- Eyebrow/headshave: Get sponsored to go bare.
- Fast: Get sponsored to fast for an hour, a morning or a day. May need to consult your doctor for this one.
- Left-handed day: Try doing everything with your left hand for the day.
- Marathon: Get sponsored to run 26 miles.
- New Year Resolutions: Get sponsored to stick to your New Year's Resolutions.
- Outward bound: Go climbing, hiking, camping, etc and seek sponsorship.
- Parachute jump/skydive: In tandem or alone - get sponsored to take the plunge.
- Plant a tree: Seek sponsors for a "plant a tree" scheme.
- Slim: Arrange with local slimming clubs. Participants get sponsored £1 for every pound lost.
- Sponsored silence: See how long you can stay silent.
- Stationary cycle: Get sponsored to cover a set distance at the gym.
- Swimathon: Get sponsored per length, mile, hour or even minute.
- Walk/Fun Run: Gather a team and collect sponsorship for distance covered, time taken etc.
- Waxing: One for the boys - get sponsored to wax your legs or chest.
- Yacht racing: Participate in regional or national events - seek sponsorship from local clubs and businesses.
- Balloon Race: Sell helium filled balloons with contact details attached each one. The balloon that travels the furthest wins a prize.
- Balloon Rides: Offer as a raffle prize or auction lot or sell trips in a chartered balloon.
- Barbecue: Add music, football or cricket and make a day of it.
- Barn Dance: Add some bales of hay, a traditional country band, a hog roast and lots of cider.
- Beautiful/Bonny Baby Contest: Charge proud parents an entrance fee to show off their offspring. Arrange a prize with a local baby/nursery shop and invite the local press.
- Car treasure hunt: Drive from clue to clue in search of the 'treasure'. Teams pay to enter.
- Carnival: Arrange a colourful carnival for your town, charging for each float entered.
- Carol concert: Host a festive concert for your community. Sell minced pies and mulled wine.
- Duck race: Sell numbered plastic ducks and launch them from a bridge. The first duck to finish wins.
- Easter egg hunt: Charge entry fee and ask local shops to provide the eggs.
- Fun day: An afternoon of games, music, competitions and stalls - can be indoor or outdoor.
- It's a knockout: Teams compete in madcap games in fancy dresss or costumes. Charge for entry and refreshments.
- Pancake race: Get flipping on Shrove Tuesday. Charge teams to enter, and spectators to eat.
- Pet or animal show: Charge proud pet-owners to show off their animals. Ask pet shops to sponsor the event.
- Beat the Goalie: Score a goal and win a prize. Footballers pay to enter.
- Cricket match: Assemble a team and challenge your county team to a match. Charge for entrance and refreshments.
- Football tournament: Schedule fixtures and charge teams to enter. Ask local businesses for prizes.
- Go Kart Grand Prix: Hold a Go Kart Grand Prix at your nearest track. Drivers pay entrance fee.
- Golf tournament: Organise via your local golf course who may provide some kind of sponsorship.
- Mini-Olympics: Invite everyone you know to compete in traditional and silly sports. Charge for entry and refreshments.
- Raft race: Teams compete by building their rafts and racing over a set distance. Teams pay to compete.
- Yacht racing: Participate in regional or national events. Seek sponsorship from local clubs and businesses.
- Afternoon Tea:Tea and homemade cakes. Entertain your guests with music, raffles, auctions and tombolas.
- Art exhibition: Stage an exhibition for local artists. Charge entrance fee and also ask for commission on sales.
- As/Nearly New Sale: Ask everyone you know for unwanted belongings and hold a sale.
- Auction of Services: Auction services of people and local businesses.
- Auction: Auction off unwanted items, taking a percentage of sales.
- Beer Festival: LOcal and international beers, food and music.
- Bingo: Hold a one-off evening or regular morning sessions.
- Board Games Evening: Invite friends over to play old favourites like Scrabble, Monopoly, Cluedo etc. Charge entrance or game fee.
- Boat Trips: Organise a cruise along a local river or canal. Ticket price to include refreshments and entertainment.
- Book Sale: Collect and sell old, or unwanted books. Sell leftover stock to a dealer.
- Bridge Tournament: Teams pay to enter.
- Car boot sale: Collect and sell items, or sell pitches. Raise more with bouncy castles, raffles, etc.
- Casino evening: Hire gaming tables and a hall for the evening. Sell tickets and refreshments.
- Charity ball: Organise a themed ball with live music or a DJ. Charge for tickets and boost your takings with an auction, raffle or games.
- Classic car show: Classic car and bike shows can be great crowd pullers and fantastic fundraisers.
- Coach trips: Organise coach trips to popular tourist destinations eg. Blackpool, London, Chelsea Flower Show etc. Sell tickets and hold a raffle.
- Coffee morning: Raise more with raffles, bring and buy sales and cake stalls.
- Concerts: Hold your own recital or hire some local musicians.
- Cookery demo: Invite some chefs to share their recipes with a ticket-paying audience.
- Craft Fair: a range of handcrafted items for sale such as handmade cards, woodturned gifts, crocheted or knitted garments, mosaic gifts etc.
- Dance: Organise a Barn dance, tea dance, disco dances salsa dance - there are many more to choose from.
- Darts tournament: Challenge all the pub teams in the area to compete for a cash prize or trophy.
- Dinner and cabaret: Hire a popular restaurant. Entertain ticket holders with a varied bill of live music, comedy and magic.
- Disco: Hire a DJ to stage a themed disco night.
- Fashion show: Ask businesses for sponsorship. Charge admission and arrange commission on sales.
- Fete/Fair: Popular for Christmas or Summer - stalls, refreshment and activities.
- Film evening: Hold a themed evening e.g. horror, vintage or classic cinema, musicals, spaghetti western etc.
- Fireworks: Firework displays are massive fundraisers. Check out safety precautions.
- Flower show: Very popular - can boost funds with plant sales, competitions, advice corners and side stalls.
- Furniture sale: Hire a large hall to sell donated furniture and old office equipment.
- Game show night: Host mock version of Play Your Cards Right, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, The Weakest Link etc.
- Garage sale: Sell off all your unwanted belongings.
- Garden party: Sell tickets or ask guests for a donation.
- Glamorous Granny Competition: Charge contestants to enter, and ask local companies to donate prizes. Invite the local press
- Guest speaker: Invite a guest speaker and sell admission tickets.
- Guided tours: Take tourists and visitors on locally guided walks or trips.
- Household sale: Sell off all your unwanted belongings.
- Indoor market: Rent out stalls to local traders, or take a percentage of sales on the day.
- Jailbreak: Teams are left in the middle of nowhere. Without money or transport. The winning team get back to base first. Charge entrance fees and offer prizes.
- Karaoke: All you need is a machine, a room and a well-stocked bar.
- Ladies’ Indulgence/Pamper Evening: Mini-treatments such as manicures, aromatherapy, massage etc. alongside stalls such as jewellery, cosmetics etc.
- Medieval evening: Themed evening of medieval food, jousting and entertainment.
- Murder Mystery Night: Dinner and role play.
- Nature trail: Offer guided walks to natural beauty spots.
- Open garden: Open your garden to visitors. Sell tickets, refreshments, plants and vegetables.
- Opera night: Hold an opera evening in your area, or arrange a trip to see a big London production.
- Paintballing: Organise paintballing events at locally run centres. Players pay to enter.
- Pantomime: Your chance to play the ugly sister. Stage a production with friends, family and colleagues.
- Parties: Pick a venue and a theme. Sell tickets and charge for food and drink.
- Plant sale: Sell donated plants or rent out pitches to sellers.
- Play, Musical or Pantomime: Stage a production with friends, family and colleagues.
- Race night: The race is run on a large screen after all bets have been taken. A typical race night consists of eight races. Props and film can be supplied by race operators.
- Ramble: Organise a country walk, possibly with a theme e.g. fancy dress, three legged, Easter), and charge for entry and refreshments.
- Safari supper: Travel from venue to venue having a different course at each stop.
- Scavenger hunt: Variation on the treasure hunt where participants have a list of items to collect.
- Shopping Evening: Popular before Christmas. Stallholders selling gifts, books, toys, clothes, cards, jewellery, cosmetics, food and drink etc.
- Skittles: Make an evening event out of this traditional pub game.
- Swap shop: Everyone brings along something unwanted to swap. Charge for entry.
- Tabletop Sale: Charge a table fee and everyone fills a table with everything they want to sell.
- Talent Show/competition: Hold your own talent show. Charge entry and offer prizes.
- Teddy Bear’s Picnic: Basically a picnic where everyone brings a bear! Attractions such as a bouncy castle and toy stalls etc can boost funds.
- Ten-pin bowling: Bowling alleys often have special rates for big groups and charity evenings.
- Themed Evening: Agree a theme e.g. Mexican/Hawaiian and arrange music and food to suit.
- Toy sale: In the run up to Christmas, toy sales can be big fundraisers.
- Treasure hunt: Teams compete against each other to discover the 'treasure'.
- Unwanted Gift Sale: Ask for donations of gifts and then hold a sale.
- Wine and cheese: Ask supermarkets to donate the wine and cheese. Sell tickets, and produce to take away.
- Wine tasting: Hold tasting sessions for wine companies. Charge commission on wine sold. Arrange a raffle.
Additional Attractions at Events
There are many ways to raise extra funds at an event as well as providing additional interest. Examples of these are:-
- Bouncy Castle: A great way to keep kids entertained at bigger family events. See our Event and Party Services section for hire companies.
- Cake Stall: Hold a traditional cake stand at fetes or fairs. Check health and safety regulations.
- Coconut shy: Easy to arrange - all you need are some coconuts and wooden balls.
- Face painting: Get creative with face paints at fetes, fairs and children's parties.
- Fancy dress: Jazz up your event with a fancy dress contest. Charge entrance fee.
- Guess the???: Everyone has to guess how many sweets in the jar, a cake's weight, etc. The closest answer wins.
- Gunge Tank: Charge people to drop their relatives, friends or enemies in a tank of gunge.
- Hook-a-duck: Ask local companies to donate prizes.
- Hoopla: Ask local companies to donate prizes.
- Inflatable: Hire an inflatable fly wall, boxing ring or gladiator court and charge attendees at your event.
- Pick a cork: Players pick a numbered cork out of a board. If the number's a winner they claim a prize.
- Pick a ticket: Players pick a numbered ticket from a bucket. If the number's a winner they claim a prize.
- Pub games night: Organise a night of traditional pub games - darts, skittles, dominoes, cards, etc.
- Puppet show: Punch and Judy or something more modern.
- Quiz Night: Can be held in your local pub, school or community hall.
- Raffle: Ask local firms to donate prizes and sell tickets.
- Refreshments: Sell teas, coffees, sandwiches, biscuits, cakes, etc, at any fundraising event.
- Roll the dice: Roll doubles to win a prize.
- Roll-a-ball: Players roll a ball through a hole at the end of a bowling-type alley.
- Roll-a-coin: Players roll a coin down a shute, aiming to land on a playing card.
- Slippery pole: Competitors fight to stay on a slippery pole.
- Sponge throwing: Players pay to throw wet sponges at whoever's in the stocks.
- Tabletop sale: Indoor variation on the car boot sale. Charge for table hire.
- Tin can alley: Knock down the stack of tin cans and win a prize.
- Tombola: Pick a raffle ticket out of a barrel and match it with a ticketed prize.
- Tuck shop: Sell sweets, crisps, cake, drinks, etc, at a children's event.
- Welly throwing: Throwers compete to see whose welly goes furthest.
- Whisky raffle: Charge a pound a ticket, and pick a winner for every 25 sold. Check licensing and raffle laws.
- Wii/Playstation play-off: Organise a league of players and compete on a certain game. Charge entrants.
- Yard of ale: A drinking challenge. Charge entry fee.
Other Fundraising Options
- Advertising Booklet: Compile a local information booklet and include information on local attractions and events. Sell advertising space to local businesses.
- Air Miles: Collect as many as you can and then raffle them off.
- Aluminium: CollectionCollect empty cans and tins and sell them to a recycling company.
- Arts and Crafts Stall: Make jewellery, dried flower arrangements, cards etc, to sell on a stall.
- Bad taste tie or clothing day: Charge your colleagues a pound to come in wearing their loudest tie or worst outfit.
- Calendars: Design and sell a calendar for your group, school or company. Local businesses may sponsor pages.
- Candle making: Make and sell candles at craft fairs or coffee mornings.
- Car wash: Wash your neighbours cars or at your local shopping centre or office car parks.
- Carol singing: Get a group to go door-to-door snd serenade your neighbours.
- Christmas draw: Sell tickets and ask local firms to supply prizes.
- Copper collection: Ask people to donate their collections of one and two pence pieces. You could try and make a shape or picture with them as a one-off event to add interest.
- Crossword competition: Compile a huge crossword, and charge per clue. Each number hides a ticket for a prize draw.
- Directories: Compile a community businesses and services directory and raise funds through advertising.
- Flower arranging: Make your own fresh, silk or dried arrangements to sell at craft fairs or fetes.
- Foreign coins: Ask people to donate their leftover holiday coins. Change into sterling once you have enough.
- Gardening: Offer your gardening services to neighbours, friends and family.
- Invitation Book– A scheme whereby a book of money-saving vouchers is purchased with commision going to the organiser.
- Ironing:Offer your ironing services - at a cost.
- Mile of pennies: Ask for donations of small change and make a mile of pennies in the street. Ask passers by for more coins.
- Mufti day: Introduce a dress down day at work or school. Everyone pays a fee to leave their suits or uniforms at home.
- Personalised gifts: Wrap and sell personalised gifts for special occasions.
- Petrol tokens: Collect and trade in petrol tokens for gifts, which can be used as raffle or competition prizes.
- Picture framing: Frame and sell prints of local scenes, or pictures relevant to your group or charity.
- Pledges: Gather pledges of donations and services which can then be auctioned or used as raffle prizes.
- Postage stamps: Collect and sell foreign and unusual stamps to dealers.
- Private tuition: Sell your skills with private lessons e.g French, Guitar,
- Programmes: Get businesses to advertise in event programmes. Number programmes and use as raffle tickets.
- Promotional gifts: Sell promotional gifts, T-shirts or clothing with your Charity or Company logo on.
- Recipe book: Collect and publish everyone's favourite recipes. Ask local restaurants and chefs for contributions.
- Recycling collections: Collect paper, aluminium, glass, junk mail etc, and sell on to recycling companies.
- Sale of Xmas gifts: Sell Christmas cards, giftwrap, gifts, festive food and drink.
- Santa's Grotto: Pull on your white beard and red suit. Charge admittance fee in return for age & gender appropriate gift.
- Shopping Vouchers/coupons: Collect and then trade in loyalty points for money or goods that can be used as prizes.
- Swear box: Collect a £1 for every rude word uttered.
- Tug of War tournament: teams pay a charge to enter.
- Windscreen wash: Charge to wash windscreens at service and petrol stations. Ask permission first.
- Xmas hampers:Make up and sell/raffle your own Xmas hampers. Ask for donations of food, drink, toys and gifts.
Other Fundraising Ideas
Commission can be earned from obtaining sales or orders from third party brochures such as Phoenix Trading, Usborne Books, Baker Ross, Webb Ivory etc. Contact a company representative for details.
It is possible to become a representative for one of the many direct-sales companies and donate all profits to your chosen charity. You can find details of these companies in Find Stallholders by Direct Sales Company.
Mother’s and Father’s Day Present Rooms are very popular in schools. Presents are chosen, purchased and wrapped by children for their parents.
Teatowels, greeting cards or mousemats with pictures designed by schoolchildren can be sold to their parents.
Gain cashback for your organisation by commission earned by selling eco-friendly BPA free water bottles made from stainless steel.
Ladies Indulgence Evenings
Ladies Indulgence or Pamper Evenings are an increasingly popular way to fundraise or promote your products and services in a fun environment. They can range from informal home gatherings of friends to larger-sized local events. There are usually a wide range of pampering activities such as:
....a range of indulgent treats such as:
....and often a selection of complementary therapies and services such as:
Tickets can be sold in advance or on the door and often include wine and nibbles. It is advisable to have some kind of booking system for therapies/taster sessions to avoid chaos on the night.
If you're organising a Ladies Indulgence Evening or Pampering event, you can find stallholders and therapists by searching our directory of stallholders. You can find stallholders by county, find stallholders by product or service (e.g Health and Beauty, Jewellery or Complementary Therapies) or find stallholders by Direct Sales Company or by distance from your event postcode. Please mention Stallfinder if you contact any of our stallholders.