Have ever considered fundraising for CENS, but struggled for ideas, or thought organising it would be difficult? Then let us help. We are always touched when one of our supporters gives up their spare time and energy to raise money for us – it makes us realise how many amazing people there are out there who want to make a difference. And all our fundraisers can rest assured that every single penny they raise will be directly helping a homeless person, because as a small local charity we don’t have the huge staff and marketing budgets that larger national charities have.
Here are our 10 tips for all you budding fundraisers
1. Select your fundraiser carefully
Summer is on its way, so you might want to think of an outdoor event, such as a BBQ or tea party, or maybe a sporting activity – a swimathon or a walking challenge. If you’re feeling entrepreneurial on the other hand, maybe you could set up a stand selling lemonade or cakes.
2. Choose a venue, date and time
Think about how much time you need to plan your fundraiser, and when you would get the most interest. Do you need a venue, or if it’s a personal challenge, do you want to invite spectators? Leave yourself plenty of time to get organised, that way it will be a success and you won’t have a last-minute panic on your hands.
3. Get organised
What resources do you need to make it happen? If it’s a garage sale, you may just need a trestle table, a float and some price labels. But if it’s a movie night, you’ll need to provide drinks and snacks as well as seating and a film of course. Make a list and start researching where you can source everything.
4. Work out a budget and set a goal
How much will you need to spend and how much will you need to raise to make a profit? If you’re spending £20 on baking ingredients, then make sure you are making enough cakes and charging enough per slice to make money – you don’t want to waste all that hard work! If you’re doing a sporting challenge, how much do you want to raise in sponsorship? Having a goal will give you something to aim for and will inspire people to get involved.
5. Time to spread the word
Shout about it. Social media is the obvious starting point, but don’t forget good old-fashioned posters and flyers – as these can be really effective. Make sure to share with your school/college, workplace, or community group too. The more people you tell, the more money you will raise.
6. Tell the charity
We always love publicising fundraising events and are happy to give you a shout-out on our social media platforms. If you send us your pictures of the event and let us have an update on how much you have raised, we can post a follow-up too.
7. Organise how to collect your funds
If it’s sponsorship you’re looking for, platforms such as JustGiving are simple and effective to use and share, or you may want a sponsorship form (we can provide CENS specific forms for you). If it’s an event you are charging for, then it’s simple – just collect the cash and you can drop it in once it’s over. We always like meeting our fundraisers, so we can thank them in person.
8. Enjoy it!
Fundraising can be great fun and hugely rewarding. You can learn new skills, challenge yourself, make new friends and above all have a laugh. Whatever you choose to do, it’s your fundraiser, so make sure you enjoy it. That way, you may want to make it a regular thing.
9. Thank everybody
Once the trestle table is folded away, the swimming trunks and goggles are packed up or the mixing bowls and spoons have been licked and tidied away, it’s time to thank all those who donated. You have put all the hard work in, but it wouldn’t be a fundraiser without the generosity of your friends and family, so send them a text, an email, or a letter – or you may even want to phone them personally to say a big thanks.
10. Get in touch with your charity
We’ve said it before, but make sure you let us know what you’ve been up to and how much money you have raised. We love sharing stories and it gives us the opportunity to thank you for your support. You can also share our posts with all your donators to let them know what a difference you have made to the lives of our residents.
For more fundraising inspiration, you can head to our Fundraising Guide here.