Archive for Fundraising

6 Oscar-winning fundraising ideas

HollywoodIf you’re fundraising for a forthcoming expedition, have you thought about hosting your own Academy Awards Fundraising Party to help you reach your sponsorship target? We’ve put together a list of ideas to help you win your very own ‘nomination’ for Best Fundraiser of the Year…

Forget about the after parties in Hollywood, YOUR party is where it’s at! Invite your friends over for an all night Oscar’s party. Set the theme (black tie event, dress as your favourite movie character etc), pop open some bubbly, dish out some popcorn and charge your friends an entrance fee to attend.

Play some of your favourite games – with a movie twist! Do a film-themed game of charades, set up a Hollywood Pictionary tournament in the office or hula-hoop for the entire duration of the longest acceptance speech…

Swap a dress down day at work for a dress up one! Ask your colleagues to come to the office in their best attire – the glitzier the better. Perhaps someone is bold enough to wear a gold spandex morph suit and come dressed as the Oscar statue?

How many awards will La La Land win? How many minutes will the longest speech be? Set up a variety of sweepstakes and encourage all your friends to get involved.

Do you know your Spielberg from your Scorsese? If you’re a movie buff, create your own film-related quiz. There could be a picture round, an Oscars round, a Disney round etc – you could have endless fun with writing your own film trivia questions!

Set up your own awards ceremony and create some categories. Ask your friends to nominate, and shortlist the nominees! You can even create some awards that are relevant to your challenge. Who’s been your Best Cheerleader in a Supporting Role in your challenge journey? Who would you nominate for Outstanding Contribution to trekking/cycling?

This weekend, ladies and gentleman, our award for Best Participant goes to all of YOU for your dedication and enthusiasm to your challenge. Best of luck with your fundraising, and enjoy the razzle dazzle of the awards…

Why I’m cycling 362 miles for Barnardo’s

Holyhead to Barnardo’s Village Bike Ride

Martin Duffy will be taking part in The Big Barnardo’s Holyhead to Barnardo’s Village Bike Ride this October and raising over £2,150. He tells us a bit more about why he chose this challenge.

You’ve pledged to take part in the Big Barnardo’s Bike Ride for their 150th anniversary. Tell us more!

Ok, well after a bit of stalling, I’ve picked a fundraising challenge – and now I know there is no backing out! I will be cycling 362 miles from Holyhead to Barkingside this autumn, following the route that Thomas Barnardo took when he arrived in the UK in 1866.

Why have you chosen to raise money for Barnardo’s?

As Head of Fulfilment Operations at Barnardo’s, I have seen first-hand the difference that our services can make to children across the UK. Barnardo’s has been transforming children’s lives for 150 years, and I’m determined to ensure that continues. Last year alone, Barnardo’s worked with 240,000 children, young people and families including offering counselling, fostering and adoption services, and disability support. I feel very privileged to be able to take part in this unique challenge event.

What are you most looking forward to about the challenge?

Seeing the finish line at this stage of my training! I think that it is also the opportunity to take part in an event with like-minded individuals.

If you would like to sponsor Martin you can do so on his Justgiving page.

Feeling inspired yourself? Join Martin on what will be an historic bike ride – find out more.

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough…

This time last year, over 20 ambitious fundraisers trekked the Welsh 3000s for Mind, the mental health charity. Captained by TV Presenter, Matt Johnson, and with actor Nicholas Pinnock (most recently in ITV drama, Marcella), 28-year-old support worker Ceri Parker took on the 24 hour endurance challenge, and shares his story…

Ceri, with fellow trekker, Nicholas Pinnock in Snowdonia

Ceri, with fellow trekker, Nicholas Pinnock in Snowdonia

Why did you sign up to the challenge, Ceri?

I signed up to the challenge in memory of my cousin, who committed suicide in 2014. The anniversary was the week after the challenge, so it felt poignant.

Who did you raise money for?

I raised money for MIND because I wanted to save lives of people who felt there was no future due to their mental health, like my cousin felt.

Had you ever taken part in a challenge event like this before?

I’ve done a few 10k runs, and am generally fit, but nothing as big as the 3000s challenge! It’s definitely the biggest physical challenge I have ever undertaken.

How did you go about training for the event?

I joined a local walking group and did some long walks once a week, and continued to play sports on the weekend. Plus lots of gym sessions to get my legs used to those mountains!

How did you fundraise for the challenge?

I created a page on Facebook and encouraged all of my friends and family to like it. I would post updates about my training, and upcoming fundraising events. I also used it to give facts about mental health in men, and linked to articles in newspapers. I did some face-to-face collections at work, and the local football club – everyone was so generous with their donations.

What was your biggest highlight during the challenge?

I think the biggest highlight had to be finishing the trek after 24 hours, with a group of AMAZING people who all had smiles on their faces! Plus, raising over £70,000 for MIND was also a rather special highlight.

What advice would you give anyone who was thinking of taking on a similar challenge for charity?

The best advice I could give would just be: GO FOR IT! No challenge is too daunting, Charity Challenge were brilliant throughout so you’re in safe hands. And don’t forget to enjoy it – you’ve earned it!

Where is your dream challenge destination, and why?

I would love to do a cycling challenge next. Maybe across Europe or around the UK. Tour De France is an inspiring event where millions of people line the streets and cheer on the cyclists. Maybe taking part in a London to Paris event and finishing along the Champs Elysees would be pretty special…

If you are interested in following in Ceri’s footsteps and would like to take part in a challenge for Mind, there are still places left on their Kilimanjaro Summit Climb (7-18th October 2016). Visit the event page to find out more…

The Fundraising Bible

fb1Putting the FUN back into fundraising!

At Charity Challenge we know that fundraising can often feel like an uphill struggle, so relax and rest those weary brains, we’ve done some of the hard work for you. We asked our previous Charity Challengers to give us their tried and tested methods, helping you put the fun back into your fundraising.

The Fit Fundraiser…. dropping pounds whilst you make them

This is a brilliant way to kill two birds with one stone, whilst training might not be your idea of fun, you might as well take some of the pain away by using it to raise some cash. Below are some of our favourites that are guaranteed to bring pounds in whilst you drop them on your waist!fb2

Sponsored bike rides, runs and walks are an easy and effective way to get your friends together and earn some cash whilst getting fit at the same time, often your local fitness club or gym will be happy to help publicise an event and may even help you recruit. If you don’t want to run your own, why not sign up to an existing charity event, many challengers have taken part in 3k’s, 5k’s, 10k’s, half marathons and even marathons to get the funds together.

If this all still sounds a bit too much like hard work, we’ve put some of the slightly less taxing, sport related ideas below:

Get a hole-(and hopefully all your fundraising) in-one and organise a golf day, cricket tournament, football match, netball tournament or even a badminton competition! All of these have proved to be really popular and don’t require too much cost to set up. Zumbathons, Yogathons, Ice Hockey, Dodgeball and Boxing Matches have also helped many of our challengers to hit above and beyond their targets.

Fat Fundraiser… dosh for nosh

If all that exercise has made you hungry, then why not rely on your friends’ love of food to bring in some dosh. There are many ways to feed people and make them part with money, from the classic coffee morning to the growing in popularity curry night, here are some ideas that will have you filling your mouths and the charity’s pockets…fb3

Cake sales– an oldie but a goodie! After the popularity of the Great British Bake Off, fancy cakes have never been so chic! Get your bake ON and get selling! At work, at school, at fetes, there are few (good) people in this world that will turn down cake. Especially good cause cake, because that’s the best kind.

Tea Party- It’s cold, we’re British and we ruddy love tea. Why not set up your own little afternoon tea party, get everyone round and flog some of your (good cause) cakes!

Chocoholics Parties – a great idea with Christmas coming up, why not get even more festive and have some other Christmassy goods on offer, mince pies, Christmas cakes, yule log, Christmas puddings – if you can decorate and wrap them, you can double them up and sell them as presents – even better!


Hog Roasts and BBQ’s – okay so it might be the wrong time of year for the latter but most people love meat and if you can strike up a deal with a local butcher/ pop down Lidl you can easily make good money off a BBQ – great if you can’t really cook! If you can set one up at a local fete or Christmas market even better!

Come dine with me – Get a few of your friends involved and host your very own Come Dine With Me style event… all of you can chip in and the prize money can go to your charity or the winner (hopefully you!)fb5

Pop- up Restaurant – this is my personal favourite and a fantastic way to make a lot of money all in one go – at your restaurant you can create your own menu – maybe even making the theme related to where you’re going… You can also host other events around this such as raffles, prizes, auctions etc.

Britain’s Got Talent…

One of the easiest ways to get fundraising is to do something you enjoy and are good at, from making birthday and Christmas cards to knitting and face painting, it seems that Charity Challengers are a talented bunch with many of you making all your dosh from your talents alone. Many challengers have sold woodwork, plants, jewellery and handicrafts, offered hairdressing or massages, gardening or handiwork, run cooking classes to get donations. Whatever your talents, this is a fantastic way to make the challenge and fundraising personal to you, whilst earning lots of money all at the same time!

Any excuse for an Event…

fb6There is nothing more personal (or fun) than organizing an event – from the classic Charity Concert or Ball to slightly more out there Karaoke nights, there are lots of great ways you can bring in all of your fundraising with one spectacular event. If you have useful friends, now is a good time to get them on board…

The best of the best include: Masquerade Balls, Fashion Shows, Dances, Ladies Nights, Pampering Evenings, Discos of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s variety, Barn Dances, Christmas Balls, Pottery Evenings, Murder Mystery Parties, Race Nights. In our experience everyone loves a theme, if you can bring this back to your challenge then even better! Our participants have held Cuban Nights and even Nepalese Nights, the possibilities really are only limited by your imagination.

Get tipsy…

Whilst we don’t encourage getting your friends twizzled, it is a well-known fact that people are a tad more generous after a few. Sponsored pub crawls, pub golf and quiz nights are popular events that can often bring in a lot of cash, particularly if you can get the landlord on your side. For the slightly more sophisticated, why not throw a cheese and wine evening or wine tasting? It is also the season to be jolly so it would be a shame not to…

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure…

So unleash your inner Del boy and get on Ebay, or down your local car boot sale! Getting rid of stuff you no longer need is not only therapeutic but an easy way to round up some cash. If you’ve got some really good stuff why not organise an auction?

The Classics… because if it isn’t broke…

Some of the more tried and tested fundraisers really are the best, from dress down days at work to dog walking, lawn mowing to car washes, here are some of the more classic sponsorship generators:

Bag Packing – Great this time of year as Christmas is approaching and many supermarkets and shops will let you bag pack or present wrap for a good cause.

Bucket Collection – Make sure you get permission first – but if you can create a mini campaign even better – people are far more generous than you think!

Bingo, Raffles, Tombola’s and more, these classics are incredibly easy to set up and often you can source the prizes from businesses or even friends, or create something special like a Christmas Hamper. Hold as part of other events to ensure maximum participation.

Round up your hairy friends! Hair removal has always been a favourite when it comes to fundraising, whether you’re shaving your head or waxing all men within a 10 mile radius, this one is guaranteed to round up a few laughs and a few quid.

*TOP TIPs* from Bindi – the fundraising dog
(she has raised hundreds of £’s for charity)


Most charities will have lots and lots of helpful hints and ideas on their website – so make sure you check out your charities personal page for inspiration and ideas. Often they will have fantastic promotional materials from t-shirts, sashes, banners, posters and tickets that can be customized for your event, merchandise that can be used as prizes, and information that can be used to promote your cause. These are not only great for promotion but they give your event extra credibility and support through the charities logo. Remember, they want you to hit your target as much as you want to and will always be happy to help with ideas!

If you’re still completely stuck, dressing up and looking as silly as possible are sure fire ways to get some attention and more importantly, MORE CASH!!!!

So Charity Challenger’s, hopefully this has given you a few ideas to get fundraising, if you have any ideas or pictures from your fundraising events we would love to hear/ see them! For online fundraising tips, best practice and event planning and organisation please look out for our upcoming fundraising blogs!


Charity Challenge recognised as Best Special/Challenge Events Partner for the second year running!

We’ve done it again! Charity Challenge has picked up the award for the Best Challenge Events Partner for the second year in a row at the 2014 Institute of Fundraising Partners in Fundraising Awards.

The award ceremony took place on Tuesday night and we are delighted and incredibly proud to have won this fantastic award again.

Charity Challenge have been in the industry for over 14 years now and have helped thousands of people achieve their personal goal whilst raising over £40m for more than 1500 UK, Irish and Canadian registered charities.

Simon Albert, Managing Director said “We have stuck by our founding principles of delivering exceptional service to our charity and corporate clients, and to your supporters / our participants who undertake the challenges.  It’s their lives and your reputation in our hands and we do all we can to deliver the highest standards of due diligence, health and safety planning and implementation, and to provide an incredible and memorable experience. Thank you to everyone who voted for us and we hope to continue delivering outstanding challenges to the sector in 2014 and beyond.”
We would like to take this opportunity and thank all of our charity partners and challenge participants for their business, and for their continued feedback which allows us to look at new ways to constantly improve what we do.

For more information on Charity Challenge, please visit us at

How to get the best out of online fundraising

In the last ten years or so, the field of fundraising has been revolutionised by the arrival of the internet. No longer is fundraising the act of knocking on every door in the neighbourhood with a clipboard in hand. Now, thanks to the internet, fundraisers are able to effectively knock on the door of thousands of people every day, via harnessing social media and email, with the proverbial clipboard being transformed into a ‘JustGiving’, ‘Virgin Money Giving’ or ‘EveryClick’ page. There’s no doubt that the internet has made fundraising – and fundraising to a high target – a lot more achievable, but online fundraising is no-one click fix, so read on to find out how to make your online fundraising campaign as successful as it can be!

It’s all about the emails
There are a lot of blogs and articles out there about social media, and what an amazing fundraising tool it is, and they’re not wrong, social media should be the life and soul of any online fundraising campaign. But don’t forget about good old fashioned emails. Due to the accent of social media, emails now tend to be used for more business-like transactions, so to receive a personal email in amongst formal mailings would be a real unexpected pleasure for the recipient, and stand out in their minds much more than a random post that pops up on a Facebook feed.

But make sure to be careful how you put together your recipient lists, and how you word your emails – different strokes for different folks! The type of email you might send to old classmates or parents of friends would be different to the one you send to your work friends. So bear this in mind,

Tell the Story
This is where social media really comes into its own! Don’t just send out one tweet/fb post about your challenge asking for donations, really tell the story of your challenge and your fundraising, tell everyone what you’re most nervous about for your challenge, what events you’re putting on for your fundraising, why the charity you have chosen is so important, etc – don’t forget to always include a link back to your fundraising page so people can donate easily.
Use all the mediums at your disposal to keep things interesting, post photos and videos of your fundraising events and efforts. Set yourself mini goals and build up a buzz on social media. We recently organised ‘The BT Red Nose Challenge: Hell and High Water’ which saw a team of celebrities white water raft down the Zambezi to raise money for Comic Relief. As a final push, Radio 1 DJ Greg James pledged to jump into the Zambezi River naked when a certain fundraising goal was reached, and (thanks to a massive social media buzz and a push by Radio 1) it was…and he did! We hardly recommend you go to such measures, but mini goals and extra forfeits like this, combined with a social media push, can really help tell the story and give people more reasons to donate!

Make use of new online technologies
There is always something new and exciting happening in the world of online fundraising. One of the latest is an easy two minute way to create your own challenge website at a cost of just £20. A website can provide a centralised hub which can host detailed information about yourself, your challenge, your charity, your fundraising page, your blog and pics. This is great as you can use this to engage your local press by sending them a link to your site – the easier it is for them to find info, the more likely they are to give you the coverage you need. You can also offer businesses the opportunity to feature their logo and information on your website in return for corporate sponsorship. To find out more info about setting up your own challenge website, visit

Here at Charity Challenge, we’re going to be soon launching our very own new piece of online technology, that we hope is going to have a very big impact on online fundraising, and it going to be of special interest to our charity partners, so watch this space!
We hope you found this article useful! For more top tips, and to see the many other amazing challenges we offer, you can visit our website at To keep up to date on all Charity Challenge news, please enter your email address into the adjacent box to subscribe to our mailing list.

When Dreams and reality Collide Part 4 -Laurie Sodomlak starts fundraising for her journey of a lifetime to Peru next year!

People are always surprising…..I received a call from  Mac’s Convenience store owner who had seen my Garage Sale poster.  He wanted me to call his brother because he  wanted to do a fundraiser with me.  I was  completely stunned by the open generosity of this offer.  Later that week, I visited Arshad at his Mac’s Convenience store.  We talked and  decided on a date for a BBQ.

Arshad began collecting donations during the week leading  up to the BBQ and again, I simply created a poster for the store, made a few of  my special pink ribbon cookies.  Arshad, his suppliers and one of his regular customers donated prizes and all of the food items.

On the day of the BBQ, the sun was shining, a good sign  that it was going to be a great day!  My friend Kathy and I, did a little decorating, put up our pink poster on the  road, and promptly at 11:00 a local resident, Carla who had seen the poster showed up to get the first hamburger. The day was filled with many of Arshad’s regular customers stopping by and enjoying a burger, cookie and a drink and of course getting their ticket for one of the prizes that Arshad had wrapped in pink paper!  One of the visitors that stands out in my mind was a 11 year old boy and his friend.  He had a special haircut, a ribbon. I asked him about it and of course took his photo! 

He told me that his hair stylist told him it was breast cancer month and he thought it was a good idea to get this ribbon design.  We need more young people like him.  The great part was that he was one of the lucky winners of the silent auction prizes!

It was another one of those amazing days when so many people shared their connections to breast cancer, thanked me for doing this fundraiser for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and continued to be very generous.  Thank you to the generosity of Arshad from the Mac’s Convenience Store and his customers, I had a $544.10 to deposit to my fundraising.

If you would like to donate to my cause, then you can visit  my fundraising page here. To find out more about the amazing charity I’m fundraising for, you can visit the Canadian Breast Cancer  Foundation here.

If you’ve been inspired by to take on your own challenge of a lifetime whilst raising money for the charity of your choice, you can visit the charity challenge website at where you can find lots of amazing challenges, including the Mt Kilimanjaro summit climb challenge, the Great Wall Discovery  challenge – which takes place on China’s Great Wall! and of course the Trek to Machu Picchu  Charity Challenge based in Peru!

Top Fundraising Tips – from Charity Challengers past, present and future!

For a surprisingly large number of our challengers, it is not the thought of cycling for days on end, or trekking for over 8 hours a day or even summiting a volcano that makes them quake in their boots. Instead, it’s the rather terrifying notion of fundraising enough money to meet their sponsorship target!

To provide a helping hand, we have a page on our website dedicated to fundraising, and also an ‘A-Z of Fundraising Ideas’ document. But we understand that the very best fundraising tips are ones that come first hand, and tried and tested by someone walking the same footsteps as you. So, with help from some of our Charity Challenger Facebook friends, we’ve put together a list of 10 top ways to fundraise big money for your charity.

1)      Get in touch with your Charity

It is as much in their interest as yours that you do well with your fundraising, so your charity will be more than happy to give you advice and ideas about how to go about your fundraising, and provide you with any necessary or official documentation you may need to get started.

2)      Set up a fundraising page online:

The first real step of your fundraising campaign is to set up a means whereby money can donated to your charity in reference to your cause. For many the simplest way to do this is to set up an online fundraising page at sites such as JustgivingEveryclick and Virgin Money Giving. Using this page, your friends, family and well wishers can donate to your cause with minimum hassle.

3)      Get the word out

Now that your fundraising page is set up, make sure people know about it. Email your page’s link around to everyone you know, put up a link as your Facebook status, tweet about, etc. Don’t be shy with this, taking on a challenge of a lifetime and raising money and awareness for a deserving charity is about the most interesting thing you could be doing and people will want to hear about it, and more than likely will want to donate as well! Don’t stop at friends and family, get in touch with your local paper and publications as well, your challenge will make an excellent story for them and get your cause some great publicity.

4)       Get Family and friends involved

According to our recent Dog Sledding challenger Siân Gillham the key is ‎”Delegate, delegate, delegate! Get your friends and family to help you, its hard work on your own.” And she’s quite right, raising sponsorship money can be a daunting prospect, so get your friends and family involved in braining storming fundraising ideas and helping you out with the groundwork. After all, charity and fundraising is all about putting time and money aside to help people out. Escambray Encounter Challenger Susan Carroll was even able to combine fundraising with socialising – “When I was fundraising for a challenge, I held a dinner party called wine, dine and donate, everybody who came brought a dish and donated a tenner”.

5)      Approach Local businesses

This is an aspect of fundraising that unnerves quite a lot of people, but it really is worth conquering those nerves and remembering that the worse they can do is say no! Charity challenger Kate Jones recommends visiting the all your local shops, “my sisters and I go around our local shops asking if they’d like to donate anything for our fundraising night for st davids hospice. We usually get quite bit!” As it will help give them a good reputation and a bit of publicity, businesses will likely be willing to do something to help you with your fundraising campaign, such as give you items to use to raffle prizes, or let you rent out a space for an event free of charge etc. Getting in touch with local organisation worked really well for upcoming Trek to The Home of the Dalai Lama Challenger Shauna Mullan – “I sent out letters requesting bag packs to all the usual stores & got a lot of support from smaller branches of M&S/tesco.”

6)      Sell stuff

Sometimes you don’t need to look further than your own attic to find a way to raise your minimum sponsorship. So why not do a bit of spring cleaning and put aside some items that you wouldn’t mind parting with. It’s surprising just how much money you can bring in by selling your stuff on ebay or by spending a couple of early mornings at your local Car boot sale.

7)      Organise an event

A great way to fundraise a substantial amount of money is to set up a special event, and the sky’s the limit with what you can do! Challenger Shauna Mullan arranged a Teddy Bears picnic and got her daughters school involved.  Veteran Charity Challenger Jo Buckett organised Race nights (an evening watching video of horse racing, plus betting), pub quizzes are a classic and ‘Zumbathons’ are apparently all the range right now, challenger Marion Baker Was Dance even had the creative idea of setting up and selling tickets for a paranormal ghost hunt! Organising events such as these can be hard work, but they are great fun and can help you raise lots of money and awareness for your charity!

8)      Every little helps

For those of you who just don’t have the time to arrange big events, there are lots of lower key everyday things you do. For challenge veteran Jo Berridge cake baking worked a treat; “I made cakes and took them to work and then conveniently left a sponsorship form next to them. I didn’t ask for donations/sponsorship in exchange for cake but everyone just assumed that was the deal and I raised almost £200! No effort involved other than baking the cakes”. You won’t always raise big money, but it all helps and takes you that one step closer to your fundraising target.

9)      Think big

Don’t be afraid to be think big with regards to your fundraising, Etna Volcanic Adventure  Challenger Rob Sharp wrote to big corporations and a couple of celebrities in his quest for sponsorship, which paid off with a very exciting and mysterious £500 anonymous donation. Don’t be shy of thinking outside the box either. Great Wall Discovery challenger Emma Stanford  had an inspired idea. “We put together a special Cook book! We collected recipes from family, friends,Gary Rhodes and phil vickery. Had our local craft centre for adults with disabilities do the art work. Found a local printer who printed 300 books for free. Sold them all for £3.95 each. Even got some signed by phil and Gary!”

10)  Embrace it

Fundraising as much as you can for your charity is as much part of the charity challenge experience as the challenge itself. So embrace and enjoy it! You may have to take yourself out of your comfort zone and do things you never thought you would or could do, but going above and beyond and achieving something that will not only change your life, but also the doubtless hundreds of lives that your charity effects, is what charity challenge is all about! So work hard for your fundraising and be proud of what you raise.

We hope you found this article useful! To learn more about all our charity challenges,  Please visit our website at  and to keep up to date on all our challenge news, subscribe to this blog by clicking on the orange RSS button, you can also enter your email address into the adjacent box to subscribe to our mailing list.