+44 (0)20 8346 0500

celebrating 16 years of inspirational fundraising challenges

Step by step Book now Pay now Members area Special promotions Videos

participating charities

United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) United Christian Broadcasters (UCB)

corporate associates

Royal Bank of Scotland Royal Bank of Scotland
sign up to our newsletter sign up to newsletter
Charity Challenge

To download our A-Z of Fundraising Ideas document please click here.

Your challenge is more than just a matter of physical exertion. The goal ahead is as much about fundraising, as getting fit and pushing yourself to new limits. By participating in a Charity Challenge expedition, you are pledging to raise as much sponsorship as possible for charity.

Many people find this aspect of the challenge daunting, but by being original and planning ahead, the fundraising can be as rewarding and enjoyable as the expedition itself. We give you a head start after you register by providing you with ideas and advice, a sample sponsorship letter and two personalised sponsorship forms. Most of all make sure you have fun collecting your sponsorship. It doesn't have to be a struggle. Here are a few tips and ideas to spark the imagination:

online fundraising

We work with a number of online fundraising companies including Blackbaud Heroix, Virgin Money Giving and JustGiving.

Blackbaud Heroix is different to other online fundraising providers. Their technology allows fundraisers to create their own branded fundraising websites in minutes. Supporters can upload photos on the run, instantly respond to donations and engage with their page anywhere, any time. Being fully social is a big part of your fundraising process, helping you spread your achievements and milestones across all of your social channels. Blackbaud Heroix breaks down the barrier between fundraising pages and social media by connecting with your social feeds.
Involved in a charity run or activity? With Heroix's MapMyFitness integration you can directly associate your physical efforts with your fundraising. Update your page with a training session or even post your efforts on the day with your fully mapped route and time. With all of these elements working together you give your donors a 360 degree view of all of the hard work you are putting into your cause.
From signing up to giving, their platform has been designed to put the power of online fundraising back in your hands.

-  www.virginmoneygiving.com is a new fundraising website that helps charities and fundraisers raise more money online, without taking a penny in profit. This means more money goes where it’s needed – directly to charity.   So, if you raise £10 through Virgin Money Giving your charity receives £12.46 (based on a donation made by Visa debit card with Gift Aid reclaimed). You can create your page in just a few minutes, link to your Facebook page and even set yourself up as part of a team.
Charity Challenge events are already set up on Virgin Money Giving, simply go to www.virginmoneygiving.com to get up and running.


- Just Giving allows you to collect donations from sponsors anywhere in the world, instantly and securely. The service is approved by many of our participating charities. Every participant is given the chance to set up an online sponsorship fundraising page, which is quick and simple to use. The online sponsorship page which can be sent out via email, and the money raised online will be paid directly into your charity's bank account, earning them interest from the minute it has been raised, and also allowing them to automatically claim gift aid, which can add a further 28% to your sponsorship. It's easy and efficient. 

create a new website using the Challenge Network

thechallengenetwork.com allows you to create a website in minutes, the websites cost just £20 and are designed especially for people doing a challenge and raising money for charity.

  • Inspire your friends and family to give more by including detailed information about yourself, your challenge, your charity and a blog and gallery.
  • Offer business the opportunity to feature their logo and information in return for corporate sponsorship.
  • 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.

A website is a really effective central hub for all of your fundraising activity and can easily link to other platforms like Virgin Money Giving / Just Giving, Facebook and Twitter. Here is a great example -http://escambrayencounter.chalnet.com/ -To visit the Challenge Network and build your own website, follow this link - thechallengenetwork.com

corporate sponsorship

Corporate sponsorship can provide a vital source of funding. To secure sponsorship you need to understand what sponsors are looking for and offer benefits and value that meet their needs. Sponsorship is a business relationship that does not end when you receive the money—you need to work hard to ensure that sponsors obtain the benefits they sought. See our advice on seeking corporate sponsorship.

dedication & organisation

Fundraising is hard work. It demands dedication and often means a commitment of several months, so be prepared. Remember that the charity must receive the sponsorship money at least eight weeks before you leave for the expedition so the earlier you begin, the less stress you will experience before you start the final 'challenge'. Don't leave it to the last minute; plan your sponsorship strategy ahead. Ask people to give you the money as soon as they pledge it. Your sponsorship form clearly indicates that the money is required by the charity eight weeks before your departure so please ask them to donate up front.

the charity

People will want to know why they should sponsor you, so you'll need to communicate what you are doing, why you are doing it, who the charity is, how they will spend your funds and who will benefit. The more you know about the cause you are supporting, the more convincing you will be to potential sponsors. Remember to keep the charity informed of your efforts and ask them for any help you need. They may provide you with leaflets explaining what they do and how your sponsorship will be used. The charity may also be able to help with further fundraising ideas.


Keep accurate records for yourself and the charity of where all your sponsorship funds come from. Record all monies received on a sponsorship form, together with details of who made the donation and when. The charity uses this information to boost the amount raised by collecting Gift Aid (a refund from the Inland Revenue). Tax on charitable donations can be allocated to the charity, which increases sponsorship by 28%. Your charity will provide Gift Aid forms for your donors to sign. For more information about Gift Aid, speak to your charity.

play the numbers game!

Ask as many people as possible because it is often the people who you least expect to support you, who will surprise you with a favourable cheque! Plan a target group - think of everyone you know, friends, family, work colleagues, and make a list. Put your request for sponsorship in writing, and always personalise it if you know the person well enough - never use Dear Sir/Madam. Let them know exactly why they should support you, how much training are you going to be doing, and what it is that you are going to be doing on this 'challenge' expedition? Explain who are you going to be helping and why? If you have a personal link to the charity, give some details. Include some information to show how the money that this particular charity has received in the past has helped specific cases. If you can afford to, enclose a stamped addressed envelope to make it easier for people to reply. The fewer the obstacles in their way, the more likely you are to receive a positive response. Where possible, offer something in return. For example, why not offer to take a photo of yourself with a banner of the sponsor's company name at the top of Kilimanjaro to go with planned newspaper coverage for your return to the UK? If distributing a sponsorship form, always start with people who you know will be generous so that anyone following is sure to see these large amounts. Once someone puts £1 down, others are sure to do the same. With lots of £10 and £20 donations down, people will hopefully follow as easily. Remember to say thanks and acknowledge every contribution.

be innovative!

A major key attribute is to be innovative. Whilst the interest in these charitable fundraising expeditions is growing at a phenomenal rate, this also means that the people you will try to attract sponsorship from will possibly have been asked to support someone else already. Don't randomly send letters asking for money, you'll rarely get a response, let alone any money. Instead of asking someone outright to put their hands in their pockets and give you cash, why not give them something back in return.

An example is to find a cinema that will allow you to sell tickets for a specific showing on 'sale or return'. You can sell the tickets for £10 each to a new film, and pay the cinema the cover price - i.e. £6. If you manage to fill the cinema, you could raise your entire sponsorship in one go. If you don't mange to sell all of the tickets, give them back before the film's screening and you will have lost nothing at all.

Invite friends to a birthday party and ask them not to bring a present but to sponsor you instead. Negotiate the free hire of a wine bar and charge friends (advertise in local papers) £10 admission, find a DJ and again - with good support, you might be surprised how much you can raise in a one-off event.


Make a comprehensive list of potential sponsors and supporters. Include relatives, friends, neighbours, sports & social club contacts, school/college friends, colleagues, business contacts, bank manager, Xmas card list, etc. At Work - This is always a great place to get the sponsorship form circulated, or perhaps a mass e-mail sent out explaining what you are doing. Give people as much information as possible. Many people will admire what you are doing and will be willing to support you financially as they know that they would never do it themselves! Put some information on notice boards or in your company newsletter about what you are planning to do, how much you need to raise, and where the money is going. Ask customers and suppliers (if appropriate to do so), and stand by busy areas (the canteen or gym at lunch time) with a collecting tin. If you work for a large corporation, they may have sponsorship or specific departments to deal with charitable donations. Find out whom to contact and arrange a meeting. Their advice will be valuable whether sponsorship is given or not. Many companies now work on a match-giving scheme whereby the company matches any money raised by you. Smaller companies are also great targets as opposed to large corporations where no personal contact is available. Try asking family and friends for any contacts they may have. At Home - Anyone who comes to mind, don't be afraid to approach them to explain what you are doing and to ask them for sponsorship. It is always advisable to start the conversation with ""Don't feel obliged BUT..."" Ask friends, relatives, people at your local pub, sports club, local businesses - they are all potential sponsors. Keep reminding yourself that every penny counts! Never leave home without your sponsorship form!

getting publicity

Tell everyone you know about what you're doing. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising. Try contacting local newspapers, radio and television stations and community newsgroups, maybe a reporter would like to write a piece about what you are doing and follow it up afterwards. Perhaps you could write an article yourself. Your local media will always be interested in hearing about what its readers are up to and these expeditions are very newsworthy. Try and find an angle that will particularly interest them. Think also about the magazines and journals that are published specifically for your profession or hobby.

To get your name and story in print is one of the most effective ways in gaining support for your cause. If you send the local media a press release including all of the following:

  • Why you want to go - give personal reasons that others can relate to, saying you've always wanted to climb Kilimanjaro is not enough.
  • How much you need to raise - highlight how much and who for, and explain that this is not a holiday.
  • Details of your charity - explain why the work of your chosen charity is so important, inspire potential sponsors without overdoing it.
  • Your contact details - provide contact details for the newspaper, and say how interested readers can sponsor you.

Address your press release to the 'news desk', allow plenty of time and send it to: your regional daily newspaper and radio station, weekly local newspapers, community and listings magazines (they often include fundraising events), company magazine or staff newsletter (a good way to ask colleagues to sponsor you). For contact details, check phone books, media directories, the internet and the library. Send a photo or make yourself available for a photo-call if required. Make sure you follow it up with a phone call in case there are any unanswered questions.

advertising & company sponsorship

Advertising is where a company buys a space in a specific media (newsletter, radio, TV, etc). Sponsorship is where it pays to associate its name, logo and/or product with an activity. Companies sponsor events to increase consumer awareness of their product, improve public image & relationships with employees & suppliers. Before approaching a company, think what you can offer them - what a company/group can gain by sponsoring you - free advertising, publicity, etc. For example, a supermarket could set up a stall selling its produce at your Cheese and Wine evening. Approach companies well in advance, so they can budget for the costs. Keep your sponsors informed of your progress and any publicity, and be sure to thank them publicly.

making that extra £1

Every pound counts. Here are a few ideas on how to make that little extra:

  • Auction off all unclaimed prizes
  • Collect loose change in buckets, not tins
  • Get guests to empty their pockets as they leave your event
  • Fine people for not participating or donating enough
  • Stop all proceedings until you hit your target
  • Pass around a pint glass to be filled with pound coins

collection boxes

When making collections, carry change in case someone only has a large note that they are not prepared to part with. Wear your cycling equipment or rucksack so no one can walk past you without noticing you (and hopefully contributing). Most charities have their own stickers and collection boxes, but there are certain rules: Collections must be licensed by the local council or its equivalent; collectors must be over 16; collectors must carry collection permits (ask charity); collectors must wear an official badge (ask charity); money must be collected in a sealed tin or envelope; boxes must be opened and money counted in the presence of two or more people; a return must be made by the licensing authority; street collectors may not cause an obstruction or solicit activity for money (don't rattle tins).

some fundraising ideas

Large events are great fundraisers, but cost a lot to stage. Seek out sponsorship for food, music or even venue, and don't forget to leave some cash aside for unexpected costs. Make extra money with a souvenir programme (funded by advertising), as well as raffles, draws and auctions. Hire a photographer to take and sell photos of your guests.

casino nights

Create your own casino evening, complete with 'Las Vegas' atmosphere. Ask friends to act as croupiers, so your guests can enjoy a flutter. Sell admission tickets, fun money, food and drink. Add a fancy dress theme, e.g. gangsters & molls.
For further details, visit http://www.beneficialarts.co.uk/ or call 0870 7353277.

race nights

You hire a 16mm film of a horse race, and show it at an organised event. Guests bet on the horse they think will win. Films come sealed so the outcome is unknown. You run the betting desk and take a percentage of the profits. As the Lotteries and Amusements Act of 1976 governs the activity, there are a few restrictions. The main one is that the race night cannot be the only inducement to attend, so it's a good idea to offer food as well.
For further details, visit http://www.beneficialarts.co.uk/ or call 0870 7353277.

murder mystery

Simple to arrange, this is a 'whodunnit' game adapted for social gatherings. You send off for a murder mystery package, for between ten and 100 players. The package includes an outline of the murder and the scene of the crime, as well as instructions for organisers, scene setters, clues & player profiles. Money is raised from advance ticket sales.
For further details, visit http://www.beneficialarts.co.uk/ or call 0870 7353277.

To download our A-Z of Fundraising Ideas document please click here.