Aerobics Marathon: Organize a mass aerobics session at a local school, church hall or community centre. Participants could be sponsored and/or be charged to enter. Advice from a trained aerobics instructor is advisable if you can’t find an instructor to lead the session for a nominal fee.
Art Exhibition and Sale: Ask local artists or galleries to donate pictures (originals or numbered prints) or to donate a percentage of the proceeds of their own art sale.
Bake Sale: Not just cakes and cookies – include preserves, guess-the-weight-of-the-cake competition, cake tombola and refreshments.
Beard Trim: If you have a beard or moustache, get friends and colleagues to sponsor you to have it shaved right off.
Bike Ride: Work out a safe scenic route and arrange a sponsored bike ride.
Bingo: Have a bingo night; local merchants donate prizes or winner get % of money taken at door.
Book Fair: Collect unwanted books from friends and supporters over a period of months then hold a book sale for friends or co-workers in your garden. Charge a nominal entrance fee and sell refreshments. This can be combined with over events e.g. barbecue, coffee morning. Any unsold books can be donated to charity shops (thrift shops) or the local hospital.
Bridge Poker Hearts Games Night: Host a game night in your house.
Bring and Buy Sale: May requires a budget. Find a venue, charge people for entry and get them to bring an item for sale.
Car Boot Sale/Boot Fair: Requires a field or similar space. Charge for car owners to have a stall (a ‘pitch’). Charge the public to get in. It’s possible to ask for a percentage from each car boot owner, but it’s better to charge for a pitch (less cheating). Well-organized boot fairs need plenty of volunteers, a good-sized venue e.g. school field and refreshments (hot-dog vans and other vendors often attend well-established regular boot fairs and pay for having a pitch).
Car Wash: Offer to wash friend’s cars for a small fee. Ask your company if you do a car wash in the company car park.
Carol Singing: May permission from local authorities as it constitutes a street collection. Gather together a reasonably tuneful choir and collect in shopping centres and other public places.
Casino Night: Casino night fundraising is a relatively easy and an inexpensive way to raise funds. The members of your organization can be the dealers and run the other games of chance you wish to run. Since it is illegal to gamble real money, you can charge a cover and give out funny money that may be used to gamble. At the end of the night the funny money can be used to bid at a silent auction or to by door prizes. Such prizes can be donated by area vendors or each member of your group could contribute a prize to the pot.
Chocoholic Challenge: Give up chocolate for a set period of time (e.g. a month) and get friends and colleagues to sponsor you for every day you go without.
Christmas Day Swims: Head down to the Forty Foot in Sandycove, you may even get on the news.
Christmas Hamper Raffle: People donate goodies and make up a hamper, raffle tickets are sold and the winner gets the hamper. Can be done at any time of the year.
Coin Collection: Have a collecting box in your own home and at the end of the day put loose change in it e.g. all coins below a certain value go in the collecting box. Alternatively, plan to save one or two pound coins each week. When the box is full, donate it.
Craft Fair: Requires a budget. Find a suitable venue and ask local craft shops or craft makers to show and sell their wares. Charge and entrance fee and ask exhibitors to donate a percentage of their takings.
Craft Work: If you are good at needlework, knitting, painting, woodwork etc make craft items to sell at any suitable event. Unless you use donated/recycled materials, you will need to deduct an amount to cover the cost of craft supplies.
Cycling: Get sponsored to cycle to work, college or the shops for a set period (e.g. a week).
Dance-a-thon: Organize an all day event (e.g. disco) where participants are sponsored for every hour they stay on the dance floor.
Darts Tournament: Charge an entry fee for a knock out tournament; encourage local pubs or clubs to organize teams.
Disco: Requires a budget. Find a suitable venue and someone to run the disco. May require local authority permission. Sell tickets in advance, and have a raffle during the evening, appoint judges, and give a prize to the winners. Have refreshments. A suggestion is to hold a school disco and split the proceeds.
Donations instead of Presents: ask your friends and family for a donation instead of a Christmas or Birthday gift.
Drawing Competition: Get children to draw or paint a picture on a set theme (e.g. pets), and get parents to pay an entry fee for each one submitted; the pictures can be judged, and the winners displayed in the local library or other public place.
Dress Down Day at Work: organise with your company that on a specific day it is casual day and everyone gives a donation
DVDathon: Get sponsored to watch as many films on dvd as possible during 24 hours. Either borrow 24 hours worth of dvds from friends or try to get reduced prices for bulk rental (by prior arrangement) with dvd hire shop. You cannot decide to stop watching one half-way through as sponsors may ask you to describe what happened in the film as proof that you saw it.
Easter Bunny appearances: Ask schools and local businesses for fundraising donations, then have the Easter Bunny show up and greet the children! He can hand out small sweets, play games and dance with the children.
Easter Egg Hunt: For an entry fee children can hunt around a park or other area for hidden eggs: parents can sponsor their children for every egg found. A suggestion is use school playing fields and split the proceeds.
Easter egg roll / Pace-egging: Find a hill in your community and allow each child to roll one of their eggs. Award prizes for the eggs that travel the farthest and the fastest.
Egg and spoon race: Children race from one end of a course to the other whilst carrying a decorated egg on a spoon. The goal is to reach the finish line first without dropping the egg. For even more fun, make it a team event where the spoon must be handed off between racers!
Face Painting: Requires face paints. Charge parents for painting children’s faces as clowns, animals, or other characters.
Fashion Show: Organise a fashion show, ask local clothes shops to donate clothes for the event.
Fast: Go without food for a day while others sponsor you to do so.
Film/Theatre Premiere: Approach local cinemas or theatres to donate a percentage of takings from a first night; you might also be able to collect at the venue.
Fishing Competition: Organise a fishing competition in your local lake or river, have a prize for the biggest fish. Please check with the local council whether a permit is required and please be careful around the water.
Five A Side Tournament: Organize a friendly tournament with companies, local villages, schools etc. Charge spectators an entry fee and ask the teams to get sponsored per goal.
Flower & Plant Sale: Organize donations of flowers and plants from your local supermarket, garden centre and sell them to the public or friends and family.
Food Marathon: choose your favourite food, and then get sponsorship to eat as much of it as you can in a set period of time.
Football Match: Organize a friendly soccer match or tournament with companies, local villages, schools etc. Charge spectators an entry fee and ask the teams to get sponsored per goal.
Friend’s Skills Night: if you have a friend that has a skill like beautician, hair stylist you host a party and get them to do demonstrations for your friends
Fun Run: Set a route of known distance around local streets or in a nearby park and get sponsored for the whole distance or per mile/kilometre/lap jogged, walked or run.
Goal Can: Every time your team scores a goal pass the can around and every parent puts in a Euro for the goal.
Go-Kart Racing: Arrange an event at a go-karting track. Ask people to make a donation on top of the entry fee, and get sponsorship per lap.
Golf Tournament: Organise a tournament in your local club, ask the club to donate the use of the course for free.
Grocery Store Packers: people pack groceries in supermarkets.
Guess the Number/Weight: put a quantity of items (e.g. sweets, screws, dog biscuits) in a jar, and ask people to pay to guess how many there are, or how heavy the jar is. The winner gets a prize, or the contents of the jar. Guessing the weight of a cake is one option.
Haircut: If you normally have long hair (women and men!) get sponsored to have it cut short. If you are brave enough, get people to sponsor you extra to have your head shaved.
Handmade Christmas Decorations: If you’re handy with art supplies, there are a variety of Christmas decorations you can create and sell, such as tree baubles, wreaths and garland strands. Even if you’re not very good at crafts, you can offer to help neighbours put up their decorations in exchange for a donation or better still offer to take their decorations down for them.
Homemade Christmas Cookies: Santa isn’t the only one who loves cookies and milk. Spend the day baking and packaging homemade Christmas cakes and cookies, which can be sold on to friends, family and co-workers with a profit for your fundraising.
Indoor Car Boot Sale: Hire a hall (requires budget) and advertise for people to hire a table to sell unwanted items from. Advertise the event. Charge a set amount for each table (better than charging a percentage of takings) and charge entry fee. Serve refreshments. Book a school hall and split the proceeds.
Instrument: If you are musical, get sponsored for playing an instrument for as long as you can or for every instrument you can play a tune on. Try to get extra sponsorship for novelty instruments e.g. producing a recognizable tune on comb and paper, playing a metal watering can like a trumpet etc.
Job Services: Parents put a job they will do for someone, ie cut grass, do weeding, paint a shed, wash a car, babysitting, home cooked dinner, taxi service home for kids, paint a room, organise a wardrobe, etc and other parents buy the service
Jumble Sale: Requires venue. Have separate stalls for different types of item e.g. ladies’ clothing, men’s clothing, toys, books, bric-a-brac etc. Have fixed prices for each type of item or price each individually (latter is only feasible for better quality items). Be prepared to let customers haggle. Advertise in advance and charge an entrance fee. You may wish to sell refreshments as well.
Karaoke Night: Sell tickets for an evening of awful singing at a pub or private venue; you could get people to donate money to stop their friends from singing or invite local companies/pubs to send teams (for an entry fee).
Knitting or Crochet: Knit or crochet clothes or items for sale or get sponsorship for the number of items (e.g. blanket squares for your own or another charity) knitted in a certain time. If possible, use donated oddments of wool.
Marbles and Flowerpot Challenge: (Suitable sideshow event) Put a clay flowerpot upside down on a tray. You need a supply of marbles which will fit through the drainage hole in the flowerpot. Charge an entry fee for each person to try to put as many marbles as possible through the drainage hole using only a spoon (not allowed to use the free hand) in one minute. The one who puts the most marbles through the hole wins a prize.
Monument Trek: If you like visiting historic sites, monuments or stately homes, get sponsored for every one you visit in a set period of time e.g. 3 months. You’ll need evidence such as entrance tickets or photos of yourself at the site.
Movie Night: Organise a movie night where people pay a fee to watch a movie
Name the Doll/Teddy: Ask people to guess the name of a teddy bear; the winner gets a prize.
Old Gold Collection: Asking supporters to donate old, broken and unwanted pieces of gold can actually bring in a tidy sum from a jewellers who buys gold.
Pamper Night: Charge your friends for a pamper night in your house, have face masks, do manicures, nail painting, etc
Pet Competition: Requires a venue. People pay to enter their pets into one of a number of classes; each class has a winner which then goes on to a grand final. Because of health issues, you may only be able to have dog classes, but other pets can be entered using photos or videos. Have novelty classes such as waggiest tail, dog which looks most like its owner, dog and owner in costume etc. For photographs, you could have funniest face, fluffiest tail etc.
Portrait/Caricature Painting: If you know an artist, get them to agree to draw or paint members of the public at a fundraising fair.
Press-ups: If you are reasonably fit and don’t have any back problems, get sponsored to do as many press ups as you can manage in a set period of time. If you’re not fit, get sponsored to get fit and set a target number of press-ups to be achieved after a set period of months.
Prize: Involve local shops and businesses by asking them to donate prizes for an event or competition; remember to acknowledge their generosity on a roll of honour at the event venue. The prizes don’t have to be big or expensive e.g. food and wine from different shops could be used to make a hamper.
Pyjama day: Students pay money on a designated day and get to wear their pyjamas to school. It’s a very easy fundraising idea. All you need is someone to go the classrooms and collect the money. Everyone at our school likes it so much that even the teachers participate! Consider having a contest for the ugliest, weirdest, etc. pyjamas.
Quiz/Trivia Evening: Charge an entry fee for individuals or teams to take part; questions could be on a set theme, like cats, pop music, or general knowledge. For children, hold a junior trivia challenge about popular TV, music etc. The winning teams get a prize.
Raffle: Can be combined with another event, or tickets sold over period of a few weeks. Gather some suitable prizes (try to get local business to donate) and sell tickets. Get the buyer’s name and phone number on each ticket stub in case they leave before the raffle is drawn. Note: Most gaming regulations state that tickets must be fixed price, you may not sell 5 for the price of 4 since it alters the odds.
Read-a-thon: Children solicit pledges on forms prepared by parents. The kids are given books or passages to read within a certain time frame, either at home or at school. Parents collect and tally up the proceeds.
Recipe Book: Schools can make a recipe book from submitted recipes from parents, children do a picture for the recipe and schools sell the books
Residents Association Community Service Days: Get residents associations to organise a community day – they can get team of people to look for sponsorship from the residents and then on a planned day they can do a cleanup of their area, we get the money and the community gets a tidy area
Rounders (or Softball) Tournament: Challenge teams or groups to a series of rounders (or softball) matches with sponsorship raised per runs scored.
School Paper Chain: You put one jar in a room for each class. The jars are used to collect monetary contributions. For every euro you award one link in a chain. Each link is a strip of paper cut out and then the ends are stapled forming a circle. Each class must have a separate colour, so that when you hang the chains they can see what class is winning. It is a great way to make money and the competition level is usually real high. Can be run over the year.
School Sports Day for Adults: Requires a budget and venue, preferably a school field with straight running track already marked on grass (but can be adapted for large gardens). Most people can remember junior school sports days. All the events should be ones guaranteed to slow down the fastest athletes e.g. three-legged race, sack race, wheel-barrow race, egg-and-spoon race (or potato and spoon race) etc. Get pubs or local businesses to enter teams for a small fee and award prizes for each race or for the winning team. Could be part of a general fundraising day with stalls, sideshows, refreshments or barbecue.
Services & Goods Auction/Raffle: Get local businesses or individuals to donate a service e.g. a free haircut, free photographic session, free window cleaning session etc or some goods e.g. a bottle of wine, bath goodies. These services can be raffled or auctioned at a special evening.
Silent Auction: Auction an item by inviting bidders to write down their pledges. Highest pledge wins. This is best held over a period of time e.g. a week to attract more offers.
Slim: Get sponsored per pound that you lose (or gain if you’re underweight) over a certain period.
Slow Bicycle Race: Charge an entry fee and award a prize for people to see how slowly they can complete a very short course. Really good entrants can practically make a bike stand still. Hold this is a series of heats.
Snooker/Pool Tournament: Charge an entry fee for a knock out tournament (each heat is best-of-three matches), perhaps with a final for which you might charge admission. Or get pubs and clubs to send teams or individuals who are sponsored per ball potted; sponsorship money is donated. Between matches or outside of the snooker/pool room, serve refreshments. For a one-day event, have a league table and everyone plays everybody else (will need several tables e.g. hire of a social club’s pool room).
Sponsored Dog Walk: you can do this individually or as a group event. Remember your pooper scooper!
Sponsored Sail: Races are on all the time in Dublin, on a particular day entrants pay a fee for sailing, can be done by person or boat.
Sponsored Silence: Almost anything can be sponsored, but this is particularly challenging for children or chatterbox adults. Go a set time (e.g. a morning [children] or day [adults]) without talking.
Sponsored Walk: Set a route of known distance around local streets or in a nearby park and get sponsored for the whole distance or per mile/kilometre/lap walked.
Stocks: Get some “willing” volunteers to face members of the public, who pay for wet sponges (safe than custard pies) to throw at the stocks. If you can get a popular authority figure (local policeman, school headmaster etc) to be in the stocks, so much the better.
Swear Box: keep a collection box handy for you, your family, friends or work colleagues.
Swim: May require budget, requires goodwill of local swimming pool, safety issues. Ask a local leisure centre or school to lend/hire you a pool for a morning or afternoon. Charge an entry fee amid/or ask participants to get sponsored for the distance they swim. You may need to pay the centre to provide qualified lifeguards.
Tea Party BBQ Dinner Party Coffee Morning Cheese and Wine Evening Lunch Garden Party: People make a donationprice to the host
Teddy Bears Picnic: Organise a picnic and everyone has to bring their favourite teddy. Parents can contribute to the picnic as well as paying a picnic fee.
Theme nights: Organise a party and have a theme night, all the guests donate an entry fee.
Three-legged Race: Get sponsorship for a three legged hobble to work or organize a sponsored three legged race. Three legged pub crawls are good fun, but stick to soft drinks. It could end with a barbecue or disco.
Tiddly-winks Tournament: Charge a small entry fee for people or teams to see how many winks (counters) they can get into a glass or circle, with a prize going to one with the highest score at the end of the event. Alternatively, hold it as a knockout competition (best-of-three matches) or league table.
Treasure Hunt: Requires venue e.g. school field and organization beforehand. Participants are sponsored to find/solve clues and/or objects on a set route. They are charged an entry fee for competing. They may have to solve additional cryptic clues to identify objects along the route (e.g. a weathervane, a commemorative plaque) and write down each solution along the way. Depending on the type of competition, the winner could be the first one to finish or the one who solves most clues.
Trick-or-Treat: Halloween trick-or-treating is one of the few times of the year when you’ll be face-to-face with all of your neighbours; instead of sweets, why not trick-or-treat and ask for donations to your fundraising cause? You can trick-or-treat alone or with family. It’s easy to get started; just dress up in a themed costume related to your charity and start knocking on doors! You can also use Halloween trick-or-treating as an opportunity to educate your community on your charitable cause. At your own home, print up flyers and give these to trick-or-treaters along with the traditional Halloween sweets. You can even give these flyers to your neighbours when you go trick-or-treating, so they can learn more about your cause too.
Tub of Icky Stuff: Find a willing, or hapless, volunteer to sit in an old bath outdoors (a child’s wading pool is best – it is easily cleaned) full of icky stuff. They should be wearing swimming costume/trunks or shorts and t-shirt. Get sponsorship for the number of minutes or hours they stay in it. Suitable icky stuff: cold custard, cold porridge, baked beans (a store may be able to provide damaged cans of these at reduced price), used dishwashing water with old teabags and vegetable peelings floating in it.
Tug of War: Organize a tug-of-war knockout tournament (each heat is best-of-three) or one-day league table contest between teams from local businesses, pubs or clubs (or school sixth-formers), charging an entry fee and giving a prize to the winners.
Ugly Tie Competition: Company executives wear their ugliest ties and solicit “votes” (a vote is a euro) from employees. The person with the most votes (and money in hand) at the end of the day wins a prize.
Wages Donation: Contribute one day’s wages to your charity and encourage others in your company to do the same. Some companies run schemes which allow you to donate a set amount, tax free, each month to a selected charity
Welly Throwing: Suitable for sideshow at fair or sports day, but make sure people throw AWAY from the other events! Charge entrants to see how far they can throw a welly boot (galosh). At the end of the day, give a prize to the winner. This can also be run as a tournament.
Wine/Beer Auction: May require venue. Could be part of a fundraising day. Ask local off-licenses (liquor stores), pubs, clubs or individuals to donate bottles of wine (note: sale of home-made wine is illegal in most places) and bottles of good quality ale/beer. Arrange an auction in your garden or in a school hall. Charge for entry and/or programmes detailing the auction lots. If possible, persuade a professional auctioneer to donate his services for an afternoon/evening. For over 18’s only.
Woodcraft: If woodcraft is your hobby, build items for sale at fairs and sales e.g. bird-houses, planters, letter racks, small display shelves. To reduce costs, use donated or scrap wood.
Worst Holiday Snapshots/DVD: Invite friends or colleagues to submit their worst holiday photos and dvds. Charge a small entry fee per photo/dvd and get a panel of judges to decide on the very worst (you may need several categories). The worst ones can be displayed or shown to all entrants and a prize given to the winners.
Xmas/New Year Party: Requires budget, may require venue and permission, and needs volunteers to make or donate food/drink and to sell it at the event. Arrange a festive party with mince pies, mulled wine, festive food and entertainments or disco. Sell tickets in advance to friends or, if it is open to public, advertise it beforehand and charge an entry fee (must cover cost of 1 glass wine + 1 mince pie). Each person gets a free glass of wine and mince pie when they arrive, but they must buy additional drinks/food from stalls at the venue or from a volunteer in your own kitchen. This can be adapted to any theme or occasion.
Yearly Collection: Keep a collection box at home for the whole year and encourage family and friends to contribute to it. If you or your family/friends are generous donate the contents every time the box is full and get a receipt showing the amount collected. Keep a running total.
Yo-yo Challenge: Get sponsored for the number of minutes you can keep a yoyo going or for the number of tricks you can perform in a certain time.
Zany/Bad Taste Fancy Dress: Hold a fancy dress or bad taste clothing competition to see who can come up with the silliest or worst costume, preferably with their faces made up (even the men) or painted. Charge participants to enter. This could be part of a larger event with people arriving in costume and paying to have their entry registered. It could be themed e.g. school uniform, not-so-super-heroes (make up your own names e.g. Washing-Up Man, Blunderwoman)
PLEASE NOTE:Nurture is not responsible for any permits, licenses, etc. These must be obtained by the event organiser. Nurture will not assume any legal or financial responsibility. Nurture is not responsible for any damage or accidents to persons or property.