Charities in the UK rely solely on the fundraising efforts of the public, together with donations made via their shops and collections and legacies left in people’s wills. They receive no government funding and in times of financial hardship like those we are currently experiencing during this recession charities find that their funding drops considerably.
This is understandable: when your job is unsafe and you are worried about how you are going to afford food and your mortgage, your ability to donate to charity has to come lower in your list of priorities than it usually would. However, even if you cannot afford to make regular donations yourself, you may still want to help your favourite charity. You could do this through volunteering your time or you could organise a fundraising activity.
You may think that fundraising events are organised on a large scale by dedicated fundraising teams. In fact, anyone can host a fundraiser. All you need is a worthwhile cause that everyone can get behind to support, and an idea for what to do to raise the most money possible. You can get everything you need in terms of forms and advertising online.
For example, the RSPCA has a Choices website where you can not only select a particular project to support (e.g. your local rescue centre, or providing veterinary care to the animals helped by the RSPCA to name but two) but can also download all you need to get your fundraiser up and running. You can also set up a fundraising page online that you can promote through your favourite social networks: it’s really easy, all you have to do is fill in your name, brief details of the project and why you want to support it, and what you’re doing to raise the money (and how your friends can help you to achieve your goal).
Are you stuck for ideas on what sort of event you could organise? A lot will depend on the space you have available and the time you have to organise it. A lot also depends on the weather! Since it’s summer and we’re hopelessly optimistic in the UK about how sunny it will be, here are some ideas for fundraising during the summer months to get you started.
A summer fete is the obvious choice, if you can gather together members of your local community to organise stalls and entertainment. Perhaps speak to your local church or even the PTA at your children’s school about coming together to organise a traditional British fete in a location central to your area. As well as selling crafts and cakes, your local school could put together a dance routine to entertain people, and sell refreshments to raise even more cash. Look into local companies that hire out bouncy castles to see if they will be prepared to donate a bouncy castle or slide for the event. You could also organise races like the egg-and-spoon, sack race or three-legged race with a small donation for taking part. Offer chocolate as prizes – this won’t cost much and you might even be able to get a donation from your local supermarket if you ask and explain what the event is supporting.
On a smaller scale, you could organise a car wash. Look for car parks close to main roads where you can put up a sign advertising the fact that you are washing cars for the RSPCA with a suggested donation of, say, £5 per car. Or you could go door-to-door or call in at local offices that have their own car park and ask if anyone would like their car to be washed for charity.
Whatever you do, have fun organising the event and be pleased that you are doing your best to support a charity that is close to your heart.