Meet a fundraiser
I joined the fundraising team in Birmingham in 2011 and worked with them closely to organise my own fashion fundraising event called Ditch and Switch.
I am a student and organising events for Sense is the perfect way to use my free time between my studies and gain experience of events management while supporting a great cause.
The event was great fun and even though there were times when it didn’t seem like it was ever going to come together, it was a great feeling when the day ran without a hitch.
I sourced a great venue, raffle prizes and small gifts for all of our guests, which I think are the main ingredients for a great event. The good thing about an event like this is that it doesn’t need to be a big-scale event and I’ve even held swishes in my own living room before now.
Organising the event with support from the Sense fundraising team was much easier than I first thought it would be. Knowing the funds raised from the event make a difference to the lives of children who live in isolation makes me feel great.
Hi, my name is Stephen, and I decided to run the London Marathon and raise money for Sense this year with a fundraising target of £1,400. It was a very challenging target but thanks to the help I received from the events team I never thought for a second that it wasn’t achievable! This is how I did it:
I work in an office and I thought this would be an ideal place to fundraise. I decided that some kind of competition would get people’s interest. As I was taking part in a running event, I did a sweepstake on my finishing time. Half the money raised went to the person who guessed the correct time and the rest went towards my fundraising target.
The winner was very pleased when he pocketed £250!
I also held a cake sale at work. I priced each slice at £1, and after spending £15 on ingredients I managed to raise £55. The food was appreciated by my colleagues, proved a good way to update my supporters with my fundraising / training progress, and get to know other people in the office!
Next I decided to target my friends. I invited 10 friends over for dinner and charged them £8 each. Sense has a great list of cheap recipe ideas and I managed to make a profit of £60!
Supermarket – bag packing
One Saturday afternoon I decided to hit the largest supermarket in my area with a couple of friends. The three of us covered three checkouts so I decided to leave extra collecting tins on the unattended ones so that people could still make a contribution. Sense provided me with leaflets about the charity and collecting tins. The day was extremely successful and in 5 hours I collected £450. Don’t forget to ask permission to the supermarket manager first and be aware that they do book-up well in advance so you will need to plan for this and contact them early!
Car boot sale
At this point I was a bit stumped as to what to do next, then I realised what a mess my house was so I decided to have proper clear out! I filled the back of my car with lots of junk and went off to my local car boot sale. I sold most of my old things and after paying £9 for my space I managed to raise £47.
Quiz night at local pub
My local pub didn’t hold regular quiz nights so I decided to speak to the landlord to ask if I could organise a quiz night to raise funds for Sense. The landlord should support you as pub quizzes bring in more business, especially on a normally quiet mid-week night. My landlord was really enthusiastic about the idea and also threw in a basic buffet for free! Sense staff gave me advice on how to choose the venue, organise and run the quiz.
I charged each participant £3 and with a total of 7 teams of 5 people each I raised £105. The prize was worth £25 pounds so I made a profit of £80 in two hours - and had lots of fun!
Don’t forget to publicise the event beforehand with posters!
Collections at local sports matches
I contacted various sports clubs in my area and asked them if I could collect at half time. Four of them agreed and mentioned it in the programme the week before and announced it during the match.
Wearing a fancy dress was also a good idea as it attracted attention and helped to raise even more! Third and fourth division football clubs are especially good for this. A few of my friends helped me and collectively we raised £341.
All of these ideas, along with generous pledges from members of my family, meant that I actually exceeded my target. I couldn’t have been prouder of my successful fundraising effort!
I found it is important to start fundraising as early as possible as it was much harder to ask for sponsorship after I had run the race. I managed to reach my target just after taking part in the marathon.
First published: Monday 14 May 2012
Updated: Tuesday 23 April 2013