Fast fundraising ideas?
January 7, 2014 4:08 AM   Subscribe

A friend is taking part in an overseas house-building charity project starting in the middle of February. Participants are responsible for raising all their own travel and expenses costs. He has already completed a sponsored abseil, is holding a pub quiz this weekend, and has a Just Giving page which he is promoting on facebook. However he had a sporting accident 2 months ago and is only off crutches since the start of this week, which has left him behind schedule in his fundraising. He now needs to raise several hundred pounds in the next four weeks. We've been frantically brainstorming ideas and I thought I'd turn to the hivemind for help.

Have you organised or taken part in any successful fundraising activities that were:

-quick to organise and promote
-didn't involve too much initial outlay
-weren't too physically demanding (he tore his achilles tendon, which is mending well, but he is wary of damaging it again so close to the trip)

His workplace is small - about 30 people - but would probably be supportive of him organising at least one activity there.

All ideas are welcome! Thanks.
posted by billiebee to Work & Money (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You could call all of the local supermarkets and ask if you still have time to submit a letter to do a bag pack. I worked with a charity that did a Tesco bag pack and raised £1,500 in three hours.
posted by parmanparman at 4:21 AM on January 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

The quickest idea is not so much a fundraising activity but a fundraising strategy.

It sounds like your friend has tapped up all his own contacts. What he needs to be doing is tapping up friends of friends, preferably with endorsement. In order to do this and counter natural apathy, you friend needs a hook to get people he doesn't know give him a small amount of money.

If you want to make this fun, why not get him to dress up and hold up a message. £2.50 gets you a personalised message emailed to you, for example.

Alternatively, you could get people to 'bid' via Just Giving for your friend to do something silly. The thing with the highest bid gets done.
posted by MuffinMan at 4:40 AM on January 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

To be honest, a straightforward appeal to friends on facebook explaining the situation honestly would probably get more money than any cutesy fundraising thing you come up with.
posted by empath at 5:00 AM on January 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Bake sale at work. This gets most of the hard work done by other people.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:52 AM on January 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

I was going to recommend a bake sale as well. It's corny, but BOY can you raise money in a hurry with one. It works best in a large building, so expand beyond your office and into the entire building.

Send out a notice explaining what the charity is, with pictures of your friend, so that it's personalized.

Then ask friends to contribute yummy things. Have a variety of traditional baked goods and Vegan/Gluten-Free items too.

We did this and raised $900 (in 1984) for our adopted Christmas Family.

Market the bake sale well, encourage friends and family to help out and make sure that the world knows that it's happening.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:04 AM on January 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

What worked for me when I was doing something similar was a simple house party where I asked everyone for $5 for access to a keg and then sold Jell-O shots for $2 a piece. I also left a bucket by the keg for people to throw additional donations in. This obviously works best if your friend has a social group who would be out drinking on a given night anyway. Maybe order some pizzas and sell them for a buck a slice too. I think I walked away with about $500 when I did this, with an alcohol investment of maybe $60 which came out of my pocket.
posted by justjess at 6:13 AM on January 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

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