• Helen Phillips

Stack the Cash. Raise more from your fundraising events.

You’ve finally made the decision to run London and realise your long held dream of running a marathon.

You’re in! So, so, so excited!

Getting a place to run through the ballot is ‘virtually impossible’. So if London is your dream then contact your favourite charity for a spot.

Most charities with Golden Bond places to run London ask you to raise at least £2,000 to run. That’s a lot!

Lots of people running their first marathon rely on the generosity of friends and family as their sole fundraising. But relying on sponsorship, come February you’ll be fraught with frustration! There are so many ‘giving’ opportunities around these days, that unless you’ve got some very generous friends it’s going to be difficult to raise the full amount from sponsorship or donations. It’s much better to plan events to fundraise to reach your charity target.

Fundraising at the same time as training for a marathon is tough

Events take time to plan, promote and set up. You need to organise the event, market, sell tickets and host! So it’s important to fundraise smart so you get maximum return for your time investment. Read on for Stack the Cash, for advice on how to raise more from your fundraising events.

Let’s imagine you’re hosting a curry night at your local curry house (or a pizza night at the Italian). You agree with the manager that they’ll provide you with a set menu for a fixed per head price. You then sell tickets with a mark up.

KERCHING! Bring in the Cash!

But don’t stop there … there are loads more opportunities to raise cash on the night.

You’ve a captive audience, so make sure you ‘pass the bucket’ (no … I’m not commenting on the quality of the food), but pass your charity fundraising bucket around for additional donations and make sure that everyone knows your fundraising justgiving or virginmoneygiving page to pledge their support there and then. A few printed out reminders on tables telling your story, why you’re running for the charity and the justgiving or virginmoneygiving page address plus gentle reminders through the night and you’ll bump up your sponsorship.

Now let’s get creative

How about a raffle? You’re in a restaurant, so why not raffle a ‘reasonably priced’ bottle of wine. You buy the wine for £10 and sell tickets for £2 each … BOOM pretty soon you’ll be in profit. And it’s a win-win for the lucky winner!

Or an auction? You could auction a bottle of booze, but how about auctioning (or even raffling) a prize (or few) that you’ve sourced from your local community.

What about a few games. The easiest would be a quiz type game (with a £5-£10 per table entry – wining table gets a round of drinks). How about ‘guess the name of the curry’ (get the restaurant to take pics of 6 of their dishes and people have to guess what each is called. Harder than it looks (“meat chunks in red sauce anyone?”), or VLM related quiz questions.

You’re in a restaurant, so think about your guests, what they’d think is fun and don’t be scared to push a little bit to get them to spend or donate more (especially after a few drinks!)

Or how about stacking the cash around a cake stall? Every fundraiser should have at least one cake stall ... and if you're rubbish at cooking it's an even more impressive feat!

Don’t just stick with lemon drizzle and victoria sponge slices to be eaten there and then. Provide bags and napkins for people to buy cake for later!


Don’t just think CAKKKKEEEE!!! You can sell biscuits and sweets too. If you can bake then make homemade and sell in cellophane bags tied with ribbon.

A bit of decoration and you can double the price!

Again, don’t just think homemade. How about making sweet cones to sell? Buy old fashioned sweets, bag up, decorate and sell.

And don’t forget your charity bucket, info about why you’re running and your sponsorship details too.

These are just two ideas for how you can max the cash with your fundraising events. If you’re looking for more tried and tested fundraising ideas download my 25+ Fabulous Fundraising Ideas, you can get started with right now for even more, tried and tested marathon fundraising ideas that can be used to Max Your Fundraising Cash.

You got this!

Helen x

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