Fun Fundraisers

As a charity we rely a lot on the generosity of our Online Community members and the general public to help raise funds to enable LDUK to push for change and create helpful resources. Hosting a fundraiser can be daunting and glossy events featured in the media can create the feeling of there being a lot to live up to. It is important to remember that this is not always the case and often, it’s a case of small things having a big impact.  As well as helping the charity, fundraising can be a great way to boost mental health as making a difference can be a huge self-esteem booster, particularly for those who have been feeling low as a result of chronic illness.

So, what do I mean when I say that fundraisers don’t have to be big, fancy events? Last year, after setting myself the target of hosting two full blown events, my health simply couldn’t handle it. My ‘All White ABBA Night’ in May was super fun and a resounding success but after spending most of June, July and August deteriorating in health whilst enduring gruelling treatment. I therefore couldn’t commit to organising another big event in November. I didn’t want to give up because I had set myself a goal. I had committed to my charities because they support me so very much. Instead, I realigned by goal. I moved the the target to my birthday, giving me an extra two months to bounce back. I knew I didn’t need presents for my birthday and so I teamed up with my mum and we set up a JustGiving page where our friends and family could donate if they were able to. Then I held a small gathering with my closest friends and family just before Christmas to celebrate their kindness and to remind them that their generosity goes far.

This worked well and throughout the night, Lyme disease was discussed on numerous occasions so that attendees went away knowing a little more about the disease. For me, this was perfect because we managed to raise funds, but the event was far more relaxed. It wasn’t big and fancy, but we still made an impact and that is what it is all about.

The moral of the story is, don’t let big, fancy events put you off hosting your own low-key event or raising funds in your own way. Fundraising is about adding your own style and touch, moulding it to what you feel capable of and applying your own unique way of generating donations.

Some ideas:

1.Do you have hobby? Card making, baking maybe, painting?
Have fun creating and then selling your goods. Whether you take a cut for yourself and donate some of the proceeds, it all makes such a difference and the buzz you get from your work is also a massive healer.

2. Ask for money for birthdays then donate some towards the cause.
This is an effortless way to make such a massive impact and to share the love surrounding your special day.

3. Host a “Come Dine with Me” style night.
Invite your friends and family to each cook a course and donate a small fee for attending your event. This could be as individuals or as couples. Even if people donated £5 for a fun couple of hours, you will have raised £20! Not bad work.

4. Host a quiz night 
Get your friends and family over for a few hours of fun! You can access quiz questions on Google and offer simple drinks and nibbles. Entry could be £2 and if you have 10 friends, that’s an easy £20 and some fun!

5. Host a movie night
Charge the price of a discounted cinema ticket (e.g. £5) and find a good film on Netflix, Amazon Prime or NOW TV. Invite friends and family, stock up on some popcorn and drinks and enjoy a night in watching an exciting film!

6. Host a games night
Everyone loves a board game or some cards so simply think up an entry free and grab some snacks and drinks in order to have a fun evening!

I fully appreciate that these ideas may still seem overwhelming. Here are some tips on making fundraising events as stress free and as fun as possible:

  1. If you are hosting an event, rather than collecting everyone’s addresses, buying cards and sending them in the mail, use the Facebook ‘Event’ function to easily invite friends and family. You can set alerts and reminders for your event too.
  2. Get guests to RSVP so that you know how many people you are expecting so you can be adequately prepared.
  3. Ask guests to bring their own drinks if it makes things easier and focus on providing snacks. It’s always worth asking if anyone has any allergies, so you don’t get any nasty surprises.
  4. Give your guests advanced notice and make sure you give yourself enough time to plan, prepare and execute.
  5. If you are selling items, you may be able to put up a stall at a local car boot sale, or you can set up an Etsy or Depop shop online.
  6. Facebook now allows you to set up a donation fund to your chosen charity around the time of your birthday. Set this up prior to your big day so people have time to donate but also when they come to your profile to wish you happy birthday, they will see the donate button too.
  7. Keep it simple.
  8. Don’t set your targets too high or get disheartened if targets aren’t hit. EVERY LITTLE HELPS. Never forget that. We are so grateful to you for your kindness and generosity.

I hope you find this blog post, insightful, inspiring and above all helpful. We are so grateful to everyone who supports our work. Find more fundraising ideas here.

Thank you,

Sophie Ward.