Fun charity fundraising ideas

cancer research fundraising event fashion show

Over the years our fundraisers have run the London Marathon, trekked across deserts, driven black cabs to Istanbul and cycled the East Coast of Australia. And one or two brave men have had their chests waxed.

Taking part in a local event with friends, neighbours or work colleagues, brings people together to have fun while raising valuable funds for cancer research. So why not have a look at some of the brilliant, inspiring and unbelievable things our fundraisers have been doing? You might just get a taste for it. And if you do we can provide great tips and ideas to get your event up and running.

Some starters for £10

  • Non Uniform Day - Give a donation to attend school / college in your own clothes.
  • Job Swaps - We all feel at times we can do better than the boss. Auction the MD's /  Head of Department's / Cleaner's job for an afternoon.
  • Fancy Dress - Pay to come to work in fancy dress. (H&S permitting)
  • Guess the Baby competition - photos of the staff / colleagues as babies.
  • Fashion Show
  • Concert / Play / Musical Evening
  • Trivia Quiz - Pop / Sport / General Knowledge / etc.
  • Fete
  • Car Boot Sale
  • It's a Knock Out
  • Sponsored Silence
  • Sponsored Haircut
  • Five / seven a side football / rugby / hockey / etc.
  • Sponsored Walk

The list is endless and we have not yet mentioned the "Thon" family, MaraTHON, WalkaTHON, SlimaTHON.

The Way Ahead 

Once you have chosen your event there are many areas that you must cover to make it a success.

The keyword is PLANNING - allow plenty of time to look at the various aspects of the challenge that lies before you.

  • Discuss with friends, colleagues, and management how easily the event can be organised.
  • Do we have the people to make all parts of the project run smoothly?
  • Will the event cost us anything to get off the ground?
  • Arrange a date.
  • What resources do we need?
  • How do we publicise the event?
  • What can go wrong?
  • Can we get a celebrity? ( There are generally tame celeb's in your local area, or people who may give their time) 

Publicising the event

Your event must be well publicised if it is to be a success.

At work:

  • Work notice boards
  • Company magazine
  • Announced at briefings
  • Word of mouth

At home:

  • Post it on your social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Blog etc.
  • Leaflets to families
  • Leaflets to local suppliers
  • Announced on local radio
  • Advertisement in local paper
  • Notices placed in public places in the community, for example, surgeries, libraries, local shops

The media

If you are able to get the support of your local Radio and TV station your event's profile is taken onto another level. You will find it invaluable when approaching people in the local business community. If they think that they might be able to get some good (and cheap) local PR, they are more likely to help.

The person to get in touch with in the local paper is the news editor. If you know a reporter use the personal contact as this always works better than the cold contact. Find out the paper's deadlines for copy and photographs. They must always know:

  • What the event is
  • Who is involved?
  • Why the event is taking place
  • When, where and what time?
  • Contact name for further information

When you are planning your event, always try and think like a newspaper reporter. Think what is newsworthy. Try to create a publicity stunt / have a local dignitary / local celebrity / and always have a photo opportunity.

Handy hints when seeking sponsors

  • Set your sponsorship target - aim high!
  • Seek help from your friends - network, friends of friends - you will collect more than you thought possible, but you need to work at it.
  • Think about organising small events, a coffee morning, disco, jumble sale or a car boot sale - whatever you feel comfortable with. The only limit is your imagination!
  • Start your sponsorship early - well in advance of the event.
  • Set up a JustGiving or Virgin Money Giving page. This is an easy way for your friends and family to donate. You can post the link to this page on your social networks.
  • When you approach people for sponsorship, ask them if they would mind giving you the money NOW - offer a receipt (we can provide you with a book if you need it). It is easier to give money back should you have to pull out of the event, as opposed to trying to collect after the event - people lose interest quickly, and often find excuses for not giving you the money.
  • Always maintain a record of your sponsors and ensure that your list reflects those who have paid and those who have still to give you their contribution.
  • If you belong to a club or association, get them involved either as a sponsor, by organising a fundraising event, or by 'matching' the funds you raise.
  • Ask local companies or firms to sponsor you in return for wearing their logo on your T-shirt.

Sponsorship ideas that have worked 

  • Approach companies for corporate sponsorship (companies have donated between £100 and £350 for their logo on a shirt). Approach the Public Relations department or Community Development department
  • Put a note through all your neighbours' doors telling them who you are, what Worldwide Cancer Research is and what the event is. On the note, put a time when you will come back to collect the money or pledge
  • Get a friend or colleague to organise your fundraising while you train
  • Get the press involved as much as possible. Try to get your photo or a story about your fundraising in the local paper as much as possible
  • Do something different - pull a car along a stretch of road, get a Mohican haircut (if your boss allows it) etc.
  • Organise a plush dinner with guest speakers
  • Photocopy the sponsorship forms and pass them out to friends and family who live in different parts of the country
  • Organise a raffle with prizes from local shops
  • Do bucket collections round the local pubs and clubs (get permission from the owners first)


We hope this information will have given you an insight into fundraising and will make you want to raise money to assist us in our fight against cancer. The proceeds from your event can, if you wish, be targeted to a specific area of research or geographical location.

More information is available from our events team.

Phone 01334 - 477910

Fax: 01334 - 478667

Email: events@worldwidecancerresearch.org

Good Luck!

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