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4 unconventional fundraising ideas to inspire you

What do a motorized rickshaw,  smashed-up plates and the Queen all have in common? They've all been used to raise money for Worldwide Cancer Research.

When it comes to fundraising for your favourite cause (funding pioneering cancer research all over the world, of course!) it's getting harder to be creative and encourage people to give.

With people running marathons and having bake sales left, right and centre, how do you stand out in the crowd? How do you get your friends and family to part with their hard-earned cash for great causes? Some of the most successful fundraisers for Worldwide Cancer Research have always given something back to it's supporters. Take Steve and Kev for example, who gave their colleagues a good laugh when they shaved the heads of the senior team at work raising £5,000 on the day.

We love unconventional fundraising like this, because it helps us fund more cancer research projects, which are often unconventional themselves. Take Dr Helen Dooley in Aberdeen, looking at how antibodies made in sharks could help women with breast cancer overcome drug resistance. Or Dr Nuria Malats in Spain, who studied the involvement of trace metals in bladder cancer by looking at toenail clippings.

Sometimes, the answer is to go big. Go weird, go wonderful and start thinking outside the box. Here are four of our supporters doing some unexpectedly brilliant fundraising.

1. Stacey's crockery smash

"I got the idea from a local fair I was at in Fife. People were lining up to throw wooden balls at of old crockery, smashing them to pieces, like a coconut shy. I ended up spending £10 smashing up old bits of crockery, all for a good cause! It felt great. I immediately wanted to nick the idea for my own fundraising for Worldwide Cancer Research.

To set up my own crockery smash, I needed to find some crockery, and lots of it, for free. I sent letters out to local businesses asking whether they had any going spare, especially those who were going through a refurbishment. Turns out businesses normally have to pay for crockery to be removed from their premises, so for many of the places that gave me the old plates and bowls, I was actually doing them a huge favour!

Turns out businesses normally have to pay for crockery to be removed from their premises, so for many of the places that gave me the old plates and bowls, I was actually doing them a huge favour!

When you set up your crockery smash, at whatever fair or outdoor event you choose, make sure your signs stand out. How about calling your stall something like "Hulk Smash" or "Keep Calm and Smash On" or "The Smash Zone." Have a bit of fun with your customers as they line up, telling them to imagine an ex's face on a plate, or run competitions to see if somebody can hit all the mugs, or all the plates. A crockery smash can be a cathartic way of releasing pent up energy."

2. Sergio's truly international football tournament

Sergio Dionisio, CEO of StarPlus Services Group, has decided to organise a truly international Charity Football Tournament  inviting representatives from the embassies of London to form teams, swapping their suits for football strips.

"A few months ago, I saw a friendly match on TV in aid of UNICEF, and I was inspired to create a similar event, a 7 a side charity football tournament. So I contacted some of the major embassies in London to see if they would like to put together teams to participate. I've also gotten hold of some football jerseys to sell at a silent auction, signed by football legends Roberts Pires from Arsenal and David Ginola from Tottenham and the whole team at Nottingham Forest. A tournament like this, with all the logistics of hiring a stadium and encouraging sponsors to get involved, is not an easy event to organise. But with a lot of work and passion for the cause, we managed it."

A football tournament, with all the logistics of hiring a stadium and encouraging sponsors to get involved, is not an easy event to organise. But with a lot of work and passion for the cause, we managed it.

The teams Sergio has confirmed to play so far are from StarPlus Services and representatives from the embassies of France, Spain, Israel, Romania, The Foreign Office and the United Nations.

3. Sean's Indian Rickshaw Run

Calling themselves the "Biryani Bandits" Sean and his 6 close friends from Dubai are doing the Rickshaw Run for Worldwide Cancer Research.

The guys will drive, in their words, a "7 horsepower glorified lawnmower" - otherwise known as a motorized rickshaw- 3,500 km across India. There's a start and finish line, but how to get between them is down to the group.

Anyone can sign up with a group of friends (if you find anyone brave enough.)

 

4.  Make way for Her Majesty...a guy from Aberdeen?

David Lennox, an NHS call operator from Aberdeen, changed his name to  "Her Majesty The Queen" to raise funds for us back in 2010. We admired David's- I mean, His Majesty's- commitment as he even had to change the official name on his passport!

"This all started as just an idea while chatting to someone at work. I decided to look into the possibilities of legally changing my name for a full year and found out that it was quite easy to do, so I went ahead with it.”

This all started as just an idea while chatting to someone at work. I decided to look into the possibilities of legally changing my name for a full year and found out that it was quite easy to do, so I went ahead with it.

With the help of friends and decided by online vote, he chose "Her Majesty the Queen" from five other options, including "Batt Mann" "Dan Gerous" and "Sixty Watt."

We also changed our charity's name in 2014 (and although Worldwide Cancer Research is a lot less regal, we like it)  and it's put us on the map as the only UK charity funding early stage research in every country into every type of cancer.

 

Communications Manager at Worldwide Cancer Research

2 responses to “4 unconventional fundraising ideas to inspire you”

  1. Fundraising Guy says:

    These are original ideas. We did a breast cancer fundraiser with donation cards.It was original, they had inspirational quotes each time you scratched for donations.

  2. Fundraising Guy says:

    These are original ideas. We did a breast cancer fundraiser with donation cards.It was original, they had inspirational quotes each time you scratched for donations.

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