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A to Z of Fundraising Ideas

Fundraising for Travelling and Volunteering

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Written by: Tori Oram

Working your arse off and saving like crazy is all very well, but there are other ways to make money. Legal ones, too. Fundraising involves getting your friends, family, colleagues and total strangers to part with their cash.
You can go about it in a variety of ways: organise an event and charge people to attend, do something challenging and get people to sponsor you, make stuff to sell, or do something a little different. Whatever you do, tell your local newspaper about it to gain publicity… and more moolah.
Gap year fundraising can be great fun, and looks impressive on your CV too. Like the sound of it? Check out Tori’s A to Z of fundraising ideas: there’s bound to be something in there to suit you.

Tori’s A to Z of Fundraising Ideas

Hi! My name is Tori and I’m a “serial gapper”. I began travelling at the age of 19 when I went to America as part of the Camp America program. I had the time of my life and have since become hooked on travel!
My motto has always been “I want to know, not just believe that the world is round”. I want to see other countries for myself. I guess that’s part of why I travel. The other part is I enjoy it. One of the downsides of travel is that it can be expensive – but fundraising can really help you acheive your target amount. Here is my A to Z of fundraising ideas to get you started…
A :: B :: C :: D :: E :: F :: G :: H :: I :: J :: K :: L :: M :: N :: O :: P :: Q :: R :: S :: T :: U :: V :: W :: X :: Y :: Z


– Aerobic-a-thon

Break out the leotard and the Jane Fonda video and get physical. Get sponsored for every five minutes of aerobics you can manage.

– Art Exhibition

Could be a great earner if you’re a dab hand with a paintbrush. Even if you’re not, give it a go and pass it off as modern art.

– Auction of Promises

Visit local businesses and ask them to donate their services for you to auction off. Or rope in your friends, who could promise to wash cars, mow lawns or do housework for the highest bidder.

– Apple Dunking

Charge people to stick their faces in cold water in an attempt to win a mouldy Granny Smith. Who couldn’t want to pay for that?

– Arm Wrestling

Charge your mates – or the local rugby/footie/any testosterone driven team – to arm wrestle one another. Probably best tried at your local pub. You could even fashion a snazzy badge/ medal type thing for the winner.

– Abseil

Get a group of people to abseil down a local building in aid of your cause. You are likely to get press coverage for this type of fundraising event too.

– Arts or crafts stall

Let your imagination go wild and reap the rewards. Try fundraising by making greetings cards, pot pourri or jewellery to sell.


– Badminton tournament

Grab those shuttlecocks and hit the courts. Get sponsored for every ten minutes of rallying you can manage.

– Barbeque

Charge neighbours, friends and family a small fee to attend your barbeque. If you get them all to bring a bottle or some nibbles, costs should be kept down.

– Barn Dance

Sweet talk a farmer into lending you his barn and then organise a night crammed full of dosy doeing. Charge £10 a ticket and organise a collection part way through the night. Alternatively, hire or blag your local community centre/ church hall.

– Beard Shaving

Grab a few hairy marys and shave them. Not just for fun – fundraise by getting people to sponsor them to go through with it. You can shave heads, beards, backs or legs… the possibilities are great.

– Bingo

Make your own bingo cards and invite your mates around for a few games. Charge them a pound a ticket. Prizes should be something small like sweets or promises of eternal friendship.

– Blind Date Evening

Get some single folks in the same room and charge an audience to watch you give Cilla a run for her money. Hopefully will raise a lorra lorra money fundraising chucks!

– Bring and Buy Sale

We bet you’ve got loads of junk in your attics and under your bed. Why not raise some money (and keep your mum happy) by organising a Bring and Buy sale. You could even charge other people to set up their own stalls.

– Beer race

Head to your local supermarket, load up on cheap booze and charge people to drink it. Quickly.

– Back to Front Day

Get sponsored to wear your clothes the wrong way round for a whole day.

– BMX bike display

Raid your local skate park for skater boys and organise a display for them. Invite the press to your fundraising event and promote it locally. Charge people to watch and try to swing some discount at a local skate shop for those that take part.

– Busking

Gapyear.com’s Tom has raised loads in his time, fundraising by busking on the street with his didgeridoo. Note: a certain amount of talent is necessary if you want to earn more than a couple of bottle-tops and some evil looks.


– Cake Sale

Let the Delia or Jamie Oliver in you loose. Get baking and sell your cakes on to your mates, work colleagues or random strangers.

– Car Boot Sale

All you need is a car (preferrably with a boot), some junk and some people to buy it from you.

– Coffee Morning

Bake some cakes, bring out the Nescafe and they will come. Remember to charge them for the privelege.

– Concert

Get some talented friends to perform in front of those less talented. Or, vice versa for a laugh. Charge an admission fee and organise a collection during the matinee.

– Cricket Match

Organise enough people to make up two teams and get them to pay a small amount to take part. Organise a collection for the spectators.

– Cycle-a-thon

Get sponsored for every mile you cycle.

– Car Washing

Grab some willing friends and get knocking on your neighbour’s doors. Tell them why you are offering to wash their car – to fund you gap year – and chances are, they’ll gladly stump up a bit of cash.

– Chocolate Ban

Get sponsored for every three days you can go without chocolate – or for every day without, if you’re a serious chocoholic!


– Dance marathon

Get people to sponsor you for every five minutes of boogying you manage – or for every song you shimmy to.

– Dry Cornflakes/Cream Cracker eating contest

Charge a small fee to enter and move back to avoid the spraying of crumbs.

– Disco

Book a hall or blag one and ask a local DJ to donate his service for free. Throw in some booze and nibbles and hey presto! You’ve got yourself a disco – well, once you invite some people and charge them to shake their stuff.

– Dog walk

Get some exercise and raise money at the same time. Offer your services as the neighbour dog walker and charge per dog per walk.

– Dinner dance

This one will take some organising, but could make you a packet. Charge twenty quid for tickets, and make more money by running a bar.


– Egg and Spoon Race

Think back to your school sport’s days. All you need is some spoons, some eggs, some willing volunteers and it a bit of space in which to race. Charge particpants to enter, with the winner of the race being awarded a small prize.

– Egg Painting

Something to have at your craft fair or fete. Set up an egg painting stool, provide the eggs and the paint and charge people to get creative.

– Easter Egg Hunt

Charge parents to take their kids off their hands for a afternoon – plan an Easter egg/ sweet hunt in the garden to keep them amused.

– Easter party

Seasonal parties are always a good idea. Incorporate the Easter Egg hunt and the egg painting to keep the children amused whilst you mingle with the parents telling them all about your upcoming gap year – and how they can help you get there.


– Fairs, fetes, bazaars, etc

Get yourself a big space (a hall, a field or even a car park) and let your imagination go crazy. Set up a coconut shy, apple bobbing stand, races and white elephant stalls.

– Film show/premiere

There are two main ways to do this. Speak nicely to your local cinema manager and ask if you can rent out a screen – or even if they will donate one to your worthy cause. Charge your friends and family an admission to watch the newest blockbuster. Alternatively stage a screening in your own home – maybe you could theme the type of films you show with your gap route? Ask people to bring their own snacks and to pay a small amount for the screening.

– Fashion Shows make for Fashionable Fundraising

Depending on how ambitious you are, this could raise a significant amount towards your gap year. Either grab a couple of mates and stage a show in your house. They could model clothes that you no longer want or need, which could then be auctioned off at the end of the day. Alternatively, let local clothes shops know about your fundraiser and ask them to donate clothes for the show. This is also great publicity for them. Get hold of a hall and advertise the event well in advance – give out flyers in your town centre and post them through letter boxes.

– Football Match

Ask your local team to play a match in aid of your gap year. Organise a raffle at half time and get prizes donated by local businesses. Alterntively, organise a match pitting your mates against their dads and older relatives. Ask each player to pay a fee to play and buy a small cup for the winning team.

– Fun Run

Get sponsored to take part in an organised race – or organise your own where you live.

– Fill Smartie tubes with coins

Pass smartie tubes out to your friends and family and ask them to fill them with spare change – preferrably £1 coins! Then collect them back in – you’ll be amazed at how much you will raise this way and there is very little effort involved. Also, you could empy the smarties from their tubes into a jar and run a ‘Guess the number’ contest.


– Garden party

Whip up some cucumber sandwiches, dust off the picnic tables and crack open some Pimms. Charge a small entrance fee and organise a collection during the fundraising event.

– Go-Karting

Organise a group of mates to head to the local Go Kart track. Inform the staff of your fundraising efforts and hope that they waive the admission fee – best to go off-peak times if you want to give this a try. Ask each person to pay a fee to enter a series of races. Award the winners a small prize each.

– Guess the Weight…

Find something suitably heavy – anything from a jar full of sweets to your Grandma – and ask friends and family to guess it’s weight. Charge folk 50p to enter and buy a small prize for the winner.

– Give up a vice

Whether it be smoking, biting your toenails or your daily choccie bar – get sponsored to give it up for a set period – or ask people to sponsor you per day. Then you could rake in wads of cash!


– Hair beading/plaiting

An idea for a stall at a fete. Charge people a small fee to make them look like Floella Benjamin.

– Halloween party

Probably best organised around the 31st October (though an out of season “Fundraising Halloween” might also be fun). Encourage your friends to dress the part and run a fancy dress competiton with a small prize for the winner. All guest should pay a small entrance fee to attend.

– Head Shaving

Less impressive if you already have a crew cut, but for those of you with long flowing locks this could earn you shed loads of cash. Or if you aren’t feeling brave, get sponsored to shave the head of a hairy (willing) mate.

– Highland Games

Tug of war in kilts, tossing the caber in kilts and throwing the hammer… in kilts. Charge all entrants a fee and buy some small prizes to award to the winners.


– It’s a Knockout competition

Get some teams together and arrange assualt courses, games and quizzes galore. Each team member pays a few pounds to take part – with the winning team being awarded a prize donated by a local company (or pub!).

– International Evenings

Hold themed evening events to let people know more about the countries you intend to visit on your gap year. Cook themed meals, have themed table decorations and wear appropriate clothing. Once everyone is digging into your delicious food, take the oppurtunity to tell them all about your gap plans… then get the donations bucket out. To cover costs, it’s probably best to charge a small entrance fee.

– Igloo Building

Get a group of friends together and have some fun in the snow. Build an igloo in a public place and collect coins from impressed passers-by. Take the oppurtunity to tell people about your gap plans – word will spread and your funds should be boosted as a result.

– Ice-cream Eating

Either get sponsored to make lifelong friends with Ben and Jerry or buy huge tubs of ice cream and sell them by the scoop as cornets on a hot day.


– Jumble sale

Dig around under the bed and at the back of wardrobes for anything you can sell and organise a jumble sale. Get your friends to get in on the act selling their own unwanted items – perhaps they could donate a percentage of their profits to your gap year cause.

– Jazz Night

A good fundraising idea if you’re a jazz singer. Perhaps a better one if you’re not. Raise money and have a giggle at the same time by belting out some classic jazz tunes like ‘Summertime’. Pass around the donations bucket to your spellbound audience and watch the money roll in.

– Jog-athon

Get sponsored to every mile you complete. If its raining outside – and you’re a bit of a wimp – you could even do it on a treadmill. Might be something to get sponsored for at your local gym.

– Joke-a-thon

Go up to people on the street and asking them to pay you fifty pence if you can make them laugh. Best to be armed with a ready supply to hilarious jokes for this one.

– Jigsaw Marathon

Get some willing people around and ask them to donate a small amount to be part of the jigsaw marathon. Each person has a jigsaw and is timed to see how long it takes to complete. Once all are completed, the jigsaws are passed onto the next team and so this continues until all jigsaws have been completed. The winner is awarded a small prize.

– Jewellery Making/Selling

Buy beads and wire in bulk and get creative. Should make for some particularly profitable fundraising around Christmas time.


– Karaoke competition/display

Rent a karaoke machine and hold an event in your local pub, college bar, or bedroom. Sell tickets, or make it a competition and charge people to enter. Get a local company to donate a prize.

– Kite flying

Hold a kite-flying day for kids. Charge for tickets, and provide refreshments (ice-creams or hot-dogs, depending on the season). If you’re a creative type, run a kite-making workshop before the grand kite-flying session.

– Kiss-a-thon

Sponsored snogging? Sounds like fun. Whether you go for quantity or duration is up to you…

– Knobbly knee contest

Works especially well at the seaside in summer. Charge a quid for people to enter the competition, and get a local company to donate a ‘quality’ prize. You get the fun of being the judge.


– Line-dancing

Hold a line-dancing party. Find out about all the line-dancing classes and clubs in your area (you’ll be surprised at how many there are) and send out invites; charge a fiver for tickets. Get in the spirit with costumes and decorations.

– Longest chain of paper clips, line of coins, etc

Get sponsored per metre – you could even get a bunch or friends together and try to break the record. Alternatively, start a line of coins in your local park or college grounds. Publicise what you’re raising money for and get passers-by to add their loose change to the line. Try to make it reach from one side of the park to the other.

– Lawn Mowing

Borrow a lawn-mower and drop leaflets through doors, charging a couple of quid for your services. Make sure the leaflet explains what the money is for, and people will be more inclined to pay.

– Luncheon

Invite everyone in your workplace, school or street to a grand lunch (for a small fee, obviously). Make posh sarnies and nibbles. This could work especially well in an office, where people will appreciate an unusual break in the middle of the day.

– Lilo Races

In the local swimming pool, lake, pond or river. Charge teams for entry and give a prize to the winner. Be aware of safety and insurance issues.

– Leap Frog

Get sponsored per leap, or per quarter-hour. More fun if you’re leaping over strangers, in the local park or on the beach. Tell them what you’re doing; they’ll either laugh and agree or walk very quickly in the opposite direction. Take photos to prove you did it!

– Limbo Competition

This could work well down the pub. Charge a quid for entry to the competition, and get the bar to donate a few free drinks for the winner.

– Litter Picking

People will be very willing to pay you if you’re cleaning up a local park, beach or kids’ playground. This is a way to help your local community while raising money for yourself, so everyone’s a winner.


– Marathon events

A fundraising classic! Hire a local hall, or see if you can get one free for a good cause. Hold a marathon table tennis, aerobics, line dancing or badminton session (in shift teams). Get relevant companies to sponsor you in exchange for publicity in the hall (local gyms, sports shops etc). Get sponsorship from friends and family too.

– Midsummer masked ball

This will take a lot of organisation, but could be a very special – and lucrative – event. Go all-out to make it as posh as possible, and charge ten to 20 quid for tickets. Got a mate with a barn? Glam it up with candles and decorations, request that guests wear black tie, give a free glass of bubbly to everyone on arrival, the works!

– Midnight film shows, midnight feasts etc

These could be held in your house, or in halls at uni. Make a feature of the fact that it’s being held at midnight, with atmospheric lighting etc. Charge for entry, naturally.

– Mini Marathon

Get sponsored to run five or ten miles around your town, or the equivalent around your garden. The smaller the garden the better – just make sure you change direction occasionally to reduce dizziness!

– Murder Mystery Night

This could be great, especially if you’re a member of an amateur dramatics group, or a drama group at school or college, who’ll help you out.

– Musical Evening

Get some talented friends together and hold a concert. If you do this in a pub or bar, it will be more low-key than in a hall or theatre, and there will be things for the audience to do during gaps between performances (i.e.drinking and mingling).

– Magic Show

If you’re Doncaster’s answer to David Blaine, put together a magic show and get paid to perform at kids’ parties.

– Marshmallow Eating

Lull your mates into a sense of security with a campfire-and-guitar evening, then crack open the marshmallows and charge extortionate rates for them (a quid each?) Who can resist the gooey-marshmallow-over-campfire experience?


– New Year’s Eve dance/party

This could be as big or as small as you like – in your front room, upstairs in a pub, or in a mammoth marquee…

– Nearly New Sale

This is a posher version of a jumble sale. Be selective – only sell nice stuff that’s in good nick – and you can charge a fiver for items that would cost 50p in a jumble sale.

– Netball Tournament

Get local and school teams to pay to enter; get a sports shop to donate cool prizes for the winning team.

– Non-Uniform Day

People pay a couple of quid for the privilege of coming to school or work in their civvies.

– Name the Baby/Teddy

No, we’re not suggesting you have a baby for the purposes of gap year fundraising and then charge people for the privilege of naming it. A photo of a friend’s baby will do. Make a list of 100 names, charge people a quid to choose a name, make a hundred quid and give £25 for the correct guess. Ask if you can put the photo up in your local shop, with a moneybox and list of names.

– Nature Trails

Know a bit about the wildlife in your area? Charge people for guided nature walks.

– Noodle Sucking

Don’t forget to get sponsored, or this is kind of stodgy and pointless.


– Old-time music hall

Ever heard of the grey pound? Put on an old-fashioned music hall show and invite local grannies…

– Obstacle Course

Set up a hard-core obstacle course and charge people to race.

– Office Collection Day

Stick a pot on your desk with notices telling people what you’re raising money for. Loudly remind your colleagues that it’s for a good cause. Probably best to do this the day before you leave your job…

– Odd Job Days

Lawn-mowing, DIY, carrying shopping, walking dogs… offer your services in the neighbourhood – no job too small. Dress in a superhero costume to get noticed.

– Outgrown Clothes Sale

This is good if you know lots of families with kids. They bring clothes that their sprogs have grown out of, and buy clothes that others have brought.

– Origami

If you’re good at this Japanese art-form, hold a fundraising origami workshop for kids.


– Pancake day party

Everyone loves pancakes, right? Hold a Shrove Tuesday party for all your family and friends (charge them a fiver each). Serve unlimited pancakes and hold a pancake-tossing competition.

– Parties

Know some busy parents? Organise their kids’ birthday parties for them in exchange for cash. Jelly and icecream here we come.

– Penalty shoot-out competition

People pay to enter; you get your hands on a signed football or some sports goodies for the winner. Get a football team or sports shop to donate the prize. This might be particularly relevant if you’re doing a sports-related placement on your gap year.

– Pet show

Get a pet shop to donate prizes in exchange for publicity. Why not make it an alternative pet-show, with prizes for the waggiest dog, pet lookalikes etc?

– Pram push

Dress up, push your mate in a pram through the streets of your town, shake a bucket and be prepared to tell a lot of curious bystanders why they should give you money for your fundraising shenanigans.

– Parachute

Raise sponsorship – you’ll need enough to pay for your parachute-jump; the rest can go towards your gap year. Contact friends, family, colleagues, your parents’ colleagues, and local companies.

– Photo Competition

Charge people to enter. Get a camera-shop to donate a prize and judge the comp – good publicity for them.

– Plant Sale

Requires forward planning. Buy a packet of seeds for a quid, plant them, and when they’re looking impressive, set up a stall and sell the plants for a quid each. From little acorns, mighty oaks shall grow, or something like that.

– Polo

Not the easiest sporting event to organise, admitedly, but likely to attract the kind of people who have money to spare.

– Pub Games

Skittles, darts, pool, cards… Charge people to enter; the landlord/lady will appreciate the custom, and might agree to donate free drinks for the winner. You could even make it a weekly league.

– Pantomime

Lure wannabe-luvvies with promises of fame and adulation; put on a fun panto and charge for tickets. Serve mulled wine and mince pies for extra money.

– Pool Competition

People put money in a pot to enter; the winner takes half of what’s in the pot, you take the other half!

– Picnics

Sell tickets in advance; with a little imagination you can make great, fun picnic food from cheap ingredients.

– Plastic duck race

Use Google to find a company near you that hires out plastic ducks. People sponsor a duck, and they’re released at a set point to float down a river. The sponsor of the winning duck gets a prize.

– Photography

Are you handy with a camera? Earn money by taking photos at office Christmas parties and other events. Some very lucrative fundraising can be had if you are good enough (and brave enough) to shoot wedding photos.


– Quizzes

Quizzes are very popular and hence a good way to  make money. Pubs are the usual venue, but you could also hold one at a local college, at a day centre for older people, or in a town or village hall.

– Quiff competition

Warning: only try this if you want to bring large numbers of Elvis fans out of the woodwork.


– Races

Be imaginative – think sack-races, baby races, electric wheelchair races, stilletto races… charge people for entry and get a local company to donate a prize.

– Raffles

Get friends and local companies to donate prizes. Go for cool, unusual prizes like a day in a spa, a go-karting session or a takeaway pizza.

– Rapping contest, show or sponsored event

You could organise this at a youth club or skate park, and get your younger siblings and their mates involved.

– Read-a-thon

Get sponsored to read books – this works best if you’re someone who never normally reads.

– Rugby Match

Charge spectators for tickets. For extra crowd-pulling power, play in drag…

– Rounders Tournaments

Charge teams to enter, and award a sport-related prize – or a slap-up post-match picnic with booze – to the winning team.

– Rowing

Get sponsored to row on a rowing machine; aim to row the equivalent of crossing the channel.

– Recycling

Recycle cans for money! Some places will give you up to a penny a can. Do a massive Blue-Peter-stylee appeal and get your friends, family and neighbours to give you their empty cans. Over a year, you could make a fair bit, and help the environment too.


– Santa’s grotto

If your response to the festive season is ‘bah humbug’, this one’s not for you. Set up a Santa’s grotto in a shopping centre, at a Christmas fayre, or just in the street (get permission first). Charge kids (or their parents) for the chance to meet Santa, a polaroid snap, and a cheap prezzie.

– Scoff-a-hotdog competition

Who can eat two in the shortest time? Who can eat the most in two minutes? Charge people to enter, with a free meal (donated by a fast-food joint?) for the winner. You’ll be surprised how many people enter a comp like this just for the ‘glory’.

– Shakespeare marathon

Get sponsored to over-act your way through the complete works… in a public place. Tights obligatory.

– Silly games afternoon

Egg and spoon, silly races, wet sponge throwing… use your imagination.

– Skateboard display

Firstly, get a local skate shop to agree to give a discount to participants in your show. Secondly, use this to persuade talented kids to show off their skills. Thirdly, sell tickets. Parents are probably your best market; other skaters won’t pay, as they see this stuff every day.

– Sponsored fundraising events

You can get sponsored to do pretty much anything, so think creatively. Consider giving half of your sponsor-money to charity – this will persuade more folks to part with their cash, as well as helping you get to Heaven. Possibly.

– Sports contests

Again, think creatively. Any sport can bring in the money – either charge individuals or teams to enter with the hope of winning a prize, or charge spectators to watch.

– Strawberry and cream tea party

Pick-your-own works out cheapest. Hold the party in your garden on a sunny day and charge for tickets.

– Sponsored Silence

Could you talk for England? Reckon your family and friends would pay good money to shut you up for a day? A sponsored silence is a really easy fundraising activity to organise, and can make you a fair bit of moulah.

– Sports Day

Organise a sports day at your workplace, local pub, uni or college. You’ll be surprised how many grown-ups jump at the chance to don a PE kit and go back to their youth.

– Squash Tournament

Charge people to enter. Get a sports centre to donate five free sessions on the squash court for the winner.

– Swear Box

Get your mates or colleagues to put 50p in the box if they swear.

– Swim-a-thon

Get sponsored per length. If you’re a fit swimmer, try to swim the equivalent of crossing the Channel (or half-way across).

– Scavenger Hunt

People pay to enter. They each recieve a list of items they need to scavenge (a beer-mat, a yellow flower, an item of underwear that’s not their own…) Give a prize to the person who brings all the items to you first.

– Scalextric Grand Prix

This one can be done in your front room, or anywhere really.


– Tea party

Tea is the new fashionable drink of choice, or so they say. Charge your mates a couple of quid to attend, and go all-out with the fairy-cakes and cucumber sandwiches. Very civilised.

– Teddy bears’ picnic

Charge families for tickets, and publicise it through playgroups and primary schools. Don’t forget to bring youor own teddy!

– Theme days/evenings

There are loads of possibilities. Going to India on your gap year? Why not have an Indian night (curry, Bollywood movies…). Or you could hold a ’70s night or a Sex and the City evening. Charge people to take part, natch.

– Throwing wet sponges at a person in stocks

Great at a summer fair!

– Top of the Pops show

Put on a fake TOTP, with talented types impersonating their fave band or artist. Works best at a school or college.

– Treasure hunt

People pay you for the first clue. You lay a trail of clues, with a top prize at the end. Car treasure-hunts can work really well.

– Tuck shop

Buy cheap multi-packs of chocolate bars and crisps and sell them at extortionately inflated prices. This works well at offices and factories, as well as schools and youth clubs. Sell home-made cakes and cookies too if you’ve got time to bake them.

– Tennis Tournament

Hold your own mini-Wimbledon. People pay to enter, and the winner gets a prize donated by a local business. Sell champagne and strawberries-and-cream to the spectators.

– Themed Dinner Party

A Mexican, Indian or Moroccan meal could go down really well. Charge people to attend – try your parents’ friends.

– Tug-of-War

Teams pay to enter, with the hope of winning prizes. Teachers vs students, boys vs girls, or one town or village vs another could be fun.

– Twister-a-thon

Get sponsored to play an all-day game of Twister with your mates. People will donate more if you’re doing it in a public place – your embarrassment is always worth a few quid.

– Tombola

This would work best at a fete or special event. You don’t need a fancy-turny-handle-thing – just put the tickets in a box and shake well. Get local businesses and family friends to donate prizes.


– University Challenge

Pit your uni, school or college against another one. We’re not promising Jeremy Paxman will agree to host…

– Unwanted Gift Sale

Get your friends and family to donate their unwanted Christmas gifts in early January. Flog them shamelessly.

– Underwear Party

For some reason, people will pay good money to attend a party packed with members of the opposite sex in their smalls. Beats me.

– Unicycle Racing

Helps if your friends can ride unicycles.

– Used Stamps

Get your family, friends and neighbours to donate their used stamps, and sell them to collectors.


– Variety show

Does your Dad play the didge? Can your dog dance the tango? Put on a variety show with a difference!

– Volleyball Tournament

This could work well on the beach in summer-time. Promote it through a loud-speaker, and get teams to pay to enter. Get local businesses to donate prizes for the winners: try the nearest ice-cream van.

– Vegetable eating

Does your family despair of your unbalanced diet? Get them to sponsor you to eat your greens.

– Video-a-thon

Rent a bunch of classic movies and play them back-to-back for 24 hours. Print schedules and hand them out to your friends and acquaintances, who’ll hopefully turn up and pay to watch their favourites. Offer a discount for those who last the whole 24 hours. Don’t skimp on the popcorn.

– Valentines Day Event

Soft music, mirror-balls, largely heart-based decor… you get the idea. Sell tickets to the love-sick and desparate. Alternatively, more ethically sound fundraising can be achieved with an anti-Valentine party.

– Vegetarian Evening

Cook all your favourite veggie recipes and pay people to come eat them. Don’t just target veggies – meat-eaters will come too, out of interest.


– White Elephant stall

Sell anything and everything you can get your hands on at a fete, jumble sale or car boot sale. You’ll be amazed at what people will buy…

– Who’s that baby

Get old baby-photos of your mates or – much better – your bosses or teachers. Stick them up around your school or office and get people to pay to guess who they are. Needless to say, you’ll need a quality prize for the winner.

– Window Cleaning

Spend a weekend cleaning windows for your neighbours or local shops. Fundraising Tip: Ask for donations rather than charging a set fee and you may get more money.

– Wine Tasting

Hold a wine-tasting evening. Get a supermarket or off-license to donate a few bottles for the tasting, and sell bottles for them at the end (for a small profit).

– Welly Throwing

See ‘Silly games afternoon’.

– Wheelbarrow Races

See ‘Silly games afternoon’.


– X-Files day

Use your imagination – the ideas are out there! Hold an X-Files quiz and show episodes of the show all day.

– Xmas fair/panto/party

‘Tis the season to make money! Get out the mistletoe for a big Christmas party, or sell home-made gifts at a Christmas fair.

– Xylophone Marathon

What do you mean, we’re having trouble thinking of fund-raising ideas beginning with X?


– Yacht Race

People who own yachts aren’t short of a bob or two, right? So get them to shell out to enter a yacht race, with fun prizes for the winners.

– Yoga Marathon

Get sponsored to do yoga for a day. You’ll be so bendy by the end of it that you can charge people to watch you tie yourself in knots. Bonus.

– Yodelling Competition

Will people pay money to listen to your tone-deaf mates yodelling? Only one way to find out…

– Yo-Yo competition

Get people to pay to enter; hand out small prizes for duration and tricks.


– Zany Dress Day

People at your office or school pay a quid or two for the chance to come dressed as celebs, as animals, in their team’s strip, or all in pink…

Find more expert fundraising inspiration

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