A list of my fundraising ideas for the London Marathon, most of which helped me raise my £3000 target for the British Heart Foundation in 2019.
Running the London Marathon is an incredible achievement. Especially if you’ve managed to raise money for charity along the way. Not everyone gets in via the ballot and instead choose to apply to run in a charity place.
This then brings the added pressure of not only building up to 26.2 miles but hitting that donation target too.
Here are some of the fundraising ideas for the London marathon I tried and also some I didn’t get around to doing.
Wine tasting night
This was easily one of the most fun fundraising ideas I used! It can be any “tasting” you want but here is how I did mine.
Wines- I ordered a box of different wines from Asda which also included a prosecco and a champagne. I then did 8 tastings across the evening- I had created a sheet for each guest with 8 marking sections on. Each section had ratings out of 5 for smell, appearance, taste and after taste.
Tasting one and two was a comparison of a £6 Sauvignon Blanc and a £10 Sauvignon Blanc. Served in little shot glasses labelled “£” and “££” meaning cheap and more expensive. I served this with a square each of Lindt chocolate to eat between each.
Tasting three and four was guess which is the champagne. I served prosecco in one shot glass and champagne in another coloured shot glass and let them discuss among themselves before revealing the answer.
Tasting five was a sweet Liebfraumilch. Six was a white zinfandel, and seven and eight were shiraz and merlot.
I had googled tasting tips, what order to taste in (i.e, white first-dry to sweet, then red) and what foods to pair each tasting with (no cheese though! Apparently that’s a no no) At the end we each had a glass or few of our favourites and ended up very merry. I also raffled off a bottle of prosecco and the whole night raised £81.00 after deducting the wine costs. Each participant paid £10 to attend. I had planned for 14 people and there was more than enough to go round.
Gin tasting night
I wasn’t a fan of gin until after this! I was lucky enough to have two bottles of gin already left at my home from previous parties that I hadn’t touched. This was a Bombay sapphire and a beefeater, and one of my guests did the same and brought a Gordon’s they didn’t want. So I bought a pink gin and some ingredients for cocktails- vermouth for martinis, apple juice and sparkling wine for another and ginger ale for a “slonky donkey”. I also bought some various tonic waters to compare with as well.
This tasting night is NOT for the faint hearted. We all ended up very merry, even though we all prepared nibbles!
So there were no marking sheets for this, I just poured out the various tonic water and gin combos to try in little shot glasses again. Then we stopped for food and a quiz I wrote by googling gin facts. Finishing off with the three cocktails each, all served in plastic cocktail glasses.
The night raised £40 all together, it was in December so I had a few drop outs due to work Christmas parties. However, I was left with enough gin for a second gin night! Which meant next to no financial outlay second time around and a total amount raised of£ . Each guest paid £10 to attend.
Beauty event at the salon I massage in
I was lucky enough to receive some amazing support from the team at the salon I massage in, Beaches tanning and beauty in Holland-on-Sea. The staff offered to give up their time to stay on after hours on the Saturday after Valentine’s day to offer cheap mini treatments-of which all the money went to the fund. My mum made cakes to sell and my friend who is a makeup artist came along too and offered mini treatments for those going out for the weekend. I of course did mini massages too
Quiz ‘n’ Chips night
This one took a little bit more effort to organise. I have hired the local public hall that happens to be directly opposite a fish and chip shop. They have kindly agreed to provide me with an order for each participant and I have incorporated the cost into the ticket price. So for £8.50 per person, each will get dinner and a place at their quiz table. Maximum of 6 per table and each table has been asked to bring a raffle prize. The raffle will then take part at the end for anyone who buys tickets on the night.
Prizes for the winning table I bought myself. I went into home bargains as all of the Valentine’s products were being put out and bought a small selection of chocolates and sweets for up to 6 people for £15.
The quiz questions have actually been written by myself. The categories included sport, guess the song intro played on my ipod over my speakers (that I use for my classes), cockney sayings and rhyming slang meanings, Disney and anatomy to name a few.
I’ve done two of these, one was to win a naked build a bear that was donated to me and one to win money. It’s called lucky squares because you pay per square in a grid and in each grid was a male name.
I had two build a bears so was going to do a female name one as well but one had lost it’s little ear label so I’ve kept the tagless one for the big raffle it instead. There were was 50 names/squares numbered 1-50 and they cost £1 per square. The winner is drawn at random once they’re all chosen and paid for using a paypal pool which is free and so easy to use. This raised £50.
The second lucky squares had numbers 1-50 in a grid. Each number cost £5. Once all numbers had been chosen and paid for, half went to my find raising target (£125.00) and the other half was shared between a winner (£100.00) and runner up (£25.00)
So my two lucky squares drummed up £175.00.
This idea was suggested to me by a lovely participant of my classes who’s friend did this the year prior. You buy some ribbon and make 26 little loops that you attach to your running vest on the day. People pay £10 per ribbon and you dedicate one of the 26 miles to that particular person/people/family/whatever. I was going to attach tiny pins but I didn’t want to risk one dropping off or scratching me so I will be sewing them all on. It’ll take a little time, and I probably could have used my glue gun but want them to be secure, yet light weight.
Three hour long fitness class
I run this every year and it grows each year we do it. In 2012 I taught it on my own to about 20 people doing aerobics, then I started getting other instructors involved for the variety. It’s an opportunity for me to raise money for charity and also raise people’s awareness of the local fitness classes in my area-including my own. So I contacted the community instructors locally and explained the class would be 3 constant hours and each instructor would have a time slot to teach their class on. Tickets are sold via bookwhen.com with a link to my justgiving page on the confirmation page where they then pay directly into the fundraising target. Last year we raised £1400.00 so this year I’d like to match or beat that!
Wear it red at my fitness classes
When I received the news I was in the marathon, I celebrated by inviting my fitness class participants to wear red to the classes for one particular date and pay a donation to do so. It raised £32.03 and you can do this even if you don’t teach classes by contacting an instructor or leisure centre to ask for their support in this way as well. Wear it red is a BHF fundraising idea as their logo is red but you can choose any colour relevant to the charity you’re fundraising for.
Ideas I didn’t manage to try
Pub crawl competition where groups of people pub crawl and have tasks to complete at each pub. I don’t have many near me within walking distance but it’s an awesome idea. Some pubs may offer deals as well and might have a pot left on their bar for others to donate in to.
Cake decorating competition. I really wanted to have people make and decorate some cakes and people judge them on appearance and taste and then choose a winner but I didn’t get around to it.
Car wash. This was suggested to me but..just no. Not in the winter. Not when I can’t even wash my own car haha.
I hope you find this list useful for your fundraising and if you have any additional ideas please write them in the comments!