Fundraising events and activities

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Fundraising events and activities are best suited for collecting small amounts of money, and can work especially well if it is for a specific action with an achievable target to reach, such as for the purchase of materials or a particular piece of equipment for your project – people like to see where their money is going! From sponsored walks, to skill swap auctions and competitions, there are lots of different options to consider. It is easy to turn any event into a fundraising opportunity by asking for donations to attend or by incorporating activities such as raffles, cake sales or just more general calls for donations or support.

You could expand and connect these fundraising activities by making them part of a wider drive to raise money through crowdfunding. Crowdfunding involves starting a time-limited online campaign to raise money against a set target, enabling money to be pledged in small amounts from lots of different people. This could potentially generate more energy and excitement around your fundraising activities, and allows you to use existing websites as a platform for recording and collecting donations and offers of support. There are many website to choose from, some of the most popular being indiegogo.com, crowdfunder.co.uk, buzzbnk.org and kickstarter.com. Further crowdfunding finance options for the community energy sector are offered by organisations such as Abundance Generation.

Case Studies
Country: UK

Stroud Community Agriculture carry out informal fundraising activities as and when they need to raise money at different stages of their project. They have used public meetings as a way to invite people to donate money, for example by putting up big blank posters where people could record their offers of support and having contact forms for people to fill in to donate money. At their first public meeting they secured pledges for over £200 by these means. They also approach their members for financial support to purchase particular pieces of equipment, and have a box to tick on their joining form if people want to help by providing a loan or making a gift to the project.

Source: The Story of Community Supported Agriculture in Stroud

Country: UK

Hampshire Energy’s fundraising walk offered the opportunity to meet people involved with the project whilst raising money for the cooperative. A choice of circular routes was offered, of 4, 7 and 9 miles in length, all starting from the same meeting point. The cost of participating was set at £8, and this included a drink and BBQ. Participants were encouraged to get their friends and family to sponsor them, and those who couldn’t make it or didn’t fancy it were invited to sponsor the team online via their BT donate page – they had an ambitious target to raise £1000!