Sheltered Work Opportunities Project

Fundraising Ideas

Abseil – Set the bar high with an abseil.

Auction / Auction of promises – Do you have a well-stocked record collection you’re willing to let go of for a good cause? Or the contacts to get your hands on some sought after sports memorabilia? Then an auction could be the charity fundraising activity for you. You could even make your auction a more casual affair by auctioning off your skill-set.

Afternoon tea – Whether you do it at work, home or a local venue, we’re a nation of tea drinkers, so your event is sure to prove popular.

Bake sale – Whether you run the event at work, school or your home be sure to find out about any specialist diets (or perhaps just favourites) first to maximise sales!

Bingo – If the phrase “2 little ducks” brings a smile to your face then bingo could be the activity for you!

Beard shaving – You may love your furry face, but what about your friends and family? Would the idea of you shaving your beard off have them reaching into their pockets? Why not let them dye it too before the big shave as a way to raise extra funds for charity?

Coffee mornings – Most people rely on a coffee to get them through the day so hosting a coffee morning is a great way to fundraise.

Cinema screening – Have a DVD collection that could rival Netflix? Then a cinema screening could be the perfect, flexible fundraising idea for you. Whether it’s hosted in the school hall, work canteen, your living room, the local cinema or projected outside, only one thing will stand between you and success – popcorn.

Dinner Party – An event which can be hosted all year round. Our top tip:  pick a theme. You could focus around the origins of the food you serve or go theme first, food second and serve dishes from your favourite film.

Dances / Disco – You don’t need access to a ballroom and moves for Strictly to host a dance (but if you do that’s great) you just need space and music to move to.

Darts match – Set your sights on bulls-eye and keep the game serious by charging an entry fee to raise funds. Or keep it fun and set challenges like throwing whilst on one leg and charge per throw.

Eating competition – How many crackers can you eat without water? When it comes to food, there are lots of challenges to set, particularly for fans of ‘I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!’ You can raise money with entry fees or tie an eating competition into a larger event

Easter Egg Hunt – The only constraint here is time – we find eggs are hard to find in December so make sure you leave enough time to get this organised.

Easter party – With both a school holiday and a long Bank Holiday weekend, Easter is a great time to fundraise. You’ll have more time to plan the activity and people are more likely to have the time to support you. There are lots of low cost ways to raise money at an Easter party. From the more obvious Easter egg hunt to an Easter bunny hop race (ears at the ready).

Football match / 5-a-side football – Even if you don’t score, this is one match that guarantees you’ll make a difference in 90 minutes. If you’ve got smaller numbers, why not opt for a game of 5-a-side? Raise funds by charging a player fee and why not let spectators donate to take part in a penalty shootout at the end of the match?

Fancy-dress days – Fancy dress isn’t just for Halloween. It’s a great way to raise money any time of year. If you’re the boss, why not have your staff come to work in fancy-dress and ask them to pay a small donation for the day? Top tip: why not let your colleagues cast votes on the costume you have to wear for the day?

Games Night – You don’t have to be a Monopoly board master or play Scrabble like a pro to a host a games night. You just need games, a place to play and people to play with. It can be as simple as charades or if you have a screen and console to hand, why not go down the gaming route, charging friends to play?

Girls Night In – It’s simple, just invite your friends round and ask them to donate the amount they would usually spend on a night.

Give it up! – We all have bad habits, some worse than others (we’re looking at you toenail biters!). But if you have a habit you want to kick, why not do it while fundraising? If your habit is costly, why not donate the money you save? Or if your habit causes more frustration to others than yourself, why not have people sponsor you? Over the years our supporters have raised money by giving up things like crisps, television, chocolate, meat and smoking.

Head shave – It’s a brave way to raise funds so make sure your “bold” move gets the recognition it deserves by offering people the chance to bid to shave your head. Or stretch out the activity by giving people the chance to dye your hair a crazy colour for a week before the shave.

Halloween party – The only thing better than fancy-dress for fundraising is dressing up at Halloween. So get your invites out and charge guests an entry fee to spend the night apple bobbing to ‘Thriller’.

Hogmanay – If you can’t make it to Scotland this year, why not bring Scotland to you and throw your very own Hogmanay party? Friends can donate the cost they would usually spend on venue entry (and benefit from no long queues for the toilet).

International evening / International Day – Whether you’ve travelled the world or just love a particular culture, an international theme is a great way to get people excited about raising money. Choose your country, or go ‘around the world’, and charge people an entry fee. Have a think about dress codes, food and music. Entertainment such as quizzes can be a great way to raise extra funds at the event.

It’s a Knockout – The ultimate school sports day for adults. Fun is a big incentive for people to get involved.

Irish Night / Day – It doesn’t have to be St Patrick’s Day to celebrate the Irish culture. Whether you’ve got Irish blood or just love the music, you’re sure to have fun.

Jewellery collection, jewellery making/selling – If you have high value pieces you’re looking to donate, an auction could be the best route for you. Or if your skill set lies in making, why not put on a ‘make-your-own’ craft session?

Jazz – Use jazz music as the centre of your fundraising. You could put on an evening of entertainment and charge for entry. Or if you’re a jazz musician yourself, you could share your talent and provide music lessons for donations.

James Bond – The Bond films are iconic, so finding fans shouldn’t be hard. But a James Bond night can offer a lot more than movie watching – get ready to make a lot of Martinis. Shaken, not stirred of course.

Karaoke night – Time to stretch the vocal cords and get ready for a night of karaoke. Love it or hate it, our fundraisers have proven it’s a great way to raise money.

Knitting – British weather means that knitwear is often in demand. So why not use your needle skills to raise money for charity? First, decide how you want to sell your unique items. You could use online auction sites or take a stall at local craft fayes.

Ladies Night / Day – Get your female friends together and throw a ladies day (or evening). The first challenge will be getting a date in the diary. So if this is the event for you, start to ask people now about their availability. Once you’ve got the date, start to think about entertainment. You could have cocktails and canapés or a Mad Hatter’s tea party. You know your guests best, so choose something that you’ll all enjoy.

Luncheon / Lunch – You don’t have to be a lady to lunch. If your office has a habit of ordering food on a Friday, why not cook up your own treats? You’ll save your colleagues time buying lunch, giving them longer to enjoy your yummy food!

Leap Year  – Whether your fundraising activity takes 1 hour or the full 24, use your leap day to make a difference. Don’t forget, with an extra day in the working month, it’s a great chance to speak to employers about matched giving.

Marathon events – Before you skip and read onto the next idea, remember a marathon doesn’t have to mean running! In the past, our supporters have raised money with marathon DJ sets, roller skating, and nail art sessions. Just decide if you want an activity that will take you 26.2 miles or hours.

Matched Giving – Whether you’re raising money in the office or outside of work, ask your employer about matched giving. Lots of our fundraisers have doubled the amount raised by their employer so don’t be afraid to ask.

Music evening – Pop, rock, or jazz? Regardless of genre, if fundraising through music appeals to you it’s time to start thinking about your event. Will you be performing? Or just looking for local acts to support you? You could keep it simple with a Saturday busking session. Or if you’re thinking bigger, start to look at venues (or start being extra nice to friends with big gardens).

Name the … – Name the teddy, bunny or bear. Whatever it is you choose, tap into people’s competitive nature with a simple guessing game. Charge per entry and provide a percentage of the money raised as a prize or try to get one donated.

New Year’s Eve dance/party – Avoid a night of queuing and host your own New Year’s Eve party. The best thing about it? You get to control both the music and the guestlist. Charge your guests cheaper than the local pub for entry and then donate the fee.

Office Collection Day / Office Fundraising – Short of time but eager to make a difference? Then fundraising in the office could be the right activity for you. Charity fundraising activities for the office could include bake sales, an office Olympics, a dress-down day or perhaps take breakfast orders and set-up your own tea trolley. A morning coffee could make your colleagues more than happy to sponsor you!

Open Garden / Day – If your garden is in full bloom or you have a house with a colourful history, why not open your doors for an entry fee and host an open house. With the kitchen close by, it will be easy to raise extra funds by offering refreshments and a great way to meet the neighbours!

Pamper Day – It’s likely your friends love a bit of pampering, so why not plan a day that offers the break people need..

Pancake race / Pancake Day / Shrove Tuesday – Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day. We don’t mind what you call it as long as you flip for us.

Quiz night – The pub, village hall, local sports centre and your best mate’s garden are all venues suitable for hosting a quiz. Decide what’s the best option (and available) to you and get working on those questions. Will the theme change by rounds or will your quiz be more niche, with all questions specific to a particular band, film or book? You host the night and guests pay to play. Simple… but the questions might not be.

Quintessentially British Day – Bunting, tea and corgis are just a few things that spring to mind. Perhaps for you it’s afternoon tea, Marmite or maybe a Sunday roast and Stephen Fry? Whatever springs to mind, why not put on a celebration of all things quintessentially British. You can charge entry and raise funds for charity with tombolas and bake sales.

Raffle – A raffle is great to have at a charity fundraising event. Just charge a fee for tickets and the winner gets a prize. This could also work as a standalone fundraising activity.

Running – Join an organised event or set your own challenge. Couch to 5k, 10k or a marathon!

Sweepstakes – Want a way to fundraise for charity fast? A sweepstake could be the perfect way for you to raise money. You have 1 question, for example, ‘How many sweets in the jar?’ and people pay to be given an answer. Whoever has the winning answer gets a prize,  while you donate the money raised.

Skydiving – Our supporters are brave. Despite the obvious fear factor, skydives are one of our most popular fundraising activities so join our dedicated fundraisers, get in touch and start organising your skydive today.

Sponsored Silence – If you’re a chatterbox who finds being quiet a challenge, then perhaps you could raise funds with a sponsored silence. Just remember, don’t be quiet about the cause and your fundraising before or after the event!!

Tea party – A good cup of tea can change your mood. We drink it when we’re sad, we drink it when we’re happy, so why not drink it to support good mental health.

Tuck shop – If you’re the type of person who causes your colleagues to get lunchbox envy, then it’s time to set up shop. Grab yourself some simple budget recipes and cook up something cheap. Your colleagues can grab some grub for a budget price while getting the chance to support a good cause.

University Challenge – Challenge your University pals to a competition, to see who comes out on top. It could be a ‘University Challenge’ style quiz or maybe even a race through town. Remember to speak to your student union who will likely be happy to help you organise (particularly in RAG week).

Uniform free day – Whilst best avoided if you are a fireman, a uniform free day is a great way to raise funds at school, or let your office relax a little with a dress-down dress code. Swapping your usual uniform for fancy dress could help you raise even more money.

Valentine’s Day – Lots of single friends and a skill for matchmaking? Then why not organise a single’s event? You could organise a speed-dating evening or even a full-blown Valentine’s ball. The best part is that even if nobody gets a love match, everyone can go home happy knowing they have supported such a great charity. Alternatively, why not bake some love themed goodies for the office or throw an alternative Valentine’s Day event? Whether its fitness or food, make the theme ‘what you love’ and ask for donations from friends who attend.

Vintage – Got enough vintage shirts to set up your own stall? Got an eye for finding furniture gems online and at car boots? Why not organise your own vintage sale and donate the proceeds? If you don’t have enough time to organise your own stall, why not organise a vintage clothes swap? People pay a small fee for entry and you can raise funds on the day with activities and bake sales.

Walk – Where and how far will you walk? Will it be the South West Coastal Path or 5km blindfolded? Whether you walk in your onesie or make your way from John O’Groats to Lands’ End, walk with purpose and raised funds for SWOP.

Wax It – It’s a classic charity fundraising technique that provides an interesting insight into how much your friends are willing to pay to hear you shout ‘ouch!’. A packet of wax strips (and maybe some aloe vera) is all you need to raise money with a wax off.

Wear It – People like to laugh, so give them an incentive to sponsor you by letting them nominate what you wear.

Xbox / Playstation / Console Night – We hope you’re sitting comfortably because a charity gaming fundraiser could leave you up all night. Make this gaming session one that matters by inviting people to play for a donation to SWOP.

Year to Remember – What’s the most memorable year of your life? Why not make it this year, for all the right reasons. What could you do for a year to make a difference? Doing something for 365 days shows ultimate dedication and is a sure way to encourage people to sponsor you. But what to do? How about walking dogs every day for a year and donating the money you make? Or how about giving something up for a whole year?

Zumba – You can do it with the girls or go boys only. You can do it in water and wearing a specific colour or fancy dress. Just get ready to feel the rhythm and raise some funds?

Zip Wire – Adrenaline junkie or willing to face a fear? There’s zip wires up and down the country and all offer a different experience. So do your research and find the challenge that is right for you (and most likely to encourage friends to sponsor you!).