Fundraising events are a fantastic way to bring in new supporters, build loyalty with existing ones and raise funds. Here are 10 of the big charity events taking place this year.
1. The London Marathon
The big one: this year’s marathon takes place on 24th April with the title sponsor Virgin Money. Other sponsors include Buxton, Adidas, Abbot, and Lucozade Sport, and the event’s charity of the year is NSPCC.
Under the Golden Bond scheme, charities can buy places for £300 each and runners who take one of these places pledge to raise a four-figure sum. The Multiple Sclerosis Society for example asks runners to raise at least £2000 and pay a £50 entry fee, while Breast Cancer Care asks a minimum sponsorship of £1,750, including a £50 entry fee. This scheme now includes more than 750 British charities with a total of 15,000 guaranteed places. There is also a Silver Bond scheme which guarantees one entry place every five years. Would-be runners for charity can search for charities with places through the London Marathon site.
2. British Heart Foundation treks
The British Heart Foundation is running four 100km treks this year. Participants can choose from London to Oxford in May, London to Brighton in June, and London to Southend or Glasgow to Edinburgh in July. The walks also offer 50k options. Signing up costs £50 for the 100k walks, and £30 for the shorter options, and participants are asked to raise a minimum of £250.
3. Help for Heroes’ Bake for Heroes
Bake for Heroes asks people to organise a baking event to raise funds for Help for Heroes by making and selling cakes, biscuits and the like between 16th April and 2nd May or on a convenient date to raise funds for Help for Heroes. There are no rules about the size of the event or the amount raised.
4. Oxfam GB Trailwalker 2016
Trailwalker 2016 takes place 22-24 July, and challenges people to form a team of four, and walk 100km over the South Downs in 30 hours. Teams must raise £1000, and the standard team entry price is £240. Organised with the Queens Gurkha Signals, funds raised for the event are split between Oxfam and The Gurkha Welfare Trust.
5. Marie Curie Etape Caledonia
This 130km closed road bike ride takes place on 8th May, starting in Pitlochry and winding through the Scottish Highlands to raise funds for Marie Curie. An annual event since 2007, there are 5,000 places available, and competitors must pay £75 and raise at least £300. Endura and Etixx sponsor the event.
An open event, Nightrider launched in 2007 and is a 100km night bike ride organised by Classic Tours. This year it is taking place in three cities: London on 4th June, Bristol on 25th June, and Liverpool on 16th July. The London event also offers a 60k route. The rides must be completed in 10 hours. Participants have the option of paying the £99 full event cost and then raising as much sponsorship money as possible for the charity of their choice, or paying a £39 registration fee and then raising £175 minimum sponsorship for one of the Nightrider charity partners. Charities can buy a minimum of 10 places at £60 each and the event recommends setting a minimum fundraising amount of £175.
7. Yorkshire 3 Peaks Weekend for WCRF
Celebrating the charity’s 25th birthday, this weekend-long event is the charity’s first bespoke UK trek, and takes place from 24th-26th June. It challenges people to conquer the three Yorkshire peaks Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, and costs £75 to enter with a minimum sponsorship target of £600. It includes all meals from dinner on day one to breakfast on day three as well as two nights camping.
8. Macmillan Cancer Support – World’s Biggest Coffee Morning
Macmillan’s well-known flagship fundraiser takes place on 30th September this year, with the headline partner M&S and official sponsor Dualit. It asks people to bake cakes and hold a coffee morning either on this date or on a convenient one for them to raise funds for the charity. Participants have the option of holding it just for friends, colleagues and family, or posting it on the Macmillan coffee morning map and opening it up to the public. Last year, the charity’s coffee morning raised more than £25m, and has so far raised over £138 million in total for the charity.
9. Birmingham Children’s Hospital Night-time Obstacle Race
Birmingham Children’s Hospital has teamed up with Night Game Races to raise funds through this event. Armed with only a head torch to light the way, participants have to tackle fire jumps, jet-fuelled wind turbines, barbed wire, ice skips, hidden paintball snipers and more in a 10-mile challenge on a 4,000 acre plot of land. This open event will be held at Deene Park in Northamptonshire on April 16th 2016. Standard individual tickets cost £90 on the day with early bird entry currently costing £55, but fundraisers can purchase their tickets for £30 if they raise £150 or more for the Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
10. Alzheimer’s Society Midnight Challenge
Alzheimer’s Society is running three midnight mountain climbing challenges this year, offering people the chance to fundraise by climbing Snowdon on the 13th or 14th May, Mount Skiddaw in the Lake District on 18th June, or Ben Nevis on 9th July. All treks are at night, by torch and moonlight. Participants are asked to raise a minimum of £400 with an additional entry fee of £65 for Snowdonia and Mount Skiddaw, and £85 for Ben Nevis. Glowsticks are provided as well as a big breakfast at the end.