Since we have quite a few people contacting us at UK Fundraising thinking that, because this forum discussed Charities Aid Foundation, that this site must be published by Charities Aid Foundation. It’s not. We are UK Fundraising.
If you want to contact Charities Aid Foundation now in 2015 then their details are at
How about this for an alternative to balloon releases? Release butterflies to mark or celebrate your charity’s event:
Having spent three years as a sole fundraiser myself some years ago I can testify to the value of attending training courses and meetings of other fundraisers. The Institute of Fundraising has a range of regional volunteer-run groups that put on events. Do find your local one and go along to see if they can help:
In addition, there are some good books on all kinds of fundraising, and courses – from the likes of the Institute, Directory of Social Change (www.dsc.org.uk), and other providers.
All of the main online donation platforms in the UK were set up to serve registered charities – JustGiving, Bmycharity, Virgin Money Giving, AltaContact etc. So, your only option is PayPal.
As well as ‘buy now’ buttons it offers ‘donate’ buttons too for your links. It offers charities a discounted rate, but that might apply just to registered charities. It’s worth asking though.
And on the subject of the word ‘charity’, it does have a meaning in law. So, if you are not a charity then you technically shouldn’t refer to your events as a charity event. ‘Charitable’ is fine, oddly enough. Not that I’m a lawyer…
There’s a lot of advice on this at
That site is designed for members of the public fundraising for a charity, whereas UK Fundraising is aimed at professional charity fundraisers.
I don’t believe there are any formal requirements. Just choose a date and promote it.
Of course, it’s not as simple as that. The first thing you need to ask yourself, given the endless array of charity days and weeks (every day in the year is taken up by at least one charity I believe), will you benefit from launching your own? Can you really make it stand out? You would be promoting the day, and your event? That’s probably a big challenge.
So, would another, different approach work better?
If you do go for the day, make sure there’s a clear link to your date. Quite often this is the anniversary of its foundation, or ties in with other charities’ activities e.g. breast cancer month in October.
I’d talk to some of the many charities that have created successful days. If you don’t get any responses here try CharityComms to see if they have any advice.
You hit the key issue in your first paragraph Matt. You opt for 20% as the reasonable maximum.
Knowing the different amounts of work involved in (some) grant applications and in running a major event, or in running a direct mail legacy programme and a county-wide coordination street collecting by volunteers, I’d argue you can not compare like with like.
20% of really hard, long graft might sound valid, but not for something that takes a couple of meetings and which a printer then handles for your charity.
And in terms of relative income: I’d always go for 20% of a legacy campaign, especially given legacies just keep coming in for years on end, rather than 20% of a street collection.
So, a standard 20%, or any figure, is not fair.
That’s just part of the problem with commission-based fundraising. Who gets to choose the ‘correct’ percentage? And does that percentage apply across fundraising disciplines?
Your point about this money being something “which we would not otherwise have received”. £16m is wonderful. How about if it were £15m, with a little more going to the fundraiser or agent? £14m? £13m still sounds good to me. £10m is still a magnificent sum for many charities. But where is the right level?
I think you’d find that you, I, and other professional fundraisers might differ on that. And I can almost guarantee that our collected views would differ from those of very many donors.
That’s why I think the ‘one size fits all’ approach does apply: commission-based fundraising can not be structured to apply fairly, so should be avoided.
Will that stop people doing it? No, of course not. I think the IoF’s approach of recommending it be avoided is the best in the situation.
The wording seems clear to me, but it’s only as good as how well it would stand up in court, should it ever come to that.
I’m loath to suggest it, given the income from this method of fundraising might not be too large, but you probably need to run this past a solicitor to be absolutely sure. Maybe you or your trustees have a contact who might do this for free.
Alternatively search for pro bono solicitors who might do this at no charge to your charity.
That said, how would you insert that additional sentence? Surely your supporter is buying the patters from a provider online. Is your supporter hoping the provider will change the terms of their sales with this wording? If not, then your supporter has to stick to the current terms.
I’ve no experience of running that kind of event, but it strikes me that it makes sense to promote the opportunity at more than one event. Can you promote it elsewhere? Physical events? On your website? Via email, social media, in the local press etc?
No matter how good the opportunity, you might have difficulty standing out amongst those other stands.
Ideally you’d be able to promote it before the country fair and after it as well. Just wondering how badly things could turn out if it rained, if that were your only opportunity.
You can have online non-events too. Last month the Digital Death campaign raised $950,000 in this way.
The campaign was based on the idea of celebrities forsaking their social media presences until their fans contributed $1 million.
Ah yes, the non-event event. Yes, we’ve certainly featured that kind of fundraising idea before on UK Fundraising but I just can’t lay my hands on it now 🙂
Maybe it had a different name, like no-show fundraising event?. Anyway, the estimable Marc A Pitman featured a guest blog post on this in 2006 at
Here’s an example of a non-event in the USA last August to which Lady Gaga was not coming:
Here’s someone on JustGiving doing a non-event:
And some more advice at:
Anyone run an event like this who’d like to share the lessons they learned?
Twitter has delivered.
Rob Cope of Remember a Charity replied suggesting this:
Thanks Heidi. I’m not sure. In addition to the fine WillAid and the work of Remember a Charity, I see occasional mentions of a National Will Writing Week (or month) but can’t find any relevant web links for one.
Have asked via Twitter and will share any results I receive.
I’d certainly have a look at the free-to-download Event Fundraising code of practice from the Institute of Fundraising. It might not refer specifically to paraglides but should help you cover all the key issues and requirements.
I’ve been using http://www.eventbrite.com to handle ticket sales and event management for all of UK Fundraising’s training courses for nearly two years. I find it very low cost, reliable, and easy to use. Plus it is well integrated with social media tools allowing you the event manager plus your delegates/ticket buyers to promote the event further to their contacts.
A few months ago it announced a ‘4good’ charity system that offers charities, including UK charities (I asked!), a good deal.
There are plenty of alternatives, but I’ll be sticking with this service.
I wonder if the top three words are linked in some way:
If we rely on the all-new, magic solution of the “big society”, we might end up with a double dip recession (or worse). And all this praise for the Emperor’s New Clothes concept that is Big Society (you might know that I prefer the shorthand ‘BS’ for it), means the words have begun to grate on my ears, much like a vuvuzela.
I’m confused as to what kind of advice you’re asking for. You title suggests you want advice on how to promote an event, but the text asks for tips on what you can do in order to raise more funds.
That’s a lot of advice. Have you tried getting hold of some of the books on event fundraising? If you can get them from the library you won’t need to pay. Try
Tried and Tested Ideas: For Local Fundraising Events
The Event Manager’s Bible: The Complete Guide to Planning and Organising a Voluntary or Public Event
They should answer most of your questions and give you some ideas, I’d hope.
I’d suggest that you become a member of the Institute of Fundraising:
They provide useful information, training, professional development, and networking opportunities. There are a network of local/regional groups of members who get together to share ideas and advice, and there are similar groups focusing on particular fundraising disciplines.
I’ve been a member since 1989 and think membership is very good value.
I used to write those letters while I was at Amnesty International UK in the 1990s, and can remember we secured several donations as a result.
I don’t have any of the letters to hand I’m afraid. I can however remember being very careful to craft each letter. It was much easier writing to solicitors acting as executors, as it was not always clear the relationship that some executors had with the deceased.
I always checked to see if the deceased was an Amnesty member or donor, to see if we could demonstrate an interest and commitment from the deceased.
There were certainly quite a few discretionary legacies that I didn’t pursue because I couldn’t see a link with the deceased or couldn’t be sure I’d get the tone right with the recipient executor.
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