Nick Daws suggests 12 thoughtful Christmas gifts for older people, ranging from tech gadgets to…Read More →
As part of my job, I co-ordinate the charity events in my office. The aim is to collect a small amount of money each month for a cause (chosen by one of my colleagues) in order to make a difference with as many charities as possible. It engages my colleagues, and helps us to give something back, and support people in need. In the next few months, we are supporting three national events: the Macmillan Coffee Morning, Children in Need and Christmas Jumper Day. I thought it would be good to share some of the fund raising ideas we run in our office to inspire you to get involved and support a great charity (if you’re not doing so already). I promise you, there’s not a bath full of baked beans in sight!
Dress down or dress up – Our office has a dress code of business attire Monday – Friday, and people are more than happy to pay £1 to wear their jeans for the day. If the people in your office are a bit more daring, you might suggest a fancy dress theme – perhaps a pyjama day, a superhero theme, or a We Love the 80’s extravaganza? I often have to reassure people that it’s not compulsory, otherwise they worry they’ll have to get the leg warmers out even if they’re embarrassed! Some people, however, will need to be reminded that they sadly can’t wear their pjs every day going forward!
Football card – also known as bingo card, domino card, lottery card etc. You can pick these up fairly cheaply online or make one yourself. You have a grid of football teams (or something that people can choose between) and they buy a square for £1-£2. We usually sell the squares for £1 each and split the money 50/50 between the winner and the charity – so an 80 square card yields £40 for the winner and £40 for the charity. If I make one myself, I number the squares then use a random number generator to pick the winner (with a witness present, of course!).
Bake Sale – Send out a request (with plenty of notice) asking for volunteers to donate baked goods to your stall. There will be people in your office who make a mean quiche or could produce cupcakes that would put Mary Berry to shame – they’ll love the opportunity to show off their culinary skills. We always keep our pricing simple – £1 per item (50p for smaller items) and we clearly label the dishes to avoid confusion. You may want to add a bit of occasion to it by staging a bake off style competition, where a panel of judges taste each entry and award a small prize to the winner.
Quizzes – Now, due to easy Google access, this one becomes quite difficult (as people will cheat!). Some of the charities will provide a free quiz for you on their website, or you can write your own. If you’re running with a theme, you could write a quiz based around that – and have different rounds to give everyone a fighting chance. It’s always fun to include a picture round, a sports round, a music round, and a general knowledge round – but really it’s up to your imagination. You could make some of the questions impossible to Google, such as ‘What was the first record John from Sales bought?’ or ‘Who did Alex from Training go to see Jurassic Park with?’ Encourage some networking while making some cash!
Team Events – I work in a call centre environment, where people sit on long desks (lovingly referred to as pods) which people enjoy decorating. Again, you could give a theme (last Christmas, we did Christmas Movies – no one picked Die Hard, unfortunately) and the teams could make a small donation to the chosen charity to take part. This will allow your most creative people the chance to shine, and gives the office a fun atmosphere for your charity event.
Raffle/Tombola – My mum (who has done work for Save the Children since the 70s) always says ‘if you have a group of people getting together, run a raffle.’ She ran a raffle at her wedding – I’m not even joking! Again, go out to your office (with plenty of notice) and ask for unwanted gifts or prizes. Raffle books cost about £1, so just about every ticket you sell will be profit. Another tip is to ask your office if they can donate any prizes – some large companies have items set aside for such events.
Sponsorship – The whole office can get behind supporting someone (or a group) who is doing something amazing. It may be a marathon, shaving their head, being silent for a day, or singing for 10 hours straight (like a crazy friend of mine did for the Butterwick Hospice). They (or you, if you’re being brave) can either print off some sponsorship forms or set up online sponsorship (through pages like JustGiving) and promote the heck out of it to raise as much as you can!
My top tip is, whatever you’re organising, keep it visible. Put up posters, send out emails, mention it in meetings, and always do a reminder the day before so people don’t forget their money.
And if anyone offers to help you – snap their hand off! It’s very tiring but totally worth it!
Uber-geek and tv addict. Keen writer and professional trainer in the financial sector. Rubbish at maths