Fundraising can be so much fun and is a fantastic way to help raise a little extra cash to develop and support your garden project. Fundraising has changed over the years- bag packing in your local supermarket has long gone with a bag charge in place and so we’ve drawn up a list of fun but up to date ideas that will help you get the ball rolling.
A garage sale or car boot sale
Buying things second hand has never been more popular with industry giants like Amazon and Ebay around- saying that garage sales and car boot sales are still hugely popular in the UK. You can usually find one happening not too far away on a Saturday, Sunday or bank holiday Monday and a stand place is generally maximum £10, anything after that is profit!
If you decide to hold a car boot or garage sale, make sure you have something to display the goods in/on. Tables, boxes, sheets and clothes rails are a must so that people can rummage through.
So rally your neighbours together and have a spring clean of your home, sheds and gardens - as the saying goes “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure”.
Hold a quiz evening
This is a fundraiser activity that can encompass a range of people and something that many won’t tire off! The audience that you want to attract will influence the venue choice and questions. For example, if you are targeting the evening towards students, you can hold the event at a school/ university, adults in a pub or a community centre which is where you could also hold a family quiz night. It’s likely that in this case the room would either be free or very cheap and so if you charge £3 a head you can raise a respectable amount of money for your garden.
Also think about the theme of the questions – popular TV shows and movies can attract big crowds, for example Friends, Harry Potter and Disney.
National Awareness Days
Charities often use National Awareness days to raise awareness of important humanitarian, cultural, political and social issues. Events can be held around these days, to not only raise awareness, but collect money. There are also National days, these are dates in the calendar that many people celebrate at the same time (depending on their religion), for example Valentine’s Day and Pancake Day.
They can be serious but also really fun… for example Family Learning Festival Day is the 1st of October. What a great opportunity to tag onto a national event and organise your own family learning day. Rally in friends, family and people in the area; see what games and activities you can conjure up and hold an event at a local free function room, charging a small fee per head you’re certain to raise some money.
Do you know of some adrenaline junkies or sporty people? If you do, ask them if they will complete their challenge whether that be a marathon, bike ride or sky dive in aid of your garden. People can be really generous depending on the activity and charitable cause, and often a local organisation can encourage people to dig deeper. So if you know of someone, pitch the idea to them, explain what you would be spending the money on, and how you would support them – standing at the finish line cheering is one way!
Classic car wash – it’s nearly 2019 and we’re not flying around in space ships yet so take advantage of this and hold a car washing event! If you let people know in advance, you’re likely to have a queue of cars as most people get satisfaction from donating to charity and so to get a clean car in return is a bonus! Speak with your local community centre, church, school or village hall and see whether it would be okay to use their car park for a day, after that all you will need is a water supply, bubbles, buckets, sponges and man power! For an outside clean £5 is a suitable amount to charge.
Holding your own market event
Markets or buy and sell events are still very popular. First start by contacting any local retailers to see if they would be interested in being involved – this can include anyone with a business in the area, not just local boutiques. For example, gyms, restaurants, artists, crafters, clothes shops - local and chains. With your team you can either agree on a stand rate for the traders, or charge people an entry free (£2 seems reasonable). Again, see if you can get your venue for free, or for a minimal fee.
You may need to organise this fundraising event well in advance to be sure you have enough produce to sell. You can take cuttings from plants both in the community/school garden and the gardens of families, friends and volunteers (always ask their permission though). With a date in mind (perhaps the start of Summer) grow on your plants in recycled tubs ready to sell. Garden centres can also be a great asset – approach them for their waste. Every week, plastic tubs and unsalable plants get thrown out but with the right care you may be able to salvage these plants for your event, or take cuttings from them.
Open gardens event
These are just great – and they are holding them all over the UK (generally from the end of Spring until the end of Summer). Essentially people that look after their well sculptured back gardens, open them to the public (in aid of a good cause) and people can go wonder around them for a small fee. If there’s already an Open Gardens event happening in your area (click this link to see if there is), with the right persuasion skills you may be able to encourage them to raise money for your community or school garden. On the other hand, if there isn’t one – rally round the people in your area at the beginning of the year and see who would be interested in being involved.
Non uniform day
It does what it says on the tin, a simple yet effective fund raiser – a non-uniform day. All the people that tend to the garden can encourage their place of work to get involved, schools are also a great asset to with the amount of people taking part at once. It’s easy to organise and can take place a handful of times throughout the year. We would recommend only charging about a £1 per person.
This fundraiser is good to foresee a constant flow of funds for the garden. It may require some persuasion and planning, as you will more than likely have to prepare a document highlighting the benefits of a local business sponsoring a school or community garden. Or in some cases a local business may sponsor a tree in the area for example and have a plaque with the company’s details on .The plaque acts as a form of advertisement and so is beneficial to them. Depending on the area, the relationship and the benefits you can offer, £10 a month is reasonable.
“Have a go” exercise sessions
Holding one off, or sponsored exercise sessions, are a fun, healthy and easy way to raise money for your garden. If you have a friend, family or neighbour that can teach spinning, Zumba or hot yoga for example, ask them if they will teach a session for free in aid of your garden. The great thing is, these sessions can often be held in a village, community hall or sometimes even a leisure centre for a minimal cost. Charging £5 a head is a reasonable cost.
Host a dinner party
Don’t just host any dinner party – host a home grown produce dinner party! Preparing in advance for this event is crucial – the more in advance you are, the more vegetables, herbs and fruit you are likely to have. Ask your friends, family and gardeners to donate some of their home grown produce, and cook up a storm. Again this could be in a house, or community hall. Charging £10 for a main and desert is very reasonable and if most the ingredients are donated or grown you should be able to make a considerable amount for you garden.