10 Best Fundraising Challenges

You might be reading this because you need to raise some money, or because you fancy doing a challenge and want to do it for a good cause. Either way, you’ve come to the right place! Here at Fundraising Expert, we’ve got plenty of tips on taking part in fundraising challenges as well as inspiration on what types of challenges to get involved in.

Fundraising challenge ideas

There are plenty of examples of people who have taken on a challenge and raised a lot of money for their chosen charity. Our favourites include the trio from Liberty Specialty Markets who raised over £6,000 doing the London Marathon, and Walk the Walk’s Moon Walk event that has made a whopping £7M for Breast Cancer Causes since it started. 

Before you can write about your own success story though, you’ll need to pick out a fundraising challenge of your own. There are also many charities holding challenge events throughout the year.

While you may have already chosen one of these challenges or have one in mind - we’ve put together a list of our ten favourite fundraising challenges to help get your creative juices flowing. 

2. Animal Themed Runs

Sponsored runs are very popular fundraising challenges- but how about giving one a theme? Get some inspiration from the Great Gorilla Run which saw hundreds of people pelting their way across Tower Bridge dressed as gorillas! Bill Oddie was the patron of the event, and they awarded prizes such as the best-dressed gorilla. If you can talk your own local celebrity into getting involved, you may be surprised at how much money you can make!

3. A Fundraising Prank

This novelty idea involves you getting people to secretly sponsor you to do something a bit cheeky (but not on the wrong side of the law, of course). It could involve you performing a silly dance in public or making some sort of viral video where you go around pranking people on your local high street.

4. An Ordinary Challenge - With a Kick!

Have a challenge in mind but want to make it more interesting? Try spicing it up by adding your own spin to it. Do a sponsored silence but do it hanging upside down, try a sponsored sleep out but sleep in a different garden every night or take part in a sponsored run while carrying a heavy item.

5. Cycling Challenges

There are so many cycling challenges to choose from- both here and abroad. They’ll usually involve you cycling a certain distance or for a certain time and raising donations for your efforts.  If you’re feeling ambitious, we particularly love the Death Valley Cycle and the Kilimanjaro to Ngoronogoro Crater Cycle. Time Out Doors have got a full list of charity cycling events by location, length and difficulty. 

6. Sledding Challenges

A sledding challenge is the perfect kind of challenge for extreme adventurers- and those scaredy-cats who hate the cold! Drive a team of huskies over 200km, care for the dogs and set up your own campsite. Can you think of someone who would never in a million years do this? Ask them - and watch the pounds roll in as others celebrate your idea by donating to your cause.

7.   White Water Rafting Challenges

Another one for adrenaline junkies, white water rafting challenges involve an exhilarating day of shooting down white water rapids and they’re a great way to fundraise as a team. Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland run an annual white water rafting challenge along the rapids of the River Tay.

8.    Corporate Challenges

Do something to raise money with your team at work that gets all your colleagues involved and raises money for your chosen charity of the year. It could be a walking or nutrition challenge that promotes healthy living or a challenge unique to your workplace that you come up with yourselves.

9.     Boxing Day Swims

These are very popular, and there are a whole host of Boxing Day swims to take part in around the UK - from a safe bet at London Fields Lido in Hackney to a completely insane North Sea swim in Sunderland. Rough Guides have got a great list of options. To increase sponsorship money emphasise the reason for your Boing Day dip - but also the conditions of your challenge. The met office data will tell you the temperature of the water and the weather conditions for the day.

10.     Street Art Challenge

A great challenge for the whole community to get involved in is a street art festival. Providing you have permission to do so, designate a street and get the public to pay a small fee to add their own contribution in chalk on the pavement or to murals on the walls. Brockley Street Art Festival is a great example. 

11.   The Muddy Dog Challenge

This one is perfect for any pet lovers out there! Run by Battersea Dogs Home, the Muddy Dog Challenge dares you to take part in a sponsored obstacle course- with your pooch in tow, of course!

Making sure your fundraising challenge is successful

A challenge event is what it says on the tin, and they can be a great thing to do to raise money and awareness for a good cause. However, you might feel raising money is hard, not many people are giving and you’re far away from your target amount. Here’s how you can make the most of out your fundraising challenge.

  1. Promote your challenge before and after the event

Taking part in a fundraising challenge is a big deal, and you need to put this across to potential sponsors. Make them realise how hard the challenge will be and how it is a personal sacrifice. Why not think about doing a training blog or updating your social media daily about your training and challenge progress? The more you can do to communicate the cost to you and why your cause deserves it, the better!

        2. Be intentional about who you contact

Before you do anything, write down a list of everyone you know that you think would be interested in sponsoring your challenge. If you’re doing it for a sports club, school or church, make sure you reach out to members by getting their details off your organisation’s database or by asking for them at your next meeting.

        3. Help others share your passion by saying why you’re doing the challenge

Decide how to describe what you are raising money for, set a target and ask people to donate. Ask once in a mass email or Facebook post, then ask personally a few weeks later before reminding people in person again a few weeks after that. The biggest mistake people make is to not ask personally- why should people give to you if you can’t be bothered, or are too scared, to ask them face to face?

You should also make use of all other media avenues that your cause provides such as posters in venues and announcements in newsletters.

       4. Make it personal!

Everyone loves a bit of personalisation so why not do something personal for your supporters? Taking a leaf out of the crowdfunding book, think of a personal perk for your sponsors such as giving away the shirt you complete your challenge in to the first person to raise £1000, or giving each supporter a personalised t-shirt to wear at the event.

If you’re hungry for more fundraising advice, make sure you check out our easyfundraising Beginners Guide to Fundraising. You can also have a browse of our Ideas and Inspiration section where you’ll find even more ways to raise money for fantastic causes.

You may also enjoy reading:

The Ultimate Ideas for Online Fundraising

Fun Fundraising Ideas

Fundraising Events Guaranteed to be Winners for your Cause

Fundraising Expert

Fundraising Expert is a driving force for effective fundraising and increasing donations. Helping you raise more!
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