Fundraising events guaranteed to be winners for your cause

The biggest fundraisers are the best! Of all your fundraising activity, large events often contribute the biggest source of income to your charity or cause, not to mention they’re also the most amount of fun! Whilst a summer festival, or Christmas Fair may take some organising, it’s totally worth the effort, when you see the donations mounting up.

Get on board: Alternatively, and if you’re short of volunteers, you could raise just as much by joining in with one of the big, national events that stand out in everyone’s calendar. London Marathon runners often raise thousands for their chosen cause, and the Race for Life is always the largest fundraising event of the UK calendar. Scroll down for the heads up on all the top events, as well as ideas for staging your own.

It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it! As Fun Boy Three and Bananarama said so musically, what counts isn’t the nature of the event, it’s the personalisation and planning that you put behind it. Follow these tips for a successful fundraising event:

  • Set up a team to plan your event so nothing is left to chance
  • Budget! Decide how much you can spend, and how much you want to raise. Then plan your income sources – ticket sales, raffles, food and drink, etc. - to make it happen
  • Target – think about who will come to the event, and what they’ll enjoy about it. Then get the word out with great marketing – fliers, Facebook posts, newsletters and local advertising.
  • Say thank you! There’s nothing like the power of a thank you to keep people talking about your event. Let them know how much you raised, and how it will be spent. The more you engage, the more likely they are to join you again next time

Standout national charity events

  • The London Marathon
  • Race for Life
  • The Great North Run
  • London to Brighton bike ride
  • Movember
  • Go Sober for October
  • Jeans for Genes day
  • Sport Relief/Comic Relief

Sporting Events


  • London Marathon
  • Edinburgh Marathon
  • Great North Run
  • Great Birmingham Run
  • Royal Parks Half Marathon
  • South Coast Ultra Challenge
  • Half Marathons in most major cities


  • London to Brighton Bike Ride
  • Ride London
  • Nightrider


  • The Big Night Walks
  • The Moonwalk
  • Cotswold Way challenge
  • Jurassic Coast challenge
  • Wye Valley challenge


  • Swim for Survival
  • Bournemouth Pier to Pier Swim
  • 100km in 10 weeks Challenge


  • Ironman
  • AJ Bell London Triathlon
  • Castle Howard Triathlon
  • Hever Castle Triathlon
  • has a listing of all your local triathlon events

Adrenalin races:

  • Events throughout the year, all over the UK. See Tough Mudder and British Military Fitness for details and dates.

Clothing events:

  • Woolly Hat Day
  • British Heart Foundation Wear Red Day
  • Wear spots for Children in Need
  • Christmas Jumper Day

Hair events:

  • Woolly Hat Day
  • British Heart Foundation Wear Red Day

Wildlife events:

Social events:

  • Go Sober for October
  • A local Bonfire Night and fireworks

School events:

Religious events:

  • Easter
  • Pancake Day
  • Lent
  • Christmas – check out our Christmas fundraising page [INSERT LINK]

How to make your own events a roaring success

The sky’s the limit here, so go with what you know will appeal to everyone you want to involve. But before you start planning, set yourself some targets: decide what you want to do with the money; that will tell you how much money you want to raise. Then work out who you want to come along, and how you’re going to make sure they know about your event. Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Annual ball or dinner dance – a great fundraiser for a sports or social club, or a school PTA
  • Celebrity football match
  • Restaurant night – organise a big group and split the profits with a local restaurant on a quiet night
  • Seasonal events, eg. a pancake-a-thon, or Christmas carol service
  • Educational talks – for example, you could invite someone who has overcome an amputation, or who lives with Parkinson’s to give a talk. Invite questions afterwards, and hold a bar, or coffee morning to raise more funds.
  • Special events – who do you know? Add to your event by inviting the local mayor, or a celebrity to draw the raffle.

And don’t forget to make it personal. If you’re raising money for a mountain climb in Nepal, find some recipes, and hold a Nepalese night. If your local youth band needs new music stands, why not have a Battle of the Bands event?

Who do you know who needs inspiration for a fundraising event? Share this with them to boost their ideas, and funds for their cause. And check out our other links for even more great fundraising tips. And let us know in the comments below if you’ve run a brilliant event that could provide inspiration for another cause.

You may also be interested in:

The Beginners Guide to Fundraising

The Ultimate Ideas for Online Fundraising

Fundraising Expert

Fundraising Expert is a driving force for effective fundraising and increasing donations. Helping you raise more!
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram