Nobody’s good at everything…. but everybody’s good at something.
Whatever your personal talent may be, there’s a way to use it to fundraise for Lyme disease research and have fun – or achieve a personal goal – at the same time.
Scroll down to find some ideas that fit your talents….
Before you start organising your event, please read our Fundraising checklist to make sure you don’t skip any important steps in the preparations!
What’s your secret super power?
Your personal challenge
Have you always dreamed of reaching the summit of Mount Snowdon? Are you the next Ironman triathlete? Fancy entering a marathon on your trusty bicycle? Sports challenges are a time-honoured way of fundraising for charity, and you can get as much satisfaction from achieving a personal goal as from knowing you have raised money for Lyme disease research.
You can either enter an organised event, or design your own challenge. Make it something fun to describe! For example, you could follow a heritage path used by smugglers, an old Roman road or maybe a historic pilgrimage route. Think about the date for your challenge too: could you choose a significant anniversary connected with your route?
Visit these sites for some inspiration:
One you have chosen your fundraising challenge, Contact us via our Fundraising checklist page to let us know. We can guide you through the process of publicising the event and raising awareness of Lyme disease, and collecting sponsorship.
If running is seriously your thing, contact us to find out about marathons you can enrol for. Our highly impressive group of first-time marathon runners ran for Lyme disease for the first time ever in the UK, at the Brighton and London marathons in 2018.
You don’t necessarily need an organised event, though, just you and your challenge. Where will your run take you? Choose an interesting route that will be fun to describe when you’re asking for sponsorship, and remember to calculate the distance. You could do your run with a group of friends to make it more fun.
Keep fit “Marathon”
If you’re a Zumba champion, a Yogi, or a Boxercise babe, why not run a special not-for-profit class in aid of Caudwell LymeCo’s research fund?
Advertise in your local hairdresser’s, school and chippie, and challenge your fitness fanatics to last through to the end of the class – or offer a prize for whoever can keep going the longest. Your pupils will have the benefit of improving their own health, while having the satisfaction of knowing they’ve made a difference to others whose health has been stolen by Lyme disease.
Please Contact us if you want to advertise your event using our Lyme disease information flyers co-branded with your own fitness facilities.
Football match or 5-a-side friendly
How to make a difference in just 90 minutes! Organise a football match in the local park, or even a 5-a-side if numbers are small. You can raise funds by charging a player fee, and let spectators donate to take part in a penalty shootout at the end of the match.
A lot of companies encourage their employees to play mini sports tournaments, as a way of keeping fit and blowing off some stress while getting to know colleagues better.
Why not ask your manager if you can use some space at work to recruit players, plan a sports championship, and keep the scores updated on a notice board? You can raise money through entrance fees, sweepstakes and bets on which teams will win, and even by selling tickets to family and friends to watch the finals. Recruit the company’s best cooks to organise a bake sale to keep everyone well fed at the event.
Don’t forget to make sure your notice board shares some information on the cause you are supporting; print and display some information leaflets about Lyme disease and Caudwell LymeCo Charity.
Declare war against the bull’s eye rash, and set your sights on the real bulls-eye to raise funds for vital research into Lyme disease.
You could organise a serious game by charging an entry fee to raise funds, or design a fun tournament and set challenges like throwing whilst on one leg, with a charge per throw. If you know a local darts champion, why not persuade them to pit their skills against optimistic challengers for a fee?
Family sports day
Ask a local school to let you set up a family fun sports day in aid of Caudwell LymeCo research, with events for children, adults and whole families. If the school needs persuading and you need help with organising, you can offer to divide all the donations 50-50 with the school’s Parent-Teacher Association, which may be all you need to recruit a small army of extra volunteers.
You can charge an entrance fee, special donations for challenges with prizes, and remember to invite friends to bring refreshments and snacks to sell to raise extra funds. Apart from the classic three-legged races, sack races and tugs of war, organise a few serious events as well. Make it memorable with some more unusual events. You could set up an obstacle course – include a tyre swing or even a mud pit. You could have a separate course for children and adults to make the day a family friendly affair. You could even create some “It’s a Knockout” events with giant shoes, ridiculous costumes or silly contraptions.
You can reach out to local sports shops and ask them to donate or lend equipment, or even sponsor the event with a donation.
Remember that awareness of tick bites and Lyme disease is important at events like these. Ticks may be present on mown grass as well as wild areas. Print some of our “Tick Bite First Aid” or other information leaflets to distribute, or Contact us if you require larger numbers of ready printed ones.
Be sure to contact the local press before the event, asking them to help you publicise it and remember to send them a free ticket to attend.
There’s nothing like charity fundraising to justify a bit of blatant showing off. Do you know how to wow your fans with a sponsored abseil?
This is an ideal way to combine fundraising with publicity for the very worthy cause of Lyme disease research. Whether it’s off the side of your local town hall or the side of a sheer cliff face, make you’re sure noticed by alerting the local press before your event. Contact us if you need help with doing this. Remember that 20% of the donations for sponsored stunts are given after the event, so be sure to get your MyDonate page advertised in the newspaper.
Is this all sounding rather exhausting? Do you live life at a slightly slower pace?
Where and how far will you walk to fight Lyme disease? You could walk 5 miles, you could walk blindfolded, you could walk a famous local route or you could do all of the above dressed as a giant tick. The important aim is to beat Lyme disease. So whether you head to your local shopping centre or make your way from John O’Groats to Lands’ End, walk with purpose and become a Caudwell LymeCo fundraiser.
“I have to eat this slice of cake, it’s in aid of charity” is an excuse that works every time.
Don’t be shy about your talents! If you know how to cook, then you can bake your way to fundraising success. You could set up a bake sale at work, at school or at a club you go to. Be sure to find out about any allergies or special dietary needs first, to maximise sales and avoid making anyone ill!
You can be creative with where you sell. What about setting up a coffee stall in the GP’s packed waiting room when everyone goes for their annual flu jab? Or asking a local school if you can sell snacks for charity at their parents’ evening? Maybe the vicar would let you sell treats in the church hall to raise money for Lyme disease research after church one Sunday? If your bake sale goes well, you could make it a monthly event.
Afternoon tea party
There’s nothing like a proper afternoon tea with cupcakes, scones and cucumber sandwiches. You could host your event at work, at home in the garden or even at a local venue. Enlist some help to prepare the food.
Remember to set a minimum donation amount, and print some Group event Gift Aid forms from our Fundraising checklist page if you will be taking donations as cash or cheques. You can include some extra fundraising ideas after tea-time, like a mini raffle or a sweepstake on “Guess the calories in the chocolate cake”.
You can host a charity dinner party to support Caudwell LymeCo all year round, either on its own or as an add-on to another event. A dinner party can be adapted to appeal to most people and the menu doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy.
A great way to get your friends feeling enthusiastic is to pick a theme. You could serve a tasty meal that’s all in lime green, or use your menu to celebrate a nation, like an Italian style dinner or a Mexican feast. A retro-themed dinner party could give you an excuse to dig out the old fondue set. You could choose a favourite movie and plan your theme around that with food, music and accessories. Murder mystery dinners are ideal for groups of friends who see each other regularly, and you can dowload free games for these from various websites. The seasons always offer great inspiration, ranging from barbecue parties to an “Autumn harvest” dinner.
Do your colleagues get “lunchbox envy” every time you reveal your meal?
Then it’s time to set up shop. Either bring in a big dish and sell portions for lunch, or cook up some sweets and treats to sell as snacks for tea time. Be sure to tell everyone in advance, so they can leave their dry sandwiches at home! Your colleagues can enjoy a feast while helping you fundraise for our Lyme disease research fund.
We hope you’re sitting comfortably, because a gaming fundraiser could leave you up all night! A 24-hour or endurance gaming session is the newest fundraising trend and this fun activity has already started setting new records for the sums of money it can raise.
Make this gaming session one that matters by inviting people to play for a donation to Lyme disease Research. You could raise sponsorship for your participation, and organise a sweepstake on who will win the game or last the longest.
Set a new record
Setting a new record can sometimes be an easy way to raise money for charity and gain publicity for it, at the same time as having fun!
Not everyone in the Guiness Book of records has extraordinary sporting prowess or some other unique talent. A lot of the most entertaining world records are batty ideas that someone thought of first. World’s largest Yorkshire lardy cake? World’s biggest gathering of people with green hair? Your easiest chance of setting a new record will be to think of something brand new.
Browse the Guiness World Records website to check if your idea has been done and to find out how to get an adjudicater to validate your record as official.
Visit: Guinness World Records
Visit our fundraising resource centre to learn how to write a press release about your challenge, and how to optimise your crowdfunding page.
Read our tutorial: How to write a press release about your fundraising event
Read our tutorial: How to make your caudwell LymeCo crowdfunding page go viral
Beard or head shaving
You may love your fluffy face, but what does everyone else think? Would they pay good money to the Caudwell LymeCo research fund to see it go?
The head shave is another classic fundraising challenge.
To publicise what you are doing and raise awareness of Lyme disease, you could dye your hair or beard a flattering shade of lime green first, or even get an eye-catching style for a week before the big chop.
Make sure your bold move gets the recognition it deserves by auctioning off the honour of being the Head Shaver, and set up an official Caudwell LymeCo crowdfunding page online to collect donations.
How many crackers can you eat without water? How about insects? When it comes to food, there are lots of challenges to set, particularly for fans of ‘I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!’
You can raise money with entry fees, or tie an eating competition into a larger event. Breaking records, or setting new records, could help you gain press coverage and increase your fundraising.
Give up a bad habit
Are you dangerously addicted to crisps? Do you bite your nails? Do you need to give up alcohol, smoking, watching reality TV or eating Creme eggs? If you have a habit you need to kick, you can do it while fundraising for vital research into Lyme disease.
If your habit is costly, why not donate the money you save? Or if your habit causes more frustration to others than yourself, why not have people sponsor you? Appoint a referee to make sure you are sticking to the rules, and visit our Fundraising checklist page to find out how to set up a Caudwell LymeCo official crowdfunding page for donations.
Fancy dress needn’t just be for Hallowe’en. It’s a great way to raise money any time of year.
If you’re the boss, why not have your staff come to work in fancy-dress and ask them to pay a small donation for the day? You can let your colleagues cast votes on the costume you have to wear for the day. They can pay a fee to vote, which will go towards funding vital research.
If a full costume is a step too far, you could have a “Wear Lime Green Day” for Lyme disease awareness, or even a “Green Wig Day”.
Please contact us if you would like to order some Caudwell LymeCo branded clothing – or co-branded items – for the day.
Face painting competition
Not got the time or resource to organise your own fête or street party? Then why not get involved in one which is already taking place and offer your services as a face painter?
Most events will be happy to have you. No fêtes near you, no fear. Face-painting isn’t just for the kids. You could ask your local nightspot if they’re hosting any themed nights that face painting would be appropriate for.
If your hobby is making jewellery, you can sell to raise money for Caudwell LymeCo at craft fairs or even with a sale event at home. Jewellery sales at home combine well with charity tea parties or cheese and wine parties. Jewellery usually sells well if you offer matching sets, and try to time your sales events before major holidays like Christmas or Valentines Day.
Why not teach your friends by putting on a ‘make-your-own’ craft session as well? Lots of ladies are very happy with a truly personal item of jewellery that they made themselves. Jewellery making is also fun for children in school holidays. If you browse charity shops for old necklaces to recycle, you may save a small fortune on beads and materials.
Like jewellery making, sewing is a talent you can put to good use both by selling what you make, or teaching others. Scour your local craft market listings to hire a stall or host a sale at home.
You can offer themed lessons on making a specific item, how to use a sewing machine, making a soft toy or emergency clothing alterations and repairs! Ask your local hairdresser’s, gym or grocery store to let you advertise your lessons in aid of Lyme disease research.
Well made knitwear is often in demand, especially for babies.
You could sell your unique items using online sites like Etsy or Ebay, hire a craft market stall or ask the local hospital if they can lend you a corner one day a month.
Want to raise more awareness of your fundraising? Set up a Facebook page, or for more publicity, knit somewhere that will generate interest. Some fundraisers generate a lot of money by taking commissions on stylish items such a custom bedspreads or blankets. If you do this, always take at least half the payment in advance and calculate your cost of materials carefully to make sure your price includes a worthwhile profit.
Children’s crafting days
Do you have a big dining table and drawers full of paints and crafting materials? Most children love crafting days with plenty of materials and an adult to help them, and you may be surprised by how many parents would sign up for a crafting day as well!
If you could enjoy leading crafting sessions with children, plan enough separate projects to keep them occupied for a day, and make sure each activity can be completed to the satisfaction of the children regardless of the range of abilities. If you have high quality materials or special equipment, and can teach unusual crafting techniques, you could offer adult-only days. Crafting days can be themed by season. You could plan to make Christmas decorations, Easter gifts, autumn wreaths or gifts for Mothers’ day and Fathers’ day.
Ask parents to pay a donation to Caudwell LymeCo in advance, and to send their children with a packed lunch – which will keep your costs down. Remember to send each child home with some of Caudwell LymeCo’s Lyme disease awareness leaflets as well as their artistic creations, or else include enough time for them to complete our “Biters and Bloodsuckers” worksheet which teaches children about tick safety and Lyme disease. You can print a copy of the teachers’ notes for yourself, which gives you all the answers and notes to read out. (This ties in with the national curriculum’s Mini beasts section)
Cocktail Party or Garden party
Supporting charity by drinking alcohol is the kind of idea we think is pretty easy to sell. It may also be easy to collect more generous donations from people after a few beverages!
The ideal event to host at home, a cocktail party can be made extra fun with a theme. Are you a James Bond fan? Do you have an impressive twenties jazz record collection? Always wanted an excuse to wear a sixties mini dress and try a beehive hairdo? Get out the cocktail shakers, play up the sophistication and have fun! Drinks parties can easily be themed throughout the year. Pimms parties are great for summer, mulled wine and mince pies go down well in December and cheese and wine is a big hit all year round.
Remember to set a minimum donation per guest to make sure the party is a fabulous fundraiser as well as a really enjoyable evening.
International Evening / International Day
Whether you’ve travelled the world or just love a particular culture, an internationally themed party is a great way to get people excited about raising money.
Choose a country, a region, or go global, and charge people an entry fee. The international theme can be expressed in food for sale, dance displays, music, clothing to get people in the mood or even costume competitions, and crafts and other items to sell. If you live in a multicultural community it can be a great way to bring people together and make new friends.
You could plan a pub-style quiz in teams about the country, to raise extra funds at the event.
Most people rely on a coffee to get them through the day, so hosting a coffee morning is a great way to fundraise. You can host at work, or tie in with your local library, book club or other special interest clubs. It’s easy to make a successful coffee morning into a monthly event.
Do you have DJ skills or an impressive record collection? Whether big at the local community centre or small at home, a dance night can be great fun and an effective awareness raiser as well as fundraiser.
You don’t have to be a Poker champion or play Scrabble like a pro to a host a games night. You just need some games, a place to play and people to play with. Evenings with a variety of card games can be fun, and can easily be scaled up or down depending how many people come. Monopoly or other classic board games are a fun idea for all ages.
You don’t have to be a bingo addict to enjoy a bingo night in aid of charity.
Keep it fun and adapt the game for your audience. If they’re mad on a certain TV show, why not use photographs of the characters instead of numbers? Or perhaps your friends are foodies… food bingo anyone? Both cards and non-cash prizes can be adapted to fit a theme.
Set a price per card and keep to donations for LymeCo charity rolling in.
Have a DVD collection that could rival Netflix? Then a cinema screening could be your ideal fundraising plan.
Whether it’s hosted in the school hall, work canteen, your living room, the local cinema or projected outside, remember that you can make far than the ticket price by selling popcorn and drinks. Pop your own kernels and make your own lemonade or hot drinks to keep costs down and charity profits high.
Music and wine evening
Pop, rock, or jazz? Regardless of genre, if fundraising through music appeals to you it’s time to start thinking about your event.
You could keep it simple with a Saturday busking session. Or if you’re thinking bigger, start to look at venues. Consider teaming up with other musicians, who can help promote your event to a wider audience as well as offer a varied evening’s entertainment.
If you belong to a musical group, orchestra or choir which puts on concerts, it may be possible for profits to be donated to Caudwell LymeCo from a benefit performance. Churches may be able to offer you availability as your venue at cost only. If you have overheads, such as a professional conductor who works for payment, you could consider asking him/her to provide free services for a charity event.
Remember that asking someone else to provide refreshments at the event is a way to raise some extra funds.
Time to stretch the vocal cords and get ready for a night of karaoke. If you’re on the lookout for a karaoke machine, reach out to friends on social media to save money on renting one.
If you’re a bit of a diva like Beyonce, then an X-Factor style competition could be right for you. The prize can be a percentage of the money raised, or a non-monetary prize of your choosing.
Do you have an attic full of designer clothes you haven’t tried on since 1984? Have you enough vintage handbags to set up your own stall? Got an eye for finding furniture gems online and at car boots? Books, clothes and other equipment for children are always popular second-hand items too.
You could organise your own vintage or second hand sale and donate the proceeds to the Caudwell LymeCo research fund.
Alternatively you could organise a “bring and buy” party at home, asking your friends to donate their used items as well and selling everything for charity. These work best if they have a clear theme, such as an accessories bring and buy with scarves, costume jewellery, belts, hats, stoles and hair ornaments; or toys and children’s books; or some other category of special interest items or collectables.
Do you own a rare record collection you’ll never listen to again? Do you have any valuable pieces of jewellery that you never wear? If your collection could be enjoyed by someone else, while also helping people with Lyme disease, then consider a local auction house.
If you have an assortment of items that the auction house would not be interested in, try some selling websites like Ebay, Gumtree or even local Facebook groups to combine a satisfying clearout with some fundraising for Lyme disease research.
A raffle is great to have at a fundraising event. Just charge a fee for tickets and the winner gets a prize. This could also work as a standalone fundraising activity.
Raffles work best if there is a variety of smaller prizes and one large, impressive prize. You could offer unwanted gifts if they are unused, and also ask local businesses to donate items as prizes in exchange for some publicity. Remember you can also offer used items in a raffle, but make sure they are clean and in good condition, and remember that attractive presentation and packaging makes all the difference.
There are some legal regulations around charity raffles. The law says you need a licence if your lottery makes more than £20,000 – or if you have them regularly and they make more than £250,000 over the year. We think this is unlikely! Assuming you stay below these sums, and you follow the rules below, your raffle will not need a gambling licence. It would be classed as an “incidental non-commercial lottery”. These are held at non-commercial events, which include school fetes or charity parties.
Please note the following important rules:
- All the ticket sales, and the draw, must take place during the main event.
- This may last more than one day, but you cannot sell tickets to colleagues or friends away from the event, in advance of the draw.
- The prizes mustn’t come to more than £500 in total.
- No more than £100 can be spent on expenses.
- Gift Aid cannot be claimed on money raised by selling raffle tickets.
Want a way to fundraise fast? A sweepstake could be the perfect way for you to raise money.
You can set one question, for example, ‘How many sweets in the jar?’ and people pay to enter their answer. Whoever guesses closest to the correct answer wins a prize, while you donate the money raised.
You could set a mini competition instead and let all entrants vote for the winner, or nominate an independent judge in advance. This could be a caption competition or a fill-in-the-blank contest. You could set a themed selfie challenge, or even a game or puzzle contest with a single question and a prize for whoever gets the correct answer in the shortest time.
If you’re imaginative and entertaining with your sweepstake questions, you could make this a regular event at work or even the local pub. Remember you must always ask the publican’s permission in advance!
If your garden is in full bloom or you have a house with a colourful history, you could open your doors for an entry fee and host an open house. With the kitchen close by, it will be easy to raise extra funds by offering refreshments, and a great way to meet the neighbours!
We have some great fundraisers, a green-fingered couple who grow their own seedlings and cuttings, and sell them in aid of Caudwell LymeCo to passers by who admire their beautiful front garden. If you don’t live in a busy enough road, you could try selling plants at local craft fairs.
It’s likely your friends love a bit of pampering, so why not plan a day that offers raises money at the same time? You could invite your friends over for pampering and beauty treatments.
If you are a trained beautician, masseuse or hairdresser, you could put your skills to good use by offering them free for charity for one night. If pampering is more of a hobby, stick to giving facials, massages or manicures. You could even research making your own natural beauty products to sell.
The pub, village hall, local sports centre or your garden are all venues suitable for hosting a quiz. You host the night and guests pay to play.
If you are new to pub quizzes, download a free pub quiz online. If you are a veteran pub quizzer, you could write your own questions. To make a success of the quiz, it’s important that the questions are not all too easy, but not so hard that nobody can answer anything. For a mixed audience, keep the quiz varied and follow the usual formula of different topics for each round. If your audience is more niche, you could make all the all questions specific to a particular theme. Plan the topics to fit your audience. Consider adding some questions about Lyme disease to educate and amaze the participants: our Information pages should give you plenty of ideas!
Make sure you sell plenty of drinks and food on the night as this will considerably increase the funds you raise.
Challenge your rival university to a competition, to see which university will come out on top. It could be a ‘University Challenge’ style quiz or maybe even a race through your university city.
Whatever the challenge, open it up to your fellow students to come and watch. Ticket costs will help you raise funds. Remember to speak to your student union who may help you organise the event (particularly in RAG week).
Go on, pile up all the books you have read and know that your friends would enjoy. Ask all your friends to do the same, invite their friends as well, and before you know it you will have a guest list for a book swapping party. Decide on a fixed price for all the books they bring, and donate the proceeds to help beat Lyme disease. Print out a stack of our Lyme disease leaflets to give people as bookmarks, and make the party an awareness raising event as well. Bookswaps for children are always a great success.
Search by Calendar
The year is full of fun traditions that can be given an extra twist with some charitable fundraising thrown in.
Remember if you decide to organise one of these events, you need to give yourself plenty of time for planning, then organising, then inviting your guests. Don’t wait till the end of January to start planning your Valentine’s Day event!
Lots of single friends and a skill for matchmaking? Then why not organise a singles event? You could organise a speed-dating evening or even a full-blown Valentine’s ball. The best part is that even if nobody gets a love match, everyone can go home happy knowing they have supported such an important cause.
Alternative Valentine’s event
Or why not throw an alternative Valentine’s Day event? Whether its fitness or food, make the theme ‘what you love’ and ask for donations from friends who attend.
Shrove Tuesday gives you scope to organise anything from a private pancake party at home, to a street party with pancake races and food stalls. Either way, you can have fun reviving a great British tradition while raising money for a good cause as well.
With both a school holiday and a long bank holiday weekend, Easter is a great time to fundraise. There are lots of low cost ways to raise money at an Easter party. You could organise an outdoor Easter egg hunt with an entry charge, an Easter bunny hop race, face painting, an Easter Bonnet parade and competition, easter egg decorating and maybe a children’s quiz.
Easter Egg Hunt
This will take longer to organise than you might expect, so don’t leave it all too late to start planning! Do not hide actual eggs, as you may run out of eggs before you run out of children to hunt them. Instead, hide token plastic eggs which children trade in for a real chocolate prize. This means you can set a limit on the number of prizes each entrant takes away, and your assistants can re-hide the token eggs for your next arrivals! Be sure to offer some dairy-free or non-food alternatives for children with food allergies, who often experience a lot of disappointment at Easter.
Remember an outdoor Easter egg hunt will take place right at the start of tick biting season, so while this children are hunting, please tell the parents about tick safety. You can print off our “Tick bite first aid” leaflet or some of our other educational leaflets.
The only thing better than fancy-dress for fundraising is dressing up at Hallowe’en. So get your invites out and charge guests an entry fee. You could enlist help to serve ghoulish foods and decorate scarily, and don’t forget some classic forfeits like apple bobbing plus a few new challenges to raise extra cash on the night. Sweepstakes, dares, raffles – they all work and can be given a fun Hallowe’en theme.
New Year’s Eve dance/party
Avoid a night of queuing and host your own New Year’s Eve party. The best thing about it? You get to control both the music and the guest list. Charge your guests cheaper than the local pub for entry, and then donate the fee.
If you can’t make it to Scotland this year, why not bring Scotland to you and throw your very own Hogmanay party? Friends can donate the cost they would usually spend on venue entry to enjoy a traditional Hogmanay feast.
We love hearing your ideas!
If you have tried one of the ideas on this page, or a new one of your own, please let us know how it went and send us photos.
You can read about some fundraising activites people have already done in our blog.
To all the generous people who have donated and fundraised for us…
If you have read this whole page and now feel too exhausted to do anything at all, how about raising money for us while you shop online from your sofa?