July 15, 2019

The Weird And Wonderful Of Fundraising

Fundraising should be fun and innovative. Fundraising campaigns, projects and ideas which are unique, engaging and on the barmy side are much more impactful than traditional donations, as they can bring large groups of people together for positive change in exciting and unusual ways. All it takes is a little bit of out-of-the-box thinking. 

Take the ‘Free Timmy’ campaign used by Invisible Children as an example. ‘Timmy’, one of their members of staff, volunteered to live in a huge cage at their office, only to be freed once they had reached their fundraising target. Thousands of donors were engaged by the sense of urgency that the charity created through live-streaming Timmy’s ‘imprisonment’, raising funds to free him. Another great example is the altruistic advertising used in the Flemish League Against Cancer’s Stick Out Your Tongue campaign. The campaign asked supporters to post pictures of themselves sticking out their tongues to cancer, which were uploaded to the campaign’s website. They even created TV and radio adverts for the campaign, which injected a sense of fun into publicly showing your support for the fight against cancer. 

There are plenty of great ideas out there, and plenty more waiting to take shape. But sometimes, trying to think of wacky and unique fundraising ideas for charity on the spot can be a bit difficult. After all, innovation doesn’t necessarily work on demand. Here at GoodBox, we love forward-thinking, unusual ways to fundraise. So we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite weird and wacky fundraising ideas to get your creative juices flowing. 

Unique fundraising ideas for charity:

Extreme Fundraising

For the adrenaline junkies and thrill-seekers out there, why not take your favourite extreme sports or try out a new one on behalf of a great cause. Sponsored bungee jumping, skydiving, wing-walking, abseiling and many more types of adventurous and extreme sponsored sport events are perfect for fundraisers who like to push themselves out of their comfort zone. 

Take inspiration from David Walliams’ Swimming The Thames (140 miles) for Sport Relief and sign up for events such as the Great Swim, the UK’s largest open water swimming event. Push your body to the limit by taking part in physical challenges such as Tough Mudder or you even create your own challenge or obstacle course, selling tickets for participation and refreshments afterwards.

If walking is more of your thing, you also can raise funds by taking part in trekking and hiking events. The mental health charity Mind run various sponsored trekking challenges as part of their Trek For Mind initiative, both in urban centres and more rural and challenging locations such as the Scottish Highlands and Mount Snowdon. As these types of events are more challenging than traditional fundraising ideas and are not something people do every day, it’s often easy to acquire sponsorships and raise a substantial amount for your cause. 

Sponsored Outfit

This is a more interesting take on the good old fancy dress day. Instead of exercising your free will in the choice of your costume, a sponsored outfit gives the power over to your donors who are the ones who choose your outfit. They vote on what costume you should wear and for how long, then pay a sponsorship fee for having a good laugh at your expense. You could even involve your furry friend as your sidekick by dressing your beloved pet up in a weird and adorable outfit to help raise extra funds. Think Dachshunds dressed up as hot dogs, Pugs pulling off unicorn costumes and Persian cats flaunting their stuff in tuxedos.

It’s behind you!

Everyone loves a pantomime, so why not organise your own? You can recruit your cast and directors from local and amateur actors, and enlist the help of artists and DIY-lovers to make your set. Or, if you can get yourself a sponsor, they can help to finance the operations and transform the performance into a more professional production. A corporate sponsor can help with renting a performance space, funding the creation of the stage set as well as advertisement to raise awareness about the production. Funds can be raised through your ticket and programme sales, refreshments and snacks.

Paint jams

In thriving cities like London where amazing street art can be found around every corner, paint jams are a great way to celebrate the creativity of a community and city while raising money for a great cause at the same time. Paint jams are pop-up art events that give artists full creative licence, while fans and street art lovers can come and watch the live street art installation in action. At the end of the event, you can auction the paintings online or on-site to raise money for your cause. While the artists are in action, give the day a carnival atmosphere by bringing in live music, food and drink vendors and fun activities, all of which can be used to raise additional funds for your cause.

Yoga with animals

Ever heard of goat yoga? How about cat yoga? You might think yoga with animals sounds bizarre, but these unusual yoga classes are happening all across the globe. So why not take advantage of the latest yoga trend and use this wacky fundraising idea to raise money for the charity of your choice. Partner with a local animal shelter who can provide the fluffy yogis for the event, then spread the word to local animal lovers who can pay to join a class. This is a great way to work with a local charity for mutual benefit while also raising money for your own cause, as the local shelter will gain awareness through participating in the event as well as providing the furry yogis.

Sleep Rough

If you’re looking for a unique fundraising idea that really puts your cause at the heart of what you’re doing, then why not try sleeping rough for a night. Raise awareness for homeless charities such as Shelter, TAP London and Centrepoint by spending a night on the streets. Documenting your experience of what it’s like to be homeless for 24 hours through IG TV, Instagram stories, going Live on Facebook and YouTube can help to raise even more funds aside from your initial sponsorship as people can donate to your cause as they hear and follow your journey through the night. This will also help to document some of the hardships and difficulties that homeless individuals face on a daily basis in real-time, raising greater awareness and increasing the number of potential donations.


Plan and organise a community carnival to help raise money for your chosen charity while providing your community with a vibrant and memorable event. Carnivals have traditionally been used for bringing communities together to enjoy a day or two (sometimes longer) of fun and celebration. They involve colourful street performances and parades, indulgent food, uplifting music, elaborate costumes and street parties, often taking inspiration from the circus and festivals. This unique fundraising idea allows you to bring together multiple different organisations and groups. Local restaurants and bars can provide pop-up food and drink stalls. Performance and music groups can help to organise and participate in the parades, while amateur musicians and local bands can provide the soundtrack to the event. You can charge visitors tickets to enter the event, as well as finding businesses who are happy to sponsor the carnival. 

TLC Fest

Everyone loves a spot of pampering from time to time, so why not create a wellness or beauty festival to give the public a chance to treat themselves to their favourite beauty treatments all in the name of charity. Contact local beauticians, masseuses, nail technicians, yoga instructors and hairdressers who can each set up their own stall offering their services or taster versions, and ask them to donate a percentage of their profits to your cause. Visitors can purchase tickets to attend the event, while the businesses involved will get the benefit of free brand promotion and finding potential new customers. 

Quick dip

The Boxing Day Dip is a charity event celebrated every year up and down the country. This fancy dress swim asks swimmers to brave the not-so-warm waters of the British seaside in the name of their chosen cause. The largest and potentially barmiest gathering is held in Sunderland where participants have to take a dip in the North Sea. This is not only a good way to work off all the Christmas dinner and chocolate of the day before (and presumably the bubble & squeak and turkey sandwiches later on) but also to raise funds for those in need. Participants can collect sponsorship for taking part in the event, and could even be coupled with a sponsored outfit to double the money raised. 

Mentorship Auction

Finding an experienced and knowledgeable mentor can help young people kick-start and accelerate their careers by learning from seasoned professionals in their field. But finding the right role model can be difficult, which is where a mentorship auction comes in. All you have to do if find industry experts, business leaders and innovators who are happy to volunteer their time. Then set up bidding for one-to-one sessions with the mentors for budding entrepreneurs and those on the first few rungs on the career ladder. The participants will get a chance to speak to experts in their industry and gain valuable insights, all the while raising money for a good cause.

How GoodBox can help

Some things are just meant to go together. Like fish and chips, strawberries and cream, Pimms and the British Summer. The same goes for great ideas and digital technology. To us, it’s a no-brainer that innovative and wacky fundraising ideas should be paired with revolutionary fundraising technology. 

In case you didn’t know, helping fundraising ideas and campaigns have more of an impact is what we do. We are a FinTech startup that helps nationally recognised charities and nonprofits make the most out of their fundraising efforts through digital transformation. Through integrating our contactless donation technology into how they operate, charities can maximise their fundraising potential and deliver greater change to those in need. Our cashless donation devices can help your fundraising idea too.

By renting or purchasing one of our affordable and versatile contactless giving devices, you can maximise the number of potential donations you can collect. As well as spare change and sponsorship, supporters can donate to your cause with just one tap of their contactless card or mobile payment device. Fundraising has never been easier with GoodBox’s cashless donation technology

To find out more about renting or purchasing one of our contactless giving devices, head over to our Products & Services page or get in touch with our team today. 

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