Sporting events and competitions offer community, comradery, competition, and they promote health. They are a great opportunity for people to bond, socialise, meet new people, and try out new things. So why not embrace the positives and raise money for charity at the same time? Why not use sporting events to fundraise?
To get you started, we are going to look at ten great sporting fundraising ideas. A quick tip before we start: remember to increase accessibility wherever possible, champion inclusivity in all events, and broadly ensure everyone can get involved.
With that in mind, let us run through ten sporting events that could support fundraising.
1. The Fun Run
It is a classic for a reason. The Fun Run offers charities the chance to bolster their fundraising while also promoting fitness in your community. And it’s easy to arrange. All you need is a park, permission, and some people to take part.
Enlist local vendors to provide food and drink to spectators. Perhaps set up a drinks table, like in marathons, and ask local sponsors to supply the drinks.
A golden rule of effective fundraising events is to encourage the weird, the whacky, the frivolous, and the funny. Invite runners in costumes, runners with pets, runners as pairs, runners running backwards, runners in pyjamas, and so on. And always ensure the race is accessible, so everyone has the chance to take part.
2. Polar Bear Plunge
To paraphrase the Beatles, all you need is ice cold water. The Polar Bear Plunge is a fun-packed event that encourages fundraisers to jump into the freezing cold depths of literally any small body of water.
Take inspiration from previous plungers, such as the good folks at St Albans Sub Aqua Club and find somewhere cold and safe – not the Thames, for example – and just dive right in, literally.
Fancy dress is popular among plungers. Elves, Stormtroopers, Hippies, and Princesses have all plunged, once upon a time. Or perhaps opt to stay on brand and dress as a penguin or Arnold Schwarzenegger’s iconic Mr Freeze.
Serve food, too. Serve hot dogs to people who may well be dressed as hot dogs. Add some drinks, maybe some hot chocolate or hot toddies, and provide blankets to plungers. Remember to place QR codes around, so that people can donate while they’re trembling or laughing at other people trembling.
3. Beat the goalie
Find someone that you don’t particularly like and make them go in goal. Then charge people per shot and offer prizes for people who score three or five penalties in a row, depending on the quality of the goalkeeper.
Make it last for a few hours, so you raise lots of money and annoy the goalkeeper that you do not particularly like. Alternatively, change the person in the goal so everyone has a chance to kick a ball at someone they don’t particularly like. Consider offering prizes for the best penalties, the best celebrations, the best outfit, and so on.
4. Tennis competition
There are lots of ways to host a tennis competition. Consider round-robin tennis matches with singles or doubles teams, or knockout competitions if you can get enough people, charging all participants for the entrance fee.
Or perhaps do winner stays on, with every challenger donating a set fee to charity. Offer prizes to the winners, such as tickets to Wimbledon or perhaps a tennis racket.
Put QR codes on the courts so that spectators can donate, and sell drinks – Pimms, perhaps – and other refreshments, with all proceeds going to charity.
5. Climbing competition
Do not simply climb anything. Take the Shard, for example. Do not climb that. Instead, rent a climbing wall or team up with a local climbing gym and hold (safe and secure) races to the top, time challenges, quirky challenges, and so on.
You can ask people to pay to enter, pay per climb, or simply ask for voluntary donations. You can offer prizes to the quickest climbers and, as ever, make the day an event with snacks and refreshments and raffles and whatever else.