As a new year dawns, your small business may be looking to ‘take a cup o’ kindness’ and make 2016 the year of charitable fundraising. But if the usual bake sale or office raffle just doesn’t inspire your altruism anymore, then look no further, because these kooky fundraising events from around the world will give you all the motivation you need to come up with the perfect, creative event.
Here, we count down our top 5.
5. An animal shelter in Massachusetts, US, put its pooches through their paces when it arranged a quirky dog show. Categories at the Great Falls Animal Shelter’s annual Fantasy Dog Show included waggiest bum, musical sit, best biscuit catcher, most mysterious heritage, best trick, best costume and, the classic, dog/owner lookalike. Owners and staff got involved by dressing up in costumes with their dogs, and vital funds were raised for the shelter.
4. Norfolk butcher, Ali Dent, is renowned for arranging an annual ‘Four Pound Burger Challenge’. The burger-eating contest is held to raise money for mental health charity MENCAP, and involves challenging contestants to eat giant four-pound Norfolk patties (that’s the equivalent of 16 quarter pounders!). The first contest was in 2012 and involved 109 people. These days, to encourage more entrants, Ali has introduced a slightly less gut-busting two-pounder burger round.
3. The town of Cable in Wisconsin has become world famous for the unusual way it raises money for its local snowmobile club. The yearly event sees contestants balancing on barstools mounted on two skis and racing down a hill at top speed. Different categories encourage different costumes, and all ticket sales for the family-friendly event go towards grooming and maintaining snowmobile trails.
2. Every September since 2003, London has born witness to the strange sight of over 600 gorillas running through central London. The Great Gorilla Run was organised as a fundraising event for the endangered animals, and encourages participants to pay £58 for a gorilla costume and then raise as much as possible in order to take part in the mini-marathon. Last year, a cool £100,000 was collected for The Gorilla Organisation.
1. Each year, the Sojourner Family Peace Center on Wisconsin, America, organises a ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ fundraiser to raise money for the domestic violence prevention charity. Men are invited to slip on a pair of heels and walk an arduous mile. The initiative has been so well received that more than 600 people participated in its second year, and this number is on the rise. The event acts as an excellent way of getting donors to dig deep whilst also drawing attention to a sensitive and difficult subject.
For more ideas, have a look at our handy infographic guide to fundraising in the office.