How To Fund A Charity Event


As a charity you want and need to raise funds for the cause that you’re supporting. In today’s world there are so many ways of doing this. Having people walking around the streets and holding buckets is very much out of fashion. Holding buckets in the street still works but there are other ways that are far more creative and lead to more money raised, better marketing and lead onto other things.

Challenges and adventure events are becoming more and more popular. People from all walks of life are getting involved. Charity events and challenges vary from single day, weekend and even longer adventures and challenges. Some people do it for personal reasons, others do it because the charity is dear to them in some way, others do it for the feeling of finishing a challenge and the sense of achievement gained. The bigger the challenge, the bigger reward…..

Challenge events have therefore become more and more popular. Running marathons will always be popular but people have started to want that little bit extra from there time away from work. Climbing mountains, cycling from city to city, obstacle races, crossing countries and some events combine all of these things in the same weekend or week. For the charity or company organising an event like this, it can seem like a duanting project and can put off the possible organiser of the event.

We ran an event last year that made £70,000 for charity from a single day and didn’t cost the charity anything – not even a penny. How is this possible?

Charity Event

Your Options Explained

Option One – Participant Funded

This is my personal preferred method of paying for an charity event or adventure event that doesn’t cost to much money. It’s simple. You charge a registration fee to the participant that is taking part in the event. This covers the cost of the event.

Lets say you want to run a single day abseil event. The cost of the event is £1200 and you have 6o people taking part. If you charge a registration fee of £30 that gives you £1800, that more than covers the cost of the event and gives you extra money in the pot to use for marketing and advertising. Making T-shirts for the participants to complete the event in, this is always a good idea as all the event photos that are taken get shared around the internet with your logo on.

By paying for the event by a registration fee it allows all the money raised to go to charity. Every penny. It also means you don’t have to set a minimum amount of sponsorship – it’s up to you whether you do that or not.

If you wanted people to come on the event that didn’t want to raise money and just wanted an exciting adventure then by running the event in this way, you are being inclusive to them. People don’t mind paying to have a go at something. Doing a charity event or an adventure event is a fun and exciting thing to do – people don’t mind paying for that experience.

Option Two – Part Funded

For this method you will still charge the participants a registration fee but the event will also be part funded by the fundraising money.This method works well with more expensive events. It can also work well if you are trying to increase the number of participants. Lets look at the abseil example again.

You have an abseil event that costs £1200. You charge participants a £15 registration fee. This registration fee is small and encourages participation and gives you £900 from the registration fee. This still nearly covers the cost of the event. You then set a minimum sponsorship amount, say £70. You then use some of the total fundraising pot to cover the remaining balance of the event.

If you a running a more expensive event such as climbing Mt Kilimanjaro where it costs £1800 per person. You set a registration fee of £1000 this is paid for by the person taking part in the event – this can be paid by installments to make it easier for them. You then set a minimum sponsorship amount of say £2500 meaning £800 of this gets taken out to cover the event costs and the rest goes to charity.

This method can encourage those that might not be able to afford to do the event to participant and get involved. It can also help to increase the number of participants. By running and event this way and getting 80 people involved as apposed to 40 – if it was participant funded, you could increase the money raised significantly.

Sell four products at £1000 or sell a 100 products at £100 – you do the math. With this method it’s always worth letting people know the total cost of the event as if they can afford the full amount then they will be happy to pay for it.

Option Three – Fundraise

My least preferred method. You set a fundraising target for people to reach. Let’s say the event cost per person is £600 for a London to Paris Cycle ride. You ask the participants to fundraise £1700 minimum sponsorship. From that sponsorship money you take the event cost out of the pot too pay for the event – the rest goes to charity.

This means the person taking part in the event is getting the event for free!!?? Okay, so they have gone out of their way to fundraise and that takes time and effort. However, in my 12 years of working on charity events and organising them I have seen some very angry participants due to this method.

Once, and I don’t want to name the charity or organisation, I was stood with a large London group of guys taking part in a London to Paris Cycle. I mentioned the cost of the event. They were furious with the charity and company running it. They all had plenty of money and had no idea that half the money they had raised went to cover the cost of the challenge. They would of all paid for the event themselves because they were effectively ‘on holiday’ and they earnt enough money to happily pay for the event. They went bonkers at the charity and rightly so – that charity should have told them and the charity would of had more money.


When running an event it’s worth considering how that event will be paid for. The methods above can be adapted to suit any charity event or challenge event and I am more than happy to give help and advise. Just get in touch.


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