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A to Z of fundraising ideas

DOTS-053_300x300Dots are just the start – why not branch out and get involved with some other fundraising ideas at your Wear dots…raise lots event.

Take a look at the list below for inspiration and sign up for your free fundraising pack

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  • An afternoon tea party

    Bring on the bakers! Encourage everyone to bring their best dotty decorated baked goods and perhaps offer a literary prize for the best decorated. Don’t forget the tea!

  • Auction

    Why not auction off all those items in your house you no longer need. You could even make it a literary themed auction and sell off those books you never found any enjoyment in but someone else might.

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  • Blue sky thinking

    Challenge your workmates to ‘think outside the box’ and not use office jargon for the day; every time they do, they have to pay up.

  • Board game evenings

    Who doesn’t love a board game? Either host an event yourself or ask a local community centre, café or Scout hall. Ask people to bring along their favourite games – making sure to bring along a few yourself – and ask for a donation to play.

  • Book group challenge

    If you are already a member of a book group or have always wanted to gather together your book-loving friends then this is the perfect excuse. The title you select can be anything from the latest best-seller, your favourite piece of poetry or a classic from your childhood. To give this a particularly Read for RNIB feel why not pick a title with a blind or partially sighted character or maybe enjoy the work in a different format to usual (large or giant print, eBook etc). You can either set some discussion topics before meeting up or ask that everyone brings along their own thoughts and questions to be discussed with everyone else. Ask for a donation to attend and please send in your favourite topics and questions!

  • Bag packing at your local supermarket

    Simply ask your local supermarket if you can bag customer’s shopping and ask for a donation for your service. Get help from a few friends and make sure you keep a collection box nearby! Make sure you contact your store well in advance as these opportunities can fill up fast.

  • Book sales/swap

    Everyone loves a book sale or swap! Ask your friends, colleagues, classmates, family etc to bring in or donate a pre-loved book, invite everyone along and ask for a donation to take away a book and open up a whole new world of reading.

    If you work for a company with more than 300 employees then you might want to consider holding a Book Event book sale.

  • Birthday donations

    Why not ask for a charity donation instead of/as well as a birthday present this year?

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  • Come-as-a-character

    How would you like to be a Katnis Everdeen or the Sherlock Holmes? Choose a day when everyone can come to work or school dressed as a character from their favourite book or choose a favourite character from childhood.

  • Cake sales

    Bake dots…raise lots! Cakes; we all love them. Get creative with choc chips and arty with smarties. Hold a cake sale and encourage as many people to bake and sell cakes during break time, playtime, half-time or tea time. You could also make it even more delicious by encouraging your bakers to give their offerings a literary theme; perhaps Harry Potter muffins or Lord of the Rings cupcakes! You could even attempt popular taglines in braille with icing

  • Cold turkey

    Charity fundraising that’s good for you! Whether it’s smoking, drinking too much, eating too much chocolate, swearing or wearing odd socks we’ve all got a bad habit; ask your friends and family to sponsor you giving up your bad habits for the week.

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  • Dress down day/non-uniform day

    Perfect for your school or workplace. A suggested donation of £1 or £2 per person to come in for the day in non-uniform or casual dress.

  • Desk to desk collections

    Place collection envelopes on your colleagues’ desks and ask them to donate any loose change they have. The following day collect up the envelopes, count the cash and send the money in. You can also incentivise this and offer up a prize for the best team collection.

  • Daytime Story Sleepover

    Hosting a daytime story sleepover is a great way for even our youngest supporters to get involved in Read for RNIB. Why not ask somebody to read a story aloud or use an audio book? It’s a brilliant experience for children to realise how useful audio books are for children with sight problems. It’s an easy fundraising idea for schools and nurseries alike.

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  • Extreme Reading Challenge

    Do you dare take on our Extreme Reading Challenge? Challenge yourself to read a book in an unusual place – perhaps whilst jumping out of a plane, abseiling down the side of a building or whilst sat in a bath full of baked beans – to raise money for Read for RNIB.

  • Ebay

    This is a perfect excuse to de-clutter your life to help open up a world of reading for everyone. Sell all of your unwanted items, perhaps even pre-loved books, on ebay and other auction websites and donate 10 to 100 per cent of the profits to Read for RNIB.

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  • Film night

    Turn your home into a cinema! Charge entry and sell drinks or popcorn to boost your fundraising. We’d definitely suggest a ‘books turned into films’ evening and with suggested titles from the audience always welcomed.

  • Fancy dress parties

    Host a fancy dress party at your home, school, workplace or local venue. Adding a literary theme and asking people to come dressed as their favourite character is a brilliant way to get people talking about books and their love of reading.

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  • Gift Aid

    A fantastic and free way to add value to your donation. Everything you need to know can be found on our Gift Aid FAQs page.

  • Good deed

    Offer your services to your neighbours, friends and family; everything from mowing the lawn to sewing those buttons back on, to reading for someone. There are lots of ways you can help those around you, especially if people within your community are blind or partially sighted. Where possible ask for a donation for your help.

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  • Head shaving

    Get sponsored to shave off your precious locks, for the more adventurous why not sculpt your hair in to a famous literary styling: the Harry Potter quiff or a sci-fi pink mohawk.

  • Haggle and trade up

    In 2005, Kyle MacDonald started with one red paperclip and thirteen trades later he had a house. We don’t expect you to do this well but trading with those around you is a fun experience and auctioning off the final trade is a great way to raise funds.

  • How many sweets?

    Find a large jar, fill it with sweets and ask people to guess how many sweets are in the jar. Simple! The winner gets to keep the goodies and the pride of having guessed correctly.

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  • International authors night

    Host a themed night celebrating authors from around the world. Decorate your venue with the flags, pendants, colours, smells and sounds from the four corners of the globe. You can then either ask your guests to bring their favourite international author’s work with them (and maybe a culinary dish to match) or theme the evening to one particular country, for example, everyone brings a piece relating to Spain. This event works particularly well for book/reading groups as a special themed meeting.

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  • Jumble sale

    Use your local school or town hall to encourage everyone to sell off their unwanted items. Rent out pitches or ask for a percentage of the sales as well as offering tea and refreshments to help raise money.

  • JustGiving

    Give your fundraising challenges a little digital aid with JustGiving. Everything you’ll need can be found on the JustGiving website.

  • Job swaps

    Variety is the spice of life and this is a great way to break up your usual working routine. Put the names of your colleagues in one pot and donations in another and allow each person to draw out a name at random and spend a day walking in someone else’s shoes.

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  • Karaoke

    Calling all wanna-be pop stars! This is your chance to dust off the microphone, unpack the glitter and take your vocal chords for a night out. You can choose to hold an event at the local karaoke venue or just invite people round and use one of the many at-home programmes. Asking guests to dress as famous musical stars or literary characters can make the photos look even better and bonus points to anyone who can link a particular song to the written word – “Paperback Writer” by the Beatles anyone?

  • Kipling cake off

    Cake baking in honour of Rudyard not Mr Kipling. Invite people to bring in their best baked offerings for a cake competition; ask the headteacher or Chief Executive to act as Simon Cowell and award additional points for anyone whose cake is book themed.

  • Kitchen party

    Everyone cooks their favourite dish and pays to enjoy the feast. This event works really well at work or home with friends, for an added twist ask everyone to write down their recipes and sell a cook book. Then donate the profits to Read for RNIB

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  • Loose change

    Donate your loose change every night for a month, you’ll be surprised how quickly it all adds up.

  • Literature pub quiz

    A book and the pub? Very few combinations seem to fit together better than these two. Gather together the greatest minds of your generation – or just the regulars from the local – and begin the hard work of settling on a team name. If your local watering-hole already has an established pub quiz, why not ask if you can ‘take over’ for one session and help theme the questions on all things literary with proceeds going to Read for RNIB. If there isn’t already an established quiz night then this is a perfect opportunity to create your own and drum up some local support. If people know the proceeds will go to charity they are much more inclined to sign up so what are you waiting for – get cracking.

  • Letter party

    Pick a letter, any letter! An alphabet themed soiree: dress code, food, drinks and music all themed around a letter, this one will definitely encourage your creativity.

  • Literary Lunch

    If your local group is looking for a new fundraising idea, why not raise money for Read for RNIB with a Literary Lunch. Combine fine words and fine wine by creating a special menu on a literary theme for a memorable lunch or supper. How about a delicious curry for “Passage to India” or indulgent treats to accompany “Chocolat”?

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  • Mad Hatter’s Sensory Tea Party

    Why not hold a Mad Hatter’s Sensory Tea Party for Read for RNIB! You can also add a sensory twist to your party by blindfolding guests and asking them to guess the food by smell or touch. A fun fundraising idea for your nursery, school, company, or local activity group.

  • Musical bingo/quiz

    Take over your local pub or community centre and test everyone’s musical knowledge. Be sure to include all of your favourite tunes and if possible an excerpt from a talking/audio book can keep people on their toes.

  • Murder Mystery night

    Encourage the super sleuth within! Offer to host a murder mystery evening and watch as everyone flexes their intellectual muscles to help solve the crime. Why not theme the characters from a book or series, for inspiration check out Jasper Fforde’s Nursery Crime series.

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  • Non-uniform day

    An oldie but a goodie! There’s no need to restrict this just to the schoolyard, why not get the office involved. Ask everyone to donate £1 or £2 (or more if they’re feeling generous) to wear their own clothes for a whole day.

  • Nights in are the new going out

    Instead of going out this Friday or Saturday night why not spend the night in with your favourite author? Catch-up on their latest volume or re-visit an old favourite, this one’s better for your mind, wallet and body. Donate the cost of a few drinks to Read for RNIB and help open up a world of reading for everyone.

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  • Office Olympics

    Inter-office competition, there’s nothing quite like it! Organise a series of events to see who can become the Office Olympic champion. Classics include: throwing rolled up paper into the recycling bin (points for distance), speed typing, synchronised chair swivelling, or timed email filing, who said office life couldn’t be exciting?!

  • Online donation form and email to everyone

    You can set up your own online sponsorship page. Share this via your social networks and email the link to all your friends who can then donate online. This is very quick and easy, so they will have no excuse!

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  • Promises auction

    Auction off a promise to the highest bidder. Promises can include: taking the bins out for a week, making the tea for the entire team or a promise not to swear every time you open your inbox. Email round or put up a poster offering your promises and encourage bidders to put a post-it note on the poster or email back with their offer. Here’s hoping for a bidding war!

  • Poetry recital

    Roses are red, violets are blue, you’re supporting Read for RNIB, so thank you! Ask those in the office, school or community to come along for a live poetry reading – be sure to ask for volunteer readers at the same time. See how long you can keep reciting poems aloud for as a group or let everyone read out their favourite piece. Donations welcomed from those who come along and listen, especially if you manage to get a poetry-chain going.

  • Piggy back a local event

    Search the local listings for community orientated events happening near you in the coming weeks and months, approach the organisers and ask if the proceeds can go to Read for RNIB. Make sure that you advertise this in posters beforehand, people will dip into their pockets more readily.

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  • Quit

    Ask your friends and family to sponsor you to quit your naughty habits. This fundraising idea has the added bonus of being good for you.

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  • Reading Relay

    Get together at work or school and see how long your team can keep a story going! Each person reads in turn and passes the story on, either aloud or silently. This challenge can be reading a whole book or reading continuously for a set period of time – so you might have people taking it in turns to read out loud in the canteen for the whole day!

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  • Sponsored read

    Have you ever wanted to read aloud for hours on end? Well now’s your chance! Let everyone know in advance and ask them to come along and support your Sponsored Read. Why not try and finish an entire (short) story in one or two sessions, rope in friends and colleagues to help share the work and for added spice ask for suggestions on titles to read – note; this may have you grimacing through “Twilight” or yawning through “Pride and Prejudice”. Ask for sponsorship per word, page, chapter, book or hour.

  • Sponsored silence

    Keep your lips sealed for a day and ask for donations, it’s as simple as that! This works best if you are known as the office chatterbox.

  • Skills auction

    This works really well in the workplace. Get your colleagues to donate their ‘skills’ from dressmaking to tea-making and everything in between. Get your boss to offer to make the tea or wash someone’s car and watch the bidding shoot up!

  • Sunflower growing competition

    This one takes a little bit of planning! Acquire some sunflower seeds from your local garden centre, email/put up posters to encourage entrants, ask for a donation for three or four seeds and see who can grow the tallest sunflower over the next couple of months. Photo evidence is great and where possible communal growing is encouraged. Set a time or height limit to increase the tension.

  • Scrabble competition

    Friendly competition, wordplay, dictionaries – these are the hallmarks of a great Friday night in. Your scrabble competition can start with as little as two players, all you’ll need is a Scrabble board (why not try our braille and large print versions) and some enthusiasm. For a real sense of competition you can book out the local town hall, pub, spare office and invite people down to compete at the same time, highest individual score wins. If this isn’t feasible you could ask everyone to compete from the comfort of their own homes against friends and send in their scores by a certain date. Why not award double points for author’s surnames or literary terms. Ask for an entry fee and offer a prize if possible.

  • Spellathon

    Dictionaries at the ready! This is your chance to recreate those ever popular spelling bees and flex your intellectual muscle. You could chose to mimic the American style of taking it in turn to stand in the spotlight and spell aloud or perhaps a more sedate version where everyone has words read out to them and answers are written down and submitted at the end. Strictly no phones allowed! Tailor your words to suit the audience and offer bonus points for literary themed words.

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  • Treasure hunt

    Get inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic “Treasure Island” and get digging! Ask participants – teams are encouraged – to cross your palm with silver for the pleasure of following the clues (perhaps in braille!) in order to find the hidden prize. This can encompass everything from hours of trekking around the great outdoors to a more urban environment, perhaps even around the office?

  • Tournaments

    Organise a tournament, charge teams to enter and offer prizes for the winners. Tournaments needn’t be sports-themed, asking teams to come dressed as their favourite book characters is always popular or perhaps a group weight-loss competition, the ideas are endless.

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  • Unwanted gift sale

    Your unwanted gifts could be somebody else’s treasure. Encourage others to join in the purge by putting up posters asking for donated items.

  • University Challenge

    Organise a University Challenge style event (the teams don’t necessarily need to be from universities) on the theme of literature. Why not have a start for ten on “Starter for Ten” by David Nicholls or an entire round on the teachers of Hogwarts? Charge an entry fee per team and if possible offer up a book-themed prize.

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  • When I was young

    Fancy dress party or day in the office where everyone comes dressed as their favourite literary childhood hero. Bringing in the inspirational text is absolutely encouraged.

  • Wax your chest or leg hair

    Exactly as painful as it sounds but a sure fire way to gather donations and the sympathy of those watching. Before and after photographs are a must along with the ritual of public waxing.

  • Walk to work challenge

    Challenge colleagues to walk to work on a specific day to raise funds for Read for RNIB; perhaps 50p per mile walked? You could get even more sponsorship by wearing your dots on the way! Get everyone involved and kick-start your community into walking to work, who knows it might even start a trend!

  • Write-athon

    On your marks, get set, write! The opportunities and necessity for the written word in our daily lives is fast disappearing so here’s a great opportunity to rekindle putting pen to paper. Provide pens and paper and ask everyone to write on an agreed theme or just jot down their daily musings. You could pin the results to a public board or perhaps cross the digital divide and scan them electronically for all to enjoy. If you find people are having trouble getting started, why not pass around a classic introductory passage to a book and see how people would choose to continue their own story.

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  • X-pletives

    Stick a swear box in the office, at home or in your local social club to raise money. A great fundraising idea that helps make any situation child-friendly. Additional kudos goes to anyone who successfully creates a swear-substitute that replaces the actual word forever more.

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  • Yes day

    You can’t say no to this one, you really can’t. Everyone who signs up has to say ‘yes’ to any request for a whole day, ask everyone else to donate £1 for every out of the ordinary request throughout the day.

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  • Zany tie day

    Charge £1 to participate and fine those who don’t £2. Be prepared to cover your eyes at times as people don those ‘classic’ 1980’s neon affair, team photo obligatory! or play it down with a nice polka dot tie to represent a little braille

  • Zumba dance-off

    Who can Zumba the longest, who’s never Zumba’d before? A brilliant way to get people out of their comfort zone. Show the DVD during lunch or after work and encourage participants to donate to take part.

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