We have all heard of the wondrous painter Bob Ross who rose to fame in the 80s sharing his magical soft voice and sweet little anecdotes about painting with the rest of the world. We loved looking on as he bashed his paint brush on his canvas and wowed the world with the ease of how he made pictures come to life, with barely any effort at all.
This lack of effort, is exactly with this is a great fundraising angle for you guys!
Bob Ross prided himself on making painting easy and showing you how to do it. Therefore, this is a great opportunity for fundraisers to run an event, watching Bob Ross paint, and allowing students to come into a room and relax, learning to pain with him on screen, for a small fee.
How To Set Up:
Get in touch with your university and ask them if they can make you some free tickets that you can link to a Facebook page, calling them Bob Ross Paint Along, this is because students who love him are more likely to buy it because of him!
Research how much the canvasses and paints will be for the particular image you will be painting so that you know you are selling the tickets at a price that will give you a fair profit on the event.
Make a Facebook event of the Bob Ross event well in advance, maybe three months and make sure you explain that tickets are LIMITED so that students are more interested and more likely to buy the tickets when they come on sale (even if they’re not…)
Supply the price of the tickets early and buy supplies the week before the event so you know how many people are coming
Book a room (that could get messy) for the event with a large screen where you can broadcast your Bob Ross event (most of his episodes are on Youtube…)
Have a prize for the best picture, maybe a cheap trophy off of Amazon.co.uk or maybe just some sweets!
By the time everyone has finished their pictures, you can take a group picture of all the canvasses like this to show off how well everyone has done!
As always, good luck with the fundraising and post your questions below!
This is a little more of an “out there” event but it is not one where you need a high level of expertise to run it, nor do you need to be a clairevoyant!
Spiritualists are people who believe in the power of spirit and are often into tarot card readings, oracle cards, palm reading and seeing psychics among other rituals. Everyone is quite curious about their future and it can be a great, fun way to add some flair to your fundraising!
You can buy lots of books on palm reading, and tarot card starter kits and this can be a chance for you to practice reading them and giving some spooky, or fun readings to your friends and family for a fee.
You should make sure that you do not mislead anybody by making them think that you are an expert or that anything you say holds any truth, but it can be a really fun way to make people think about their future and you may even surprise yourself with what you get right!
To run your own spiritualist event you could take something from the following points:
You could try and book a space at your university student’s union or during a local festival where you know there will be a lot of footfall
You can offer £1 a palm reading or similar, not forgetting the disclaimer that you are not an expert
You can always try and ask some local mediums and spiritualist gurus if they would be interested in being involved in an event for you, if you held a holistic event with herbalists and such then you could make a lot of money!
You can always take advantage of some drunken people at festivals and offer your spiritualist palm reading knowledge in exchange for a small fee! People may be more willing to get involved!
WHSmith and similar shops do a lot of cheap handbooks on how to get involved with spiritualist work, maybe you could even host a “white witchcraft” workshop where students could learn about spells and such that can boost their luck during exams! I’ll write about that in another post!
In this podcast episode I will be talking to you guys all about student fundraising and the ways in which you can get involved with it. I also talk about RAG, NaSFA, and the different aspects of these organisations and what role they play in student fundraising.
If you are a student and you want to be more involved in working with charities at your university and joining charity-based societies then do listen here:
P.S. I do cough half way through the podcast and I had a few issues with the audio so there are quite a few short music breaks! I am still learning how all this stuff works so yes I am gross and yes, I am sorry it’s not the best yet! But, it will be soon, so bare with me! 🙂
One of the most historically easy ways to fundraise is by doing a raffle! These have been going on since the beginning of time, schools love them and students enjoy them even more since there is the chance they could actually win something for their money and that is GREAT news for you if you’re trying to hit a target!
What is a raffle?
A raffle is an event held often at larger events like festivals, parties or similar where someone will have a table filled with prizes! These can be small things such as makeup and toys all the way up to huge prizes like wine and trips away!
Why should you run a raffle?
Raffles can be really easy ways to make money as everyone loves to bet on things that they like! If you charge someone £1 for five chances to win a prize, then they think their chances are pretty high and they will be really excited to take part and will attract more of their friends! As long as you have no issues with getting the prizes, then running raffles are also pretty easy as you can run them alone without any help and when you are raising money alone that can be a great help!
How to run your own raffle:
First of all, to run your own raffle you need to be able to go to some shops and ask for some prizes. A lot of shops are very accommodating as long as you have a certificate of authority from your charity that proves you really are raising money and aren’t just trying to swindle the company!
A lot of the time companies will make you email their head office, so make sure you start hunting for your prizes at least one month in advance of your event! I will add some stores at the end of this post including some stores that always seem to help me out!
Next, you need to get some raffle tickets. Places like PoundLand and Wilko sell the books for about a £1 and then you can tear them out as people come along. I always recommend saying its £1 for a strip of tickets and £4 for five strips, that way you are able to make a little more money!
You should then make sure that the space/party/event that you are running your raffle at has booked you a table and also that the table is big enough, if your prizes are large, then you made need to request more than one!
Where to get a letter of authority:
A letter of authority is a company-headed letter which the charity provides their volunteers with (especially for challenge participants and RAGs) so that they can go out and prove that they are raising money in the hope that companies will donate them things or similar!
If you require a letter of authority then you should get in touch with your charity and ask if they can provide you with one. Sometimes it really does make all the difference when you are trying to get hold of donations for your charity event.
Shops that are usually VERY helpful:
There are a lot of raffles that I have run over the years of being a student fundraiser and there are some stores in particular which have always helped me out and been super great about it!
Independent shops and PLCs
University outlets such as student shops
Charities providing t-shirts
Independent makeup artists
Good luck with your raffle events! Don’t forget to comment below about how they go and any questions you may have!
If there is any fundraising event that ALWAYS brings in money without fail, it’s a bake sale! Ooooh that rhymed! I have held so many of these and when put together correctly, they can make big bucks for your cause! In this post you can read all about my bake sale tips and the things that you need to do to ensure that you can get the best out of your bake sale!
Bought or Homemade?
Something that a lot of students and fundraisers find hard to decide is whether to bake their own cookies etc or whether to buy them! I know that if you don’t have a good baking background then it can seem hard to want to get baking because you fear it’ll go wrong or you don’t want to be laughed at!
I can tell you now that it is all a matter of practice! I have done more bake sales than I care to think about including Harry Potter themed ones, Easter, Halloween… You name it, I’ve done it! And not without the prosecution from my friends either! They have giggled when things have gone wrong but have always supported me by buying the one cookie in the batch that wasn’t burned… Or eating what I was going to throw out to make me feel better!
I have found that telling donators that the food you are selling is homemade works much better in your favour. People are much more excited by homemade food (especially at uni because they can’t have a roast dinner or homemade cakes from home anymore!) People were often impressed by the fact that I had even bothered to bake and somehow I think it made the food taste better to them because it was fresh!
Baking homemade also means that the food you sell is cheaper. You can make a super easy gingerbread recipe and sell each gingerbread man for 60p! This is in a complete contrast with the average £1 one that students would alternatively buy from the student shop on their campus. This is a really good angle you can use to persuade students to come to you instead of the shop and help a good cause whilst they are at it!
Buying cakes and cookies can also be a great alternative to baking if you decide that you really are not brave enough to try, but I have a few tips for you if this is the case.
DO NOT serve the cakes inside the packaging that they came in unless they are from a pretty platter as some people may know how much the cake is worth and might call you out on it if you are charging extra to make profit and that can be embarrassing!
DO NOT overcharge for something that is store bought because people WILL be able to taste it and that will give you a bad reputation for future events
Try to hide all packaging so you can at least try to show off about the cakes, just don’t get found out!
How to prepare…
Don’t leave setting up a bake sale to the last minute and definitely do not rely on your student’s union to make it happen as they do often make mistakes and forget about your events! These things I am about to cover you should use as a checklist to make sure you have everything you need to put on a great sale:
Book your table early to be positioned in a great area of the uni which receives a lot of footfall so you can make the most amount of money (this is usually done from the student’s union or your activities department)
Double check this table is STILL booked the day before your sale as I have been burned by booking systems more than once where receptionists have made a huge mistake!
Book out the fundraising pots that you need in order to have somewhere for change to go.
It can be a good idea to make a kind of “float” with money in already in case someone wants to buy a cake using a fiver, and you have the change!
Get decorations and table cloths as people will be attracted to your table if it looks fun!
Bring knives and napkins to cut the cake and also to give the slices of cake to people who want to be hygienic, some people will want to carry the cake to class and won’t want to get sticky chocolate all over them!
Set the times that you are going to be there so that you don’t end up staying all day, and if you’re not making a lot of money, then try to sell the cake in the union or head home and beg your friends to take a few in exchange for a donation!
Make a Facebook or other online event so people know where your sale will be and how much you will be selling different cakes for, this way people can remember to bring change! Don’t forget to post which charity the donations will go towards and why you are supporting them!
Put up posters around the university (double check where these are ALLOWED to go as my hard work has been binned before by cleaners due to “policy” apparently!) and show off about it as much as you can!
Good luck with your bake sales! An average one with about 8 tray bakes of flapjacks, brownies and similar run well should make around £50 in one day! This could be a great way to make easy money, fast!
As promised, there is a collection of podcasts that will be going up on this blog to educate you all on student fundraising, RAGs and fundraising tips! Of course these will also be covered in written blogs but podcasts are real good fun!
Click below to listen to the first introductory podcast of these The Charity Guru Podcasts and find out more of what is to come!
RAG stands for Raising and Giving and is a student society run within the UK and Northern Ireland. RAGs can come under a variety of names including RADs and Karnivals etc. For the purpose of this article, I am going to use the term RAG as it is what I am most comfortable with due to my past RAG experience. RAG has a huge history and it has been running for many years, collectively raising bucket loads of money for charity! The purpose of RAGs is to raise money and offer opportunities for students to get involved with fundraising!
According to online sources, the Oxford English Dictionary states that the origin of the word “Rag” is from “An act of ragging; esp. an extensive display of noisy disorderly conduct, carried on in defiance of authority or discipline” and offers citation from 1864 explaining this word was known long before that! There are different theories about where RAG came from, some even believed it derived from the act of collecting rags to clothe the poor in the Victorian era by students!
RAGs do many things in order to aid student’s unions and other students to get involved with fundraising, this includes having close partnerships with charities and often providing the chance to travel overseas by fundraising! ChooseaChallenge.com is a common partner used by many RAGs for their excellent overseas trips which I had the pleasure to embark on!
Many RAGs have a “RAG Week” at their university. This week is there to give RAGs the chance to show off about the work they are doing, recruit for their overseas treks and at-home marathons, and also get more members to join their society, as well as of course, FUNDRAISING! In these weeks we tried to get many people to join our society and played fun small games with passers by in our students’ union!
Another thing that RAGs are often involved with are RAG Mags! These are fun magazines which RAGs publish including the treks that are being offered throughout the year, donation and volunteering opportunities and information about what the RAG is working on that year. There is some conflict over who had the first ever RAG mag, but it is thought they have been around since at least 1923! This is an amazing piece of history for student fundraisers to carry with them!
The challenges I mentioned above are often run by RAGs in partnership with chosen charities after they have gone through a due dilligence process, testing their ethical ways and seeing if they are safe. The students are recruited by the RAG and they fundraise a particular total in order to travel across seas to amazing places such as Machu Piccu, China and the Atlas Mountains. Often, the students raise the money and half will go to the charity and half towards the expenses of the trip. RAGs often also run marathons and other simple fundraising events such as bake sales.
There are other challenges which RAGs are famously known for and these include “jailbreaks”. These events come in many forms and often involve scenarios such as races where students have to travel as far as they can without spending any money, get dropped of in mystery locations, or try to swap with other universities for a day by travelling with no money! These events can be super successful and people sponsor the students to do them by donating money.
Of course, RAGs are known as being gurus of fundraising (hence my charity guru title!) and they know how to get a lot of money raised! One way that RAGs tend to fundraise is by doing “raids”. “Raids” are street collections, involving RAG students taking to the streets and asking for donations to go in their buckets. They often come prepared in fancy dress and they are really fun events! “Megaraids” are very similar to these “raids” except they are often longer and bigger with students taking over London or fundraising over an entire week on the streets.
RAG is an awesome thing to be involved with and when I was at university it was the one thing that filled me with passion. I embarked on overseas challenges and learned tons about fundraising! If you want to join your university RAG, why not go and see your activities/societies department and ask the best way for you to get involved!?