Back to fundraising guide

So how do you break it down? Well, that’s where we’re here to help.

We’ve taken quite a common amount to use as an example: £2,000. This is the sum that we ask you to commit to raising when we offer you a place on our London Marathon team. Let’s also assume that you have eight months to raise the money, which is the average length of time our London Marathoners have to reach their fundraising targets.

So here’s how to raise £2,000 in eight months or, to put it in a more palatable way, an average of £250 a month.

Month one: Get yourself online (Total: £250)

What better way to kick off your fundraising than by telling people you’re doing it? Explain your motivations for taking part, set up an online donation page and print off some sponsorship forms to spread awareness amongst friends, family and colleagues. Set yourself up on social media, if you’re not already, and maybe start an account dedicated to your fundraising so that people can follow your fundraising efforts. We’ve got a handy guide for making the most of social media in promoting your event. Hopefully you could make £250 in the first few weeks, just by sharing your story.

Month two: Time to get the buckets out (Total: £600)

Enlist the help of a few willing (or unwilling!) friends and family members to help you hold a bucket collection or bag pack at your local supermarket. Three people holding buckets or a bigger group packing bags at a supermarket for an afternoon can quickly see you collect around £350. We can help with supplying you collection buckets, T-shirts, stickers and posters to explain what you’re doing.

When collecting, please make sure you are granted permission from your local supermarket, or speak to your local authority if collecting on a public highway.

Order materials

Month three: Hit the workplace (Total: £750)

They’ve probably heard you talking about it for the last few months, so it’s about time your colleagues got involved in your fundraising efforts. Here are a couple of ideas for fundraising in the workplace:

– Sweepstake: National cultural events are a great excuse for some easy fundraising that requires minimal effort from anyone. Use sporting events like the Olympics, World Cups, Wimbledon or the Grand National, or cash in on television programmes that everyone is talking about anyway, such as Strictly Come Dancing, I’m a Celebrity or Great British Bake Off. Charge per pick and the winner gets half the prize fund, leaving you with around £50 to add to your total.

– Bake sale: Hey, just because you’re training for a marathon, doesn’t mean you can’t have a sweet treat once in a while, and bake sales are a brilliant way to raise money and sweet talk your colleagues in the process. Ask friends and family to contribute their bakes (or shop-bought, we don’t judge), help you on the stall, or even hold a bake sale in their own workplace. Again, use posters and T-shirts to promote what you’re up to, and £100 should be in your total in no time.

Month four: Clear out the cupboards (Total: £850)

– Bring and buy sales: Ask your friends, family or colleagues to donate old books, unwanted Christmas presents, or just things they no longer want to a bring and buy sale. Ask people for a donation to come and browse things, or take it all to a car boot sale, explaining your proceeds are going to supporting injured fire and rescue personnel. You could even approach a local coffee shop or hairdressers to help you sell them, and hopefully you’ll easily reach £50.

– Charity auctions: If you have something to sell that’s worth a bit more or something specialist like signed memorabilia, you could consider auctioning it to raise another £50. You could do this at an event or online using ‘eBay for Charity‘, which lets you set up an auction for the Charity of your choice so the people bidding online can be assured the money is going to a good cause.

Month five: Quizmaster knows best (Total: £1,200)

Speak to a local pub, hotel or restaurant about hosting a Charity Quiz Night. Charge people to take part, hold bonus challenges in between rounds, walk around and sell raffle strips with some prizes you’ve managed to get donated, and make sure you have change buckets around as well.

Sometimes the most simple things can be the most effective, so play on people’s competitiveness. Ask the pub if they can donate a bottle of wine to the person who can roll a pound coin the closest to a target on the floor, and watch the money roll in, literally!

Remind people of the cause they’re contributing to. Think about how you can inspire people to want to donate more, break up the evening with some of our beneficiary videos or share your own reasons for wanting to support the Charity. A well-thought out quiz night can easily earn £350 in one evening.

Month six: Get the community involved (Total: £1,625)

There are lots of opportunities within the community to get them fundraising for you too. Local Schools could do a dress down day and bake sale, earning £50 for your target. The Local Golf Club could hold a charity golf day for you, and add an extra £200 to your total, while an additional £75 comes from a local gym sponsoring a class or fitness challenge for you.

Think about local community events you could tag onto like summer fairs, church fêtes or gala days, and enquire about having a stall or a stand. Come up with a simple challenge to draw the crowds in, or ask friends and family or local businesses for donations to hold a tombola. This could add £100 to your total in no time.

Month seven: Think seasonal (Total: £1,890)

Think about what seasonal celebrations or occasions are taking place in the year and see if you can use them to help your fundraising. Valentine’s Day approaching? Ask a local restaurant to donate a meal for two and raffle it off for £60, or approach a local bar about creating a cocktail for your cause with proceeds going to your total. Hold an Easter Egg hunt in your local station, school, church or park, earning £75 in the process. Host a ghost house, pumpkin carving competition or Light up the Tower event at your station or headquarters, which can get you £55. Host a Christmas party in your premises and invite Santa to come along, charging entry to his grotto and raising £75.

Month eight: the final push (Total: £2,240)

Celebrate how far you’ve come and host a party in your town hall or local bar. Charge for entry, hold a raffle or tombola, maybe even host a karaoke competition. Whether you do it before or after your event is up to you, but if it’s afterwards, share how it went with some photos for one final push of your fundraising. Set a target for the evening, maybe £350, and update people of progress down to the last pound. Are you £50 off your £2,000? Tell people on the day, say you’d love to finish on a nice round figure, and hopefully they’ll support you. They’ve supported you this far, after all!

And that’s it!

Celebrate smashing your total, because if you’ve done everything we’ve suggested, you’ve raised £2,240.

Remember you don’t need to do all these things. If you find something that works do it three or four times if you can. If the bucket collection worked really well, go back the following few months and do it again. If there’s a summer and a winter fair in your town, try and get a stall at both. However it works for you, break down your target, set manageable objectives, and we just know you’ll be a success.

And on behalf of everyone your money will support in the future, and those who have already been supported by The Fire Fighters Charity, thank you so much. We couldn’t do what we do without amazing people like you.

Good luck!