Scout Groups are quite often on the lookout for new ways of fundraising for different projects, trips and equipment. The team here at Project X are all keen Scout Leaders and together, we’ve organised many a fundraiser. Here are 5 of our favourite ways to raise funds…
Challenges are a brilliant way to raise funds. You can create a real hype about the cause you’re working for and the challenge you’re setting yourself. Picking a challenge can be a little tricky and there are a few things to take into account whilst choosing:
- How many people are going to be taking part?
- How physically demanding do you want the challenge to be?
- Do you want to organise your own challenge?
At the end of the day, you need to create or find a challenge that will push you and the other participants – if you are truly pushing yourself people are more likely to donate or sponsor you. You could hike, cycle, row, climb, swim… Pick a distance that means something – like the distance between two important places or the length of a trail etc.
Cycle to Prague
Back in 2013, we organised a cycle challenge for our Explorer Scouts who went to Eastern Europe to do some work with a charity for Children’s home. The first stop on the trip was Prague in the Czech Republic – so we thought… Why not cycle the distance between Oxford and Prague! Firstly, we knew we had a village fate coming up, which was the ideal time and place to hold the challenge. We managed to borrow two exercise bikes (both of which cycled the full distance!) from a local gym and set up a marquee in the village. Working out the distance – 900 miles, we realised the challenge would take 3 days to complete, so we ran a series of small fundraising events alongside the marquee so people could come and see what we were up to. The whole Scout Group worked together, taking turns to cycle for 1-hour stints, and the Explorers camped so they could do the night shifts. Each person cycling collected donations, along with the donations collected from passers-by.
If cycling 900 miles isn’t your cup of tea, that’s okay! There are plenty of different things you could do. The more imaginative, the better we think – we have seen challenges like climbing the height of Mount Everest (8848m) at a climbing centre, rowing the length of a river or even swimming the length of a ferry crossing at your local pool!
2. Copper Mile
The Copper Mile is a brilliant cash drive. Make a 1-mile line of 1p’s and 2p’s! So, roughly you need to collect 250kg of coppers, which approximately raises £800 – £1000 depending on your ratio of 1p’s to 2p’s. You can give your Scouts the challenge to collect coins over a few weeks, create a display about your cause and attend local events to collect donations or ask local shops to have a jar on their counter with a poster to collect shopper’s change.
Once you have collected all of the coins, you could hold an event where you lay out all the coins to see if you made the mile! There are a couple of ways you could do this, use a hall or Scout Hut – measure out a mile back and forth along the floor. This makes it quite easy to clear up as you can simply sweep up the coins at the end. You could do it outdoors, but we suggest you lay out groundsheets, tarps or sheet plastic, and go back and forth again to avoid having to pick up each coin individually at the end!! This can be a brilliant way for you and your Scout to visually see how much you’ve raised, whilst having a bit of fun too.
3. Hold an Event
Holding an event can be great fun and brilliant publicity for your group. Your event could be anything – use the skills and strengths of your leaders and committee when deciding what you are going to do. You need to decide whether to make your event family friendly or not. You could get an alcohol license and have a bar, have live music or serve food (BBQ, one-pot or tuck shop).
Here are a few suggestions we have done over the years:
- Quiz Night – You could get people to sign up in teams to fit tables, and charge per team. Charge a little more and provide a meal – a simple one-pot curry or stew!
- Barn Dance – Find someone with a barn or hall that you can hire or borrow. Layout hay bales and decorate the place. Find a local country/folk band to come and perform. Charge per person/family.
- Film Screening – Perhaps show a film in the afternoon for kids and another in the evening for teens/adults. Charge per person and have a tuck shop on the side for movie snacks. But remember that you will need to get a license for the film you want to screen at the BFI Community Cinema Website.
- Sports Tournament – Rounders, cricket, football, etc… You could make this a family event or kids – open it up to local groups, district and county. Charge a small fee per team. You need a fair few people to marshall and referee, but it is definitely a fun event.
- Bake Sale – You could do it as a one-off, or hold a regular bake sale in your local community. Get your Scouts to bake the cakes and they could work towards their cooking badge in the process!
- Trip Report Night – Why not run an event after your camp where you could show photos and videos about your time away? You could even then raise money for another project or your next camp! We were lucky enough to have some Explorers and Network doing a video production course at college when we did our Summer Expedition in 2013, so we filmed it and then ran an evening for the parents and people that supported us to show them what we had been doing. Check out the videos on the 1st Harwell ESU YouTube Channel!
4. Offer Your Services
Offering your services to your local community is fantastic for fundraising. Here are some ideas:
- Have a community carwash
- Volunteer at local events – marshalling, car parking, general help
- Mow lawns and basic gardening
- Offer to BBQ at an event
- Wash windows
- Paint fences
- Have an auction of promises – get everyone (including leaders) to come up with something they could do well for someone else – cook a meal, dog walk, gardening, sports/music lesson, etc. Hold an event and invite lots of local people, then auction off each person with their good deed they could do.
Giving up time and effort for someone makes them more likely to give a good donation. Doing things within the local community is also a great way to give back too.
5. My Fundraising
My Fundraising is our easy way for you and your Scouts to raise money for your group by shopping on our website. Once you have registered, you will get a link that you can share with everyone and anyone. When someone clicks on your link our website will then give them 10% off their order (excluding Scout badges and uniform) and you will earn 5% cash-back (excluding Scout Badges) for your group.
We have seen this work well with groups recommending that their members buy their Scout Uniform on our website. You could even create a kit list for your camp, recommending certain products. We could set up a page for your expedition or camp with this on for you – just get in touch and we will see what we can do to help you!