A-Z of fundraising ideas

You know you want to fundraise for Asthma UK but don’t know where to start?

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first time fundraiser we all need a little inspiration sometimes, which is why we have put together our favourite fundraising ideas in a handy A-Z.

All the suggestions below have been tried and tested by our fundraisers, but if you already have a unique idea and want to get started you can download your free advice and resources by visiting the fundraising resources and advice pages.

You can raise money to support Asthma UK in hundreds of different ways, but what are our top 3 activities?

  • Bake sales – make like Mary Berry and bake your way to fundraising success.
  • Walks – whether in memory of someone special or with the family it’s a great way to raise funds.
  • Fundraising in celebration – if you have a special wedding, anniversary or birthday just around the corner why not do something amazing and help fight asthma attacks.

Not the right activity for you? Not to worry we have plenty more, just take a look at our A-Z of fundraising ideas below for more information.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

A

Abseil – Set the bar high with a dare-devil abseil. Whether it’s off of the local town hall or plunging down the side of the Bristol suspension bridge you’re sure to make an impact

Auction/Auction of promises – If you have the contacts to rustle up sought after sports memorabilia or a smashing record collection this could be the perfect fundraiser for you. You can even make it a more laid back affair and auction off your time or skill set. Could an evening of ironing help you raise funds for new treatments?

Afternoon tea – With a nation full of tea drinkers it’s not surprising that a well brewed cuppa can bring in the pounds. Whether you like yours black or with milk there’s one thing everyone can agree on, there’s nothing more luxurious than a well toasted scone with clotted cream and strawberry jam. Whether you do it at work or at a local venue it’s sure to be a winning combination. Fish out the old baking tins and send the invites out.

B

Bake sale – Make like Mary Berry and bake your way to fundraising success. Whether you hold it at work, in the school playground or with friends make sure to ask your guests for their favourite sponge to maximise sales.

Beard shaving – Big and bushy or short and sprouty beards are all the rage this year. How much would your friends and family sponsor you to shave off the shaggy beard? If you want to encourage everyone to donate why not let them dye it Asthma UK purple the week before.

Bingo – If ‘cup of tea, no. 3’ leaves you feeling giddy then this could be the perfect fundraising event for you.  It’s suitable for all ages and you can adapt it to your audience. If your friends love celebrity gossip why not create a celebrity themed bingo with famous faces instead of numbers.

Big Purple Walk – How far will your school walk to stop asthma attacks? Whether long or short we are walking for a cure. Paint your school purple, hold a dress down day and organise a walk round the local school field or hall to raise funds for a cure.

C

Coffee mornings – If you can’t survive without a latte a day you’ll love this tasty fundraising idea. Offer to do the coffee run at work for a week or set up a shop outside of the workplace at your local book club or town hall. The great thing about a good coffee morning is that you’re offering people something they want which makes it even easier to raise sponsorship. If you know a friends organising a cake sale why not partner up? They can take care of the baking whilst you source the best coffee grounds.

Cinema screening - If you have a DVD collection that puts Netflix to shame then this is a great way to gather up the troops. It’s so easy to organise; at work, in the school hall, outside, or in the comfort of your living room there’s only one thing standing in the way of success – snacks! Chilli chocolate popcorn anyone?

Celebrate and donate – If you have everything you need on your birthday, wedding day or anniversary why not do something amazing and give the gift of hope to someone living with asthma by requesting donations in lieu of presents.

D

Darts match -  Never hit a bulls eye in your life? Don’t worry this could still be the perfect fundraising activity for you. Keep it serious by charging an entry fee for spectators or make it light and fun by challenging your guests to throw darts whilst balancing precariously on one leg. It’s sure to have everyone cackling with laughter by the end of the night and if you charge per throw it could also raise a pretty penny too.

Dinner party – An event which can be held come rain or shine is a wonderful thing and who can resist the sumptuous smell of a home-cooked meal. We recommend setting a theme for your dinner party. You could focus on the origins of the food you’re serving or serve dishes from your favourite film. Keep in mind the time of your event – why not host a healthy dinner party in January for all those trying to kick bad habbits or a sizzling summer fiesta. 

Dances/Discos – Dances and discos can be held pretty much anywhere with enough room to shake and shimmy. Think about whether you could host a dance at home or hire a local venue. We’ve helped lots of supporters raise funds this way so if a disco sounds like your favourite option give us a call.

E

Eating competitions – Do you think you can beat the world record for the fastest anyone has ever drank a pint of milk (3.97 seconds)? How about 3 pickled eggs (26.31 seconds)? Setting a new Guinness World Record is a great way of attracting media attention but why not set yourself your own cream cracker challenge and set up a sweepstake.

Easter egg hunts – Eggs are hard to find in December so this little fundraiser is definitely one for when the chocolate is at its finest. If you don’t fancy doing a traditional Easter egg hunt why not organise an Easter party – with the school holidays and festive spirit there’s sure to be plenty of people willing to help and keen to attend your event. We have lots of fundraising ideas to help you hop your way to success.

F

Face painting competition – Not got the time or resources to plan a street party from scratch? Why not get involved in one that’s already taking place and offer your services as a face painter. No fete’s happening near you? Not to worry, nowadays face-paint’s not just for kids. Why not pop down to your local nightspot and offer your services. Top Tip: It’s especially popular on themed nights.

Fancy dress days – Fancy dress isn’t just for Halloween. It’s great at a dinner party, at work or at school and can be a fabulous alternative to a traditional dress down day. If you’re a boss, why not get everyone to come in wearing their best fancy dress outfit and charge £1 for the privilege. You could even organise a themed cake sale to give it that extra sparkle.

Football match -  Whether you opt for a full team or five a side this is the perfect 90 minute fundraiser that’s sure to make a difference to the lives of people with asthma. Raise funds by charging a players' fee and ask the spectators to donate to take part in a penalty shoot out.

G

Games night – You don’t have to be a monopoly board master or a cluedo wizard to organise a games night. You just need to borrow games from your friends and family, find a place to host it, and rustle up your favourite people. It can be as simple as charades or if you have a screen and games console why not organise a video gaming competition. Tight on time? put on a lunchtime event at your office and charge your colleagues to play.

Girls night in – Manicures, pedicures a lovely bottle of wine and the best company in the world will make this the best night in you’ve ever had. Simply ask your girls to donate the amount they would usually spend on a night out to Asthma UK and create your perfect indoor party.

Give it up! – We all have bad habits, some worse than others (we are looking at you nose pickers!) but you can break the baddies whilst doing something amazing for charity. No matter the time of year it’s always the perfect time for a change. If your habit is costly why not donate the money you’ve saved to Asthma UK. If it’s a particularly funny habit why not create an online giving page and ask your friends to sponsor you. Over the years Asthma UK’s amazing fundraisers have given up all sorts of things… crisps, chocolate, video games, smoking, naughty treats and alcohol to name a few.

H

Head shave – If you’re brave enough to shear your locks we commend you head shavers. Not only are you brave and beautiful, you’re also raising awareness and funds. Why not stretch out your head shave by letting people sponsor you to dye it a wacky colour the week before the chop.

Halloween party – Do you fancy spending your night apple bobbing to Thriller? Or moon walking dressed up in your favourite bedsheet? Halloween parties are one of the best ways to raise funds for charity. Simply invite your nearest and dearest gargoyles and charge an entry fee.

Hogmanay – If you can’t make it to Scotland this year, bring Scotland to you by throwing your own Hogmanay party. Friends can donate to take part in the celebration of the year by pledging the amount they would usually spend on a New Year’s Eve entry ticket.

I

International eventing – Whether you’ve travelled the world or love a particular culture this is a great fundraising event sure to make your guests smile. A culture or international theme is a great way to get your guests excited and raise money. Charge people an entry fee and think about your dress code, food and music choices. Entertainment such as an international quiz can really add flavour to your evening and don’t even get us started on the food!

It’s a knockout – It’s a great way to turn a kids game into something brilliant and fun for adults. We recommend contacting local businesses to ask for raffle prizes to help a good cause. They might even be featured in the local press if your event is big enough. You may need materials so if you, or someone you know, works in a school see if you can raid their store cupboard for sports equipment.

Irish night/day – It doesn’t have to be St Patricks day to have a good Irish party. Whether you’re blessed with Irish blood or just want to don a Paddy hat and sing along, this is a great fundraising idea. If you know anyone able to do an Irish jig why not charge for dance classes?

J

Jewellery recycling/collection/making – There’s lots of companies that will accept your unwanted jewellery and make a donation to charity.  If you’re gifted with the eagle eye and know how to spot a gem, why not sell your high value pieces at auction where they will reach their true potential or make your own special pieces to sell.

Jazz - If you’re a jazz musician yourself you could hold a jam session and charge for entry, offer lessons or organise a jazz appreciation club with profits to your chosen charity. Whatever you choose to do, make Jazz the centre of your fundraising and it’s sure to be a success.

James Bond – With such an iconic hero it’s no wonder there’s so many loyal bond fans. Holding a bond night will never be boring. With so many different Martini’s, themes, genres, villains and beautiful costumes to choose from a movie night’s never looked so appealing.

K

Karaoke -  Hate the idea of singing in public? Fear you sound like a strangled cat? Take it from us, Karaoke couldn’t be funnier. Get ready to laugh until you cry and sing yourself hoarse for a great cause. Whether you love it or hate it, our fundraisers have proven it’s a great way to raise money. If you’re looking for a Karaoke machine don’t forget to reach out on social media to save on the cost of hiring one.

Knitting – There’s one thing we can rely on here in the UK, we’ll always need a good woolly jumper. Put your fantastic knitting skills to good use this year and knit for a cure. Decide how you want to sell your unique items. You could use online auction sites, local village fetes, set up your own stall or visit your local car boot sale. Want to raise more awareness of your fundraising? Why not create your own Facebook page and advertise in your local area. Pop flyers into your local stores, tie your knitted wares somewhere in town to generate even more interest or pop them into your local stores with an Asthma UK tin.

L

Luncheon – if your office has a habit of ordering food on a Friday why not offer to cook and request donations to Asthma UK. Spoil your colleagues with lovely sandwiches and luscious salads and you never know, it might become a monthly treat.

Ladies Day – get your female friends together to celebrate! Who needs an excuse for lunch with the girls. You know what suits them best so why not tailor your girls day with cocktails and canapes, a picnic in the park or a mad hatters tea party.

M

Marathon events – Before you skip over this idea, a marathon doesn’t have to mean a running event. In the past our supporters have organised marathon Zumba classes, DJ sets, nail art sessions, abseils and many more. Decide if you want your challenge to last you 26.2 miles or hours and almost anything can become your personal marathon.

Matched Giving – never underestimate the power of matched giving. Whether you’re raising money offline or online, with friends or alone you might be eligible for Matched Giving. Ask your employer whether or not they operate a Matched Giving scheme. Lots of fundraisers have the amount they raise matched by their employer so don’t be afraid to ask.

Music and Mulled wine – a perfect winter favourite. Nothing quite compares to the smell of freshly brewed mulled wine. will you be performing or looking for local acts to provide the music at your music and mulled wine evening or simply cranking up the volume on the radio? Can you host it at home or will you need to find a local venue? Top tip: do you know anyone with a lovely big garden you could sweet talk into supporting you?

N

Name the … - it’s an oldy but a goody and it always goes down with children and adults alike. Tap into people’s competitive nature and you’ll be onto a sure fire winner. Try contacting local businesses to see if you can rustle up a prize for free or donate a percentage of the money raised.

New Years Eve – it’s a time for celebration and good will. Why not kickstart the new year by doing something amazing for charity/ request donations on the door if you’re planning a firework display at home or avoid the queues in town by hosting your own party.

O

Open garden – If your garden would make Alan Titchmarsh proud or your house is full of colourful history why not hold an open day and charge for entry. Better yet, rope on a couple of friends to help you sell teas, coffees and cakes and you’ll be sure to raise a tidy sum.

Office collection – there’s lots of quick and easy ways to raise money at work. You could; hold a bake sale, office Olympics, dress down day, fancy dress, luncheon, tuck shop or simply shake a bucket. It’s so simple and easy to do and will make a huge difference to Asthma UK’s research.

Obstacle course – fancy yourself as a bit of a daredevil but quite like keeping both feet firmly on the ground. Why not set up an extreme obstacle course. Perhaps you could have a mud pit, tyre swing, hula hoop and limbo bar. You can make it family friendly too by setting up a mini course for children. Don’t forget to call us, we’d love to talk you through how you can create your course and perform a risk assessment.

P

Pamper Day – it’s likely that your friends are already spending money on pampering so why not offer to do it for free (in exchange for a donation of course). If you’re a trained hairdresser, beautician, nail artist or masseuse we need you. If not, we advise staying away from offering free haircuts and pampering your friends with a lovely night in instead.

Pancake day – sugar, salt, chocolate, toffee sauce… yum.

Q

Quiz night – The pub, the village hall, the local restaurant, sports centre, gym and your best mates garden are all good venues to hold a quiz. Once you have a venue it’s time to get working on your questions. You can download lots of helpful hints on the internet or go it alone and design your own. Will it be a niche quiz or will you change themes with every round? You host the night and guests pay to play.

Quintessentially British day – Bunting, tea, scones and clotted cream, marmite and toast or a great British roast are just a few things that spring to mind. Put on a celebration of all things quintessentially British. You can charge entry and raise funds with Tombola’s or raffles. Be warned, British weather will be guaranteed.

R

Running – you don’t have to run a marathon to pound the pavements for Asthma UK – although we’d love to have you on the team! No matter what you do you will be a trainer wearing hero in our eyes. Why not organise your own run in preparation for an event or gather your friends together and plan your own route? Pick your distance and start asking for sponsorship.

Raffle –  a raffle is great to have at a main event like a fun day. Or as part of your fundraising for a wider event.

Recycle your clothes - your unwanted clothes can help us raise vital funds. We’ve partnered with the Recycling Clothes Company Ltd who collect your unwanted clothes and sell them in Europe to create donations for Asthma UK. For every tonne Recycling Clothes Company collects, we receive £75. The money raised from clothes recycling enables us to continue to support those with asthma and work towards a cure. 

If you receive a plastic bag like this, please consider supporting us by filling it with your old clothes:

If you would like more information on the Recycling Clothes Company, please visit their website or call 01293 612512. To speak to a member of the Asthma UK team about clothes recycling, please call 0300 222 5800 or email community@asthma.org.uk.

S

Sweepstakes – Want a way to fundraise fast? A sweepstake could be the perfect way to raise money. You have one question ‘ guess the weight of the cake’ and people pay to be given an answer. The one with the correct answer at the end of the sweepstake wins a prize.

Sponsored silence – this works particularly well if you’re known to be a chatterbox. If you find being quiet a challenge why not ask people to sponsor you for a day, a week or a month. What would it be like going shopping if you couldn’t speak? Remember to shout about your fundraising before and after your sponsored silence though as you won’t be able to during the challenge.

Skydive – take to the skies for the ultimate in extreme sport. Feel as free as a bird whilst raising money for charity.

T

Tea-riffic tea party – A good cup of tea can fix almost anything. Bring the joy of a good brew to everyone by holding a fantastic tea party. We drink it when we’re happy, we drink it when we’re sad, why not drink it to stop asthma attacks.

Tug of War – We know that together we’re stronger. Why not prove your strength by challenging your friends.

Tuck Shop -  If you’re the envy maker of the group with sumptuous lunches and delicious snacks why not set up your own tuck shop and sell your goodies. Did you know that many tea shops and bakeries will actually give unwanted goodies at the end of the day to anyone fundraising for charity. Why not supplement your tuck shop with professionally baked goods.

U

University challenge – Do you think you’re brainier than the local university? Why not gather together a group of your brainiest and brightest and complete against your local rival. Ticket costs will help you raise vital funds for asthma research and your local RAG will likely help you organise it.

Uniform day – why not jazz up your school uniform by asking your teachers if you can hold a ‘Sock it to asthma’ day. Wear your wackiest and weirdest socks to school and ask everyone to donate £2 for the privilege.

V

Valentine’s day -  why not organise a speed-dating session for your single friends or, if you’re feeling really brave, a Valentine's day ball! Sell tickets, organise a raffle and let cupid work his magic. If you’re a little daunted by taking on the challenge of a ball why not bake love-themed cakes and treats to sell at work or school or if valentine's day simply isn’t for you organise an anti-Valentine's event without a love heart in sight.

Vintage – Do you have enough vintage dresses to set up your own shop or an eye for fishing out a furniture gem online or at a local car boot sale? Why not organise your own vintage sale and donate the proceeds to Asthma UK. If you don’t have enough for a stall why not organise a vintage swap and small entry free for the privilege.

W

Walk – Where and how far will you walk for a cure? Whether your walk from Lands’ End to John O’Groats, Trek Hadrian’s Way, walk 5K or walk backwards blindfolded you’re walking for a cure and we salute you. Together we will find new treatments.

Wax It – it’s a classic fundraising technique and lots of fun to watch. It’s amazing how much your friends will pay to hear you shout 'ouch!'.

Wedding favours – If you want to give an amazing gift on your special day why not make a donation to Asthma UK on their behalf? We will send you a beautiful pin badge and plaque card for each of your guests.

X

XBOX – snuggle down and get ready for a mammoth night of zombie hunting and sword fighting to raise money for charity. We cannot be held liable for any sleep deprivation incurred by this ridiculously exhilarating fundraising idea.

Y

Yoga Marathon – know your corpse pose from your downward dog? This could be the perfect fundraising event for you. lots of fundraisers are skill they already have at their disposal. If you’re a yoga pro why not hold a yoga class for your friends, your students will not only invest in their health but also have the added satisfaction of having made a difference to other people’s wellbeing – what could be better for the soul.

Year to remember – What’s the most memorable year of your life? Why not make it this year, and for all the right reasons. Challenge yourself to do something good for people with asthma every single month. What about; doggy walking, a bake sale, sponsored walk, a blindfolded run or a wacky festive party?

Z

Zumba – Zumba your way to lifesaving research knowing that you are funding new treatments for people with asthma. Working out has never felt so good.

Zip wire – Adrenaline Junkie or willing to face your fears for a good cause? Why not take on one of the UK’s many zip wire courses all offering a different experience so do you research and find the one that’s right for you.