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How to host a socially distanced fundraising event

The coronavirus outbreak has posed a unique challenge to fundraisers – how can you hold fundraising events while keeping yourself and those around you safe?

Keep fundraising and keep yourself safe hosting a socially distanced fundraising event

While video conferencing sites have offered virtual face-to-face interactions during lockdown, it’s hard to beat in-person meet-ups when you’re trying to get people enthusiastic about your fundraising campaign and your chosen cause.

We’re not going to lie – holding a socially distanced fundraising event is tricky. But it’s eminently doable while still following the government’s guidelines. To make things easy we suggest you stay outdoors at all times, limit group sizes to six people (you might want to run several sessions on the same day to accommodate more people), collect contact details and practice social distancing throughout. Keep in mind that the guidelines are subject to change, and there may be locally enforced restrictions on what you’re able to do. Here are some ideas for physically distanced but sociable fundraising events.

Pay the pentalty

Pay the penalty - Football

Tackles, man-marking, swapping shirts at the final whistle – football is full of socially proximate no-nos. But there are plenty of footy spin-off games that allow safe distancing. Charge an entry fee for charity and run a penalties tournament – players take five shots from the spot against you or, if they are happy to help, the goalkeeper from your local team and the person who scores the most goals wins. Or try a shootout with a twist – there’s no keeper and you win the round by hitting the post or crossbar. Start at the penalty spot and work your way backwards – if you hit the woodwork from the halfway line stick the footage on YouTube and wait for the phone call from Jürgen Klopp.

Raise a glass

Raise a glass - Wine-tasting

Only three ingredients are needed for an alfresco wine-tasting event: numerous bottles of tasty vino, an expert oenophile to talk about them, and thirsty punters ready to go to the park or a private garden to drink them. For the first two requirements, hit up your local wine shop – they might be willing to donate a few bottles and a knowledgeable staff member for the chance to promote their wares while doing some good. Finding people to drink wine is the easy bit; the price of admission, of course, is a generous donation to your chosen charity. And that donation might just become a little more generous if you collect money at the end of the session rather than the start. To keep things hunky-dory everyone should bring their own glass and the wine expert should do all the pouring.

Happy hunting grounds

Happy hunting grounds - Treasure hunt

A treasure hunt is all about the thrill of the chase. Hide various household items in a park or along a set route, set a series of clues, and ask individuals or teams from the same household to look for them, one team at a time. The treasure hunters – who will donate money to your chosen charity for the privilege of tracking down your hairbrushes, dustpans and the like – send you a photo each time they find an item on their list (ask them to re-hide the item so it’s ready for the next team) and the team to email you all the photos in the shortest time is covered in glory. Feel free to make your clues as cryptic as you like. Riddle me this!

Magical mystery tour

Magical mystery tour

In exchange for a donation, offer tickets for a bicycle tour around your local area – and appoint yourself the guide. The itinerary is up to you, but you’ll find it far easier if it reflects your interests. Foodies can take guests to street food stalls, history buffs can guide cyclists to statues and landmarks, and architecture aficionados can steer their two-wheeled cohort to local buildings of interest. If you’ve got the personality to pull it off, you could make the tour all about you – your first home, your first school, the location of your first kiss… Brush up on those hilarious personal anecdotes and create an experience that’s totally unique.

Canvas ideas

Canvas ideas - Arts class

An outdoor art class to raise funds is a great option, so long as it doesn’t rain. Participants must bring their own equipment – brushes, canvases, paper etc – and you’ll need a teacher willing to donate their time and expertise to a good cause. Unleash your inner Picasso and draw the park or garden you’re in, or maybe sketch the dogs or birds that pass by. If your group is comfortable with each other, you could attempt sketching portraits of each other. But if you’re in the park, maybe leave the life drawing for another time…

Sports day

Sports day

The three-legged race may pose distancing difficulties (unless each pair consists of people from the same household) but the egg-and-spoon race and the sack race are compatible with the new normal, so long as you bring your own eggs, spoons and sacks. An old-school sports day is as much fun for nostalgic adults as it is for little ones, so devise your races, charge a donation fee for each, and prepare for thrills, spills and broken eggs. Oh, and a bit of good news in these difficult times – social distancing gets you out of the dreaded tug-of-war. Result!

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