Welcome to our A-Z of fundraising ideas!

This page is packed full of ideas for raising funds to support education in Ethiopia. Explore our A-Z and let us know if you’re starting something so we can say thank you and help you with anything you need.

If you have any questions about your fundraising please contact [email protected]


Auctions – These can be anything from auctions of donated gifts to auctions of promises from people you know. How about an hour’s music lesson from a musical uncle, or having your best friend and chef cook someone meals for a day? These can be fantastic as the items in the auction cost little or nothing so all of the bids go straight to your fundraising.

Also – Abseiling, Arm Wrestling, Ale Tasting, Antiques Roadshow, Art Sale, Afternoon Tea, Angling Competition, Alumni Collection and Air Miles


BBQ – Few things in life can make people happier than having a BBQ on a hot summer’s day with a cold drink in their hand, so make the most of it. And once you’ve soothed them into this special happy place you can ask them for a donation or sponsorship for an upcoming sponsored event. To make your BBQ event that bit different you could add a country theme, try out an Australian Barbey or a South African Braai.

Also– Black Tie Event, Beard Shaving, Book Sale, Bingo, Bike Ride, Babysitting, Barn Dance, Burns Night, Bad Tie Day, Balloon Race, Bring and Buy, Battle of the Bands, Beat the Goalie, Beer Festival, Boat Race, Bouncy Castle, Bungee Jump and Bed Push


Cake sales – Cake sales can be held at practically anytime, anywhere. They’re great at a harvest festival, at a school or at the office in the run up to Christmas or at any of your other fundraising events. Either bake the cakes yourself, if you’re feeling particularly industrious, or recruit some friends and family to bake and donate cakes to you – this is also the better option if your baking talents stop at the humble potato.

Also– Car Boot, Car Washing, Cabaret Night, Coffee Morning, Clothes Swap, Caption Competition, Carol Singing, Concerts, Calendars, Casino Evening, Chariot Race, Children’s Party, Coconut Shy, Collection Tins, Copper Collection, Crossword Competition and Cricket Match


Dinner – Either as an intimate dinner with friends or a huge charity dinner in a hall, dinners offer a great fundraising opportunity. They can be themed and elaborate, simple and sophisticated or homely and rustic but charging for a ticket and serving some good food is all you need to create a fundraising success!

Fundraising dinners can be successful on many levels. They can bring in large amounts of money when run well and they can also help to raise awareness of your fundraising endeavours and be a great way to gain contacts for future events.

Curry nights are always a winner. Serve up some Indian starters, maybe onion bhajis and poppadoms,  followed by a choice of a couple of curry’s, rice and some naan breads. Accompany the whole dinner with some beers and everyone will be happy to pay £15-£20 for the experience. After the costs of cooking you should be left with a good amount of fundraising money, as well as a bunch of guests enthused about your fundraising and the work of Link Ethiopia.

Also – Dance Marathon, Disco, Darts Match, Dog Walking and Duck Race


Emails – Not an event in itself, but emails should form an important part of any good fundraising. Remember to keep them simple but friendly and always personal when sending them to friends, relatives or colleagues. You can also use email to contact “cold” donors or funding bodies. Most public libraries will have directories of charitable trusts that are good ways of finding likely donors that you can email, or send a letter to, to ask for support.

Also – Egg Eating Competition, Easter Egg Hunt, Eighties Night, Exhibition, Expedition, Expert Talk, eBay and Eating Marathon


Facebook – If you use Facebook, then you may  have many more “Friends” than you speak to on a regular basis, or even every year! But the beauty of Facebook is that you can use it to reach everyone, including the guy you haven’t seen since you left primary school 20 years ago, and while it is a long shot, there’s always a chance they will donate to you when you explain the work that Link Ethiopia does. Remember to send individual messages and not rely on general posts to multiple people. Facebook is also a useful way of publicising events that friends can pass on to all of their contacts.

 Also – Food Fight, Fashion Show, Fete’s and Fair’s, Fancy Dress, Fun Run, Five-a-side competition, Football Sweepstakes, Face Painting, Festivals, 50:50 Club, Film Evening, Fireworks and Flower Show


Gift Aid – Gift Aid is a UK government scheme that allows charitable organisations to claim back the tax paid on charitable donations. This can increase someone’s donation by a quarter while costing nothing extra and with only minimal extra effort. Just ask donors to fill in a Gift Aid form which can be found on our website and the taxman will add to your fundraising.

Also – Garage Sale, Gigs, Gala Events, Games Tournament, Garden Party, Guess the Weight, Golf Open Day, Guy Fawkes Party, Greek Night, Greetings Cards and Guided Tours


Head shaving – It’s big and it’s bold so people are going to take notice and donate. If you’re brave enough then shaving your hair as a fundraising event can be a massive statement on your believe in what you are doing and therefore be very successful. It’s a big thing to take on though, so if you are going to take the leap then make sure you advertise it well to ensure you get the donations you deserve!

Also – Honesty Box, Horseshoe Throw, Halloween Party and Hoopla


International nights – These can be very wide ranging events, from a night all about Ethiopia to an American barn-dance or a French cheese and wine night, so be creative. For a night about Ethiopia you could include a talk from yourself about Ethiopian culture and the work of Link Ethiopia, an Ethiopian dinner and a coffee ceremony, while including chances for people to donate to you.

Also – Ice Cream Sale, Indian Head Massage, Individual Gifts, It’s a Knockout! and Indoor Market


Jumble sales – It’s a classic, but it can work, and at a time when vintage clothes are fashionable it could work very well if you run it successfully. The concept is simple; ask for donations of clothes and other bits a month or two in advance of the sale. Either hope you’ll get lucky with donations or target who you ask to donate – maybe just ask friends and people in your age group. Find a venue and sort through the donations to check that everything is clean and wearable and then sell them at the sale. You could combine the jumble sale with a cake sale and tea too for a real vintage feel.

Also – Jazz Night, Job Swap, Jewellery Making, Jelly Eating Competition and Jailbreak


Karaoke – Everyone, somewhere inside themselves, loves karaoke. They may like different songs, but they love karaoke and so it makes a great fundraising event. You could either hire space at one of the growing number of karaoke bars springing up in cities across the country, or you could hire your own karaoke machine to use at your house or a hired venue. Then charge people either for entry into the event or for each song they sing. A great night on its own or as another part of a single huge event.

Also – Kite-flying, Kiss Selling and Knit-a-thon


Line of coins – This is a great fundraising activity to get big groups involved in, especially schools or Scout groups. Send out a request a few weeks in advance of the event for people to collect up all their spare change. On the day everyone brings in their bags of spare change with the aim of either making a line that reaches a certain distance or between two points or that even spells out the name of the group taking part or Link Ethiopia. Then once you have completed your work of art all of the coins used can go toward your fundraising. You could also add a competitive element if more than one group are taking part to see who can make the longest line. The more competitive they are, the more fundraising you will get.

Also – Limbo Competition, Latin Dancing, Ladies Night, Lotteries, Loud Tie Day and Left Handed Day


Matched funding – Some companies will already run matched funding schemes for their employees, while some may need a bit more prompting to get involved. The idea though is simple. Any fundraising that’s done by you, your employer matches it. If you don’t have an employer who can help, perhaps your dad/mum/sister/best friend’s employer could. So get some of those all important contacts involved too and you could be doubling all your hard work.

Also – Masquerade Ball, Murder mystery night, Marshmallow eating competition, Musical chairs, Master-classes, Music and Mulled Wine Evening and Marathons


Non-uniform day – Traditionally a staple fundraising activity in schools, this can also be adopted for virtually any workplace. People pay a small amount of money, maybe just £1, to come into school or work in something other than their normal uniform for the day. This could just be a casual dress event, or to make a big impact try making the non-uniform a fancy dress theme, like people’s favourite film characters or what they wanted to be when they were a child. If you can get a big group like a school or your whole office involved then these can be a great way to cover a lot of fundraising at once. Remember you’ll probably have to give something back too, so offer to give a talk on Link Ethiopia to everyone on the day.

Also – Nature walking day, Name that tune, Nostalgia dance, No-Smoking Week and New Years Resolutions


Odd-jobs – The Scouts used to have bob-a-job week where they would go out into the local community and offer their services in mowing lawns or washing cars for a bob (£1) a job. Though the Scouts no longer do a bob-a-job week, you could revive this wonderful tradition as part of your fundraising. So if you’re a musical maestro why not offer music lessons as part of your fundraising, or if you’re a computer whizz you can offer computer lessons or repairs. Alternatively, if you’re not gifted with these talents mowing lawns and washing cars for friends and colleagues can go a long way.

Also – Obstacle course, Odd clothes day, Onion peel competition, Open Garden and Opera Night


Pub crawl – Pub crawls always make interesting days and nights so why not utilise them for your fundraising! Get a group of friends together, pick a theme and dress up accordingly, then go around some of the pubs in your area with collection buckets to receive donations from the pubs customers. The better the fancy dress, the more attention you’ll get and the more people will donate to you. Remember to get the permission of the pubs landlords in advance of your charity pub crawl and check with the police to see if they require you to carry a permit to collect in public places. And make sure you don’t drink too much; you wouldn’t want to leave your hard worked for fundraising buckets in one of the pubs!

Also – Pyjama party, Pie Eating, Pancake race, Picnic, Pet show,  Paper aeroplane competition, Plant Sale, Plant a Tree, Poetry Evening, Pantomime, Personalised Gifts, Pet Show and Play Your Cards Right


Quiz nights – University Challenge has been running since 1961! So clearly the British people enjoy a quiz, and as with many things, that gives you an opportunity to fundraise.

Try holding a quiz night at your local pub on one of their quieter nights or in a school hall or similar if you’d like to include younger people. Charge either team or individual entry into the quiz, depending on how strict you want to be on team sizes, individual entry of £1 a person is likely to be easier and bring in some extra money.

See if you can get some prizes donated by local businesses to encourage people to join in. Who wouldn’t want to pay £1 for the chance to win a three course dinner at a local restaurant? You can get some quizzes from the internet, but even if you do this for the majority of the quiz, try and write one or two rounds yourself to personalise the event, not forgetting that picture or dingbat rounds are always popular.

Also – Quit smoking, Quiet time, Quasar competition and Quintessentially British Day


Raffles  – Another classic staple of fundraising. Probably best used to compliment another fundraising event if done in a single night or alternatively raffles can be great longer term events with people buying tickets over a month or so for a draw where any prizes can be posted to the winners. If done remotely over a longer period of time these can be made very successful through a combination of exciting prizes donated by companies and making use of friends and family to sell tickets to all of their contacts.

Also – Read-a-thon, Ransom & release, Rock-n-roll night, Races, Race Nights, Radio Competition, Roll the Dice and Recipe Book


Seasons – Making your events seasonal can get people more excited and more willing to donate to you. Having a traditional English summer garden party for example, with cucumber sandwiches, Pimms and croquet instead of a regular dinner night may be much more successful during the summer months. Also during some seasons people are more dispossessed to giving. Christmas isn’t just the season to be jolly, but also to give, so making sure that you have an event during periods like these will give you a much better chance of success.

Also – Silent Disco, Sponsored silence, Snail race, Swim-a-thon, Sack races, Shoe shining, Scalextric Grand Prix, Slave auction, Scrabble Competition, Sherry Evening, Sporting Club Dinner, Stand-up Bingo, Street Collections, Swimathon, Safari Supper, Santa’s Grotto, Scavenger Hunt, Shoe Shine, Slimming Contest, Sponge Throwing, Stationary Cycle, Swap Shop and Swear Box


Texting – Once again modern technology is revolutionising charitable giving. JustGiving now have a JustTextGiving scheme where people can donate with a single text and the money is taken from their monthly bill. We have been given a range of TextGiving numbers so if you are interested in using this fantastic technology then get in touch and we can set you up with one of our TextGiving numbers.

Also – Tea Dance, Talent show, Tug of war, Tombola, Tea party, Treasure hunt, Teddy Bear’s Picnic, Triathalon, Tin-Can Alley, Tuck Shop and T-Shirts


Unwanted gift sales – Everyone receives gifts that they don’t like from time to time, and usually these end up forgotten in cupboards. You can give these unwanted and unloved gifts a new home, while also taking in some great fundraising, by asking your friends and family to donate them and by holding an unwanted gift sale. Remember to take advantage of the seasons – these unwanted gift sales may be most effective after Christmas than before!

Also – Underwater eating, University Challenge, Unicycle race, Uniform dress up day, Underwear Out and Underground Pub Crawl


Variety shows – The boom in programmes on television like X-Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and Strictly Come Dancing show how popular variety and talent shows still are in Britain. So putting on a fundraising talent show like Britain’s Got Talent can be hugely successful, as long as you recruit enough contestants and some interesting judges you can make big strides in your fundraising. But also remember that classic variety shows like Music Hall’s are still very popular so make sure your variety shows have variety!

Also – Valet Service, Vegetarian evening and Vehicle Rally


Writing – Technology may be revolutionising charitable giving, making the act of donating simpler than buying your weekly shop, but asking for donations shouldn’t always be as brief. While some people will respond well to emails or messages via Facebook or even 140 characters in a Tweet, others will be far more receptive if you use a more measured personal approach. When contacting charitable trusts and those without access to computers and the internet your message will be best heard via a proper delivered letter which shows you have thought about why you wanted to contact them and you have spent the time to ask them for donations.

Also – Wellie throw, Wheelbarrow race, Wine tasting, Window cleaning, Walk-a-thon, Water fight, World Meal, Whisky Raffle and Wine and Cheese


Xmas cards – So the letter association is a bit of a cop-out but the idea is a good one. Christmas cards can be used for fundraising in two different ways. If you’re of an artistic nature then you could design your own Christmas cards to sell to people. These can be printed by a number of companies and become cheaper the more you order, so advertise well and you could be taking lots of orders and even more fundraising. If you’d rather let someone else do the creative bits then why not send out Christmas cards to friends and family, wishing them a merry Christmas while also talking a bit about your fundraising efforts and asking for a festive donation. You can also ask friends, family and companies to make a donation to your fundraising instead of buying Christmas cards one year. Environmentally friendly too!

Also – Xmas Bazaar and Xmas Hampers


Youth – While perhaps not the most affluent, the younger generations have energy in abundance! If you can get groups such as the Scouts or Guides involved in your fundraising then you could have an army of energetic and creative people ready to help. Alternatively you could contact your old school and ask them if they would be willing to donate or hold fundraising events for you in exchange for a talk about your fundraising challenges or Link Ethiopia.

Also – Yodelling competition, Yard of ale, Yorkshire pudding eating, Yoga-thon, Yacht race and Yard of Ale


Zzzz – John Lennon and Yoko Ono took to their beds for a week to promote world peace, and while you may lose your job if you decided to stay in bed for a whole week, a day’s sponsored lie-in can be a fun way to raise some money, especially if you combined it with other sponsored days activities such as not speaking or only eating a certain type of food. Remember to publicise your sleep-in though, maybe using regular tweets from your bed to keep people up to date with how you’re doing.

Also – Zombie party, Zoology mastermind, Zany Clothes day and Zodiac Evening