Hello and welcome to our YMCA Bournemouth fundraising guide. It’s packed with tips and ideas about how to organise great fundraising events, so that even more people can be supported by us. Because of your commitment, we’re able to make a huge impact on the lives of people in need within our community. Many people don’t know where they’d be today without the help of YMCA Bournemouth. What they do know is that they wouldn’t be where they are without your support and the vital funds that you – and others like you – raise

Getting Started

We’re thrilled you’ve decided to fundraise for YMCA. It’s really easy to find a way to make a difference, and whether your event is big or small, every bit counts. To help you get ahead, here are our top five fundraising tips.

Start with what you have

What are you good at? What do you love? What resources do you have? Capitalise on these. If you’re brilliant at baking, make some cakes and tempt your workmates. If you love long dog walks in the countryside, set up a sponsored walk and invite mates with canines to join you.

Make it your own

While we’ve provided you with ideas throughout the guide, feel free to come up with your own grand plans or customise ours to fit around your likes.

Think prices

Consider how much you can charge for tickets, refreshments and the like. Look at similar fundraisers locally to get a feel for what’s expected. Remember it’s all about trying to strike a balance between offering an event that’s good value and not underselling your efforts. That way, you’ll maximise the amount that you raise.

Don’t forget the add-ons

Think about the simple things you could add to your fundraising event to boost your totals. Will you charge for refreshments? Or add a raffle, an auction or a tombola?


Get help Above all, don’t go it alone.

Don’t be afraid to ask for support helpers to come along on the day, companies to donate prizes or your partner to give you a hand loading up the car with supplies! Remember you’re doing an amazing thing for an amazing cause so spread the load and get others on board.

Share The Story

The best thing you can do for your fundraiser is spread the word and let everyone know about it! Here’s how.

Make it personal

Start with your warmest audience – your friends and family. Start by sending them a personalised invitation then, when they’re on Team YMCA Fundraiser, see if you can encourage them to recruit

Go social

Get your event or challenge out across your social media channels. Tag friends who you think might be interested and don’t forget to thank people publicly when they give, or reach out to local influencers to get their help with promotion.

Get in local publications

In the lead up to your event, it’s great to engage publications online and offline with what you’re doing. Share stories with them about why you’re fundraising and how people can lend their support. Include a photo of the people involved – as smiley as possible and taken in natural light (which instantly improves picture quality). Follow up with stories and pictures after the event too.

Poster up

If you’re fundraising by putting on an event, pop up posters and leaflets in busy places locally. If your fundraiser involves being sponsored, a poster can work wonders in spots such as your workplace or place of worship as a visible reminder for people to make their pledge.

Get sponsored

Think about setting up an online fundraising page too – where friends can sponsor you and read about your progress. Check out https://www.justgiving.com/bournemouthymca

If you’d like a sponsorship form you can print, please get in touch at – fundraising@ymcabournemouth.org.uk

Fundraising Ideas

  • Ask the expert – What’s your area of expertise? Gardening? DIY? Roller-skating? Offer the fruits of your finely honed labour for a good cause. Then invite friends and colleagues to share in your knowledge by letting them book a support session for a small fee.
  • Get your coach on – If you’ve got coaching or mentoring skills, perhaps picked up in the workplace or through training, why not help friends and colleagues move forward in their lives? Offer a series of supportive meetings to help them meet their life goals, all while inviting donations that will see you smash your fundraising targets.
  • Random acts of kindness – Though kindness costs nothing, it could just raise vital funds for young people and communities in need. Letting your nearest and dearest offload on the phone after a tough day at work, walking their dog when they’re tired or doing some DIY they’ve been putting off? Next time they ask what they can do in return, why not suggest that they make a donation to YMCA Bournemouth and help spread the love?
  • A night in the wild – Organise a sponsored night under the stars and get a gang of friends to camp al fresco in the great outdoors. Or take them on a night hike, walking through the wee small hours into the dawn.
  • Silly sock day – Socks are one of the most commonly requested items by those forced to sleep rough. Put the fun into fundraising by charging everyone a quid to wear truly outlandish socks to work. Then stage a lunchtime fashion show with everyone getting their ankles out for young people who need our support.
  • Knit bobble hats – Know any knitters? Whip up some woolly wonders to keep heads cosy, sell them for a few quid and bring young people off the streets and into the warm. You could also take knitting commissions, or hold a knit-off to find out who can make the most show-stopping headwear?
  • Bake off – Bring out your inner Mary Berry and bake away to raise money for families who need our support. Sell your wares at work or hold a coffee morning and invite lucky guests to tuck in for a donation.
  • Teddy bears’ picnic – If you go down to the woods today, you could raise lots of money for families in need of our support – by inviting all your friends to a picnic. Teddy bears aren’t compulsory, but they could add some fun for the kids.
  • Community day – You don’t need a Royal wedding or coronation to get everyone out together in your local area. Why not hold a day for all the community and invite everyone to play their part? Set up stalls along your street and invite local businesses to contribute services or donate prizes. Cook up a storm in your kitchens and sell the grub. And provide games and face painting for the kids.
  • Sports Day – Why not hold your own grown-up version of a school sports day? Run it over an extended lunch hour at work, competing against other teams and departments. Or get together with friends and let the games begin at your local park. Charge everyone an entry fee and ask your company or local businesses to donate prizes.
  • Smoothie bar – Set up a smoothie bar at work or outside your house and dole out delicious, fruity concoctions for donations. Get creative with your healthy blends and throw in oats, veg, coconut water and herbs (but maybe not all at once).
  • Give it up – Could you go for a month without sugar or, worse, social media? Maybe cheese, chocolate or beer is the thing you’d miss most? Whatever it is, take a rain check on this pesky pleasure in exchange for sponsorship from pals, then watch the pennies (rather than the pounds) pile on.
  • Skill swap – Get together with friends or colleagues to trade in what you’re best at, with each participant making a donation. If someone can knit you a scarf, offer them a tennis lesson. Or perhaps you’ll swap a singing solo at a friend’s party for a three course home-cooked meal?
  • Sponsored silence – Ever wanted a bit of peace and quiet to get on with the task at hand? Suggest a day of sponsored silence at your workplace and don’t forget to charge penalty fees for slip ups.
  • Library service with a difference – Search your bookshelves for those paperbacks you’ll never read again and share them with workmates – for a fee. Ask them to bring in their unused tomes and watch the pounds line up.

Now for the serious stuff. To make sure everything about your fabulous fundraising event runs smoothly, please follow the following super important tips.

Money – When handling money, you should keep good records and be safe. Two people who aren’t related should always be present to count money and you should also think about how to transport it to be cashed.

Risk assessment – Carry out a simple risk assessment to show evidence that you’ve considered possible hazards and taken steps to mitigate risks. Use this as a live document, carry out a check before your event starts and record any additional action taken around safety. While this is all common sense, keeping a record means everyone is clear on what they need to do and you can show it has been considered.

Raffles – Without an appropriate licence, you can only sell raffle tickets on one single day or to a discrete group of people (for example employees of one company). If you want to sell tickets over multiple days to a wider group of people, you’ll need to apply for a small society lottery licence from your local authority. Remember that for any type of raffle every entry must be charged at the same rate, so you can’t offer a discount for buying multiple tickets. For more info, visit – gamblingcommission.gov.uk

Food – If you only handle, prepare, store and serve food occasionally and on a small scale, you don’t need to register as a food business. However, you do need to ensure the food is prepared hygienically and it’s best practice to provide allergen information. Find out more at food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene

Insurance – If you are inviting members of the general public to an event and don’t have public liability insurance through your workplace or association, it’s recommended to get this for the occasion.

First aid – Think about what first aid provision you need for your event. If it’s a large event you may want to engage a supplier such as St John Ambulance.

Thank you for your support.

Please watch this short video of our successful Big “Sleep Easy” in 2018

To find out about this years event, please follow this links below

Get in touch

Fundraising Dept.
YMCA Bournemouth
Delta House Hostel

56 Westover Road

01202 290451