Rise of the “Wacky Warrior” fundraising

Raising money for charity used to be a simple task of donning running gear or getting on a bike. But today’s fundraisers have to work harder than ever before to grab public attention and get people pledging.

New research from Virgin Money Giving, the UK’s leading not-for-profit digital fundraising website, shows that on the back of a 12% rise in the requests for donations in the last 12 months, fundraisers are going further than ever before to encourage sponsors to part with their pennies.

The creative stakes are increasing. Last year Virgin Money Giving found that 19% more pages were set up which couldn’t be categorized into the usual fundraising brackets such as an ‘organised event’, or a ‘special occasion’. These weird, wonderful and one-of-a-kind ideas have really skyrocketed amongst fundraisers, with a rise of 218% in four years.

Analysis of the statistics from Virgin Money Giving reveals that the top three most popular far-out fundraisers were:

  1. Skydiving
  2. Shaving heads
  3. Fire-walking

Bottom of the league were two retro-style baked bean baths and a one-off cat ‘cuddle-athon’ which smashed its fundraising target.

In true British fashion, three times as many fundraisers would rather throw themselves out of a moving plane than give up alcohol. Women were seven times more likely to shave their heads than men, although 78% of the waxing challenges were being run by men.

However, Virgin Money Giving is determined that this eyebrow-raising fund-raising should not stop here. The not-for-profit donation website and its growing legion of ‘wacky warriors’ are calling on fundraisers to think outside the box, and be as creative and original with their ideas to catch the attention of potential donors.

eveEve Hazelton, who has given away all of her clothes and is living each day in fancy dress says:

“Coming up with a creative idea was probably the easy part but sticking to it has been super tough – but I guess that’s why it’s called a challenge. I knew that if I was going to raise a large amount of money, then I would have to do something suitably fun, vibrant and different. Thankfully it seems to have entertained and caught the eye of lots of wonderful supporters.

“Unlike some other sites I looked at, Virgin Money Giving doesn’t take a profit from my fundraising – so is a great way to raise money. The platform and Virgin brand is trusted the world over – which lets you make the fundraising as crazy and inventive as you like!”

Jo Barnett, Executive Director of Virgin Money Giving said:

We are so privileged in our job to see the brilliant ideas and super human efforts that people make to raise money. Going above and beyond to raise funds for causes close to our hearts is something we cannot encourage enough here at Virgin Money Giving; as we’ve seen over the last year, it really is a case of ‘the more, the merrier’!


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