Leah Gibson, Events Executive at Meet Cambridge, shares her experience of organising fundraisers for charity – rule number one is “don’t be afraid to be cheeky”.

Here at Meet Cambridge we’ve been picking our annual charity for the past four years now. We hold two charity quizzes every year and I’ve been in charge of organising the past five or so. We are currently supporting Mind in Cambridgeshire Peterborough & South Lincolnshire, which provides a wide range of services to support people recovering from mental health challenges, promote positive mental health and tackle mental health-related stigma and discrimination. We try and raise as much money as possible each year for the cause that we choose – in total we’ve raised about £6,500 over the past four years.

I’ve learnt that it pays to be a little bit cheeky when it comes to organising a charity event. People are very generous with prize donations and we’re incredibly lucky that our venues offer us free room hire and because we’re really flexible on our food choices, we’re able to keep catering costs as low as possible too.

Here are my top tips for organising a charity event.

  1. It is easy to get disheartened. We don’t like to set targets as we try and raise as much money as we can. Remember every penny counts for our charities; when we ring them up to let them know how much money we have raised, they are always absolutely delighted.
  2. We find raffles, auctions and games such as Heads & Tails great for raising funds at charity events. It is always amazing how much money people will part with for a good cause – and if you can get prizes donated by your suppliers or local businesses, you can quickly raise significant sums.
  3. Get a letter of support from your chosen charity. When you have proof that the event is for a charitable cause it makes it a lot easier when you’re trying to get prizes for free.
  4. Involve people. We always invite our chosen charity to come along to explain to attendees where the money will be going. We keep people up-to-date following the event to let them know how much they helped to raise as well so that they get something out of the event, as well as having a good time.
  5. Get quizzing. A quiz night is an easy way to raise money if you have the right contacts. Once you have a good quiz master to help you out, all you need is a venue and people will come for a fun night. Over the last few years, our quizzes have built up a really good reputation and the teams are very competitive – in a friendly way! Remember – the quiz master has the final say!

Our next quiz night is taking place at Robinson College on 30 November; please contact leah@meet-cambridge.com for more information.

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