Sponsored fundraisers can be relatively easy to organise because there's no need to recruit volunteers, you're not dependent on getting parents and families to attend, and half the work is done once you've handed out a sponsorship form!
It's important to hold sponsored events at the right time – laying the groundwork for the fundraiser before a half-term break gives pupils time to collect sponsors over the holidays, as well as completing the task, if necessary. Always set a clear deadline by which pupils need to return their entries.
Tying events into the curriculum means you're sure to get the support of parents and teachers alike. You'd be surprised at the links you can find!
Challenge pupils to see how many items they can fit into a matchbox. Use blank matchboxes from Baker Ross (£10.95 for 90) so they're all the same size. Give one to each child, with a sponsorship form and a letter explaining what to do. Be sure to include clear rules (you don't want any toenail clippings!). Download templates here.
Consider how long pupils need to stay quiet for, making sure the length of the silence is achievable and relevant to the age group concerned. Fifteen minutes is good for younger children, but secondary school pupils should be able to manage a whole day – just make sure you provide plenty of paper so they can still communicate with their teachers and each other.
Make the activity accessible by encouraging children to read in a way that suits them, whether that's independently, aloud, with an adult or online. Pupils are sponsored for either the number of minutes or occasions for which they read over a set amount of time.
Jump Rope for Heart
Five to 13-year-olds can take part in the British Heart Foundation's Jump Rope for Heart skipping challenge. Sign up for free, and receive teaching resources, skipping ropes and access to the online hub. Any funds raised are then split between the British Heart Foundation (80%) and your school (20%).
Lay out a path of LEGO bricks – around half a metre wide by two metres long – and place gym mats along each side in case of any slips. LEGO walkers can be sponsored to take on the ultimate challenge: to walk over the bricks. Younger children taking part might want to keep their socks on to protect their delicate feet.
A sponsored swim is a brilliant way for students to practise their lengths. Adapt the sponsorship accordingly, for example per metre for younger children and per length for older. Consider encouraging the students to complete the challenge in teams for added enjoyment – and rivalry! Approach your local sports centre and see if you can negotiate a discount, or even free use.
Walk or run
A sponsored walk or run is a fantastic way to promote exercise and bring your local community together. If making a day of it, boost profits with refreshments stalls and add fun with some fancy dress or by turning it into a colour run.
Ask teachers to prepare a spelling test for their class. Children can practise the words and seek sponsorship, e.g. 10p for every correct word, and are then tested when they return from the holidays. Award prizes to the top fundraisers in each class, year or key stage.
Word in a word
Give every child a sponsorship form and asked them to find as many words as they can within your school name. Give prizes for the most words, the longest word, the most unusual word and the best anagram.
See if your pupils (and their families!) can give up chocolate and/or sweet treats for a whole month – or longer. Consider running this during Lent.
Ask pupils to seek sponsorship to achieve their fastest shot at goal, allowing three turns each. Obtain a speed-radar machine to record the speed of each shot – local sports clubs may allow you to hire or borrow one. Give people an incentive to take part by having a range of prizes up for grabs, and award prizes to the pupils with the fastest shot and most sponsorship money raised.
Tips and advice
- Using an online platform to collect donations means you don't have to worry about keeping track of cash.
- Claim Gift Aid and raise an extra 25p for every £1 donated. Use JustGiving's online platform and they take care of this for you.
- Let people know what you're raising money for. People will always be more willing to donate when they know the difference their donation will make.
- Contact local community groups such as Lions Clubs International as they often organise events, such as sponsored swims, into which not-for-profit organisations can enter a team.