Surfer at Saunton Sands Will Day

Read our expert guide to holding your own fundraising event.

What you can do

There are many ways you can get involved and fundraise for the Marine Conservation Society. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Do something active

Challenge

Whether you’re taking part in an organised event or planning one of your own, a challenge is a great way to raise money.

You could find a new sporting challenge or organise an activity you already enjoy. Do you have access to facilities where you could hold an event? How about your local swimming pool, school field or coast path?

Invite people to join you in your challenge or take it on solo. Remember: some venues may have a limit on the number of people they can allow on-site for health and safety reasons. Make sure what you do is it’s safe and legal.

£ Take part in a local 10k
££ Run a marathon
£££ Take on a series of challenges

Obstacle courses and mud runs

There are many events offering 5k to 20k courses, so it’s up to you how big a challenge you want to take on. Some courses require teamwork, so gather your family, friends or colleagues.

£ 5k course
££ 10k course
£££ 10-mile mud run

Your choice-a-thon

Dance, run, cycle, kayak, hula-hoop... it’s your choice. Set yourself a timescale, choose your activity and decide whether to go it alone or form a team. Find the right space (make sure you have permission) and go for it!

£ 6 to 12 hours
££ 12 to 24 hours
£££ Set a world record!

Use your passion

Stay in

Raise funds from the comfort of your own home. Give something up, lend a helping hand to your neighbours, host a Come Dine With Me competition or have friends over for karaoke. Whatever you decide to do, this is your chance to use your talents, interests and hobbies for good. If you can't be together in person, why not make it a virtual event?

£ Coffee morning
££ Board games night
£££ Video game challenge

Food & drink

If cooking is your thing, share your culinary skills with your family, friends or colleagues. Plan a three-course meal and ask diners to donate, compete against friends, or find a place to sell your bakes. If you’re not much of a cook, you could organise a wine or whiskey tasting, or host a cocktail party. Just remember to check what licences, if any, you need.

£ Bake sale
££ Wine tasting
£££ Local food festival

Get crafty

If you have a craft-based hobby or skill, sell what you make and donate your profits. Or go bigger and organise an exhibition or craft fair!

£ Design and sell cards
££ Run a series of masterclasses, teaching your skill
£££ Hold a craft fair or exhibition

Host a party

Parties are a great way to get people involved in your fundraising because all they need to do is show up! Take things to the next level with fancy dress, games, a raffle, karaoke, or really go for it and organise a black-tie event. Make sure you follow our green guide to keep your environmental impact as minimal as possible.

£ Small party at home with family and friends
££ Hire a hall and sell tickets
£££ Black-tie gala

Quiz

A pub quiz, University Challenge, A Question of Sport ... quizzes are a simple and fun way to fundraise. Ask competitors to pay an entry fee and local businesses to donate a prize. You can add a raffle for a quick funding boost too. See our guide to keeping your event legal.

£ Hold a quiz in your lunch break at work or school
££ Have a quiz at your local pub
£££ Run a quiz tournament over a few months with a grand prize

At school

Schools provide excellent opportunities for fundraising, as you’ve got easy access to a lot of people. Organise a Big Blue Day and ditch your uniform for an all-blue wardrobe (you could even dye your hair blue!). Turn your sports day into a fundraising opportunity by asking competitors to donate to enter, hold a sweepstake, or sell tickets to parents. Other ideas include a teddy bears' picnic, fun run, bake off, or bring-and-buy sale.

£ Cake sale at lunch time
££ Class sponsored silence
£££ School fete or disco for students and their families

At work

Fundraise at work yourself or get your whole office or company involved. Many of the activities already mentioned work brilliantly in the workplace. Ask your employer to match all or a portion of anything you raise.

£ Office sweepstake
££ Payroll Giving
£££ Make the Marine Conservation Society your Charity of the Year

Join a beach clean

We all have a part to play in turning the tide on beach litter. Beachwatch is our national beach cleaning and litter survey programme, where people all around the UK come together to care for their coastline. Join an event or organise your own and be part of the fight for the future of our oceans!

Still not sure what to do? Take a look at our A to Z of fundraising ideas for more inspiration.

Going virtual

Virtual events are becoming more and more popular. Almost any fundraising activities can be done online, for example using social media or video calling. There are a number of benefits:

  • Reach a wider audience
  • Connect with friends and family long distance
  • Join a large event you weren’t able to travel to
  • Save paper, with no posters or invites to print
  • Save the money needed to hire a venue

It might sound daunting to organise an online event but it can be easy and fun. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Facebook fundraiser

Make your post into a fundraiser by selecting ‘Raise Money’ and search for the Marine Conservation Society.

Host a quiz

Put a date in the diary and invite as many people as you like. Set up an online giving page and take donations to enter. On the day, while you’re adding up scores, set point-scoring tasks to keep people entertained, like putting on as many clothes as possible in five minutes. Award a certificate or homemade trophy to the winning team.

Quiz tips:

  • Allow teams to donate to buy one answer.
  • Ask non-players to donate to set questions or tasks for teams. Remember to share the results with people who donate.
  • Share your fundraiser far and wide on social media and tag the Marine Conservation Society.

Join a virtual challenge

Many of the big challenge events now offer virtual challenges alongside their physical events. Keep an eye on our events page or visit Ultra Challenge, The Conquerer, or Great Run to find your challenge.

Or why not come up with your own challenge? How many times would you have to climb your stairs to equal the height of Ben Nevis or Snowden? Is there a local route you can run? Using apps like Strava you can track and share your fitness activity and link it to your online giving page.

Game for good

Turn your love of gaming into a cause for good by setting yourself a fundraising challenge. You could join one of our Game Shark campaigns or create your own.

Organising your event

Checklist

Before the event

  • Choose your activity
  • Register for your event, if necessary
  • Set up an online giving page
  • Set a budget, if necessary
  • Find a venue, if necessary
  • Get licences, if necessary
  • Invite people
  • Promote your event

After the event

  • If you’ve hit your fundraising target, increase it to encourage extra donations
  • Thank your donors

How your money helps

Your fundraising support helps us campaign for proper protection for marine habitats and wildlife, make seas and beaches cleaner, and protect the UK’s fish.

Litter on UK beaches has doubled over the last decade, and more than half of all beach litter is made of plastic, which may never biodegrade. We run regular beach cleans with thousands of volunteers, collecting and surveying litter ever year.

80

%

of the seafood we eat in the UK is made up of just 5 species. Why not try something new?

Our fundraising promise

Our members and supporters are vital to our success, providing us with the funds we need to protect our seas, shores and wildlife. Without their generous support through volunteering, campaigning and donating, we wouldn’t be able to carry out our important marine conservation work.

We’re proud that more than 80% of our income is spent on conservation work – from campaigning for marine protected areas, to clearing litter from beaches, and working with industry to encourage more sustainable fishing practices.

In return for this incredible support, we ensure all our fundraising practices are honest, legal, transparent and respectful of our donor’s wishes and privacy. Our staff and any agencies that work for us adhere to the strictest fundraising guidelines. We comply fully with all relevant laws, including the Data Protection Act 1998, the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR), the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), and the Institute of Fundraising’s Code of Fundraising Practice.

We are registered with the Fundraising Regulator (FR) and are members of the Data & Marketing Association (DMA – formerly the Direct Marketing Association) and the Institute of Fundraising (IOF).

Our promise to you:

  • We are committed to the highest standards.
  • We will be open and transparent about how we raise and spend money.
  • We will never sell your data to other companies or share your details with other charities, unless you tell us we can.
  • We will make it clear and easy for you to choose how you hear from us. If you ask us not to contact you, we won’t, unless it’s a legal requirement.
  • If we call you on the phone regarding your membership or other means of support, we will always check first that you are happy to speak with us.
  • We will never use pushy or aggressive fundraising techniques.
  • We fully support the strengthening of the fundraising regulations and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

If you have any concerns about the way we fundraise or would like more information, please email or call us. Alternatively, you can write to us at the following address:

Marine Conservation Society
Overross House
Ross Park
Ross-on-Wye
HR9 7US

Contact us

Remember to Register your event, so we can support you.

If you need any help with planning your event, email us any time at [email protected].

Explore our current campaigns and help us to fight for the future of our seas

Take action