Our A-Z of fundraising ideas

A bake-off or cake sale is a great fundraising idea for when you want to raise money for CAFOD!

Get inspired to fundraise for CAFOD with our amazing A-Z of fundraising ideas!

This list of easy fundraising ideas includes some of our favourite ways to raise money for charity and can be adapted to use with schools, teenagers, parishes, individuals or at work.

As well as these handy tips, you can  download the CAFOD How to Guide. The Guide includes seven simple steps to help you plan the perfect fundraising event as well as unique resources to make you into a fantastic fundraiser like a poster, a CAFOD sponsorship form and a paying-in slip.

CAFOD stands beside people living in poverty – whatever their religion or culture. Through local church partners, we help people directly in their own communities, and campaign for global justice, so that everyone can reach their full potential. Help us fight poverty by holding a fundraising event, taking on a challenge, or employing your talents!

This month's fun fundraising idea

Help us this Harvest! Organise a fundraising event or get involved in your parish and help spread the word. Your donations make a huge difference and fund many vital projects. Download our Harvest short talk to share with your parish or group and check out our other Harvest fundraising resources.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Aerobics-athon
To stay fit and healthy, organise an aerobics-athon. It’ll make you feel good about supporting us.

Arts and crafts fair
Put your creative talents into action and sell your works of art at a craft fair.

Auction
Organise your own fundraising auction. Why not auction off your talents for the day or donate a percentage of funds raised through a CAFOD EBay auction?

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B

Bake off!

One of our most popular fundraising event ideas! Download our How to hold a cake sale guide then get your friends, colleagues, parish or group to bake cakes, pies and biscuits, and see who can produce the tastiest sponge. Sell what's left after the judges have done their tasting. You could even auction the winning entries!

Girls at St Erconwald's Church, Walton-On-Thames at their bake sale. How will you raise money to support CAFOD's work?

Bad Tie day
Look in your dad’s wardrobe for those outdated ties and dazzle your friends. Pay to display the outrageous tie. Your friends could pay to have the offending tie removed. This is just one of many good fundraising ideas to use to Brighten Up for Harvest Fast Day.

Bag packing at local supermarket
Ask your local supermarket if you can hold a bag packing day for CAFOD. It’s a great way to provide a service to the local community while supporting us too. Get in touch with your local office to order CAFOD fundraising collection tins and t-shirts.

Battle of the bands
Challenge those budding musicians to a battle of the bands and put on a concert to raise money. You could also raise money with a “pay to leave” policy.

Beat the goalie
Challenge your friends to a beat the goalie competition. Pay to play.

Bring and buy sale
Sell donated goods on a stall. Cakes, books, home-made jam, bric-a-brac and fairtrade goods are firm favourites.

Bike ride

Looking for fun sponsorship ideas? Try pedalling against poverty with a sponsored bike ride! Set up a sponsorship page for CAFOD on JustGiving or download your CAFOD sponsorship form.

Find out what happened when volunteer Fred Uttley did a 1,000 mile sponsored cycle ride for CAFOD around the UK.

Bingo
Organise a bingo event – devise your own calls for the numbers. Charge a fee per game.

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C

Carol Service

Have a rousing carol singing fundraiser!  Bring people together to raise their voices whilst also raising funds to transform the lives of people overseas. Download our great How to hold a CAFOD carol service guide to find seven simple steps for putting on a perfect carol fundraiser.

CAFOD Christmas cards

Design your own CAFOD Christmas cards to sell to your friends and family or use a poster to send Christmas messages as an alternative to buying cards. Remember to donate the funds you save!

Colour theme days
Bring a bit of colour into your day and raise money at the same time! Get your friends to dress in their favourite colours for a donation. Set a football, season or country theme. This is another great fundraising idea for schools looking to Brighten up for Harvest Fast Day.

Cake sales
Cake sales are a great way to raise money and awareness too, if they are made from fairly traded products. Make it international with our recipes for treats from around the world. Check out our top tips for the perfect cake sale.

Coppers for CAFOD
Collect all those unwanted coppers that weigh down your pockets – small change can make a big difference. You can also collect your foreign coins to raise money for CAFOD

Collections

A really easy fundraising activity is to put those empty jam jars to good use and turn small change into a big difference. You could also get in touch with your local office for CAFOD fundraising collection tins.

Cook up a storm
If you’re a budding Master Chef, cook up some treats using these Big Share fundraising recipes or something out of the Friday Suppers cookbook and sell them to friends and family, or put your own original recipes into a cookbook to sell.

Competitions
Devise your own competition, or use tried and tested ideas such as ‘guess who the baby in the picture is’ to entertain the guests at any kind of fundraising event.

Concert
Gather all the talented people you know under one roof and put on a concert for friends and family. Our Sing Up for CAFOD fundraising event is great for schools and youth groups! Feeling ambitious? Students and former students from St Augustine school wrote and performed 'Just One World', a new musical to fundraise for CAFOD.

Cricket match
Challenge your peers or teachers to a cricket match. Each team pays a fee.

Car wash
Charge your teachers, friends and family to wash their cars.

Chocolate ban
Give up chocolate for a day, a week or a month and give the cash you save to CAFOD. If you're giving chocolate up for Lent, be sure to use our Lent calendar for motivation.

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D

Dancing
Put on those dancing shoes and disco the night away. Remember to charge an entry fee. Or go further and dance all day in a sponsored dance-athon. Set up a sponsorship page for CAFOD on JustGiving or download your sponsorship form.

Dress down day
It’s not the most unique way to fundraise for charity but the tried and tested dress down day, own clothes day or mufti day is always a hit with school students. It can work in your workplace too!
Doughnut sale
Delight all your friends with a delicious doughnut sale. Shops like Krispy Kreme let you buy their doughnuts at special low prices so that you can sell them on for a fundraising profit!

  • We would love to hear about your fundraising activities. Take photos of what you do and send them into us at events@cafod.org.uk so we can celebrate your success by sharing them on our website.

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E

Enterprise Days
Put on your Apprentice heads and come up with the marketing idea of the century! Create and sell the product you have designed or use our resources to design your own CAFOD World Gift.

Eco day

This is one of the best fundraising ideas for charity because you get to help the environment and raise money! Dress in green and do good deeds for the day, like litter picking and recycling your rubbish. Remember to get sponsored for all the activities you do. Set up a sponsorship page on JustGiving or download your CAFOD sponsorship form.

Eating baked beans with a cocktail stick
Challenge your friends to a baked bean eating competition – how many can you eat in a minute using only a cocktail stick?

Egg and spoon race
Are you up for an egg and spoon challenge? Race your friends and family. No cheating now!

Egg painting competition
Don’t waste those eggs after the race – turn them into works of art. Sell them to raise money for us.

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F

Fancy dress
Go crazy with the fashion ideas and create a zany masterpiece to wear for the day. Prizes for the most outrageous and colourful costumes.

Five a side football
Challenge your mates or your teachers to a five a side tournament as part of a football fundraiser. Each team pays to play.

Film night
Create your own cinema and hold a film night for family and friends. Sell popcorn and drinks and charge an entry fee. Theme the night on your favourite type of film!

Fast Day lunch
Create a simple lunch in solidarity with people living in poverty. Use our Fast Day resources and donate the money you save.

Fashion show
Put your creative talents to the test and organise a fashion show – why not use recycled clothes and make it an eco-show? Invite the wider community to see your fabulous designs, and don’t forget to charge an entry fee.

Face painting competition
Put your artistic talents to good use and paint people’s faces. You could have a themed face painting day such as of animals or characters from a book. Remember to charge for your works of face painting art.

Fun run
A really popular fundraising idea - dust off your running shoes, add a green tutu and run for fun. Organise your own fun run or join a sponsored event for CAFOD.

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G

Guess who the baby is (from photos)
Do a twist on the classic baby photo game by collecting some baby photos of famous celebrities and charging your friends to guess who they are. 

Give it up!
Get sponsored to go without something. Give us speaking for a day, computer games for a week, chocolate for a month, or give up magazines for the whole of Lent! Donate the money you save, set up a sponsorship page for CAFOD on JustGiving or download a sponsorship form.

Guess the number of …(balloons in a car, sweets in a jar)
Have a lot of fun challenging your friends to guess the quantity in the jar or car.

Guess the weight or name of…

Year Six pupils from Stortford’s St Joseph’s Catholic Primary recently raised money for our Refugee Crisis Appeal by running a ‘guess the name of the teddy’ competition for all 150 pupils in Reception and Years One and Two.

Quiz your friends on the weight of the cake or the name of a teddy bear – 50p a guess.

Games: scrabble, chess, trivial pursuits etc
For all those who love the challenge of a board game – why not have a marathon board game tournament? Either pay to play or get sponsored.

Green day
Get involved with our One Climate, One World campaign and organise a Green Day. Dress in green, hold an eco fashion show, litter pick and create a recycled materials art exhibition. Invite friends and family too. Remember to charge a fee to take part.

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H

Hula Hoop Contest
How many times can you spin the hula hoop? Organise a hula hoop-athon. Don’t forget to get sponsored by the spin, or the length of time you keep the hoop going. Set up a sponsorship page on JustGiving or download your CAFOD sponsorship form.

Hair beading, braiding and plaiting
Put your creative talents to good use. Make your friends look cool and raise money for CAFOD.

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I

Indoor games
Organise an indoor Olympics using our mini-Olympics resource for primary schools. Rain won’t stop play and you’ll have fun challenging your friends and raising money for us too.

International evening
Hold a themed international night and decorate your hall with flags from across the globe for an interesting fundraising event. Use these Big Share recipes to serve different national dishes and entertain your guests with world music. Why not also hold a fundraising quiz and test your friends’ geographical knowledge? Charge an entry fee.

Find out more about where CAFOD works

It’s a Knockout
Organise an It’s a Knockout competition – fun for all the family. Either make it a sponsored event or pay to play. Set up a sponsorship page for CAFOD on JustGiving or download your sponsorship form.

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J

Jumble sales
Reduce, reuse and recycle – the perfect opportunity to hold a fundraiser jumble sale. See if you can turn your trash into cash.

Jewellery making/selling
Put your creative jewellery making skills to good use and hold a sale with what you make. Share your skills with others and teach your friends how to make that perfect accessory.

Joke-athon
Have your friends in stitches with a joke-athon. How long can you keep your friends laughing? If the jokes are really bad, make them pay a fee to leave.

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K

Kite flying
When the wind is right get those kites into the air. The kite that stays up the longest wins. Why not design your own kites and get sponsored too? Set up a sponsorship page on JustGiving or download your CAFOD sponsorship form.

Karaoke
Impress your friends with your singing ability – try out your favourite tunes. Pay per tune.

Knitting competition
How long is that scarf? Challenge your friends to a knit-off. You could sell or auction your work of art too. 

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L

Lent challenge

Make a Splash - help people who face a daily struggle to get clean water by challenging yourself during Lent. Donate the money you save by giving up treats, or take up fundraising challenges!

Line dancing
Friends and family can have hours of fun with a line dancing event. You could even organise a line dance-athon. Charge a fee to take part.

Line of coins

A simple fundraiser that everyone can join in with - set yourselves a challenge to see how long you can make your coin collection before you donate it. Remember you can also donate foreign coins to CAFOD.

Litter picking
Get yourselves sponsored on a mass litter pick afternoon and look after the local environment too. Set up a sponsorship page for CAFOD on JustGiving or download your sponsorship form.

Loud tie day
Look to make a difference amongst your friends: see who can wear the most outrageous tie. You could even design your own tie. Only those who have paid to display can take part.

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M

Money boxes

Order a free CAFOD money box online or from your local office, and collect your small change to make a big difference. At school ask if you can have a classroom box.

Mile of coins
Set yourself the mile challenge - what is the longest distance you can reach with a line of coins? (Bronze, silver and gold categories) Remember you can also donate foreign coins to CAFOD.

Musical evening
Show off your talents and organise an evening of musical entertainment - from Singing Up for CAFOD to playing instruments. Ask those attending to pay what they think it’s worth.

Mini Olympics
Test those budding Olympians and hold a mini Olympics fundraiser event at school. Pay to play.

  • We would love to hear about your fundraising activities. Take photos of what you do and send them into us at events@cafod.org.uk so we can celebrate your success by sharing them on our website.

N

Nominate a teacher – to have their legs, beard or head shaved.
Challenge a teacher / youth leader to have a shave or wax for a good cause. Remember that they should get sponsored for CAFOD too, or charge people a fee to watch it happen.

Nearly new sale
Outgrown those jeans? Only worn something once? Why not sell or swap your unwanted things with your friends? Pay £2 for each item you take.

Name the teddy
Does your mascot need a name? Charge your mates to come up with the most interesting suggestion. You could raffle the teddy at the end too.

Netball tournament
Challenge your friends, teachers or parish to a netball tournament. To add to the fun, why not play your matches in fancy dress too? 

St Peter’s High School in Gloucester raised over £2,000 through their 24 hour basketball fundraising event for the CAFOD Philippines Typhoon Appeal

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O

Obstacle course
Have fun with an obstacle course and get sponsored too. Set up a sponsorship page on JustGiving or download your CAFOD sponsorship form.

Odd clothes day
Turn your non-uniform day into an odd clothes day – Brighten Up for Harvest by mixing up those socks and clash for cash.

Take inspiration from school children who decided to dress up to fundraise for CAFOD  and draw attention to the serious problem of global hunger.

Odd job Day
Charge a fee for all those odd jobs around the house that need doing.

Olympics sports day

Did the Games inspire your inner athlete? Download our Olympic sports day fundraiser pack and get your school, youth group or community together for a day of fun, sports and fundraising.

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P

Penalty shoot out
Show off your skills in a sponsored shoot out as part of a football fundraiser.

Photo competitions
If you’re a budding photographer, hold a competition for interesting snaps. All entrants to pay a fee.

Pancake race
Hold your own pancake race – challenge your friends and family.

Pin the tail on the donkey
Challenge your friends to a pin the tail on the donkey. Remember to blindfold them - and no cheating! Pay to play.

Pantomime
Putting on a pantomime? Why not take a collection for us as people leave? Get in touch with your local office to order collection tins and t-shirts.

Plant sale
For those with green fingers, sell your produce in a plant sale fundraising event, or download our How to organise a Big Dig for CAFOD pack. Read about CAFOD volunteer Henry Rosenvinge who organised a fundraising plant sale for our Ethiopia Food Crisis Appeal in 2016.

Poetry reading
Organise a poetry recital and invite your friends and family. Why not hold a themed poetry event, or use poems from your favourite poet? Set yourself the challenge of reciting your poem from memory. £1 per line – the longer the poem the more you raise.

PTA coffee morning
Get the Mums and Dads to organise a coffee morning – and why not make it a Fairtrade event too? You could combine it with a ‘bring and buy’ sale.

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Q

Quiet in the classroom - sponsored silence
Make your teacher or parents happy by remaining quiet for a few hours, or even a whole day, with this popular fundraising activity. Remember to get sponsored too! Set up a sponsorship page for CAFOD on JustGiving or download your sponsorship form.

Quizzes
Download the CAFOD fundraising quiz pack or create your own to test your friends’ knowledge. Hold a PTA or parish quiz night and raise money for us by charging per entrant.

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R

Rich man poor man meal [PDF]
Organise a simple lunch with a difference – a small number of randomly chosen people get an upgrade from a simple lunch to a sit down meal. Help to demonstrate inequality in the world today.

Raffles
Get friends and family or local businesses to donate prizes and raffle them off to raise funds. Great on its own but this also works well as an extra idea at any fundraising event.

Read-athon
How many books can you read over a short period of time? Get sponsored per page or, for fast readers, per book. Set up a sponsorship page on JustGiving or download your CAFOD sponsorship form.

Relays
Organise a sponsored relay race. Add a bit of variety into the race and create an obstacle relay. Set up a sponsorship page for CAFOD on JustGiving or download your sponsorship form.

Rounders tournament
Challenge your friends and teachers to a fundraiser rounders match. Remember it is pay to play.

Recycling
You can recycle spent ink cartridges, collect left over foreign coins from your holiday or even donate your car! Turn your trash into cash.

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S

Samba or Salsa Dancing
Put on those dancing shoes and find a partner! Collect donations to take part.

Soak the priest/teacher
See if you can convince your priest, teachers or youth leaders to get in the stocks and get wet! Get people to pay per sponge.

Students vs. students tug of war
A fun way to compete with staff at school – challenge them to a tug of war. Each team pays a fee.

Stalls
Set up a variety of stalls, from plants or cakes to recycled goods, and create your own mini £1 bazaar.

Sponsorship ideas and sponsored events – dye hair green / walk for CAFOD
Remember when organising a fundraising event to think about adding a sponsorship element – it’s a great way of collecting your money. Think of clever ideas that your friends and family can sponsor you for and don't forget your CAFOD sponsorship page

Swim-athon
Swim the distance for CAFOD. Get sponsored per length… or per mile! Download your CAFOD sponsorship form.

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T

Talent contest
Hold a contest to showcase the talents of your friends and family! Organise a collection or charge at the door for entry. You can also use our Sing Up fundraising resource pack to hold a school concert for CAFOD.

24 hour fast
How long do you usually go without eating? Why not give up something you really enjoy for 24 hours? Get sponsored for CAFOD too.

Tombola
Get friends and family to donate gifts and organise a tombola. Only numbers ending in 0 or 5 will win a prize! Like a raffle, adding a tombola to your fundraising event is a really easy way to make money for charity.

Treasure Hunt
Create a treasure hunt and challenge your friends to find what you have hidden. Pay to play.

Three legged race
Team up with a friend and challenge other pairs to a three legged race. To make it more fun, why not do it in fancy dress too? Each team pays to play.

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U

Uniform free day
Ditch the uniform for a fee.

Ugly face pulling competition
A prize for the most outrageous face – make sure you get photographic evidence! Each entrant pays to play.

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V

Virtual village
Create your own virtual village by fundraising to buy World Gifts for CAFOD. Decide with your friends which gifts you want to buy and think of clever ways to raise money for your target gift(s). If you’re fundraising in school, challenge forms, year groups or houses to see who can raise the most.

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W

Walk for CAFOD
Get active with your fundraising and organise a sponsored walk or undertake a pilgrimage for CAFOD.

Welly throwing competition
Put your shot put skills to the test and see how far those wellies will go.

Word search
Create a themed word search and challenge your friends and family. Remember to charge a fee.

World food day
Get together with friends and prepare and sell different dishes from around the world. Use our Big Share fundraising recipes for inspiration.

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X

X-Factor Competition
Celebrate all your talents by putting on a show – Britain’s definitely got talent. Organise your own talent show and invite friends and family too. Use our Sing Up fundraising event resources and have a “pay to leave” policy just in case!

Y

Yo-yo competition
Have you got a talent for yo-yoing? Then put your skill to good use and get sponsored for CAFOD.

Yodelling competition
If yodelling is your thing, then either get friends to pay you not to do it, or get sponsored instead!

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Z

Zoo quiz
Create a zoological quiz using our DIY CAFOD fundraising quiz pack and test your friends’ and family’s knowledge of the animal kingdom. Remember to charge a fee too.

Zany clothes day
Instead of a dress down day, dress up! Charge a fee and wear a zany costume that will Brighten Up everyone’s day!

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Good luck with all your fundraising, and thank you so much for your support. It’s much appreciated, and makes such a difference towards helping creating a world without poverty and injustice.

  • We would love to hear about your fundraising activities. Take photos of what you do and send them into us at events@cafod.org.uk so we can celebrate your success by sharing them on our website.
  • Alternatively you can send them to us at CAFOD, Romero House, Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7JB

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