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Fundraising ideas

Easy and achievable fundraising ideas for your Big Lunch (or other event!).

1. Pop a donation box out

The simplest and easiest way to raise money is to just pop a donation box out at your event and ask people to drop in any spare change they may have. Or, print out a poster with a JustGiving link or QR code to allow people to donate directly to your cause!

We’ve got some brilliant fundraising resources to help you get started.

Browse fundraising resources

Some Big Lunch organisers charge a small admission for their event to cover costs, with anything over that being donated to charity.


2. Raffles, tombolas and sweepstakes

Lotteries held at events are classed as ‘Incidental Lotteries’ – this means they don’t require licensing or registration*. These are an easy way to get people to donate to your cause, as there is the lure and excitement of potentially winning! Check out some of the different types of raffles.

*Gambling regulations don’t apply if tombola or raffle tickets are sold on the day and the prizes aren’t worth more than £500 in total. Read the legal know-how.

We’ve got a fantastic ‘Guess the number of cupcakes’ game which is perfect for getting people involved!

Download now


3. Bake off / sale

Challenge your friends to a bake-off, and then sell the bakes to raise money. Take a look at some of the recipes on our website for ideas! Choose bake categories or themes for your bakers. If you need some help, you could ask your local shops or bakeries if they’ll donate some delicious goods for your event.

Powerfully local fundraising

Since 2015, over £87 million has been raised for good causes through Big Lunches – and over 3/4 of this goes to local charities or causes.

We think that’s something incredible to celebrate! With your help, we can make every penny go even further.

4. Quiz

Whether you do it at a pub, or on the day of your event, quizzes are a fun way to ignite people’s competitive streaks. All the while raising money for your special cause. We’ve put together a special Big Lunch quiz to help you!

Download the quiz


5. Apple bobbing

Get one of your 5-a-day while having a dunking-good time! This is a great one to entertain kids.


6. Dog show

The perfect excuse for dog-parents to show off their beloved fur-kids. This could be a low-cost activity to increase your proceeds to charity – simply charge an entry-fee and give the winners rosettes.

P.s. it might be an idea to give every dog a rosette or prize, dog-owners might be a bit miffed if they come away empty-handed!
P.p.s. Dogs very much enjoy participating in Big Lunches.

Apple Dunking

7. Treasure hunts

Another fun activity for families – kids will be thrilled with the adventure of a treasure hunt that they could complete with their mums, dads, grandparents, caretakers or friends. Maybe you could even encourage families to dress as pirates to add to the theme! This could be a good activity post-Big Lunch, walking off all the lovely food you’ve just eaten!

Just charge a small entry fee to enter as either teams or individuals. The main purpose is to keep it fun. Leave clues around for the treasure hunters to uncover and help them hunt for and find all of the things you are hiding.


8. Craft and make

If you’re a crafty person, it’s easy to turn your skills into fundraising for your cause! You could make low-cost items such as bracelets, cards or knitted/crocheted toys or badges to sell at your event and ask for a donation in return.

Or you could hold a craft evening where everyone comes together to make their own craft (such pottery painting, watercolours or jewellery making). Ask everyone for a contribution that will both cover your raw materials and raise some money for your chosen charity!


9. Wet sponge throwing

Throwing wet sponges at people is a very easy fundraiser to organise and will prove a popular activity at your Big Lunch! For really successful sponger games you need to get the right person manning the stalls. A larger-than-life character who can attract people to have a go…

These fundraising games need to be talked up so call your stall something imaginative. Soak The Sucker! Or Drown the Drip! Or Punish The Principal!

Children particularly love it when you strike a mum or dad on the cheek and you can imagine it can make quite a lot of money in a short space of time!


10. Bingo

Another good fundraiser is Bingo – you could split half the money with your Big Lunch Fundraiser and half to the winner. We all know how bingo works, but in terms of making it successful, it makes sense to have a headline prize that has a ‘Wow Factor’ to entice people to play.

Savvy organisers will often seek out local businesses who will supply prizes in exchange for a mention or a spot of advertising at your Big Lunch. The basics you’ll need are: bingo singles, bingo balls, bingo pens and a bingo cage.

Fundraise with your Big Lunch

Did you know that in true circular economy style, your Big Lunch fundraising can seed even more fundraising?

By donating even a small amount of your total fundraising to us, you can support more communities to hold a Big Lunch and raise even more money.

11. Fancy dress day

Encourage people to pay a fiver (or even a couple of quid) to be whoever you want for the day! Having a fancy dress at a Big Lunch is a fun way to fundraise and it’ll create an excellent atmosphere to your day. And what’s more, they’re super easy to organise – just put out the word, and let the people come as they will!


12. Guess the weight

A simple yet effective fundraising activity! Ask people to donate to guess the weight of a cake, your cat, a jar of sweets or even a prized vegetable! A spin on this could be guess how many sweets of in a jar.


13. Face painting

For this fundraising idea, you’ll need face paint, brushes, and a volunteer with enough artistic ability to paint designs. Have a flat-rate price for face painting, and let your customers pick what designs they want to be painted. You can have a donation jar for the parents that wish to give more to your chosen charity.

Dogs drinking out of mugs

14. Copper kilometre

This is an old-school activity, but great fun! Two lines of coppers are made up each pavement, and the aim of the game is to see who has the biggest line of coppers or whoever finishes a pavement first. Teams are only allowed to use 1p, 2p and 5ps. Roughly it can raise around £150, £200! All it takes is for you to get two groups who compete against one another who bring along with them a lot of spare change they don’t mind donating.


15. Plant swap or sell

In the past few years, we have seen a lot of people growing and sharing seeds and plants (mainly due to lockdown) but did you know, it also makes a really good fundraiser too! Do you have plants in your garden that you’re proud for people to see? Then why don’t you sell some of these, and encourage others to do so too? There are so many enthusiastic gardening groups out there who you could attract to your Big Lunch!


16. Business sponsorship

If you’re putting something into your community, the chances are that local businesses stand to benefit — improving your local area could help them increase footfall and custom.

And through sponsorship, businesses can receive good publicity and advertising (and of course that warm, fuzzy feeling they get by supporting your cause). So, give them a chance to get involved and provide the means (leaflets, timings, online shout-outs) to help them promote to their customers.

How to pay in your Big Lunch fundraising

If you’re planning to fundraise for us (or have done already), thank you so much for your support! You’re an absolute superstar.

When it comes to paying in your Big Lunch fundraising, you have a couple of options.

1) Use our online donation form

The simplest way to pay in your fundraising is using our online donation form.

Pay in your fundraising on our website


2) Use JustGiving

We’ve got a JustGiving page that you can add donations to (or encourage others to donate to). You could also create your own fundraising page on JustGiving and select us as your cause!

Raise money with JustGiving

17. Car boot sale

Who doesn’t love a mosey around a car boot sale? You could take your unwanted items to an organised car boot sale, or do it solo and put your items out front for a ‘yard sale’.

Could you put up a stall at your Big Lunch for people to buy items, and put your proceeds to your project or charity? You could even ask attendees to bring in something to sell that they no longer want, too!


18. Swap and share groups

Some communities and schools operate swap and share groups which raise money for the community. For example, parents can sell old school uniforms on the group, but all proceeds go towards the school rather than the individual. The same principle could work with surplus plants / gardening equipment and a community garden, or kitchen equipment for a food bank. It helps to reuse items and support the local community at the same time!