An afternoon tea party
Bring on the bakers! As well as encouraging everyone to bring their best baked goods you can also offer a selection of teas and perhaps a literary prize for the best on show.
Why not auction off all those items clogging up your house that you don’t need any more.
Why not ask for a charity donation instead of/as well as a birthday present this year?
Board game evenings
Who doesn’t love a board game? Either host an event yourself or ask a local community centre, café or Scout hall. Ask people to bring along their favourite games – making sure to bring along a few yourself – and ask for a donation to play.
Blue sky thinking
Challenge your workmates to ‘think outside the box’ and not use office jargon for the day; every time they do, they have to pay up.
Everyone loves a book sale or swap! Ask your friends, colleagues, classmates, family etc to bring in or donate a pre-loved book, invite everyone along and ask for a donation to take away a book and open up a whole new world of reading.
If you work for a company with more than 300 employees then you might want to consider holding a Book Event book sale.
Book group challenge
If you are already a member of a book group or have always wanted to gather together your book-loving friends then this is the perfect excuse. The title you select can be anything from the latest best-seller, your favourite piece of poetry or a classic from your childhood. To give this a particularly Read for RNIB Day feel why not pick a title with a blind or partially sighted character or maybe enjoy the work in a different format to usual (large or giant print, eBook etc). You can either set some discussion topics before meeting up or ask that everyone brings along their own thoughts and questions to be discussed with everyone else. Ask for a donation to attend and please send in your favourite topics and questions!
Bag packing at your local supermarket
Simply ask your local supermarket if you can bag customers’ shopping and ask for a donation for your service. Get help from a few friends and make sure you keep a collection box nearby! Make sure you contact your store well in advance as these opportunities can fill up fast.
How would you like to be a Royal Playing Card or the Mad Hatter? Choose a day when everyone can come to work or school dressed as a character from their favourite book or choose a favourite character from childhood.
Cakes, we all love them. Encourage as many people to bake and sell cakes during break time, playtime, half-time or tea time. Make this event even more delicious by encouraging your bakers to give their offerings a literary theme; perhaps Harry Potter muffins or Lord of the Rings cupcakes!
Charity fundraising that’s good for you! Whether it’s smoking, drinking too much, eating too much chocolate, swearing or wearing odd socks we’ve all got a bad habit, ask your friends and family to sponsor you giving up your bad habits for the week.
Desk to desk collections
Place collection envelopes on your colleagues’ desks and ask them to donate any loose change they have. The following day collect up the envelopes, count the cash and send the money in. You can also incentivise this and offer up a prize for the best team collection.
Daytime Story Sleepover
Join the sleepy dormouse by hosting a daytime story sleepover. Ask somebody to read a story aloud or why not use an audio book? It’s a great way for even the youngest to join in with Read for RNIB Day and experience how brilliant audio books are for children with sight problems. It’s an easy fundraising idea for schools and nurseries.
Dress down day/non-uniform day
Perfect for your school or workplace. A suggested donation of £1 or £2 per person to come in for the day in non-uniform or casual dress.
A perfect excuse to de-clutter your life to help open up a world of reading for everyone. Sell all of your unwanted items – perhaps even pre-loved books? – on ebay and other auction websites and donate 10 to 100 per cent.
Extreme Reading Challenge
Will you take on an Extreme Reading Challenge? Challenge yourself to read a book in an unusual place – the highest, or the lowest or somewhere really out of the ordinary – and raise money for Read for RNIB Day.
Fancy dress parties
Host a fancy dress party at your home, school, workplace or local venue. Adding a literary theme and asking people to come dressed as their favourite character is a brilliant way to get people talking about books and their love of reading.
Turn your home into a cinema! Charge entry and sell drinks or popcorn to boost your fundraising. We’d definitely suggest a ‘books turned into films’ evening and with suggested titles from the audience always welcomed.
Offer your services to your neighbours, friends and family. Everything from mowing the lawn to sewing those buttons back on and car washing – there are lots of ways you can help those around you – especially if people are blind or partially sighted. Where possible ask for a donation for your help.
A fantastic and free way to add value to your donation. Everything you need to know can be found on our Gift Aid FAQs page.
Get sponsored to shave off your precious locks, for the more adventurous why not sculpt your hair in to a famous literary styling: the Harry Potter quiff or a sci-fi pink mohawk.
Haggle and trade up
In 2005, Kyle MacDonald started with one red paperclip and thirteen trades later he had a house. We don’t expect you to do this well but trading with those around you is a fun experience and auctioning off the final trade is a great way to raise funds.
How many sweets?
Find a large jar, fill it with sweets and ask people to guess how many sweets are in the jar. Simple! The winner gets to keep the goodies and the pride of having guessed correctly.
International authors night
Host a themed night celebrating authors from around the world. Decorate your venue with the flags, pendants, colours, smells and sounds from the four corners of the globe. You can then either ask your guests to bring their favourite international author’s work with them (and maybe a culinary dish to match) or theme the evening to one particular country, for example, everyone brings a piece relating to Spain. This event works particularly well for book/reading groups as a special themed meeting.
Variety is the spice of life and this is a great way to break up your usual working routine. Put the names of your colleagues in one pot and donations in another and allow each person to draw out a name at random and spend a day walking in someone else’s shoes.
Use your local school or town hall to encourage everyone to sell off their unwanted items. Rent out pitches or ask for a percentage of the sales as well as offering tea and refreshments to help raise money.
Give your fundraising challenges a little digital aid with JustGiving. Everything you’ll need can be found on the JustGiving website.
Kipling cake off
Cake baking in honour of Rudyard not Mr Kipling. Invite people to bring in their best baked offerings for a cake competition; ask the headteacher or Chief Executive to act as Simon Cowell and award additional points for anyone whose cake is book themed.
Calling all wanna-be pop stars! This is your chance to dust off the microphone, unpack the glitter and take your vocal chords for a night out. You can choose to hold an event at the local karaoke venue or just invite people round and use one of the many at-home programmes. Asking guests to dress as famous musical stars or literary characters can make the photos look even better and bonus points to anyone who can link a particular song to the written word – “Paperback Writer” by the Beatles anyone?
Everyone cooks their favourite dish and pays to enjoy the feast. This event works really at work or at home with friends, for an added twist ask everyone to write down their recipes and sell a cook book.
Donate your loose change every night for a month, you’ll be surprised how quickly it all adds up.
Literature pub quiz
A book and the pub? Very few combinations seem to fit together better than these two. Gather together the greatest minds of your generation – or just the regulars from the local – and begin the hard work of settling on a team name. If your local watering-hole already has an established pub quiz, why not ask if you can ‘take over’ for one session and help theme the questions on all things literary with proceeds going to Read for RNIB Day. If there isn’t already an established quiz night then this is a perfect opportunity to create your own and drum up some local support. If people know the proceeds will go to charity they are much more inclined to sign up.
Pick a letter, any letter! An alphabet themed soiree: dress code, food, drinks and music all themed around a letter, this one will definitely encourage your creativity.
If your local group is looking for a new fundraising idea, why not raise money for Read for RNIB Day with a Literary Lunch. Combine fine words and fine wine by creating a special menu on a literary theme for a memorable lunch or supper. How about a delicious curry for “Passage to India” or indulgent treats to accompany “Chocolat”?
Murder Mystery night
Encourage the super sleuth within! Offer to host a murder mystery evening and watch as everyone flexes their intellectual muscles to help solve the crime. Why not theme the characters from a book or series, for inspiration check out Jasper Fforde’s Nursery Crime series.
Take over your local pub or community centre and test everyone’s musical knowledge. Be sure to include all of your favourite tunes and if possible an excerpt from a talking/audio book can keep people on their toes.
Mad Hatter’s Sensory Tea Party
Why not hold a Mad Hatter’s Sensory Tea Party for Read for RNIB Day! You can also add a sensory twist to your party by blindfolding guests and asking them to guess the food by smell or touch. A fun fundraising idea for your nursery, school, company, or local activity group.
An oldie but a goodie! There’s no need to restrict this just to the schoolyard, why not get the office involved. Ask everyone to donate £1 or £2 (or more if they’re feeling generous) to wear their own clothes for a whole day.
Nights in are the new going out
Instead of going out this Friday or Saturday night why not spend the night in with your favourite author? Catch-up on their latest volume or re-visit an old favourite, this one’s better for your mind, wallet and body. Donate the cost of a few drinks to Read for RNIB Day and help open up a world of reading for everyone.
Online donation form and email to everyone
You can set up your own online sponsorship page. Share this via your social networks and email the link to all your friends who can then donate online. This is very quick and easy, so they will have no excuse!
Inter-office competition, there’s nothing quite like it! Organise a series of events to see who can become the Office Olympic champion. Classics include: throwing rolled up paper into the recycling bin (points for distance), speed typing, synchronised chair swivelling, or timed email filing, who said office life couldn’t be exciting?!
Auction off a promise to the highest bidder. Promises can include: taking the bins out for a week, making the tea for the entire team or a promise not to swear every time you open your inbox. Email round or put up a poster offering your promises and encourage bidders to put a post-it note on the poster or email back with their offer. Here’s hoping for a bidding war!
Piggy back a local event
Search the local listings for community orientated events happening near you in the coming weeks and months, approach the organisers and ask if the proceeds can go to Read for RNIB Day. Make sure that you advertise this in posters beforehand, people will dip in to their pockets more readily.
Roses are red, violets are blue, you’re supporting Read for RNIB Day, so thank you! Ask those in the office, school or community to come along for some live poetry reading – be sure to ask for volunteer readers at the same time. See how long you can keep reciting poems aloud for as a group or let everyone read out their favourite piece. Donations welcomed from those who come along and listen, especially if you manage to get a poetry-chain going.
Ask your friends and family to sponsor you to quit your naughty habits. This fundraising idea has the added bonus of being good for you.
Get together at work or school and see how long your team can keep a story going! Each person reads in turn and passes the story on, either aloud or silently. This challenge can be reading a whole book or reading continuously for a set period of time – so you might have people taking it in turns to read out loud in the canteen for the whole day!
Friendly competition, wordplay, dictionaries – these are the hallmarks of a great Friday night in. Your scrabble competition can start with as little as two players, all you’ll need is a Scrabble board (why not try our braille and large print versions) and some enthusiasm. For a real sense of competition you can book out the local town hall, pub, spare office and invite people down to compete at the same time, highest individual score wins. If this isn’t feasible you could ask everyone to compete from the comfort of their own homes against friends and send in their scores by a certain date. Why not award double points for author’s surnames or literary terms. Ask for an entry fee and offer a prize if possible.
Keep your lips sealed for a day and ask for donations, it’s as simple as that! This works best if you are known as the office chatterbox.
Sunflower growing competition
This one takes a little bit of planning! Acquire some sunflower seeds from your local garden centre, email/put up posters to encourage entrants, ask for a donation for three or four seeds and see who can grow the tallest sunflower over the next couple of months. Photo evidence is great and where possible communal growing is encouraged. Set a time or height limit to increase the tension
Have you ever wanted to read aloud for hours on end? Well now’s your chance! Let everyone know in advance and ask them to come along and support your Sponsored Read. Why not try and finish an entire (short) story in one or two sessions, rope in friends and colleagues to help share the work and for added spice ask for suggestions on titles to read – note; this may have you grimacing through “Twilight” or yawning through “Pride and Prejudice”. Ask for sponsorship per word, page, chapter, book or hour.
Dictionaries at the ready! This is your chance to recreate those ever popular spelling bees and flex your intellectual muscle. You could chose to mimic the American style of taking it in turn to stand in the spotlight and spell aloud or perhaps a more sedate version where everyone has words read out to them and answers are written down and submitted at the end. Strictly no phones allowed! Tailor your words to suit the audience and offer bonus points for literary themed words.
This works really well in the workplace. Get your colleagues to donate their ‘skills’ from dressmaking to tea-making and everything in between. Get your boss to offer to make the tea or wash someone’s car and watch the bidding shoot up!
Get inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic “Treasure Island” and get digging! Ask participants – teams are encouraged – to cross your palm with silver for the pleasure of following the clues in order to find the hidden prize. This can encompass everything from hours trekking around the great outdoors to a more urban environment, perhaps around the office?
Organise a tournament, charge teams to enter and offer prizes for the winners. Tournaments needn’t be sports-themed, asking teams to come dressed as their favourite book characters is always popular or perhaps a group weight-loss competition, the ideas are endless.
Organise a University Challenge style event (the teams don’t necessarily need to be from universities) on the theme of literature. Why not have a start for ten on “Starter for Ten” by David Nicholls or an entire round on the teachers of Hogwarts? Charge an entry fee per team and if possible offer up a book-themed prize.
Unwanted gift sale
Your unwanted gifts could be somebody else’s treasure. Encourage others to join in the purge by putting up posters asking for donated items.
Wax your chest or leg hair
Exactly as painful as it sounds but a sure fire way to garner donations and the sympathy of those watching on. Before and after photographs are a must along with the ritual public waxing.
Walk to work challenge
Challenge colleagues to walk to work on a specific day to raise funds, perhaps 50p per mile walked? Get everyone involved and start community walking buses, who knows, it might even start a trend!
On your marks, get set, write! The opportunities and necessity for the written word in our daily lives is fast disappearing so here’s a great opportunity to rekindle putting pen to paper. Provide pens and paper and ask everyone to write on an agreed theme or just jot down their daily musings. You could pin the results to a public board or perhaps cross the digital divide and scan them electronically for all to enjoy. If you find people are having trouble getting started, why not pass around a classic introductory passage to a book and see how people would choose to continue their own story.
When I was young
Fancy dress party or day in the office where everyone comes dressed as their favourite literary childhood heroes. Bringing in the inspirational text is absolutely encouraged.
Stick a swear box in the office, at home or in your local social club to raise money. A great fundraising idea that helps make any situation child-friendly. Additional kudos goes to anyone who successfully creates a swear-substitute that replaces the actual word forever more.
You can’t say no to this one, you really can’t. Everyone who signs up has to say ‘yes’ to any request for a whole day, ask everyone else to donate £1 for every out of the ordinary request throughout the day.
Who can Zumba the longest, who’s never Zumba’d before? A brilliant way to get people out of their comfort zones. Show the DVD during lunch or after work and encourage participants to donate to take part.
Zany tie day
Charge £1 to participate and fine those who don’t £2. Be prepared to cover your eyes at times as people don those ‘classic’ 1980′s neon affairs, team photo obligatory!