Charities, create your own events!

September 28, 2022
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As an experienced charity administrator, you already know all about the awesome power of event fundraising. Participants in traditional mass participation sports events like the Boston Marathon and Cape Town Cycle Tour raise huge amounts of money for charity by creating fundraising projects and asking their networks for donations. In fact, the average fundraiser on GivenGain raises 20 times more for charity than contributed by the average donor!

But why wait for an event to come along? Have you ever considered starting a charity event of your own?  You could time it around a big day of generosity like Giving Tuesday or Nelson Mandela Day, at year-end to harness the festive giving season, or whenever you need increased funding to support your mission. Hosting your own event means you can:

  • Hold it at a time and place that suits your supporters (or even go with a virtual event to increase your geographical reach!).
  • Pick an activity that fits your culture, mission and brand.
  • Start some friendly competition between your supporters to bring in more donations. GivenGain Teams pages feature a live leaderboard to get their competitive juices flowing!
  • Enable your corporate partners to showcase their workplace giving in a transparent way by supporting your event on GivenGain.
  • Receive fundraiser and donor data for your charity’s analytics.
  • Start an annual event that gets your fundraisers fired up year after year!

We’re seeing more and more charities host creative and fun fundraising events on GivenGain all the time, many of them using GivenGain’s Teams feature to create compelling events in just a couple of clicks. Here are some great examples: 

National Sea Rescue Institute – NSRI Robben Island Swim 2022

The NSRI is South Africa’s volunteer water rescue service, so what could be more on-brand than asking fundraisers to take on “the Everest of South African open water swims”?

In June 2022, a team of brave NSRI volunteers got together to swim from Robben Island to Big Bay: a minimum of 7.5km in cold seawater, in an area known for shark sightings.

Event organisers had expected 5 to 10 people to sign up. In the event, after reaching out through their networks at NSRI, they got 26 – the biggest swim group that the events management company they teamed up with had ever worked with.

Organisers set up an event page on GivenGain using the Teams feature so that participants could create their own fundraising projects – then have a little friendly fundraising competition on the live leaderboard. Between them, fundraisers brought in R116,339 to support NSRI’s Water Safety Education and Survival Swimming educational programmes, which teach people across South Africa – and especially children – how to stay safe around water.

Zoé4Life – Move4Life

When the 2020 Lausanne 10KM was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Swiss children’s cancer charity Zoé4Life, which had a lot of supporters fundraising in the race, decided to create their own socially distanced event instead.

Move4Life challenged supporters to fundraise any way they wanted. Some participants ran around their own neighbourhoods, while others came up with their own creative ideas – like the event’s top fundraiser, Gentiane Rumley, who built a huge Lego train and got sponsored. In total, 19 fundraisers collected SFr23,769: very welcome at a time when charities worried about how they were going to keep operating.

“Take the time to prepare a communications strategy really carefully, because there's promoting the event through the GivenGain page and so on, but you also need to promote specific people's fundraisers and make sure you don’t forget any of them!” – Nicole Scoobie, President, Zoé4Life

Greenpop Foundation – Eden Festival of Action 2022

Want to go all out and host an event that will make a splash? How about a seven-day festival of sustainability?

This October, South African environmental charity Greenpop is holding a week-long environmental impact gathering that combines hands-on conservation work and workshops with talks from sustainability experts, with bonus evening performances from some of South Africa’s top musicians.

The Eden Festival isn’t just a fundraising event: it aims to equip supporters to make a difference all year round. An event this big won’t work for every charity, but it highlights one of the big advantages of running your own event: you can combine fundraising, volunteering and volunteer training into one memorable experience.

How to create your event

Inspired? Good! Time to start planning:

Think about whether you’d like to focus on fundraising, like the NSRI, or add volunteering and education into the mix like Greenpop. Then choose a challenge that will get your supporters fired up! It can be tough, creative, or pure fun.

Ideas could include:

• A walkathon, walking X kms in 100 days

• A half marathon

• A golf day, with each team fundraising together

• A “Grow your own vegetables” challenge for your family, donating the yields to the needy

• A group hike in your area

Why not set a target amount for your fundraisers to challenge them to raise more? You could even give out rewards for any fundraiser that hits it, like a goodie bag or t-shirt, or get some prizes together for the top five.

When you’re ready to create your event, you can use GivenGain’s “Teams” feature to make it happen. This gives you a live fundraising dashboard to create healthy competition between fundraisers, as well as powerful analytics on the back end to track the success of your campaign. To create your event, sign up as an event organiser here and then set up your event, adding pictures and a description to make it stand out! Once it’s live, invite your supporters to create projects and bring in donations.

If you have any questions about setting up and running a fundraising event on GivenGain, please contact us at to set up a Zoom call with you and your team!