Many of you will be looking for the easiest (and most fun?) way to bring in the last tranche of your Le Loop/WWMT fundraising.
Our goal is always to close the accounts for the year on 31st August, so if you can do your utmost to meet that target, that would be brilliant. But how to do it?
There are tonnes of ideas on our fundraising pages which you can access from the Rider Zone’s Fundraising section. There are plenty of tools there to help you too. But there are a couple of ideas that work particularly well in the aftermath of your tour …
A big fat French (bien sûr) dinner party
You might have tried this before the tour, but if not, this is a wonderful opportunity to tell all your friends and supporters about your adventure, show them videos you took (or the Le Loop videos?), photos, tall tales and more while having a really fun night too. If you’re the sort of person who enjoys an audience, good food and friends, then this could be right up your street. Loopers Jackie and Stuart nailed the ‘French Dinner Party’ idea back in the winter and raised, astonishingly, over £1,600 in a single night and with only 26 guests.
This is how they did it:
- Venue. If you don’t have a large space, or a friend who will let you use theirs, look for a village hall or similar (particularly if they have seating and maybe even cutlery and crockery you can use). Aim to get this donated so no overheads for venue.
- Sell your tickets. Don’t just sell to friends – put an ad up in your local bike shop explaining that you rode all/part of the Tour de France this year and that you’ll be sharing tales from the road with your guests. If there’s a foodie or wine club locally (or a French exchange group), advertise to them too. Use facebook and push it out there until you get as many guests as you can handle the cooking for! Jackie and Stuart charged £37.50 a head (donations straight to their Virgin page) and this included 3 courses, plus a welcome drink and had 26 guests. Jackie and Stuart’s top tip: “Be sure to insist that people pay direct to Virgin Money for their ticket to whatever sort of event – don’t accept promises of cash on the night. That way if someone doesn’t turn up it isn’t your problem, as there are very few who would be asking for a refund from a charity”.
- Sell raffle tickets. Jackie and Stuart charged £1 a ticket and sold 250 which, along with sales of wine and beer on the night plus some daft games they dreamt up, covered all the cost of food and drink with loads left over for their Virgin Money Giving page. Ask friends, local businesses etc for donations of prizes – unwanted presents, booze etc are all good. Hotels, restaurants and cafes, hairdressers/barbers/bike mechanics often offer vouchers or similar for fundraising events, so ask around.
- Choose your menu. Be careful to choose something you know you can pull off. We would recommend a cold starter that can be plated up early (or a soup that’s easy to heat and serve) , a main course that can be prepared in advance and a cold pudding so that you’re not running yourself ragged on the night. Think about budget. In fact, why not just use Jackie and Stuart’s Fundraising Dinner Menu that was such a hit at their night? Their top tip: “Don’t allow people to try and have special courses/drinks etc. We had a couple of chancers saying that they wanted to drink gin and tonic, have the cheese instead of dessert etc., and they were politely told no, as it would involve extra expense and they still came. The menu is there so people know what they are getting, no excuses for turning round later and saying they don’t like something”.
- Sell the drinks (French wine and beer, obviously): “The wine was purchased from Majestic, we worked on £7 – £8 a bottle and charged £16 on the night, beer was also available. We asked for cash if possible, although some people ran a tab and paid direct to our Virgin fundraising page afterwards. Be careful about your wording on this as you don’t want to fall foul of licensing laws.
- Consider a compere: “Our masterstroke however was to have a Compere on the evening. This was not part of our plan, but our neighbour offered his services and he was excellent. He kept people moving along and entertained, encouraging them to get seated at the start, then coming up with various games which involved relieving guests of their pound coins, as well as MENSA mini quizzes that were challenging and free. He was so successful that we delayed serving the main and dessert courses as everyone was having so much fun. He did the raffle with Jackie handing out prizes which again had everyone shouting for more. His money making games included Heads & Tails, Find the Joker and Pin the Tail”.
Enormous thanks to Jackie and Stuart for sharing all their fantastic ideas and knowledge with us. And congratulations to them for one of the most effective and FUN ways to fundraise that we’ve heard of.
A talk at your local bike shop/spinning gym/cycling cafe
You have just done something that most people only dream about doing. Even mad-keen roadies will know that if the Etape du Tour is tough, how on earth did you get back on your bike and ride again the next day? Folk are interested in how you did it, what it felt like, how you trained, what you learned etc – so much so that they’ll pay money just to hear about it! Sell tickets (all proceeds to charity, of course) and ask your local bike shop, cycling cafe or spinning gym to host it for you, free of charge. It brings them custom and helps raise their profile too. It’s up to you if you want to include drinks and snacks (along a French theme, of course!).
Safari supper/Date night
Charge £25 a head for a place on the supper/date safari. Let’s say you sell 100 tickets. Then book 25 restaurants, each for a table for 4. Pair up your guests! Dinner is not included in the ticket price, but a party at the end IS. Book a private room at your local pub or similar, include a welcome drink and have everyone converge there at the end of dinner for an after-dinner party! The cost of the venue and drinks might cost, say £500, leaving you with a profit of £2000.
Of course, there’s a fair degree of admin involved in this (selling tickets, teaming people up, booking restaurants), but it’s been tried and tested based on the above model and worked a dream!
You’ve probably never been fitter on the bike, so …
That sponsored spin in your supermarket that you never quite managed to organise in time? Do it now! Our own Kate tested this idea out in 2016 and wrote all about it here.
So whatever you plan to do to get those last donations in, have fun with it, play to your strengths and please do everything you can to raise as much as you can for the William Wates Memorial Trust. Thank you for all your wonderful efforts and continued support.