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Be Our Voluntine

The biggest holiday cash-cow is fast approaching and we want you to have a slice of the takings. That is right, Valentine’s Day is happening on February 14th. Here are a few ideas to help you maximise your fundraising on and around the big day!

A selection of red clothes on two clothing racks, with some red accessories in the floor beneath them.
© ©Shutterstock/luanateutzi

It’s Party Time!

Red is the colour of passion, strength, fire, desire, love and… danger (?).  You can always just focus on the first four. Utilise the fact that the western hemisphere paints itself red for Valentine’s Day, by throwing a Red Party. This can either be done by insisting everyone comes dressed in red, or it can be more fancy dress, with things that are red in colour.

  • Fancy Dress Theme – I can hear you all saying “but not that many things are red”, well that is where you are wrong. Think fire-engines, parrots, devils, a rose or Taylor Swift (anyone remember her album Red?). Have a best outfit competition at this party, with people paying £2 to enter and winning the pride of knowing they have the best outfit or a special Valentine's prize - think chocolates or whatever freebies you can get your hands on. Ask local businesses if they are willing to provide prizes and don’t forget to bring your Letter of Authority when you go prize hunting.
  • Dressed In Red – This is exactly what it says on the tin, people wearing red clothes. You can have a penalty charge for anyone not wearing red, and also play red clothing themed songs during the night, such as “Lady in Red” by Chris De Burgh, “Red Dress” by The Sugababes and “Louboutins” by Jennifer Lopez.

Don’t forget to charge people to come, between £5-10 is a good idea for a party but you can set your own entrance fee based on what you think your friends and family are willing pay.

A carton of popcorn, knocked over on a red background
© ©Shutterstock/Stock-Asso

Films about Love, Actually, are quite popular

Holding a film night is a great way to raise money, as there are so many ways to do this. Remember to charge a ticket fee, and also charge for snacks and drinks, like a real cinema.

  • You can hold a vote where people vote for the romantic movie they would like to watch. This is fantastic for people who have busy lives, and can only spare 2 hours of their time. You can use the same vote to determine the time and date that you hold the film night.
  • If a lot of people have a lot of time, you could do a movie marathon. The best thing about this one is that almost every film ever made has a romantic sub-plot so there are loads to choose from. If Valentine's really isn't your thing try disaster films (Titanic, San Andreas, Volcano), War films (Pearl Harbour, Atonement, Australia), Horror films (the Scream series, Warm Bodies, Shaun of the Dead) or Comedy films (Mean Girls, Dumb and Dumber, The Austin Powers series).  The marathon, can be a film series in length, or a 24hr movie marathon, which has loads of random films in it.

Speed Dating

Whether you plan to hold a speed dating or speed mating (making friends) event, Valentine’s Day is a great time of year to hold it. 

Each person speaks to all the others present, for between 3 and 5 minutes. At the end there is mingling time, and people can exchange contact details, arrange meet ups, etc…

Make sure you advertise it as a fun, relaxed event, and manage expectations. You might not walk out of this events with a new BFF or life long partner, but you will have a fun, and hopefully funny, time and raise funds for a cause you're passionate about. And I think that's an evening well spent.

Two paper love hearts with a stopwatch between them, on a wooden surface.
© ©Shutterstock/Andrey_Popov
Speed dating is a fantastic way to raise money, but if people are not interested in dating, then hold a speed mating or speed networking event instead.

Galentines Celebration

Celebrate your friends and get the gang together to do whatever you do best. Whether you first met your friends through a dungeons and dragons game, night out at a roller disco (do these still happen?) or your dodgeball team, host an event to celebrate your shared activity. This can be something big in your uni sports hall or local pub, or an intimate get together in your living room or local park. Big events are brilliant but so too are afternoons spent fundraising with your closest friends. Whatever your hobby you're Fundraising Support Officer can help turn it into a brilliant fundraiser - just ask. 

A selection of biscuits cut into heart shapes and iced with varying degrees of pink icing.
© ©Shutterstock/Oksana Mizina

Please Don’t Bake My Heart

We say this all the time, and you might be sick of hearing it, but hold a bake sale! You can get really creative with the baked goods as well. There are the obvious heart-shaped biscuits, red velvet cupcakes, strawberry tartlets and Banoffee Pie, but you can also create some real show-stopping and cute edibles.

  • Sharable biscuits – baked biscuits with a snappable line down them, so they can be shared with a friend, partner, parent, etc…
  • Personalised cupcakes – write people’s names on cupcakes for a slight premium. They will make a great gift for people.
  • Anatomically accurate heart cookies – this is a good one to do as a slight anti-Valentine’s Day thing. It will take a long time to draw it in icing, so price these higher than the other baked goods.

Remember that you can make more money by not pricing your baked goods, as people then have to decide how much they are willing to donate, and they can surprise you with their generosity.

Use this date to share a little love and raise a little dollar!

Please do let us know how your Valentine’s Day events go, we love to hear about your events. Also, if you can, send us some photos, so we can how everything has gone. Good luck with them, and do not forget to stay in contact with your fundraising support officer, we are here to support you!

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