Fundraising Tips & Ideas

adventureIf you are a school or an individual trying to raise funds to attend an Hillary Outdoors programme or event you’ll find plenty of information to get you off to a good start here. If you have any particular queries that are not answered on these pages, please get in touch

Where to start

  • Set your goals – be realistic about what you have to achieve by when
  • Round up your support crew. Working towards your fundraising goal is likely to be much easier if you have the support of others. Therefore forming a committee or task force or whatever you’d like to call it, will help share the load for any jobs associated with fundraising activities and help spread word-of-mouth even better
  • Decide on your fundraising activity – take a look at the fundraising ideas tab below to spark your imagination. Think about how interactive you want it to be, whether you need to involve lots of people giving small amounts or fewer people and larger amounts.
  • Get the word out there – how are you going to communicate your fundraising activity and take payments? Some methods of communication are more appropriate than others, depending on the fundraising activity. For example, social media platforms are great for creating awareness of your cause – you can use twitter, facebook etc to announce what you are doing, you can also use it to link to fundraising pages (if you type “online fundraising pages” into your search engine you will find some free tools).
  • Dinner-outsideYou can also use Facebook to create an event, which works well if you are inviting your contacts along to an actual fundraising event. You could also set up a Facebook group for the people on your fundraising committee – this is an easy way to arrange meetings or discuss topics and keep everyone informed and involved. Even if the payment mechanism isn’t online, you can use emails/social media to keep people up to date with your fundraising efforts. Consider creating “infographics” – these are pictures that you can upload and post online that are a visual representation of something and can often be more appealing and engaging to an audience than a whole lot of text. For example a chart that shows a thermometer that is filling up towards your goal. And remember to post any photos of people getting involved in your fundraising. Instagram, Picasa, Flickr can all be useful visual tools.
  • And don’t forget the more traditional means of communicating – sometimes nothing beats getting on the phone to get things done quickly and achieve a greater level of commitment. Paper also works a treat face to face, as you can literally wave something under someone’s nose! Newsletters aren’t all digital these days either – you may find that your local community still has a printed newsletter that is being circulated and placing an ad/notice or even an article can often be free if it’s for a good cause!
Fundraising Tips
  • People want to know why and what. Give your supporters information on why you are asking for their support and what/how the students are benefiting – they are more likely to give if you post an inspiring message and they can see that you are passionate about it. Direct them to the Hillary Outdoors website for an overview of what we are all about and the testimonials pages could be helpful for demonstrating the tremendous impact their contribution is going to have on the lives of students involved.
  • Have a contingency plan. A proper best laid plan has a back up! This means a wet weather plan if you have an outdoor fundraising activity planned. A plan B if you fall short of the funds required to meet your fee obligations etc.
  • Add your fundraising page link to your email signature as an easy way to spread the word further.
  • Make it fun and be creative. Fundraising is common amongst schools and students and often parents/grandparents etc feel that they are endlessly being asked to give, so often reactions to yet another raffle can be less than warm! The more fun and creative you make the fundraising activity, the less of a chore it will feel to everyone involved – whether they are helpers or fund givers.
  • Track your progress. Tracking your progress is not only important for keeping you informed of how close you are getting to your target, but you can also use this as a tool to encourage your supporters to rally together some final funds or last minute burst of effort. You can turn the results into a graph, chart or other image for posting online. Fundraising pages often have reporting function that automatically updates progress statistics as payments are received. If you are not using a fundraising page, spreadsheets are handy for capturing financial information in one place and summing things up automatically.
  • Share your stories. Remember to follow up with your supporters by giving thanks at the appropriate time. For many, this involves sharing their stories. With a bit of preparation, schools can be extremely creative in this area, and the team work involved in pulling these together can often be an extension of the good learning and development that went on during a programme. It can also be a good in classroom activity for reflecting on what was learnt and achieved during students’ time at a centre. Sharing stories could be as simple as writing letters and emails, creating a collage or more involved such as an audio-visual presentation evening for parents and supporters at the school, a video – check the student footage posted on our video gallery page
  • Donations may be tax deductable. Donations over $5 are tax deductable, so be prepared to issue receipts to your supporters and remember to use this as another selling point as to why their donation won’t sting them too much!
  • Make it safe and legal. Whatever you choose as a funding activity, please ensure that it is within the law and not risking the safety or welfare of participants, organisers or the general public. For example, if you are holding a stall there are some commercial areas that are regarded as restricted and you may need to gain a permit to set up a stall. Contact your local council for further information. The Department of Internal Affairs have restrictions under The Gaming and Lotteries Act over the value limit of the prizes before a license is required. Check the Department of Internal affairs website ( for further information.
Fundraising Ideas
  • De-clutter flutter. Clear out your garages, spare rooms, old kids clothing and raise some funds along the way. The methods of doing this vary from selling stuff on trade me, participating in a car boot sale, holding a second hand stall/garage sale or taking old clothes to a recycle boutique. You could even encourage everyone to clean out their kitchen cupboards and create hampers to sell.
  • Play dress ups! Hold pyjama, a wig or hat day puts a different spin on a mufti day. Participants pay to take part and those that don’t can pay double the price!
  • Get busy in the kitchen. From cupcake days, lemonade stands, pot luck dinners, pizza day to holding a bake sale or sausage sizzle, the possibilities are endless
  • Unlock hidden talents. Organise a talent contest – whether it is X-factor style or more traditional format covering all music and performing arts. Students love to see teachers performing too! A comedy night or trivia/quiz night could work well too.
  • Working bee. Organise volunteers to give their time to do something useful that people are prepared to pay for. For example, car washes, window washing, weeding etc
  • Use fundraising tools. There are various products specifically designed for fundraising by manufacturers such as chocolate, glow sticks, books – do some research online and choose something that would appeal to your audience
  • Share your talents. Great at art, face-painting or knitting? – sell your services or donate a raffle prize
  • Do-a-thon. Whatever you choose to do, the basic idea is the same – you announce that you are going to do something for a certain amount of time (e.g. not eat chocolate for a month, go without your mobile phone or another device, jump a skipping rope etc) and get people to pledge a donation for your success.
  • Get active. Organise a fun run, triathlon or similar event and use entry fees as a donation to your fund
  • Do something relevant. Hillary Outdoors is about developing leadership and team building, so why not do something along that theme? It could be linked to one of the activities that students may take part in at a centre or something that involves team competition. You could even organise some urban orienteering.
  • Use your connections. Whether you use Linkedin as a powerful networking tool or more traditional mediums, think about who you and your network know that could get involved. Could you get someone famous to perform at your school free of charge or at a cheap rate and sell concert tickets? For example, are there ex-pupils who would be willing to come and speak or perform to an audience?
  • Make a match. Concept here is that you propose a challenge to an audience (e.g. parents, local businesses) to match dollar for dollar the funds that are raised by an individual student or group of students. Exactly how this works and how you execute it is up to you.
  • Extra help within the community. It’s not just the families and extended families connected to the school that you should get on board, local businesses might be willing to get involved too. Especially if you are able to reciprocate for their support by mentioning they sponsored your fundraising activity. Businesses can help by providing their services free of charge or at a heavily discounted rate (e.g. print & copy shops, hardware stores), donate prizes and display a poster or flyers.
Fundraising links