Monday, June 29, 2009

Maddy Oakes' fundraising for her India expedition - the second instalment!

May was a major month of fundraising for me! On May 16th I held a Casino Night at my local golf club to raise funds for my expedition to India. After provisionally booking the venue I searched the web for casino hire companies who catered for my area and also within my budget – some companies even offer a discount for charity events. The company I booked: really made the night a success and the croupiers had a great rapport with the guests. A fun casino night can be held just about anywhere – no matter how big or small the venue and guests need not have any knowledge of the games. To promote the evening and start selling tickets a friend offered to design a poster (including the Raleigh logo which is always important) which I put up in local shops and also created small flyers to hand to family and friends. After doing some maths I worked out a ticket price that would cover the costs of the venue, casino hire and catering and leave money over to buy prizes for the winners (as it is a fun casino no cash prizes are awarded). I bought prizes for a prize draw (each guest had a named envelope into which they placed a paper donation and this then became their entry into the raffle) and three top prizes for the highest male, female and overall casino winners (which were found by the croupiers which made my life easier on the night). The ticket price included a three course meal and a set value of ‘funny money’ to use at the casino tables. From the event there were three ways in which I generated funds for Raleigh – firstly profit from ticket sales, then I asked guests to make a paper donation for a raffle-like prize draw and finally from further sales of funny money later in the evening for the keen gamblers. To urge the guests to dig further into their pockets I created a short film which I played whilst they were having coffee just before the casino tables opened (using clips from Raleigh’s promotional films); this helped me to convey Raleigh’s work, where their money would be going and it also reduced the amount of time I had to spend embarrassingly talking into a microphone. Although the event took a great deal of organising, I thoroughly enjoyed it and got the impression that the guests did too. It was a great opportunity to get on our glad rags and raise a good sum of money at the same time.

Then on May 31st I donned the lyrca and cycled from Manchester to Liverpool. The event was organised by Bike Events (; I chose to do this because I would be cycling alone and their full support services meant I didn't have to worry as they provided signed and marshalled routes, mechanics, pick-up vehicles and First Aid teams. More than 1500 cyclists took part and although I was slightly worried before hand that they would all be pros the event had a very welcoming atmosphere and many families were cycling together. However, it should be noted that Bike Events cycles are sometimes for specific charities and so I contacted them to ask if I could split the money I raised between Raleigh and MAG (the host charity).
Then I decided to create a justgiving page) which is great as any money donated online through this page is deducted automatically from my minimum fundraising target set by Raleigh. Also, if your donations come from a tax payer gift aid can be supplemented, making their donation of a greater sum! Despite the minimal training I did before hand I thoroughly enjoyed the day – the weather was beautiful, I made it the whole 40 miles without a puncture and could surprisingly walk the day after!


  1. A casino night is a great idea. I love texas holdem and wonder if that would work for a fund raiser.

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