A Country Bumpkin’s Guide to Raising Money

By Will Kennedy – Blackbaud’s very own country bumpkin. A rural chap who has made for the big smoke but remembers well the challenges and possibilities when fundraising in the countryside…

The internet speeds are still at dial-up levels, contactless payment is seen as some sort of sorcery, streetlights are widely frowned upon – these are all true in my village.  While urban environments are now largely seen to be the home to invention, innovation, start-ups and creativity; the countryside splats the rat when it comes to inventive fundraising ideas. So to combat this outlandish and inaccurate preconception, here are six classic countryside-inspired ideas for raising money to get you to your goal!

  1. Cow Pie Bingo

It’s simple. Borrow a cow and the local football club’s line painter – they’ll both have some spare time. Paint a grid on the grass. Next, get patrons to bet on a square of the grid for £1 a time. The winner is determined by whichever square the cow happens to dispose of yesterday’s hay on. Pat on the head for the winner, and/or £20. Of course, this doesn’t have to just use cows, you can use a pump action rocket from afar or even your neighbour’s dog. The possibilities are only hampered by your imagination and menagerie.

  1. Maggot Racing

Who needs a day at the races when infant flies can bring the races to you? All you need is multi-coloured fishing maggots (available from your local supermarket…possibly) and a grooved piece of wood. Patrons purchase a maggot and then race their maggots – naming them is obligatory – from one side of the wooden block to the other. Winner takes half and gets to keep their speedy steed.

  1. Pottery Smashing

Raid the local charity shops, The WI and your Nan’s house for as many pieces of crockery as you can find. Stack them up and allow patrons to lob cricket balls/tennis balls/cannonballs at the plates to smash them to their heart’s content. 50p a throw for the destructive, yet weirdly cathartic, privilege.

  1. Slow Gin Competition 

Get friends, relatives or colleagues to compete for the Slow-Gin crown. Homemade entries only, judges or democracy – it doesn’t matter. It’s a brilliant way to get people’s generous juice’s following to support that cause you are championing.

  1. Sexy Scarecrow Burlesque show

All you need is some hay, an artistic eye and the loan of your friends’ mother’s/father’s underwear. Prizes are awarded for inventiveness, shock factor and artistry. This always gets a crowd who are more than willing to drop a donation.

TOP TIP – don’t combine this with the slow gin evening…scarecrows and alcohol don’t mix

  1. Hardboiled egg rolling

You can paint them first but this is fairly self-explanatory. All you need is a hill and a bunch of extroverts. If the egg breaks you’re instantly disqualified. There should be a minimum donation to take part – and needless to say, a box of eggs for the winner.

And of course, if country-style fundraising isn’t your thing, you can run, swim or even bake for your cause on everydayhero. Be it taking part in the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon, combining boxing and running, if you want to fundraise for charity there is an occasion for you.

Good luck fellow fundraisers, and if you’re still intrigued about the Scarecrow show in my village, you should be.

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