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Fundraising for Walk the Walk – Ladies Night

Biggest thing to remember is don’t ask don’t get . . . the only things we paid for were the balloons and the bar stock, everything else was donated.

As I write this my partner in crime Fiona and I are mid training and fundraising for the three land challenge. We’ve set ourselves a target of £8000 and at the moment are just over half way there. A big chunk of our total so far has come from one source – our ladies night. We’re not expert event organisers or sales people, but managed to raise just over £2000 from that one event. If a few of my rambling thoughts can help others do the same then even better!

When deciding what events to attempt a ladies night was an obvious one. Although neither of us are particular fans of ladies nights we knew there had been ladies nights in Dunblane before and they had been well attended. We decided we wanted to charge a reasonable ticket price (£12) and include a free mini treatment, goody bag and arrival drink. We then ran a bar, raffle and a few other bits and pieces.

Marketing: We used Facebook in the main – set up an event and invited everyone we knew, although it did the rounds of the school gates pretty quickly. I designed a poster (got it checked by Polla at WTW as we used the logo) and used the same design but smaller for tickets. Kept pushing the event on fb, and had posters up round the town too.

Venue:

We were lucky in that the centre that I teach and do theatre in let us use it for free.  Had we paid for a different local venue cost would have been about 20 / hour. Don’t forget to take account of set up time and clear up time (we had a fair wee bit of clearing up to do after, it’s good if you can recruit some helpers for this) We had two main rooms with tables etc, then a few other wee areas for quieter treatments.

Treatments:

We approached a range of local beauty salons, practitioners etc to see if they would offer ‘mini treatments’ for free in return for putting cards in goody bags, mentions on our fb page etc etc We got really good support from people and ended up being able to offer: file and polishes, nail art, massage, Indian head massage, reiki, shellac, hair ups/curls etc, reflexology, skin analysis and henna. We ran an apt system where people text me once they had their ticket to book their treatment (20min slots) this worked ok, but if we were to do it again I’d start the appts later (the first lot were too busy drinking to make their appts!)

Goody Bags:

We wanted to have actual ‘stuff’ in our goodybags, we bought 150 bags of mini lovehearts (we were the week before valentines) wholesale from ebay, one of our major sponsors gave us pens, a local beauty salon who couldn’t send people kindly donated 150 free wash and blow-dry vouchers (which went down a treat) and most of the other salons gave us %off vouchers etc. One of the local clothes/accessory shops made us up little chiffon gift-bags with tan wipes, mini pen etc, really pretty. Another local shop gave us bags. These took a little effort, but were worth it – I think people thought they added value to their ticket.

Bar:

This caused us the biggest headache, mainly because it was out of our comfort zone. (If it had been a chocolate bar we would have excelled!) You need to make sure legally you’re covered (We applied for an occasional license from the council £15 and a friend ran the bar for us who has her personal license, legalities on this can vary council to council, but there is normally a few week wait for a license to be granted) That was easy, buying the drink was the difficult one as we didn’t know what or how much to get – eventually we ended up sending someone out to tesco for more at half nine as we sold out of wine, prosecco and vodka. It’s one of those things tho, even having done it a different group might have drank differently. My only advice would be to try and do polls etc on facebook, or if you have big groups coming ask what they drink (we had a table of 16 who only drank prosecco for example) You can make a lot of money from the bar, but it was easily out biggest stress just in terms of what to get/buy etc. We toured various supermarkets for offers on soft drinks etc (bogofetc) and all our unbranded spirits came from Aldi, as did our free arrival fizz which went down really well.

Stalls:

We didn’t really set out to have stalls, but various people contacted us to ask about having one so we ended up with about 15 in return for a raffle prize donation and a donation if they sold well. A few stalls did, but most didn’t, I’m not sure it’s the right venue for stalls, although some might get more long term sales out of it. Donation wise we didn’t make much from the stalls, although it meant we didn’t have to worry too much about the raffle.

Raffle:

As above each stall holder donated something so we had some really good prizes (£100 salon voucher, jewellery etcetctc) I sent a friend round with tickets and she sold out – so make sure you have plenty of tickets (we had three books of 100 strips  – we would have sold more if we had them! Doh!) Draw it on the night, if you don’t it falls under different legislation and you need a licence. 

Tim!

This was rather an odd one . . . I asked one of our tame fitness instructors if he would be up for helping out (he is rather . . . . statuesque! )he was game. We had been given a luxury spa day by one of our major sponsors to give away, so we used Tim like a real life treasure hunt. Before the event we marked a wee cross on a topless photo of him then sealed it away, on the night the ladies paid a fiver to scrawl their name on poor topless Tim . . whoever got the closest to the cross at the end won the prize. This was a complete and utter success. It does of course require you to have someone easy enough on the eye, and a little bit brave, but it really made the atmosphere fun and the ladies loved it. It raised a fair wad of cash too!

Décor:

We felt that décor was important, we borrowed matching tablecloths from another local community group, bought balloons and ribbon from ebay and asked nicely at our local luxury hotel if we could use their helium to inflate them . . they kindly said yes. (Be warned, it’s time consuming!) The room looked quite pretty, and with the music on etc there was a good atmosphere. I think especially if your hiring a plain hall this is quite important.

General:

We also had a local pole fit instructor come with her pole, do a couple of demos and let the ladies try, which worked really well.

Biggest thing to remember is don’t ask don’t get . . . the only things we paid for were the balloons (about a fiver) and of course the bar stock, everything else was donated. People are happy to support if approached  positively, and they can see some sort of benefit to their business (marketing handed out, increased profile etc) We also had bra pins out, pink tubs etc etc, every little helps!

To give you a rough idea of numbers . . .

We sold about 100 tickets at £12 each, made about£300 on the raffle, £200 on our ‘Tim Treasure Hunt’ £100 or so in stall donations and the rest on the bar. Our total ended up being £2050 – more than we originally hoped for!

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