Posted: 16 May 2014

Turning children into Spider-Man and butterflies

Ryan Brewer, a supporter in the Bristol area, recently staged a face painting DO at his local shopping centre in support of our work, raising £171 in support of our work. He recently answered our questions, sharing his fantastic tips about fundraising in a public space.

Find out how you can get involved - organise your DO to help vulnerable children across the country.

Ryan Brewer, North Somerset

Q: What inspired you to fundraise to support our work?

A: I was inspired to fundraise on behalf of The Children's Society when my best friend told me about the charity. Upon learning about the programmes that you run, I felt it was only right to fundraise on their behalf.

One that really made an impact on me was CheckPoint Torbay, which has specialised in providing services and counselling for children for over 20 years. It helps young people at risk of sexual exploitation, drug abuse and homelessness - though they also champion the rights of children living in permanent care or with disabilities.

What did you do?

Me and a small team of volunteers arranged events to help raise money but our most recent was a face painting event in the local shopping centre where I work. 

I know the customers and the type of promotional events that work well and generate business – though having my friend Rachel's face painting skills helped!

What planning did you do before the event?

As we were dealing with the general public in a busy shopping centre, we had to plan our event in quite some detail. We needed a risk assessment to minimize the potential risks of our event. We also made the booking for the promotional corner a couple of months in advance, as these spaces are snapped up quickly by other charities or businesses - you need to get in there quickly!

Closer to the time we got in touch with you to get balloons, stickers and T-shirts to use at our event. These fantastic resources the public showed greater trust and support towards us and were more likely to donate as they saw that we were branded ambassadors of the charity. 

We also tailored the activity to be as family friendly and appealing to children as possible.

What did you do to promote your fundraising and how did you collect donations?

We publicised our event via word of mouth and also used social media websites to make people aware of what we were doing. On the upper level of the shopping centre we were surrounded by big clear windows looking down on the lower level so we used A3 posters to stick upon the glass to make customers downstairs aware of our presence. This gave us visibility to all customers on both levels.

To collect donations we used branded buckets and ensured any large notes were kept separate owing to the possible risk of theft. At times we positioned ourselves in front of our face painting tables so we could reach customers passing by. In line with the policies set by shopping centre, we adhered to the non-pestering approach to charity collections. 

By giving a genuine smiles and handing out balloons to children, customers were willing - not obliged - to pop a donation in the bucket! It was a friendly way to collect for charity and we received a warm reception from the public.

What did you most enjoy about the fundraising event?

The positive feedback from the public made all the hard work worthwhile. More so, the excitement in the children's eyes when they saw their face painted was magical. 

At times, we had queues of families forming and that showed us that it was a popular attraction, which was lovely to see.

Are you planning any other fundraising activities?

We are always thinking of what our next fundraising activity might be. 

Our next big event will be a Big Summer DO where we look to involve the whole community in a day of fun and entertainment. 

We've also discussed plans for quiz evenings and other smaller events, all of which serve great purpose in raising money for The Children's Society.

Do you have top tips for others looking to fundraise?

My top tips for anybody thinking about fundraising are as follows:

  • Use your own skills and experience when planning your event
  • Publicise your event by any reasonable means necessary
  • Ensure you have everything you need, sometimes investing in your event can show a positive return in donations
  • Think of something fun and creative and suitable for your target audience
  • Do your research about the charity to answer any questions from the public
  • Contact the charity in advance and use any resources they have to your advantage
  • Be enthusiastic about your event, others will then be enthusiastic to also support it!


You can DO it, too

Our fundraisers are organising fundraising events across the country. Find out how you can join in and help vulnerable children. 

DO something to help vulnerable young people.

By Ryan Brewer - Guest bloggers

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