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Our favourite fundraising ideas to help support cancer research

Cancer is too big an issue for any of us to tackle alone, but fortunately, you can get involved and support Cancer Research Trust NZ in our mission to get cancer on the run. Whether you are hosting a party, shaving your head, or running a marathon, by taking part you are enabling our Kiwi researchers to tackle the big ideas that will make a difference to cancer patients and their families - now and in the future. And the best thing is – every dollar donated goes directly to cancer-related projects.

What kind of Fundraising can I do?

Every day of the week people just like you are fundraising for Cancer Research Trust NZ in a variety of ways. They are shaving their heads and beards, walking miles, and running marathons, climbing mountains, giving up chocolate, doing bake sales, and more. Whatever you choose to do, we recommend looking at fundraising through an online crowdfunding platform like Givealittle. Here's an article about why crowdfunding is often so effective.

Top Fundraising Ideas

There are a lot of ways that you can raise funds for Cancer Research Trust NZ. Check out 3 of our most popular:

Quiz night

Kiwis love a quiz, so why not get quizzy and hold your own quiz night? This is a fun and engaging way to get people together and raise money through tickets or donations. Don’t forget to include a raffle to draw at the end of the night too!

Shaving your head

One of our most popular fundraising activities is the head shave. It's a great way to not only raise money for research but also to raise awareness of cancer. Take it to the next level by offering people the chance to bid to shave your head. Or stretch out the activity by giving people the chance to dye your hair a crazy colour for a week before the shave.

Bake sale

New Zealanders are big on baking – especially after the lockdowns which gave many of us the time to hone our craft! Whether you run the event at work, school or your home, this is a fun way to bake your way to fundraising success. Don’t forget to ask your friends and family to donate cakes to help too.

10 Other Ideas:

  1. Auction / Auction of promises - Do you have an impressive collection you're willing to let go of for a good cause? Or the contacts to get your hands on some sought-after rugby memorabilia? Then an auction could be a charity fundraising activity for you.
  2. Beard shaving - Would the idea of shaving your beard off have your friends and families reaching into their pockets in the name of cancer research?
  3. Charity ball – If you want to try something a little fancy, host a charity ball and give all your friends and family an excuse to dress up! Make sure you give yourself enough time, set a date, and pick a suitable venue. We’re always here if you’d like to contact us, to see if somebody from Cancer Research Trust NZ could speak at your event.
  4. Give it up! - We all have bad habits and if you have one that you want to kick why not do so while fundraising for cancer research? If your habit is costly, you can donate the money you save, or alternatively have people sponsor your effrots.
  5. Marathon events – Running a marathon is a popular way to raise money for Cancer Research Trust NZ, but marathons don’t need to be restricted to running! In the past, our supporters have raised money with marathon music performances, golf days, and more!
  6. Matched Giving - Whether you’re raising money in the office or outside of work, ask your employer about matched giving. Lots of our Cancer Research Trust NZ fundraisers have doubled the amount raised by their employer so don't be afraid to ask.
  7. Raffle - A raffle is great to have at a charity fundraising event. Just charge a fee for tickets and the winner gets a prize. Simple as that. This could also work as a standalone fundraising activity.
  8. Uniform free day – This is a great way to get raise funds at school, or let your office relax a little by ditching the suits and sies for a day. If you work in uniform, swapping it for a fancy dress could help you raise even more money.
  9. Waxing - this classic charity fundraising technique provides an interesting insight into how much your friends are willing to pay to hear you scream. A packet of wax strips (and maybe some aloe vera) is all you need.
  10. Yoga Classes - See if you can find a local yoga instructor and studio that would be willing to partner with you to raise money for cancer research and awareness. If you're struggling to find a studio, you can host the event at home.

Fundraising Tips

Check out these top 5 fundraising tips to help kick-start your fundraising:

Set a fundraising target

It’s always helpful to set a fundraising goal – especially when using crowdsourced funding platforms like Givealittle. This helps to keep yourself motivated and gives those donating a target to aim for.

2. Share your story on social media

Letting as people know what you're doing makes all the difference when it comes to fundraising. One of the main ways to do this is with social media. By spreading the word far and wide when you’re fundraising you expand the potential pool of who is likely to donate and how much you’re likely to raise (the more people that know about it, the more people that are likely to donate).

3. Personalise your approach

People want to know about you, your cause, and why you’re fundraising. While you might be able to count on close friends and family to donate to your fundraiser, many people will be unwilling to donate to a fundraising campaign without at least a little context first. Be sure to let people know what you’re raising money for, why it’s important to you, and how they can help. If you’re fundraising online use your campaign page to tell your story. There’s no need to reveal every single personal detail, but your campaign’s story should have an individualised feel to it.

4. Diversify

Remember that when fundraising, there’s no reason that you have to limit yourself to a single event. Wanting to hold a bake sale? Great! But why not hold a few throughout the year? The more events that you hold, the more money that you’re likely to raise for vital cancer research.

5. Plan ahead

This one is pretty simple. It always pays to be prepared and the more planning that you’ve done ahead of time, the more likely it is that your fundraising event will be a success.


So there you have it. Hopefully, with these tips and ideas, you'll be well on your way to planning your next fundraising event in support of cancer research. With your help we're getting cancer on the run!

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