Death By Chocolate

With MAD Day fast approaching, here are 20 MAD fundraising ideas to send your donations skyrocketing

Chances are you’ve been involved in a fundraiser. From selling raffle tickets at the school fair to being sponsored in a charity run, let’s face it: fundraising can be enjoyable but it can also be daunting – and it can sometimes get to be a chore.

At CUFA we believe that raising funds for a good cause is also a chance for some FUN. It can forge new friendships, give your confidence a boost, and provide some great opportunities for personal development. So file away your old ideas and break out the new – for charity’s sake!

Be inspired by others

We’ve been surprised and delighted by the off-the-wall ideas our wonderful CUFA supporters have come up with in the past, so we’re starting the list with our top four:

1. Pie Face Day, brought to us by Teachers Mutual Bank in 2015. An ingenious scheme hatched by Kylie Kempton and team where staff donated for the opportunity to slap a large custard pie into their boss’s face. Kylie and her fellow fundraisers watched in amazement as bids reached as high as $400 per pie. Watch the highlights here. 

2. Haircut Day: take a tip from intrepid Irene Narayan from SCU, who is off to Cambodia in May as winner of the Harry Zaphir scholarship. Her brilliant idea will see managers sponsored for the privilege of sporting a crazy hairstyle – all in the name of a great cause.

3. Pedal Power: Cambodia Cycle Challenger Vicki Hunter from Summerland Credit Union had the inspired idea of combining her fundraising with training for her challenge. Vicki borrowed an exercise bike from her local bike shop and set it up in the front window of her main branch, then literally stepped on it – raising money by the hour. “Our local sports shop donated a pair of shoes, socks, a drink bottle and head and wrist bands,” said Vicki. “In return, I provided free advertisement in our window all week.”

4. Day Off Work Raffle: again from Vicki Hunter – “HR approved special leave for the winner and my supervisor approved relief to cover for the day, and everyone, up to the CEO, could enter. I raised over $500!”

5. Choose Your Torture: find some willing ‘victims’ (preferably management) and ask staff to bid for the ‘torture’ they would most like their leaders to endure.

6. Bail Me Out: handcuff two managers together – and don’t set them free until your desired amount of cash is in their bail jar. Chance to negotiate your next raise?

7. Karaoke Lip-Synch Challenge: who doesn’t love a singsong? Go it solo or put together a team – and battle it out on the office floor. Air guitar optional.

8. Mani-Pedi-Massage Day: who’s up for a 5-minute shoulder release? Set up your stall and get to work on some nail art or aromatherapy bliss for your colleagues.

9. Balloon Raffle: forget the hot air – simply pop the details of your raffle prizes into balloons as you inflate them. Sell your balloons and watch as your colleagues pop them to discover their prizes.

10. Change It Up. Put a large jar on each department’s table and issue the challenge: whoever gets the most donations wins a prize – and YOU get the spoils from all the jars for your fundraiser…

11. Skip A Meal. Go on, you can do it. Instead of buying lunch at your favourite café for a day or a week, donate the cash to your fundraising champion.

12. Bring And Buy. Everyone’s got junk – but is your trash someone else’s treasure? Set up a stall and ask friends, family and work colleagues donate quality new and used items to sell.

13. Australia’s Got Talent. Who in the office has a hidden talent? Your colleagues will donate in droves to discover who has the best party tricks.

14. Elvis Is In The Building – who doesn’t love a dress up? Theme it or leave the challenge open – how much will you pay to be Beyoncé for the day?

15. Night At The Movies. Set up a screen and show a classic. Sell popcorn and Fantales and enjoy a QNI (Quiet Night In) with colleagues.

16. Christmas In July. Ask colleagues to donate for the privilege of wearing their worst Christmas sweater, have a photo with Santa and take a mince pie eating challenge… which leads us to …

17. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: Saos, Lamingtons, Weetbix: who can devour the most? Charge an entry fee, sell refreshments and take ‘bets’ on who will win the eating challenge.

18. Guest Speaker: persuade a local celeb to entertain your crowd – sell tickets and have refreshment stalls to maximise your donations.

19. Chinese Raffle: try this twist on the traditional draw – place a container in front of each of your prizes. Participants buy a sheet of tickets and pop their stubs in the container of the prize they most want to win – the more tickets they put in, the better their chance of winning that prize.

And finally …

20. Death By Chocolate: lay out the most delectable chocolate tasting table imaginable (don’t forget the fondue) then sell tasting tickets. Theme by country of origin, fair trade, organic, white, dark and milk, blindfold your tasters – get creative and the sky’s the limit.

Quick tips:

  • Start planning early – the more time you have, the better your results.
  • Set your fundraising goals: if you’re holding a raffle, estimate the number of tickets you will sell and set the ticket price accordingly to meet your goal and cover expenses
  • The better your prizes or more daring your stunts – the more you can charge!
  • Up your prize values by combining gifts: make up baskets of luxuries, link movie tickets with a restaurant voucher for a “Date Night” package. Create!
  • Double your money: ask your employer to match all donations you receive.
  • DO – create a social media page like GoFundMe to maximise donations.
  • Know your audience and let this guide your event to giddying heights.

Last words go to Chris Mason, Industry Analyst at COBA and former Fiji Kayak Challenger: “You may be out of your comfort zone at first. But where else can you find such an incredible opportunity for personal development and also to do something good for others?”

SAVE THE DATE: Next year’s MAD Day is October 21 2016. Registrations are now open, so why not head to to sign up your team? Let’s get together and celebrate the difference you are making to people’s lives!

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