Run as fast as you can this Halloween!


Whatever you do, don’t look back. Don’t stop. Run.

With Halloween creeping up on us, there are a few great ways to not only celebrate Halloween and keep up your fitness, but also do a bit of good for charity.

Zombie Run – survival of the fittest

Can you survive the zombie apocalypse? With shows like the Walking Dead, zombies are on the rise, and getting even deadlier, creepier, and if they’re from World War Z, zombies-sseven worse, faster. Now you can run away from them for real at the same time as raising money for your charity.

If you dare, download the Zombies, Run! app on iPhone or Android, and run away from zombies on a 5km, 10km or 20km challenge. For the brave, the app tunes into your real time running, enabling zombies to ‘chase’ you – or at least in your headphones –  causing you to sprint to avoid the hoard when they catch up or else you fail your mission.

This app will not only get you fit, but it will get your adrenaline going as you hear the zombie hoard groaning in your ear. You can either select a story mission, an airdrop to run to in order to collect supplies, or run a specific distance race. Why not challenge friends to see who can complete the challenge fastest?

Just set up your fundraising page and get running. You can get people to donate to choose which mission you do, where you run to if it’s an airdrop, or sponsor you to beat a set time or distance. Get extra donations if you enable zombie chases, and even more if the hoard doesn’t catch you!

If you’re training for the Virgin Money London Marathon next year, this app will not only help you get out the house to train, but it’s also a lot of fun too – just don’t let the zombies catch you!

Fancy being undead instead?

If you’re already one of the hoard, see if you can gather your groaning buddies and set up an organised scare event to fundraise for the living!

Just get the living to donate to enter – and with any luck, they won’t be donating their lives too… Just remember to warn the living that they enter at their own risk.

Either set it up as a track run, or find a local park to play a game of zombie tag. Once you have willing victims (please, no unwilling victims!) to be your runners, chase them until they reach the safe zones. Charge donations to enter the game, and keep going in heats until there’s only one survivor – every time someone is caught, they must join the zombie hoard. Prize goes to the lone survivor – they get to stay with the living and maybe win a treat or two if they’re lucky.

Your ideas

Have your own spooky fundraising ideas? Why not let us know on Facebook or twitter?

Bring your fundraising to work


At Virgin Money Giving we totally get that pestering your work mates and, even worse, your boss for cash is really hard. But to reach your target it takes more than just hassling everyone around payday – don’t just leave your fundraising at home, bring it to work with you.

To help get you started – check out our fundraising toolkit.

Spread The Word

Instead of just emailing round your colleagues, see if you can raise awareness 24/7. Get a mention on your work community boards, newsletters or intranet as well as including your event on your email signature – that way you’re reminding everybody about your event without opening your mouth. Or why not leave a few carefully placed posters? There are tonnes of ways to spread the word, you just need to get people to notice.

Grab Their Attention

Let your workmates know exactly why this cause really matters to you. The more they can understand why the charity is so important, the more likely they are to donate to your page. Make it memorable by showing photos which illustrate your challenge and the importance of your charity.  Above all, make it personal, and let people in.

Show Where It Goes

Your colleagues are more likely to invest if you can demonstrate exactly how much they are helping. Let them know what they’re ‘buying’ – £7 could buy 100 test tubes in a Tommy’s laboratory and help a scientist trying to find out why some mums go into labour early. Find out what the money can do for your charity. Think about making it relative when you ask – your supporters could give up their Saturday night takeaway, and instead buy test tubes for Tommy’s.

Add the extra details

Think about adding detail to your own fundraising quest. See if you can engage your workmates and get them talking. Could you hold an office auction where people bid for the right to choose what you wear for your event? Or give people the chance to pick what colour you dye your hair for your race day? Make the most of your fundraising page and experiment. You could get people to vote what you do by donating £2 extra to your page, and leaving a comment with their choice.

Get More From Your Workplace

See if your workplace does matched giving, where they match your donations up to a certain amount, or payroll giving, where you can donate directly from your salary on a tax free basis. Any way that they can boost your fundraising total is a plus. You could even see if you have volunteering days – that way you can find out more about your charity and raise awareness for them, even getting your workmates to join you. And while you’re at it, why not present your charity as a potential Charity of the Year?

Get People Involved

Get your workmates involved. If you’ve got a carpark, rent places for donations or offer sponsored car washes. If you’ve got foodies in the office, do a coffee morning or a cake decorating time trial. Or – if you want something quick and easy – organise an office lottery, and split the donations/prize money as you like.

Party for charity this Halloween


The spooks and ghouls are coming! With Halloween just round the corner there’s no reason why you can’t add some trick or treat to your fundraising. Get together with all your mates this Halloween and do some good for charity. Here’s how:

Something tasty

Try your hand at making your own ghoulish pizzas. Challenge people to make ghosts out of mozzarella, Dracula out of tomato, or a zombie out of ham. Get competitive to get fundraising. Set up a Virgin Money Giving page and get your mates to enter the competition by donating to your page, and cast votes on who wins in both a taste and scare test.

For those with sweet tooths, have a go at spooktacular baking. You don’t even have to bake the whole thing, you could just do the decorating if you’re tight for time. Have a go at cake pops – you could make ghosts with white chocolate, or pumpkins with orange fondant, or maybe even Frankenstein’s monster with some bright green icing. Get donating, then get decorating.

Or if you fancy, see if you can make a Bloody Mary cocktail (non alcoholic for the under 18s), and see who can hold their nerve and drink the tomato & Worcester sauce down. Forfeit donations to whoever can’t keep a straight face, or drink the whole glass.

Tasty, ghoulish and a whole lot of good for charity.

Something fun

After the food’s done, introduce some games to keep the scares (and donations) coming.

Get a few ghoulish prizes – some sweets or a good old horror DVD – and host a raffle. You could get a cauldron prop to keep the tickets in, or up the ante and have a trick or treat tombola. See if your mates dare to delve their hands into the cauldron – some tickets are treat, some are trick! Instead of collecting cash, get people to make donations to your Virgin Money Giving page.

Or if you fancy yourselves as a movie buff, see if you can create a “Guess The Monster” quiz from your favourite horror films! Whoever wins gets to pick the horror film for the evening. Elements could include guess the character, guess the actor, or even guess their kill count!

For the gamers out there, find a horror game and see how long you can play before dying – every death is a forfeit donation to your page, and a change of player. You could ramp up the competition further by doing a scoreboard of who lasts the longest, who has the most wins, or who was the hardest to scare when the monsters ran on screen.

Whatever you do this Halloween, see if you can be good for your charity, even if it means something slightly bad for you!

#fundraiserfriday: Flashmobs and face-planting cakes


On 8 July 2017, Jo Walker will turn 30 years old and rather than spending 30th year counting down to the big day, Jo is counting down a list of 30 weird and wacky fundraising challenges; from flashmobs to face-planting cakes.

The challenges

Jo’s challenges range from the fun – like having a go on the Orbit Slide – to the weird – like face-planting a cake – to the downright difficult. Jo wants to take on the Three Peaks challenge and run the London Marathon in under 4 hours 30 minutes; something she’ll have one shot at before the big three zero!

One of Jo’s most recent challenges was to organise and participate in a flash mob, which she did at Kings Cross station with a friend on hand to film it taking place.

And while some challenges still elude her – the alcohol free month hasn’t quite made it to the “completed” pile just yet – Jo is makingjo-cake fantastic progress down her list.

The charity

Jo is taking on her list of challenges to raise money for Heads Together. Heads Together is a charity run by the Duke of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to help to end the stigma and change the conversation on mental health once and for all. Partnered with 8 mental health charities, Heads Together will be the official charity of the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon.

How you can help

To support Jo’s fundraising – and read the list of fundraising activities she intends to take on! – visit her Virgin Money Giving page.

If you’d like us to consider your fundraising story for our blog, please let us know via our Facebook or twitter. Your face could be here next!

The A-Z of Fundraising Ideas


Coming up with a fundraising idea can feel daunting, like you don’t know where to start. But the good news is that what you can do to fundraise is absolutely limitless, and it doesn’t have to be hard work. You can do what you normally enjoy doing, something wacky, a personal challenge, or even an organised event.

Here’s our A-Z to get you started.


Abseiling, Auction, Apprentice, Animal art trail, Afternoon tea


Bake off, Bingo, Bring & buy, Bowling, Bag packing


Coffee morning, Car wash, Craft fair, Cook off, Clothes swap


Disco, Dress down day, Dye your hair, Dog walking, Dinner party


Eating contest, Easter egg hunt, eBay, Expedition, EasyFundraising


Fancy dress, Fire walking, Fashion show, 5-a-side, Flash mob


Give blood, Girls’ night in, Games night, Gig, Garden party


Head shave, High walking, Happy cents, Handcuffed day, Honesty box


Ice cream sundae party, Ice skating, Ice bucket challenge, Instead of presents, Indoor games


Jailbreak, Jeans at work, Jumble sale, Jazz night, Jurassic party


Karaoke night, Knitting, Kissing booth, Kayaking race, Krispy Krème doughnut selling


Limbo, Lads’ night in, Lottery, Lose weight, Lunch


Movie night, Mattress surfing, Mini golf, Marathon, Murder mystery


Night hike, Nightmare before Christmas party, No make up, Naked calendar, Name the teddy


Obstacle course, Office Olympics, Onion peeling competition, Outdoor cinema, Odd jobs


Pamper party, Pub crawl, Present wrapping, Picnic, Petting zoo


Quiz & Chips, Quit something, Queen’s chairlift, Q&A, Quidditch


Raffle, Racing, Roller derby, Random act of kindness, Retro party


Skydive, Scare maze, Scavenger hunt, Sports day, Sleep out


Time trial, Talent show, Tombola, Triathlon, Trekking


Upcycle, Underwear day, Umbrella dance, UV run


Vote off, Vampires Vs Werewolves, Vines, Visit as many places you can in 24 hours


Wine & Cheese Night, Walk, Water gun/balloon fight, World record attempt, Wax,


Xbox/Wii/PS4 night, X-Factor competition, X marks the spot


Yes day, Yacht race, Yoga, YOLO challenge, Yodelling competition


Zumbathon, Zombie run, Zero tolerance fines for annoying behaviour, Zimmerframe race, Zorbing

#fundraiserfriday: Elise has BEAT anorexia


Last weekend, around 16,000 people took to the beautiful Royal Parks of London for the famous Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon. We caught up with one of these runners, Elise Brooklyn, who told us her very personal reasons for taking on this challenge for charity Beat.

Elise BEAT anorexia

Ten years ago, Elise was battling with a horrible, all consuming disease which many aren’t able to beat; anorexia. Elise counts herself extremely lucky that her family not only identified and accepted what Elise was going through, but were incredibly supportive throughout, searching for available services which could help save Elise’s life. Elise says;

“After hospitalisation and continuous support I can say I have Beat this [disease]. It’s still there but I’m in control, something that seemed impossible all those years ago.”

This year marks Elise’s ten year recovery from anorexia.

The challenge

To mark this important year, Elise set herself a New Year’s resolution to set herself a challenge; one which would help her get fit and which would positively impact others. After managing to convince her husband Dave into taking on the challenge with her, they decided that the challenge to go for was the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon raising funds for Beat.

Beat’s aims to change the way everyone thinks and talks about eating disorders, to improve the way services and treatment are provided and to help everyone believe that their eating disorder can be overcome. They aim to do this by challenging the stereotypes and stigma that people with eating disorders face, campaigning for better services and treatment and by providing information, support and encouragement to seek treatment and recovery.

Elise tells us that any money donated to her fundraising page could help others receive the support they require to fight their own eating disorder. She says

“£42 enables Beat to respond to someone in distress, listen to their worries and signpost them to services, every £100 raised helps Beat to provide 80 leaflets for the suffers supporters to help them understand the illness and how best to help them, and just £300 could help to train new ambassadors to share their experience of recovery and promote a message of hope.”

Catching up with her after the event, Elise told us that she and her husband really enjoyed the day. “The weather was lovely, the views were stunning and the running… Well that was ok!” The couple managed their personal best of 2 hours and 14 minutes and said that the support from other runners and spectators was amazing.

Elise and David want to raise as much as possible for this wonderful charity to help others, like Elise, Beat their eating disorders. You can support their challenge by donating to their fundraising page.

Stand out on Social

social media

One of the quickest ways to get donations for your fundraising page is by sharing it on social media. However, simply sharing your page isn’t enough. To get the most out of your social networks, have a look at our top tips to get your page to really stand out.

1. Rally your supporters

Share your page on social media and get people talking about it. Make sure to add a photo and a reason why they should care.

2. Share photos

When you share photos, make it something fun, interesting or heartfelt. Give your supporters a snapshot of what you’re doing.

3. Get the timing right

Think about when your supporters are likely to be online. You might catch them better on evenings or weekends.

4. Go live on Facebook

Film a live video on Facebook to catch your supporters reactions live – film your training, or let you supporters vote i.e. what colour you dye your hair, or your kit.

5. Follow the trends

Make the most of Twitter trends to help spread the word. You could use #motivationmonday or #randomactofkindness.

6. Message directly

Reach out to your supporters directly about what you’re doing, so you can talk with them rather than at them.

7. Follow your charity

Find out what your charity is doing to help raise awareness to your supporters; this will give another reason to donate.

8. Get your charity to endorse you

See if your charity will share or retweet your fundraising page to reach your charity’s existing supporters.

9. App it up

Play around with the apps available to track and share your progress like MapMyRun, Snapchat or Instagram.

10. Say thank you

Thank your supporters in your Facebook status, and it will not only make them feel valued, but also remind others to donate.

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