CHARITY EVENT INNOVATION AWARD
ABF The Soldiers’ Charity – Operation Bletchley 2021
Operation Bletchley is your codebreaking challenge. It is the only event of its kind – an immersive virtual event combining walking, codebreaking and fundraising. Participants sign up as ‘agents’ to tackle one of our fiendish missions. Combining a distance challenge with codebreaking, Operation Bletchley is a brilliant event for all ages. Each mission has three levels of codes to choose from; junior (aimed at 8–12-year-olds), codebreaker (challenging) and cypher expert (GCHQ level). Agents have a set time period to walk the miles, solving codes along the way to uncover a hidden message which they must deliver before time runs out.
Taking place twice a year, in July and January your mission is to cover the miles, crack the codes and uncover a hidden message you need to deliver before time runs out.
You can take part from anywhere in the world using your phone, fitness tracker or a good old map.
Alzheimer’s Society – Trek 26
Alzheimer’s Society worked with Massive to deliver Trek 26 throughout the pandemic, enabling them to expand the series post Covid -19, bouncing back stronger than ever.
In 2021 when restrictions were eased, the series continued to grow with 5 events of 13 and 26 mile treks taking place in Dartmoor, London, Stonehenge, Brecon Beacons and the Lake District.
The series raised £3.5 Million last year with 7,000 people taking part across the events, with 3 additional events added to the schedule in 2022.
Centrepoint – Sleep Out 2021
Sleep Out is Centrepoint’s flagship corporate fundraising event. In 2019 alone, it and it annually welcomed over 1,000 people and raised up to £1m. In 2021 we were forced to reimagine the event to work safely around Covid restrictions and concerns.
We were required to hugely reduce the number of participants and create a brand new recruitment strategy. We focused on giving our most valued corporate partners a chance to engage directly with our work, for the first time in two years. To make this possible, we had to urge our partners to recruit their best fundraisers and raise more sponsorship than ever before.
On the night, we brought the event back to basics. Insightful Q&A sessions and interactive activities brought the cause of youth homelessness to life.
Consequently, 200 people raised an astonishing £202,000 for Centrepoint, and were engaged in an evening of meaningful experiences which brought them closer to the charity – 100% said the event had ‘deepened their understanding of youth homelessness’. The event was so impactful that we plan to continue in this vein and focus our future Sleep Out events on providing the most impactful experience to our most committed corporate partners.
Crohn’s & Colitis UK – My WALK IT
My WALK IT gave those living with, and affected by, Crohn’s and Colitis, a way to connect with others, share their story, keep positive and active, and raise vital awareness during what was a challenging time. My WALK IT took place throughout the month of June where participants could choose to complete a 5km, 10km, half marathon or marathon walk in and around their local area. The month-long event allowed flexibility for those taking part who live with Crohn’s or Colitis, who may find their walk particularly challenging. Participants could walk in their own time, at their own pace, in one day, or across many days. It was free to take part in My WALK IT and each participant received a free branded t-shirt. The My WALK IT community was very engaged on the new Facebook group where many people shared stories, experiences, photos, videos, and kind words of encouragement. Our aim for this event was to mirror the same sense of community, accessibility, and achievement as our physical flagship WALK IT event, while raising vital awareness and funds. My WALK IT far exceeded our targets, raising a staggering £392,404 with 1,987 participants registered.
English National Opera – ENO TV
In 2020, Covid-19 forced the London Coliseum to close. We wanted to maintain engagement, keep donors informed, and really give a feeling of being part of “the ENO Family”. In response, we created ENO TV, free online weekly events.
Every episode highlights one of our many exciting projects, with each one providing new experiences to our audience. Whether that was the ground-breaking work done through ENO Breathe, previewing the show The Cunning Little Vixen, focusing on sustainability, or a celebrity-studded collaboration with Comic Relief.
By spreading our reach so wide, we have managed to retain and grow our audience base through these virtual events. We provide insight that other art companies haven’t into the workings of an Opera House and have entertained our audience with the unseen sides of opera, and by showing the impact the arts has had in a COVID world.
Many renewing donors told us that by not just shuttering the doors and turning off the lights, but instead showing renewed energy, resilience and compassion with ENO TV, they had renewed their passion for opera. Our fundraising and community spirit among our donors was far higher than expected, much of which was due to ENO TV.
Sense – Run For
Run For is Sense’s new virtual running challenge which was first trialled throughout February 2022.
Once you’ve signed up, you set your own fundraising target and choose what distance you’d like to tackle over the month. It could be 10 miles, 28 miles or even 100 miles – it’s completely up to you!
The best part about Run For is that you are matched up with one of four amazing children we support – Remi, Megan, Ernie or Teegan – who become your cheerleader for the month-long challenge. As you progress through your challenge you receive inspiring email updates from them and their families and see just how the money you’ll be raising makes a difference to children’s lives!
Underpinned by strong audience insight work and a strong link to the cause, Run For is a very different proposition to most virtual events.
The Charity Event Specialists – The Collective
The Collective exists to inspire Event Fundraisers to do things differently, so that together we can change the world.
It is a membership providing online bespoke training, personal development, connection, peer support, coaching, a confidential forum and a library of resources for Event Fundraisers.
With members spanning from the Highlands of Scotland to Devon and everywhere in between, The Collective has provided a lifeline to Event Fundraisers going through the pandemic.
Real life friendships have been made, new jobs have been secured, new events have been organised, progress has been made at a time when much of the world seemed to stand still.
One of the reasons this membership is so unique is because it is co-created with the members. We organise events and training based on what the current need is. In the last two years much of our training has been based around moving events online, how to create memorable virtual fundraising events and planning in uncertain times.
And now as we re-enter the world of in-person events again, we are looking at what has changed, what needs to be considered in a post pandemic events world and providing the members with confidence to grow their events programmes.