North Devon Hospice, based in Barnstaple, provides community nurses, a day hospice and a bedded unit for local people. The charity has a busy fundraising events calendar and this year decided to put on a three-day event that included sheepdog trials and a country fayre.
The event, the biggest in the charity's 25-year history, raised more than £158,000 to help terminally ill patients. This was triple the charity's target amount and many times what sheepdog trials normally raise for good causes (about £9,000).
The judges were impressed by North Devon Hospice's decision to stage an event that locals and tourists would want to attend for its own sake, not simply because it was for charity. The area is well known for its summer festivals and activities and, with more people holidaying in the UK because of the recession, the charity wanted to take advantage of increased tourism with an event of its own.
As well as raising more money than expected, the event also helped the charity's staff to work together.
"It had a unifying effect on the whole hospice, as staff and volunteers from every department contributed towards the event's success," the charity's entry said. "This ranged from the maintenance team who helped set up and break down the site, to the finance team who operated the tills at the gates. This feel-good factor has lasted and given us a platform to manage other events in a more coordinated way."
Barney Hosey, client service director at Brightsource and one of the judges, praised the TV adverts for the event, which allowed the charity to "punch above its weight" and appeal to a broad range of people.
Fellow judge Susan Davidson, supporter development and innovation director at Save the Children, added: "This is relevant, local and fun. It's community fundraising at its best."
Awarded to an innovative fundraising event that has achieved or exceeded its targets
Susan Davidson, supporter development and innovation director, Save the Children
Barney Hosey, client service director, Brightsource
John Mensah, committee member, Black Fundraisers Network
Amanda Shepard, director of development, Institute of Fundraising
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