Markel

Third Sector Awards 2018: Fundraising Team of the Year - Challengers

Awarded to a fundraising team that has worked effectively together to achieve or exceed its fundraising targets

Charity hit its fundraising target despite a fire at its main play centre
Charity hit its fundraising target despite a fire at its main play centre

How much money was raised?

2017 was a standout year for Challengers, a Guildford-based charity that provides exciting and inclusive play and leisure activities for disabled children. Its main play centre and charity headquarters were gutted by a devastating fire in September 2017, but the charity still managed to hit its annual fundraising target of £1.4m, an increase of 28 per cent on 2016. A new centre opened in February 2018.

How is the team structured?

A few years ago Challengers split the fundraising team so that two members could devote their time to implementing an effective communications strategy. This paid off after the fire when the local newspaper started a fundraising campaign, raising £25,000. The team recognised the potential to turn a disastrous situation around, increasing funds and public exposure. 

What is the team’s approach?

Challengers has cultivated strong networks such as Parent Ambassadors, a team of volunteer parents who have become the face of the organisation at its main fundraising events. The charity believes businesses, trustees and community groups are more motivated to help when a parent is present throughout a fundraising campaign. The charity has also focused on growing its Business Club, which now has 35 members making regular contributions. Business Club members come together for a series of flagship events with high-profile speakers such as the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, as well as a series of more informal networking meetings. This year the Business Club has raised £287,000.

Highly commended

Campaign Against Living Miserably

Finalists

Action for Children

Coventry UK City of Culture Trust

Mind

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