Before 1980, all fundraisers tended to work on a relatively small scale – door-to-door collections, jumble sales, or large money-boxes in the form of sad-faced children or dogs outside shops. Children in Need was the first to change that – raising unprecedented sums while at the same time educating the public and raising awareness of causes using entertainment and celebrity endorsement. Following its lead, other incredibly successful events have followed suit, fundamentally changing the face of fundraising. Find out some of the UK’s biggest below:
Primarily a ‘telethon’ but also incorporating many other shows and events coupled with celebrity appearances and sketches, Children in Need’s aim is to raise money for a variety of children’s charities. Starting in 1980, the first broadcast raised £1,000,000 and over the course of 25 years the total raised since then stands at £600,000,000. In 1985 Pudsey Bear was created as the event’s instantly-recognisable mascot and Children in Need’s first official single was released – this annual tradition now boasts seven Number 1 hits.
Conceived following the immense success of the charity single ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ which raised £8million, Bob Geldoff and Midge Ure decided to take it a step further by organising an incredible duel concert the following year.
The world’s biggest rock stars of the time – such as Queen, David Bowie, Phil Collins, U2, Madonna, Duran Duran, and Simple Minds – performed at Wembley and the USA’s JFK stadium over an extraordinary sixteen-hour broadcast. The trans-Atlantic concerts were attended by 172,000 people in total but were watched live by an audience of 1.9 billion on what amounted to around 95% of the world’s televisions. It’s since been calculated that around £150,000,000 was raised as a result of the show.
Following on from the immense success of Band Aid’s single and the Live Aid concert, Comic Relief was founded by comedy scriptwriter Richard Curtis and comedian Lenny Henry. The biennial Red Nose Day event was born in 1988 and has become as much of a staple of fundraising in the UK as Children in Need. Red Nose Day encourages the support of schools and businesses nationwide in a variety of initiatives, with staff and pupils wearing ‘something funny for money’ or taking part in comedic events to raise funds. Red Nose day alternates with Sport Relief year by year and both include telethons and celebrities giving their time. Between them, it is estimated that they’ve raised over £1 billion since launch.
Another biennial event, this football match takes place between teams of celebrities and former professional players – one representing England and the other the Rest of the World. Created by Robbie Williams and Jonathan Wilkes, Soccer Aid has raised around £15,000,000 for Unicef since the first kick-off in 2006.
The amounts raised by these and countless other initiatives are remarkable and much-needed, and the new awareness of the causes they support is nothing short of priceless…
Article provided by www.workinfundraising.co.uk – leading UK charity fundraising job provider
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