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How to Plan a Fundraiser - Notes from Chloe and Cem in Edinburgh

A group of 9 people (and one Corgi) smiling at the camera. They are standing in front of a red coffee box, the meeting point for the event.

Hi everyone! My name is Chloe, and recently, Cem and I decided to organise a fundraiser walk in the beautiful city of Edinburgh.  We are both volunteers within the Indigo team, and we wanted to come up with a fun and engaging way to raise funds and spread awareness about the incredible work Indigo does. And what better way to do that than with a community walk through the heart of Edinburgh?

Although neither of us had ever planned a fundraising event before, we realised that it doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a bit of creativity, teamwork, and enthusiasm, anyone can make a difference. And that’s exactly what Cem and I set out to prove when we decided to organise a 5k walk for Indigo. 

I’m excited to share with you our experience from start to finish.*

*Spoiler: it was easier than we ever imagined!

Here’s how we did it:

Step One: Planning the Route

We kicked off the planning process by using apps like Strava and Google Maps to choose our route. 

Walking from Bruntsfield Links to Calton Hill, with a detour through the Meadows and Holyrood Park seemed like the ideal path for multiple reasons:

  1. It offered stunning views of the city along the way, ending with a view across Edinburgh of the route we had just walked: this really added to the feeling of accomplishment!

  2. The route started and ended in central Edinburgh, making it an easy route for people based across the city to reach

  3. Having a meeting point that is easily visible is crucial, particularly if people are attending your event alone. For our Edinburgh walk, we gathered at Sam’s Coffee Van on Bruntsfield Links: this spot is out in the open, easily accessible and easy to spot. 

  4. We wanted to ensure the walk was accessible and the route walkable for differing abilities. If you are planning a route, be wary of steep inclines and terrain that's difficult to navigate, at thi can exclude many people who may want to join the walk but are not physically able or comfortable doing so. 

A strava map screenshot of the walking route. The line starts at Bruntsfield and tracks through the Meadows to Abbeyhill, ending at Calton Hill
The Route!

Step Two: Creating Content

After we planned our route, we designed eye-catching leaflets and content to share on our social media. We put together a range of content designs that contained the same basic information, but could be utilised as leaflets or as Instagram stories or Facebook posts. We also created messaging templates for texts, emails and DMs we could send to encourage participation in the event/that people could share!

You can find promotional materials - including flyer and leaflet templates, messaging and our logo - in our brand new fundraising toolkit!

All of these efforts made Step Three, outreach,  that much easier. 

A screenshot of the Indigo Fundraising Toolkit

Step Three: Outreach

Speaking of outreach, this was the most important step!

We strategically placed them in local cafes, on lampposts and on community notice boards, and across the university campus. (Yes, you did spot them in the University of Edinburgh Library toilets!)

We also posted on our social media platforms to reach a wider audience, created our Facebook event page and reached out to local community groups. Your network online is (most likely) a network with similar passions to you, so utilise it! 

The Indigo Walk 5k for Refugees event posters stuck on a bus stop window
We posted leaflets all across Edinburgh, with Cem and I covering different neighbourhoods!

Step Four: The Walk! 

By the time the day came around, Cem and I were confident. Everyone was able to find the meeting point easily, and we were joined by a fantastic group of people (plus, the fantastic corgi Henry)! Our walk was a testament to our pre-planning and effort: we shared about Indigo’s work, had a lovely time, the walk was do-able and everyone enjoyed the scenery throughout! As we made our way through Edinburgh, many of us meeting for the first time, it dawned on us just how powerful community-driven initiatives can be. It’s not always about the grand gestures or the hefty donations.

Sometimes, the small collective efforts can have the biggest impact. 

A Corgi walking towards the camera with Calton Hill in the background
Henry - the leader of our walking group!

Reflecting on the Walk

By the end of the walk, we had raised £90 for Indigo - all thanks to the generosity and support of our participants. 

We kept things simple yet effective. We didn’t overcomplicate the logistics or stress over every tiny detail. Instead, we focused on the essentials: creating a memorable experience for our participants and inspiring them to support Indigo’s cause. 

And guess what? It worked like a charm. 

To anyone out there who is hesitant about organising a fundraiser I can assure you that it’s easier than you think. You don’t need a big budget or fancy resources. All you need is willingness to make a difference. 

If you want to make a difference, we are here to provide support through our brand new fundraising toolkit. Inside the toolkit, you’ll find simple fundraising ideas, step-by-step guides, and customisable materials to make your event a success. 

Visit our Fundraising Page to download the kit and learn more!

6 members of the walking group are walking away from the camera. Two girls have their arms around each other

Small Acts, Big Impact

How to Plan a Fundraiser with Indigo

In a couple of months, on June 20th, we'll be honouring World Refugee Day, but this year we want to help our network show solidarity and raise awareness starting from now! If you've been looking for a way to help refugees but aren't able to donate or volunteer, this is for you!

We are calling for 25 people to help run local and online fundraisers in order to help our amazing charity partners that are going above and beyond to help refugees.

We'd love to stay updated on your use of our toolkit or fundraising efforts for Indigo Volunteers – keep in touch with us on social media @indigovolunteers!


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