Corporate Charity Challenges And Making The Most Of Them

Charity Challenges

Corporate Charity Challenges And Making The Most Of Them

Combining a corporate challenge with charity fundraising can be a rewarding experience in itself, but what are they and how can you make the most out of your experience?

Combining a corporate challenge with charity fundraising can be a rewarding experience in itself, but what are they and how can you make the most out of your experience?

What are corporate charity challenges?

There are a variety of corporate challenge options available from treks to cycling events, road races to triathlons, multi-activity events to adventure races, through to community projects overseas or even a simple round of golf.

Corporate challenges can usually be approached in one of two ways: either going directly to a specific charity and securing places through them for a group of work colleagues, or alternatively, your employer can go directly to a private provider of challenges and then opt to raise funds for a charity of their or their employees' choice.

What does a charity challenge cost?

There are costs involved with these events, and the charity may have to insist that that each individual or corporate group (if you have got your places from them direct) has to raise a set amount in order for them to cover their costs and return a profit. Essentially, the more you raise in sponsorship, the more goes to the charity.

If you intend to cover the costs of the corporate challenge, either part through your company and/or sponsorship, then you need to make sure that you raise enough to ensure there will be some surplus, or at least be prepared to bear some of the cost of the activity yourself.

Corporate challenges can vary in their difficulty and the degree of preparation and training required to participate. Physical fitness can sometimes be a factor, so if the challenge is one requiring a reasonable degree of fitness or greater to take part, then some preparatory training may be required in the months leading up to the event. The last thing you want after months of fundraising is to be hindered in completing your challenge because you are not physically prepared.

Who can take part in a charity challenge?

The great thing with corporate challenges is that they can usually cater for a wide variety of participants. Often, a major part of the challenges themselves is teamwork, so if you are taking part in a group event then it’s worth taking some time prior to the challenge to get to know your teammates.

Whether your challenge is provided directly through a private company or you have secured it through a charity, the providers of such challenges will ensure that all the necessary arrangements for your challenge have been made. The specifics will vary from challenge to challenge but generally accommodation, food, guides, support vehicles etc will be provided on the longer challenges. If you are going further afield your flight may be included, if there is one, as will all transfers, but this will mean that the amount you have to raise goes up accordingly to reflect this increase.

Companies are increasingly turning to corporate challenges as a means of improving vital team-building and company morale, and if this can be combined with raising funds for a chosen charity, then it's a win-win situation for all parties concerned.

So once you’ve signed up, how can you make the most of your corporate charity challenge experience. Here’s some tips to help you out:

Be physically prepared for your challenge

Depending on the specific event, you may need to put in a certain amount of training to ensure that you are physically up to the challenge. The more you train and the better prepared you are, the more you will enjoy the event. It's likely that your challenge provider will give you some tips and training advice so that you have the opportunity to be fully prepared for whatever challenge awaits you.

Get kitted out for your challenge

Having the correct gear is a must for both your comfort and safety. If you are on a trekking event, you will need to bring gear like boots, waterproofs, etc. If you are cycling, then maybe bring your own bike helmet, padded shorts, gloves and perhaps even a bike. Don't make the mistake of wearing new gear that you haven't tested before, for example; new boots.

Make your challenge sponsorship worthy

Do not choose an event that is not considered sponsorship worthy. If people consider that your challenge amounts to little more than a holiday jaunt they may be less reluctant to sponsor you. Choose a challenge for which you will be expected to commit to undertake training and preparation to complete the challenge.

Have a fundraising plan

Don't enter a corporate challenge without some idea of how you are going to raise the required funds. It may be that your company may stump up a large proportion of the funds, but you may also need to have your own fundraising plan so you can raise at least the minimum sponsorship required to prevent you having to fund the trip yourself.

Pay the cost of the event yourself

Another option you have is to pay the cost of participation yourself so everything you raise in sponsorship over and above the cost of the event will go directly to the charity. This gives you the option of making up any shortfall out of your own pocket if your fundraising does not go totally plan. In effect, in exchange for the experience you are stumping up some of the costs yourself - not a bad trade off really.

Involve yourself in teamwork

Corporate challenges are usually about teamwork, so get the most of your experience by fully buying into the teamwork ethic. Regardless of if you are the fittest or weakest, everyone has something to offer the team whether it’s brawn or brains. When working in a team with varying abilities then it is recommended that you should keep the pace of the slowest member of the team, that way nobody feels inferior.

Extend your trip after the event

If you are on an overseas trip, it may be that you want to extend your stay. In some circumstances it is possible to make changes to your return date, but this may be at the discretion of the airline. There may be a fee for changing this, and if the change of date results in a more expensive ticket, you will also be required to pay the difference so make sure you aware of any implications before you commit to changing your flight.

Meet your team beforehand

If your challenge places you with fellow employees who may not necessarily be within your department, it's possible you may not even know them. The logical step is to meet up with them and prepare for your challenge together so that you are not just thrust together during the challenge itself.

Team up according to ability or ambition

If you are going to participate in a challenge and take it very seriously then you may want to be placed with people with the same ambition. Alternatively, you may just want to team up with a group of people of mixed ability who prefer to take things a little less seriously and therefore make the experience a little less intense but nonetheless enjoyable.

Enjoy your corporate challenge!

You've likely put a lot of effort into preparing for and fundraising for your challenge that maybe you've forgotten that it is meant to be a fun experience. By all means take it seriously if you wish, but enjoy it too, as it is unlikely that you're going to be participating in an event like this too frequently... unless you really get hooked.

Feeling inspired? Why not view our list of Partner Charities and pick a great cause to support.

Picture credit: CA Eccles /