The Edinburgh Evening News reports that the founder of Social Bite, Josh Littlejohn, is to wind up his “Sleep in the Park” event after just two years – as it emerged that the nationwide fundraisers will fall short of official targets.
Apparently it has proved more difficult to get people to sleep out overnight to raise money for his homelessness projects and the work load involved in organising the event had become greater.
Last year 8,000 people slept out in Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens raising £4 million. This year’s larger event held in Edinburgh, Dundee, Glasgow and Aberdeen was expected to raise £3.2 million.
This illustrates one of the problems with fundraising events. If an event catches the public’s’ imagination and raise a lot of money, the charity’s trustees will want to try and replicate this success annually to support ongoing running costs. Its often just not possible to do that because the initial goodwill was linked to specific circumstances. The ongoing benefit from the event is likely to be more about turning event participants into long term committed donors, but that purpose needs to be built in at the planning stages of the event rather than being thought about afterwards.
It is not easy. Josh Littlejohn says he is working on new fundraising event ideas.