The sixth annual Greenfingers Garden Re-Leaf Day will take place nationally on March 17 2017, with many events continuing throughout the weekend. The 24hr Plant-athon, which was a runaway success last year, is being rolled out to more garden centres, and the Garden Re-Leaf Walk boasts a huge uptake in registrations and aims to be both more inclusive and challenging.
Top 10 fundraising ideas
Over the last six years, a whole host of garden centre fundraising ideas have been launched, tried and tested. Here are the top 10, with tips on how to make them a success in your garden centre…
24 hr Plant-athon
Alton Garden Centre, Blue Diamond, Hillview, Klondyke, and Hillier have already committed to the event for a second year running. Orchard Park in Dorset is the latest to sign up, with more expected to follow between now and March 17. But time is running out! If your garden centre is looking to register for Garden Re-Leaf Day, contact Linda at Greenfingers as soon as possible, via firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the Greenfingers office on 01494 674749.
General Knowledge Quiz
Independent garden centres with a loyal local following, such as Perrywood in Essex, have turned this into an annual evening long event, providing food and allowing participants to bring a bottle. The questions don’t have to be about gardening, and as it’s St Patrick’s Day you might want to make that your theme (drinking responsibly of course…!)
It’s a popular choice for a reason and that is that it raises a great deal of money, and can be done in conjunction with suppliers. Last year, Monkton Elm in Taunton experienced an increase in footfall and sales as a direct result of their raffle. Shoppers bought tickets, and the winners returned to collect their prizes – resulting in further money spent in the café, and on plants and other items on the way out.
Bake or book sale
If you’ve got a café and a farm shop this is ideal – but even without either you can still put on a bake sale. Or a book sale. Or a mixture of the two – the more creative the better! Fairweather’s in Hampshire are keeping it on brand – selling special green Garden Re-Leaf cakes throughout the weekend.
Whether your staff members are fitness freaks or salad dodgers, a sponsored cycle is the perfect excuse for exercise! You can set yourselves a challenge that links in with a theme – for example, Coolings cycled 220 miles to Buckingham palace last year to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday. A great way to entertain and engage with your customers, who can sponsor and donate as they shop.
Create a display from trade promotions
Suppliers such as Gardman sold a range of products last year, with a Greenfingers Charity Tree Mat and Cole & Bright Solar Hanging Jars raising 50p from each item sold, as well as 20p from each Hanging Basket Coco Liner. This year, Deco-Pak has pledged to donate 5p from each small bag of their new play sand on orders placed in March.
Alan Down at Cleeve Nurseries is opening up his private Hellebore collection (http://www.cleevenursery.co.uk/events) – why not organise something similar with a local garden writer or private landowner?
The premise is as simple as it is effective – place a potted tree within the main sales area, accessible enough so that children and adults can easily and safely add a note – or write a wish on the back of a star in the case of Whitehall’s in Bristol. Customers will enjoy being able to express their wishes and will eagerly donate for the privilege.
Coffee mornings/afternoon tea
Cafés are usually busy whatever the weather, so holding a coffee morning can be a real winner, and works well in tandem with bake sales. Last year Barton Grange in Preston sold afternoon cream teas, with £5 donated for each one sold. This year, Squire’s at Hensham are including an afternoon tea party as part of their weekend-long spring launch in aid of Greenfingers.
More for awareness than fundraising – or can it be both? Once you’ve taken a picture or a selfie of your team – or with your customers – you can post to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #gluvies and tagging @GardenReLeaf – or post galleries on Facebook tagging participants to spread the word. But also the gloves themselves (Briers’ Greenfingers All Seasons Gardener gloves) can be sold in the same way as the famous red noses to raise funds. 35p from each (medium or large) pair is donated to the charity by Briers – who now also have a Greenfingers kids’ gardening kit to further raise funds. Last year the #gluvies hashtag reached 20,000 people on Twitter, but this year we’re aiming for twice that amount!
Last year, Greenfingers launched its ‘A Million Moments Appeal’, aiming to raise £1 million, over three years. With the help of events such as Garden Re-Leaf Day, the charity is aiming to provide at least 5,000 children and their families that rely on hospices the opportunity to enjoy spending precious time together outdoors.