10 of the best 2.6 Challenge fundraising ideas

Two Point Six Challenge

Last month, we announced the 2.6 challenge – a nationwide fundraising campaign designed as an emergency response to COVID-19. Created by the organisers behind the UK’s biggest mass participation events, the challenge asked people across the UK to come up with an activity relating to the number two and six as a bid to help Save the UK’s Charities. The only requirements of the challenge were that people had to follow Government guidelines and, of course, encourage donations.

It’s safe to say that the public did more than just encourage. With only a few days notice, people up and down the country sprung into action. The challenge has now raised over £10 million, with over 75% of the money raised on JustGiving!

Charities all approached the campaign in different ways, including:

  • Emailing the whole database rather than just event specific audiences
  • Re-purposing third party events advert spend
  • Asking community fundraisers to make calls and talk people through the challenge and possible ideas
  • Creating social media hashtags for their community and using celebrity ambassadors to build momentum

With limited time and resources, people fundraising on JustGiving managed to create a wide range of innovative 2.6 challenges that could be great ideas for future charity campaigns. We’ve rounded up 10 of the best 2.6 challenges ideas that we saw, and believe us when we say this wasn’t an easy task!

10 of the best 2.6 challenges on JustGiving

1. Sonya’s 2.6 Challenge: Curry for M.E.

Sonya's 2.6 Challenge: Curry for M.E.

Action for M.E’s chief executive Sonya Chowdhury came up with the mouth watering idea of cooking 174 curries and walking 2.6 miles to deliver them to members of her local community. Keeping with the 2.6 theme Sonya set her fundraising target at £26,000, which she surpassed by over £2,000! Sonya’s challenge is a perfect fundraising example as she combined her personal passion for cooking with the theme of the challenge, and even did it whilst following government guidelines of daily exercise and social distancing. Amazing!

2. Six meter garden marathon

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James Campbell decided to mark his birthday by running a marathon in his six meter garden, with the meters marked by duct tape, and raising money for NHS Charities Together. His 2.6 challenge required some serious effort, but it was his light-hearted commentary on social media and his Fundraising Page that won people over (I’m not sure how many marathon runners would choose pizza as their pre-running meal). With the help of the JustGiving team, James livestreamed his challenge onto his Fundraising Page and made his donors truly feel part of the experience.

3. 26.2 hour piano playing marathon

Piano playing marathon

Arranging her challenge to finish on 26th April, the day that would have been the London marathon, Anita Oxford proved that not all marathons require a pair of trainers. Anita’s original aim was to play her piano for 26.2 hours, however she went for a double marathon and played 448 pieces of music! Not only did she share progress updates, but she also encouraged supporters to share her page and explained the importance of opting into Gift Aid. We hope she has understanding neighbours.

4. Beat’s Helpline 26 hour OnlineGroupAthon

2.6 challenge

Beat’s helpline staff and ambassadors came together and used JustGiving’s Teams functionality to undertake an incredible 26 hours of volunteering. The team operated the charity’s online peer support group ‘The Sanctuary’, starting their challenge on 26th April and dividing the hours up in a relay style.

Choosing to create a Fundraising Team enabled them to have one central page which displayed their overall fundraising total, supporter comments and team updates, whilst also displaying and linking to each individual person’s Fundraising Page.

5. Fancy Dress Workout for 26 minutes

2.6 fundraising challenge

You can’t spell fundraising without fun (sorry, but it’s true) and that’s exactly why we loved Dave Roscoe’s Fancy Dress Workout challenge. The fitness instructor took to YouTube in an eye-catching costume, asking people to donate and join in the 26-minute workout whilst wearing whatever fancy dress they could find. At a time when some people are feeling isolated, Dave found a way to bring people from all over the UK together whilst also raising money for a great cause.

6. The Harratts’ 26 TikTok Challenge

2.6 fundraising challenge 2020

TikTok videos have dominated social media over the past couple of months, so it seemed only right to include the Harratt family’s 2.6 challenge in our top 10 list. Raising money for GOSH, their challenge of filming 26 TikTok videos in a row is a great example of how fundraising can be accessible for all ages and abilities.

7. Ride India 2019 – the reunion tour

Ride India challenge

The Ride India Team are proof that Team Fundraising doesn’t need to be a one-hit wonder. In 2019, a team of friends took on the Ride India 2019 challenge, cycling 450km from Agra to Jaipur in just six days to raise money for the Railway Children charity. The group decided to reunite in special honour of the 2.6 challenge, recreating their challenge distance over just one day by either cycling or running. Team Fundraising is a really effective way of raising extra donations and spreading a campaign’s reach, so your charity may want to think about asking former teams to come back together for future challenges.

8. 26 dresses in four minutes

2.6 challenge for smart works

I struggle to even choose an outfit in four minutes, yet somehow Kate and her two daughters managed to change into an amazing 26 of them in that time! This challenge demonstrates creativity as they’ve used their love for fashion to highlight the work of their chosen charity Smart Works – a cause which provides interview clothing and coaching to empower unemployed women.

9. 26 Olympians Challenge

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Given the direct link between the 2.6 challenge and the London marathon, we knew it was inevitable that we would see a lot of people taking on impressive fitness challenges. What we hadn’t expected was 26 Olympians coming together to film a full body workout and then asking people to 🏋🏻‍♀‍ Workout 💷 Donate 👉🏻 Nominate. Each Olympian contributed an exercise which related to their specialty, showing that not everyone needs to be a runner or cyclist in order to complete a fitness fundraiser.

10. 26 challenges over 26 days

26 challenges in 26 days

We wanted to end this incredible list of challenges with one from our lovely colleague Mema. Fundraising for Brain Tumour Research, Mema took on a series of 26 small challenges in 26 days. Ranging from the weird (fitting 26 olives in her mouth at once), to the wonderful (compliment 26 people) she has managed to turn tasks that anyone can have a go at into a wonderfully captivating list, raising over £8,000 in the process!

Tell us about your charity’s 2.6 challenges!

The success of the 2.6 challenge demonstrates just how important the charity sector is to so many people and we’re proud to have supported so many fundraisers and the causes that they care about. We want to hear about your fundraisers and their 2.6 ideas. You can share your stories with us by tweeting @JGCauses.

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Toni Gregory is a B2B copywriter at JustGiving. She is passionate about creating content that shares and showcases the incredible work that charities do.