TRIBE Freedom Foundation on Its Secrets to Fundraising Event Success 

FE Events TRIBE Freedom Foundation

If your charity’s involved in event fundraising, you’ll know how tough the last few years have been. But agile charities are still seeing incredible results through the cost of living crisis. 

We talked with TRIBE Freedom Foundation about how their two-person team raised over £200,000 across two amazing events in 2022. 

Here we’ll summarise the secrets of their success, how they approach fundraising during the cost of living crisis, their 2023 fundraising agenda, and more. 

What is TRIBE Freedom Foundation? 

While the team at TRIBE Freedom Foundation may be small, they are mighty. 

The charity began in March 2017 through a movement to end modern slavery and human trafficking. 

In that time, it’s brought together a huge community of supporters. In 2022, the charity ran two incredible ultramarathon challenge events: 

  • Run for Love: A 260km run over 6 days 
  • Relay Across Scotland: 24-hr 220km run in teams of 4 or 8 

Check out the video highlighting the excitement of Run for Love 

Supported by a dedicated community with an appetite for adventure, TRIBE Freedom Foundation used event fundraising best practices to continue its fundraising success with these events in 2022. 

We talked with TRIBE Freedom Foundation’s Head of Impact & Partnership Laragh O’Malley at Fundraising Everywhere’s Events Fundraising Virtual Summit 2023 to learn more about how they got there. 

How have fundraising events helped your charity grow? 

“For our events, there are no timings, no medals, no “race”, in the traditional sense. Everyone’s there to work together and complete the challenges…and it creates an incredible community and brings people so close together. 

Our goal is to raise the most money possible, get more people involved, and deliver an even-higher quality events for everyone involved.” 

“We’ve continued to push ourselves and have increased the number of events over the last five years.” 

TRIBE Freedom Foundation gained 137 dedicated supporters, raising £285,000 for just these two challenges in 2022. 

How do you approach setting targets for fundraisers? 

“We’ve got 80 runners taking part in the Barcelona Marathon coming up this year, and the fundraising target per person is £250. 

Other charities may look at setting a much higher target for a marathon. But the question we ask is, ” how can we get more people involved?” 

“The way we see it is that it’s okay to have more runners raising less money,” O’Malley said. 

“We believe you’ll create much more of an impact when you get more people involved. Even with lower fundraising targets, 80 runners means 80 different conversations started when they share their fundraising pages!” 

“We never want fundraising to be a barrier to entry. We’ve always been conscious to make fundraising targets manageable to maximise participation. We know that once people have their JustGiving pages set up, they’ll go on to raise a lot more.” 

JustGiving fundraising pages are considered “active” once they’ve received their first donation. 

TRIBE Freedom Foundation completely smashed this metric with a 95% activation rate – the average is 75%! 

What obstacles and challenges did you face in 2022? 

Event logistics can be time-consuming to organise and complex to manage.  

Imagine setting up not only a fundraising challenge event, but one involving 4-person teams, 8-person teams, ultramarathons, travel, staff capacity… And all while trying to ensure your return on investment remains viable. 

What were the challenges you saw with your events in 2022? 

“We noticed people were finding it quite hard to rally and organise an 8-person team to take on an event like this. It requires a lot of logistics. You’re responsible for getting your team to the checkpoints, each team may have one or two cars, you’re driving from point to point, people are organising accommodation… 

We found it was hard to hit the numbers we were looking for, and we don’t necessarily want people to come back and do the same thing again and again. Where’s the fun, and the fundraisability, in that? 

We’re always looking to get the most people involved as possible, as well as offer people something new, so we decided to move away from the relay event and set up a fundraising hiking challenge this year. 

This is something we’ve wanted to try for a while and think it will help grow our project and our impact. 

The key here? Keeping it simple. TRIBE Freedom Foundation will test simplifying its participation requirements for its next event, the TRIBE Alpine Challenge. Instead of teams of 4 or 8, fundraisers will participate individually, but travel and conquer the challenge as a small 20-person group. 

How do you help people build and maintain fundraising momentum? 

“Building relationships and maintaining momentum is key to fundraising success.” 

“One thing we always do is make sure we’re not only engaging with them in terms of fundraising. We also have a network of running coaches and other experts we connect participants with so they can get the most out of their challenges!” 

TRIBE Freedom Foundation also uses WhatsApp to let fundraisers get in touch when needed. They gamify the fundraising process with a reward system, offering incentives for when people hit fundraising milestones. 

TRIBE Freedom Foundation’s JustGiving Campaign Page for Run for Love 4 

How have you adjusted your approach in the wake of the cost of living crisis? 

“The success of fundraising might not be completely in our own hands,” 

O’Malley said in response to the cost of living crisis. 

In fact, many charities are wondering if they should even be asking for donations at a time like this. 

And while it may feel uncomfortable, the answer is yes. Even through the cost of living crisis, people are still fundraising and still giving. 

JustGiving’s Operations Director Casper Harratt said, 

“What we’ve seen in previous cost of living crises is that slightly fewer people give. But those who do, give more, which more than makes up for the difference.” 

And that’s what’s happening now. 

In the last 12 months, people have used JustGiving to donate more than £12 million to help people impacted by the cost of living crisis. In addition, people have set up nearly 25,000 new cost of living fundraising and appeal pages. 

Cost-of-living crisis resources for charities 

We’re here to help your charity move through the cost-of-living crisis with confidence. 

What’s on your event fundraising agenda in 2023? 

“2023 marks 10 years since the very first Run for Love, so we’re encouraging people to take on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure!” 

“We’ll also participate in the Barcelona marathon in March, and hopefully some of these runners will join us for another event this year.” 

“In June, we’ve got the hiking challenge – a multi-day trek through the Alps. 

Then in September, we have Run for Love, plus a collaboration with TRIBE x Maverick for a special trail running event. 

We’re also looking at building out our corporate events and continuing to build genuine relationships with our fundraisers.” 

What are your keys to event fundraising success?

“Quality over quantity. 

“We want every single event to be life changing. This is what we try to do with each of our events: make it special.” 

We’re there at the finish line celebrating our fundraisers and their feel-good moments, as well as there for their tough moments too. Some of our founders do the challenge alongside our supporters!” 

Planning a fundraising event for 2023? 

Whether you’re getting geared up for a major community event or running your own, we’ve got your back. 

Creating a Campaign Page for an Event on JustGiving is one of the best ways to bring your supporters together to share their fundraising experience and raise more money! 

Learn more about Campaign Pages for Events 

Need help getting started? 
Contact our dedicated Success team for help with your fundraising event. 

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Jordyn's a Customer Success Manager at JustGiving. She loves inspiring the 3rd sector to think creatively about driving donations and teaching charities how to use the best tech to raise more.