The idea for this post came from browsing this site’s stats and seeing that “ways to raise funds locally using parkour” was a search term used to stumble across this site.
While I didn’t have any content on here that could help with that, I can definitely write some to help! In fundraising, I’ve raised funds for Cure Kids, Youth Line, supported NZ Parkour, and I’ve recently been hired as a part-time Events Coordinator and I’m currently doing a placement as an Events Assistant which both involve fundraising aspects. In parkour, I’ve trained for the past 9 years and been heavily involved in the New Zealand parkour scene for much of that time. While I’m not an expert in fundraising here is, using my experience, “6 ways to raise funds locally using parkour”.
6 Ways to Raise Funds Locally Using Parkour
1. Go busking
Throw down a hat and collect change while you train parkour. As parkour is usually practiced outside in public places, the jumps, runs and flips can make for an amazing distraction for passerby pedestrians to watch – why not put down a collection container and ask for something from the pedestrians in return. This is perhaps the easiest fundraising method to do using parkour, as you have nothing to lose: if you just put down a hat during your normal training then you’re getting your normal training in and who knows you may even end up with some cash afterwards. To do this you may need a local busking permit from your City Council – so it’ll pay to look into the rules behind busking in your city before you get started.
2. Perform a neighbourhood cleanup
The places parkour is trained are often urban, gritty, and in need of cleaning up. Create an event to clean up a local parkour spot by picking up trash, removing graffiti from the walls (and of course replacing it with paint that will give good grip for wall runs), and generally making your neighbourhood a nicer place to live in. You could monitise this event by asking for donations for each bag of trash collected, asking local businesses for a donation to your organisation if you get a certain amount of people to clean up the area outside their shop, or so on.
As an example of this method in action, a number of years ago we did this on a small scale through New Zealand Parkour. We took out trash bags and cleaned up Plimmer Steps in Central Wellington. While we didn’t do it as part of fundraising, it did result in getting a good rep with the local inhabitants as some people stopped while were were doing it and asked if we were the parkour people, and a few weeks later some people who lived above the street stopped and told us they saw us tidying up their street previously and appreciated it. This method could be used as a good awareness building and rep building method for your parkour.
On that note, NZ Parkour is currently running a crowdfunding campaign, so check that out. Crowdfunding is another interesting fundraising method, but which I haven’t included in this list because it’s more suited as a national-scale, or even international, than a local method.
3. Run a workshop
Teach parkour to others. If you’re confident in your parkour ability, you could turn it around and teach it to others. Parkour is an amazing skill set, but it’s often intimidating for someone to learn… someone can easily be left wondering: How do I learn? What do I do first? What equipment do I need? So introduce some new people to it safely, and charge them in order to raise funds. Pick a convenient time to hold a public workshop, advertise it with flyers around cafes or etc, and charge people a gold coin or $10 and run them through some parkour skills. Heck, we built a business around this idea. Although public workshops can be hard to organise as there’s the risk of no one showing up after you’ve done all the prep work, so alternatively you could run a workshop by contacting your local clubs, schools, youth groups, businesses, basically any group who would love the team-building, confidence-building, physically challenging fun which could come from doing a workshop together. Get them to confirm numbers of attendance, and send them an invoice for the group workshop. Money raised, and parkour spread to more people: excellent outcome.
As an example of this method in action, we used this through Movement Unleashed to raise funds for Youthline by holding workshops in various cities around New Zealand during The Walk project. The Walk combined with our other activities raised over $2,000 for Youthline.
4. Perform a physical challenge
Push limits, and perform a physical challenge. This is a tried and true method used by many sports or athletes to raise money. For example, do a challenge of 5,000 precision jumps in a single day and get your friends and family to sponsor you by pledging money to pay upon your successful completion. If the challenge is something new and/or noteworthy then all the better as you could get media coverage. Send out a press releases to local newspapers and radio stations, and spread the word to ask for more donations to support you. You could even expand your supporter search to ask businesses for money in exchange for displaying their logo while you complete the challenge (see number 6 below for more on this idea).
As an example of this method in action, I used this method to raise funds for Cure Kids by challenging myself to run in the Tough Guy & Gal Challenge.
5. Hold a photo exhibition
Parkour produces some spectacular media: impressive photos, jaw-dropping videos, viral social media posts. Mostly this stuff just sits on someone’s computer or on their Facebook wall and doesn’t go very far beyond that. Why not use the amazing stuff you capture to raise funds. Pull all your amazing media of parkour together and display it. Hire a local community hall, display your photos, do some marketing to spread the word, and monetise it by putting a donation bucket at the door or having the photos for sale. Or, contact local cafes and ask them to display your parkour photography on their walls for sale. Video media could be used in other, similar, ways such as perhaps holding a local screening of a short documentary on parkour you’ve created.
6. Find a sponsor
The goal of many athletes: find a sponsor to support you to do your thing. This fundraising method is great if you want to raise funds for yourself or support or own athletic pursuits, but is not as suited for raising funds for an organisation. For example of how to do this, ask local businesses for sponsorship – for starters it may be wise to avoid the large national-based franchises and start with local small businesses. Many local businesses are very willing to support local athletes as it’s a way for them to both support their local community and to advertise in a way which cuts through the clutter of other advertising. Be warned though, sponsorship for money is hard to achieve. Before getting to this level, I’d recommend starting with sponsorship for “in-kind” or “contra” goods or services, such as getting sponsored by a shoe company in exchange for free shoes. Then, once you become a more well-known athlete, could you ask the shoe company for money rather than goods. Remember that the shoe company would want a return for the money they would spend on you – you have to remember that sponsorship is a marketing method for most businesses and as such they will expect a return on their investment of their brand and product being spread to your audience. Your aim with sponsorship should be to create a win-win scenario where you get support to achieve your athletic pursuits, and the sponsor gets their business marketed.
As an example of this method in action, I’m sponsored by Star Holistic Fitness Studio, and depending on my performance getting into obstacle course racing I’d like to look for further sponsors to fuel my racing, so check back to this blog as I may be able to write more advice on sponsorship as I first go through the process of making mistakes and figuring out how to do it myself…
So there you have 6 ways to raise funds locally using parkour. But this post is just 6 ways, what other ways can you think of? I’d like to hear your thoughts in the comments.