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Providing top level service to our clients is at the heart of everything we do. So when the world shifted to online events and charities turned to virtual fundraising to keep donations coming in, we knew we had to adapt the way we worked in order to keep offering the best possible service.

Check out our video below as Ben Skinner goes behind the scenes at Bluestep’s warehouse to show you how things have changed.

Virtual Fundraising Takes Off

Despite being unable to go ahead with real-life events, charities were quick to think of alternative approaches. Enter virtual fundraising events! From baking online, to virtual quizzes, to online gaming fundraisers, we saw a huge increase in the demand for virtual fundraising events.

Whilst this was an exciting time, we understood that it would pose some challenges to those responsible for organising the events. With most people working from home, storing vast quantities of merchandise and getting it into the hands of supporters, was a real pain point for most of our clients.

Free storage and pick, pack and dispatch

We began offering free storage in our warehouse, so that the busy bees arranging the events wouldn’t have to worry about where to keep their t-shirts and doggy bandanas! It would all be safely tucked away ready to be shipped to their supporters at a moment’s notice.

Our pick, pack and dispatch service was also extremely valuable, as we offered the ability to distribute products anywhere in the world, at the click of a button. So whenever a new supporter signed up for an event, the Bluestep bunch got to work behind the scenes, to pick out their merchandise, pack it up safely and dispatch it to that very supporter in an instant.

As well as diversifying our range of merchandise to suit virtual fundraising events, we have provided support with the practicalities and logistics of storing and delivering it, allowing charities to carry on doing what they do best; raising money for all their incredible causes.

If you need any support with your virtual fundraising event then drop us a line or give us a call. We’d love to help!


It’s not an understatement to say that last year the world was forced to adapt in ways we could never have imagined. Due to social distancing guidelines, we have all had to take our IRL activities online. (Another Zoom quiz, anyone?!)

Sadly, for charities, the cancellation of thousands of mass participation events resulted in a loss of billions in fundraising income. However, whilst it has been undeniably tough for many charities, we are nonetheless staggeringly impressed with how fast-reacting and innovative they have been with their virtual fundraising ideas.

Here’s our round-up of some of the best charity challenge ideas we’ve seen in the last 12 months:

Running a virtual marathon

As the official Virgin Money London Marathon couldn’t go ahead as normal this year (other than for elite athletes), organisers encouraged charities to ask their supporters to tackle the 26.2-mile mountain within 24 hours wherever they could and then submit their results.

More than 37,000 runners completed the race, raising over £16 million for charities.

Whilst the idea of sponsored running for charity isn’t new, we are impressed that such a world-renowned event still managed to find a way to go ahead, despite such unprecedented setbacks.

 Get gaming

The mental health charity, Mind, tapped into the gaming phenomenon by establishing “the biggest fundraising gaming mission of all time”. As part of the event, ‘Switch Off, Game On’, the charity asked supporters to host and promote a sponsored stream or gaming event.

The campaign gets a thumbs up from us because not only did Mind take advantage of an emerging fundraising trend, but the concept was closely aligned to the charity’s purpose; connecting people.

P.S. We may also be influenced because Bluestep were involved in the fundraising event’s creative process. Find out more about that here.

Put on a show

With people unable to go out and celebs unable to film in a studio, Comic Relief and BBC Children in Need joined forces for the first time to present The Big Night In, an evening of virtual entertainment.

The telethon included performances from Miranda Hart, Sam Smith, a lockdown Vicar of Dibley sermon, a virtual EastEnders pub quiz and many more, all taking place remotely via video links.  The event raised a whopping £74 million, proving that technology really can be our best friend.

Easy does it #TwoPointSixChallenge

Were you even listening in 2020 if you didn’t hear of the 2.6 challenge?! Such a simple concept and yet it stirred up a storm on the internet.

The only basis for the challenge was 26 or 2.6, meaning participants could do anything from running 2.6 miles, bench pressing 26kg, or taking part in a 26-minute workout, as long as they were raising money for charity.

The simplicity of the fundraising challenge clearly appealed because the campaign attracted plenty of celebrities including Jonny Wilkinson and Dame Kelly Holmes and has so far raised over £11 million for lots of different charities.

It’s virtual quiz time

While many of us now have sudden hair washing commitments when friends suggest a virtual quiz, there was a time when virtual quizzing really got us going.

Laura Jones, founder of Eventures, raised over £133,000 for NHS Charities Together by hosting a series of themed online quizzes.

She started out with a virtual F.R.I.E.N.D.S quiz at the very beginning of lockdown, which sparked over 130,000 people to join in from across the world! She followed this up with a successful Disney-themed virtual quiz.

The moral of the story? If in doubt, get quizzical!

Virtual walkies!

We’ve all considered how the pandemic has affected human lives, but have we considered the effects it’s had on our beloved doggies? Due to social distancing, it’s likely that a lot of four-legged friends have also missed out on regular playtime with their pals.

The World Big Dog Walk Challenge is a series of dog walks held across the UK, uniting owners and their furry friends, with money going towards different dog charities. Seeing as it couldn’t go ahead in person in 2020, the organisers made it virtual and encouraged people and pooches to clock up their pledged miles in their own time, aiming to hit a total of 40,075km; that’s the circumference of the Earth!

 Online auction or raffle

While you don’t need a private virtual recording with Sting or a virtual cooking lesson with Heston Blumenthal up your sleeve, it certainly helps. This is what premier auction house, Sotheby’s, found when they raised money with a very prestigious online auction set up to raise money for the International Rescue Committee’s Covid-19 efforts.

If you don’t happen to have Sting on speed dial, we see no reason why other virtual auctions and raffles can’t make a real difference. Whether it’s a pledge to do the housework, or to bake a cake every month, charities can ask their supporters to contribute in all sorts of ways.

We all need a hero

Captain Tom Moore aimed to walk 100 laps of his garden ahead of his 100th birthday to raise money for NHS Charities Together. Footage of Captain Tom, resplendent in his military medals, tackling his mammoth task clearly pulled at the heart strings of the nation as he raised over £30 million and became our 2020 hero.

We salute Captain Tom as we remember that, with good intentions and a bit of determination, anything is possible.


Good luck if you are considering a virtual fundraising event and if you need any support with design or merchandise, please get in touch.

10 tips on how to make your virtual fundraising event stand out and increase smash your donations targets.

You’ll probably never face a more challenging time for your charity that right now. Not surprisingly, there’s a huge amount of fear and anxiety among charities at the moment. You may have seen a big reduction in charitable donations and decreased participant sign ups due to your fundraising events being cancelled. Many of your key staff may have also been furloughed and your charity income may have been hit hard. It’s difficult to not be disheartened and worried about how it will all end. 

This is why SO many charities are reacting and adapting by shifting their focus to virtual fundraising. As charity sector specialists we’ve helped to create events, their identities and merchandise for many successful charity events.  We believe in sharing with our community and so we thought we’d put together our top tips on how to navigate the virtual fundraising landscape! 

 Follow these tips and you’ll learn what aspects underpin a successful virtual fundraising event & have every chance of not only surviving the crisis but coming out even stronger than before. 

1. Define your target audience.  

As with any event or piece of communication, it’s important to know who you are talking to. If you’re used to holding any type of event, mass participation or otherwise, you’ll know the type of person you attract to those events. You may want to target those same people, or use your online presence to reach a whole new audience.  Either way, it’s best to know who you’re talking too, the more refined and pointed, the more accurately focused your event can be. 

2. Set yourself a realistic fundraising target.  

It may sound obvious but generally speaking, the more money you would like to raise, the more people you need to get involved. If your charity has a wide reach, you can set yourself a higher target. But be realistic too, a wide reach could be better served with several smaller events. The key is that you know your targets in order to know the shape and size of an event. 

3. Set yourself a non-monetary objective too. 

Your virtual fundraising event doesn’t have to be purely about raising lots of money this time around.  You can use the event to increase awareness of a particular service that your charity provides or maybe you have demographic that you would like to be more involved in your charity. Your virtual fundraising event is a mini advertising campaign so maximise your investment… just don’t try and do too much. 

4. Identify key dates. 

The beauty of virtual fundraising events is that they can be done any time.  But not setting a definite timeline or date can be detrimental to involving your fundraisers.  Online events work best when they have a defined period.  This not only makes them easier to manage, it also gives more clarity about when your fundraisers should take part. Whether it’s a day or a few weeks, setting that time makes everything a lot easier to plan around. You’ll be able to introduce the event, encourage participation and increase donations far more easily. 

5. Have an idea.  Or don’t. 

Charity teams are full of creative people and you’ve been creating fundraising events for years.  If you’ve got an idea that’s been dormant for years or you don’t know how to get it off the ground, give it a go as a virtual event, they’re much lower risk than those physical events that require space, property, insurance… (you know the drill).  If you’re scratching your head, we can help. 

6. Give your virtual fundraising event a clear identity.

With a crowded market, it is hard to stand out and with no clear identity it’s easy to be overlooked. Having a clear identity will make your event stand out from the crowd. A clear identity for your event will also ensure that people notice the event and not mistake it for any other comm’s you have out at the same time. Be clear with what your event is about and convey that through your identity.  

7. Have assets to send to your fundraisers. 

If you’re asking your fundraisers to do something online, ensure that they look good or have the tools to do what they need. Share assets that they can use on social platforms to make their space stand out from all their other content. 

8. Have a plan for marketing your event.

It may look simple and easy but you need to give some consideration about how best to reach your audience.  Ensure that your demographic will see your content where you intend to share it and consider where to use paid media in order to reach a wider demographic and new supporters. Acknowledge that you will need to be in front of your audience in a productive way throughout your events timeline. 

9. Thank your supporters just as you would at a physical mass participation event. 

You know that your fundraising supporters appreciate the thank you they receive across your events.  For some they have achieved a lifetime goal, for others, it’s a chance to cement relationships and to feel part of a team.  We know that merchandise continues to solidify relationships with supporters, receiving a medal recognising the achievement or a t-shirt that reminds the team of the camaraderie shared, is often an emotionally well received thank you.

10. Do you have existing resource to manage a fundraising event? 

Do not underestimate an online (Virtual) event, it is important to give all aspects consideration and be able to support the online necessary platform. The good news is that they are easy to manage and a doddle to learn.  But if you need any additional support, we can help. 


Need Additional Support? Drop us a line to see how we can help you with your online, virtual fundraising events. 

The sun was shining, the players were buzzing and the cider was flowing. What else could it be but the London Charity Softball League finals day?!

Bluestep were thrilled to sponsor this year’s games, which kicked off in May and resulted in a nail-biting final.

Each year, 80 charities take part in the softball games, which are played in Hyde Park, London, to compete for the prestigious Harris Hill Cup. Mind were the overall charity winners of the 2019 Cup, with The Foodfighters (Fair Share UK and ACF UK) winning the Bluestep Shield and Business in the Community winning the Harris Hill Plate. Well done guys!

It’s been a summer of trash talk, Twitter .gifs and Love Island giveaways and, most of all, laughs. Bluestep’s Charity Account Manager, Kendra Daly says “Each year we sponsor this awesome event and each year it’s all about having some fun with our fab charity clients.

It’s so nice be able to facilitate the event as we can be part of all the banter and camaraderie which is so important for everyone working in the charity sector.”

Bluestep sponsored the food and various competitions throughout the season as well as filming finals day so that the video can be used as a memento for all participants and hopefully it’ll build the buzz for teams next year! #PlayBall!

We recently created a video for our client, the NSPCC, and it got us thinking about how brilliant video can be as a marketing vehicle.

The NSPCC video was designed to demonstrate the wonderful benefits of running the marathon on their behalf. It captures everything from the cheers to the tears, the strength and the triumph, and can be shared and shared to inspire other budding runners to sign up.

Carl, our video production guru, says “Videos are great ways of explaining stuff. Whether it’s a product or service or a complex message, a video is a slick, visual way of communicating it to your audience.

You can give your perfect pitch anywhere, anytime, without even having to be there!”

What’s more, websites with video are actually 50 times more likely to be ranked on Google’s first page. What do you think people will click on first: the text link or the inviting video thumbnail?

In fact, there are loads of stats that prove video is one of the best ways of getting an audience to engage with you:

  • 55% of people watch videos online every day (MWP)
  • Almost 50% of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store (ThinkWithGoogle)
  • 4x as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it (Animoto)
  • 54% of senior executives share work-related videos with colleagues weekly (TubularInsights)

So there you have it; video is officially awesome!

If you think video could help you with your next marketing campaign, then get in touch with us today!

On your marks, get set, bake! For another year running, Bluestep have had the pleasure of working with Macmillan Cancer Support on their fundraising packs for The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.

Any excuse to bake, and more importantly eat, cake is fine by us. So, when it’s for an amazing cause it’s even sweeter.

After working hard on this exciting top-secret project earlier on in the year, we have been really looking forward to seeing everyone hosting their coffee mornings and watch the products in action.

The 2018 pack includes an array of fun props to ensure hosts and participants get the most out of their morning. This includes flags, stickers, a fundraising box, bunting, tablecloth, bake-related games, cards and ‘mmm’ bunting; which our very own designers created!

1.5 million of these units were printed, stored and shipped back in June by yours truly, at our very own warehouse facility.

The masterpieces for our own coffee morning included a refreshing lemon drizzle, an indulgent red velvet creation and a selection of tasty cookies.

Not one to shy away from the cake, next month sees the launch of our very own Bluestep Bake Off! Keep your eyes peeled on the blog to watch it all unfold. Fingers crossed for no soggy bottoms!

We hope everyone across the UK had an amazing coffee morning raising money (and bakes) for such an important cause.  We’re already looking forward to next year, so stay tuned to see what we have planned…

Hot off the press!

We are delighted to share one of our latest projects with you. We were recently approached by the Royal Parks Trust to create a booklet for their calendar of events 2018, and we love the result!

Bluestep have worked with the fabulous Royal Parks team for the past couple of years now and have created the charity’s events booklet three years running, as well as posters and collection boxes.

The Royal Parks Trust looks after some of the beautiful landscapes within the hustle and bustle of the capital, including the famous Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens and St James’s Park. The foundation exists to protect and conserve 5,000 acres of urban parkland. Here at Bluestep, we are pleased to create something that helps keep this alive and support the work they do.

Every year, the Royal Parks hold a variety of events the whole family can enjoy. From sensory learning experiences for little ones, to wilderness survival skills for those looking to release their inner Bear Grylls. What’s more, the parks give Londoners the opportunity to swap the busy life of the city, with yoga and wellness classes immersed in green and glorious surroundings.

Two Royal Parks Booklets 2018

We wanted to create something that reflects the great work they do, maintaining the spaces for everyone to enjoy for generations to come. We made the booklet light and full of pops of colour, as a nod the beautiful parks.

Easy to navigate, whether you are looking for family activities or fascinating walking tours, the booklet allows everyone to find out how they can make the most of the magical parks.

Next time you’re heading to the capital, be sure to check out the Royal Parks and their events, and keep your eyes peeled for our work whilst you’re there!

It’s undoubtedly the biggest charity fundraiser in the UK and we’ve finally been able to debut our Macmillan charity fundraising pack! Plus, it gave us a good excuse to bake cakes…

We’ve been counting down the days until Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning, as this year we had the pleasure of creating promotional products for their charity fundraising packs – one of our most exciting projects to date.

The order involved 1.7 million units including branded miniature cake bunting, mini cake flags, ‘Best Baker’ badges and a tablecloth printed and stored at our Bluestep warehouse facility. And we’re no strangers to orders of this size, just see our order for the FA Cup Final!

Not only did we want to use our fundraising pack and get our quintessentially British bunting up, but it also meant we could show off our second-best set of skills – baking.

We love an excuse to get our hands stuck in cake mixture (and our faces), and we like to think we’re pretty good bakers if we do say so ourselves – just see how our Bluestep bake-off turned out. We can categorically confirm that there were no soggy bottoms in the office on this day. Mary Berry would be proud.

Our freshly-baked goods selection included Mia’s deliciously delicate Viennese Whirls and creamy sandwich biscuits, Alice’s crumbly white chocolate and raspberry cookies and Yasmin’s tasty Oreo truffles.

After devouring the lot, it was up to us official “taste-testers” to see whose bakes were fit for the ‘Best Baker’ award. It wasn’t an easy decision, but after much deliberation, we chose Mia as the Best Baker for Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning!

We hope everyone across the UK had a successful World’s Biggest Coffee Morning and enjoyed their cake bunting as much as we did! We’re already looking forward to next year’s event, so stay tuned to see what we have planned…

2017 saw Bluestep sponsor The London Charity Softball League for a third year running and this year's final was the best one yet!

We’ve woken up still buzzing after yesterday’s intense final in Central London.

The Bluestep charity team and 6 league finalists headed into London’s sunny Hyde Park to battle it out for 1st prize, and thankfully the weather held out (can we get an amen!).

After setting up the site with our classic carnival games and food and booze stalls – which went down a treat after being cleaned out in just 5 minutes – we were on the side-lines cheering the teams on all afternoon until sunset.

An image showing the Bluestep team at the London Charity Softball League final
Here’s the Bluestep team squeezing in a quick selfie between matches.

Taking home the 3rd place shield was the Raptors (British Red Cross) after kicking the Sporks (Save the Children) out of the competition.

An image showing the Raptors team at The London Charity Softball League final
We’re loving the unintentional cat whiskers/sport stripes.

Runner-ups saw Cancer Research UK take home the 2nd place plate against the Mighty Ducks (Muscular Dystrophy UK).

An image showing the Mighty Ducks team at The London Charity Softball League final
The world suddenly lost colour at this point. We’re still not sure why…

And the much-deserved Tits n Tache (Movember and Coppafeel) beat Mind and took the 1st place cup back to the office, securing their status as softball champs.

An image of the Tits n Tache team at The London Charity Softball League final
Here’s Tits n Tache with their adorable office dog mascot.

We decided to up the ante at this year’s event. Not only did we set up our own carnival games for everyone to go head to head in, but we also debuted our ultimate lipsync competition for the LCSL teams to compete in. We decided Justin Timberlake’s ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’ was simply the only song good enough to mime to.

Shimmying their way to the lipsync crown was Raleigh’s entry, which you can check out here along with all the other charities entries.

We also ran a social media competition throughout the games where we award a charity for the best use of Twitter. We crowned Muscular Dystrophy UK thanks to their social-savvy bunch. They know a good gif when they see one!

For this year’s league, we’ve worked closely with some of the charities designing their t-shirts, and we’re proud to have been able to sponsor another great year of softball.

Thank you to The London Charity Softball League for choosing us to sponsor this year’s event, we’ve had an amazing time and have loved coming to London to support you all. We’ll see you next year to do it all over again!

In case you haven’t heard, we’ve had a new buddy in the office recently.

Inca has been helping us out recently with a list of admin, housekeeping and tea making chores to give her a brief introduction to life in the office. To help us monitor the effectiveness of her stay at Bluestep we asked her to keep a log of her time, and since it was so brilliant, we decided to make it this week’s blog post:

09.00: They’re all complaining about traffic when they arrive this morning, but I’m not sure what that is. I loved my journey in. I love going in the car. Especially when I can stick my head out the window.
10.00: CHRISTY THREW SOMETHING! Please do it again, human!

11.15: Been brought into the meeting room to discuss what types of biscuits to order this month. I said Pedigree chums but they went for Hob Nobs. They said I’m not allowed the chocolate ones, things got a little hairy.

12.00: Chased my tail for 30 minutes, until I got hounded by the boss again…

12:30: Woofles for lunch, yum!


14.05: Sarah’s showing me how to make a spreadsheet. I’m thinking, why can’t I grab the little arrow moving about on the screen??

15.15: The man with the drawings on his arms. I like him best. I gave him a kiss and everyone laughed. So I did it again. I’m not sure he liked it.

15:30: Maybe I can I win him over with a gift…


16.10: I’m bored now, can I go and run around the car park?

17.00: Hey, where’s my toy?

17.05: THERE IT IS!

17:25: Pawformance review – didn’t go well. Man that was ruff.

2016 marks the 2nd year that Bluestep have been one of the proud co-sponsors of the Charity Softball League & we’ve loved every minute of it.

And over the past summer months, the charity team have been working closely with the events team to provide these snazzy t-shirts for the charity teams who have been training and competing in the games.

On the LCSL big finale day last Thursday, the Bluestep team, along with the 6 league finalists headed into London’s Hyde Park where the sun blazed all afternoon long and the games went on until the sun went down.

Before the trip down to London, the girls popped into Costco, raided the fridges and clearly bought enough food to feed the 5000 (or enough for 6 hungry softball finalists & their colleagues).

The girls got a quick selfie in before they drove the hefty refrigerated truck down the motorway & into the centre of London.
The charity team roped in the help of some of the other big and small Bluesteppers.

Here are the team all set & ready to go in their matching Bluestep t-shirts (looking good guys).

The sandwiches & crisps went down an absolute storm & despite how many we had, we’d been cleared out by the end of the last game.
It looks like the Bluestep selfie boards did the rounds of the park.

The sunset on Hyde Park as the games carried on through the evening.

As the final game of the day took place, tension was thick in the air and after all those long months of softball sweat, blood and tears, it all drilled down to those last few swings of the bat which would determine who the crowning winners of the 2016 league would be.

The British Heart Foundation Basemakers pulled through and reigned victorious of the London Softball Charity League games for 2016.

Throughout the games, we ran a social media competition and would award the team who posted the best content on Twitter with a shiny plaque after the finals. With their catalogue of epic pyramid photos & hilarious gifs, we named The Sloths as social media champions.

We were even given our very own handmade medal from the amazing kids from Action for Children.

So we want to say a massive thank you to the London Charity Softball League team for selecting us to sponsor such an amazing event, we had so much fun spending a summers afternoon in the park with all of the involved charities. Until next year LCSL.

Bluestep is proud to be supporting the London Charity Softball League for the second year running! So today, we thought we’d make the most of the sporadic British sunshine and use the opportunity for a garden photo shoot. Squinty eyes aside, we think the team look pretty good showing off a selection of the softball team kits we produced.

As the second biggest softball league in Europe, we have supplied the kits for up to 1,700 players including every team in the league and even personalised umpire tops. Working with and providing daily support for over 250 charities, we love having the chance to make our contribution and support them in whatever way we can.

There’s a pretty nice story behind the league too. It actually started when a few charity workers came together to play softball on some old football pitches…who’d have thought it would go on to become one of the biggest softball leagues in the UK?!

The Bluestep team will be supporting this year’s final in August. Who knows, maybe next year we can get a team together ourselves. We’re a pretty young and fit bunch, don’t ya think?