How to organise a barn bance or ceilidh fundraiser

Barn Dance

A barn dance fundraiser, also known as a ceilidh, is an entertaining evening of dancing with music provided by a live band and a caller to keep everyone on their toes. It’s perfect for all ages and abilities and infectiously good fun! Just follow the steps here to organise your charity barn dance to raise money for life saving research.


Before your barn dance or ceilidh

  • First things first – find a venue for your fundraising, this could be your local village hall, school hall or barn you can hire. If using a public venue, make sure to check on any licences you might need, especially when it comes to playing music or selling food/alcohol at the venue. Make sure to find a fantastic band and confident, professional caller.
  • Timing – depending on who you plan to invite to your fundraiser, think carefully about an event date so not to clash with any major sports or cultural events.
  • Promotion – contact your local newspaper and radio to advertise your event and share posters and leaflets around the area.
  • You can also download a PDF version of our guidance

During your barn dance

  • Inspire – plan a moment to say a few words about heart disease and our work so people understand the difference their support to our charity makes. Alternatively, if you have the technology, you could play one of our videos. Make sure to have one our collection boxes on display to encourage donations.
  • Ideas – give lots of thought to how you can raise as much as possible. Include a charity raffle with prizes sponsored by local businesses, have an award for best dancer and sell food and drink – dancing is thirsty work!
  • Resources - you can find more materials (e.g. posters) and information about us.
  • More support – if you have any queries please call our supporter service centre on 0300 330 3322 or email us

Top tips

  • Universities – often have folk or ceilidh societies – they may be able to help you find a band, and as it’s for charity you may be able to get them to perform at a discount or for free!
  • Food and drink – if you’re selling anything for consumption at your event then it’s essential to label things for allergens. Head over to the Food Standards Agency for further advice.
  • Social media – spread the word by setting up a Facebook event page and let us know how your fundraising activity is going with regular updates – remember to tag us so we can see what you’re up to and say thank you!
  • Double your money – ask your team of helpers if they work for a company that offers matched giving and encourage them to apply if they do.

After your barn dance

  • Banking – count, record and send us the money you raise as soon as you can. It’s a good idea to share responsibility for this amongst more than one person and to prepare in advance by getting some money bags from the bank.
  • Thanking – remember to follow up with guests, sponsors and volunteers to thank them and let them know how much was raised to help fund life-saving research.

Keeping it safe and legal

Kick-start your fundraising

Order or download your free fundraising pack for guidance, donation forms and inspiring fundraising materials. Every fundraiser helps power life saving research to beat heartbreak forever. 

Get your fundraising pack

We're here to help you with your fundraising. If you have a question, call us on 0300 330 3322 between 9:00am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.