Two young boys or brothers playing in a park or garden on a sunny day; one looking through some binoculars while the other sits on the grass

The Great Scavenger Hunt

The Great Scavenger Hunt is a brilliant way to have some fun and support Macmillan.

However big or small your hunt, it's a fantastic activity to bring your kids, family, friends, colleagues or community together.

What is a scavenger hunt?

A scavenger hunt is basically a treasure hunt, making it a great fundraising idea to get both kids and adults involved. Each person or team is given a list of items to find in a certain area, and the ones who find the most or in the quickest time are crowned the winners.

You're sure to have a blast, and every penny you raise will help make a huge difference.

Organising your scavenger hunt

You could hold your hunt in your own home, on your street, in your local area, or wherever the challenge takes you. It's easy to hold it virtually too by challenging friends and family to each take part in their own homes or local areas, and sharing your scores over a video call. Why not make it a friendly competition or race too with a small prize for the winning household?

Spread the word

Make the most of having friends at your fingertips. Spread the word by creating an event page on Facebook, a WhatsApp group, shouting about it on Twitter, and sending email invitations.

Find out more about how to fundraise online.

Choose our ready-to-go hunt or to make your own scavenger challenge

Ready-to-go Scavenger Challenge

If you can't wait to get treasure hunting and want to keep it simple, we've got one ready to go that's great for all ages. Our ready-to-go Great Scavenger Challenge sheet can be printed out or shared on smartphones before you send everyone off to find the items.

You can still make the challenge your own!

Up the competition: offer a prize for the team or person who completes the challenge first. Or get people in pairs and do it as a three-legged race.

Cameras out: why not ask all participants to take a photo of all the items/sights listed as extra evidence, with bonus points for the best picture?

DIY scavenger hunt

A DIY scavenger hunt is as easy as ABC. To make the challenge unique to you, just adapt our scavenger sheet or use the blank template.

Personalise your hunt even more

Think location, location, location: tailor your challenge to your surroundings – is there something unique in your park or garden you could add to the hunt?

Mix it up: include extra challenges like a time limit and fun penalties for things not found.

How big can your hunt be?

Go all out and host a scavenger extravaganza in your local area. Invite everyone in your local community to take part on a chosen date – either in teams or individually.

On the day, set up a hub for the hunt where people can come and collect their challenge sheets. If it's okay to do so, why not hold a celebration at the end of the challenge for all your weary and triumphant scavengers?

You could organise a socially distanced picnic or BBQ, or just raise a glass to each other at the end. If you enjoy taking part in the challenge, share the fun and nominate another group of friends, sports club or community group to get involved and host their own scavenger hunt too.

Boost your fundraising total

However you hold your scavenger hunt, raising money is the aim of the game. The easiest way to do this is to ask for donations to take part in your challenge. Here are some other ways to up your fundraising:

Make it a family affair: take on the scavenger challenge as a family and donate £1 for every item found on your hunt. If you choose to complete our ready-to-go Scavenger Challenge, you'll have donated £29, which could fund a Macmillan nurse for an hour. In that time they can give people living with cancer and their families essential medical, practical and emotional support.

Ask friends and family members to sponsor individual items in the challenge: it can be anything they'd like to make a donation for. You could even ask them to double their donation if their item is found by a certain time.

Get the gang involved: set a start time and get everyone to share updates of the hunt and the fundraising goal with their contacts. Build riddles, unique challenges and other activities into your scavenger hunt to make it an afternoon of fun for all.

Up the competition by making a leaderboard for all involved, keeping a tally of total found items and completion times for prizes.

Set up a JustGiving page and pay in your donations

JustGiving makes it easy to collect sponsorship money, receive donations from those taking part, and keep people up-to-date with your progress. JustGiving also automatically collects Gift Aid for any eligible donations, helping to boost your total at no extra cost. Set up your JustGiving page.

Find out more about paying in your fundraising.

Get your scavenger hunt resources

Get prizes for the fastest scavenger and visit the Macmillan Shop to get small treats for those taking part. The shop has lots of goodies and everything sold helps people living with cancer.

For posters, flyers, and many other materials you'll need for your scavenger hunt check out be.macmillan.org.uk – it's our easy-to-use website that supports your fundraising. It includes:

Keep your challenge safe and legal

Make sure you keep your event plans safe and legal by checking our guidance.