Sober October: a timeline of abstinence challenges

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Joel Broadbent

Sober October: a timeline of abstinence challenges

With October fast approaching, there may be some thoughts about taking part in Sober October before the run up to winter (or summer if you're in the southern hemisphere), and end of the year festivities.

Since Brett (Managing Director of Ezy Raise), Phil & Kenny started Dry July in 2008, there have been many sober campaigns following suit throughout the year all over the world.

After Dry July began in 2008, you may have seen Ocsober (AU)(began 2010), Sober October (UK) (began 2013), Dry Feb (CA)(began 2016), and Sober September (began 2016).

Then Joe Rogan got on board with his own Sober October challenge in 2019.

Want to know why giving up alcohol is a successful fundraising challenge? Read on to see the benefits for your fundraisers and how it can help your organisation carry out its mission.

Why give up alcohol for a month?

Some people go alcohol-free to try out a different lifestyle for the month. Sober-curiosity has become a more prominent movement in recent years, with people deciding to take a break from alcohol intake for periods of time.

Taking part in the alcohol-free challenges on behalf of a charity means putting down the booze for a cause bigger than ourselves. Not only do people feel the health benefits (better quality sleep is a major benefit of putting away the alcohol) and lifestyle benefits (like saving money) from a month away from alcohol, but they fundraise for an organisation that means something to them to make a difference in someone’s life.

Another bonus to giving up alcohol for a month is the money you’ll save by doing so. Social drinkers heading out one night each weekend with some friends, can be $100+. Keeping those dollars in your own pocket is a benefit we can’t deny. Then donating some of that to the charity you’re fundraising for, does something again for a great cause, whilst still saving some of the money you’d usually spend on alcohol.

Why give up alcohol in October?

People may be looking to reduce their alcohol intake before summer begins, before the holiday festivities start, and if they missed out on Dry July they may be looking for another opportunity before the end of the year.

What if I don’t drink alcohol?

Then give up your favourite drink instead. Giving up caffeine, or fizzy drinks for the month are other options for those who want to take part in Sober October but don’t drink alcohol.

What can people do during Sober October when they give up alcohol?

Anything except drink alcohol. Make plans with friends, go out for meals, pick up a new hobby, there’s an abundance of options for how to stay occupied during the Sober October challenge. You may find you’ve got more time when you’re not nursing hangovers on Sunday. 

Ask your friends and family to take part with you, then you’ll have buddies for the challenge to stay motivated. Have mocktail-creating competitions, donate to each other for moral support, and make some fun alcohol-free memories.

Spreading the word about Sober October

Raising awareness about a Sober October challenge can be done through social media, email, SMS, and face-to-face conversations. All of our Sober/Dry challenges have a library of resources for sharing with supporters. Pre-written email templates, social media templates, images for various parts of the challenge, and even Zoom backgrounds and email signatures.

Do abstinence campaigns really work?

Our history is embedded in our success from Dry July as well as other abstinence campaigns from around the world. We’d love nothing more than to help you find success with your fundraising too!

We have your back.

From the very start, you'll have a dedicated account manager. We'll be with you every step of the way to get your campaign set up and in the best possible position it can be.

Are you ready to upgrade your fundraising?
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