Could you help Ken conquer the Camino de Santiago?

SOFII co-founder and managing trustee Ken Burnett is taking on one of the biggest fundraising challenges of his life. Please will you sponsor Ken as he walks 500 miles in support of The SOFII Foundation?

Written by
August 01, 2021

Yes, you read that right. At 70 years young, SOFII co-founder Ken Burnett will be spending five weeks walking 500 miles along The Camino de Santiago. 

That is a very long way, along very challenging terrain.

Throughout the middle ages, thousands walked from their homes to make their pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. This pilgrim’s path paved the way for many different routes across Europe, all coming together to arrive in the city surrounding the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. (An exception to this is the Finisterre Way which begins in Santiago, walking towards the coast to Cape Finisterre or the ‘End of the World’ as it was known in ancient Roman times.)

Ken has chosen The Camino Frances (or the French Way) for his big challenge.

Those who know Ken will remember he lived for 16 years in France with his late wife, Marie and two sons, Joe and Charlie. But this time, Ken will return to France for an altogether less relaxing trip – to conquer the Camino. 

The Camino Frances is perhaps the most famous of the nine major Camino de Santiago routes. Its 500 miles of trail has inspired many artists, writers and filmmakers – such as Paulo Coelho in his bestseller The Pilgrimage and 2010’s Hollywood movie The Way starring Martin Sheen.

Ken’s chosen route traditionally starts in St. Jean-Pied-De-Port in France, before traversing the Pyrenees and continuing through the La Rioja wine region and along the rolling hills of northern Spain, before finishing in Santiago de Compostela, the burial place of St. James.

Beginning on September 2nd 2021, the walk will see Ken tackling varying landscapes from the mountainous region of the Pyrenees, to the flat plateau of Northern Spain and the undulating hilly landscape of Galicia. To complete his walk Ken will have to undertake many training sessions prior to departing England and then allow at least five weeks to take on, and conquer, this huge challenge.

Ken is walking to raise vital funds for The SOFII Foundation, the charity that runs

Like many organisations of our size, we already operate on a shoestring with just three part-time staff. Of course the pandemic has made it even more difficult to fundraise effectively. Yet at the same time, we are acutely aware that more fundraisers than ever need our free content to help them create great fundraising campaigns around the world. 

So, please could you sponsor Ken as he walks 500 miles to keep SOFII going for the long haul?

If you give just £5 in sponsorship, that equates to just one penny for every mile that Ken is planning on walking. He is determined to walk all 500 miles – so if you can, please consider giving 10p a mile… or maybe you think Ken deserves £1 a mile for this mighty challenge? The choice is yours. 

Ken said,‘I’ve reached an age when even contemplating such a challenge seems entirely absurd. I’m so unfit, walking the Camino looms over me like a monstrous, exhausting nightmare, obviously unattainable. Even if my feet could make it, the rest of me is crying out in protest, saying, ‘get real Ken, admit it, you’re way past accomplishing anything like this!’ Yet those who have done it tell me it’s fulfilling, transformational, the experience of a lifetime. So I thought, ‘OK, I should give it a try’. If only to prove to myself that I’m not yet over the hill, I’m going to get over them hills. If while walking I can raise some much needed funding for SOFII, that’ll keep me going.’   

Click here to sponsor Ken now via his Just Giving page.

All of SOFII’s proceeds from Ken’s walk will go towards supporting fundraisers around the world with new high-quality free content on SOFII or at our I Wish I’d Thought of That events. 

Stay tuned for more updates – including news of Ken’s training (aka blister watch...) 

Thank you!

*Information and maps about The Camino de Santiago and various routes has been sourced from walking tour provider Follow the Camino (

About the author: SOFII

The SOFII collection aims to be the most comprehensive, best organised, and most inspiring collection of fundraising related content from around the world.

Recent Articles

Exploring the evolution and trends of mid-level fundraising

What is the difference between major and mid-level giving? What changes are we seeing after years of traditional mid-level programmes? What charities have been innovating in this area of fundraising? In a special long read written especially for SOFII, Simon Dickson explores all these questions and kick starts your thinking about what mid-level giving could look like at your charity.

Read more

ChatGPT and fundraising – what do you need to know? (part two)

In the second instalment of our series on ChatGPT and fundraising, SOFII talks to Cherian Koshy – the founder of a platform that democratises access to artificial intelligence and machine learning for nonprofit organisations. Dive in and explore Cherian’s in-depth insights and opinions on ChatGPT for fundraisers. 

Read more

ChatGPT and fundraising – what do you need to know? (part one)

You’ve probably heard about ChatGPT. You might have read about how it could revolutionise (or destroy) everything from internet searches to journalism. But as fundraisers, what do you really need to know? In part one of a two-part piece, we ask three digital fundraisers to give us their opinions on ChatGPT. 

Read more

The Legacy Showcase – where fundraisers share inspiring campaigns

SOFII knows that fundraisers like you understand the importance of legacy fundraising and are seeking new ideas to inform and inspire your work. Well look no further! The Legacy Showcase is a collection of short videos where fundraisers share their favourite legacy campaign and explain why they think it’s worthy of your admiration too.

Read more

I wish I’d thought of… charity shop Gift Aid

Charity shop Gift Aid. Is it fundraising history? Is it fundraising innovation? Is it a tax loophole for good? Honestly, it’s probably all three! Jonathan Cook takes you on the somewhat strange yet fascinating journey of how charity shops began making 25 per cent more for every pound they earned by simply selling the UK’s donated goods.

Read more