10 (Amazing) Costume Ideas Only Nonprofit Fundraisers Will Appreciate

Megan Donahue
Megan Donahue

Oh, October. The leaves are changing, the weather is cooling, and nonprofit fundraising professionals are busy, busy, busy. This month, you’re probably knee deep in year-end planning, getting serious about your prep for #GivingTuesday, and maybe starting to feel the stress of the season (which CauseVox can help with too).

But don’t forget to have a little fun!

Amidst all the hustle, there’s Halloween. It’s an opportunity to have a few laughs, build camaraderie, and avoid taking yourself too seriously–something that we all need this time of year.

Does your office dress up for Halloween? Got a fall party in the works at your organization? Need to add a little levity to your October board meeting?

Then try one of our top 10 costumes that only nonprofit fundraisers will appreciate:

1. The Surprise Grant Program Officer

Wear a business suit. Carry a clipboard. Show up the day before Halloween, and announce you’re there for a site visit.

Are you ready for your funders to visit?
“Where is everyone? Also, are your financials back from the auditor, yet? I’d like to see them.”

2. The Angry Donor

This one will strike terror into all nonprofit folks. Wear pearls for clutching. Carry a check to angrily tear up.

Dealing with angry donors is hard.
“Take my name off everything, and never contact me again!” This is the stuff of nightmare

3. The Lost Appeal

Wear a large envelope costume addressed to Major Donor and stamped “Return to Sender.”

Really, Jane!?!? Another stack. Does anyone have wine?

4. The Well-Intended In-Kind

Did someone ever drop off something they were sure your organization could use? Like Baskin Robbin’s gift cards for kids in Uganda (this really happened!!). Dress as that thing. Only a few people will get it, but they will think it’s hilarious.

Is this a joke? Nope.

5. Grant Application Supplementary Materials

Just attach all that stuff to your person. Resumes, budgets, mission statements, letters of recommendation, all of it. Voila, it’s a monster! It’s out of control!

Don't be scared! CauseVox is here to help.
Don’t be scared! It’s just a thousand paper cuts

6. Fundraising Event Coordinator

Wear a whistle, carry a clipboard, and remind people throughout the day that they’re there to network and socialize. Then make them do an icebreaker.

Event Coordinator
“Always. Be. Networking. Now!”

7. The Ghost of Goals Past

Nothing is scarier than trying to meet last year’s goal. It’s haunting! Wear a sheet and put last year’s goal on the front and a big question mark on your back. Whisper, “Have you forgotten meeeeeee?” to everyone you pass.

Set SMART goals, and they won't haunt you.
Set SMART fundraising goals, and they won’t haunt you.

8. Wicked Witch/Warlock of the Board

Don a witch costume, and shout, “There’s no budget for that!” Carry a cauldron labeled “Strategic Planning Ideas.”

Um…maybe don’t wear this one to lighten up your board meeting.

9. The Time-Sensitive Appeal

Dress in all red and carry a big sign telling people that there are, “ONLY 24 HOURS LEFT. DONATE NOW!” Run everywhere you go.

not cool
Not cool. Not cool.

10. A Campaign Thermometer

Wear red pants and a white shirt. Mark increments on your shirt with tape. Use red paint to show your campaign’s progress. If you’re very serious, ask people to donate and then add more red if they do.

Look! We’re so close!!

Have additional ideas? Send me an email at We’d love to grow the list!

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