150+ Fundraising Ideas For Nonprofits & Charities

Choosing a fundraising idea for your nonprofit or charity is sometimes difficult.

You need to choose an idea that meets your fundraising needs, appeals to your audience, and is manageable for your team to pull off.

We know this well, as thousands of nonprofits and social good projects have used CauseVox’s digital fundraising platform to raise millions online and virtually. Through this, we’ve seen firsthand what fundraising ideas nonprofits use to raise money for their cause successfully.

We’ve put together 150+ of these fundraising ideas into one epic list so you can easily find a fundraising idea that is the best fit for your cause.

Use these quick links to jump to the right fundraising ideas section:

Events + Virtual Events
Donation Pages
Sales
Crowdfunding
Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Events + Virtual Events

events-virtual-events-fundraising-ideas

Events have always been one of the most popular ways for organizations to fundraise.

Many events are inherently based in peer-to-peer fundraising, sponsorships, ticket sales – using a combination of strategies to fundraise.

With Covid, there’s been an urgent need to adapt your in-person event to the virtual space – so we’ve enhanced this section to include options for both virtual and in-person events.

For a quick list of virtual ideas, check out these 14 Virtual Fundraising Event Ideas.

Ready to get started planning a Virtual Fundraising Event? Download our Virtual Fundraising Guide and Template:


1. 5K Run/Walk

How It Raises Money: Peer-to-peer, Sponsorships, Entry fee


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There’s nothing better than spending a spring or fall morning participating in a 5K or a charity walk. Runners/walkers will need to pay an entry fee, but you can also encourage participants to get sponsorships.

Considerations: Races and walks are all the rage right now, so jump on the bandwagon. This is a great fundraiser that brings your current supporters together with potential donors from your community. Plus, specialty runs (such as The Color Run) add a creative element to an otherwise simple idea.


2. Host A Marathon

How It Raises Money: Peer-to-Peer, Sponsorships


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Raise money by having your supporters run for your cause.

Considerations: Many towns and cities have popular routes for “rent” that go through parks and city streets. Call ahead to your local municipality before creating your own event. If hosting an entire marathon isn’t in the cards, encourage participants to join a preexisting marathon on a team to raise funds for your cause, like World Vision.


3. Virtual Walkathon or Race

How It Raises Money: Peer-to-peer, Sponsorships, Entry fee


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Encourage your community to run outside or on their treadmill. You’ll want people to sign up, potentially pay a registration fee, and have a date and time where everyone runs at the same time on their own.

Have participants raise funds up through the race date, and track their race times the day of – and keep track of who crosses both their virtual fundraising ‘finish line’ goal, as well as their physical finish line.

Here’s how to plan a virtual walkathon.

Want to learn from a real fundraiser who has run a virtual walkathon? Check out our Nonprofit Leader Panel: Raise More Through Virtual Events:


4. No Run Run

How It Raises Money: Peer-to-peer, Sponsorships, Entry fee


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If you know your community isn’t very active, consider doing a “No Run Run” campaign, where you challenge your participants NOT to run, and just cross that virtual fundraising goal finish line.


5. Spin or Yoga Class Fundraiser

How It Raises Money: Entry fee


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Team up with a local spin or yoga studio for a fundraiser. Charge an entry fee for participation and encourage donations day-of from participants.

Consider turning this into a regular fundraiser- done monthly or perhaps even weekly, if it’s the right fit for your audience.


6. 10,000 Steps Challenge

How It Raises Money: Peer-to-peer, Sponsorships


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Team members pledge to walk 10,000 steps a day over a certain time frame (often a week or month). Have participants set up a personal fundraising page to raise funds, and sell sponsorships.

Considerations: To keep costs down, there are plenty of apps that count steps. All iPhone users should automatically have a pedometer in the Health app on their phone. Or, consider directing your participants to free pedometer apps like this one or an app like Strava to measure activity, which can be reflected right on their personal fundraising page.


7. Climb/Hike

How It Raises Money: Peer-to-peer, Sponsorships, Entry fee


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Host a hike for your nonprofit, encouraging participants to fundraise ahead of the event.

Here’s how Postpartum Support International successfully runs 120+ local climb fundraising events with CauseVox.


8. Virtual Climb/Hike

How It Raises Money: Peer-to-peer, Sponsorships, Entry fee


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Most people have a trail somewhere near where they live, so encourage your peer-to-peer fundraiser participants to do their hike locally and share their amazing pictures on social media.

This is a great opportunity to share their personal fundraising page with their friends and family, and keep people connected.

Consider having participants track activity with a tool like Strava.


9. Workout Challenge

How It Raises Money: Peer-to-peer, Entry fee, Sponsorships


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Participants enjoy a workout (or a series of workouts) and raise funds for your nonprofit or charity.

Considerations: Check with your supporters to see if there is someone with experience as a fitness instructor or personal trainer. Ask if they’d be willing to run a series of workouts where proceeds would be diverted back to your organization.

Check out how Neverthirst ran their Workout for Water and how 20 Liters activated their community to fundraise + workout for a cause.


10. Gala

How It Raises Money: Sponsorships, Entry fee


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Host a fancy dinner with a night of programming that helps educate attendees on your cause. Have VIP tables available to up the price of certain ticket sales and elevate the status of larger donors. Raise funds throughout the night with an online fundraiser, perhaps adding in an auction to boost donations.


11. Virtual Gala

How It Raises Money: Sponsorships, Entry fee, Peer-to-peer, General Donations


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Run your gala virtually using peer-to-peer fundraising pages as virtual tables. Incorporate a livestream (via Youtube, Vimeo, Zoom, etc) into the event.

Here’s how to run your virtual gala.


12. UnGala

How It Raises Money: Sponsorships, Peer-to-peer, General Donations


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An UnGala (sometimes referred to as “Gone with the Gala)” is run through an online fundraising campaign where you invite your top supporters to join and fundraise for you with ‘virtual tables’ (aka peer-to-peer fundraising).

You can simply run the virtual fundraising event without any programming, in place of your gala.

Here’s how to run your ungala.


13. Cocktail Party

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, General donations


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Find a venue for a low price (your own space, a donor’s home, local Knights of Columbus, etc) and serve cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

Sell tickets to cover upfront costs. Have an online fundraising campaign projected in the venue and encourange attendees to donate to reach your goal by the end of the evening.


14. Virtual Happy Hour

How It Raises Money: General Donations


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Ask your supporters to grab a glass of wine and join you to chat using Zoom, GoogleHangouts, or FaceTime.

In a casual setting, you can check on how your donors are doing, give them updates on your plans to navigate programming and fundraising, and create a great space to unwind a bit.

Add a soft ask to donate at the end of the session. Conside doing these monthly + encourage monthly recurring donations.


15. Livestreamed Event

How It Raises Money: General Donations


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Host a live streamed event with special guest speakers and performers. In between speakers, point people toward your online campaign, and give updates towards your goal throughout the day.

Consider using Facebook Live, Youtube Live, or Zoom + simulcast to Facebook and Youtube Live. Ensure you have a donation page or campaign set up and linked to in the Livestream chat to drive donations.


16. Webinar

How It Raises Money: General Donations


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Keep your supporters engaged digital by inviting them along to town halls or webinars. This could be sessions with your CEO and board, interviews with your field workers/program staff, someone who has gone through your program, etc.

Have a CTA to donate to your organization or program through a customized donation page or crowdfunding campaign.


17. Virtual Tour

How It Raises Money: Suggested donation


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If you fundraise for a physical space, consider turning your tours into virtual tours. You can ask people to donate the price of a ticket, and take people through the space via video.

This will help people still feel like they’re there, and connect them to your cause without needing to be there in person.


18. Comedy Night/Virtual Comedy Night

How It Raises Money: General donations, Ticket Sales, Sponsorships


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Recruit comedians to put on a show to benefit your nonprofit. Popular comedians may run up the costs, so you may want to partner with a local comedy venue to put together a fantastic list of local comedians.

Virtual shows tend to be more-cost effective than their in-person counterparts.

Check out the Tiny Cupboard’s Virtual Comedy Shows for inspiration.

19. Golf Tournament

How It Raises Money: Sponsorships, Entry fee


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People pay a pretty penny to golf, and businesses are often willing to pay for their employees to play a round in the name of charity.

Considerations: If you plan to offer incentives like a Hole-in-One prize, look into insurance. It’s important to note that golf tournaments take a lot of preparation. If you have a volunteer base eager to assist, form a team to handle the nitty-gritty details.


20. Board Game Tournament

How It Raises Money: Entry fee


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Teams of people compete together during a board game tournament to raise money for your nonprofit or charity.

Considerations: Ask local businesses or supports to donate prizes for tournament winners. And, you can give “bonus points” to board game participants/teams that fundraise on their own for your cause.

Here’s an example of a board game tournament run on CauseVox.


21. Trivia Night

How It Raises Money: Peer-to-peer, Entry fee, General sale


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Invite your staff, donors, volunteers and even your board members to a fun trivia night! You can sell tickets as well-run some games throughout the night that require an additional donation.

Considerations: Have participants set up a personal fundraising page to raise funds ahead of the trivia night, and offer teams that raise the most advantages the night of the event. As a bonus, try to secure some great prizes from your corporate and/or local partners for the winning team.

Now that everything’s virtual, here’s a step-by-step on how to host a virtual trivia night.


22. Live Gaming Fundraiser

How It Raises Money: Online Donations, Sponsorships


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Engage a popular gamer (or gamers) to livestream them playing a game (usually streamed on Twitch) and have them point viewers towards your online fundraising campaign.


23. Shave Head

How It Raises Money: Online, Peer-to-Peer, Sponsorships


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Similar to the St. Baldrick’s Day fundraiser, ask supporters to seek sponsorships to shave their head.

Considerations: Head shaving is bound to draw a crowd, so inform your local media in advance to increase the likelihood that the event will be covered in the newspaper and during the evening news.


24. Grow A Beard

How It Raises Money: Online, Peer-to-Peer, Sponsorships


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Maybe you want to go the opposite route of head shaving and instead delve into the world of facial hair growth. Like other similar events, participants will collect sponsorships to support their beard-growing efforts.

Considerations: Again, this is a fundraising idea that is as much about awareness as it is about raising money. People are going to want to know WHY others are willing to grow beards for your cause. Think ahead and give participants pamphlets or elevator speeches to share with inquisitive friends and family.

Here’s how Testicular Cancer Foundation activated police officers and firefighters to grow a beard + raise funds.


25. Cold Water (aka Polar) Plunge

How It Raises Money: Sponsorships, Entry fee


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Make the most of winter weather with a cold water plunge. This fundraiser is bound to energize your supporters and draw a crowd.

Considerations: You’ll need a cold body of water, eager plungers, insurance, and medical professionals on-hand. This fundraiser takes some preparation, but you’ll be rewarded by seeing the number of loyal supporters you have that are willing to jump in cold water to financially support your cause.

Here’s how you can plan your plunge.


26. Sleep Out

How It Raises Money: Peer-to-peer, Sponsorships


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If you’re a youth or homelessness charity, a sleep out is an overnight challenge that the entire community can do together. Sleep outs raise awareness, empathy and understanding for your cause.

Your participants can ask friends and family to donate to their personal page to ensure they commit to the sleep out, and you can raise money on the night of the sleepout through participants.

Considerations: You may want to talk to your local council about finding the right space, or organize the event at a local school oval or hall.


27. Hosted Dinner Parties

How It Raises Money: Online


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Encourage your supporters to host a dinner party to fundraise on behalf of your organization, and provide an online fundraising solution to make it easy for attendees to give the day of their event.

Considerations: Provide a packet to help them run their dinner with recipes, talking points, brochures, etc.


28. Lunch And Learn

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, General donations


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Establish your nonprofit or charity as an expert in your field by educating community members about your cause with a lunch and learn.

Considerations: Get a local restaurant to partner with you and donate food. This is easy to do virtually via a livestream as well.


29. Virtual Conference

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, General donations


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Host a virtual conference event aka an Unconference.

This could be a day-long series of talks and workshops all hosted online where people can dial into the different events. These kinds of events can easily be run on a tool like Zoom.

Don’t forget to make scheduled asks throughout the conference.


30. Paint and Sip

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, General donations


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Host a paint and sip night to help raise funds; sell drinks and food for additional revenue.

Considerations: This is an event that can be adapted to a variety of causes. If weather permits, try hosting this as an outdoor event. To make it easier to see who has registered/paid, set up an online registration page.


31. Virtual Paint & Sip

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, General donations


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Have supporters register for a fee & arrange paint kits to be mailed to their home.

Have them grab a glass of wine and join you on Zoom for a virtual paint and sip night. Make sure you schedule in a call to action to make an additional donation.


32. Plant and Sip

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, General donations


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For horticultural and gardening enthusiasts, this is a fun variation to a traditional paint and sip. Instead of painting a picture, have participants put together a beautiful arrangement and get gardening tips from a knowledgeable instructor.


33. Winery Tour

How It Raises Money: Entry fee (online or in-person), general sale


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Partner with a local winery to host a wine tour. Participants will have the opportunity to sample different wines and purchase bottles that they like.


34. Bar Crawl

How It Raises Money: Entry fee (online or in-person), general sale


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Get the attention of your supporters and beer lovers in your community with a bar crawl. Considerations: Plan your route ahead of time, and consider matching t-shirts for participants.

If you’re looking to go above and beyond, take donation buckets along the way to encourage other bar patrons to join in on the fun (and help support your cause).


35. Wine Pull

How It Raises Money: Entry fee (online or in-person)


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Wine pulls work well as fixed-price revenue enhancers. Offer employees/participants a chance to draw from an assortment selected wines. Ensure that each bottle is worth at least $10 and should range in quality.

Sell tickets for $5 each or 2 for $10. Each ticket = 1 random pick. Remember to wrap the bottles to hide labels. Participants have the opportunity to choose at random a bottle that is worth at least $10 or more.

Consideration: Ask local liquor stores, wineries, and board members to donate wine.


36. Cooking Class

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, General donations


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Add a culinary twist to your fundraiser by hosting a cooking class. If this is around the holidays, try making your class a themed one!

Considerations: Team up with a local chef or ask a talented volunteer to help lead the class. This can easily be held virtually using a tool like Zoom and sending out an ingredient list ahead of time.


37. Art Classes

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, general donations

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Have an artist to come in and give a fun educational class and charge an entry fee donation. Proceeds or a percentage of the sales from the event go back to your organization.

Considerations: There are many companies out there that specialize in this sort of event and they vary from one town to the next.


38. Art Sale

How It Raises Money: Keep profits from sale


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Do you have budding and professional artists in your community? Ask them to donate their art to the cause and have a gallery sale.

Considerations: Think of this event as an exclusive, swanky craft fair. Rent space from a local gallery (or set up a gallery in your office), institute a semi-formal dress code, and serve champagne!

Consideration: Ask local liquor stores, wineries, and board members to donate wine.


39. Art Installation

How It Raises Money: General donation


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Create (or hire someone to create) an interactive art piece that helps donors connect to your cause. ie: Play a recording of survivors telling their story through telephones that supporters can listen to. This helps raise awareness and personally connect to your organization.

Ask for a donation (cash or online) as soon as they finish going through the installation.

Considerations: Try and make the installation as portable as possible to use in different spaces and at events.


40. Create A Visual

How It Raises Money: General donation


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Do you have some powerful statistics related to your cause that you want to share? Make a visual representation and display it in a high traffic area such as a park, library, or schools.

For example, every day in 2014, 16,000 children under 5 died — from hunger or hunger related causes. That’s enough children to fill 180+ school buses. As a visual, we printed out what 180 school buses look like and hung it up in a main section of campus-catching the attention of a lot of people and inspiring them to give.

Considerations: This idea is all about awareness. What you’re doing is drawing attention to the problem, and associating your organization as part of the solution. Don’t forget to add your contact information and, if possible, direct people to check out your website’s donation page.


41. Cooking/Baking Contest

How It Raises Money: Percent of in-person purchase


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Participants pay an entry fee to be considered for a grand prize. At the end of the day, their creation can be sold for a donation.

Considerations: Incentivize people to enter the contest by offering the best prize of all- bragging rights!


42. Book Swap

How It Raises Money: Entry fee and general sale


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Hold a book swap and charge a small amount for entry and/or per book exchanged.

Considerations: You’ll need eager book enthusiasts and space. Talk to your local library about resources they have to assist you with your swap. For inspiration, check out Room to Read. Alternatively, you can start a book club with an entry fee.


43. Pool Party

How It Raises Money: Entry fee


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It’s summertime and it’s sweltering. What can you do to cool people off and raise money at the same time? Host a pool party!

Considerations: Connect with your local pool (community/town, YMCA, neighborhood association) and get information on prices and availability. Discuss particulars, including the option to bring your own food to sell, lifeguards, insurance, etc. before committing.


44. Community Yard Sale

How It Raises Money: General sale


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Everyone has a closet or garage full of things that they need to get rid of, so urge your community to bust out their old lawn mowers, clothes, and furniture to give for a good cause.

Considerations: After securing space (parking lots or streets with little to no traffic work best), ask sellers to reserve booths ahead of time. Therefore, you know how many volunteers and other resources you’ll need on the day of the sale.


45. Food Truck Event

How It Raises Money: General sale


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If your town has a food truck gathering spot, ask them to sponsor a night/week/event when a percentage of sales goes to your nonprofit.

Considerations: Ramp up your marketing efforts on social media to maximize your efforts, like the Bristol Volunteer Firefighters did on Facebook.


46. Host A Concert

How It Raises Money: Entry fee


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You don’t have to be a big charity to host a benefit concert- nonprofits of any size can run one of these fundraisers. Just find a performer that fits well with your audience, and start the planning process.

Considerations: Ask local performers to consider donating their services in-kind. Secure the venue, security, insurance, and any other logistics months in advance. Then, market the event through all avenues, from social media to your website and email newsletter.


47. Virtual Concert

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, General Donations


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You could bring musicians together to host a concert or mini-festival benefitting your organization. These could all be streamed from home, and ask people to purchase a ticket to view.

An additional bonus might be some behind the scenes or meet and greets with different band members – all online of course.


48. BINGO

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, General sales, General donations


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Everyone loves a rousing game of BINGO. Plus, it’s a fun and easy to plan event suitable for the entire family.

Considerations: Contact nonprofits in your community (or the local BINGO hall) to see if anyone has a set of BINGO balls, card, and markers/tabs you can borrow or rent.

Or, simply run your bingo night virtually with these free virtual bingo cards + Zoom.


49. Casino Night/Poker Tournament

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, General Sales, General Donations


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Have a poker night to raise funds for your organization! Charge an entry fee and for drink sales, and let attendees know a portion of the jackpot goes right to your organization.


50. Football Tailgate

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, General Sales, General Donations


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If your community has a high school, college, or maybe even a professional football team, consider hosting a tailgate party fundraiser in the fall.


51. Fantasy Football

How It Raises Money: Entry fee


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Start a fantasy football team. Bets can be placed throughout the season, each one contributing to the cause. Considerations: Research fantasy football programs to find one that works with nonprofits, such as SportzFund.


52. Movie Night

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, General sales (concessions)


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Invite your donors, volunteers, and potential supporters to a family movie night – consider hosting it outside in a park. This fundraiser guarantees a crowd!

Considerations: There are companies out there that provide movie night equipment rentals. To minimize your expenses, ask a local business to sponsor the event and cover the cost of rentals.


53. Movie Night

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, General sales (concessions)


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Ask your local cinema to help you host a Movie Marathon evening.

You can charge an additional entry fee, or a percentage of ticket sales, and host everyone along for two-three movies in a row!

Considerations: you could also ask for free popcorn or drinks as sponsorship from the event, and you could also ask for a themed movie marathon such as classics, American or documentary movie selections.


54. Film Screening

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, General sales (concessions)


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Host a film screening with a movie related to your cause. Partner with a local theatre or procure your own space. Charge for admission and sell concessions for added revenue.


55. Virtual Movie Night

How It Raises Money: General Donations


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Set up a virtual movie night with Netflix Party! Encourage people to grab their favorite snack and join your Netflix party using a link.

This allows all your participants to watch a movie at the same time with a chat window for people to share thoughts, jokes, and more.

This is the perfect way to create a community and drive people to your Donation Page or Crowdfunding page.


56. Obstacle Course

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Sponsorships


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With an obstacle course, you can go big (like the popular “Mud Run”) or gear the event to children. Either way, you’re sure to gather a crowd ready to take a risk while raising money for your cause.

Considerations: You don’t need an extreme location to create a great obstacle course. A simple parking lot can be transformed into a spectacular course with some parking cones, baby pools, and rope.


57. Benefit From An Existing Carnival

How It Raises Money: Percent of in-person (offline) purchase


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Many communities host carnivals in the spring and summer, and some partner with charities and give a percentage of the proceeds from ticket sales back to the community. Talk to local officials to get your nonprofit on the receiving end of those donations!

Considerations: Be prepared with documentation about the impact you’re making in the community when you request donations. An annual report and client testimonials work wonders. Then, encourage your loyal supporters to attend the event. Matthews Alive in Matthews, NC is a great example.


58. Dunk Tank

How It Raises Money: Pay per activity


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Dunk tanks are a great fundraiser for churches, schools, and in the workplace. You’ll need an unlucky volunteer or two (particularly a supervisor or principal) to sacrifice themselves for the good of your cause.

Considerations: Dunk tanks can be rented from most party rental stores. The average cost for a half-day rental is $200.


59. Santa

How It Raises Money: Entry fee


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Kids love Santa, and their parents love supporting worthwhile organizations. That’s why a visit from Santa is a win-win for your nonprofit or charity and the community.

Considerations: Schedules get very hectic around the holidays. To ensure a good showing, plan your day with Santa at the very beginning of December. Don’t forget to have an amateur photographer on-hand to capture all those happy faces.


60. Haunted House

How It Raises Money: Entry fee
Cost: 2
Difficulty: 2
Outcome: 1

Transform an old house, a popular walking trail, or even your office into a “Not So Spooky” haunted house.

Considerations: Have staff and supporters gather decorations and prepare the site the morning of the event. Make sure you have enough volunteers to help with the “haunting” activities, like this school haunted house fundraiser.


61. Easter Egg Hunt

How It Raises Money: Entry fee


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Prep children in your community for a visit from the Easter bunny with a fun Easter Egg Hunt.

Considerations: To cut down on time filling those plastic eggs, buy them in bulk online.


62. Museum or Zoo Night

How It Raises Money: Entry fee


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Does your city have a museum, zoo, or aquarium that hosts special events after-hours? If so, then get on their schedule!

Considerations: This type of fundraiser is especially popular with millennials interested in mixing and mingling while making a difference. Museums generally have rental packages available to fit any budget.


63. Murder Mystery Dinner

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, General Donations


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Treat your guests to dinner and a show with a Murder Mystery Dinner fundraiser.

Considerations: This is another event that takes significant planning, but it’s bound to be fun for staff, volunteers, and attendees. You can plan the event yourself, get an enthusiastic volunteer involved, or hire a professional company to do the legwork.

Have a call to action the night-of to make a donation through your online campaigns site.


64. Babysitting

How It Raises Money: Entry fee


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Parents are always looking for reliable childcare. If you have the space and volunteers eager to babysit, then this is a great fundraiser.

Considerations: Though nights are a popular time that parents are looking for babysitters, think outside the box. Try offering babysitting services so that parents can shop for the holidays, for example.


65. Skydiving

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, peer-to-peer


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Do you have supporters willing to jump out of a plane for your cause? If so, then have them do just that!

Considerations: Coordinate an event with a local skydiving outfit or encourage participants to fundraise and skydive on their own. Either way, they’ll be people jumping out of a plan because of your nonprofit or charity- and that’s something to celebrate.

Have participants set up a personal fundraising page to fundraise for your nonprofit leading up to the event.


66. Phone-a-thon

How It Raises Money: General donation


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Phone-a-thons aren’t just a fundraiser of the past. In fact, many colleges and universities still use this as one of their primary fundraising techniques. So, grab your phone book and get to work.

Considerations: You’ll need ample phone lines and volunteers during this phone call blitz. Don’t forget to weed out your contacts that don’t like to be contacted by phone.

Ensure they have an easy way to take donations through a simple donation page.


67. Cookoff

How It Raises Money: Entry fee


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Organize a team-based cook-off. This fundraiser works great in workplaces, so encourage local businesses to run their own cookoffs to support your cause.

Think through different types of cookoffs that would work in your community: for example, Chicken Wings, Chili, and BBQ are popular.

Considerations: This is best if you’re located in a tight knit community. Cookoffs are a good fundraiser for a crisp, fall day. Don’t forget to gather some small prizes for winners, such as a certificate or ribbon.


68. Croquet Tournament

How It Raises Money: Entry fee


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Croquet may not be the most popular sport, but it’s fun for people of all ages and skill levels.

Considerations: Encourage participants to wear their most fabulous croquet gear. If you don’t have the equipment, you’ll find rental options at your nearby party rental business. Try hosting a 24-event like this one for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund.


69. Corn Hole Tournament

How It Raises Money: Entry fee


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Make friends and raise money while spending a spring afternoon in the sun playing cornhole.

Considerations: There’s a chance that people close to your nonprofit or charity have cornhole sets lying around. So before you invest in customized boards, check with your contacts.


70. Scavenger Hunt

How It Raises Money: Entry fee


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

A scavenger hunt can be done online (through pictures) or offline (in person). Create a list of items (or mix it up with riddles) needed to win the hunt.

Considerations: To spice it up, encourage participants to donate extra money to “unlock” special clues. The Multiple Sclerosis Society\ hosted a successful scavenger hunt fundraiser in Austin, TX.


71. Ping Pong Tournament

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Sponsorships, Peer-to-Peer


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Who doesn’t love ping pong? Get your supporters in a competitive mood with a ping pong tournament.

Considerations: Before renting ping pong tables, ask your supporters if they have any tables that can be borrowed for the event.

Encourage teams to compete to see who can fundraise the most + add incentives.


72. Volleyball Tournament

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Sponsorships, Peer-to-Peer


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Host a volleyball tournament and have groups sign up to play. Sponsorships and entry fees can be collected online.

Encourage teams to compete to see who can fundraise the most + add incentives.


73. Games Tournament

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Sponsorships, Peer-to-Peer


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Think of this as an adult field day. Create a series of games that test teams skill, endurance and smarts with a games tournament. Teams can compete different games and challenges with the top scorers winning a prize!

Get local businesses involved for prize sponsorship,and make it a public, fun event that everyone can come and watch. Considerations: have an impartial umpire or judge for the games so that its a fair contest for all.


74. Adventure Challenge

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Sponsorships, Peer-to-Peer


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Hold a multi-sport, team based adventure race that is not for the faint hearted. It might take a fair bit of organising, particularly if the challenge requires a lot of physical activities however you can charge an entry fee and create a minimum for fundraisers to reach to help ensure that you not only recover the costs of organising but raise as much as you can!

Considerations: get a team of people to help you with this one, and make sure you cover all any bases around insurance.


75. Amazing Race Challenge

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Sponsorships, Peer-to-Peer
Cost: 2
Difficulty: 2
Outcome: 2

Remember the show The Amazing Race?

Create your own version with challenges all around your own city that teams need to compete in across the day. This one could work well on a university campus, in the workplace or at school and it a great community-builder.


76. Bowl-a-Thon

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Sponsorships, Peer-to-Peer


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

A Bowl-a-Thon is about more than throwing strikes. It is about coming together as a community for a fun night and a game that crosses generations. This is a great one for corporate partners to get involved in and encourage competition between teams.

Considerations: see if your local bowling alley will donate free games to your charity so that all money raised can go towards your cause.

Ensure you have teams fundraise and compete to see who can raise the most.

Here’s how to plan a bowl-a-thon for your organization.


77. 24 Hour Relay

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Sponsorships, Peer-to-Peer


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

A 24 hour relay can be an all-in community or school event, where teams must walk around an oval, field or allocated area for 24 hours. As a relay event – your team can sub in and out players but someone must be walking for the duration of the event. This encourages great team spirit and would likely get some local press for your huge efforts.

Considerations: you could also do a 24 hour challenge or relay for another activity such as riding a bike, swimming or writing letters.


78. Over The Edge Event

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Sponsorships, Peer-to-Peer


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Over the Edge is an event where participants repel down the side of a tall building for a cause. Host your own Over the Edge event and get your participants set up with personal fundraising pages so their friends and family can easily donate prior-to and the day-of the event.

Here’s an example of how the Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois runs a massively successful Over the Edge event.


79. Dance Marathon

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Sponsorships, Peer-to-Peer


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Host a dance marathon event where teams must stay on the dance floor for the number of hours of your event. Each participant should set up a personal fundraising page. The more each participant raises, the more breaks and treats they get.

See an example from a high school’s dance marathon fundraiser here.


80. Bike-a-thon

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Sponsorships, Peer-to-Peer


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Host a biking event where participants sign up in teams to bike for an extended period of time. This could be done with stationary bikes or on a dedicated course.

Have participants sign up for a personal fundraising page to fundraise ahead of time. Teams that meet or exceed fundraising goals can be offered prizes or special perks.


81. Virtual Bike-a-thon

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Sponsorships, Peer-to-Peer


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Similar to a virtual race, you can set a virtual bike-a-thon! Set a date and time and encourage participants to bike outside for a certain amount of hours or miles. Have them keep track of their miles and times using a tool like Strava.


82. Swim-a-thon

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Peer-to-peer


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Similar to a 5k, a swim-a-thon is a great fundraiser for schools, swim teams, and churches.

Considerations: Partner with a neighborhood or city pool and recruit swimmers from nearby swim teams (research USA Swimming and your local YMCA to find swim team contact information), as well as your current donor base.


83. Work-a-thon

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Peer-to-Peer


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Engage your supporters in a full day-of-service volunteering for your organization or general community service. Have participants create their own personal fundraising page and encourage anyone they come across to give to the organization.

Considerations: Have volunteers wear branded t-shirts to stand out.


84. Gallery Showcase

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Drink sales, % of sales


Cost:
Difficulty:
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Partner with local artists to put on a gallery showcase to go along with a certain theme that ties back to your organization. Have attendees pay and entree fee, try to get a drink sponsor so you can keep funds raised from drink sales, and keep an online campaign open for more donations throughout the evening. You could even ask if artists could donate a portion of their art sales from the evening.

Considerations: This can be as upscale or relaxed as you’d like. Try engaging kids or local college students in the gallery showcase if you think that fits your audience better.


85. Host A Talent Show

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, General sale, Peer-to-Peer


Cost:
Difficulty:
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Your community has incredible talents, allow them to show them off while raising funds through ticket purchases, food, and beverages.

Considerations: Work with local schools, athletic groups, etc. to get families involved in the fun.

This can also easily work as a virtual fundraiser when you have participants submit a video and fundraise online ahead of your livestream.


86. Host A (Drunken) Spelling Bee

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, % of Sales, Peer-to-Peer


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Host a spelling bee and charge an entry fee. Consider having this event at a local brewery/bar/restaurant and have them donate a % of their profits for the evening.

You can have participants set up personal pages and fundraise online ahead of time.


87. Hunger Bowl Event

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Sponsorships


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Ask local artists to donate handmade ceramic bowls to your charity. Then, hold a soup dinner where proceeds go back to your organization. And, everyone leaves with a beautiful bowl!

Considerations: This is a popular fundraiser for organizations that work with food insecurity, such as MANNA Foodbank.


88. Ice Cream Social

How It Raises Money: General sale


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

In the heat of the summer, there’s nothing better than a bit of ice cream to cool everyone off. Host an ice cream social to bring people together and raise money.

Considerations: Don’t worry about going crazy with ice cream flavors, most people will be happy with vanilla and chocolate. However, don’t skimp on those sprinkles, cherries, and other toppings. The kids will love you for it!


89. Holiday Cookie Swap

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Sponsorships


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Host a holiday cookie swap for charity. You’ll need eager bakers willing to create dozens of their best cookies that’ll be traded with other participants.

Considerations: Turn your cookie swap into a holiday party. Purchase a few bottles of champagne, play some music, and taste some of the yummy treats with the other charitable bakers.


90. Karaoke

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Sponsorships


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

While it’s not for the faint at heart, karaoke definitely has the potential to lift the spirits and wallets of your donors. Along the way, everyone will be making a fool of themselves for your organization.

Considerations: Before you rent high-quality karaoke equipment, ask around to see if you can borrow a set.


91. Local Celebrity Appearance

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, General Donations


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Does your community have a local celebrity that makes special appearances? If so, get on his/her schedule.

Considerations: Comedians, musicians, television personalities, chefs- celebrities of every genre and caliber live all around the world. Work with your favorite local celebrity to host a unique celebrity appearance fundraiser.

This is easily moved to a livestream- like Zoom, which can reduce costs and help you raise more.


92. Photo Booth

How It Raises Money: Pay per activity


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Printed pictures are a rarity. Give your supporters an actual picture to take home with them at your next community event.

Considerations: You don’t have to go and rent a professional photo booth (although, that is an option). Instead, hang up some fancy wrapping paper and purchase some photo booth props at a party supply store. Then, grab a Polaroid camera and shoot away!

Donation Pages

fundraising-ideas-donation-pages

The donation page you accept funds through is one of the most important building blocks of any fundraising you’ll do.

You’ll want to ensure that it’s easy for your fundraisers to donate on any device (a mobile optimized page is really important!) and the page is designed to convert more donors.

You can incorporate these donation page ideas/best practices into any of the following types of fundraising ideas.


93. Upgrade Your Donation Page On Your Website

Considerations: Use CauseVox Donation Pages to easily set up a new embeddable, branded, and mobile-optimized donation page in 15 minutes so you can convert more donors and raise 2x as much.

How It Raises Money: Online


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Take a look at your donation page on your website. Is it branded, easy to use, and mobile-optimized? Does it keep donors on your website? If not, you’re leaving funds on the table. Update your donation page on your website to convert more donors and can raise more through your donation page by easily.


94. Use Donation Tiers (Suggested Giving Levels) To Drive Larger Gifts

How It Raises Money: Online


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Does your donation page on your website just have a blank box when it comes to selecting a dollar amount? If so, you can improve your gift sizes. Donors usually give less when you leave the amount up to them. When you give suggestions, they give more.

We’ve seen organizations that add tiers to their donation page increase their average gift size by $100. Create specific donation tiers and impact-driven descriptions so that donors understand how their donation makes a difference.

Considerations: A fundraising platform like CauseVox makes it easy to set donation levels for your campaigns and donation pages. To take it a step further, create different donation pages with tiers optimized for different segments of your audience: adjusting tiers that would be appropriate to send to donors who give over $250 annually.


95. Optimize Your Donation Page For Recurring Giving

How It Raises Money: Online


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Recurring donors give 42% more annually than one-time donors and they have a 90% retention rate, as opposed to one-time gifts.

Recurring donors are also easier to retain, and easier to upgrade. Give your supporters an option at every interaction to become a recurring donor + implement a strategy to upgrade existing donors to monthly giving.

Make you start to build a retention strategy for your recurring donors, including regular updates as to what their recurring donations is achieving.

Considerations: Use a tool like CauseVox that makes it easy for you to optimize for recurring gifts, such as placing recurring giving as the first option a donor sees, recurring-specific donation tiers to drive conversion, and automatic rescue emails to help you retain recurring donors when a card fails.


96. Add Your Donation Form To Email Signatures

How It Raises Money: Online


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

For an easy win, ensure that your donation form is linked in every email that goes out from your staff. Give all your staff and volunteers an organizational signature they can add to their emails – with a link directly to your donation page.

Here’s how to easily update your email signature in Outlook and in Gmail.


97. Email Giving Campaign

How It Raises Money: Online


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Create a series of 4-5 emails with a specific story and ask in mind, linking back to a branded donation page with specific giving levels with descriptions that correlate to your email ask.

Take a look at this email marketing guide and these fundraising email examples.


98. Have Donors Cover Transaction Fees With Donation Tipping

How It Raises Money: Online


Cost:
Difficulty:
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This idea is more about optimizing your online giving so you can raise more. All online giving involves credit card processing and platform fees, but if you give your donors the option, they’ll probably cover it (we see about 75%-95% of donors choose to do it!). This can ultimately help you raise thousands of dollars more every year.

Considerations: Use a platform like CauseVox to easily give your donors the option to cover transaction fees with a simple click. Check out these top donation page examples.


99. Take Advantage Of Company Matching

How It Raises Money: Online


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Many companies will match gifts their employees make. Collect your donor’s place of employment and follow up with them about accessing the match from their employer.

Here are 4 Steps To Kickstart Your Matching Gift Program.


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Sales

fundraising-ideas-sales

Selling something has been a traditional way of fundraising for nonprofits for many years.

Typically, sales coincide with a fundraising event, but we’ve broken them down here for you, which you can incorporate into a larger event.

Keep in mind: we generally recommend shying away from sales that aren’t aligned with your mission- try and keep whatever you’re selling mission-focused and ensure you have a high ROI.


100. General Ticket Sales

How It Raises Money: Online and/or offline


Cost:
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While we have a whole section dedicated to events, ticket sales are one of the ways your organization can fundraise for your nonprofit. Whether you’re putting on an in-person or a virtual event, ticket sales can help you offset the costs of putting on the event and help you fundraise at the same time.

You’ll want to ensure your ticketing process is seamless: whether you use a tool like Eventbrite or take a look at the new ticketing features coming soon to CauseVox.


101. Raffle

How It Raises Money: Online and/or offline


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Ask staff, supporters, and volunteers to donate gift cards, gifts, and money that will be raffled off.

Considerations: Ask local businesses such as restaurants, boutiques, and salons to donate items for the raffle. Sell tickets at your in-person event and online ahead of time, or all online for virtual events.


102. 50/50 Raffle

How It Raises Money: Online and/or offline


Cost:
Difficulty:
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The beauty of the 50/50 raffle is that is can happen anywhere- a sporting game, over lunch, or during around fundraiser. Considerations: Purchase a roll of tickets in bulk so that you can run this fundraiser every time you have supporters gathered together


103. Chain Restaurant Give-Back Nights

How It Raises Money: Percent of in-person (offline) purchase


Cost:
Difficulty:
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Many large chain restaurants have programs for nonprofits to partner & fundraise by donating a portion of their sales for the evening. Families get to enjoy a meal out, while supporting their favorite nonprofit or charity at the same time.

Typically, you’ll need to hand out flyers and encourage supporters to show staff on the night of your fundraiser.

For individuals not able to make it to your event but would like to donate, create an online donation page to capture those gifts.

Here’s a few of the top ones:

  • Applebee’s Pancake Breakfast: Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill will host a pancake breakfast fundraiser for your nonprofit or charity- you just need to provide the waitstaff! Considerations: Set your ticket price and factor in that Applebee’s takes $3 per person to cover food costs. It’s fun for the community and allows you to keep over around 70% of the funds!
  • Panera Fundraising Night: The more flyers passed out and redeemed at Panera, the higher your percentage back will be. For example, 0-19 flyers redeemed = 0% proceeds back. However, if 50 or more flyers are redeemed, your percentage raises to 20%.
  • Chick-fil-a Spirit Night: The Chick-fil-a Spirit Night is a good fundraiser for schools. Contact your local Chick-fil-a to schedule a Spirit Night event.
  • Chipotle: Chipotle’s fundraisers lets you keep 33% of profits. You can easily apply to host a fundraiser online.
  • Chili’s: Fill out a Chili’s Give Back Event form and return to your local Chili’s at least five weeks before your anticipated fundraiser.
  • On the Border Cantina: Host a Give Back Night with On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina. Participating orgs receive 20% of proceeds.

104. Local Restaurant Sponsorships

How It Raises Money: Percent of in-person (offline) purchase


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

You don’t have to just rely on popular chain restaurants to help your fundraising efforts. In fact, many of the local restaurants in your community are probably excited about partnering with your nonprofit or charity to bring in customers and make a difference.

Considerations: Work with the restaurant to choose a day/night. Be sure to leave enough time to advertise to bring in a big crowd.


105. Happy Hour

How It Raises Money: Percent of in-person (offline) purchase


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Partner with a bar to have a portion of sales go to your organization. Invite your supporters to come and meet you, your board, staff, anyone who has received your services, and other donors. Give them a special code to tell to the bartenders so they count their sales towards your organization.

Partner with a bar to have a portion of sales go to your organization. Invite your supporters to come and meet you, your board, staff, anyone who has received your services, and other donors. Give them a special code to tell to the bartenders so they count their sales towards your organization.


106. Name a Beer

How It Raises Money: Percent of in-person (offline) purchase


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Work with a local brewery to rename/create a unique brew for your organization, like United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County did.

Then, determine the percentage of sales that are donated back. Considerations: If your town doesn’t have a brewery, try a winery, or even a restaurant. For all you know, your “XYZ Organization” sandwich may be the hit of the summer!


107. Make Something/Craft Fair

How It Raises Money: Online and/or offline


Cost:
Difficulty:
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Your supporters have talents! Ask the artists and crafty members of your supporters to donate handmade items and/or services for sale.

Considerations: Try planning your “Make Something Sale” 4-5 months before the actual event to give your artists enough time to make their creations. Plus, it leaves your organization ample time to advertise.


108. Face Painting At A Local Family Event

How It Raises Money: Sales


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Face painting is fun for the whole family and a surprisingly lucrative fundraiser for your nonprofit or charity.

Considerations: Recruit an artist or two to set up a booth at a community event. Kids ALWAYS want their faces painted- and it’s a bonus for everyone when the money is going to a good cause.


109. Baked Goods or Lemonade Sale

How It Raises Money: Keep profits from sale


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Sell baked goods or lemonade for a good cause. Ask some of the families in your community to volunteer their time and baking skills for your organization. It’s a great way to get kids invested in your cause!

Considerations: Pair your sale up with a parade or another event that brings your community together to get in front of as many people as possible. Think about having Square or another card reader set up so you can easily take credit cards (since no one has cash these days).


110. Holiday Flower Sale

How It Raises Money: Keep profit from sale


Cost:
Difficulty:
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Sell poinsettias or wreaths during the holidays. Considerations: Purchase wreaths or poinsettias in bulk online or from a local nursery. Then, use your networks to sell them for a slight profit, like ASPEN does.

Check out Evergreen Industries’ fundraising options.


111. T-shirt & Apparel Sale

How It Raises Money: Keep profit from sale


Cost:
Difficulty:
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Apparel sales are just as much about making money for your organization as they are for awareness. After all, the more people wear gear with your logo, the more others will learn about your organization. Plus, this can be done in conjunction with an event to help you raise even more online.

Considerations: Compare prices online to find a company that matches your budget. There are some outlets that even allow you to order as you sell, which lessens the risk for your nonprofit.

We recommend doing your Apparel sale through Amazon Merch.

Nonprofits can sign up for an Amazon Merch account  — this gives you a custom t-shirt listing on Amazon.

Here’s an example of CauseVox’s t-shirts from the Digital Fundraising Summit.

Benefits:

  • Fast prime shipping.
  • Individuals can order their own shirt. Amazon handles the order fulfillment and any returns if the sizing is incorrect.
  • Easy to use Amazon.

Approvals for a Merch account take a few weeks, but in some cases a few months. Plan and apply early! Once you have an account, you can upload a design. It’ll take a few days for it to be approved. You’ll get a link to your product like this. Then you can order a shirt sample to see if you like the quality.


112. Silent Auctions

How It Raises Money: Keep profit from sale


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Ask local businesses to donate items or services and instead of having an auctioneer, have your supporters write their bid for the item on paper. Whoever bids the most takes home the item! To maximize results, have a minimum bid for each item.

Considerations: As an alternative, try hosting a silent auction online, no in-person event required!


113. Talent Auction

How It Raises Money: Keep profit from sale


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Your supporters hold a variety of jobs from accountant to local shop owners to hairdressers. Ask them to donate a coupon or voucher for their services in-kind that can be auctioned off for your cause.

Considerations: You can choose to host an online auction or hold an in-person event.


114. Mentor Auction

How It Raises Money: Keep profit from sale


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

If you have some very successful ambassadors, board members or philanthropic donors – consider asking them to give away one hour of their time for a “mentoring session.” You can auction off the mentoring sessions either online or at an event and the highest bidder will win a session with the mentor of their choice.

Considerations: Try to have a few mentors from different industries, having some big names on the bill will provide some additional media opportunities and help build the mentor’s association with your charity.


115. Cookbook

How It Raises Money: Keep profit from sale


Cost:
Difficulty:
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Ask your supporters to submit their favorite recipes to be placed into your organization’s cookbook. Then, sell those cookbooks to friends, family, supporters, etc.

Considerations: Cookbooks make great holiday gifts, so plan to have the books available well before November rolls around. For those of you that don’t want to make a physical copy (that can get expensive), consider putting together an ebook by compiling everything in one simple pdf.


116. Children’s Books

How It Raises Money: Keep profit from sale


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

If your charity works with children, consider developing a series of children’s books where they either write or illustrate the story. These books can be printed and sold online or at events to generate funds and raise awareness for your cause.

Consideration: This works well when the children you select to write the story have an affiliation with what your charity does, and they can tell the story of your cause firsthand. It may require a lot of work to find the right story, but if done effectively it can become of your “evergreen” pieces.

For those of you that don’t want to make a physical copy (that can get expensive), consider putting together an ebook by compiling everything in one simple pdf.


117. Register with Grocery Stores/Cash Back

How It Raises Money: Percent of sales


Cost:
Difficulty:
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Many grocery and chain stores, such as Target and Kroger/Harris Teeter, and Walmart, give a percentage of sales back to their communities.

Considerations: Jot down all the stories in your community and do a bit of research. Sometimes, you may just need to apply for a donation in-person or by letter from the company. Other times, customers will have to register online to designate their percentage to your organization.


118. Vehicle Donation

How It Raises Money: Other


Cost:
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It isn’t worth simply tossing an old car to the junkyard when it can be turned into a donation to support your cause.

Considerations: Registering with a company such as Car Donation Wizard or V-DAC will help with the collection, payment, and paperwork.


119. Kendra Scott Gives Back

How It Raises Money: Percent of online purchase


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Kendra Gives Back community-giving program allows community members to host in-store events for causes that work to improve health & wellness, education, and entrepreneurship. Organizations receive 20% of proceeds.

Considerations: Organizations must apply online. For individuals not able to make it to your event but would like to donate, create an online donation page to capture those gifts.


120. Holiday Gift Wrapping

How It Raises Money: Suggested donations


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Wrap presents to support your nonprofit or charity!

Considerations: It’s common for large stores such as Walmart and Target to donate supplies to nonprofits and charities. Write up a request and speak to a manager before fronting the cost for wrapping supplies.


121. Local Drink Sales

How It Raises Money: Keep profits from sale


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Does your community host a holiday festival, farmer’s market, or another event that brings people together? If so, it’s a great opportunity for you to set up shop and sell drinks. Whether it’s hot apple cider, hot cocoa, lemonade, or something a little stronger (with the right permits), you can sell drinks to raise funds. This is a great volunteer-lead fundraising effort.

Considerations: Borrow or rent an insulated beverage dispenser (or two) from a local restaurant or catering company for hot drinks.


122. Scratch Cards

How It Raises Money: Funds donated


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Fundraising scratch cards are like playing the lottery- for charity! Personal fundraisers ask supporters to scratch off sections of the fundraising card (as many as they’d like) and collect the funds from that donor.

Considerations: Scratch-off cards vary in cost, but most average around $5 per card. A quick Google search for “Fundraising scratch card” provides you with ample options.


123. Car Wash

How It Raises Money: Keep profits from sale


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Wash cars to raise money for your nonprofit or charity.

Considerations: A location, access to water, and advertising are your biggest concerns here. Also, advertise a suggested donation (such as $10 per car.) Plan to take both cash and credit using an online donation page.


124. Fundraising Cards

How It Raises Money: General sale


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

There are many companies, both nationwide and local, that create fundraising cards, which are sold in exchange for a donation.

Considerations: Your nonprofit or charity may be responsible for finding offers to put on the card. Popular fundraising card suppliers include XtramanFundraising and Easy Fundraising Cards.


125. Change (Penny) Drive

How It Raises Money: Donations made at point of sale


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Put these coin collection jars around town. Ask about setting them up in locations like town hall, library, restaurants, and other businesses (with permission, of course). You’ll be amazed at how quickly the change adds up.

Considerations: Your “container” can be anything from a cardboard box to a plastic container. Don’t forget to add your logo/branding!


126. Amazon Smile

How It Raises Money: Percent of online purchase


Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Encourage your supporters to link their Amazon accounts up to your nonprofit. Your organization will get 0.5% back for every eligible purchase.

Considerations: Head to the Amazon Smile organization page to get registered.


Crowdfunding

fundraising-ideas-crowdfunding

Crowdfunding has become the general term used for any time-based and goal-oriented online fundraiser.

Leaning into crowdfunding as a digital fundraising strategy has proven to help you drive urgency around donations and help you raise more online.


127. Online Crowdfunding Challenge

How It Raises Money: Online


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While there’s no guarantee that a challenge you start will go viral like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge did, online challenges are all still worth a try!

Challenge your supporters to record themselves doing something crazy (yet safe, of course). If they accept the challenge, they send your cause a small donation. If they don’t accept, the donation is even larger! Make sure they tag their friends to do the challenge next.

Considerations: Work with your supporters to find a fun challenge that can easily be recreated and filmed by more people as they get involved. Ensure you have a crowdfunding site that’s designed to be high-performing so you get optimal results.


128. Project Crowdfunding

How It Raises Money: Online


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Select a particular project or program and raise funds for it with a crowdfunding page setting a goal in a short time frame. You can raise more funds with less effort by running your crowdfunding campaign on CauseVox.

Considerations: Amplify your crowdfunding through your social media followers and email addresses from your current supporters to spread the word about your campaign. Don’t forget to get your local media involved too.


129. Social Media “Takeovers”

How It Raises Money: Online, Sponsorships


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Ask a corporate sponsor or local community business if they would “donate their social media” to you one day of the year. Then, your team can post content throughout the day that links through to your organization.

Considerations: Have your high quality images and posts written ahead of time so you can make the most of the takeover!


130. Corporate Partner Crowdfunding Campaigns

How It Raises Money: Online


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Work with your corporate partners or local businesses to promote a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for one of your projects or programs. Create a co-branded page for your partner and provide it to them to promote through their channels.


131. Membership Drive

How It Raises Money: Online


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Does your organization have members? If so, use your next membership drive to also drive donations. While some members may just pay their annual fee, encourage your members to donate in order to cover new member’s fees.


132. Hashtag Campaign

How It Raises Money: Online


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Similar to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, create a specific hashtag in relation to a specific photo you want your supporters to share. Challenge them to tag a certain number of people to share or donate.


133. Social Media Blitz

How It Raises Money: Online


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Inundate your social media followers with messages about a day-long online fundraising campaign.

Considerations: Let your supporters know ahead of time that you’ll be running a one-day fundraising blitz. On the day of the event, plan special images, videos, and stories that will encourage your audience to make a donation online.


134. Awareness Giving Day

How It Raises Money: Online, Sponsorships


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If there is a special date or anniversary related to your cause – make it an annual giving day or month! This can drive urgency for your campaign. Ask your donors to donate within a specific time frame and track the number of donations that come in. Awareness giving days/months work best when you can combine them with a matched gift from a corporate sponsor – for example “donate on our giving day and have your donation matched!”.

Considerations: Use an online campaign page such as one by CauseVox to track both online and offline donations against your target.


135. Matching Donors/Donations

How It Raises Money: Online, Sponsorships


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Matched campaigns can help you raise up to three times more than an appeal ask. Matching giving allows your donors to have a greater impact with their donations and it builds urgency and community around your cause and makes them more likely to donate, and donate higher amounts.

Considerations: Ask for your board, major donors, or a corporate sponsor to participate in the match. Even matching gifts up to a certain amount or for a specific time frame can greatly increase donation. Here’s our tips on how to promote your match to your audience.


136. Progress Bar Campaign

How It Raises Money: General donation


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Use a progress bar to visually track your crowdfunding campaign. This is a great idea if you have a centrally located, visible office. Or, ask your town if you can set up a jumbo progress bar/thermometer at a popular location such as a park or street corner.

Considerations: Use a progress bar in conjunction with another fundraiser, such as a penny drive, bottle donation collection, or fundraising cards.


Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

fundraising-ideas-peer-to-peer-fundraising

Peer-to-peer fundraising builds on crowdfunding by adding an additional layer: your participants sign up underneath your crowdfunding campaign to fundraise on your behalf.

At CauseVox we see nonprofits raise twice as much with peer-to-peer fundraising as they do with just a crowdfunding campaign.

You can incorporate peer-to-peer into year-end and annual fundraising, events, virtual events, birthday fundraisers, and so much more, or simply run a peer-to-peer campaign on it’s own.


137. General Peer-to-Peer Fundraiser

How It Raises Money: Online, Peer-to-Peer


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Set a time-frame and a fundraising goal, and create a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.

Ask your supporters to set up a personalized fundraising page and promote via email and social media to fundraise for your cause.

Learn more about building your peer-to-peer fundraiser with CauseVox.


138. GivingTuesday

How It Raises Money: Online, Peer-to-Peer


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GivingTuesday is a great opportunity for your nonprofit to rally your community around a day of giving. Typically landing right at the start of the giving season, you can use GivingTuesday to kick off your year-end fundraising. Instead of doing a typical GivingTuesday crowdfunding campaign, get your community to raise funds on your behalf. This can help you cut through the noise and stand out beforehand and day-of.

Considerations: Make sure you have an easy to use peer-to-peer or crowdfunding campaign set up to receive donations. Here’s our GivingTuesday planning guide to help you get started.


139. Board Member Campaigns

How It Raises Money: Online, Peer-to-Peer


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Your board members are a fundraising powerhouse you may not be tapping. Ask your board members to create a personal fundraising page to share with their colleagues, friends, and family. Have your board work towards a common goal in short timeline.

Considerations: If you’ve never done peer-to-peer fundraising before, this is a great way to get started!


140. School Clothes Challenge

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Peer-to-Peer


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This one’s great for schools! Ask students, faculty, and staff to wear something fun or funky for a week to raise funds for your cause. Charge an entry fee and/or instruct students to fundraise throughout the week.

Considerations: If you’re at a loss for wacky clothes ideas, try a theme week! Each day of the week can correspond with a different decade (50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s), environment (jungle, space, desert, north pole, beach), etc.


141. “Ask me why I’m wearing this”

How It Raises Money: Online and offline donations, Peer-to-Peer


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It might be a school dress, a painted fingernail or a Little Black Dress – create a challenge where participants must wear an item of clothing for 5-14 days straight. Participants can raise money through sponsorship and peer to peer fundraising, all while raising awareness and opening up conversations about your cause.

Considerations: make sure the item of clothing is something that stands out!


142. Corporate Partner Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaigns

How It Raises Money: Online, Peer-to-Peer


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Engage with your corporate partners or local businesses to engage their employees through an employee giving campaign.


143. Donate Your Birthday

How It Raises Money: Online, Peer-to-Peer


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Ask your supporters to “donate their birthday” – instead of asking their friends and family for presents this year, they can ask them for donations to your cause.

Considerations: Make it easy for your supporters to set up a personal fundraising page that their friends can donate to easily.


144. Donate Your Wedding

How It Raises Money: Online, Peer-to-Peer


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Ask your supporters to “donate their wedding” or “baby shower” – instead of asking their friends and family for presents this year, they can ask them for donations to your cause.

Considerations: make it easy for your supporters to set up a donation page that their friends can donate to easily.


145. Donate Your Christmas

How It Raises Money: Online, Peer-to-Peer


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Ask your supporters to “donate their Christmas” – instead of asking their friends and family for presents this year, they can ask them for donations to your cause.

Considerations: make it easy for your supporters to set up a donation page that their friends can donate to easily.


146. DIY Fundraising

How It Raises Money: Online, Peer-to-Peer


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Set up a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign that’s open year-round to anyone who wants to fundraise on your behalf. Whether it’s a physical challenge or life event, make it easy for them to set up personal fundraising page anytime.

Considerations: Add a “Fundraise” option on your website and link to your online peer-to-peer campaign.


147. Jeans Day

How It Raises Money: General Donations, Peer-to-Peer


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Encourage a corporate partner to allow employees to dress down on Fridays for a good cause. Have employees make a donation to participate.

Considerations: Make it a weekly or monthly event and collect monthly donations. You’ll be amazed at how much people are willing to pay to wear jeans!


148. Outrageous Bet For Charity

How It Raises Money: Sponsorships, Peer-to-Peer


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Do you have supporters willing to go the distance to show their passion for your cause? If so, then consider daring them to perform an outrageous bet for charity. They can camp on the roof of your building or dye their hair a funky color- as long as it’s outrageous!

Considerations: Promote these outrageous bets on social media to maximize your exposure to bring in more sponsorships.


149. Food Ration Challenge

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Peer-to-Peer, Sponsorships


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If your nonprofit or charity works to help alleviate poverty or food insecurity, then use a symbolic fundraiser such as “Skip a Meal” to raise funds and awareness for your cause. There are also more extreme challenges that can be done, such as “living of $2 a day for a week” or “living off rations that a refugee receive.”

Considerations: Have participants set up online personal fundraising pages using a peer-to-peer fundraising platform like CauseVox to raise funds and post blog updates about their experience.


150. March Madness Bracket

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Peer-to-Peer


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People around the world tune in to the annual extravaganza that is NCAA March Madness. Capitalize on March Madness’s popularity by creating a basketball bracket fundraiser.

Considerations: Avoid cash payouts for bracket winners (which is illegal in most states). Instead, offer coupons for services (salon, free babysitting, etc.).

***Note that, in most states, it is illegal to bet on sports games. Therefore, you must CHECK LOCAL LAWS before proceeding with any sports betting fundraiser. You may be able to proceed with your fundraiser if you offer your winners another incentive in lieu of cash such as a voucher for services or raffle ticket.


150. Photo Sharing Challenge

How It Raises Money: Online, Peer-to-Peer


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Have participants share a photo on social media with a photo of themselves related to your cause. For example, Volo City Kids Foundation had their supporters change their Facebook profile picture to their favorite photo of themselves as a child and shared the link to their personal fundraising page on CauseVox. This drew attention from friends and family, and drove donations.

Considerations: Think about what kids of photos you can tie back to your mission, and to best drive donations, make sure your community has a personal fundraising page set up to share with their photo.


151. Minimum Fundraising Amount

How It Raises Money: Online, Peer-to-Peer


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Set a “minimum amount” for fundraisers to raise when they sign up to a peer to peer fundraising campaign. This can helps set the bar for what you expect, and gives your fundraisers a clear target to aim for – and hopefully excel!

Ready to take your peer-to-peer fundraising to the next level? Download the free ebook, The Ultimate Guide To Peer-to-Peer Fundraising:

+ Learn more about building your peer-to-peer fundraiser with CauseVox.


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