101+ Fundraising Ideas For Nonprofits & Charities

Choosing a fundraising idea for your nonprofit or charity is sometimes difficult. There are a lot of things to consider, from donor reception to your budget and estimated time commitment.

Sometimes, you need to run a quick and easy project to fund an immediate need. Other times, you must organize a creative fundraiser to bring in a lot of money over a longer period(an annual giving campaign, for example).

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

We’ve put together 101+ of these fundraising ideas into one epic list, each with a summary and information on how the fundraiser raises money, difficulty level, cost, and estimated fundraising potential. We want to make it easy for you to find a fundraising idea that is a best fit for your cause.

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Start your fundraiser outright (and make it easy on you and your nonprofit in the process) by trying out one of these 101+ fundraising ideas.

  Fun Fundraising Ideas
  Team Fundraising Ideas
  Quick & Easy Fundraising Ideas
  Free Fundraising Ideas
  Creative Fundraising Ideas

Fun Fundraising Ideas

Fun Fundraising Ideas

10,000 Steps Challenge

How It Raises Money: Sponsorships
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Team members pledge to walk 10,000 steps a day over a certain time frame (often a week or month) in exchange for sponsorships.

Considerations: There are companies that you can connect with to supply pedometers and manage the event, including 10000 Steps USA. You can also purchase pedometers online (in bulk) and have participants track their own metrics. To keep costs down, there are plenty of apps that count steps. Consider directing your participants to free pedometer apps like this one.


Book Swap

How It Raises Money: Entry fee and general sale
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

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.


Pool Party

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

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.


Community Yard Sale

How It Raises Money: General sale
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

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.


Food Truck Event

How It Raises Money: General sale
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

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.


Host A Concert

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

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.


Host A Marathon

How It Raises Money: Sponsorships
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

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.

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Swim-a-thon

How It Raises Money: Sponsorships
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.


BINGO

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, General sale
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

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.


Outrageous Bet for Charity

How It Raises Money: Sponsorship
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

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.


Movie Night

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

Invite your donors, volunteers, and potential supporters to a family movie night. This fundraiser guarantees a crowd!
How It Raises Money: Entry fee, General sales (concessions)

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.


Obstacle Course

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Sponsorships
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

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.


Peer-to-Peer Online Fundraiser

How It Raises Money: Fundraising
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Nonprofits and charities with supporters eager to do some fundraising themselves should consider running an online peer-to-peer fundraiser.

Considerations: To ensure a user-friendly interface, technical support, and safe payment processing, partner with an online fundraising platform.


Raffle

How It Raises Money: Sponsorships, In-Kind Donation, General Sale
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.


Carnival

How It Raises Money: Sponsorships, General Sale
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

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.


Dunk Tank

How It Raises Money: Pay per activity
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

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.

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Santa

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

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.


Haunted House

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

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.


Easter Egg Hunt

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

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.


Museum or Zoo Night

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

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, such as Discovery Place, generally have rental packages available to fit any budget.


Cold Water Plunge

How It Raises Money: Sponsorships, Entry fee
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

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.


Viral Challenge

How It Raises Money: Online fundraising
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

While there’s no guarantee that a challenge you start will go viral like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge did, there’s no time like the present to try! Challenge your supporters to record themselves doing something crazy (yet safe, of course). Try having them bob for apples or dance a jig, and then challenge their own friends and families to do the same. If they accept the challenge, they send your cause a small donation. If they don’t accept, the donation is even larger!

Considerations: Get your local media involved (newspaper, news channel) to spread the word.


Murder Mystery Dinner

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

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 or hire a professional company to do the legwork.


Babysitting

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

Parents are always looking for reliable childcare. If you have the space and folks 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.


Bar Crawl

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Other
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

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).


Skydiving

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

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.

Explore CauseVox's Online Fundraising Software

Phone-a-thon

How It Raises Money: General donation
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

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.

Team Fundraising Ideas

Team Fundraising Ideas

Board Game Tournament

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

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.


Fantasy Football

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

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.


Chili Cookoff

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

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

Considerations: Chili 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.


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.

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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.


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.


Ping Pong Tournament

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, sponsorships
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.


$100 Turn Around

How It Raises Money: Sponsorship
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Give fundraisers $100 for materials to create something (ex.a table, cake, piece of art) and have them sell it to raise funds.

Considerations: Ask around your community for businesses and individuals willing to sponsor the event (or a fundraiser or 2)


5K Run/Walk

How It Raises Money: Sponsorship, Entry fee
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

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.


Golf Tournament

How It Raises Money: Sponsorship, Entry fee
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

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.


March Madness Bracket

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

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.

Quick & Easy Fundraising Ideas

Quick Easy Fundraising Ideas

Project Crowdfunding

How It Raises Money: Online fundraising
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Come up with a project that helps your community and cause and raise funds for it with a crowdfunding page.

Considerations: Rely on your social media followers and email addresses from your current supporters to spread the word about your campaign.


Applebee’s Pancake Breakfast

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

Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill will host a pancake fundraiser breakfast 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!

Explore CauseVox's Online Fundraising Software

50/50 Raffle

How It Raises Money: General sale
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

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.


Online Auction

How It Raises Money: General sale, In-kind donations
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

An online auction of gifts and service vouchers is easy to run and manage.

Considerations: Check out some of the more popular online auction fundraising platforms out there, including Bidding for Good and Bidding Owl.


Holiday Gift Wrapping

How It Raises Money: Pay per activity
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.


Car Wash

How It Raises Money: Pay per activity
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).


Coffee Donation

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

Many workplaces offer free coffee for their employees and visitors, so talk with companies about setting up a donation jar. Coffee drinkers can be encouraged to drop .50 cents into a jar for each cup of joe, for example.

Considerations: Companies/businesses can purchase the coffee on their own dime.


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.


Bottle Deposit Donation

How It Raises Money: Other
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Does your state participate in a bottle redemption program? If so, encourage your supporters to donate their bottle deposit refunds to your nonprofit or charity.

Considerations: Instead of relying on your supporters to compile and hand in their bottle refunds every week or month, partner with the bottle redemption companies to collect on-site.


Giving Tree

How It Raises Money: General donation
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

This popular holiday fundraiser can be run year round. It’s an interactive fundraiser and something that many donors look forward to year after year.

Considerations: Set the tree up in your lobby or another public area to maximize exposure.


Text Donations

How It Raises Money: Pay per activity
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Modernize your fundraising with a text donation campaign.

Considerations: Work with a company like Mobile Cause to streamline the process.


Thermometer Fundraiser

How It Raises Money: General donation
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

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

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

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Change (Penny) Drive

How It Raises Money: General donation
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!


Panera Fundraising Night

How It Raises Money: Pay per activity
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Hand out flyers and encourage supporters to grab a meal at Panera on a specific night.

Considerations: 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

How It Raises Money: Pay per activity
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Similar to the Panera Fundraising Night, the Chick-fil-a Spirit Night is a good fundraiser for schools. Families get to enjoy a meal out, while supporting their favorite nonprofit or charity at the same time.

Considerations: Contact your local Chick-fil-a to schedule a Spirit Night event.


Yankee Candle Fundraiser

How It Raises Money: General sale
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Candles are an easy sell and Yankee Candle offers a great fundraising program good for schools, churches, and nonprofits of every size.

Considerations: Check out this handy calculator on Yankee Candle’s website to determine how many sellers you need to reach your fundraising goal.


Selling Trees/Saplings

How It Raises Money: General sale
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Tree saplings are an affordable and desirable item that your supporters will have an easy time selling.

Considerations: Purchase trees in bulk from a local nursery or the Arbor Day Foundation.


Hot Cocoa Sale

How It Raises Money: General sale
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Does your community host a holiday festival, winter farmer’s market, or another event that brings people together? If so, help community members warm their tummies by selling hot cocoa.

Considerations: Borrow or rent an insulated beverage dispenser (or two) from a local restaurant or catering company that holds the hot water.


Scratch Cards

How It Raises Money: General sale
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.


Restaurant.com Fundraising

How It Raises Money: General sale
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Sell discount restaurant vouchers with proceeds going to your nonprofit or charity through the Restaurant.com fundraiser.

Considerations: For more information on this fundraiser, visit the Restaurant.com fundraising page.


Skip Meals

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Sponsorships
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

If your nonprofit or charity works to help alleviate poverty or food insecurity, then use a symbolic fundraiser such skipping a “Skip a Meal” to raise funds and awareness for your cause.

Considerations: To amp up the funds collected, ask participants to gather sponsorships in addition to paying a small entry fee.


Lunch And Learn

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

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

Considerations: To save money, make it a “brown bag” lunch.


Local Restaurant Sponsorships

How It Raises Money: General sale
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.


Awareness Bracelets

How It Raises Money: General sale
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Build on the momentum from those LIVESTRONG bracelets by selling your own awareness bracelets as a fundraiser.

Considerations: You can find a number of companies online that sell custom silicone and plastic bracelets, including Rapid Wrist Bands and Reminder Band.

Free Fundraising Ideas

Free Fundraising Ideas

Company Match

How It Raises Money: Other
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Encourage donors to look into company matches at their places of employment.

Considerations: Check out Double the Donation for company leads within your own community.


Jeans Day

How It Raises Money: Other
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Encourage area businesses to allow employees to dress down on Fridays for a good cause.

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


Social Media Blitz

How It Raises Money: Online fundraising
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

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.

Explore CauseVox's Online Fundraising Software

Facebook Donate Now Feature

How It Raises Money: Online fundraising
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Use the internet’s most popular social media platform, Facebook, to bring in donations from page visitors.

Considerations: You can link your Donate button to your website’s donation page using this Facebook tutorial.


Amazon Smile

How It Raises Money: Other
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.


Box Tops

How It Raises Money: Other
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

The Box Tops fundraiser is ideal for schools and churches.

Considerations: Families with children are likely to collect a bunch of box tops after each trip to the grocery store. Distribute a list of qualifying items so that your collectors know what food to look for.


Prime Parking Spot

How It Raises Money: Pay per activity, Other
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Encourage employees in local workplaces to donate to your nonprofit or charity by encouraging the management to offer a great parking spot in exchange for raffle tickets or bids.

Considerations: For a steady stream of donations, ask local businesses to offer this fundraiser perk monthly.


Hug Booth

How It Raises Money: General donation
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Spread cheer and awareness while raising funds for your nonprofit or charity with a hug booth.

Considerations: Set your hug booth up during a community event such as a parade, carnival, or farmers market.


Register with Grocery Stores/Cash Back

How It Raises Money: Other
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

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.


Vehicle Donation

How It Raises Money: Other
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

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-DACwill help with the collection, payment, and paperwork.

Creative Fundraising Ideas

Creative Fundraising Ideas

Hunger Challenge

How It Raises Money: Sponsorship, Online fundraising
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

Fast for a day or weekend to raise funds about hunger.

Considerations: Set up an online fundraising page where participants can encourage sponsorships for the challenge.

Explore CauseVox's Online Fundraising Software

Workout Challenge

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Sponsorship
Cost:
Difficulty:
Outcome:

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.


School Clothes Challenge

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

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.

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.


Make Something/Craft Fair

How It Raises Money: General sale
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Ask your supporters to donate handmade items for sale or auction.

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.


Cooking/Baking Contest

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, General Sale
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Piggyback on a standard bake sale with a cooking or baking contest. Participants pay an entry fee to be considered for the 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!


Create A Visual

How It Raises Money: Other
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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.


Host A Talent Show

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, General sale
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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.


Art Sale

How It Raises Money: General 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!


Hunger Bowl Event

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Sponsorship
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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.


Name a Beer

How It Raises Money: Sponsorship, Other
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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!


Baked Goods Sale

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Sponsorship
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Sell baked goods for a “goods” 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.


Art Classes

How It Raises Money: Entry fee
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Schedule a time slot for a “wine and sip.” Or, 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.

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Grilling/BBQ Contest

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, General sale
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Host a BBQ contest and fundraise at the same time.

Considerations: For a BBQ contest, you’ll need a large space (like a parking lot), judges, and a whole lot of napkins. Ask your pitmaster participants to bring their own grills or smokers, or just tote their pre-cooked meats. Winner gets bragging rights, and all visitors get a huge plate of yummy meats and sides.


Ice Cream Social

How It Raises Money: General sale
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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!


Holiday Cookie Swap

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Sponsorship
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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.


Photo Contest

How It Raises Money: Online fundraising
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Have participants upload their favorite photo of them interacting with your cause. Then, viewers can pay a fee to vote for their favorite.

Considerations: Pay per vote fundraising companies are popping up online. Check out Votdo and 360 Photo Contest for inspiration.


Face Painting

How It Raises Money: Pay per activity
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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.


Holiday Flower Sale

How It Raises Money: General sale
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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.


Apparel Sale

How It Raises Money: General sale, Gifts-in-kind
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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.

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.


“Are You Smarter Than A…” Trivia Night

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Sponsorship
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If your nonprofit works with kids, then this is the fundraiser for you. Host a trivia night, such as one mirroring the popular show “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader…”.

Considerations: You’ll need to plan way in advance, hopefully with the support of the kids and the families that you work with. Here’s a great example of this fundraising event hosted by Children First/CIS. If your audience is of the millennial generation, talk with a local bar to take over their trivia night for your cause.


Ornament Swap

How It Raises Money: Entry fee
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Supporters bring 2 ornaments that will be swapped, white elephant style, at an ornament swap party. At the end of the day, everyone winds up with 2 new, unique ornaments!

Considerations: Provide food, beverages, and a festive atmosphere and use the event as a way for your donors to mix, mingle, and connect with one another.


Karaoke

How It Raises Money: Entry fee, Sponsorship
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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.


Local Celebrity Appearance

How It Raises Money: Entry fee
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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.


Shave Head

How It Raises Money: Sponsorship, Online Fundraising
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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.

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Grow a Beard

How It Raises Money: Sponsorship, Online fundraising
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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.


Photo Booth

How It Raises Money: Pay per activity
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Printed picture 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!


Talent Auction (Legal Services, Accounting, Housekeeping)

How It Raises Money: Online fundraising, Pay per activity
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Your supporters hold a variety of jobs, from lawyers and doctors to accountants and estheticians. 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.


Cookbook

How It Raises Money: General sale
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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.


Singing Valentines/Telegrams

How It Raises Money: Pay per activity
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Forget roses and chocolate. Give your supporters the chance to express their love with a singing Valentine.

Considerations: Have your staff and volunteers go out in groups to deliver these special messages on and around Valentine’s Day. If the event is successful, do it annually! That way, people will come to expect it (and count on it) year after year.


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