200 Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits: The Ultimate List for 2023

Choosing the best fundraising idea for your nonprofit, school, or organization is sometimes difficult. Here’s one epic list so you can easily find fundraising ideas that are proven to work.

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

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

Top Fundraising Ideas

If you don’t have time to scroll through all 200 proven fundraising ideas on this list, don’t worry. We’ve assembled the top five best ideas here. One is bound to work for your organization.

  1. 5K Run/Walk: In-person or virtually, your supporters will love the chance to help you raise money with a 5K. These fundraising events are so successful that thousands of nonprofits across the country host this type of event annually. In addition to general donations, a 5K can bring in revenue from entry fees and sponsorships. Our top tip: raise even more money from your 5K by encouraging participants to start their own personal fundraising pages.
     
  2. Recurring Giving: Start a recurring gift campaign to maximize your fundraising potential. The benefits are obvious. Recurring givers will donate 42% more per year on average. With an optimized donation page, you can easily bring in recurring donations and watch your monthly giving program grow.

  3. Ticket Sales: Tickets are a great way to bring in extra revenue for events. CauseVox makes ticketing easy with an all-in-one approach. You can sell tickets, bring in donations, and present event details in one convenient location. If you’re worried about the added stress of including event tickets in your event, here’s a free guide with everything you need to consider.

  4. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: Peer-to-peer fundraising is one of the most effective fundraising methods for nonprofits today. Your supporters can advocate on your behalf and raise funds for your mission. Learn how you can get started with a peer-to-peer campaign today!

  5. Pledge Now, Pay Later: Pledge Now, Pay Later is an exciting new feature from CauseVox. Bring in larger donations from the same donors by offering them the opportunity to pay in regular installments. 83% of donors we surveyed reported that they would give more and more often if they could pay in installments.

Events And Virtual Events

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

Events are great opportunities to use peer-to-peer fundraising, sponsorships, ticket sales, or any combination of these three strategies to maximize your fundraising potential.

[If you’re still socially distancing, check out our full list of virtual fundraising ideas for nonprofits]


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.

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The Northern Colorado Down Syndrome Association Hosts An Annual Walk Fundraiser

2. Host A Marathon

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


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Raise money by having your supporters run 26.2 miles for your cause.

Considerations: Many towns and cities have popular routes for “rent” that go through parks and city streets. Call 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 does.

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Volo Kids Raises Money For Their NYC Marathon Team

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 treadmills. You’ll want people to sign up, potentially pay a registration fee, and have a date and time where everyone runs simultaneously, but on their own.

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

Here’s how to plan a virtual walkathon.

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CBM Hosts A Virtual Walk-Run-Bike-Athon For Their Supporters

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.

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Bigger Than The Trail Encourages Their Donors To Reach A Fundraising Goal, Rather Than A Literal 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.

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

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Yoga Fundraisers Are A Great Way To Get Your Supporters Active And Excited

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 a 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.

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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.

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Bring Your Donors Together To Fundraise With A Hike Or Climb!

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 for fundraisers to share their personal fundraising page with their friends and family, and keep people connected.

Considerations: Let your participants track their progress with an Activity Metric right on their CauseVox giving site!

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Postpartum Support International Hosts An Annual ClimbOut Virtual Hike To Raise Awareness and Funds

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 and workout for a cause.

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Team Endure To Cure Participates In Athletic Challenges Around The Globe To Raise Funds For Children With Cancer

10. Gala

How It Raises Money: Sponsorships, Entry Fee


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Considerations: Host a fancy dinner with a night of programming that helps educate attendees about your cause. Create VIP tables at increased ticket prices to elevate the status of larger donors. Raise funds throughout the night with an online fundraiser, perhaps adding in an auction to boost donations.

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Mentor New York Hosts An Annual Award Gala With Tickets And An Opportunity To Give

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.

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Woven Health Clinic Celebrates Community With A Virtual Giving Event and Award 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.

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Girls Inc. Hosted An Ungala To Raise More With Less Effort

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 encourage attendees to donate to reach your goal by the end of the evening.

fundraising-ideas-cocktail-party

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 on Zoom, Google Meet, 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.

Considerations: Add a soft ask to donate at the end of the session. Think about doing these on a monthly basis, and encourage monthly recurring donations.

fundraising-ideas-virtual-happy-hour

15. Livestreamed Event

How It Raises Money: General Donations


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

Considerations: Use Facebook Live, Youtube Live, or Zoom plus simulcast to Facebook and Youtube Live. Ensure you have a donation page or campaign set up and linked in the Livestream chat to drive donations.

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Livestreams Are A Great Way To Keep Your Community Engaged!

16. Webinar

How It Raises Money: General Donations


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

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

fundraising-ideas-webinar

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, then take them through the space via video.

This will help people still feel present and connected to your cause without needing to be there in person. This is a great practice for capital campaigns!

fundraising-ideas-virtual-tour
California Automobile Museum Hosted A Successful Capital Campaign With CauseVox

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.

Considerations: 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.

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Camp Health, Hope & Happiness Hosts An Annual Golf Tournament

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.

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Card Kingdom Hosted A Board Game Tournament To Engage Their Donors

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 as 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.

trivia-night-fundraiser

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.

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The Gauntlet Is An Annual Gaming Fundraiser In Seattle

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.

shave-head-fundraiser-fundraising-ideas

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 and raise funds.

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Testicular Cancer Foundation’s No Shave November Fundraiser Has Become A Nation-Wide Trend

25. Cold Water (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.

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Rotary Club of Athens Hosted A Polar Plunge For Their Community

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 sleep-out 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.

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Sleep-Outs Can Be Hosted In-Person Or Virtually

27. Hosted Dinner Parties

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


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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 livestream as well.

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Summit Assistance Dogs Hosted A Virtual Luncheon To Teach Their Donors About Their Mission

29. Virtual Conference

How It Raises Money: Entry Fee, General Donations


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Host a virtual conference event sometimes referred to as 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.

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

virtual-conference-fundraising-ideas
CauseVox Has Hosted An Annual Digital Fundraising Summit

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 or sell tickets.

paint-and-sip-fundraiser-fundraising-ideas

31. Virtual Paint And Sip

How It Raises Money: Entry Fee, General Donations


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

Have participants grab a glass of wine and join you on Zoom for a virtual Paint and Sip night.

Considerations: Schedule a call to action to make an additional donation.

fundraising-ideas-virtual-paint-and-sip

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 spin on 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.

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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.

Considerations: Ask wineries to donate a percentage of their sales for the day to your organization.

winery-tour-fundraising-ideas

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). Like the winery tour, consider asking the bar to donate a portion of their proceeds to your organization.

bar-crawl-fundraising-ideas

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 of selected wines. Ensure that each bottle is worth at least $10, and they should range in quality.

Sell tickets for $5 each or two for $10. Each ticket = one 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.

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

wine-pull-fundraiser
Wine Pulls Can Be A Great Way To Get Your Supporters Excited For An Event!

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.

cooking-class-fundraiser
Central American Resource Center of California (CARECEN) hosted a weekly virtual program to teach donors how to cook a quick and delicious dinner centered around Central American cuisine.

37. Art Classes


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How It Raises Money: Entry Fee, General Donations

Have an artist 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; they vary from one town to the next.

art-class-fundraiser
Bell Arts Factory Raises Money With CauseVox For Their Program Of Art Classes

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

art-sale-fundraiser

39. Art Installation

How It Raises Money: General Donations


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Create (or hire someone to create) an interactive art piece that helps donors connect to your cause. For example, play a recording of survivors telling their story through telephones that supporters can listen to. This helps raise awareness and personal connection 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.

art-installation-fundraiser

40. Create A Visual

How It Raises Money: General Donations


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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, the Detroit Black Farmer Land Fund created a visual contrasting land ownership between black and white residents to show their community the disparity between groups. This helped show the problem that they were addressing with their mission better than copy ever could. It inspired their community to give and informed them about the issue.

Considerations: This idea is all about awareness as you draw attention to the problem and associate your organization as part of the solution. Remember to add your contact information and, if possible, direct people to check out your website’s donation page.

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Detroit Black Farmer Land Fund Created This Powerful Visual For Their Fundraiser

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!

cooking-contest-fundraising-idea

42. Book Swap

How It Raises Money: Entry Fee, 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. Alternatively, you can start a book club with an entry fee.

book-swap-fundraiser

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.

pool-party-fundraising-idea

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. Then you’ll know how many volunteers and other resources you’ll need on the day of the sale.

yard-sale-fundraiser

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 for a food truck fundraiser on social media to maximize your efforts, like the Brackens Kitchen does on Facebook.

food-truck-event-fundraising-idea

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.

benefit-concert-fundrasier

47. Virtual Concert

How It Raises Money: Entry Fee, General Donations


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Bring musicians together to host a concert or mini-festival benefitting your organization. Ask people to purchase a ticket to view via livestream.

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

virtual-benefit-concert-fundraiser

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, cards, and markers/tabs you can borrow or rent.

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

charity-bingo-fundraising-idea
Bingo Extravaganza Supported Multiple Nonprofits With Sales and Donations

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, sell drinks, and let attendees know a portion of the jackpot goes right to your organization.

poker-night-fundraiser

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 even a professional football team, consider hosting a tailgate party fundraiser in the fall.For more information about how you can leverage a football tailgate into a fundraising opportunity, check out this article.

football-tailgate-fundraiser

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 Big League Impact.

charity-fantasy-football-fundraising-idea
Big League Impact Partners With Professional Athletes To Raise Money For Charity

52. Outdoor 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 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.

oudoor-movie-fundraiser

53. Movie Marathon

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 see if the theater would donate a percentage of ticket sales, and host everyone along for two or three movies in a row!

Considerations: Ask for free popcorn or drinks as sponsorship from the event, and you could ask for a themed movie marathon such as classic cinema, documentaries, or family movie selections.

movie-marathon-fundraiser

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 theater or procure your own space. Charge for admission and sell concessions for added revenue.

film-screening-fundraiser

55. Virtual Movie Night

How It Raises Money: General Donations


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Set up a virtual movie night with a 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.

netflic-watch-party-fundraiser

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.

obstacle-course-fundraiser
Orangewood Foundation Has Hosted An Obstacle Course To Challenge Their Donors

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.

carinval-fundraiser

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 (ideally 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.

dunk-tank-fundraiser

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.

santa-fundraiser

60. Haunted House

How It Raises Money: Entry Fee


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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.


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.

easter-egg-hunt-fundraiser

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.

zoo-fundraiser

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 campaign 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 for parents 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.

over-the-edge-fundraiser
The Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois Challenge Their Supporters With An Intense Activity

66. Driving

How It Raises Money: General Donation


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If your community loves cars and racing, consider hosting a driving event. This can be a great opportunity to give your supporters a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity while raising money for your organization.

Considerations: Racing can be dangerous! Make sure you are taking every safety precaution.

racing-fundraiser
The Kyle Larson Foundation Hosts a Drive for 5 Event

67. Cook-Off

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 cook-offs to support your cause.

Think through different types of cook-offs that would work in your community: for example, Chicken Wings, Chili, and BBQ are popular themes. Texas-based organization Meat Fight used CauseVox to raise money for multiple sclerosis research with successful barbecue-focused events.

Considerations: This is best if you’re located in a tight knit community. Cook-offs 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.

meat-fight-cook-off-fundraiser
Meat Fight Is Texas Barbecue For A Cause!

68. Croquet Tournament

How It Raises Money: Entry Fee


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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. Dahlia Lounge in Seattle hosts an annual croquet fundraiser with chef partner Tom Douglas.

croquet-tournament-fundraiser

69. Corn Hole Tournament

How It Raises Money: Entry Fee


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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.

cornhole-fundraiser

70. Scavenger Hunt

How It Raises Money: Entry Fee


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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. Let’s Roam, a company that creates unique scavenger hunts, offers special “Charity Fundraiser Scavenger Hunt” options.

scavenger-hunt-fundraiser

71. Ping Pong Tournament

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


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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 and add incentives.

ping-pong-fundraiser

72. Volleyball Tournament

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


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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 and add incentives.

volleyball-fundraiser
Hits for Hope ran a successful volleyball tournament crowdfunding campaign using CauseVox.

73. Games Tournament

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


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Think of this as an adult field day. Create a series of games that test different teams’ skills, endurance and smarts with a games tournament. Teams can compete in 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 it’s a fair contest for all.

games-tournament-fundraising-idea
The Gauntlet Is An Annual Games Tournament Fundraiser In Seattle Celebrating Its 8th Consecutive Year In 2022

74. Adventure Challenge

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


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


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Remember the show The Amazing Race?

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


76. Bowl-A-Thon

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


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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 to encourage competition between their 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. Have teams fundraise and compete to see who can raise the most.

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

bowl-athon-fundraiser
KPMG Hosts A Bowl-A-Thon To Engage Their Donors

77. 24-Hour Relay

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


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A 24-hour relay can be an all-in community or school event, where teams must walk around a track, oval field, or allocated area for 24 hours. As a relay event – teams can sub players in and out but someone must always be walking for the duration of the event. This encourages great team spirit, and you’ll 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.

draw-a-thon-fundraiser
Friends of Spare Parts Hosts a 12-Hour Draw-A-Thon to Engage Their Artistic Supporters

78. Over The Edge Event

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


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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 run a massively successful Over the Edge event.

over-the-edge-fundraiser

79. Dance Marathon

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


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

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

Austin Roundup Includes A Dance Marathon As Part of Their Drag Wars Event

80. Bike-A-Thon

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


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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.

Considerations: 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.

HOPE Worldwide Hosts An Event Where Supporters Can Walk, Run, Or Bike For The Cause

81. Virtual Bike-A-thon

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


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Similar to a virtual race, you can create 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.

virtual-walk-a-thon-fundraiser
Women’s Support Network of York Region Encourages Their Supporters Participate In A Run, Walk, or Bike-a-thon Virtually

82. Swim-A-Thon

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


Cost:
Difficulty:
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Similar to a Bike-a-Thon, or 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.

swim-a-thon-fundraiser

83. Work-A-Thon

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


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Engage your supporters in a full day of service as they volunteer for your organization or do 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.

work-a-thon-fundraiser
Pensacola Habitat for Humanity Hosts An Annual Women Build Event Where Female Volunteers Raise Funds and Awareness By Volunteering

84. Gallery Showcase

How It Raises Money: Entry Fee, Drink Sales, Percentage Of Sales


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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 an entry fee and try to get a drink sponsor so you can keep funds raised from drink sales. Keep an online campaign open for more donations throughout the evening. You could even ask artists to 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.

gallery-showcase-fundraising-idea

85. Host A Talent Show

How It Raises Money: Entry Fee, General Sale, Peer-to-Peer


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Your community has incredible talents! Allow them to show 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.

virtual-talent-show-fundraiser
Signasium Hosted A Virtual Talent Show To Bring In Donation

86. Host A (Drunken) Spelling Bee

How It Raises Money: Entry Fee, Percentage of Sales, Peer-to-Peer


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

Considerations: 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


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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. Everyone leaves with a beautiful bowl!

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

hunger-bowl-event-fundraising-idea

88. 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!


89. Holiday Cookie Swap

How It Raises Money: Entry Fee, Sponsorships


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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.


90. Karaoke

How It Raises Money: Entry Fee, Sponsorships


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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.

Donors to EarthRights International’s Campaign Could Select A song For Their Fundraiser To Sing

91. Local Celebrity Appearance

How It Raises Money: Entry Fee, General Donations


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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, and other 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


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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!


93. Host A Reading (Series)

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


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Get in touch with local writers who might be invested in your cause, and recruit them to read their work. Consider asking writers who might already volunteer with you, or who may have written books or essays relevant to your cause. Partner with a local venue–it could be a coffee shop, bar, auditorium, etc.–and sell drinks and concessions for additional revenue. If you have enough interested writers, you could do a monthly series.

Considerations: Ask the writers to share your mission on social media. You could also print broadsides of passages from their work to hand out or sell at the event. Use CauseVox’s Event Ticketing for the easiest way to integrate your event tickets and maximize your fundraising.


94. Pop-Up Neighborhood Concert

How It Raises Money: General Donations


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Take advantage of any musicians you have on staff, on your board, or as members of your organization or donor base, and ask them to host a pop-up concert in their front or back yard. Advertise the concert on social media, and encourage attendees to bring their own chair or blanket to sit on. Make sure you have a link to your donation page on all social media and advertising, and ask the musicians to plug your cause before the end of the concert.

Considerations: Check with your municipal government to make sure you have the correct permitting for an event like this.


95. Guest Speaker

How It Raises Money: Entry Fee


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Is there a local celebrity, well-known personality, or local expert in your community that believes in your cause and can speak to it? If so, plan a guest speaker event.

Invite the community by advertising on social media, print media, email, and direct mail. Encourage your own supporters to share the event with their friends and family. Charge a flat entry fee or suggested donation for attendees.

Considerations: For a low-cost event, make it a lunch and learn rather than a gala-type fundraiser. If you’re still working in a socially distanced situation, you can also host a speaker through a webinar to keep everyone safe.


96. Golf Marathon

How It Raises Money: Tickets & General Donations


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When the weather starts to warm up and the summer wardrobe is pushed to the center of your closet, you know that spring is right around the corner. And one thing’s for sure, many of your largest supporters want nothing more than to spend a morning on the golf course.

If you think your supporters will be interested in this type of event, work with a local golf course on pricing and dates (hint: most are very comfortable working with charities to run tournaments). 

Considerations: Ask local businesses to sponsor a team, or get people to fundraise to fund their participation like The First Tee of Greater St. Louis (hint: this is a great place to use CauseVox’s peer-to-peer fundraising capabilities). Oh, and don’t forget to look into “hole-in-one” insurance if you plan to give a prize for this accomplishment!

golf-marathon-fundraiser

97. Tree Planting Day

How It Raises Money: General Donation & Awareness


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Encourage your supporters to make a donation and give them a tree to plant in their yard as a symbol of their generosity. Donors love to receive tangible gifts in recognition of their support for a nonprofit. Give them the gift of a tree for making a donation and you’ll be spreading the seeds of awareness among everyone who sees it. 


98. Autographed Memorabilia Auction

How It Raises Money: Auction Sales


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Sports fans love to collect memorabilia from their favorite teams. As a nonprofit, there are probably several local sports franchises that would be willing to donate signed merchandise and memorabilia. Put together an auction of these items and your sports fan supporters will bid high, bringing in large contributions for your organization.

Considerations: A memorabilia auction will not appeal to all of your supporters. This strategy would be best for nonprofits with proven sports fans segments in their audiences.


99. Dog Wash

How It Raises Money: Donations For Service Provided


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Do you know that a large segment of your audience have dogs at home? Consider appealing to their love of pets and their generosity by hosting a dog wash. Charge a small fee for each dog wash. You can even supplement these funds with dog treats and toy sales.

Donors will feel connected to your organization if you show them that you share their interests. There’s no better way than with a dog wash to show your love for their furry friends.

Can Do Canines Hosts A Full Day Fundraiser Of Dog-Centric Activities

100. Pancake Breakfast

How It Raises Money: Tickets & General Donations


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Give your donors the gift of a delicious meal with a Pancake Breakfast event. With CauseVox all-in-one ticketing, you can sell event tickets, accept donations, and even allow peer to peer fundraising from one convenient fundraising page.

Considerations: Add activities like lawn games and speeches to your event agenda so that donors feel that they are getting the best bang for their buck.


101. Regatta

How It Raises Money: Registration Fees, Peer-to-Peer


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If you’re an organization that works with or around bodies of water, consider starting an annual regatta to raise funds. Several of your donors may already be sailors interested in racing. If so, take advantage of their enthusiasm and raise funds with a regatta.

Charge a registration fee and have teams set up their own peer-to-peer fundraising pages. The competitive element of this type of event will help you raise even more for your mission! 

regatta-fundraising-idea
Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating Hosts An Annual Regatta

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Donation Forms

The donation form 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 form is really important!) and that the form is designed to convert more donors.You can incorporate these donation form ideas/best practices into any of the following types of fundraising ideas.


102. Upgrade Your Donation Form On Your Website

How It Raises Money: Online And/Or Offline


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Take a look at your donation form 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 form on your website to convert more donors and raise more through your donation form.

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

integrated-donation-page-fundraising-idea
Operation Hope Embedded Their CauseVox Donation Page Into Their Website

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

How It Raises Money: Online


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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.

donation-tiers-fundraising-idea
Governor’s School For The Entrepreneurs Offers Descriptive Donation Tiers On Their Donation Form

104. Optimize Your Donation Form For Recurring Giving

How It Raises Money: Online


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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 and implement a strategy to upgrade existing donors to monthly giving.

Build a retention strategy for your recurring donors, giving regular updates as to what their recurring donations are achieving.Considerations: Use a tool like CauseVox and make it easy to increase recurring gifts. Consider placing recurring giving as the first option a donor sees, add recurring-specific donation tiers to drive conversion, and send automatic rescue emails to help you retain recurring donors when a card fails. You can even make monthly giving the default option with a dedicated recurring giving page.

recurring-giving-fundraising-ideas
Rez Refuge Offers Their Donors The Choice To Donate Once Or On A Recurring Schedule

105. Add Your Donation Form To Email Signatures

How It Raises Money: Online


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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.


106. Email Giving Campaign

How It Raises Money: Online


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

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

The Painted Turtle #GivingTuesday Email

107. Have Donors Cover Transaction Fees With Donation Tipping

How It Raises Money: Online


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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 percent of donors choose to do it!). This can ultimately help you raise thousands of additional dollars 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.

donation-tipping-fundraising-idea
Give Donors The Option To Add An Additional Percentage To Their Donations

108. Take Advantage Of Company Matching

How It Raises Money: Online


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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.

company-matching-fundraising-ideas
First Tee – Augusta Asks Their Fundraisers And Donors To Take Advantage Of Company Matching

109. Donation Match Drive

How It Raises Money: Matching Donations


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Leverage your donor’s donation with a match. This is a simple, efficient, and enticing creative charity event idea to encourage people to give. On your CauseVox page you can highlight that match in your header image to make it even more obvious to donors.

To start, check Double The Donation’s website for a list of some of the largest gift matching companies.

Or, do the work yourself. Talk with major donors, your board, or local businesses that may be able to match donor dollars during a specific time frame or possibly even the entire campaign. A group of generous donors did just that for the Testicular Cancer Foundation, matching $125,000.

donation-match-drive-fundraising-idea

110. Pledge Donations

How It Raises Money: General Donations


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Outcome:

CauseVox lets you offer your donors the chance to Pledge Now, Pay Later. This feature allows supporters to commit to a large gift and pay in smaller, easily manageable installments. Although pledge donations and recurring gifts both feature scheduled payments, Pledge Now, Pay Later payments are considered a payment method for one large gift, rather than a monthly gift of a smaller amount. 

With CauseVox, you can add pledge donations directly to your donation page. Let donors increase their gift size with pledge donations! Learn more about our Pledge Now, Pay Later tool here.

Pledge Donations With A CauseVox Giving Page

111. Allow Mobile Wallets

How It Raises Money: General Donations


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In today’s world, it is crucial that your donation page is mobile-optimized. Donors are more likely to visit your website on their phones and tablets than their desktops. You can make their mobile experience even more convenient by allowing them to pay via mobile wallet. 

With 54% of consumers using a mobile wallet, this feature is a must-have for nonprofits looking to optimize their donation pages. And this option will only become more important in the future. There is a 50% estimated growth in mobile wallet usage between 2020 and 2025.

mobile-wallet-fundraising-idea

112. Direct Email Appeal

How It Raises Money: General Donations


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Never underestimate the value of a simple email appeal. Appeals can be leveraged for just about any purpose, but they are especially important for sharing your donation page.

As you write your next appeal, focus on these three key elements: story, education, and inspiration. The story will draw your audience in and connect them emotionally to your organization. Make sure that your appeal educates them about how they can help. And inspire them to take a specific action, like clicking on your donation page link.

For more information about writing a winning appeal, check out this article.

Meat Fight Includes Specific Information In Their Appeal To Show Their Donors Their Impact

113. Donation Kiosks at Events

How It Raises Money: Event Donations


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The cardinal rule of every fundraising event is to avoid leaving money on the table. The best way to ensure that your audience donates is to make it as easy as possible for them. Consider adding donation kiosks to your next event so that donations are just a swipe or tap away.

Donors will be more likely to give if they can simply charge their credit card, rather than having to fill out an online form. So add donation kiosks at your next event to make it fast and easy for them to give.


114. Video Appeals

How It Raises Money: Increases Gift Size


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Add a video appeal to your donation page to increase your average gift size. It’s much easier to communicate the impact of a gift with video footage. Consider making a video appeal that speaks to the value of a donor’s gift.

Bring in your beneficiaries to tell their stories and make that all-important ask, and your donors will be even more inclined to give. Remember: your donors give because they believe in your mission. A video appeal may help you present that mission in a meaningful way.

video-appeal-fundraising-idea
Video Appeals Can Be Powerful Additions To Giving Pages

115. Include A Donation Form In Your Newsletter

How It Raises Money: General Donations


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Every nonprofit knows that communication is key! Chances are, you probably send out a monthly newsletter to keep your supporters engaged. But are you leveraging this newsletter to bring in donations?

Including your donation form (or a link to it) in your newsletter will keep your donors focussed on giving. 

Considerations: Make sure you don’t have too many calls to action in the same newsletter!

You Can Add A Donate Form Directly Into Your Newsletter

116. Donor Surveys

How It Raises Money: Donor Appreciation


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If your donation form is not working as well as you want it to, consider reaching out to your donors to get their feedback. There’s no need to guess what your ideal audience wants to see on your form. You can send them a donor survey to get this information first-hand!

Donor surveys won’t bring in gifts for your organization immediately. But they will make donors feel appreciated and part of the team, which may lead to larger donations down the road.

Considerations: Remember that communication with donors should feature one CTA. So don’t ask donors to give as part of a survey. They’re doing enough just by providing their feedback.


117. Bring Lapsed Donors Back

How It Raises Money: Reengaging Donors


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Do you have a long list of donors who used to give, but who no longer give regularly? We refer to these individuals as “lapsed donors” and they are a potential goldmine for your fundraising efforts. 

We recommend reaching out to your lapsed donors with the only CTA being to visit your donation form. There’s a good chance that they still feel passionate about your mission and may be willing to give. So what are you waiting for? Bring those lapsed donors back on board.


118. Be Branded!

How It Raises Money: Donor Engagement


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Donors want to have confidence that their donation will go directly to their organization of choice. So make sure that your donation page is branded with your logo and relevant graphics. Donors are 70% more likely to give again if they give on a branded page the first time.

With CauseVox, you can get started creating your branded donation form today!

Volo Kids Foundation Uses A Donation Page With Their Logo And Relevant Imagery

119. Publicize Acknowledgement & Donor Thank You’s

How It Raises Money: Donor Engagement


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Acknowledgement is crucial for all nonprofits. You probably already acknowledge all gifts that come in. But is this acknowledgement public or private?

By publicizing acknowledgement and thanking individual donors directly on your donation page, you will be showing other potential donors that your organization makes an effort to recognize their contributions.

Considerations: Be sure to get the donor’s permission before publicizing your acknowledgement and thank you.

The Dream Academy Publicizes Recent Donations On Their CauseVox Page

Fundraising Sales

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

How It Raises Money: Online And/Or Offline

Typically, sales coincide with a fundraising event, but here we’ve broken down different options 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.


120. General Ticket Sales

How It Raises Money: Online And/Or Offline


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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.

fundraising-ide-ticket-sales
Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating Sells Tickets For Their Annual Fundraiser

121. Raffle

How It Raises Money: Online And/Or Offline


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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.

See our 10 raffle ideas for nonprofits here!

Nido Raffled Off Prizes To Maximize Their Fundraising

122. 50/50 Raffle

How It Raises Money: Online And/Or Offline


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The beauty of the 50/50 raffle is that it can happen anywhere, whether that’s at a sporting event, over lunch, or during a fundraiser.

Considerations: Purchase a roll of tickets in bulk so that you can run this fundraiser every time you have supporters gathered together.

CauseVox Ticketing Makes Running A 50/50 Raffle Easy!

123. Chain Restaurant Give-Back Nights

How It Raises Money: Percent Of In-Person (Offline) Purchase


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Many large chain restaurants have programs for nonprofits to partner and 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 them to staff on the night of your fundraiser.

Considerations: For individuals not able to make it to your event but who would still like to donate, create an online donation form 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 money per person to cover food costs. It’s fun for the community and allows you to keep over around 70 percent 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 results in 0 percent proceeds. However, if 50 or more flyers are redeemed, your percentage rises to 20 percent.
  • 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 let you keep 33 percent 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 organizations receive 20 percent of proceeds.

124. Local Restaurant Sponsorships

How It Raises Money: Percent Of In-Person (Offline) Purchases


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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 or night. Be sure to leave enough time to advertise to bring in a big crowd.


125. Happy Hour

How It Raises Money: Percent Of In-Person (Offline) Purchases


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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.


126. Name A Beer

How It Raises Money: Percent Of In-Person (Offline) Purchase


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Work with a local brewery to rename or 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!


127. Make Something/Craft Fair

How It Raises Money: Online And/Or Offline


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

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


128. Face Painting At A Local Family Event

How It Raises Money: Sales


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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.


129. Baked Goods Or Lemonade Sale

How It Raises Money: Keep Profits From Sale


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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).


130. Holiday Flower Sale

How It Raises Money: Keep Profits From 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.

Check out Evergreen Industries’ fundraising options.


131. T-Shirt And Apparel Sale

How It Raises Money: Keep Profits From Sale


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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.

Amazon Merch Benefits:

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

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.

t-shirt-fundraising-idea
Lambda Theta Alpha Sold T-Shirts As Part of Registration For Their Event

132. Silent Auctions

How It Raises Money: Keep Profits From Sale


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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!See our silent auction tips here!

silent-auction-fundraising-idea
Silent Auctions Can Engage Donors And Bring In Revenue!

133. Talent Auction

How It Raises Money: Keep Profits From Sale


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Your supporters hold a variety of jobs, from accountants 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.


134. Mentor Auction

How It Raises Money: Keep Profits From Sale


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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.


135. Cookbook

How It Raises Money: Keep Profits From 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. 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.


136. Children’s Books

How It Raises Money: Keep Profits From Sale


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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 one of your “evergreen” pieces.

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


137. Register With Grocery Stores/Cash Back

How It Raises Money: Percent Of Sales


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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 stores 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.


138. Vehicle Donation

How It Raises Money: In-kind, Auction


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Don’t toss 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 will help with the collection, payment, and paperwork.


139. Kendra Scott Gives Back

How It Raises Money: Percent Of Online Purchase


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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 percent of proceeds.

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


140. Holiday Gift Wrapping

How It Raises Money: Suggested Donations


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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.

CarePartners Foundation Holiday Gift Wrapping Fundraiser

141. Local Drink Sales

How It Raises Money: Keep Profits From Sale


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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.


142. Scratch Cards

How It Raises Money: Funds Donated


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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.


143. Car Wash

How It Raises Money: Keep Profits From Sale


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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 form.


144. Fundraising Cards

How It Raises Money: General Sale


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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.

fundraising-cards-fundraiser-idea
Xtraman Fundraising Offers Cards For Any Event Or Initiative

145. Change (Penny) Drive

How It Raises Money: Donations Made At Point Of Sale


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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!


146. Amazon Smile

How It Raises Money: Percent Of Online Purchase


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

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

amazon-smile-fundraising-idea

147. Tutor-a-Thon

How It Raises Money: Registration Fees


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If your nonprofit serves a community with students at home, consider hosting a Tutor-a-Thon. Partner with teachers or other local educators and get them to donate their time for the cause. Parents can register for the opportunity to have their children tutored in various subjects over a predetermined period of time. 

Considerations: To make this a more exclusive event (and ensure that the tutor-a-thon doesn’t go too long), only offer a certain number of tickets for sale.


148. Fundraising Store

How It Raises Money: Online Sales


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Set up an online fundraising store to  offer donors merchandise such as T-shirts, water bottles, or any other branded items.Your donors will be incentivized to make a contribution with the knowledge that they will receive a gift in return. This is a great way to broadcast your brand to a wide audience.

Considerations: Make sure that the gift receipt that you send to donors acknowledges that some of their donation is not tax-deductible since they purchased an item.


149. Cookie Dough Fundraiser

How It Raises Money: Online or In-Person Sales


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Who doesn’t love cookies? Your supporters will appreciate your creativity with a cookie dough fundraiser. Offer them the chance to support your cause by buying pre-made cookie dough. 
Considerations: Offer different flavor options to broaden the appeal to your donors. Work with a cookie dough company that offers fundraising like Otis Spunkmeyer.


150. Checkout Fundraiser

How It Raises Money: Percentage of Sales


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Partner with a local business to run a checkout fundraiser. You can organize this in one of two ways. 

  1. Every time a customer makes a purchase, they will have the option to donate any amount to your organization. 
  2. A percentage of the sale is automatically donated to your organization at the end of the fundraising period. 

As a fundraising idea, this one is quite simple, but it can lead to high exposure and large donations if you partner with the right business.


151. Coupon Sales

How It Raises Money: Online and/or Offline


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If you have connections at several local businesses, consider partnering with them to create coupon books. You can then sell these to your supporters to raise funds for your organization.

Your donors will appreciate the chance to support your organization while getting great deals on products and services. Local businesses will enjoy the new business. And you’ll increase your fundraising. It’s a win, win, win!


152. Valentine’s Day Flower Sale

How It Raises Money: Online and/or Offline


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When love is in the air, so is the spirit of generosity. Consider starting a flower sale to raise money for your nonprofit. This is particularly effective as a fundraising idea around Valentine’s Day, when everyone is looking for flowers for their loved ones.

The method is simple! Partner with a local flower shop or purchase flowers wholesale at a discount. Put together bouquets and offer them for sale online or in-person to your donors.


153. Online Bake Sale

How It Raises Money: Online


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This fundraising idea is similar to the cookie dough sale, but requires you to add one extra step: baking! Set up an online store and create a menu of delicious sweet treats that either you or a supporter can whip up. Then send the link to your supporters and let them purchase baked goods that you can deliver to their door.

Considerations: You can also avoid having to set up an online store by simply using your Facebook page or a Google Form!


154. Teacher in Jail Fundraiser

How It Raises Money: Online Donations


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If you’re looking for a quick and easy fundraising idea for a school, consider a “Teacher in Jail” fundraiser. The premise is simple: students can raise donations to have their teacher placed in “jail” for a class period. Classes that reach the fundraising goal are rewarded with this fun and novel experience.

In addition to the funding that you will receive from donations, students will have a free period and teachers can use the time to catch up on grading. It’s a win, win for everyone!

Considerations: Make sure you have another activity planned for students during the time that their teachers are in “jail.”


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 been proven to help you drive urgency around donations and help you raise more online.


155. General Online Crowdfunding Campaign

How It Raises Money: Online


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CauseVox makes online crowdfunding easy with dedicated organization and supporter fundraising pages. Crowdfunding pages should be mobile-optimized, easily shareable, and simple to use.

Considerations: Make sure that your community understands the purpose behind your crowdfunding campaign. How does it connect to your mission?

online-crowdfunding-fundraising-ideas
Mojave Desert Land Trust Hosted An Online Crowdfunding Event With CauseVox

156. 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.

project-crowdfunding-fundraising-idea
Crowdfund For A Specific Project Like CASA of San Mateo County

157. 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!

social-media-takeover-fundraising-idea
Social Media Takeovers Can Be A Great Opportunity For Your Supporters To Feel Like They Are Part Of Your Organization

158. 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.

Motoa Enlists Both Individuals And Corporate Partners In Their Fundraising

159. 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.

A Crowdfunding Challenge Can Be A Great Time To Sign Up Members

160. 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.

The Kentucky Governor’s School For the Arts Used A Hashtag As Their Giving Event Title To Start A Trend

161. Capital Campaign

How It Raises Money: Online


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If you have a big project that needs funding, consider hosting a capital campaign. Capital campaigns are great for raising money for a specific purpose like a new building or new equipment. Your supporters will rally behind helping you meet a specific and measurable goal.

For more information about hosting a successful capital campaign, check out this article.

Considerations: Make sure that the fundraising goal and time period are widely publicized so that your donors know when and how to get involved.

capital-campaign-fundraising-idea
The Girl Scouts of North Carolina Coastal Pines Used Crowdfunding For A Capital Campaign

162. 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 or months work best when you can combine them with a matched gift from a corporate sponsor. For example, you can use language like “donate on our giving day and have your donation matched!”

Considerations: Use an online fundraising site like CauseVox to track both online and offline donations against your target. You can also extend your giving day into a giving week to bring in even more donations.

awareness-fundraising-idea
Volo Kids Foundation Hosts An Annual Awareness Week Fundraiser

163. 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 a typical appeal ask. Matching giving allows your donors to have a greater impact with their donations;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 total donation. Here’s our tips on how to promote your match to your audience.

matching-donation-fundraiser-idea
New Urban High School Raised Funds With A Matching Campaign

164. 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.

progress-bar-fundraising-idea
Orangewood Foundation Used A Progress Bar To Show Their Supporters How Close They Were To Reaching Their Goal

165. Personal Challenge

How It Raises Money: Peer to Peer 


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If time is of the essence and/or you lack the resources to manage an entire event yourself, there’s still a way to encourage people to get moving for your cause. A personal challenge is something any one of your supporters can do to raise money.

Encourage participants to choose a challenge they’d like to complete (anything from a self-chosen 5k to shaving their head, and all kinds of options in between). Then, they’ll set up a personal fundraising page and encourage people to give to fund the activity.

Considerations: Make sure you give your supporters everything they need to set up a winning fundraising page, including graphics, information, and messaging templates.

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Duradash Hosted A Successful Fundraiser By Enlisting Their Supporters With A Personal Challenge

166. One-Day Online Fundraiser

How It Raises Money: Online Donations


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If you’re on a fixed budget or timeframe, a one-day online fundraiser is one of the best charity event ideas for your organization. Use social media and email communications to publicize a day of giving to your community. Then, on the day of the fundraiser, watch as the donations roll in!

Considerations: Make sure 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.

Faith In Action Publicized A One-Day Online Fundraiser With A Social Media Blitz

167. Google Ad Grants

How It Raises Money: General Donation


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Successful crowdfunding begins with reaching a big audience of potential supporters and activating them to advocate for your organization. If you’re wondering how to reach new audiences, then look no further than the Google Ad Grant program.

Google generously offers grants of up to $10,000 per month in free advertising credit to qualifying nonprofits. The application is simple. Apply and you’ll be reaching new supporters in no time.


168. Chain Letter Fundraiser

How It Raises Money: General Donations


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Chain letters are a proven way of activating your supporters to bring in donations on your behalf. Send letters to your top supporters that include five or ten copies of your fundraising appeal. They can then reach out their contacts to bring in donations for your organization.

Unlike peer-to-peer fundraising, donors to a Chain Letter Fundraiser will be giving directly to your organization rather than through an individual fundraising on your behalf. In the letter, encourage your donors to give via your online donation page


169. Crowdfunding Phone-a-Thon

How It Raises Money: General Donations, Pledge Donations


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A phone-a-thon may seem like an old-school fundraising idea, but they can still be effective. All you need is a calling list of current or potential donors and a few volunteers who are willing to advocate on behalf of your organization.

Considerations: Phone-a-thons can be particularly useful if your audience skews older and appreciates the personal touch of a phone call.


170. Facebook Fundraiser

How It Raises Money: Online


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Did you know that you can raise money for your organization directly on Facebook? To start, make sure you are registered with Facebook’s charitable giving tools. As soon as you’re approved you can start raising funds through this channel.

One of the most popular ways to raise money via Facebook is to ask your supporters to host fundraisers on their birthdays. It’s a great way for donors to engage their communities and bring in donations for your organization.


171. Giveaway

How It Raises Money: Exposure


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Who doesn’t love free stuff? Giveaways are social media or online challenges that include a prize for the winner. Oftentimes, these are used to increase the brand awareness , social media followers, and/or email subscribers of a nonprofit.

When hosting a giveaway, make sure that the rules of entry are clear. You may ask your supporters to post photos from your event, tag you, make a donation, or any other actionable step. Then, draw a name randomly from the entrants and that’s your winner.

Considerations: You can give away one big ticket item like a set of golf clubs or car or several small items from local businesses. By partnering with businesses in the community, you can get your giveaway items donated.


172. Year-End Fundraising Appeal


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How It Raises Money: Online Donations

If you are trying to find ways to meet your annual fundraising goal before the end of the year, consider a year-end appeal. This is a great way to remind your donors of your mission during the season of giving and express urgency that will encourage them to make a donation.

This guide will give you everything you need to write a winning year-end appeal.

Considerations: Give your donors a specific time frame to make a donation – you can even send out a message on December 31st, asking donors to give by midnight.

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Project Renewal Used CauseVox For Their Year-End Appeal

173. Petitions

How It Raises Money: Donor Awareness


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Petitions are a good option for nonprofits that work with policymakers. These nonprofits usually have donors who are politically motivated and engaged. Circulating a petition gives them an easy opportunity to share the word about your organization with their social circles.

Although you won’t be using the petition to directly raise funds, it will lead to greater awareness and possibly bring in new donors once they learn about your mission.


174. Carolers

How It Raises Money: In-Person Donations


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Spread holiday cheer and raise money for your mission. Going door to door with a group of volunteer carolers during the holidays can be a great way to raise money. 

This type of fundraiser will work best if your donors live in a small and defined area. You can reach out in advance to let them know when you’ll be dropping in. Visit their homes and sing with a group of carolers while you raise money for your organization.


175. Giving Circles and Giving Clubs

How It Raises Money: General Donations


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Lots of nonprofits turn to giving circles or giving clubs to help them raise funds. These are groups of philanthropic individuals who gather to discuss where to direct their support. If you have the opportunity to present to such a group, you should take it! There’s no telling how much you can raise through a giving circle.


176. Multi-Channel Communication

How It Raises Money: Donor Awareness


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In order to find success with your crowdfunding, you need to engage a large group of supporters. Chances are, your donors have their own preferred communication channels. Some may prefer email, others phone or social media. 
To spread the word about your crowdfunding campaign to the widest audience, consider implementing a multi-channel communication schedule. Put out announcements on your social media channels, via emails, and over the phone.

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Multi-Channel Marketing In Action

177. Social Media Plan

How It Raises Money: Donor Awareness


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As with any campaign, it’s important to stay organized when you’re putting together a crowdfunding campaign. Regular reminders to your community will be necessary. So in order to stay on top of your messaging, consider putting together a social media plan.

A social media plan will help you put out the information your donors need when and where they need it.


Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Peer-to-peer fundraising builds on crowdfunding by adding another 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 its own.


178. 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 personalized fundraising pages and promote via email and social media to fundraise for your cause.

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

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An Example of A Peer-To-Peer Page With CauseVox

179. 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. 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.

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#GivingTuesday Is The Perfect Time To Inspire Your Donors To Fundraise On Your Behalf

180. 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 a short timeline.

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

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181. 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.


182. “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.

Organizations like Dressember specifically create pieces of fashion to champion mission-focussed fundraising.

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

Dressember Encourages Their Supporters To Wear An Article Of Clothing To Fundraise

183. Corporate Partner Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaigns

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


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

Innovation: Africa Enlisted Both Individuals and Corporations For Its Peer to Peer Campaign

184. 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 on which their friends can easily donate.

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Supporters Can Raise Funds By Donating Their Birthdays!

185. 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, they can ask them for donations to your cause.

Considerations: Make it easy for your supporters to set up a donation form on which their friends can easily donate.


186. 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 form on which their friends can easily donate.


187. 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 a personal fundraising page anytime.

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

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HOPE Worldwide Hosts A Year-Round Annual Fundraiser With Peer To Peer

188. 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!


189. 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.


190. 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 off $2 a day for a week” or “living off rations that a refugee receives.”

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.


191. 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.


192. Photo Sharing Challenge

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


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Have participants share a photo on social media related to your cause. For example, Volo City Kids Foundation had their supporters change their Facebook profile pictures 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 its photo.

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CBM Encourages Their Supporters To Share Photos On Their Fundraising Pages

193. 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 set the bar for what you expect, and gives your fundraisers a clear target to aim for and hopefully excel!

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Can Do Canines Publicizes Their Top Fundraisers Above A Minimum Amount

194. Give It Up Challenge

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


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Peer-to-peer campaigns work best with a theme or challenge that you can inspire your donors to complete. Their communities will rally behind them and support you in the process.

Encourage your donors to give up something they love. This could be chocolate, wine, or anything else that will be difficult for them to give up for a predetermined time frame. Your donors will create giving pages that explain why they’re participating in this challenge and raise funds for your mission.


195. No-Shave Challenge Fundraiser

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


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Many nonprofits have found success encouraging their donors to grow beards as a challenge that can be leveraged for peer-to-peer fundraising. This is a great way to grow awareness about your organization since the beard that your donors grow will become a talking piece for them to spread the word about you.

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A Peer to Peer Fundraising Page For Beard Patrol

196. Holiday Giving

How It Raises Money: Peer to Peer


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You can still take advantage of the season of giving without asking your supporters to donate their Christmas or Hanukkah for your cause. Launch a peer-to-peer campaign close to year end to bring in donations during the holidays when the spirit of generosity is in the air. 

Peer-to-peer campaigns work particularly well at year-end because your supporters will see their friends and family and have the opportunity to enlist them as donors. 

Considerations: The holidays are a busy time for everybody! Make sure your supporters have all the tools they need to succeed with a peer to peer campaign. The easier you make it for them, the more money they can raise.

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An Example Of A Fundraising Page Tailored For Holiday Giving

197. Video Submission Challenge

How It Raises Money: Peer-to-Peer


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Like a Virtual Talent Show, a video submission challenge involves encouraging your donors to post a video on their personal giving pages. These will be shared with their communities, bringing awareness and donations to your campaign.

You could ask your donors to submit funny videos or personal, heartfelt appeals. Whatever you think would have the highest engagement and bring in the most donations.

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You Can Embed Videos Directly Into A CauseVox Campaign Page

198. Trend-Setting Challenge

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


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The Ice Bucket Challenge was one of the most successful fundraising campaigns in history. Not only did it raise millions of dollars for the ALS Association, but it also dramatically increased public awareness of this illness nationwide.

You can try starting your own trend by encouraging your donors to complete some form of challenge as part of your peer-to-peer campaign. Then ask them to ask their friends to try the challenge. With a little luck, you might end up with as successful a campaign as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

Challenges And Clever Titles Are Essential For Trend-Setting Fundraisers

199. Donate for Dares

How It Raises Money: Peer-to-Peer


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How far are your donors willing to go to show their support for your mission? Set up a peer-to-peer campaign that asks donors to accept dares from friends and family. Each dare will correspond with a donation. As your donors complete the dares, you’ll watch as donations stream in.


200. Peer-to-Peer for Teams

How It Raises Money: Peer-to-Peer

Take advantage of some friendly competition and encourage your donors to team up for a peer-to-peer fundraiser. Each team tries to raise as much as they can throughout their own giving pages. We have found that allowing your supporters to team up relieves some of the pressure of fundraising individually and helps you reach more potential donors.

Considerations: Reach out to local businesses to procure a prize for the winning team.

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Powered by CauseVox, teams across the country raise funds for Pico National Network.

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