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Fundraising… It’s the question on everyones mind these days…

The reason being…? 

It’s pretty easy to find a good cause nowadays. In our informed day and age, we can see the need everywhere, and that’s a good thing!

fundraising online image
The more that things like online communication and awareness bring the world together, the more often we can pinpoint the pain others are suffering and do our best to fix help fix it!

But just being aware of the hurt around us doesn’t go very far in helping resolve the issue, does it? I mean, we can talk about it all day on social media and not really get much done.

That’s why fundraising is a vitally important part of many philanthropic efforts, and it isn’t going away any time soon. In fact, 2017 was actually a record-breaking year for charitable giving!

So, we’ve established that there’s a lot of awareness and giving going on, but once you’ve picked something worthy of throwing your weight behind, how do you tap into that stream of passion and donations for your own cause?

That’s where a comprehensive list like this can come in really handy.

I’ve gathered together over 151 of the BEST fundraising ideas, no matter what your situation. I’ve organized them into several categories, so go to the section that applies to your current situation and look for the best ideas that will work for you right now, and see which ideas jump out at you as perfect for your church or organization.

fundraising toolkit

Prep Your Online Tool Kit For Optimum Fundraising Efficiency

fundraising online image

Ideas for Fundraising Online

fundraising individually

Fundraising Ideas for Individuals

fundraising individually or group

Fundraising Ideas for Individuals OR With a Small Group

Fundraising Ideas for Groups

Fundraising Ideas for Groups

Fundraising Ideas for Large Events

Fundraising Ideas Using  Large Events

Fundraising Ideas Using Small Events

Fundraising Ideas Using Small Events

Fundraising Ideas With Limited People

Fundraising Ideas With Limited People

Or… If just want the highlights, watch this video:

Prep Your Online Tool Kit For Optimum Fundraising Efficiency

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This first portion is easy to skip, but let me tell you something, DON’T DO IT!

Cleaning up and optimizing your online presence is a modern necessity if you want to get the most out of your fundraising efforts.

Hint: If someone is willing to give their hard-earned money to help further your work, you can pretty safely assume that they care on some level!

Chase those leads!!!

So go over this section carefully and try to pick at least some of these items as action points to prep yourself for the fundraising efforts that are in your future.

1 – Create a Website (or Clean Up That Website Five Year Old Dino of a Site!)

If you’re a bigger operation, you’ve probably got this covered already, but in this day and age everyone can (and should!) have an online presence to back up their fundraising efforts. Make sure that your website is clean, clear, and communicates your goals and mission efficiently.

fundraising idea 1 - create website

2 – Make Sure Your Website is Ready for All of that Traffic

This one is a subtle but important one. Especially if you’re a larger non-profit organization, things like website loading speed, mobile-friendly site design, and content above the fold are going to be crucial factors in making sure you can handle the traffic when you’re fundraiser proves to be a smashing success. So once you’ve got your website set up, make sure to comb over it and get everything running as smoothly as possible before you start directing people to visit.

Fundraising Idea 2 - Digital Traffic

3 – Wield Your Social Media Outlets to Your Advantage

Second only to having a good website home base is having a well-oiled, effective social media presence. This can be extremely effective in helping you get the word out on your fundraising efforts quickly and efficiently. Twitter is great for quick bursts of info, Facebook is more social and informative, Google+ is great for boosting search rankings, Pinterest is image-friendly, etc.

Fundraising Idea 3 - Social Media

4 – Take Your Store to the Digital Level

This one is a great idea for anyone trying to sell something (obviously!). For real, though, online stores are not only effective, they’ve become super easy to set up. Whether you’re using an Etsy shop, a cheap Shopify storefront, or even a free WordPress site, there is a myriad of options to get your products available on the web.

Fundraising Idea 4 - Digital Store

5 – Set up an Email Lists

Building and maintaining an email list is a great way to keep people updated and aware of current fundraisers. You can create a free email list through something like Mail Chimp. Then send relevant, meaningful info on at a reasonable frequency to provide value and to keep your crowd ready to hear about occasional opportunities to support your cause!

Fundraising Idea 5 - Email List

7 – Set up a Bank Account if You Need One

This one depends on the scale of your fundraiser as well as where you live. Find out if/how you need to track the funds you earn, and if necessary, set up a bank account for your nonprofit so that you can keep track of the funds as they come in.

Fundraising Idea 7 - Bank account

8 – Team Up With a Graphic Artist

While not necessary, this one is helpful when it comes to promoting whatever event you decide to go with. Catchy logos and eye-popping ads and images designed specifically to go along with your fundraiser can be the perfect way to help get the word out. You don’t need a “professional” artist, either. Just someone who knows how to work photoshop!

Fundraising Idea 7 - Bank account

9 – Use a Virtual Thermostat to Track What You’ve Raised

This is a great idea if you have a specific goal you’re trying to reach. After all, one of the rules of the internet nowadays is to make everything VISUAL! Representing your goals via a thermostat, pie or bar chart, or some other visual icon can make it easy to promote how you’re doing and get people’s attention.

Fundraising idea 9 - Thermostat

10 – Create Other Images and Visuals to Let People Know About You

Along the same lines as the last idea, take whatever meaningful information you have on your fundraising subject and turn it into infographics! These are pictures that are visual, attractive, and loaded with information. People like to share them, and they can help spread the word, raising awareness… and funds! Remember to include your organization’s website and any other relevant info on each one.

Fundraising Idea 10 - images
Fundraising Idea 11 - donate now

Ideas for Fundraising Online

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This section focuses on the newest (and in many ways most cost-effective) way to fundraise, doing it online. There are tons of ways to do this, most of which can be done from the comfort of your own couch!

12 – Set Up a Text Campain

One of the most undervalued yet effective modern fundraising solutions, a well-cultivated text campaign can bring money in for your cause lickety-split (and with minimal effort!) Just find a good source (like digigiv.org) to help set up your campaign and then start gathering the phone numbers of willing participants who care about your cause and want to get updates on events and fundraisers. Texts are EASY to create. No need for fancy email or social media image creation. Just a short, simple text with a call to action and you’re donations should start rolling in no time!

Fundraising Idea 12 - text message

10 – Create Other Images and Visuals to Let People Know About You

Along the same lines as the last idea, take whatever meaningful information you have on your fundraising subject and turn it into infographics! These are pictures that are visual, attractive, and loaded with information. People like to share them, and they can help spread the word, raising awareness… and funds! Remember to include your organization’s website and any other relevant info on each one.

Fundraising Idea 10 - images

13 – Crowdfunding Your Cash

This is a tried and true fundraising method of the modern era. Using a tool like Go Fund Me or Indiegogo you can raise money for your cause at the push of a button. Just set up the campaign, set your goal, and spread the word to your (hopefully) carefully cultivated social media, email, and text lists and groups. It’s a minimal effort way to get in front of a ton of people.

Fundraising Idea 13 - Crowdfunding

14 – Host an Online Raffle

Taking that concept of a raffle online can be a great fundraising option. Once again, there are a number of different sites like Rafflecopter or Rallyup (you can easily Google many others) that can make running a raffle online a sinch! Be warned though, most of them will take a cut of the action. Also, make sure to figure out what the raffle rules are where you live. In Texas in the U.S., for example, you can’t offer cash and must own the item being raffled.

Fundraising Idea 14 - online raffle

15 – Have a “Goofy Selfies” Photo Contest

Use your social media outlets to host a “Goofy Selfie” photo contest! There are a few ways you can go about this one. The easy way is to create a Facebook post or other social media feed for everyone to post their selfies in. Then have them like and share the post as part of their entry and make sure to include a donation option. The other way is to have an “entry fee” either for posting selfies or for the right to vote on them. There are new platforms coming out all the time that help streamline these options.

Fundraising Idea 15 - selfies

16 – Crowdsource a Recipe/Cookbook or Other Online Content

If you’re part of a larger organization or have a lot of loyal fans, this is a great way to get them involved. Have everyone chip in by offering a recipe and then gather them into a fundraising cookbook! The best part about doing this digitally? No printing! Just create a doc or pdf and pop it up for sale on that online shop you hopefully have running by now!

Fundraising Idea 16 - Recipe Book

17 – Have an Online Giving Event

This one is as simple as it sounds. Sometimes raising funds can be as easy as explaining how desperate the need is for your organization to do what it has to do, and then asking for a donation by directing people to a donation link. It’s very important that you don’t just use emotional pleas in this kind of a fundraiser, though. Make sure to do your homework and bring solid facts to the table to help explain your case.

Fundraising Idea 17 - online giving

18 – Find a “Matching” Partner

Finding a person or organization (or a group of them!) that is able to match donations is a classic way to help boost your fundraising efforts. People are almost always more willing to give when they know their hard-earned money is being doubled at the same time!

Fundraising Idea 18 - matching partner

19 – Create a Viral Challenge

We all remember those chilly days of the ALS ice bucket challenge, right? Celebrities, peers, friends, and family members all took pleasure in challenging and being challenged to dump buckets of ice water on their heads. When you can tap into that excitement it can become very easy to harness the energy and bring both awareness and donations to your own cause.

Fundraising Idea 19 - viral challenge

20 – Initiate a Peer-to-Peer Online Viral Fundraising

This idea combines the viral challenge with straight up, no-nonsense crowdfunding, and can deliver a punch better than either of them! There’s no challenge involved, per say, but in essence, a peer-to-peer viral fundraiser involves creating a crowdfunding option and then leaving it to your loyal supporters to market it to their own friends and family. While this one can largely run itself once it’s going, it’s important that you begin the process by providing a clear set of guidelines and a message that can easily be understood and passed along the communication lines from one peer to another.

Fundraising Idea 20 - peer to peer

21 – Online “Silent” Charity Auctions

This one is a great way to bring the power of an auction to the internet. Gather donated items (if they’re physical make sure they’re not heavy to ship!) and set up a page with the items available to bid on. You can try to set up something more sophisticated on your website or just pop each one up on a social media platform and have people comment their bids!

Fundraising Idea 21 - charity auctions

22 – Start a Profile Picture Challenge

This one involves challenging social media users to change their profile pictures to one that represents your fundraiser for a period of time. All you need to do is create an informative graphic to replace their current profile pictures, a description of the fundraiser, and a donation link. Then provide all three of these to your supporters and followers via your social media and email outlets to start the fundraiser and watch it go from there!

Fundraising Idea 22 - profile picture

23 – Sell Products Online To Support Your Cause

This one works really well when you already have that online storefront (idea #4) all set up and running. What you sell on the store can be something that you or your fundraising compatriots have pulled together, or you can even try to find something that is produced by the same group you’re raising funds for too!

Fundraising Idea -23 - sell_products_online

24 – Sign up for an Affiliate Programs

An affiliate program is usually simply a program that allows you to become, in a sense, an online “vendor.” You are usually given some sort of unique link to a product or service, which you then use to promote and market to your followers. You then get a percentage of each purchase made.

Fundraising Idea 24 - affiliate_marketing

25 – Use Amazon Smile

One specific affiliate program idea that is designed with fundraising and nonprofits in mind is AmazonSmile. When you register your organization on Amazon Smile you then get access to a number of marketing options to promote to your followers so that they can shop on Amazon (just like normal) and YOU get .05% of everything they spend.

Findraising idea 25 - amazon_smile

26 – Search for Any Local Grants

It isn’t technically an “online” fundraising idea, but the internet would be the place to start with this one. Search for any grants that would apply to the specifics of your church or nonprofit!

fundraising idea 26 - local_grants

27 – See if you Qualify for a Google Grant

A Google Grant is a special grant that Google offers to eligible businesses that gives each one $10,000 a month in free Adwords advertising. Just imagine how much help that kind of money could be in promoting your cause! As is always the case with these kinds of things, there are restrictions and qualifying conditions, so head on over and check if your nonprofit is eligible!

fundraising idea 27 - google_grant
The rest of the list consists of either partially or fully physical activities and events. However, keep in mind that you can always be on the lookout to grow your email or texting list, promote an online giving campaign, etc.

Always try to be growing your network in everything you do. Trust me, it’ll make long-term fundraising much easier once you’ve developed a loyal fan base of donors who believe in your cause.

Ideas for Fundraising Individually

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It’s great to raise funds as a group, online or not, but sometimes you just don’t have the manpower to back you up. If that’s the case for you, there are still plenty of ways that you can help bring in some money for your cause solo-style!

28 – The Nice Smell Approach

In an era when everything has become automated, the olfactory attraction of a scented candle is still holding its own. Either look for a reseller who will share part of each sale with you or simply purchase the candles in bulk and then resell them marked up a bit!

fundraising idea 28 - candle

29 – Appeal to the Sweet Tooth

An easy one to purchase in bulk, candy bars have been a tried and true fundraiser for time out of mind. Buy them in boxfuls and sell them individually. You can bring them to large gatherings, ask permission to set them up outside of a busy storefront, leave a box in a local restaurant, or even offer them to that uncle with a weakness for candy…he’ll take a whole box!

fundraising idea- 29 sweet_tooth

30 – Bust Out Those Coupon Books

Coupon books scream value, even if $5,000 in savings really means $20,000 in purchases! Coupon books allow donors to feel that they’ve both supported you and saved some money in some of their day-to-day purchases at the same time. Whether you find a preassembled coupon book or solicit local businesses to participate, this is a great option to consider.

fundraising idea 30 - coupon_books

31 – The Garden Option

This one is more of a seasonal idea, as you want to catch people when they’re prepping their gardens. Selling plants door-to-door can be a great avenue for earning some cash for your cause. All you need to do is find a local nursery That’s willing to work with you and give you a decent percentage of each sale you make!

Fundraising idea 9 - Thermostat

32 – Host a Direct Sales Party

Another, more “business-y” idea along the lines of a selling fundraiser is hosting a direct sales party. It doesn’t matter if you’re helping to sell make-up, clothing, or whatever else, these can offer great ways to help support your cause.

Fundraising Idea 32 - Direct Sales Party

33 – ‘Tis the Season

In the same vein as selling plants, look for any other seasonal items that you can sell. Christmas wreaths or poinsettias, Valentine’s Day roses, 4th of July fireworks (where they’re legal!), Mother’s or Father’s Day gifts, or even a Thanksgiving turkey are all options. It always is a bit more fun raising funds when everyone is in a festive spirit!

Fundraising Idea 33 - tis_the_season

34 – Wrap Up Those Goodies

Offering a gift wrapping service can be a great way to help raise some cash for your cause. While there are always those occasional stand-outs who want to do it themselves, the reality is that many, many, MANY people out there just don’t want to do the wrapping. Be their hero …and support a good cause at the same time!

Fundraising Idea 34 - gifts

35 – Bathing and Grooming

Not you, your pets! Set up a pet bathing and grooming service. You can have everyone bring their pets to you or even charge enough to cover the costs in order to bring the service right to their house …or offer both options!

Fundraising Idea 35 - pet_grooming

36 – Babysitting Services

Offering parents with children a chance to have a break and unwind is literally priceless, that is until you make it a fundraiser! And while surviving a night babysitting kids can be downright perilous at times, once it’s done you’ll have some raised funds from some very happy donors!

Fundraising Idea 10 - images

Ideas for Fundraising Individually OR with a Group

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This next section is loaded with ideas that can be done individually or with a group. It goes without saying that the latter can be more effective when it comes to the total amount raised, but don’t underestimate the power of some of these when a single person sets their mind to either organizing or executing them on their own!

37 – Have a Good, Old-fashioned Phone-a-thon

This idea takes the text fundraiser back a few decades. But don’t underestimate its effectiveness! While texting can help you keep in touch with people who have already donated to your cause, this option can help with both reaching out to old and new donors with a more personal touch.

Fundraising Idea 37 - phone_a_thon

38 – Box-on-the-Counter Method

This one is a pretty simple concept. Create several sealed boxes with a donation slot on them and label them with information about your cause. Look for any storefronts, restaurants, government buildings, churches, etc. that will let you place a box on their counters. Then, go around once in a while to collect the money that’s come in.

Fundraising Idea 38 - box_on_the_counter

39 – Set Up A Giving Kiosk

This one is a bit more modern and mainly accessible to larger organizations, particularly those that have a permanent location. Giving kiosks, which can be literal kiosks or even just an app, are great because, as I’ve already mentioned, not everyone carries cash with them anymore. To remedy that, a giving kiosk can come equipped with an electronic, drum roll please, credit card option!

Fundraising Idea 39 - giving_kiosk

40 – Do the Band Thing… !

Who doesn’t love a good t-shirt to help them brag about what they believe in …or look cool …or look like a rebel… why do we wear these again? Whatever the reason, t-shirts are still a great way to make some affordable merch and then sell them. You can do it in person OR online, with a group OR individually, making this one a truly diverse fundraising option.

Fundraising Idea 40 - t_shirt

41 – Make DIY Jewelry

Another great idea is to create and sell jewelry. This allows you to target those who aren’t necessarily going to spring for a more “in your face” option like a t-shirt. Often you can even tailor the jewelry to fit your fundraiser precisely (Hint: see the next idea…).

Fundraising Idea 41 - jewelry

42 – Step Aside, Live Strong…

We all know about those Livestrong bracelets. But, just like t-shirts, that doesn’t mean it’s a trademarked idea! In fact, you can order a batch of bracelets designed and tailored with information specifically about your cause! It provides a more subtle, easily wearable way for donors to show they support your cause with a memento emblazoned with your organization’s info!

Fundraising Idea 42 - livestrong

43 – The Human Snow Plow

Whether you have a large group or are an army of one, shoveling driveways is never out of reach. The only thing you need is… snow! If it’s that time of year, though, making some calls to potential donors during a snowstorm (or even a lighter snowfall) can be a great way to provide a service and simultaneously be able to get some decent donations in the process.

Fundraising Idea 43 - snowplow

44 – Become a Lawn Artist

Once that snow melts away, hang up your snow shovels and break out your garden tools, it’s time to start offering landscaping services! While landscaping can be done throughout the year in many areas, you really want to try to have this one when everyone is busy cleaning up from the snowy, stormy, wet (or whatever rough chunk of weather you have annually) season.

Fundraising Idea 44 - lawn_artist

45 – Cut Some Green to Make Some Green

On the opposite side of the year from the snow, we have lawn mowing. People actually mow lawns for a living (the same goes for the snow plowing), so this isn’t chump change you’re working with here. Offering to mow lawns is another great way to bring in cash at a decent clip, and leave some very satisfied donors in your wake.

Fundraising Idea 45 - lawn_mower

46 – Rake Up Some Funds

Finally (have you notices Those leaves look beautiful as they change colors… until they fall off the trees. Then they’re just a pain in the butt! But for the fundraiser looking for ways to offer a valuable service and simultaneously raise some money, it’s a perfect opportunity! Rake ‘em up!

Fundraising Idea 46 - fall_leaves

47 – Do Some Seasonal Decorating

Depending on the season, you can offer to help decorate someone’s house, put up lights for Christmas, set up a cornucopia for Thanksgiving, or get patriotic on the 4th of July. If you brainstorm ideas beforehand and come to the table offering a legitimate, valuable service, people will sign up lickety-split!

Fundraising Idea 47 - chistmas_lights

48 – Set Up A Dog Walking Service

This one requires some organization and time management on your part, but, if you live in an area with lots of dog owners, having owners donate to have you walk their dogs is an easy way to help raise money and get some exercise at the same time.

Fundraising Idea 48 - walk_dog

49 – Offer General House Cleaning Services

Whether you’re a team or a one-man show, cleaning is cleaning. It also happens to be something that very few people actually like to do. (What? No way!) Once again, it offers a great “high-value service” that can leave your donors satisfied that they supported a good cause and got a clean house, workspace, church, etc. in the process.

Fundraising Idea 49 - cleaning_service

50 – Organize a Letter Writing Campaign

Ah, letter writing. In our day and age, it’s come to mean something more than just a way to deliver information. It’s become a personal way to deliver information. Writing personalized letters to potential donors is a way to show that you’ve done your homework, you’re addressing them personally, and you don’t take your cause lightly.

Fundraising Idea 50 - letter_writting

51 – Organize a Walk-a-thon or a Run-a-thon

This is a great way to foster unity and comradery, and perhaps even some competition amongst donors and fundraisers alike. A walk-a-thon keeps the stakes fairly low and makes the event accessible for anyone who wants to participate, while the run-a-thon brings out the athletes in force! Either one provides various ways to raise funds, from registration fees for participants to corporate sponsorships and pledges from non-participants.

Fundraising Idea 51 - run_a_thon

52 – Turn Up the Volume!

While walking and running are completely reasonable ways to raise funds, the real question that needs to be asked is: why are you running when you can DANCE? You can have participants pay to participate and then compete to see who is the best dancer of them all! Just make sure to lock down a good DJ to keep those feet moving.

Fundraising Idea 52 - dance

53 – Freeze for Funds!

O.K., don’t literally freeze, please! (Consider that my official disclaimer.) But seriously, a cold water plunge can be a great way to raise the stakes and get everyone excited. After all, let’s face it, we all love seeing someone jump into freezing water. Why? We’ll never know. What we do know is that it’s a cool way to raise funds and entertain the masses at the same time.

Fundraising Idea 53 - freeze for funds
Fundraising Idea 54 - christmas_cookie

55 – Collect Used Shoes

This is an idea that might look a bit stinky on the surface, but it can be an effective fundraiser nonetheless. Shoes are thrown away by the millions each year, and often without being really worn out. If you take just a little effort to try to collect some of these, there is usually an organization like Funds2Orgs somewhere nearby that you can take them too and exchange them for cash!

Fundraising Idea 55 - old_shoe

Ideas for Fundraising with a Group

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While raising funds on your own is definitely possible, there’s nothing that can replace a group effort. When several people work together to support a cause there are all sorts of benefits. More work can be accomplished, more ground covered, more skills are brought to the table, fewer people burn out, and it’s easier to keep morale up!

56 – Offer Your Services To the Community

When you have a group your options suddenly skyrocket. Look around your own organization and see what skills are present. Do you have painters, construction workers, landscapers, mechanics? The list goes on. Take a “skill inventory” and then see how you can market these skills as a fundraising opportunity. You can take donations per job, per hour, or on a “give as you feel led to give” basis.

Fundraising Idea 10 - images

57 – Have a “Rent-a-worker” Auction

This idea leverages your group’s work for donations, much like the last idea. However, this time, rather than offering a specific service, you offer to “rent” out people from your group to help with any projects that require a lot of manual labor. It’s a great way to help raise funds and at the same time help donors clear out their garage, cut the grass, mulch their gardens, clear sticks from their yards, stack firewood, or whatever else is needed

Fundraising Idea 57 rent_a_worker

58 – Have a “Rent-a-talent” Auction

Again along the lines of offering a service, this one involves “renting” out your group’s time, but this time on a higher skill basis. Again, take a “skill inventory” of everyone in your group that possesses a more refined skill like accounting, writing, sewing, decorating, construction, etc. Then rent them out for cash!

Fundraising Idea 58 - rent_talent

59 – Collect Those Bottles…

A classic option, especially for younger youth group ages who might not have as many honed skills yet, is a bottle drive. Get some volunteer drivers (who don’t mind if their cars smell like beer for a while!) and have your group split up throughout your local neighborhoods collecting every bottle and can anyone is willing to give them. You can target this one as well. For example, right after certain major holidays like 4th of July or in college towns around graduation can be prime bottle drive targets!

Fundraising Idea 59 - Soda Cans

60 – Declare a “Penny War”

Usually, war is a bad thing, but not in this case! Split your group into opposing sides and have each one go around raising as much spare change as they can find. Set a deadline for the final battle, and when you reach it count up which side has raised the most cash. Make sure to declare a winner in the conflict!

Fundraising Idea 60 - penny war

61 – Leader Payback

Who doesn’t love to see their coach, principle, or organization’s leader dye their hair blue? Or wear a clown suit to work? The idea of dangling a ridiculous incentive like this in front of your group can be a HUGE incentive to keep your momentum going and keep everyone working together. This one works particularly well with other fundraising ideas as well, as it can help add some drive and avoid adding any additional cost to your fundraiser, too!

Fundraising Idea 61 - leader_payback

62 – Dunk ‘em for Cash

Once again, playing on that weird human obsession with watching people “suffer for a good cause” (admittedly, playful suffering, of course), a dunk tank is an excellent option to help whip up some excited and funny support for your cause. Of course, you need to find a place to rent one, but if you have an event where you know you’ll have plenty of people ready to line up for a chance, this one is sure to make a splash.

Fundraising Idea 10 - images

63 – Pie in the Face

The next on the list is another “I’ll go through the gauntlet if you donate” idea. All you need is someone (preferably a leader character like a coach, principle, or even the president of your organization) who is willing to take a pie to the face for your cause. You can either make a big show out of one pie to the face or charge a hefty price for individual pies to the face. In this case, though, make sure to talk it over with… the fundraising victim!

Fundraising idea 9 - Thermostat

64 – “Do Without”

Much like Lent or the 30 Hour Famine, this fundraiser focuses on challenging people to “do without” something important for a time. You can have everyone who donates join in the challenge to give something up or have your group “do without” and look for people to pledge support. You can also collectively give something up or have each person give up something a little bit more personal to them like their Xbox or sweets or even… coffee! (I’ll forgive you if that last one is just too hard.)

Fundraising Idea 64 - do_without

65 – Have a “Great Seats” Ticket Raffle

Whether it’s something as simple as a seat at a local concert or sports stadium or as valuable as a couple of backstages passes at a big-name concert or sideline tickets at an NFL or NBA game, holding a raffle for a chance at for the best seat in the house is a stellar fundraising idea. All you need to do is find an event that holds genuine value for your potential donors early enough to secure good tickets and then promote and facilitate the raffle either in person, online, or both.

Fundraising Idea 65 - great_seats

66 – The Parking Spot

Along the same lines as the “Great Seats” idea, in this case, you raffle something a little bit closer to home, a good parking spot! Whether it’s a great space at your organization, a workplace, a school, or a church, set up a raffle and give it away! Consider making a plaque for the parking space with the name of the fundraiser too, that way you can auction it away on a monthly or even weekly basis.

Fundraising Idea 66 - parking spot

67 – Rock it up with a Rockathon

Grab your knitting needles, it’s time to rock! When you have a rockathon you have your group commit to rocking for as long as they can. Set a time for the event and then set out to find some donors to pledge either a total amount or a “per hour” basis. Then, rock it up! You can also provide a prize for the longest rocker as an incentive to keep those chairs swaying!

Fundraising Idea 67 - rocking_chair

68 – Run Some Laps

This is a great one for adults and kids alike. Simply select a fairly small track that goes in a loop and have your group commit to running as many laps as possible. Then look for donors who can sponsor the participants on a lap-by-lap basis.

Fundraising Idea 68 - Run Some Laps

69 – Have a Car Wash

If you have a group, all you need is some water, soap, sponges, and a parking lot and you’re ready to go! And who doesn’t like giving a donation and getting a sparkling car out of the deal? It’s a win for everyone involved. Make sure to make up some promotional signs though, so everyone driving by during the event knows what’s going on!

Fundraising Idea 69 - car_wash

70 – Crowdfund Physical Labor

This one is specifically helpful when your need doesn’t just involve finances, but physical labor as well. If your organization has something that needs to be done, don’t be afraid to crowdsource the job! Keep in mind, this can require quite a bit of organization, as you don’t want dozens of people showing up only to stand around, but as long as you know what you need done, send out the word and look for anyone willing to donate a few hours of good, honest work!

Fundraising Idea 70 - Crowd labor

71 – Organize a “Dress for Awareness” Day

This idea works really well both to boost awareness for your cause and also to help raise funds. And it requires very little work on your part outside of organizing it in the first place! Pick a day and decide what unique piece of clothing should be worn on that day (make it something odd, like a crazy hat or a specific color so that it will stand out!) then use your social media outlets to spread the word. Make sure to provide your followers with current information on your cause for when they are asked about their clothes and tell them where to direct people to donate!

Fundraising Idea 71 - Dress For Awareness

72 – Collect Boxtops

Once again, if your need extends beyond finances, this is a great way to get support while minimally impacting the lives of your donors. All you need is to do is conduct a little research and provide a list of boxtop items that you are fundraising for. Then watch as families connected to your church, school, or organization begin collecting and the boxtops start rolling in!

Fundraising Idea 72 - boxtop

73 – Host a “White Elephant” Ornament Swap

A great way to celebrate the Christmas season in fundraising style, a White Elephant ornament swap is a fun community event where everyone pays an entry fee and comes with an ornament or two to enter into the swap. By the end of a night filled with fun, drinks, snacks, and great conversation, everyone has a couple of new ornaments, and you have some raised funds!

Fundraising idea 73 - white_elephant

74 – No Shave [Pick Month Here]

Most of us know about No Shave November, right? But who says that November should have all of the hairy fun? Have your own “no shave” month and then have it double as an awareness/fundraiser for your cause! Make sure to have easily available information and donation links at the ready

Fundraising idea 74 - no_shave

75 – Grow a Beard Challenge

Starting a “grow a beard” challenge is nice for a couple of reasons. First, it’s not restricted to a time period like a “no shave month.” Second, a month isn’t always enough time for genuine beard growth. If you leave an open-ended challenge, it will give time for those participating to genuinely start to look different, increasing that awareness each and every shave-less day!

Fundraising idea 75 - grow_beard

Ideas for Fundraising using a Large Event

Ideas for Fundraising Using a Large Event
In this section, I tried to include all of the “big ticket” ideas. These are things that generally require more organization, prep time, and tend to have a clear starting and ending point.

76 – Host a Coffee House

Who doesn’t love a cup of coffee with some friends? This one has loads of potential, too. Along with coffee you can do a raffle, silent auction, sell baked goods, and even have a local artist or musician come to help with entertainment. If you have live music, make sure to hook up a Facebook Live Feed of the event as well (along with a donation link)!

Fundraising idea 76 - coffee_house

77 – Have A Good, Old-Fashioned Bake Sale

When you bring baked goods into the picture, a fundraiser becomes as easy as pie. After all, who doesn’t love that tingly feeling of knowing you supported a good cause AND got a piece of cake in the process?

Fundraising idea 77 - bake_sale

78 – Eat That Pie!

Speaking of baked goods… who wants some pie? Hosting a pie eating contest can be a great way to put on a show that is sure to entertain a host of potential donors. You can charge an entry fee for the event or even have people pledge on a “per slice eaten” basis.

Fundraising idea 78 - eat_pie

79 – Have a “Cook-Off”

Whether it’s chili, burgers, or ribs, gather up the best chefs in town and have them compete to see who is the king of the kitchen! Charge a fee for attendees to enter and join in the taste testing and voting, and before you know it you’ll have your culinary victor picked and your funds raised.

Fundraising idea 79 - Cook off

80 – Calling All Food Trucks

If you’re in a town with a good number of food trucks, try reaching out to get them all together for a “food truck night,” where a percentage of each sale during the event would go to support your cause. Bringing the community together for an evening of good food is a tremendous way to fundraise and build relationships all over a meal from the food truck of your choice!

Fundraising idea 80 - food_truck

81 – Host a Fundraising Concert

Do you know any local musicians? Anyone who can draw a crowd? Call them up and see if they’d be interested in playing a charity show to help you out. You’d help them get some exposure in the process, and it opens up the chance to weave in some other fundraising ideas like raffles, door prizes, and even merch sales! Remember that Facebook Live option with a donation link, too!

Fundraising idea 81 - concert

82 – Have a Battle of the Bands

Why settle for one band when you can have several? A battle of the bands is a great way to bring your local musical world colliding together in an epic clash of talent! Sell tickets at the door along with other merch, snacks, etc. Also, make sure to promote the details of your organization or mission and build those email and text lists!

Fundraising idea 82 - Battle of the Bands

83 – Organize a Talent Show

This one is a blast just by itself. After all, who doesn’t love seeing the hidden talents of your friends, co-workers, or fellow churchgoers? Each person performing is a little individual marketing nucleus that will bring their own group of friends and family, creating the perfect environment for an evening of fun and a chance to raise some funds for your cause!

Fundraising idea 83 - talent_show

84 – Host a Singing Competition

Love it or hate it, reality hit shows like The Voice or America’s Got Talent are watched by TONS of people. So why not use that same concept to help meet your financial goals? Have a singing competition with judges to rate the competitors (just don’t invite Simon Cowell unless you want people crying). Charge an entry fee and make sure to promote your cause from every angle you can reasonably think of throughout the show.

Fundraising Idea 84 - sing_comp

85 – Karaoke the Night Away

If an actual singing “competition” is too intense for your tastes, just host a regular ol’ karaoke night. Apart from an entry fee, you can provide beverages, snacks, and any other fundraising ideas like raffles or door prizes with the items donated by local businesses.

Fundraising Idea 85 - karaoke

86 – Have a Face Painting Competition

This one can be done on its own or within the larger context of a something like a carnival or a concert. It doesn’t even have to be an event you’re running. If there’s a local event in town, see if you can set up a face painting booth! Charge for each painted face and make sure to take the opportunity to spread the word about your organization’s mission, goals, and the reason you’re fundraising!

Fundraising Idea 86 - facepaint

87 – Put on a Carnival

This is one of the bigger items on the list as far as work, prep time, and upfront investment goes. You don’t need to go renting a roller coaster (although that would be awesome!), but things like obstacle courses, bounce houses, competitions, and, of course, cotton candy and popcorn, are all good ideas for a carnival, and fairly easy to pull together too. Charge an entry fee or per ride, and provide snacks, merch, raffles, face painting, and more!

Fundraising Idea 87 - carnival

88 – Host a Summer Festival

This one is similar to the carnival idea, but is usually a bit less about rides and competitions, instead focusing on an attraction like a concert, artistic display, or even something like a scarecrow competition! Whatever the main attraction, though, the same “large event” fundraising principles apply. Promote your cause, fit in other, smaller fundraising ideas, and make the best of all of the work that goes into throwing such a large, attractive event!

Fundraising Idea 88 - summer_festival

89 – Have a “Family Fun Day”

Another idea along the theme of carnivals and festivals is a “family fun day.” Rather than focusing on a performance, rides, or competitions, this idea zeros in on one idea in particular: family fun. Center the event around group games, food, and anything else that can help bring families together. Charge a fee to attend and put out a jar for extra donations!

Fundraising Idea 89 - family_fun

90 – Large-scale Scavenger Hunts

These are really fun to put together, and charging an entry fee can turn it into a great fundraiser, too. All you need to do is come up with a list of items that need to be found! Consider turning each item into a riddle. Most people love competing with riddles involved! Also, offer extra “clues” to help with the riddles for those who donate on a higher level. Make sure to try to offer a good incentive for the winner as well. Here is a company that puts on scavenger hunts all over the place. It might good to take a look a there website for some inspiration. 

Fundraising Idea 90 - scavenger_hunt

91 – Host a Charity Auction

This one starts by going to any local businesses you think might be interested in donating to your cause and try to get items worth auctioning off. Once you have these in hand, set up and promote the auction itself. Creating a good vibe is crucial with this one, as you want everyone participating in the bidding. Make sure you find a good auctioneer, as that can make or break an event like this one.

Fundraising Idea 91 - auction

92 – Shhhh… Have a Silent Auction

This one still begins by looking for valuable and/or unique items from any local or online businesses. Once gathered, rather than preparing for the “performance” of an auction, just set them out along with sheets and pens for private bidding. If you or someone in your group has the ability, you can also take these online via a number of different bidding apps or sites, combining the power of online and in-person auctions into one, awesome fundraising experience.

Fundraising Idea 10 - images

93 – Host a Spaghetti Dinner

Getting back to some of the tastier ideas out there, consider hosting a spaghetti dinner. The stuff is both cheap to make and leaves you with some satisfied donors with very full stomachs. You’ll need a proper facility to cook, but if you have one you can get your hands on for little to no cost, this is a great way to fill up some stomachs and your nonprofit’s coffers at the same time.

Fundraising Idea 93 - spaghetti_dinner

94 – Have a Pancake Breakfast

If the idea of a dinner fundraiser didn’t float your boat, how about a breakfast one? Pancake breakfasts are, once again, easy to pull off in bulk without breaking the bank buying your supplies and, at the same time, very satisfying for anyone who pays for a meal!

Fundraising Idea 10 - images

95 – Have an Ice Cream Social

I scream, you scream, we all scream for …an ice cream fundraiser! Seriously, no one is disappointed when they donate to a good cause and are rewarded with ice cream! Just buy some bulk tubs of the basic flavors, a host of toppings, and a place to host the event that has a freezer, and you’re good to go!

Fundraising Idea 95 - ice_cream_social

96 – Have a Cultural Food Night

Man, the food ideas are cooking, and I’m getting hungry! Seriously, though, food has such an amazing power to bring people together in support of a cause! Another great idea is a cultural food night. After all, culture is such a huge part of community in the first place. And with the world shrinking more all the time, what better way to bring everyone together at the same time than over a culturally diverse meal? Charge an entry fee at the door and then have your donors spend the evening taking a global culinary adventure.

Fundraising Idea 96 - food_night

97 – Have a Community Potluck

When all other food options fail, you can always fall back on the trusty potluck dinner option. You can have donors or your team members (or both!) bring dishes to share, buy a few pizzas and some drinks to “fill in the gaps,” and then charge an entry fee, put out that donation jar, share those crowdfunding links, build your email list, etc. while you all have a great night of eclectic food fun!

Fundraising Idea 97 - community_potluck

98 – Intermittent Fasting Challenge

If you can’t get a meal fundraiser going, how about getting rid of a meal instead? Intermittent fasting is currently all the rage for weight loss, but it can also be a great idea for a fundraiser as well. Have members of your team commit to skipping a certain meal (usually a proper intermittent fast involves not eating for at least 12 hours a day) and then look for donors to pledge to support them throughout the challenge

Fundraising Idea 10 - images

99 – Host a “Pick-up” Sport Event

Some people are born to play sports. They can’t get enough of the competition. A “pick-up” sports event tries to harness some of that competitive spirit into a fundraiser that appeases the athletes’ need to play along with your need for funds. Just pick a sport (soccer, flag football, volleyball, softball, etc. …or more than one!) and find a place to host the event. Charge a participation fee, and then make sure to provide some structure so that it doesn’t just become a hectic free-for-all. Have some volunteer referees on hand and make sure to cycle participants into games on a regular basis so that everyone gets a chance to compete.

Fundraising Idea 99 - sport_event

100 – DIY Drive-In

Talk about nostalgia! A drive-in is a classic way to spend a fun, entertaining evening, and the best part is that you can host one yourself! All you need to do is track down someone with a good outdoor projector, find a good place to project onto or set up a temporary screen, pick a movie, and then let everyone know about it. Make sure to have some popcorn and candy on hand too!

Fundraising Idea 100 - drive_in

101 – Have a Used Book Sale

In a world of electronics, nothing quite beats that feeling of cracking open a book and smelling those printed pages. And a used book sale? That adds in the feel of a treasure hunt! It’s also a great way to raise funds for your organization too. Send out the word asking for used books and then find a space with tables (you’ll need a good amount of them to display everything!). Make sure to get some volunteers on board for this one, as you’ll want to sort the books as much as possible to help people find what they want!

Fundraising Idea 101 - used_book

102 – Have a Used Clothing Sale

Along the same lines as a used book sale, in this case, spread the word that you’re looking for clothing donations. Once you’ve gathered a decent amount (and had your team go through and pick the stuff worth selling) hang it up, fold it, organize it, and sell it!

Fundraising Idea 102_used_clothing

103 – Set Up a Temporary Consignment Shop

Think Goodwill “pop up shop” This one is similar to the concept of a used clothing sale, except this time you are selling the clothing for the clothing owners who keep a portion of each sale. The benefit here is that you’ll usually get better clothing and be able to charge more for it since it’s not just the stuff that is being given away. Keep in mind, though, that it requires a bit more organization to track the sales and pay all of the consigners once it’s done.

Fundraising idea 9 - Thermostat

104 – Run, Baby, Run!

Hosting anything from a 5k run to a full-blown marathon can be a great way to ramp up support for your cause! If you aim for a shorter distance you’ll get more participants, but if you’re capable of reaching a larger group of donors, a marathon can be an attractive challenge as well. Either way, you can charge a registration fee or have runners look for personal pledges.

Fundraising Idea 104 - running

105 – Organize a Swim-a-thon

If running isn’t your crowd’s cup of tea, consider swimming! This can be done in a lake, river, Olympic sized pool, or even a big pond! Donors can support the swimmers on a “per lap” basis. The smaller the space, the less money per lap and vice versa.

Fundraising Idea 105 - swimming

106 – Have a Bike-a-thon

If long distance is your thing, then break out those bicycles and have a bike-a-thon! Whether it’s a lap driven fundraiser or you have participants pay a registration fee, this can be a great option for those who love both the peace and the challenge of a good bike ride.

Fundraising Idea 106 - biking

107 – And Then There’s the Triathlon!

You saw this one coming, right? If you’re already reading through these thinking, “Running? Biking? Swimming? Oh, my!” Then consider organizing a triathlon! This triple header brings all three of these athletic elements together in a great challenge for any competitive athlete. Participants can pay a registration fee to help support your cause, while prizes for the first few winners to cross the finish line can be a great finishing touch!

Fundraising Idea 107 - triathlon

108 – 10,000 Steps A Day Challenge

This one takes the idea of a single athletic challenge event and spreads it out so that anyone can do it anywhere. Have members of your team commit to walking 10,000 steps a day and then look for donors to pledge support for each day that the fundraising goes for. You can have participants keep track of their steps by purchasing pedometers or (even cheaper) having them download step tracking apps on their phones!

Fundraising Idea 108_step_a_day

109 – The Pet Walk

A much tamer spin on all of these athletic options is the “pet walk.” As the name implies, in this one you set up a course similar to a 5k race and encourage donors to commit to walking the course with their pets. If you think you’ll get a lot of participants, you can charge a registration fee but having the walkers gather pledges of support may be the better option. See, the nice thing here is that you can make the pet the participant collecting pledges! Sure, their owner is walking them, but who wouldn’t want to pledge $10 to support Feefee the chihuahua?

Fundraising Idea 109 - pet_walk

110 – Corn Maze Challenge

Another less competitive spin on the “walking a long distance” idea is organizing a corn maze challenge. Now, obviously this is a seasonal one, but if you can find a good maze near you, reach out and try to see if they’d be willing to give a portion of each ticket sale to your organization when participants mention your group’s name.

Fundraising Idea 110 - corn_maze

111 – Organize a School Picnic

This one is nice because your donor crowd is already isolated and easy to find… the students and their families! Reach out to a local school and try to set up a day to have a picnic. This can be on a school day, although you may get more full family participation if it’s in an evening or even on a weekend. Sell tickets and then plan out what food and drinks you’ll have available. With that many kids in attendance, it’s nice to also plan out some fun activities and games… even a face painting station (see idea #86…)!

Fundraising Idea 111 - school_picnic

112 – Let Your Inner “Country Mouse” Out… Have a Barn Dance!

If your crowd likes to dance, hosting a barn dance can be a really fun way to get everyone moving. Keep in mind, though, that with large collective dances like these, you’re going to want a good DJ (or even better, a live band!) to run the music and teach everyone the dances. This is also a great event to incorporate other ideas like bake sales, raffles, and even a general donation jar.

Fundraising Idea 112 - barn_dance

113 – Have an Art Show!

If you have connections with any local artists, an art show could be a great way to both bring your local art community together and support your cause at the same time. Keep in mind that you’ll need a good facility to host an event like this, but if you have a space, all you’ll need is the artist and their artwork to show off! Charge for tickets at the door, and even consider asking if any of the artists would be willing to donate a piece of art to raffle or auction off during the event!

Fundraising Idea 113 - art_show

114 – Host a “Highland Games”

This one is for all of you Scotsmen out there! Hosting a Highland Games event can be a blast! From tossing cabers and tug o’wars to throwing hammers and the shot put, the competition at these games can be both novel and intense. If you know anyone who can play the bagpipes as well, that’s the perfect cherry on top! You can sell tickets at the door or have a fee to participate in each game. Organize some food and drinks and spread the word, laddy. The highland games have come to town!

Fundraising Idea 114 - throw_hammer

115 – Have a Scarecrow / Angel Making Contest

This one can be a blast! You can choose a theme like scarecrows, angels, etc. Have people sign up to enter their own scarecrow and see what kind of imaginative scenes they can create. When the day for the event comes, have each display set up in a row and have attendees pay to vote on which one they think is best. Think of it as a low-pressure art contest!

Fundraising Idea 115 - scarecrow

116 – Have a Local Vintage Car Show

Put out some feelers throughout your community and see if you can rally all of your local vintage car owners to your cause! Then set a date and have them come to show off their cars! You can charge an entry fee or use the cars as the main attraction and set up other things like popcorn, face painting stations, balloons, and baked goods (Idea #77) to help raise your funds! If you really want to get the most out of this fundraising idea take a look at some the ideas Autoblog.com posted about the topic.

Fundraising Idea 116_car_show

117 – Have a Big Fat “Nothing’s Going to Happen” Event

While all of these events are fun, exciting, and good ideas for fundraisers, sometimes things are so busy that you just need to throw a non-event. What’s that, you ask? Well, a “nothing’s going to happen” event is when you pick a time in the future and then promote it as a “non-event,” asking people to donate to your cause and then pledge specifically to DO NOTHING during the event. We’re talking stay home along and lay on the couch watching TV. Doesn’t sound so bad, does it? Just make sure to have a good donation link ready to go, as you won’t be seeing people face to face for this one!

Fundraising Idea 117 - couch

Ideas for Fundraising using a Smaller Event

Ideas for Fundraising using a Smaller Event
In this section, I’ll try to address a bunch of ideas that are similar to the last section but tend to apply to slightly smaller crowds. Don’t underestimate their fundraising prowess, though. These ideas are still awesome ways to bring money in quickly and in a fun way.

118 – Have a Garage Sale

A great way to simultaneously declutter and raise some money is to have an organization-wide garage sale. Have your team members bring anything and everything they don’t need together, get everything priced and labeled, find a good location with easy public access where you can set up some tables, and start selling! Make sure to promote the sale anywhere you can as well! Make signs, post on your social media, and even pop some ads up on Craigslist, Facebook marketplace, etc.

Fundraising Idea 118 - garage_sale

119 – Host a Barter Sale

Along the same lines as a garage sale, a barter sale encourages people to bring their unwanted items in order to trade them for other things. While this removes the financial element of the garage sale, it still can be a good fundraiser if you charge for access to the event or even a fee per item brought to barter.

Fundraising Idea 119 - barter_sale

120 – Have a “Pajama Day” at Your Local School, Youth Group, etc.

If you have a local school, church, or other organization you are a part of, consider having a pajama day. This is an effective way to raise money with minimal effort. All you need to do is promote the day of the event using newsletters, word of mouth, social media, etc. and let potential participants know that they will have special permission to wear pajamas to school/youth group/etc. on the day of the event. Then, when the day comes, go around and collect everyone’s “pajama fee.” Easy as pie!

Fundraising Idea 120 - pajama

121 – Host a Board Game Night (The Relaxed Version)

The “ultimate version” of this one is further down (idea #151). For smaller groups, though, a relaxed game night with gamers paying to play can be a great way to bring people together to support your cause! These can be anything from classics like chess and checkers to others games like Codenames or Risk. Don’t forget to provide snacks!

Fundraising Idea 121 - board_game

122 – Game Console Night

While this one requires a little bit more technical setup, it can be a great way to appeal to the geeks in your crowd by offering a night of game console fun. Provide some junk food and soda to keep everyone going and don’t forget to charge a fee for everyone to attend!

Fundraising Idea 122 - console_night

123 – Lock Yourself In

Another great way for a smaller group to have some fun and help raise funds is to have a lock-in at your church or organization. This one can work as a fundraiser on its own or as a central event that serves as a catalyst for other fundraisers. Don’t be afraid to use it as an opportunity to draw attention to your cause and inspire those who are going to be “locked-in” to conduct other fundraising ideas to support the event.

Fundraising Idea 123_lock_in

124 – Dog Wash (Event Version)

I know I already included a pet grooming service option for individuals to go around offering, but this one is a more stationary, “event” version rather than a traveling service. Find a place with running water, get soap, towels, pet grooming brushes, etc. and then spread the word so that everyone knows when to bring their dogs!

Fundraising Idea 124_dog_bath

125 – Have a Barbecue

Who doesn’t love a barbecue? Seriously… I think I might take a break from this to go and grill something really quick. But before that, let me just say that a barbecue is a great way to raise some money and host an event that leaves your participants satisfied with full bellies. Considering the cost of meat and the slower cooking time, however, unless you’re a large-scale operation, this idea tends to lend itself more to smaller events where you won’t have large lines of people waiting for that next burger to finally finish cooking.

Fundraising Idea 125 - bbq

126 – Just Relaaaax with a Spa Day!

Few things have as relaxing a reputation as a spa, which makes it a GREAT idea for a fundraiser. When someone knows they’re going to be getting some quality “me time” and can support your church or organization while they do it, it will bring donors flocking! While you can recreate a number of spa elements like pedicures, manicures, etc. with the help of your team, also consider trying to ask any professional masseuses, nail technicians, or any other local relaxation specialist who are willing to volunteer their time and get some free marketing as well!

Fundraising Idea 126_spa_day

127 – Release the Balloons!

A fairly simple one, this idea has captivated the imagination for generations. All you need to do is rent a helium tank and buy some balloons and string. Have your team fill up the balloons (and maybe attach a piece of paper with some info to each one about your fundraiser) and then have people purchase a balloon to release!

Fundraising Idea 127_balloons

128 – Light Up the Sky

This one is the “nighttime edition” of the balloon release. Rather than balloons, though, this time make it Chinese lanterns! They may cost a little bit more than a balloon, but the draw of a sky loaded with Chinese lanterns is too good to miss, and, if it’s well advertised, you should have no problem finding a donor for each lantern.

Fundraising Idea 128_chinese_lanterns

129 – Have a Movie Night

While I already included a drive-in movie option, this idea is a little bit more intimate. Try hosting a movie night! A church, school, or any other facility with a projector and a screen works perfectly, allowing you to turn the place into a virtual movie theater for an evening. Make sure to sell some popcorn while you’re at it, too!

Fundraising Idea 129 - movie_night

130 – Have a Movie Marathon

Continuing with the movie theme, consider hosting a movie marathon. Select a day and pick a multi-part movie series like The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, or something more kid friendly like Toy Story or Ice Age. Have people buy tickets and provide some snacks and drinks. Then sit back and enjoy the show!

Fundraising Idea 130 - movie_marathon

131 – Have a Live Sports Watching Event

One more large-screen option you may want to consider is hosting a live sporting event. Now, this one requires a bit more detail in timing, as you can’t start and stop it whenever you want. But the truth is, people love watching live sports. Whether it’s the World Cup, the Super Bowl, or the NBA finals, hosting an event with food, drinks, and a live stream of the game can be a great way to sell some tickets and raise some cash for your financial needs.

Fundraising Idea 131 - live_sports

132 – Host a Memorial Dinner

While this one is never fun to have to do in the first place, hosting a memorial dinner to help the family of a loved one who has passed can be an amazing way to bring a community together to both love and financially support grieving relatives. From selling tickets to raffles, auctions, selling baked goods, etc. this is a truly effective option to help a hurting family in your community.

Fundraising Idea 132 - memorial_dinner

133 – Host a Trivia Night

Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned trivia night? This idea can vary widely in how it’s done, too. For example, you can make it a generic trivia night with drinks and snacks, or you can make it themed after something like sports, fantasy, sci-fi, etc. Have people purchase tickets to attend and have a great time seeing who is the trivia king!

Fundraising Idea 133 - trivia

134 – Bingo Night

Another veteran fundraising idea is having a bingo night. Fun for adults and children alike, you can raise money by having donors pay to play. You can pick up some prizes on your own for the winners or reach out to local businesses to donate something as well. In case you need a little inspiration when it comes to communicating your event, there are a ton of funny photos on Pinterest.

Fundraising Idea 10 - images

135 – Parent’s Night Out

Parenting is an exhausting job, guys. Trust me, I know. Why not give the parents in your community a well-deserved night off? Host a parent’s night out fundraiser! Have parents donate in order to drop their children off for a set amount of time during which they can go out for dinner, to the movies, or whatever they feel like they want to do with their freedom. After all, it’s their night!

Fundraising Idea 135 - parents_night_out

136 – Obstacle Course Challenge

This is a great one to do with a smaller crowd, as you can make it a fairly challenging course and can avoid it getting dangerously clogged up with participants. Make it as big, long, and complex as you want to! Just make sure to market how challenging it will be as well. Then charge a registration fee to participate, time each entrant, and have a prize ready for the winner! A great example of an organization doing this amazingly well is the Grand Rapids Mud Run. You can check out their site for a little inspiration. 

Fundraising Idea 136 - obstacle_challan

137 – Host a Fiction-Themed Party

Calling all fiction fans! Hosting a sci-fi or fantasy themed party can be a great way to bring out the inner nerd in us all. You can focus the party on one topic like Star Trek or the Lord of the Rings, or leave it open-ended and see how everyone chooses to dress up! Research some themed snacks for the occasion and charge extra for anyone who doesn’t show up in costume!

Fundraising Idea 137_themed_party

138 – Host a Pool Party

Nice people, fun, food …and swimming, this is what a good party is all about, right? Like with most of the party ideas we’ve talked about, provide some basic snacks (or even have a “potluck” approach to spread the snack duties out amongst your team or other guests) and charge a fee for anyone who attends with all proceeds going to support your cause!

Fundraising Idea 10 - images

139 – Have an Epic Ping Pong Tournament

Ping pong… it’s an odd sport that both fasscinates and baffles us. Is it even a sport? Of course… right? Either way, people get crazy about ping pong tournaments! If you can get a ping pong table or two, host a full-on ping pong tournament with everyone paying to compete. As always, provide snacks, have some prizes, and try to work in some other smaller fundraiser ideas for those who are eliminated from the competition early and need something else to do.

Fundraising Idea 139 - ping_pong

140 – Have a Tea Party

This is one of the most genuinely refined options on the list. If having a pool party, a carnival, or a live sports event is just way too much action, consider this one. First find a church, school room, or some other space conducive to a more eloquent event. Then reach out to anyone on your team or in your organization in general who might have china, teapots, tea cups, teaspoons, tablecloths, and any and every other thing that can help make a tea party a success. Charge a fee at the door, do some raffles or silent auctions, and sell baked goods to go along with the tea and sparkling conversation. The only question is, will you have one lump or two?

Fundraising Idea 140 - tea_party

141 – Fundraising Dinner with an Expert

This idea is pretty neat. If you know anyone who is popular, famous or a particular authority on any interesting subject, ask if they’d be willing to be the guest of honor at a dinner. Then, sell tickets to the dinner where all donors will be able to listen to the expert talk and even have a chance to pick his or her brain. You can even charge an extra fee to take people’s specific questions ahead of time so that the expert can have clear and detailed answers for their “special donor questions” during the event.

Fundraising Idea 141 - dinner_with experts

142 – Say Cheese Fundraiser!

A photo booth is an iconic way to raise some money, either as its own event or in conjunction with another one. You can rent actual photo booths if you want to, or you can just set up a great photo booth space with a cool background, nifty props and a good camera on a tripod. Another cool variation is renting Polaroid cameras and having donors pay for their Polaroid picture to be taken! Flip Give wrote a pretty good article on this fundraising idea with a little more context.

Fundraising Idea 142_photo_booth

Ideas for Fundraising with Limited Attendees

Ideas for Fundraising with Limited Attendees
This section focuses in on truly limited events, the kind of events where you have a specific number of tickets that are worth a lot more apiece than any large or small event. These are the kinds of ideas that, when done right, will have donors fighting over having the honor of attending your fundraiser!

143 – Have a Gym Rat Session

If you or anyone in your group loves working out, you can use that to your advantage …as a gym fundraiser! Organize a group session for anyone passionate about both lifting weights and your cause! You can charge a participation fee or have a general donation jar out.

Fundraising Idea 143 - gym_rat

144 – Let Your Inner Artist Out

Another great idea is to host a “group painting event.” Find a local artist (who is good at teaching their craft) to and ask if they’d be willing to donate their time to teaching an art class. Make sure to charge enough per ticket to also cover the costs of the paints, paintbrushes, and canvas or whatever else you choose to paint on!

Fundraising Idea 144 - inner_artist

145 – Host a “Black Tie” Restaurant Fundraising Event

Do you know any good cooks? I’m talking gourmet chefs (or something close to that, anyway.) Then consider putting together a “Black Tie” restaurant for an evening! Create a detailed menu full of high-quality dishes, find a nice location, and recruit a team of kitchen aides, waitresses, and a host or hostess to help run the night. Then, sell tickets to the event like they’re rare stuff! If you make the event as high-caliber as possible, you’ll lock in a reputation for future events of the same nature too, making them even more successful.

Fundraising Idea 145 - black_tie

146 – Survive a Murder Mystery Party

Put on your detective hats! This idea takes the novel thrill of a murder mystery party and turns it into a fundraiser for your cause! Murder Mysteries are often very limited in number, which means you’ll need to sell tickets at a decent price and make sure that anyone who commits to the event genuinely commits. Otherwise, it can throw things off for the whole group. Here is a company that provides you with an “out of the box” type of murder mystery fundraising experience: The Murder Mystery Company

Fundraising Idea 146 - murder_mistry

147 – Have an RPG Adventure!

Another cool “role-playing” idea for a smaller fundraiser is to host a Role-Playing Game Night like The One Ring or Tales From the Loop. Find a good game master who can work well with both experienced and inexperienced players and pick a style of game that would be attractive to your fan base. Charge a fee for a spot in the game and then provide snacks and drinks for the event itself.

Fundraising Idea 10 - images

148 – Host a House Party or Concert

Having a “donors only” house party can be a fun way to bring a splash of exclusivity to your event. If only certain people are invited, doesn’t that make it the place where everyone wants to be? The event also doesn’t have to be a party necessarily. You can also find a local band and make it an acoustic house concert!

Fundraising Idea 148 - House Party

149 – Organize a Golf Tournament

This is a tried and true method to raise funds. Reach out to all of those avid golfers in your community and set up a day-long tournament that they can purchase tickets to attend. To make this process much easier on you as the organizer I’d recommend taking a look at the Golf Registrations. Golf Registrations is a software built to make all of the administrative efforts of a golf outing fundraiser super simple! You can thank us later.  

Fundraising Idea 149 - golf

150 – Organize a “1 Day Cup” Sports Event

Similar to the golf tournament idea, you can organize a “1 Day Cup” event for most sports from volleyball to soccer, basketball, and more. Figure out the number of players who can sign up, set up a bracket, and then have the teams play until there’s a winner!

Fundraising Idea 150_golf_Cup

151 – Board Game Night (The Ultimate Version)

We end on a slightly more intense version of idea #121. Host a competitive board game night. However, rather than choosing a bunch of random games to play for fun, this time pick something specific like Settler of Catan and have a limited number of people sign up so that you know you can have time to play all the way down to one winner.

And there you have it! 151 great ideas to help with your next fundraising endeavor! Obviously, you won’t be doing all of them at once, either, so store this one away to help with brainstorming for any future fundraising endeavors!

Which one is your favorite idea? Which ones have you tried before? How did they go? I’d love to hear about your experiences with them!