100 + Fundraising Ideas!
Need some inspiration for your next fundraiser? Following are 100 + ideas to get you started!
* To maximize your income, get as many materials, rentals and prizes as possible donated, including space to hold your event and flyer printing
* consider inviting special guests, like principals, local business leaders and celebrities who will draw more current and potential supporters
* include smaller fundraisers like selling snacks and seasonal items along with your larger events!
Tip: To find a specific fundraising product or services, please use the search box to the right.
Here we go: 100 + fundraising ideas:
– Choose your plight: donors pay a dollar each to vote on what the principal, leader or other volunteer will have to endure: shave head, dye hair, duct tape to the wall, wear a silly costume etc.
– Photography contest: charge entrance fee, assign a theme
– Snow or sand sculpture fundraiser: for teams or individuals, charge entrance fee, hire a professional to show how it’s done and to increase your draw
– Variety show/talent show: charge entrance fee, admission, sell snacks
– Flocking flamingos: only try this on people in the know or who got fair warning: place a flock of flamingos (the kind you get at a party store) into someone’s front yard, only to be removed for a donation
– Duck Race! Donors ‘sponsor’ ducks which will then ‘race’ down an actual river or a ‘lazy river’ at a water park, the winning duck’s sponsor gets a prize
– Movember: men grow mustaches during November to help promote awareness and increase donations to fight prostate cancer
– Class competition: whichever class raises the most money will receive a prize, like a pizza party
– Bachelor/bachelorette auction: tacky but might be lucrative if the ones auctioned off are popular
– Haunted House: charge entrance fee, best costumes competition
– Easter Bunny Hop: sell snacks, have ‘dance instruction, raffles
– Gift wrap service around the holidays
– Sell coupon books
– Prominent volunteer like principal commits to have head shaved when a specific fundraising goal is reached
– Bingo: charge admission, get prizes donated
Food and candy fundraisers:
– Pancake breakfast
– Cook-off: choose a category like vegetarian, or a specific food like pasta or chilli, offer kids activities
– Benefit dinner: charge admission, silent auction
– Dining out: sell vouchers to local pizza shops or hamburger restaurants; or restaurants donate part of profits during a specific time slot
– Popcorn fundraiser
– Cookbook fundraiser: charge for having a personal recipe added (can be dedicated to special people), then sell the cookbooks
– Healthy bake sale fundraiser: offer organic breads, not-so-sweet dessert, fruit tarts
– Funny beauty pageant
– Selling awareness ribbons, silicone bracelets or bumper stickers
– Dog show: dogs race or do tricks, charge entrance fee, sell food and t-shirts, have donated prizes
– Carnival games: bean bag toss, balloon darts, marbles, miniature bowling
– Flower bulb fundraising
– Polar bear plunge: a local pool will do!
– Dog wash fundraiser
– Comedian event
– Quilt fundraiser: ask quilting club to donate their services for one special quilt to auction or raffle
– Craft corner: volunteers make home decor or ornaments, paintings
– Student art exhibit: ask for donations, sell reprints of the art in form of note cards, note pads, mugs, t-shirts
– Grade pledges: students collect pledges for A’s at the beginning of the semester and collect when they get their report cards
– Ink cartridge fundraiser: collect ink cartridges and sell them for cash to a recycling service
– Parents’ Night Out: Designate a school gym or community room and charge per child (siblings and pay extra); kids will play games, do crafts, eat and then watch a movie; offer a few hours or all night; get lots of volunteers to keep the kids busy
– Birthday pledge: donors ask for donations instead of birthday gifts
– Wii game night: play sports games such as bowling or baseball and charge admission, winner of the night wins a prize
– Guess how many coins/candy in the jar: have donors estimate how much is in the jar for a dollar, the winner will receive a prize
– Silly costume challenge: if a certain amount is raised, teachers will wear silly costumes for a day
– School yard sale: include donated items, gently used and new items
– Family Movie Night: get space in a gym or community room, charge admission, sell snacks
– Date or dance with principal, your organization’s leader, or a celebrity is auctioned off through silent auction
– Themed baskets: like “movie night” or “Backyard BBQ” or “Kids Outdoor Toys” or “Made in the US Toys”. Get donations from local businesses to add to the baskets, like gift cards, lessons, coupons etc.
– Silent Auction: Supporters donate miscellaneous things new, used and handmade to be auctioned off. Furniture, event tickets, printer etc.
– Gorgeous cakes and desserts for different occasions are provided by supporters and volunteers
– Performances: Ask local artists to donate a performance to be auctioned off
– Services like music lessons, mowing lawn, shoveling snow, any computer services, cleaning are solicited from supporters and volunteers, then auctioned off at a silent auction
– Art, event tickets, or higher value items can be auctioned off online through Ebay or online auction service
– Reverse raffle: potential donors get raffle ticket and sell them back for $10 to avoid getting their name drawn and having to do something embarrassing
– Cow pie fundraiser also works with other animals: divide field into squares and sell squares to donors. The square where the animal ‘goes’ wins.
– Spell-a-thon: donors pledge for correctly spelled words
– Shopping bag fundraiser: consider adding advertising from local merchants to increase your profit
– Casino Game Night: charge entrance fee, silent auction
– Raffle off gift certificates/cards to local stores, restaurants
– Craft fair
– Catalog fundraiser, or order taking fundraiser
– Flea market: charge per table
– River/beach/neighborhood trash cleanup: get local sponsors, set goal, sell t-shirts, group which collects most trash wins prize
– Tombola: sell tickets, draw winning ticket
– Spaghetti dinner fundraiser
– Mardi Gras fundraiser
– Tuition raffle: sell a minimum amount of tickets to cover tuition for the winner for a semester.
– Minigolf tournament
– Coupon book fundraiser
– Book fundraiser
– Pie-in-the-face fundraiser aka wet-sponge-in-the-face-fundraiser: most fun with a celebrity ‘victim’
– Paper airplane race: set up table where donors can make paper airplanes, the one that flies the farthest wins a prize
– Lip Sync fundraiser: no karaoke set-up needed!
– Cell phone donations: cell phone can be sold to sites like gazelle.com or auctioned off on ebay.com
– Fashion show
– 50/50 raffle: half the proceeds will be used for prizes so there will be lots of opportunity to win
– Open mic night, concert
– Donation match: find a sponsor who will match donations you’ll get from your fundraiser
– Organize an art show for local talent: photographers, painters, sculptors; get percentage of each sale, sell refreshments
– Gold Rush: ask for old jewelry and sell it a cash-for-gold place
– Collect pledges for read-a-thons for reading a certain amount of books, picking up certain amount of trash at beach clean up
– ‘Simply ask for money’ fundraiser: Send request on a custom notecard designed by students with return envelope
– Text donations: Appropriate for larger fundraising campaigns
Did you count? There are actually quite a few more than 100 fundraising ideas. Please keep this list going and add your own fundraising ideas in the comments!
All images © iStockphoto
* * * * * * *
>> Read more articles by Marita Meegan
* * * * * * *
>> To easily receive updates, incl. new articles, fundraising ideas and more, subscribe here.
* * * * * * *
* * * * * * *