5 Low-Cost, No-Cost Fundraiser Ideas

Managing fundraisers from a financial perspective is difficult for nearly every group. With a little ingenuity and a concerted effort, any group can raise funds without spending much money at all. Some don’t require any exceptional efforts, either!


free fundraisers


To help your group get started fundraising for little or no money, here are 5 low-cost or no-cost fundraising ideas:

Prom dress fundraiser

Prom dress fundraisers are especially useful if you don’t have a huge selling force, and with a good donation base for dresses, the potential for profit is large. Start asking for donations for prom dresses at the beginning of new year (or during the summer when closets are being cleaned out for college bound students) which should give you plenty of time to collect enough dresses for a successful fundraiser. Ask in school newsletters, through your website, dress shops, alterations shops, and so on. You can ask local merchants and function halls to donate racks and space. Pricing for dresses could be between $25 and $45.

Since prom can be an expensive affair, this type of fundraiser can also be used to pass on the dresses to disadvantaged teens in your community for free, so that they will be more likely to be able to afford to go to prom.

Spare a Dollar

Spare a Dollar campaigns have gotten very popular with school groups; their support base is large and interested in their success. All you have to do is to draft a letter explaining your need and asking people to donate a dollar (or two) to your group. These are well-received because many people will be OK with donating a dollar and there is no shelling out for pricey products for the fundraising group.

50/50 raffle

There’s hardly an easier or cheaper fundraiser than a 50/50 raffle; what’s more, these dual money-makers are very well received. Your group will need raffle tickets (buy them at a crafts or party store). Sell the tickets for $1-$5. The winner gets half the pot and the rest goes to you. These raffles work best at large events where there are lots of people. (More about raffle fundraisers and the law.)

Collection drives

Anything that you can collect and redeem for cash has the potential for big returns on investment. Can and bottle drives, ink cartridge and cell phone recycling, electronics recycling events can all be very profitable. One of the best strategies is to set up community collection bins where people can easily drop off donations and you’ll just have to sort and return them.

Bring & Buy Sale

The Bring & Buy sale is an easy, no-cost fundraiser. All you really need is a hall, some change, some advertising, and a few tables. Each attendee is to bring an item to sell and buy before they leave. You can also put out a few extra items to get the ball rolling and charge a nominal door fee if you like.

There you have it – five easy ways to raise money with virtually no cash layout! There are so many great ideas out there, let’s just keep this list going! Read 5 More Low-Cost, No-Cost Fundraising Ideas, or click here for even more fundraising ideas!. Feel free to add your ideas in the comments!

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  1. Posted by Green Fundraising Mom 12th November, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    Hi, All.

    I’m an environmentally-conscious mom and I head the Community Activities Committee for my daughter’s school. To all parents and school administrators: if you’re looking for a fresh, new fundraising idea, think Green Fundraising! We recently held a Green Fundraising Event and it was a huge success!! We raised over $18K for the school. I found that people were so much more willing to participate because we were selling only green products.

    There are a few online companies that can help you with your event and where you can buy the eco-products. We used Mother Earth Fundraising to purchase all of our green fundraising products and I’d highly recommend them. Great customer service and their eco-products are all 100% environmentally friendly materials. Plus, their reusable grocery bags were a big hit. We sold a ton of them.

    Here’s their website if you’re curious: http://www.motherearthfundraising.com/

    If anyone else has held green fundraisers, I’d love to hear your stories too.

    Anyway, hope this helps and stay GREEN!


  2. Posted by stevenl 12th November, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    It’s about time more companies offered green fundraising products; I’ll check it out

  3. Posted by Raising Funds With Free Fundraisers | Fundraiser Ideas and Events 24th September, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    […] Read more about No-cost or Low-Cost Fundraising Ideas. […]

  4. Posted by kirkland 6th March, 2012 at 8:13 am

    this site is very useful its straight to the point

  5. Posted by 12 Resources for a Better Product Fundraiser 16th November, 2015 at 10:52 am

    […] and have little capital to invest in a product fundraiser, you might consider ideas among these 5 low or no cost fundraisers, including selling prom […]



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