Our 8 Favorite Summer Fundraisers
For the charity sector, summer fundraisers that embrace the spirit and the benefits of the season can truly make for incredible summer events.
From Memorial Day to Labor Day, nothing spells summer fundraiser success more than passionate people, promoting a praiseworthy cause and having fun while doing it! Take advantage of summer holidays, long weekends, and warm weather – the perfect recipe for great fundraising opportunities!
Following are our eight favorite summer fundraisers. Stage them as they are or diversify, combining a food fundraiser with a sporting fundraiser for example. You could even collaborate with another local organization to stage a bigger event which will attract more people and result in more donations.
1. Always popular: a barbeque fundraiser
Everyone loves an affordable dinner but for a perfect summer fundraiser, swap out a sit-down meal with a classic summer barbecue. Think hot dogs, hamburgers and grilled steaks and don’t forget the vegetarian or vegans in your group. Warm summer weather makes the barbeque one of the most successful fundraising choices.
2. Food truck fundraiser
Have you seen the new generation of food trucks? No, not your parents’ generation of catering wheels. The new breed of truck combines mouthwateringly delicious cuisine in high tech trucks with the atmospheric buzz of street food. Is it any wonder that the best ones have their own cult followings?
Once only found on downtown street corners and community colleges, the gourmet food trucks serve epicurean delights, authentic ethnic cuisines and old favorites. A food truck fundraiser can provide the refreshments that fuel supporters attending a sports event or be an event all of its own. You’ll also be freeing your supporters from the tyranny of a hot kitchen for an evening while raising money for your cause.
3. The classic golf fundraiser
Another perennial favorite that lends itself to warm summer days is the golf fundraiser. Hosting a golf tournament is a straightforward event and can raise a significant amount of money if done right.
4. Something for everyone: a carnival fundraiser
The best summer fundraisers raise money, are lots of fun for the whole family, and involve everyone in your organization. If you’re looking for a summer event that won’t be soon forgotten, look no further than a carnival fundraiser! A carnival fundraiser can be tailored to suit your organization and resources. Make it fancy or combine forces with another local fundraising group to offer more exciting features. The sky’s the limit for successful carnivals with lots of fun booths, inflatable games, refreshments and vendor’s stalls to bump up the interest and support.
5. Water bottle fundraiser
Good summer fundraisers take advantage of thirsty crowds attending the many outdoor events taking place in warm weather. It’s the season when selling bottles of water, or sports bottles filled with your drink of choice at a sporting or other outdoor event can be highly successful. You can market your water easily when there’s a ready supply of thirsty buyers.
6. Marathon or walkathon fundraiser
A marathon fundraiser can be tweaked to also accommodate walkers. A gorgeous, flat course with spirited supporters lending a wonderful atmosphere will have everyone lining up to take part. As a summer fundraiser, physical exploits have always had great potential to make money, attracting participants from seasoned runners to the weekend warriors in every community. If your community is a vibrant mix of young and old, a marathon event can morph into a family-friendly fun run.
If running seems unnecessarily grueling, walking is something that most of us find relaxing and easy to do. Being out in the fresh air and summer sunshine is a healthy way to pass time. For a summer fundraiser, a walk-a-thon can be an appealing challenge and a good way to raise money for charity. A walk-a-thon, by its very nature, is an accessible event for all ages and levels of fitness.
7. Bowling fundraisers
Here’s one summer fundraiser for those hot, hot climates where the air conditioning of the venue makes the event more attractive. The bowling fundraiser is a relatively easy way to raise cash without having a lot of money in the budget to hold the fundraiser. And if you’re situated in a summer rainfall area, the bowling fundraiser can never be rained out unlike a walk-a-thon or a golf tournament.
8. Wine tasting fundraiser
For an adult only event and a potential networking opportunity for local business owners, consider a wine tasting fundraiser! You will attract supporters who might shun all other events. Have great wine on hands, delicious food and entertainment and you will create a classy event to remember.
Stumped for ideas?
Check out our list of 100 fundraising ideas! There’s sure to be something that piques your interest.
Summer fundraising events are a wonderful way to bring in the money while giving back plenty of fun and entertainment, educate the public about your organization, create awareness about your mission and attract new donors and volunteers.
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>> Read more articles by Cari Mostert
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