Visions of bunnies, chicks, spring, and flowers in bloom…
Easter is just around the corner – which means now is a great time to start thinking about an Easter-inspired fundraiser for your nonprofit organization.
Regardless of whether you need to raise money for your church, school, or club, there are several ways to raise funds for your cause while celebrating this important holiday.
Whether you’re looking for some last-minute Easter fundraising ideas or you’re looking to spruce up an already existing fundraising plan, we’ve got you covered!
Here are our top creative Easter fundraising ideas:
I. Online Easter Fundraising Ideas
Throughout the last few weeks, nonprofits around the world have been trying to come up with innovative ways to raise funds during the ongoing pandemic and the resultant quarantines.
In the light of the novel reality we’re all facing individually and collectively, we decided to share with you a few ways to collect donations online this Easter.
1. Online Easter Challenge
“Social fundraising”, “crowdfunding”, “peer-to-peer fundraising.” All of these terms are mostly referring to the same thing: an online fundraising effort that relies on leveraging the social networks of your supporters.
The most famous example of social fundraising was The Ice Bucket Challenge by ALS. The challenge grew virally, quickly becoming a social media phenomenon.
Now that so many of us are indoors, ‘tag a friend’ challenges have been going around more than ever, especially on Instagram Stories. For example, a #do10tag10 challenge invites the viewer to complete 10 push-ups and then tag 10 friends to do the same. This causes a ‘chain’ reaction, spreading the challenge.
Hop onboard the trend and use it for the benefit of your nonprofit this Easter!
Design a challenge specifically targeted for social media, particularly Instagram (if you have an account – which hopefully you do). Invite followers to complete a challenge, donate to your nonprofit, and then tag 5 (or 10) friends to do the same.
This should be something relatively quick to complete, otherwise, there might be too much resistance. Although you could experiment with the complexity/length of the challenge – after all, you know your audience best.
For example, you could ask your followers to decorate an Easter egg, donate $15 and then tag 5 friends to do the same. Alternatively, you could challenge your followers to do 10 ‘bunny hops’ for exercise, donate $10, and tag 10 friends.
You could also challenge them to draw a bunny in 15 seconds, donate $10, and tag 10 friends.
Develop a hashtag unique to the campaign.
Pro tip: Instruct your followers to donate online on your website. Donorbox seamlessly embeds to your website; otherwise use the Donorbox popup widget.
2. Online Easter Basket Auction
Create Easter-themed baskets filled with Easter goodies to make the Easter morning bright. For example, fill them with a keepsake plush Easter Bunny alongside seasonal shortbread cookies, colorful kettle corn, and Easter-themed candy.
Then, auction the baskets off.
If you’d like to explore different themes for your Easter basket, consider some of the following ideas:
- Chocoholic Basket (a variety of chocolates, hot chocolate sachets, cake mixes, etc.)
- Morning Coffee/Tea Basket (coffee bags, teas, battery-powered milk frother, etc.)
- Fruit Basket (a selection of fresh and dried fruit)
- Home & Garden Basket (succulents, gardening tools, gloves, etc.)
- Night At The Movies Basket (DVDs, popcorn, movie passes, etc.)
It’s not uncommon for gift baskets to wind up selling for hundreds of dollars, depending on what the theme is. They can range anywhere from $50 to $500 in value, depending on the quality and exclusivity of the items.
Once you decided on the theme and procured all the items (ideally using online delivery), start assembling the baskets.
You should also find a way to organize the auction online. Whether you use an auction software or simply post the baskets on your social media and let your followers bid in comments, don’t overcomplicate the process for yourself or your bidders. Describe items using concise, informative language.
Basket auctions are a great fundraising idea that’s not intimidating for most nonprofits. The contents are relatively simple to procure. You can bundle smaller donations into one package greater than the sum of its parts.
The best auction items suit your audience, work with your event theme, and have a high potential for income generation.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to set the time limit for the auction! And reiterate what the money will be used for. Donors are more likely to give if they have a clear understanding of what their donations will help accomplish.
3. Online Flower Sale
Although we’re advised to social distance and be fully quarantined, we can still enjoy fresh flowers – one of the best things about spring!
Contact a local florist (or a site that gathers several florists), ideally one that already delivers online. Run a campaign together where a part of the flower sales profit would go towards your nonprofit organization.
You can settle on two or three flower arrangements (perhaps by matching the colors of the flowers to the colors of your brand) and sell those on their website. Next to the ‘buy’ or ‘checkout’ button, the florist/website could add ‘buy purchasing this flower arrangement you are (insert impact here)”. For example, ‘by purchasing the flower arrangement, you are providing shelter for one street dog for 3 days’.
The florist will still be making a profit from the sales, and will also be growing their audience (by accessing your nonprofit’s audience). Finally, they get to enjoy contributing to a good cause and building their reputation as a socially responsible business. Win-win!
As the health and safety of customers and employees delivering the flowers are of top priority during these times, make sure the florist does not require a signature for delivery. Furthermore, all orders should no longer be hand-delivered but are left at the front door with no contact.
Pro tip: Use a fundraising thermometer to keep participants in the loop, announce milestones (“Goal met!”), and shout-out top fundraisers and donors.
4. Virtual Breakfast With Easter Bunny
Breakfasts, lunches, and teas with the Easter Bunny are some of the quintessential Easter activities.
You might have even planned one for this year, particularly if your nonprofit is a church or a school.
But not all is doomed!
Get creative and move your Breakfast With Easter Bunny online!
Hire a local character actress/actor to portray the Easter Bunny.
Have a storytime, music, a sing-a-long, and more – just like you would if the event was organized in person.
Luckily, there are already existing ways to easily host online events.
Over 100,000 online-only events were hosted on Eventbrite alone in 2019, with a variety of topics.
You can also organize a live interactive egg hunt with the Easter Bunny – if you have the time and space to organize the logistics.
Finally, you could also organize a coloring contest for kids to enter for a chance to win a postcard from the Easter Bunny, since pictures with the Easter Bunny are likely not recommended.
5. Virtual Walk/Run
Many nonprofits use the great outdoors and the warmer weather during spring as the opportunity to bring the community together and raise funds through charity runs and walks.
However, nearly all of the typical walk and run events have now been canceled due to the pandemic.
Luckily, you don’t have to do the same!
While the physical connection of people moving together is indeed a critical component of fundraising runs and walks, there are ways around it.
For instance, you can have the participants do the walk alone at any time on a specific day. While they do the activity, they should take photos to share with the community.
Participants can also pledge to run or walk any number of miles or a number of consecutive days, whether by themselves outdoors, with their family or their dog, or on a treadmill at home.
Design a unique landing page for this fundraiser, if you already don’t have one and make the call to action and the instructions very clear.
The UNHCR is the refugee arm of the United Nations. They are encouraging everyday citizens all over the world to ‘Go the Extra Mile’ for refugees with a virtual race. Their goal is to raise 50,000 British Pounds to help 300 refugee families. The cause also raises awareness of refugee crises around the world.
You can substitute another activity in the place of running or walking. Consider yoga, jump rope, or cycling.
II. In-Person Easter Fundraising Ideas
If you’re looking to run an in-person fundraiser this Easter, we have several ideas for you too. In-person events are fantastic opportunities to connect with your supporters face-to-face, build your community, and rally around your cause.
1. Easter Egg-Decorating Picnic
Easter egg-decorating can be a stand-alone event – or as an add-on to another event, in this case, a picnic!
To organize the Easter egg-decorating picnic, coordinate enough picnic tables and/or folding tables and chairs for your expected attendees, plus a few extras. Make sure wheelchair-using or other limited-mobility guests can seat themselves comfortably.
Your picnic menu should include several main and a couple of side dishes. Make sure to keep in the loop all dietary preferences and allergens.
Send out the invites and promote the event well in advance. This will give parents enough time to plan around their holiday schedules. When promoting the event, make sure to include helpful details. For example, suggest to parents that they dress their kids in clothes they won’t mind getting a little messy.
Have each person decorate their eggs – create a diorama or any other unique thing to help them win!
Charge a nominal entry fee and ask a local vendor to sponsor it with a prize!
Pro tip: Secure the supplies from a local sponsor so as to ensure that all the donations go straight towards your mission!
2. Easter Crafternoon
Set up a craft event in the dining hall after school, in the church common space or yard, a park, or another suitable space.
Bring seasonal cheer to the table with a few essentials. Use old-fashioned bowls and cake stands—in pretty pastels.
Raise the supplies from a local sponsor or buy them (and then include that into the fee that you charge). This is a great Easter fundraising idea for children, but you could also adapt it and make it suitable for adults too.
Prepare a range of things to make including masks, foam bunnies, eggs, baskets, daffodil pinwheels, and Easter-themed temporary tattoos.
Provide basic baked sugar cookies, shaped like rabbits and carrots, and then have the kids paint them with edible paint. Let the kids test out their painting skills on these cookies first, then let set to dry while they switch over to other (non-edible) projects. Older kids can also create simple bunny outfits by creating headband ears, flower crowns, and accessorizing t-shirts and onesies.
Charge a fee per child/participant.
3. Guessing Competition
Guessing competitions are a classic – and for a good reason! Kids and adults alike love guessing.
For example, you can fill a jar with mini Easter eggs and ask the participants to guess how many mini Easter Eggs are in the jar. Make it harder by mixing small solid foil-wrapped eggs with candy-coated eggs.
Charge 50c to $1 for each guess and set a time limit for the guessing.
Prepare a reward for the winner – potentially all the eggs in the jar!
Alternatively, you can ask one of the parents to make an enormous carrot cake, decorated with cream cheese icing and a few Easter Eggs and carrots. Ask participants to guess the weight of the cake!
This Easter fundraising idea will work best for schools but can be adapted for many different nonprofits.
4. Easter Baking Class
With its spring motifs of bunnies, lambs, chicks, and eggs, the Easter holiday season offers lots of opportunities for creative baking and decorating. Plus, there is a rising desire from event attendees to learn new skills. The Easter holiday gives everyone plenty of excuses to both indulge in, and learn how to make, baked goods and chocolate.
To put a spin on the traditional bake sale fundraiser, organize an Easter baking class. You can adjust the difficulty and the content of the class to your audience.
So, gather or procure baking tools, Easter baskets and treats, then tap your imagination and create a delightful holiday experience for your participants. Find simple recipes for cakes and cookies, plus ideas for decorating eggs and filling Easter baskets.
For example, if you’re working with children, ‘baking’ might include safely melting some chocolate and placing it in egg molds to make chocolate eggs. If you’re working with adults, your baking class can take up baking a delicious carrot cake or hot cross buns.
Charge a participation fee to raise funds for your cause!
Pro tip: You can conduct your easter baking class online. With some basic efforts to organize online, this can be especially useful during the current phase of quarantine to stay safe from coronavirus.
5. Easter Bunny Cleaning Crew
Spring is the time when many of us declutter, clean, and refresh our spaces.
A spring cleaning drive is one of the best ways to raise money quickly for your cause.
The simplest way to run this kind of fundraising event is to offer pick-up for items that your supporters are decluttering just before Easter. Have a team of volunteers available to pick up and unload items for your fundraising event. To make it all the more fun, have your volunteers dress up in (practical) Easter Bunny costumes.
Promote your event, and let your community know that you’re doing a spring cleaning drive.
If you want to take it up a notch, and your volunteers are willing – you can also offer house cleaning or gardening services.
Have a list of your supporters who have opted in to your fundraiser. Organize them by location. Give each of your volunteers a list of homes that need to get cleaned or have items that you need to collect.
You may need to have a special vehicle available for large items that need to be collected. If you don’t have a truck at your disposal, rent one and charge a higher fee for larger items.
Canceling or changing an event can be stressful, but having a backup plan is key to ensuring your efforts to raise money this Easter is not severely impacted.
By adding virtual events into your fundraising strategy, you can ensure your organization’s preparedness in any crisis that impacts your ability to deliver on your mission in person. Now is the perfect time to think creatively and try to replicate your usual in-person activities into online activities. This will help keep up the spirits of your team and your supporters – which is needed now more than ever.
Hopefully, you are now equipped with a few more Easter event ideas in your arsenal!
With a bit of creativity and dedication, you can organize something that not only raises funds but also gets people together and engaged with your cause.
Please reach out to our Donorbox team if you have any questions or concerns that we might help you with. Donorbox is reducing its platform fee to 0.5% for nonprofits working directly in relief for those affected by a coronavirus, for the next 2 months.