Fundraising is a marathon. It requires endurance, commitment, discipline, and moving through tough times. Fundraisers produce the additional income for clubs and organizations (and even make up the bulk of an organization’s income).
Therefore, fundraising has become essential. In addition to ensuring financial stability, it also brings a sense of cooperation by bringing students, staff, parents, and the community together.
Fundraising inspires creativity and fosters an entrepreneurial mindset. It brings together like-minded people who want to work together for a good cause. Many well-executed fundraisers can result in a new network of fans, friends, followers, and supporters. The result is the advancement of your club or organizations cause through referrals and word of mouth.
A successful fundraising event can also bring in new press and media from your local area. The more positive press you can get for your club or organization – the more people will hear about you.
Whether you’re creating your yearly strategy or you’re simply getting through a mid-year hump, here’s a list of unique list fundraising ideas for clubs, that are sure to get you started – or spark a new idea of your own.
Organize a race that includes obstacles like rope and wall climbing, walking on a beam, bag races, running through sprinklers or pools of soapy water, climbing stairs, dodging water balloons filled with paint, mud pits, jumping through tires etc. Obstacle courses are exciting for everyone involved, so there should be plenty of donations pouring in.
You can run the obstacle course in a few ways. You can require a minimum raise for each team to participate or charge participants individually. Charge a fee for each time they move through your obstacle course event. If you want to raise even more, allow for your supporters to do the obstacle course as many times as they want, to improve their times.
If you’re expecting a large turnout, this kind of event is best in the summer months – when it can be organized outside.
Example: Ada Vista PTO strives to support the students and staff of the Ada Vista Elementary school. For their Caminata Field Day this year, the PTO organized an obstacle course for the students and teachers. Parents were urged to make a 5$ donation/month or a 75$ one-time donation in exchange for a yard sign for their kids on the playground. Their donation form is recurring, suggestive, and simple to use. The donation page is packed with the event information and the impact it’d be creating. And look at the goal meter – they received more than they needed!
You can organize many different cultural theme days throughout the year focusing on different parts of the world or on different cultures. Procure an iconic and traditional piece of clothing from that country/area of the world. Then, you can charge students and parents to take photos in it (e.g. a kimono).
Provide a variety of traditional, but healthy meals from that country.
For example, you could organize a “Explore the Orient” theme day and serve dishes inspired by it:
Since you are organizing the fundraiser in a school environment, try to keep the food as healthy as possible. This means no deep-frying, minimal oil, and a focus on vegetables and fruit.
This fundraising idea is a bit more challenging to organize in terms of logistics, but it has a massive fundraising potential.
Organize an event at your school (carnival, field day, sleepover) – anything that will be enticing enough for kids to want to participate.
Pack that day (or night) with a bunch of interesting and fun activities. Kids will want to have fun with their friends and parents will be happy to get some (often) much needed alone time.
Promote the activity widely at your school and at parents’ meetings. Set a fundraising goal that each student must meet in order to participate. Keep that goal high enough to be motivating, but not too high – otherwise, it gets discouraging.
Anyone who meets that goal gets to participate.
P.S. Make sure you obtain permission slips from parents.
Raise money by offering the skills and services of your students and teachers/professors to the highest bidder.
These skills can be professional (e.g. photography, tutoring, web design), but also everyday activities (e.g. running errands, driving, babysitting, pet sitting).
Otherwise, have people sponsor your staff members and students doing community service for 24 hours.
Fundraise money by organizing a morning dance party (alcohol-free of course)!
Instead, sell freshly squeezed juices and smoothies. This unique fundraising idea is sure to be a hit amongst students – energizing them before morning lectures. Create a juice & smoothies bar where students will be able to order and even create some of their own juice and smoothie unique blends.
Charge a small fee for entry and charge additionally for every smoothie and juice. Alternatively, charge a higher admission fee which will include two drinks (or more – depending on the price).
Organize a dare fundraiser to raise funds for your cause. Create a web-based challenge where participants pledge to do outlandish things if enough money is fundraised (shave their head, go a week without talking, etc.).
This is a fun and creative fundraising idea that can be executed online – which lowers the cost of organizing it.
The participants should film themselves completing their dares and share it on social media.
Organize a “The Voice” singing competition. Not the real one – of course!
Get participants to sign up and compete for an award. Recruit three judges (e.g. your college professors) and have them judge the contestants. Make it all fun and light-hearted – this is not a professional competition!
Fundraise by charging a small admission to all the spectators at the event. Most likely an event such as this will draw a great crowd in a university.
To raise additional funds, sell drinks, chocolate, and other snacks at the venue.
Guided hikes can bring in some extra dollars for sports organizations, all while promoting healthy living. A guided hike through nature is the perfect way to reach out to people of all ages and from all walks of life.
Charge people a fee to join you on a hike through your favorite trail. You can take your supporters on a trail in the mountains, the river, next to a lake, or around a national park.
Hire an expert who can keep everyone safe and point out the interesting and valuable elements of the surroundings. As you hike, you can even give them more details about why you’re raising money.
Whatever the physical activity one chooses, staying hydrated is very important.
Drinking water is one of the most crucial components of getting fit and being more healthy, in addition to working out and staying active.
Create and sell custom water bottles to raise money for your sports organization. Find a wholesale water bottle company that allows you to customize your bottles, and then start selling!
This is not only a product that adds concrete value to everyone, especially people who stay active but is also very environmentally friendly.
Taking more than 10,000 steps a day is associated with better mental and physical health. Studies show that people who walk at least 10,000 steps a day have lower anxiety, depression, anger, and fatigue.
The 10,000 step challenge requires participants to walk 10,000 steps a day for a length of time (e.g. a week or a month). Have your supporters accept pledges on how long they’ll last and have them monitor their steps (on their phones or Fitbits).
You can also turn it into peer-to-peer fundraising where participants can encourage their friends, family, co-workers, and classmates to join their teams or make a donation to support the work of your organization or club.
Another unique and attractive fundraising idea for club is organizing a healthy eating class. Everyone, at some point, wishes to eat a little bit more healthily – especially if they’re into fitness and sport.
Consider organizing this class in January when a lot of people have a desire to start eating healthy.
All you have to do is charge an entrance fee and spread the word via social media, email, and physical advertisements like flyers.
Whether you organize something shorter (1.5 hours) or something longer (the entire day), healthy eating classes can be a great way to get your entire community on the track towards healthier eating.
This inclusive and appealing idea can be organized frequently – perhaps even once per month (depending on the resources you have available). Aim for a weekend day so that both kids and parents can participate.
These are family fun days, but they’re geared towards the kids. They should be educational and fun at the same time. Teach painting classes, organize sports competitions, organize a dance party, a clay modeling workshop…
Appeal to the parents with educational opportunities, and to the kids by making those educational activities fun and entertaining.
Once a few families find out and attend, word will spread, and your monthly fundraiser will be full to the brim!
Naturally, charge the families for participation.
This fundraiser also helps build a community of parents and kids.
Example: Cornerstone Christian School provides kids and young people in their community with a well-rounded biblical education. To facilitate the same, last year, they arranged for a family fun day with activities like 1-mile family-run, 5k run, games, music, vendors, and more. Families were urged to make a donation in support of their kids. As you can see in the image below, it’s a simple yet branded donation page. The form suggests varied amounts and includes a custom field for donors to type in their kids’ names. The social media buttons surely helped increase the reach of the event.
A face painting fundraiser is a really simple and easy way to raise money for your club or organization.
Face painting works best as an attachment to another fundraising event, like a sports day or a barbecue. It takes very little planning, and the items you’ll need to run this fundraiser are cheap and easily accessible. You need a table and chairs, plates for the paint, makeup removing wipes, and paint and paintbrushes.
You don’t have to have a professional artist at your disposal – all you need is someone who is good with kids and happy to spend a day with them. Supporters pay a fee in order to have their faces painted. Have some photos available of different face paint designs for your supporters to choose from (superheroes, patterns, animals, stars, hearts).
Most spelling bees will see children compete as individuals. Each child, in turn, is asked to spell a different word and they might call out their answers or write them on aboard.
Raise funds by charging entry fees to children, charging the parents who come to watch, or charging for “second chances”.
Kids love animals! And let’s face it – who doesn’t?
Partner with a local shelter and organize a pet party at your local school or playground (or any other green and child-appropriate area). Have the shelter bring over adoptable dogs (and any social and calm cats).
This is an amazing opportunity for children to spend quality time outdoors playing with animals, and a great chance for some of those animals to get adopted. Never underestimate the power of kids begging their parents for a puppy or a kitten!
You could co-organize this fundraiser with the shelter. Since you both benefit from the fundraiser, it makes sense to join efforts in organizing it.
As a part of the fundraiser, you could organize an interactive workshop that teaches children how to properly handle animals in order not to hurt them.
Everyone has stuff they don’t need lying around their house. Your community can use participants’ unwanted goods to raise money and give the unwanted stuff a new home! These work similarly to yard sales.
You could organize:
Make sure you have a way to collect the funds and provide receipts for your donors.
Alternative idea: You can combine these three into a big ‘jumble’ drive/sale where books, shoes, and clothes are sold.
Example: Hope Active is a 501c3 organization helping less fortunate families and kids in the community. What they did is very similar to the ideas here but slightly different – a toy drive. It was arranged during Christmas to raise donations to give deserving kids some toys. The donation tiers in their form highlight the possible impact of every donation amount. Interested donors can even make monthly and yearly donations, and get to select where their money would go, if not the toy drive.
An excellent idea for community organizations, this fundraising activity is sure to bring people together.
Find a simple recipe for a delicious and hearty soup and get the word out. Participants should bring soup ingredients and then cook the soup altogether.
Enjoy the soup with some bread and charge per portion – clearly communicating what will the fundraising proceeds be going towards.
This fundraising idea is especially suitable for cold autumn and winter days on the horizon!
Fundraising bracelets are a great way to rally a wider community around your organization’s cause.
It’s very important, however, if you choose to execute this fundraising idea, that you don’t create just any bracelet. The bracelet design should be unique and representative of the cause. Otherwise, there is little incentive for an individual to buy and wear the bracelet.
Make your bracelets modern and classy. For bonus points, work with a local designer who cares about the cause.
For example, by purchasing a 4 Ocean bracelet you will remove one pound of trash from the ocean and coastlines.
Fundraising for science clubs must be easy, fun, and educational.
Why not hold an eco-friendly plant competition that checks all the boxes? This fundraising idea for science clubs focuses on biology, sustainability, and conservation. All you need to do is document the development time of several plants as well as their yield time.
The plants can be anything ranging from flowers to trees to even vegetable gardens. For vegetable garden fundraisers, the members of the club may also read the results of different environments around the vegetable’s production.
Another fun way for science clubs to raise funds is to host a haunted house for the community, with a science lab-themed room.
You could show off your decorating skills by using some very cool chemistry tricks. Make a glowing skull with laundry detergent, whip up some fake blood, and even use dry ice to give the room a spooky feel.
The members of your club can also wear periodic table costumes. Invite other school clubs to contribute a room of their own.
Flower Bulb Fundraisers are one of the best eco-friendly fundraisers.
Just about everyone loves flowers. Also, there is no cost to get started. People everywhere love having beautiful flowers in their gardens and that makes these bulbs some of the easiest to sell products for your science club.
The members of the club can distribute brochures in advance and collect orders from the community. You can then place orders for these bulbs and collect them, individually pack them, and deliver them to the customers.
Holding golf tournaments is a great way to raise funds for your golf club.
Your golf club can give teams free rounds at certain times of the day throughout the week at the course. And in return, the team runs a large 100+ person tournament with all of their members. All proceeds from the tournament go straight to the club.
This is a fun way not only to raise funds but also to develop a great relationship with them. You can also sell small mulligans to raise extra funds for the club.
Example: First Tee introduces golf and its inherent values to the young people in south-central Kansas. To help the young golfers by paying the green fees, they arranged for a golf marathon this year. Their crowdfunding campaign starts with the impact their 2020 program had created and slowly makes a shift to this year’s event details. Making donations on this page is simple. With the ‘updates’ tab and donor wall, the team easily creates trust and appreciates their donors.
Bake sales are a fun way to raise funds for any club. All you need are people who like baking and people who like eating. These can be your staff, members of your golf club, or even the local community.
You can sell golf-themed cupcakes, brownies, cookies, and pies.
Announce your bake sale in advance, invite your community, distribute brochures, send out invites and emails. You can also invite people to bring their baked goodies. All proceeds go to the club. Don’t forget to tell people how much you raised at the end of the event.
An effective way to raise funds by golf clubs is by approaching golfers while on course. A great way to do this is with a fully-stocked cash-bar golf cart! Load up the back of a golf cart with snacks, ice, and cold drinks, then drive the course and sell your golfers what they want.
Cold beer, sodas, chips, and other snacks always sell well. You can also include other items like small bottles of sunscreen, hats, or even visors.
Sell extra raffle tickets just in case someone is in the buying mood after a great drive.
A great way to raise funds after the tournament is by hosting a tournament dinner and banquet. It’s a great way to attract the community and for people not interested in the game, the dinner, and banquet provide an incentive.
You may sell separate tickets for this event and include food, entertainment, a silent auction, and an awards ceremony.
You can also make announcements about your club’s goals and future events. Be sure to thank the volunteers, golfers, and sponsors.
Fundraising can be difficult and exhausting – especially when you have to keep it up all year round. There is an element of saturation and tiredness when it comes to giving, with so many campaigns and fundraisers going on at the same time (and seemingly all the time).
Use the above ideas as inspiration and make them your own!
Most of the fundraising ideas we shared above are physical but do not forget about the digital.
Planning and implementing a multitude of fundraising ideas throughout the year can help your club or organization achieve its fundraising goals.
These fundraising ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. Talk to your members, your volunteers, your supporters – what would they like to take part in? Then, follow their lead.
Remember that even the most simple fundraising idea takes preparation. Leave yourself enough time to plan the event stress-free. Have fun fundraising!