100+ Best Fundraising Ideas for Everyone (Quick, Unique & Easy) in 2021

100+ Best Fundraising Ideas for Everyone (Quick, Unique & Easy) in 2021

effective fundraising ideas

Are you looking for fresh, inventive, and effective fundraising ideas for your nonprofit organization?

Look no further!

We know that choosing the right fundraising idea for your nonprofit can be challenging. There are a lot of factors to consider: budget and time constraints, human resources available, your audience, and more.

Through our work with thousands of nonprofit organizations, that use Donorbox as their online donation solution, we’ve seen hundreds of fundraising strategies.

In this article, we outline and review 100+ of our favorite fundraising ideas for different nonprofits. We highlighted the most relevant and effective fundraisers and also rated their cost, difficulty, and fundraising potential. Naturally, each one of these simple fundraising ideas can be tweaked and adapted to your specific circumstances and fundraising goals.

We also have some quick 2-min videos to help you implement these fresh ideas! Check the Donorbox YouTube playlist here.

From the below navigation tool, you can skip ahead to the fundraising ideas most relevant to you – or just browse through all of them for inspiration! You’ll also find other resources linked, filled with even more powerful and creative fundraising ideas.

Happy fundraising!


School Fundraising Ideas


7 Fundraising Ideas for High School

High Schools need funds to conduct various school activities, cultural and co-curricular events, and functions. Here are some creative ways to raise money for schools!


1. Read-A-Thon

This high school fundraising idea might just be the teachers’ and parents’ favorite, seeing that it encourages children to read for pleasure.

Students obtain pledges from teachers, family members, or parents for the number of pages or books they can read, and then they log the hours.

You can choose to track chapters, pages, or reading periods (minutes, hours, sessions), but the most common model for a read-a-thon is to have students read as much as possible during a designated time period. Make sure to prepare a reward for the winner!

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +

fundraising ideas for high school


2. Talent Show

A talent show gives students recognition for their non‐academic talents and interests. It also provides lessons in persistence and commitment to students during try‐outs, practice, and performance.

Be careful not to pick dates around exams or school‐wide testing. To promote the fundraising event, ask students to make posters and hang them around the school, and in town. Pick supervisors and organize auditions.

Stagger your performers so that all the musicians, singers, and dancers are evenly distributed throughout the show.

To turn your talent show into a fundraiser, you can sell tickets (either at the door or ahead of time), sell t-shirts, bracelets, food, professional photographs of the performers, and more.

Fundraising Potential: +
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++


3. Movie Night

When organizing a school movie fundraiser, it’s important to consider your audience. There are many different types of movies out there, and some are not appropriate for kids or youth. You can either go with the classics or play on novelty.

Whether your fundraising event is indoors or outdoors, you will need a movie license. Choose 2-3 movies and fill in the movie license applications.

Set up a movie screen in your hall or team up with your local cinema to get a special rate for families to attend a new release. Decorate the space and make it comfortable by adding pillows and blankets.

Charge for entry and raise even more funds by selling popcorn, candy, and drinks. For maximum results, create a hype around your event. Advertise in your school’s newsletter and put up posters. Attract local businesses – they will be eager to sell hot or cold food or provide pre-movie entertainment.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $$
Difficulty: +

school fundraising ideas

Click here for more such quick fundraising ideas.


4. A Day Off

What could be more enticing to a high school student than a day off? Before getting started with this high school fundraising idea, make sure you get permission from the school authorities.

Then, organize a raffle contest. The student who collects the most donations by selling the raffle tickets gets one day off from school.

You can also brainstorm other fun rewards to act as incentives for students.

Fundraising Potential: +
Cost: $
Difficulty: +


5. Quiz Night

Quiz nights, or trivia nights, are relatively inexpensive to put together, and the returns are excellent. You can purchase a ready-made trivia night package or put together the quiz yourself. Once you have all the questions ready, try to make a list of all the things you’ll need to run the trivia event. This includes a venue, speakers, monitors if needed, handouts, the quiz itself, and any other items you can think of that will ensure that everything goes smoothly.

Don’t forget about the prizes – perhaps some of the parents in your school own or work in small businesses such as restaurants or hair salons. Vouchers from these types of businesses are great prizes, so are movie tickets, and other types of gifts cards. And don’t forget about recruiting a host/quiz master either!

Charge for entry (charge per person or per team), and raise additional funds by selling food and drinks.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: +
Difficulty: +


6. Mobile Phones Drive

With young people upgrading to newer and better models almost every year, this is a straight-forward fundraiser that works well for schools.

In many countries, old mobile phones can be exchanged for cash. There are many ways in which mobile phones can be recycled; and a number of companies that will want to buy it from you (to either repair, refurbish and sell on; or to reclaim parts to use later on).

Set up a collection point, perhaps at your school, where people can drop off their old phones. Advertise your mobile phones recycling drive, making sure to highlight that the drive is for a good cause. Throughout the drive, keep people informed about the progress (e.g. 100 phones donated so far), and encourage further donations.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: +
Difficulty: +


7. School Dance

This simple, yet effective high school fundraising idea often gets overlooked. To assist you, recruit a team of helpers. The school dance committee can then decide on a theme and help with designs for any tickets, posters flyers, and decorations. Take care of the basics: the food and drinks you’ll serve, as well as the music and the lights.

Calculate how much money you need to cover all the costs (décor, food, DJ), and how much you want to make on top of it – and use this to price your tickets.

Recruit volunteers from the Parent Teachers Association/Organisation and other parent volunteers to work in the cloakroom, at the door, serving food and drinks, and more.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: ++
Difficulty: ++

For more creative school fundraising ideas, head over to this blog.

school fundraising ideas


7 Fundraising Ideas for Universities/College

Universities and Colleges can create ample opportunities to raise funds. After all, college communities need money in order to fund their clubs, festivals, and college community events. Check out these ideas for university and college fundraising.


8. Dorm Decorating Contest

Many students take pride in their dorms. Promote the competition on campus and on social media. Recruit a committee to assess the entries/submissions. Alternatively, choose a winner based on the number of votes (e.g. likes, retweets, shares) that they’re able to gather. Have students pay a small fee to enter their room in the contest.

Think of an incentivizing prize and award it to the best spruced up space. A gift card to Target or another store with a selection of home décor items would work well for this fundraising idea.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: +
Difficulty: +


9. Community Serve-A-Thon

Have each class or student organization in your school choose a volunteer activity that will benefit the community as a whole (e.g. raking leaves or park/beach clean-up). A serve-a-thon can really mobilize your students to raise funds for your college/university.

Promote your serve-a-thon both online and offline.

Your community members then pledge money to the individuals or teams in support of their work. The group which reaches their fundraising goal first wins a prize. Serve-a-thons are a great way to raise some funds and get your students engaged with the wider community.

Watch this short video to learn how you can host a community serve-a-thon for your school with utmost efficacy.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: +
Difficulty: ++


10. Raffle Fun

Turn this classic fundraiser college students-approved by sourcing interesting prizes.

Contact local businesses who may want to donate something to your raffle. Make sure you contact those businesses whose products or services would be appealing to students (e.g new school supplies, clothes, tablets, headphones, trainers, laptops, and more).

Most people are willing to spend a dollar or two if there’s a chance they might win a prize.

For the local businesses, this presents a great branding opportunity at a relatively low cost, and it helps your nonprofit secure affordable and appealing prizes for your event!

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: +
Difficulty: ++


11. Video Game Tournament

A video game tournament is sure to attract the college crowd! Do a little bit of research into what the most popular video games are at the moment and make sure you have a good variety of those. The better the games are (sprinkle in a couple of classics and a couple of new ones that your audience might not have tried), the bigger crowd you’ll attract and the more funds you’ll raise.

Ask students and other community members to donate video games and lend you some equipment. This will help to keep the costs low. You can also look into renting the games and the equipment.

Promote the event and come up with a prize for the winner – perhaps a pack of the most popular video games or new headphones.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $$
Difficulty: ++

fundraising ideas for high schoolers


12. Outrageous Dare

Get some of the college/university professors and staff on board for this college fundraising idea.

Have them accept to do an outrageous dare if students manage to reach a specific fundraising goal. For example, the dare might be to wander the university in a ridiculous costume, dance the chicken dance in the student cafeteria, skydiving, kissing a goat, camping on the university roof, and more – the options are endless!

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +


13. Grownup Field Day

Field days are fun! And not only for kids. These unique college fundraising ideas will appeal to the inner child in your students. Secure a team of volunteers to help plan and execute the event.

Think of appropriate, fun, and just-the-right-level-of-challenging activities (jumping ropes, obstacle running course, water balloon pass, balancing acts, solving riddles while jumping in sacks, and more – the possibilities are endless)!

You can charge a flat fee to participate in the field day or charge individual fees for each activity. Have donation boxes and jars set up to collect any additional donations throughout the day, and sell food, snacks, and refreshments.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $$
Difficulty: ++

fundraising ideas for kids


14. Ramen Cook-Off

Ramen has become somewhat of a signature student dish. Invite your students to show off their best ramen recipe!

To determine the winners, you’ll need to assign staff members or volunteers as a panel of judges.

Require a registration fee for those who wish to enter the competition. Don’t forget to provide a prize to the winner.

If ramen isn’t your thing, chili is another classic option for this unique fundraising competition.

Fundraising Potential: +
Cost: +
Difficulty: +

Find more creative and unique college fundraising ideas in this article.


7 Fundraising Ideas for Clubs

If you’re looking to raise funds for your clubs, here are some ideas you can take up right away!


15. 10,000 Steps Challenge

The ’10,000 Steps Challenge’ is not only an excellent way to raise funds, but it also encourages and promotes a healthier lifestyle. 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, and most experts recommend at least 30 minutes of physical exercise per day.

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.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++

10k run - fundraising ideas for schools


16. Cultural Theme Day

Organize a Cultural Theme Day focusing on a specific part of the world or a specific culture. During a Cultural Theme Day, you can raise funds in an array of different ways. For example, you can procure an iconic and traditional piece of clothing from that country/area of the world and then charge the attendees to take photos in it (e.g. a kimono).

Additionally, you can sell a variety of traditional, but healthy meals from that country (e.g. sushi (nori) or rice paper rolls, Vietnamese rolls, fried rice or noodles, veggie or chicken skewers, or stir-fries), or even charge for teaching people how to make 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.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: ++
Difficulty: ++


17. Tree Planting Day

This is an eco-friendly fundraising event idea that everyone will want to be a part of!

Commit to planting a certain number of trees that match up with your fundraising goal (for example, 10 trees for $1000).

When you reach your fundraising goal, you’ll get together with community members and plant the trees at a local park, forest, or nature preserve.

Try to see if a local tree nursery would donate saplings to this event to increase your earnings even more.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++

tree planting - fundraising ideas for clubs


18. Board Game Tournament

Board games of all kinds are having a comeback. With more and more people of all ages seeking to spend less time online, a board game tournament is a great way to get everyone to spend some quality time together – and raise funds for a good cause!

You can choose from word games to complex strategy and fantasy games.

Pick the board games and invite students to register. Then proceed to provide some pledge forms for family and friends to show their support.

Don’t forget to prepare prizes for the winners!

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++


19. Hug Booth

The beauty of this club’s fundraising idea lies in its simplicity. Hug booths are simple to put together – all you need is a stand/booth (or even a big sign will do) and a bunch of loving volunteers willing to give out hugs.

You can choose to set a donation amount (e.g. $3 per hug) or use the ‘pay what you want model’. Hug booths can be organized everywhere and anytime, but work best when there are crowds, so if there are bigger events happening – try and have your hug booth there.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +

Here are some more fundraising ideas for clubs.


20. Karaoke

Karaoke is a fun and uplifting way to raise funds for your club. You’ll need a karaoke machine, a location to host the event, and contestants!

To save money, look into renting karaoke equipment. This fundraising idea can also easily be incorporated into bigger events (like dances and festivals).

To make karaoke even more fun, make it so that when a certain amount of donations is collected, a particular person or group will need to sing. For example, students will love the chance to get their principal or favorite teachers to sing on stage.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: ++
Difficulty: ++


21. Yard Sale

Yard sales are especially lucrative for clubs and organizations with locally-based supporters. Consider hosting the yard sale at a school or at another locally relevant location.

Ask for contributions from your members, plus the larger community. Aim to have a good mix of high- and low-value items, to cater to everyone’s interests and budget.

Pick a date, start collecting the items, promote online and offline, and get started. Yard sales are an easy way to raise funds, they bring the community together, they encourage a sustainable approach to consumption, and they enable some serious decluttering to happen. All in one swoop!

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +

yard sale - fundraising ideas for clubs

Looking for more effective fundraising ideas for clubs and organizations? Check out our blog post here.


6 PTA Fundraising Ideas

From crafts fair to restaurant nights, here are 6 fundraising ideas that engage parents and teachers alike!


22. Hobbies, Arts and Crafts Fair

A ‘hobbies, arts and crafts fair’ is a PTA fundraising idea that enables you to engage your school community by allowing parents (and perhaps even teachers) to show off their hobbies, art, and crafts.

Organize a fair where parents can sell their arts and crafts. Have a percentage of all the proceeds go to your PTA. You could potentially also charge a small admission fee to all the visitors.

Fundraising Potential: $$$
Cost: $
Difficulty: +++


23. Parents Night Out

Every parent appreciates an occasional night out – off the childcare duty!

Raise funds for your PTA by offering to take care of the kids while their parents are out. A good time would be Valentine’s or just before Christmas when parents do their Christmas shopping.

Gather a couple of volunteers and see if you can use your school to host this fundraiser. Think of a couple of activities and games to entertain the kids and keep them all in one location.

Charge per hour or choose a flat rate – whatever you think would work best for your specific PTA.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++

school fundraising ideas


24. Teachers vs Parents

A ‘teachers vs. parents’ sporting event can be fun for everyone involved.

Pitting their favorite adults against each other in a friendly game of basketball, volleyball, softball– or even something like bowling — will have the kids bubbling with excitement.

Your PTO/PTA can charge admission fees for the game, and even sell snacks and refreshments for some additional funds. This PTA fundraising idea promotes parent-teacher cooperation and an active lifestyle, while also raising funds for your cause.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $
Difficulty: $$


25. Restaurant Night

Every parent needs a night out, away from everyday stress. For your next PTA fundraiser, give restaurant night a try. Find a local restaurant to partner with, preferably one that is not always fully booked but is attractive enough of a destination for parents to want to dine in.

Pick a night that works for both your PTA and the restaurant. The restaurant will provide a percentage of their profits to your cause.

In return, your nonprofit will bring in new customers and boost sales for the night. This way, you help them grow their business and you also raise money. This also gives parents a chance to meet and mingle. If you decide to try this fundraiser, make sure to plan well in advance so as to give ample notice time to your potential guests.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++

fundraising ideas


26. Give it Up

While simple, this fundraising idea is incredibly effective at raising funds. Ask your members to give up (arguably) modern luxuries for a week or a month: coffee, eating out, going out for drinks, an afternoon candy bar, weekend movie nights, and donate instead.

You can also turn this into a peer-to-peer fundraiser by having your participants collect pledges from their friends and family.

It would be ideal if you could set up a text-to-donate system so that the participants can text to donate each time they would have indulged in their ‘luxury’. This makes it much easier to give.

Watch this Donorbox video to successfully run a ‘Give it up’ campaign for your mission.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +


27. Treasure Cupcakes

A fun twist on the traditional bake sale, the treasure cupcakes are sure to be a win! Hide a little something in a cupcake or two (e.g. a token or a ceramic figurine) that will trigger a “grand prize”.

Choose a prize that will be enticing to your audience. It can be something related to your cause, a ticket to an upcoming local event, a gift card to a popular shop, or anything else that will motivate your audience to pay a higher-than-usual price for the cupcakes.

You can easily go from $2 cupcakes to $5 cupcakes if the prize is appealing enough!

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $$
Difficulty: ++

fundraising ideas

We have more potent PTA fundraising ideas here.


6 Fraternity and Sorority Fundraising Ideas

Small efforts reaping significant results! Your sorority and fraternity need funds to operate. Check out these effective ideas to raise funds.


29. Date Auction

Date auctions are fun and light-hearted and can be an excellent way to raise money for your sorority or fraternity. Rally willing participants and have them come up with a variety of dates (e.g. going to the movies, an amusement park, for dancing, or dinner).

Members of your audience can then bid on the dates they want the most. Make sure that the tone of the event is light-hearted, and that it’s evident the event is for a good cause.

As a precaution, ensure that there will be someone in the audience to bid for every date – so that none of your volunteers are left ‘hanging’.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $$
Difficulty: +++


30. No Talent Show

As a fun twist on the traditional talent show, organize a ‘No Talent Show’.

During a ‘No Talent Show’, the contestants purposefully perform badly (e.g. singing out of tune for an entire song, failed magic tricks, out of sync dancing, etc.).

Make sure you advertise this as a fundraising event to attract a bigger crowd. Charge a couple of dollars for admission, but more for exiting the room. For example, place signs at the entry point that state the entry fee is $5 and that the exit fee is $10.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++

fundraising ideas


31. Community Book Sale

Let’s face it, many of us have piles of books that we won’t be reading (again) just lying around.

Organize a community book sale fundraiser. Have your members and the wider community donate unwanted books to your fraternity/sorority. Then, run a yard-like book sale charging a couple of dollars for each book (alternatively, you can charge by the pound).

You can also organize a textbook sale at the start of the school year. Textbooks are expensive, and this lets you raise funds while also allowing some students to gain access to inexpensive textbooks.

You can collect cash or accept payments via fundraising kiosks or mobile giving terminals.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++


32. Cardboard Boat Race

Cardboard boat races are tons of fun and are very easy to set up. This fundraiser is fairly straightforward. Have participants (in teams) construct boats out of cardboard, glue, and duct tape. Once their boats are completed, have them race to the finish line. Whoever crosses the finish line first is the winner!

Advertise the idea with academic groups, dorm councils, and more.

If you want to jazz up the idea, you can also reward the best or the funniest/most creative design.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +


33. Pop Up Thrift Store

The ideal fundraising idea for all those sorority and fraternity members looking to stay fashionable and up to date with the latest trends.

This fundraiser will work best during the times when people typically purge their wardrobe – for example in-between seasons. Ask for the clothes and accessories to be donated to you instead. With all the donations collected, organize a hip thrift store pop up (both online and offline can work) and promote it on your social media pages.

You can sport higher prices than a commercial thrift store – as long as you make it clear that it’s for a good cause.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +++


34. Movers for Hire

Kickstart the fundraising season strong by helping students move into their dorms in exchange for a donation to your cause.

Run this fundraiser multiple times per year during times when students are typically leaving campus for extended periods of time (i.e. holiday breaks).

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++

This is not all! Find more creative society fundraising ideas in our article.


Holiday Fundraising Ideas


7 Christmas Fundraising Ideas

Make use of the season of cheer to raise money for a cause close to you. Here are some ideas that mix the spirit of Christmas and the giving.


36. Bauble Decorating Competition

A bauble decorating competition is a unique and fun Christmas fundraising idea that can be adapted and taken on by a variety of nonprofit organizations.

Think of an alluring prize — one that will appeal to your target audience. Consider charging $3 per entry if participants are bringing their own bauble from home or $6 if you’re going to provide the bauble.

Ensure that the baubles are plain (white, solid color, or transparent) so that the participants can express themselves creatively. Make sure each entrant has a name tag for their bauble.

Choose your judges – it could be the principal, a professor, parents, captain of the local high school or a local celebrity.

Each entrant can take their bauble home after the competition and put in on their own tree or, if you want to win extra community points, you can use all the baubles from the competition to decorate your school/library/community tree.

Alternatively, you could get a couple of your volunteers to offer ‘personalized baubles’ service at malls/fairs/markets.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +

christmas fundraising ideas


37. Last Hour’s Pay

If you’re looking for something more straightforward than bauble decorating competitions and ugly sweater parties, this Christmas fundraising idea is for you!

This Christmas fundraising idea is best executed as a peer-to-peer fundraiser. Have your fundraisers ask their colleagues at work if they’ll be kind enough to donate their last hour’s pay before Christmas to your nonprofit. Alternatively (or additionally), you could also contact different businesses and pitch this idea to them.

This allows for simple and straightforward giving – which many appreciate during the hectic holiday months.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++


38. Polar Plunge

Polar Plunge is the ultimate winter activity guaranteed to heat up your Christmas fundraising efforts! Have participants pay a flat entrance fee or solicit donations through pledges. The pledges will often pay for the amount of time (in minutes or seconds) the plunger lasts in the water.

Start recruiting participants at least several weeks in advance, and if possible, get a couple of local celebrities to participate.

Mobilize medical volunteers in addition to marketing, finance, and logistics volunteers for this particular Christmas fundraising idea.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++


39. Advent Calendar Countdown

The digital counterpart of the ‘envelope fundraiser’, this Christmas fundraising idea is simple and effective. Starting from December 1st, count the days to Christmas. Ask your audience members to donate a corresponding amount online. For example, $1 on December 1st, $15 on December 15th, and so on.

This Christmas fundraiser requires minimum effort. All you need to do is draft a compelling online campaign using powerful imagery and text. Make sure you have a simple-to-use, but powerful online donation system to process the donations.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +

fundraising ideas


40. Supermarket Bag Pack

For this Christmas fundraiser, you’ll need to mobilize keen helpers and volunteers and partner with a well-intentioned supermarket. Approach the supermarkets well in advance to ensure success.

Have your volunteers help pack bags for customers in exchange for donations. Many people will be more than happy to donate a little extra something for a good cause during the holiday season, especially if they’re getting something in return.

During the bag pack, ensure that your volunteers strictly follow any guidelines and stipulations the supermarket makes.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++


41. Christmas Auction

A fundraising classic, Christmas auctions can raise some major funds for your nonprofit organization, if done well. Many people are willing to pay a bit more for an item they want if it’s for a good cause.

Hold a Christmas auction for appealing items and experiences: spa deals, hampers, travel packages, new electronics, and so on.

You can buy the products yourself, but to minimize costs and maximize your earnings, ask local companies for donations.

You can combine the Christmas auction with a Christmas gala dinner and awards ceremony.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $$
Difficulty: +++


42. Breakfast with Santa

Everyone loves Christmas, but this time of the year is perhaps the most magical for the youngest amongst us – and this fundraising idea is catered to them!

Find a facility you can use for free and pick a date. Recruit your Santa and plan a bunch of activities for kids and their families while they’re waiting for their turn to take a photo with Santa. You can provide a coloring or craft table with simple activities like making a card or an ornament, face painting, story-telling, and bubble blowing, to name a few.

Serve juice and pancakes (and have a yummy toppings bar). You can charge a flat fee for entry or charge for each activity separately.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $$
Difficulty: ++

fundraising ideas

More Christmas fundraising ideas that work are waiting for you here.


7 Halloween Fundraising Ideas

Halloween need not be all about candies and ghosts! Here are some fun ways to raise donations in Halloween.


43. Haunted House

Halloween is all about a good scare. And a Haunted House is exactly what you need for that.

Source a location (a school, an office building, a big house – whatever works for your specific circumstances) and get started on transforming the space.

Plan your path in the Haunted House. Consider who will be coming and then design your path appropriately.

Think of a theme and a story that will inform the path and the décor. Perhaps there was an old lady murdered in the house or a family on their vacation. Perhaps the house was built on an old graveyard or it was an asylum. Cover your walls in fake spider webs, fake blood, and bones, or anything Halloween-y. Make sure the lighting is dark and the music is ominous.

Enlist volunteers to act like ghosts, goblins, monsters, etc. Have them jump out at guests and make scary noises or laugh maniacally. They can even grab at guests’ shoulders.

Charge admission fees and set cauldrons across the Haunted House (especially at the exit at the end of the tour) in case guests want to donate more.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $$
Difficulty: +++


44. Obstacle Zombie Race

To make a run or a race Halloween-appropriate and to add a fun twist to it – turn it into a Zombie Race. Have all participants come dressed up as zombies and race to the finish line. Alternatively, you can organize a walk instead of a run. Bonus points for zombie moves!

This is also a fundraising event that can generate a lot of buzz. As word of mouth spreads around, you’ll have applications pouring in. To make it even more interesting, you could organize the run/walk at night and have your volunteers come out at certain times and scare the participants.

For alternatives, you could organize a zombie mud run dividing participants into humans trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world and zombies looking to feed off them.

Consider charging a $25-$30 admission fee.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++


45. Horror Movie Night

Organize a big horror movie night and charge admission fees to raise funds.

First, consider your audience. There are many different types of horror movies out there, and some are not appropriate for children.

Choose a venue and make sure there’s enough seating for your audience. Chances are the weather won’t be warm enough to organize a movie night outside. Otherwise, look for a movie theatre ready to donate the space for the night or another big space where you can put up a movie screen. Decorate the space with the colors of the season (black and orange), as well as cobwebs, fake blood, goblins, zombies, witches, and more. To raise even more funds, sell Halloween candy and popcorn.

And to make the night memorable, plan a trick on your guests that will coincide with the theme of the movie. For example, you could set up a phone to ring during the screening of “The Ring” or a clown passing behind the screen or through the door during the screening of “It”.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++


46. Costume Competition

A Halloween classic, a Halloween costume competition is a winning Halloween fundraising idea.

Let your guests know about your competition a couple of weeks in advance. This will give them plenty of time to plan out an amazing costume. Choose the categories that prizes will be awarded for. You can have as many winners and prize categories as you like (e.g. scariest, funniest, best overall, best couple costume, etc.).

You can also add a fun twist to this fundraiser by asking your audience to make donations to a fundraising page, with the highest donor getting to choose your costume!

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $$
Difficulty: ++


47. Pumpkin Smash

A fun and quirky Halloween fundraising idea, pumpkin smash is also a way to extend the use of some of the billions of pounds of pumpkins sold each year during Halloween in the United States alone.

Advertise your pumpkin smash by distributing flyers and posting about it on social media. Before the pumpkin smashing event, set up collection points where people can drop off their pumpkins after they’ve served their purpose.

If you’d like to avoid the collecting, buy damaged pumpkins from a wholesaler. Lay down plenty of groundsheets, get a couple of baseball bats and let your guests loose! Charge a dollar or two per smashed pumpkin.

Raising funds, letting off steam, and having fun – all with a simple pumpkin smash.

Fundraising Potential: +
Cost: $
Difficulty: +


48. Trick or Donation

Sometimes, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication when it comes to fundraising. This Halloween fundraising idea is a twist on the most popular Halloween activity of them all: trick-or-treating.

Mobilize a group of volunteers to knock on doors in your local community and ask: ‘trick or donation’. The more houses you visit, the more you can raise funds for your cause.

This works best for a nonprofit with strong ties to the community or a large number of committed volunteers.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +


49. Healthy Halloween Treats Baking Contest

While Halloween candy, bars, and other sweets are very delicious, they are also usually loaded with sugar.

Put a spin on a traditional baking contest and ask your nonprofit’s volunteers, or your entire community, to enter a baking contest for the best Halloween healthy treat.

These treats should be refined sugar-free, with all-natural and locally sourced ingredients. Have your judges rate the treats based on health value, Halloween spirit, and taste!

The winner could get a bag of goodies from a local health store, a blender, or another ‘health-related’ item as a prize.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +

Didn’t find “the one”? Look at more Halloween fundraisers here.


5 Thanksgiving Fundraising Ideas

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to raise donations and give. Here are our top creative and unique fundraising ideas for thanksgiving.


50. Turkey Trot

Walks or runs are great fundraisers for almost any time of the year. For a Thanksgiving-inspired run, organize a 5k, 10k, or a marathon Turkey Trot. Let participants set up peer-to-peer fundraising pages to collect donations for racing and encourage them to share their pages across their social media accounts. This way, they’ll simultaneously gather more donations and promote the race, increasing sign-ups.

Encourage your runners to dress up and reward the best costumes. You could also reward division winners (or anyone crossing the finish line) with cinnamon rolls or another treat!

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++


51. Gift Baskets

The holiday season is all about giving, and gift baskets are amongst the most frequently given gifts.

Create your own gift baskets to sell, preferably designing several different ones to fit different buyer profiles and budgets (e.g. wine basket, artisanal baked items, or body care packages). You could also raffle off a few baskets with bigger ticket items. For example, one basket could contain a $50 gift card to a popular store and another one an iPad.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $$
Difficulty: ++

Thanksgiving Fundraising Ideas


52. All-You-Can-Eat Potato Party

Everyone loves potatoes. And they’re a staple side dish found on most Thanksgiving tables. So, why not use this popular root vegetable to raise funds for your nonprofit organization?

Potatoes are cheap to buy in bulk, easy to store and can be prepared in a myriad of ways. Organize a Halloween event and set up an all-you-can-eat potato bar. Offer a buffet of different toppings and appetizers to accompany the potatoes (broccoli, cheese, baked beans, and more). To make the event even more memorable, organize games, karaoke, or other entertainment.

Charge a fee at the door for full access to the potato bar.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +


53. Five Days of Gratitude

Thanksgiving is all about gratitude. Gratitude has been shown to have positive emotional, cognitive, and mental benefits. Run a social media campaign “Five Days of Gratitude” (or whatever number of days works best for your nonprofit) encouraging your audience to share one thing they’re grateful for on each day, followed by a donation to your nonprofit. Have them use the campaign hashtag as well, so that you can easily find and interact with the user-generated content.

This Halloween fundraising idea is a great way to encourage giving thanks, expand your online fundraising, and spread the word about your nonprofit.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +

Thanksgiving Fundraising Ideas


54. Scan Away Hunger

A lot of food shopping happens around Thanksgiving. The holiday is usually celebrated with food, and many families pride themselves in their traditional family recipes.

For an innovative approach to Thanksgiving fundraising, partner with a local grocery store or a supermarket to offer shoppers buying their Thanksgiving meal ingredients a chance to ‘scan away hunger’. The shoppers could also be offered an opportunity to buy a bag of groceries for someone in need. Otherwise, the checkers should have a plate/code that they can scan and add the cost of one meal (or whatever else works for your nonprofit) to the donor’s receipt.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++

There’s more. Check out these Thanksgiving fundraising ideas


Seasonal Fundraising Ideas


5 Winter Fundraising Ideas

Combine the spirit of winter and giving with these cool fundraising ideas for winter.


55. Holiday Elves

Now, this is not what it seems! While a holiday fair, a Christmas market, or a meet up with Santa and the elves are all great winter fundraising ideas – this is not what we have in mind.

Promote a Holiday Elves service to your community. Your Holiday Elves can set up Christmas trees, dispose of Christmas trees, set up Christmas lights, shovel snow, and provide other useful seasonal services in exchange for donations.

Of course, this will require mobilizing enthusiastic volunteers willing to donate their time to your cause. Advertise your Holiday Elves services offline and online and, as usual, make it clear what you’re fundraising for.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++


56. Winter Holiday Concert

During winter, especially during Christmas and New Year’s holidays, enlist local choirs, bands, soloists, and other musicians to participate in a community-wide winter holiday concert.

Find a local indoor venue willing to host the event (ideally without charging you). The performers should ideally be performing for free as well – all for a good cause.

This means that all of the ticket proceeds would be going directly towards your cause. When promoting the event, make sure you’re clearly communicating what exactly the ticket sales will be supporting (e.g. building a new shelter or 10 wells).

Holiday concerts are a great way to bring a community together in a fun and inspiring way.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $$
Difficulty: +++

fundraising ideas


57. Ice-Skating or Sledding Event

Ice-skating and sledding are winter favorites amongst kids and adults alike.

Source an appropriate snowy/icy location that can accommodate as many participants as possible. This winter fundraiser is best organized outside, but if it doesn’t snow or get cold enough where you live, you can organize it indoors.

Charge for entry to the event and collect donations in exchange for sled or skate rentals.

To raise additional funds, sell hot chocolate, tea, baked goods, cider, non-alcoholic eggnog, and other winter goodies to help everyone fuel and warm-up for all the fun!

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++


58. Soup-Off

Cooking and baking competitions are a foolproof way to bring the community together and raise funds for your cause.

This winter, organize a soup-off. Invite your local cooks, from amateurs to professionals, to cook their most delicious winter soup recipes. Warm, hearty, and comforting — soups are the perfect wintertime food.

Those who bring soup can get in for free, but charge all the tasters/attendees to enter. Have tasters vote for the best soup, or appoint a judging panel.

Have an enticing and relevant reward ready (e.g. a set of pots, a crockpot, or a cooking course).

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++


59. Snowpocalypse

Organize a massive snowball fight and a fort-building competition, involving as much of your community as possible. Have participants form teams (e.g. one school competing against another, or one local business against another).

Consider charging each participant a small fee to register online.

You can go the extra mile and turn this into an all-day snow fest with a carnival, a winter market, crafting activities, and more. How ‘all-out’ you go will depend on your fundraising goal, your current capacity, and how much time you have left until the event.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $$
Difficulty: ++

winter Fundraising Ideas

Not convinced? We’ve got you. Take a look at more winter fundraising ideas and find the right one for your nonprofit.


5 Summer Fundraising Ideas

Right from excursions to ice-cream parties and golf tournaments, summer comes with many fun fundraising opportunities. Raise more funds with these unique fundraising ideas during summer.


60. Summer Excursions

As the days get warmer, more and more people look for ways to get out of the city. Respond to this need by organizing summer excursions or hikes.

The simplest excursion to organize is a one-day excursion to a nearby forest or a national park, but if you want to really take it up a notch, you could add these to your hike/camping:

Wildflower hikes: Follow the blooms with a guide.

Waterfall hikes: Visit several waterfalls on one trip.

Mushroom picking: Pick mushrooms with an expert.

With this summer fundraiser, it’s best to have a local guide who knows the ins and the outs of the planned trail. Also, make sure one person is first aid certified in case of an incident while hiking or camping. If camping, try to have the equipment borrowed from local companies to minimize costs.

Charge a participation fee depending on the activity you choose to organize (i.e. if you choose to organize a walk, charge less than if you were to organize camping).

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $$
Difficulty: ++

 Fundraising Ideas


61. Ice-Cream Party

Another summertime favorite, ice creams are sure to attract a crowd and raise funds.

To organize an ice cream social, pick a location (an ice-cream shop, a local café, or a park will all do great); and choose a good time (Saturday and Sunday work well because that’s when most people have a day off). Be mindful of the weather – you want to choose a warm day.

You’ll also need a cool space to store the ice cream and enough space for visitors to talk and mingle. Promote your event on social media and distribute flyers. Finally, you’ll also need volunteers to help set up the event and pass out ice cream.

To increase donations, remember to set up a booth or a table where people can learn more about your nonprofit.

Pro tip: Try and get a local ice cream shop or a bigger ice cream producer to sponsor your event.

Fundraising Potential: +
Cost: $
Difficulty: +


62. Outdoor Yoga Class

Yoga is increasingly popular around the world, and outdoor fitness classes are ideal for summertime. Organize a donation-based yoga class in an appropriate location (for example, a park). Set your class up for financial success by setting a ticket price, or strongly suggested donation.

Making the event a little extra special (with music, refreshments, a guest teacher or an extra-long or themed class).

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +


63. Cider Tasting

Cider tasting event is a great alternative to a wine tasting event – if you’re looking to switch it up a bit. Find a cider merchant willing to help host the fundraiser and market the event. This fundraiser pairs well with auctions.

Offer your attendees to sample many different ciders and feast on crafted and paired plates using the finest local produce.

Depending on how you price the ticket, you can either offer a limited number (e.g. five) or an unlimited number of pours throughout the evening.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $$
Difficulty: ++


64. Golf Tournament

Golf tournaments can be very lucrative. When organizing a golf tournament fundraiser, soliciting event sponsorships from local businesses is key. In-kind donations can also be solicited for printed materials, silent auction items, raffle prizes, goodie back inclusions, beverages on the course, and more.

To gain instant credibility within the golf community, sponsors, and players that attend, choose an exclusive course that is highly rated in your area.

Take care of the logistics including table or tent rentals, cash boxes, golf cart rentals, placing event signage, as well as pre- and post-event meals and activities, and coordinates entertainment. And don’t forget about the volunteers and prizes!

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $$
Difficulty: +++

fundraising ideas

Here’re more summer fundraising ideas that work.


5 Spring Fundraising Ideas

Spring is the time that sees more people with a tidy sum of cash, thanks to tax returns. Make the most this spring with these creative fundraising ideas.


65. Flower Arranging Workshop

Flower arrangement is no longer a thing of the past! The new generations have a keen interest in everything ‘DIY’ and ‘crafts’, whether it’s making your own beer or growing your own food.

A floral workshop typically lasts 2 hours, and participants also learn the basics of floral design and techniques (i.e. how to choose, condition, and arrange flowers), followed by a hands-on session on creating hand-tied bouquets or other floral arrangements.

Charge a participation fee that covers the flowers, wrapping, tool usage, instruction, delectable treats, complimentary refreshment, and the donation to your fundraiser.

To add a fun twist to this springtime fundraising idea, you can also turn it into a flower crown party. Participants can make their own flower crowns and then wear them at the party.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $$
Difficulty: ++

Fundraising Ideas for nonprofits


66. Earth Day Cleanup

More than 140 countries around the world celebrate Earth Day in April and make efforts to clean up the planet for a cleaner and healthier environment. With this comes many environmental campaigns, which makes springtime perfect for green fundraisers.

Each volunteer gets a roll of garbage bags, a pair of gloves, and a shovel or garbage pick, and performs a walking clean-up of the designated area.

Firstly, set a date and time for your clean up event (ideally the weekend of Earth Day). Get your volunteers to collect pledges from family members, friends, local businesses, and neighbors in your community.

The pledges can be a flat rate, or per bag, kilo, pound, or truckload of trash collected. They can also be per square meter or road mile cleaned. You can also make this into a competitive fundraiser where neighboring communities, schools, or teams see who can collect the most trash in one day.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++


67. Garden Tea Party

While galas are great at any time of the year, the spring weather definitely calls for a more seasonally appropriate event.

Garden parties are the perfect way to create an interactive and intimate setting where you can speak to your donors face-to-face. Being outside in a blooming garden can create a relaxed atmosphere. This makes garden parties ideal for cultivating relationships with major donors, although garden parties can be organized for any donor segment. Have an array of teas, biscuits, berries, scones, tea sandwiches, and cakes available.

If you’re looking to put a creative spin on it, consider organizing a Mad Hatter Tea Party. Gather the most extravagant teacups and teapots and ask your guests to dress up.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $$
Difficulty: +++

fundraising ideas


68. Alternative Spring Break

If your nonprofit team is social media savvy (and we hope they are!), run a social media campaign appealing to the high schoolers and college students. If your nonprofit is a school, a university, or somehow affiliated to an educational institution – that shouldn’t be hard.

Ask for donations in place of paying for expensive beachside spring breaks. High schools and colleges typically schedule their breaks around the Easter holiday, which can fall in March or April. Alternatively, if your nonprofit organization often works with volunteers, plan an excursion/mission trip that allows students to apply their time and money to give back.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +


69. Breakfast in Bed

Mother’s or Father’s Day brunch reservations can be hard to find, as can the ‘perfect’ gifts. With families wanting to do something extra special, set up a breakfast delivery system where donors can sign up for a delicious breakfast brought straight to their house.

Consider organizing this spring fundraiser for Mother’s or Father’s Day when it’s most likely to be popular.

While this idea works best for locally-based organizations, it can easily be adapted. For example, you could partner with local restaurants, let them manage the logistics, and get a percentage of each sale.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +++

Fear not, there are more spring fundraising ideas!


5 Animal Shelter Fundraising Ideas

Saving animals is a rewarding but costly exercise. Here are 5 effective fundraising ideas for animal shelter that can help propel your fundraising to the new heights.


70. Pet Care Classes

Sure to attract a crowd, this animal shelter fundraising idea combines education and fundraising. Everyone wants to know how to take care of their beloved pets better – especially first-time owners.

Have your staff or local vets offer community classes for pet owners or animal lovers on different topics of interest. For example, you could organize classes like “Basic Cat Care” and “Pet First Aid and CPR.”

Keep the prices quite accessible, around $10-$20 for an hour or two. Make sure to promote the event on social media and drop off flyers to local pet stores, other shelters and sanctuaries, and vet clinics.

Organize these regularly to ensure a consistent stream of money coming in.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +

animal fundraisers


71. Pet Sitting

Having pets is expensive, with 86.4 million cats and 78.2 million dogs in homes in the U.S alone, according to the Humane Society of the United States, so any help with pet sitting or pet washing is greatly appreciated by pet owners.

Recruit your volunteers to help with pet sitting, and charge pet owners less than a professional pet sitter or a pet hotel would – with all the funds going directly to your shelter.

The owners will also feel good knowing their money will be helping animals like theirs! Make sure to promote the service on social media and by handing out flyers.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++


72. Dine With Dogs

Partner with local pet-friendly restaurants that will not only prepare a tasty dinner for the human attendees but food and treats for their animal companions too.

Make the dinner extra share-worthy by setting up napkins for the animals and serving their meals with as much attention as the human ones.

Everyone will be bursting from excitement to have a meal with their furry (and non-furry) friends, and will surely share it on their Instagram profiles — generating more buzz for your shelter.

Have the restaurant share the earnings with you.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++

animal fundraising ideas


73. Yoga With Pets

Yoga with dogs, yoga with cats, and even yoga with goats… This innovative animal shelter idea guarantees to raise funds.

Get a certified yoga teacher to donate a couple of hours of their time to a good cause. Organize a couple of one-hour yoga classes and open them to all levels (beginner to advanced). This is a unique animal fundraiser that combines the love of yoga with the love of animals.

Feature animals that are available for adoption, but also charge for participation (with all the funds going to support your shelter).

This not only raises funds but helps with the adoption and fostering of animals in care, as well as with raising awareness in general. And who wouldn’t want to cuddle with dogs while working out?

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +


74. Sponsor a Pet

Just like it’s easier for donors to identify with a single individual’s plight than with a faceless group, it’s easier for them to empathize with a single animal.

Have programs in place where a person can sponsor a specific animal in your shelter for a month. Make this a recurring giving program, with the opportunity for the person to cancel the donation any time.

Send regular updates (like photos and videos) of the sponsored pet to their sponsor.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +

We know fundraising is tough. Here are more animal shelter fundraising ideas.


5 Humane Society Fundraising Ideas

Humane societies require funds to fund their cause and all costs that go into food, bedding, veterinary care, medicine, and more. Here are 5 fundraising ideas for Humane Society to help you raise more.


75. Pet Calendar


Given how much people love their pets, it should come as no surprise how wildly popular pet calendars are. Wall or desk calendars are easy to create and sell. Start creating your pet calendar well in advance (November or December).

You can choose to either photograph animals in your shelter and add facts and quotes that help educate (and then sell them), or you can run a contest for pet owners to submit an entry for their pet to be featured (and charge per submission).

Contact a variety of local businesses and see if one would allow you to take images at their locations and if they would sponsor the project.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++


76. Bird-a-Thon

If you’re passionate about wildlife and/or would like to organize an event that doesn’t necessarily involve pets, try organizing a bird-a-thon.

Bird-a-thons are competitive and educational events for any level of birdwatchers where participants collect pledges for finding and counting bird species. Each counter collects pledges from friends, relatives, neighbors, businesses, and/or corporations for either a per-bird-species pledge or a one-time donation for all the birds that they count in that one 24-hour period.

Organize a guided trip or allow participants to count independently. Get a local birding expert to lead a trip. Participants will have fun, make new friends, connect with other bird lovers, and raise funds – all at the same time!

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $$
Difficulty: ++

Fundraising Ideas


77. Cuddle Cube

This fundraising idea is not only “awwwww-filled”, but can help your Humane Society create and foster strong business relationships. Not to mention that alleviating stress is a huge perk that many employers wish to offer to their employees.

Reach out to local businesses in your area and see if they would like to partner with you on this initiative. Bring in some of your most adorable adoptable animals for employees to play with. For example, set up a “cuddle cube” in the office and ask for small donations to cuddle with the animals. Also, ask the company if they would like to match the donations made by the employees.

While this fundraiser might tough to organize in the beginning, the more you work with the business, the easier it gets. You can even ask the employees to help with the setup and clean up.

You can easily have this Humane Society fundraising idea make a buzz on social media, so make sure you capture good photos and videos for your fundraising campaign.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++


78. Paw Wars

This is a simple fundraising idea, but one that plays off the basics of human psychology: humans like to put things into categories and relate to them.

Paw Wars is your classic penny wars fundraiser, but with a twist. Partner with local cafes or restaurants and have them put up two jars (one with “Cats” written on it, and one with “Dogs”). Guests will then put coins in one of the two jars, “voting” for either cats or dogs.

Cafes are a great place to host your Paw Wars as there’s a lot of chance that people will have some spare change on them.

This fundraising idea will promote some friendly competition and net in some cash for your Humane Society.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +


79. Doggie Dates

Reach out to a local university or college and see if you can organize a doggie date event or a rent-a-pup extravaganza. Make sure you’re fully aware of all the campus rules before proceeding with organizing this fundraiser.

“Rent out” puppies on campus for playtime $5-10 per 30 minutes. Students, who are often not allowed pets on campus, get to have doggie dates, and you get to raise funds. Book a location on campus and promote the event on social media. This fundraiser is sure to spread via word of mouth as more and more students come and then let their friends know. Make sure you ask for IDs from everyone taking the puppies for their doggie date.

Keep track of who rents a puppy (and which one), their reservation time, return time, and keep hold of the ID.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++

Fundraising Ideas for nonprofits

Check out more Humane Society fundraising ideas here.


5 Political Fundraising Ideas

Nowadays, political campaigns need to raise extraordinary amounts of funds to be successful. Here are 5 fundraising ideas for political campaigns to help you raise more.


80. Chain Fundraising Letters

To take your standard contribution letters to a new level, give chain fundraising letters a go. A supporter gets sent a letter in which they are asked to send in a donation (whatever average amount your political campaign is going with) and then forward the letter to 10 of their friends with a personal note asking them to send in the same amount and then forward the letter to their friends as well.

Chain fundraising letters are sort of a non-digital approach to crowdfunding or peer-to-peer fundraising. Although they lack the efficiency and speed of digital payments, they are helpful because they help secure donations from those parts of the population that digital campaigns don’t reach.

To turn this into an online fundraiser, try using the Facebook tagging functionality. For example, you could have your donors tag 10 of their friends and ask them to donate too, visibly demanding their attention.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +


81. Mobile Fundraising Campaign

At a time when online fundraising is slowly becoming the new norm, mobile fundraising could be the new disrupter. For example, the Obama campaign has been using the mobile payments provider and tech-darling Square since 2012 to allow staff and volunteers to accept donations in the field.

Square allows users to accept credit card payments through their mobile phones. It does this through a small, square card reader, which attaches to the phone through its audio jack and connects to its iOS or Android application.

The donations are automatically received by the campaign, both the app and the card reader are free, and there’s no need for setting up a donation station since volunteers can walk around and accept donations on the go.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +

fundraising ideas


82. Celebrity Fundraiser

Celebrity fundraisers are the way to go if you want to give the regular dinner fundraiser a glamorous makeover. This political fundraising idea can rake in donations like no other. For example, in 2012, actor and social activist George Clooney organized a dinner to raise funds for then-presidential re-electionist Barack Obama.

A plate cost $40,000 for dinner with the President and included Hollywood’s biggest celebrities. While most fundraising campaigns cannot pull off dinner with this price tag, a celebrity-hosted dinner attracting major donors is a great fundraising tactic for campaigns of all sizes. If you’re a smaller campaign, you could do this with a local celebrity and set the price accordingly.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $$
Difficulty: ++


83. Flash Mob

Flash mobs are fun, innovative, and great when you’re on a budget. They also bring a touch of lightness to the world of political fundraising.

Flash mobs are a great way to gain attention for your campaign and bring in funds. Pick a song, come up with choreography, and choose a location. Have a volunteer teach the choreography and lead the event.

Ask several people in your network if they want to get involved, but keep everything under the radar. During the flash mob, have someone ask the observers for free-will donations. Make sure you have the necessary permits if you’re using a public place or a private property (e.g. a mall).

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++


84. Auction

With auctions, because the donor is getting something tangible for their donation, donor burnout decreases and contributor loyalty increases. Not only do donors appreciate getting something in return for their donation, but if someone who has not donated before wins something at the auction, they often turn into a strong supporter.

To maximize your chances of success, use a professional auctioneer who specializes in fundraising auctions. An experienced fundraising auctioneer can more than double, even triple the funds raised.

Don’t purchase anything for your auction. If possible, have auction professionals teach you how to get donated items worth thousands of dollars. In addition to that, they can source the items and experiences for your auction that will bring high prices from the bidders.

Have the candidate hold a speech at the very end of the auction.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +++

We’ve got tons more political fundraising ideas in our blog post


Religious Fundraising Ideas


5 Church Fundraising Ideas

To do great things for the congregation and in the community, churches need a strong foundation of support. Here are 5 fundraising ideas to help your church raise more funds.


85. Stuff for Bucks

Everyone has stuff they don’t need lying around their house. Use your congregants’ unwanted goods to raise money and give the unwanted stuff a new home (yay for sustainability)!

Here’re some ideas:

  • Books for Bucks: Get your congregants to donate used books, magazines, and comic books that they do not intend to re-read and sell them to the community.
  • Shoe Drive: Get your congregants to drop off their gently worn shoes and find a company that will pay for the shoes you collect.
  • Clothes Drive: Give your congregants the chance to swap clothes with each other and appreciate old clothes anew. Ask your congregants to round up clothes they no longer wear with prices in mind. Set up the clothes in the designated area and invite everyone in your church to be a part of the sale.

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.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++

Fundraising Ideas for nonprofits


86. One for One

The famous “Buy One, Give One” concept, popularized by TOMS, is a straightforward and inspirational way to fundraise.

For example, if your church is helping the homeless, you can organize a community lunch sale offering “buy a lunch, give a lunch”, pricing the food slightly higher than average to support your cause.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +


87. Crafts Classes or Fairs

Try throwing crafts/art classes to raise funds. Watercolor painting or drawing classes, knitting or crocheting nights, and other craft projects and activities are all good options.

Find someone who can teach the class (ideally a congregation member willing to donate their time and skills). Charge a flat rate that includes supplies for the attendees. You can fold that flat rate into the cost of the event.

Check with your local colleges, art or craft supply stores, artisans, and local companies to see if they can donate some of the supplies.

Alternatively, you could organize a crafts fair where sellers would pay a small fee to join or donate a percentage (e.g. 20%) of their sales to your church. And you could make additional money by selling cakes and refreshments.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++

fundraising ideas


88. Buy-a-Brick

This church fundraiser works best for development projects such as building an auxiliary building, repairs on your main building, or rebuilding the front pathway.

Host a virtual buy-a-brick fundraiser and have people buy their bricks (donate to your church) online.

To attract mid-level donors ($50-$500 range, establish a brick wall, walkway, or other tiled or bricked surface (either indoors or outdoors) and have them donate a certain amount in return for being allowed to engrave one of the bricks with their personal name or message.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +


89. Quiche Bake-Off

Bake-offs and bake sales are fundraising classics for churches and faith-based organizations. And quiche is the perfect dish for a church bake-off! Bake-offs are great fundraisers, particularly for a Harvest or Christmas event. You can give the participants the general theme and let them choose their own recipes or choose a single recipe and have all of the participants make the same one.

To make the bake-off even more exciting, pick a theme (e.g. from a book) and devise a whole evening of activities inspired by the book’s plot.

Have your participants register online or offline and bring in a home-baked quiche. Each one should be judged on a number of criteria, such as presentation and taste.

You could also sell recipe books and run a quiz during the event. Fundraising opportunities are plenty.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $$
Difficulty: ++

Here are more fundraising ideas for your church.


5 Ramadan Fundraising Ideas

Worship and charity are the key factors of Ramadan. Raise more this Ramadan with these 5 fundraising ideas.


90. Give Something Up

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating any food, drinking any liquids, smoking cigarettes, and engaging in any sexual activity, from dawn to sunset.

Muslims are also supposed to try to curb negative thoughts and emotions like jealousy and anger, and even lesser things like swearing, complaining and gossiping.

This is why Ramadan is a great time to launch a “Give Something Up” campaign. You could ask your donors to give up takeaways, coffee, driving, chocolate, or shopping during Ramadan and donate that money to your nonprofit.

Not only will donors get a chance to kick a bad habit, but they will feel great supporting a good cause. Win-win!

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +


91. Fundraising Iftar

Iftar is one of the religious observances of Ramadan and is often observed as a community, with people gathering to break their fast together. Iftar is taken just after the call to prayer Maghrib, which is around sunset.

Being such a community practice/tradition, iftars are perfect for fundraising. Organize a community iftar at a venue of your choice.

Prepare a tasty menu, offering options for all dietary choices and requirements. Invite your donors, supporters, partners, volunteers, and staff to break the fast together or simply celebrate the spirit of Ramadan.

There are many ways in which you could raise additional funds during your iftar event. In addition to charging for entry, you could set up collection points throughout the venue where donors could make additional donations in cash or using a credit card.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $$
Difficulty: ++

fundraising ideas


92. Mosque Game Night

Host a game night where your community can enjoy a few board games at the local mosque. During Ramadan, this can help pass the time until iftar and get the community even closer together.

Ensure that you have a variety of board games to host your fun day. You can play games like Monopoly and chess. Either charge a flat fee for the entire event or charge per game.

Make sure there are volunteers to help with the setup and handling of admission.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +


93. Cakes for Cause

Sell cakes in your local community to raise funds during the holy month of Ramadan.

Have people pay a donation in return for a cake. This Ramadan fundraising idea is simple, yet effective.

During Ramadan, many of the cakes will possibly be used as a part of iftar (breaking the fast).

To make the process more streamlined and efficient, collect cake orders in advance, so you can meet the demand and not under- or over-bake. Depending on the size of your project, you can either bake the cakes yourself (and/or with volunteers) or partner with a local bakery (and share the profit).

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $$
Difficulty: ++

fundraising ideas


94. Fasting Fundraiser

Invite the non-Muslim members of your community to fast during one day of Ramadan. Partner with a restaurant willing to organize and sponsor the iftar, so that all the food is free for the attendees.

You can also invite the local Mosque Imam to come along and to give a brief talk as to why Muslims fast during Ramadan and answer any general questions people may have.

This Ramadan fundraising idea not only raises funds but also helps bridge the gaps in local communities and raise awareness about Ramadan and Islam in general. Get more info about Online Fundraising Solution for Islamic Charities.

Ask the participants to donate the money saved on food that day to your organization.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++

More Ramadan fundraising ideas await you here.


5 Mission Trip Fundraising Ideas

Mission trips usually come with a huge price tag. Here are 5 fundraising ideas to finance your plane tickets, food, and accommodation.


95. Geography Blitz

A fun and fitting spin on the basic Trivia quiz, Geography Blitz is a great missionary fundraising idea. This idea is particularly good if you have a few friends or family members interested in geography, or if your mission trip is international. Put their knowledge to the test and raise money for your trip!

You can host the quiz event at your home, or you can reach out to a local restaurant or bar.

Charge a small admission fee and encourage people to make additional donations throughout the night. Everyone will have fun guessing the answers to tricky geography questions. You can also make it into a team competition to make everything a bit more exciting and dynamic.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++


96. Themed Cookbook

Do some research on the country you will be doing your mission trip in and create a book of recipes featuring dishes from that cuisine. This will give your community a taste of your destination, will get you excited about your missionary trip, and will get you and others more familiar with another culture.

You can print the cookbooks yourself or find a sponsor that does it all for you, but keep in mind that most have a high order minimum. Organize a fun day cooking and shooting photos for all the recipes.

The style of the book should be carefully and timely chosen. Recipes can be featured alphabetically or split into chapters based around particular ingredients, regions, or types of dishes.

Finally, have friends, family, and community members purchase your cookbook as a donation to your cause.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++

fundraising ideas


97. Travel Raffle

Imagine the buzz you could create if you hosted a raffle and instead of the traditional items, you were giving away plane tickets! Raffles are enticing in general, but a travel raffle is sure to draw in an even bigger crowd. Who doesn’t want to dash off for a mini vacation?

Before you start planning your travel raffle, check with your congregation to see if any of them has a connection with any travel agencies or airline companies that could donate the tickets or offer you a discount.

Even if you don’t manage to get a discount or free airfare, you can still book an inexpensive getaway, like a hiking trip.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++


98. Make the Grade

Make the Grade fundraiser is a great way to raise funds for schools and mission trips.

The students set goals for the GPA they will maintain throughout the semester or collect pledges for individual grades (e.g. $2 for each B or $4 for every A). If they meet their goals, their family or other members of the congregation will chip in for the travel costs.

This initiative not only raises funds, but also motivates the students to achieve better grades, and helps build a community.

Fundraising Potential: ++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +


99. T-Shirt Fundraiser

T-shirt fundraisers are a great fundraiser for mission trips because they allow you to raise money for your trip while offering your supporters something tangible in return.

There are tons of companies out there that can produce and ship the t-shirts to your supporters. An added bonus is that they often offer ready-made designs, so you don’t have to worry if you are lacking in the design department.

Once you’ve launched your t-shirt campaign, get the word out about the fundraiser and start sharing about it on social media.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +

fundraising ideas

Fear not! Here are even more mission trip fundraisers.


5 Medical Fundraising Ideas

From Gala dinners to grateful patient programs and planned gifts, here are 5 unique fundraising ideas to raise more funds.


100. Gala Dinner

This classic and proven fundraiser is often more formal than other fundraisers, with guests like corporate supporters, major donors, community leaders, and board members.

Galas are a great platform for attracting, networking with, and approaching major donors. Medical research organizations often depend on major donors for the advancement of their programs.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $$
Difficulty: +++

Fundraising Ideas for nonprofits


101. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

While peer-to-peer fundraising is a great fundraising technique for a variety of nonprofit organizations, it lends itself particularly well to medical research fundraising.

Peer-to-peer fundraising is essentially an extended crowdfunding solution. Whilst crowdfunding generally uses one landing page to collect general donations or cause-specific donations for the organization, the main purpose of a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign is to mobilize your supporters to fundraise on behalf of your organization.

Your supporters could ask their friends and family to donate to your organization in lieu of a birthday gift, commit to a challenge or fundraise at school or work.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++


102. Cycle Ride

To organize a cycle ride fundraiser, form a steering committee that includes at least an event coordinator and volunteer coordinator who have experience organizing a cycling event and/or participating as a rider in similar events. Select a date based on other athletic events and choose a location.

Choose the bike route, contact the relevant authorities to obtain permits, mobilize volunteers, and start promoting the event.

The participants should pledge to, upon signing up to the cycle ride, hit your set fundraising target. Don’t forget to give your riders plenty of tips and ideas to help you reach your goal!

Also, charge a small booking fee upon registration.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +++

fundraising ideas


103. Grateful Patient Program

Developing a Grateful Patient Program can do wonders for your medical research organization.

This program lets the patients express their gratitude to your organization, researchers, or physicians, and it also bolsters your reputation.

When setting up your grateful patient program, think about how will your program be managed, how the donor data will be organized, and how will you screen prospects. And remember to treat your patients and donors as people first, and potential donors second!

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: ++


104. Planned Gifts

Planned gifts — when handled appropriately — can become a major funding source for your medical research organization. Planned gifts are often made on behalf of a grateful patient or a healthcare professional.

Planned giving refers to donors setting aside funds in advance in order to make a major investment in a healthcare facility or medical research.

Donors typically make planned gifts by allocating funds in their wills or trusts as well as donating life insurance policies.

Fundraising Potential: +++
Cost: $
Difficulty: +++


Fundraising… Across the globe, for organizations big and small, this word can become associated with stress and pressure. But it doesn’t have to be so! Fundraising can be simple and enjoyable – all it takes is the right idea, work, and a positive attitude!

However, choosing an idea from this list is just the beginning. Get inspired by these, but talk to your team, your volunteers, and your donors – what would they like to see and take part in? Every organization is different. Give yourself the opportunity to go outside of the box when it comes to this year’s fundraising.

Remember that even the simplest fundraising idea takes time and requires preparation. Leave yourself enough time to plan the event stress-free.

We know it’s difficult to come up with distinctive and compelling fundraising ideas, so we hope this article helped you begin to understand your options so you can start planning your fundraising.

Have fun!

Raviraj heads the sales and marketing team at Donorbox. His growth-hacking abilities have helped Donorbox boost fundraising efforts for thousands of nonprofit organizations.

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