Fundraising is one of the most tangible ways to create positive change. As the dollars and cents add up, your impact grows. However, the process of fundraising, itself, is not so simple.
It can be difficult choosing a means of fundraising that targets your desired audience, effectively raises funds for your cause, and is hopefully enjoyable for participants. Below are some proven fundraising ideas to consider the next time you need to raise dollars and cents.
With a coin drive, you are quite literally collecting the dollars and cents. You would be surprised how quickly people’s pocket change can add up! Place collection containers around your school, in local libraries, or even in local businesses. Be creative with the collection containers and try to customize them for your cause. For example, schoolhouse coin boxes are a great option when fundraising for education initiatives!
Run or Walk
Get people moving for your cause! Organize a walk or a run and challenge participants to cover a certain distance on a route around a park or your city streets. You can charge a registration fee and contact local businesses to sponsor post-event water and snacks. Be sure to get in touch with municipal or parks officials well in advance to obtain permission to use the pathways in a park or close down city streets. Alternatively, you could also encourage people to register for an existing run or walk and ask them to fundraise for your cause. Fundraising has become popular with many large races and allows participants to seek donations from friends and family to support a cause of their choosing and motivate them as they cover the distance.
Everyone loves sitting down to a good movie! You could rent out a theatre or make any room nice and cozy with blankets, couches, and pillows. In the summer months, you can also pay companies to set-up large, inflatable screens outdoors. Of course, any good movie night needs popcorn. Organize a concession and charge for snacks like popcorn, candy, and drinks. You may also consider charging admission to the movie. In order to ensure interest, you can create a poll to decide on the movie to be screened.
Everyone has unique skills and talents that allow them to move from being a change-backer to a change-maker. But, these talents can also be very entertaining! Allow members of your community to showcase their talents, whether its singings, dancing, juggling, or mental math! Consider charging admission to the talent show and/or organize a canteen with snacks.
Busting those moves can create serious change! Dances are a favourite of people both young and old. The theme of the dance can reflect the cause you are fundraising for to help raise awareness. For music, consider booking a DJ, or just use your favourite Spotify playlist. Sell tickets to the event and organize a canteen to raise funds.
Help people cuddle up to a good book! Ask community members to donate old or unwanted books and contact the local library to inquire about any books they wish to discard. Price books at reasonable rates and consider charging a minimal entry fee to the book sale. Alternatively, allow community members to exchange books and charge a fee for each exchange you organize.
Creativity unleashed! Ask community members to donate their art and other handicrafts to sell, or negotiate with local artists to donate a portion of their profits to your cause. Consider charging admission to the craft sale to increase fundraising potential. In advance of the craft sale, you may also organize a craft-making event to allow community members to begin creating masterworks!
Everyone has that pile of ‘stuff’ that they need to do away with. Help community members complete their spring (or summer, or fall, or winter) cleaning by donating their items to your community yard sale. Not only will they be getting rid of old clothes, furniture, toys, and housewares, but they will be supporting a good cause. Alternatively, rent out tables to allow community members to sell their goods as part of a larger community sale. Book a large, accessible space for the sale, like a community centre or parking lot, and advertise well in advance to increase turnout.
There’s nothing more exhilarating than yelling “BINGO!” as the last number you need for that diagonal line is called. Bingos are a fun and easy event to organize that appeals to people both young and old. Many bingo halls offer fundraising programs, but if you would like to organize your own event, consider customizing the bingo cards to your cause.
Local businesses are often surprisingly willing to donate gift cards and other merchandise to help your fundraising. Canvas local businesses and other community members to donate items for the raffle, then sell tickets to win the prizes. Easy to integrate as a part of other fundraising events.
Like an auction, but less chaotic! Ask local businesses and community members to donate gift cards, gift baskets, and other items to your silent auction. Set a minimum price for each item, and consider specifying a minimum increase with each bid. Easy to integrate as a part of other fundraising events.
Board Game Tournament
From Monopoly and Scrabble to Clue and Sorry, there are so many board games to enjoy. Add a competitive edge to the games with individuals or teams competing for prizes. Consider charging a registration fee to participate and ask local businesses to donate prizes as incentives. Encourage others to donate to cheer on a team or player of their choosing.
Video Game Tournament
Calling all gamers! Whether its Wii, PlayStation, or Xbox, there are a wide variety of games available and options to compete both individually and in teams. Charge a registration fee for players, then ask local businesses to donate prizes for the top competitors. Consider organizing separate tournaments for different games to attract non-gamers, gaming experts, and everyone in between!
Allow community members to put on their chef hat and cook up a delicious meal! Consider modelling the event after the popular MasterChef television series and require competitors to cook a dish with a certain list of ingredients. The type of cuisine can be chosen to reflect the area of world you are supporting. Charge competitors a fee to participate, and consider auctioning off the food or donating it to a local shelter.
Sell you baked goods for a ‘goods’ cause. Tempt community members with cookies, cupcakes, brownies, and other scrumptious treats. Set-up a table to sell baked goods at your school, a local mall, or another high-traffic area, or consider integrating as part of a larger fundraising event. If people aren’t coming to the table, consider taking baked goods directly to people to encourage sales.
Do you have any other fundraising ideas not listed above? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and you could be featured on our blog!