1. Art Show
Tap on students’ creative talents to advance your worthy cause
and strengthen your nonprofit’s sense of community. Ask each
artist to pay a nominal registration fee to showcase their work, then
set a flat ticket price for attendees to browse the collection.
Consider asking local artists to get involved as well.
2. Car Wash
Car washes are often overlooked, but they can be a great way to
take a task off someone’s to-do list while simultaneously
converting them into a supporter of your cause. Host the event at a
location that’s easily visible and accessible from high-traffic
areas. You’ll also want to make sure you have plenty of space to
wash, dry, and collect money from customers.
Strategize how you plan to promote your upcoming car wash so
donors can bake it into their busy schedules. Social media and email
are great places to start, but word of mouth can be just as
3. Spelling Bee
Spelling bees are not only fun to watch, but also present a great
opportunity for younger supporters to show their skills. Advertise
your spelling bee event at local schools, gyms, churches, and
restaurants, and take your marketing efforts online with a series of
social media posts leading up to the event.
Charge a flat rate for tickets, and consider adding a peer-to-peer
fundraising element to bring in donations from a wider audience.
Participants can create
their own fundraising pages and ask for support leading up
to the competition to reach their goals. Plus, people can show their
support throughout the event by sending donations to friends or
family members competing in each round.
4. Bake Sale
Get ready for some sweet aromas with this classic fundraising
idea. To make this fan-favorite event a little more interesting,
invite participants to compete to bake the most delectable treat.
People can donate for the chance to taste test and vote for their
favorites, or scrap the competition idea and simply charge a flat
rate for each baked good someone purchases. Just be sure to review
all food serving laws before setting up your table on campus.
5. Dance Marathon
Challenge participants to join a 24-hour dance marathon to raise
money for your mission. Have dancers launch peer-to-peer campaigns
with a minimum goal for participation and encourage attendees
teams to see which group can raise the most.
This fun fundraising event keeps participants moving and creates
ample opportunities for in-person connection. You could also invite
supporters to request their favorite songs for $5 to raise additional
University Dance Marathon (NUDM) has raised more than $22
million for over 30 charitable organizations that benefit the Chicago
Youth Programs and The Evanston Community Foundation. This proves the
potential fundraising power of a dance marathon and reaffirms the
impact of peer-to-peer fundraising.
6. Treadmill Relay Race
Partner with a local gym to get this fundraising event idea up and
running (pun intended). Ask supporters and community members to sign
up for a time slot (minimum of 15 minutes) and collect pledges of
specific gift amounts per mile that their team completes.
This event can also be completed
virtually for anyone with access to a treadmill at home. Ask
fundraisers to rally support from their networks to pledge money for
each mile they log or each time-based benchmark they hit (e.g.,
pledge to donate $50 dollars for every five miles).
7. Dodgeball Tournament
This timeless game is the perfect way to spin up competition at a
local school or university. Ask each team to fundraise a certain
amount to participate, or give donors the option to join for a set
registration fee. Whichever they choose, encourage attendees to
spread the word and recruit their friends to come watch for some
Your Fundraising Campaign Checklists
Ideas for Instagram
8. Photo Contest
Run a photo contest to engage attendees, build brand awareness,
and connect with donors more organically. Identify a theme or subject
for your contest, then invite donors to share
their photos on Instagram with the appropriate hashtags and
photo tags. Collect all entries, upload them to a central landing
page, and ask your community to vote for their favorite by making a
small monetary donation.
If you prefer to keep it all on social media, determine the winner
by identifying which photo garners the most likes. Offer to share the
winner’s photo on your organization’s social media accounts and
your website home page. For an added incentive, see if a local
gallery would display your winner’s photo for a week.
9. Ice Bucket Challenge
Invite donors to recreate the 2014
ALS Ice Bucket Challengeto raise money for your mission using
social media and recruit wider audiences to get involved with your
cause. If the ice bucket challenge doesn’t align with or reflect
your organization’s work, feel free to get creative with another
social media challenge.
For example, Movember’sannualcampaign
challenges supporters to grow their facial hair for the entire month
of November to raise awareness for men’s health. When participants
share photos of themselves online using the event hashtag or mention
Movember in their captions, they’re organically boosting cause
awareness and educating others on the importance of Movember’s
Nothing gets people more excited than free gifts. Share a photo
and description of a unique prize on your organization’s Instagram,
then give your followers step-by-step instructions on how to enter to
win the item or experience. Something as simple as a custom swag bag
would be great, or take it a step further by offering a free meal at
a local restaurant or paid spa treatment at a luxury salon.
To generate revenue, invite donors to purchase additional entries
by donating to your nonprofit. For example, donors who give an
additional $10 are granted 10 extra entries into the giveaway.
Instagram Tips for the Modern Nonprofit
Virtual Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits
11. Recipe Books
As a tribute to the days before cooking apps and Pinterest recipe
boards, you can crowdsource recipes from different supporters,
volunteers, and employees to compile a charity cookbook. Ask
contributors to submit their recipes online and include a dedication,
doodle, or note with each submission so that the book feels unique
and personal to your organization.
Pro Tip: Reach out to local graphic
designers or students for help designing your cookbook.
12. Cooking Class
Whether gathering in
person or online, a cooking class is a great way to interact with
your community in a relaxed, creative environment. Ask your
employees, volunteers, or donors if anyone would be interested in
leading the class, or turn to the experts and hire a chef to take the
Charge a flat registration fee or offer a fundraising minimum for
supporters to earn their spot in class. If you choose to host
this event virtually, charge admission to attend
the livestream. You can also include an incentive for larger
donations by offering time with the chef after class for anyone who
reaches the tier two fundraising level.
13. Apple Watch or Strava Challenge
Get donors involved from all over the world with a virtual
fitness challenge. Invite people to hit a daily step goal,
complete a running challenge, tackle an indoor cycling course, or
enjoy an independent hike. Participants can track their exercise
using an Apple Watch or the Strava
app, then submit their results to see how they stack up in the
14. Twitch Video Game Fundraiser
If we’ve learned anything from Twitch,
it’s that video games can bring people together from all over the
world to support a worthy cause.
Invite gamers to create a fundraising page that they can share
with viewers during their Twitch event. Provide them with the tools
they need to promote their stream, and encourage them to recruit
friends, family, and fellow gamers to tune in to support their
Ask each gamer to drop the link to their fundraising page in the
chat box during their event, and encourage them to speak to your
mission throughout the livestream. This is a great opportunity to
have gamers organically educate viewers on your work’s importance.
Virtual Fundraising Ideas for Schools
15. Virtual Tailgate
Tailgating for a sporting event is one of the best parts of the
game. If you can’t tailgate in person, make it a virtual
celebration. Have your supporters purchase a tailgate package, which
can be picked up before the big game.
Palmer Home for Children decided to host a virtual tailgate
for the Mississippi State football team, sending each supporter home
with a cooler of tailgate foods and treats. They also sold
sponsorship packages, and anyone who purchased a sponsorship had
their organization’s logo and program information included on
special marketing materials inside the tailgate cooler.
16. School Concert
For the proud grandparents, aunts, and uncles who can’t travel
into town every time your children are participating in a school
concert, provide a virtual option to keep them involved and expand
the reach of your event.
your concert at an earlier date to avoid any last-minute
technology hiccups or livestream your concert using a reliable
virtual event platform. Sell virtual tickets to your event
through a branded campaign page or simply encourage attendees to make
donations throughout the evening to support their loved one.
Invite supporters to give the gift a morning coffee to a student,
parent, or teacher in their life who could use the extra boost of
caffeine ahead of a busy day. Keep it simple by creating a custom
campaign page where supporters can place their order, submit their
donations, and even leave a personal message for the recipient of
their coffee-gram. Ask for a flat donation amount from each customer,
or invite supporters to upgrade their orders with specialty beverages
like hot chocolate or an oat milk latte.
Next: The Nonprofit Event Debate
18. Breakfast in Bed
Ask local businesses to donate breakfast staples like muffins,
fruit, bagels, and coffee. Next, have supporters and their networks
place orders. Enlist volunteers to deliver the goods and encourage
tips in the form of donations.
Create a menu that demonstrates impact so your supporters know
what their donation provides. For example, a $20 donation gets you a
fresh bagel, homemade croissant, and hot coffee, but more
importantly, it pays for a student’s school lunch for a month.
19. Film Festival
Since everyone has a camera in their pocket and a platform to
reach the masses, any moment can be captured on film and shared with
the world. Host an amateur film festival where participants can enter
their productions. You can even turn it into a contest, where
attendees donate $5 to cast votes for their favorite films. Leading
up to the contest, create an email series with tips to show
to create an impactful video.
20. Dinner Party
This fundraising idea makes sense for any occasion. Whether you
host a potluck harvest dinner or a cocktail hour, sell tickets and
invite guests to a rented venue, a volunteer’s home, or your office
for a delicious meal. Prepare
your elevator pitch so that guests will understand how
meaningful this dinner, and their contributions, truly are.
21. Date Night Auction
Strike a deal with a local restaurant, spa, or hotel to offer an
exclusive date night prize to the winner of your fundraising auction.
Identify potential businesses in your area that donors have shown an
interest in, and highlight the incredible marketing opportunity those
establishments will receive from this event.
You can host
your auction online or in person, both presenting their own
unique set of benefits. If you host your auction online, you can link
to the businesses’ websites on your event page to entice donors. In
addition, you have the potential to expand your reach and garner more
bids as a result.
If you host your event in person, you have additional
opportunities to raise money through merchandise, food, or drink
sales at the event, educate supporters on your recurring
giving program, strengthen donor relationships, and more.
to Track the ROI of Your Recurring Giving Program
22. Speed Dating
For those looking to meet new, like-minded people with a shared
interest in philanthropy, host a speed dating fundraising event to
break the ice between singles in your community and create a
welcoming atmosphere for connection.
Charge a registration fee for anyone interested in participating,
and auction off fun dates throughout the night for attendees to win.
Recruit volunteers to play live music or serve drinks to keep the
energy alive until the last couple leaves.
23. Eating Contest
Expand your fundraising opportunities with a food-forward event
sure to draw in supporters of all ages. Whether you serve pies,
doughnuts, or hot dogs, contestants will be excited to compete in a
timed eating contest and fund your good work.
Solicit local shops or bakeries to donate the food that will be
devoured at your tasty fundraiser. That way the restaurant or bakery
gets their brand in front of more people, and your organization can
keep overhead costs as low as possible.
24. Art Auction
This fundraising idea isn’t just for professional artists.
Encourage donors, supporters, and artists alike to create something
they feel proud of and would like to share with your community.
Invite attendees to show their support for each artist while
simultaneously advancing your cause by bidding on their favorite
items, either in a live
or virtual environment.
25. Exercise Lessons
Whether you focus on yoga, tennis, or self-defense, host an
afternoon where participants can donate to receive a lesson from a
local expert. To find a qualified instructor, reach out to local gyms
or workout studios to see who might be interested in donating their
skills for a good cause. You could also turn to social media to
source potential exercise professionals in your area who might be a
good fit for your event.
Steps to Plan Your Annual Fundraising Strategy
26. Silent Auction
Plan a silent auction as a solo event, or add it to an existing
fundraising initiative as a supplementary revenue driver. Reach
out to your network to start assembling
items, but also consider appointing a committee of volunteers who
can solicit their contacts for additional gifts.
this event to virtual, it becomes
more accessible to your audience. Promote the auction items
in an email blast and on social media to engage attendees, then take
advantage of the opportunity to ask for additional donations
throughout the event.
Pantry celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2020 by offering
supporters the chance to bid on several prizes at their online
silent auction. All bidding was submitted online prior to the
livestream, and remained open until one hour after the virtual
program ended. This allowed all supporters to participate, even if
they couldn’t attend the live virtual event.
Classy Live for Your Next Auction
one of the longest-standing fundraising events for a reason. Imagine
sitting at a table of like-minded individuals engaging in meaningful
conversation while enjoying a delicious meal.
Invite your supporters to an elegant evening of dinner, drinks,
live entertainment, and ample fundraising opportunities to recognize
the success of your organization and help attendees better understand
Sell tickets to your event through a branded campaign page, and
consider restricting your sales to two-pack tickets to ensure all
attendees bring at least one guest. Leverage partnerships to help
offset costs, and be sure to double down on promotion leading up to
your event to build a case for why supporters should offer their
28. Battle of the Bands
Recruit local bands to put on a concert for your community.
Performers can fundraise ahead of the event to earn their spot on the
stage, and attendees can purchase tickets to join in on the
fun. Invite influencers or local personalities to judge, and motivate
them to help spread the word to get people excited about your show.
Simply ask each group to upload a pre-recorded video of their act
to your event page to bring the battle online. Participants can still
fundraise to earn their registration, and then your supporters can
vote on the best performance. Offer a prize for the winning band to
incentivize participation and consider offering a prize to the band
who raises the most money.
29. Pancake Breakfast
Heat up the skillets and recruit a team of passionate volunteers
to serve up endless stacks of pancakes in support of your nonprofit.
Advertise your event weeks in advance to give donors enough time to
plan ahead, and be sure to increase your marketing cadence the week
leading up to the event to keep it top of mind.
Ask donors to purchase a ticket to your all-you-can-eat breakfast
event, or remove the registration cost altogether to increase
accessibility and ask supporters to donate in exchange for a hot meal
once they arrive. Whichever you choose, just make sure you have
plenty of butter and syrup to go around.
30. Casino Night
Bring Vegas to your hometown and host a casino night complete with
roulette, blackjack, and poker games. Invite guests to dress up and
donate to participate. You could also invite attendees to donate
certain gift amounts in exchange for entries into a grand prize
raffle at the end of the evening. Prizes like a gift card to a nice
restaurant in your area or free tickets to your next nonprofit event
are both great options.
31. Vacation Auction
The idea of going on a relaxing weekend getaway is enough to pique
most adults’ immediate interest. Do your research and explore your
connections to identify potential airlines, hotels, car services, and
restaurants that would be willing to support this offering. You could
also keep it local for a simple stay-cation at a nice hotel or resort
in your city.
Entice bids by promoting your auction online, and get creative
with your marketing materials. Sell the experience with strong photos
and videos of the vacation package, plus a comprehensive list of the
vacation details and perks the winner will receive.
32. Murder Mystery Party
See who can piece all of the clues together to solve the mystery
at this classic fundraising event. Attendees can reserve their spot
in the game with a flat registration fee, but be sure to remind them
to invite friends and family members to join the fun. Spice things up
by encouraging attendees to dress in costume, or even consider adding
a costume contest element to get donors excited.
33. Wine Tasting
Wine and dine your community of supporters with an invitation to a
wine night fundraising event. Ask local wineries or restaurants to
donate a bottle or two in exchange for free marketing, or host your
wine tasting at a local business that would contribute a portion of
their proceeds to your organization.
Consider hiring a sommelier to teach attendees how to properly
taste each wine and educate the group on the history of each drink
being served, or collect a basket of fine wines, cheeses, wine
glasses, and bottle openers to auction off at the event for
additional donations. You could even throw in a gift card to a local
34. Fashion Show
To launch a memorable fashion show, consider partnering with a
local venue and encourage attendees to purchase tickets to your
exclusive event. Ask participants to create their own sartorial
masterpieces, or reach out to local clothing shops and boutiques for
donated outfits. You can also ask makeup artists to donate their
services and recruit community members to assist day-of to ensure
everything runs smoothly.
Inspired by This Stellar Hybrid Fundraising Event
Ideas for Kids
35. Game Night
Step away from the screens and kick it old school to raise money
for your cause. Put together a game night fundraising event that’s
friendly for all ages, complete with various options from Monopoly to
for entry and host mini-tournaments among different sets of
players. Advertise prizes for the winners to motivate participation,
and be sure to remind attendees of those prizes throughout the
evening to encourage some healthy competition.
36. Movie Night
Host a film screening or movie marathon at a local park or
auditorium. Sell tickets and snacks for suggested donations, and
invite attendees to help determine which movie you’ll stream by
donating a few dollars toward their favorite film on the list.
Another twist to this familiar fundraising event is asking friends
and family to host their own mini-film screenings on behalf of your
cause. Ask them to invite their networks to donate a small fee to
“reserve their seat” at the event, and provide each host with a
toolkit of promotional materials to speak about your mission
37. Tie-Dye Party
Swag that promotes your cause is a classic fundraising incentive,
but you can take this nonprofit fundraising idea a step further by
hosting a “create your own T-shirt” get-together. Charge an
entrance fee and invite attendees to create their own masterpieces.
You could also enlist local artists to create custom pieces to sell.
Since making T-shirts isn’t an extremely time-consuming
activity, prepare some other family-friendly games, crafts, or
challenges for the event to ensure attendees stick around.
38. Rollerblade or Rollerskate Race
How about switching up the usual 5K run/walk with a roller-skating
race? In addition to fundraising for entry, invite participants to
dress up and participate in a costume contest.
39. Scavenger Hunt
Send participants running all around town with an organized
scavenger hunt. Stick to the classic scavenger hunt where people have
to find and collect designated items, or go digital and have
individuals or teams simply take a picture of the items or locations
on the list and submit them for approval.
Charge a registration fee in advance. Offer a head start or hints
in exchange for donations on the day of the hunt, and give bonus
points to the individual or team who collects the most trash as they
explore your city.
40. Karaoke Night
Invite donors to let their hair down and have some old-fashioned
fun with a night of karaoke. Charge for entry, then encourage
spectators to vote for their favorite performers through small
monetary donations. The performer with the most donations at the end
of the evening will be crowned the winner.
Encourage supporters of all ages to participate in a battle of the
generations. Categorize all performers into individual age brackets,
then leave it up to the audience to determine which group deserves
the karaoke crown. Offer incentives to the winners to motivate
participation, or simply remind them of the bragging rights they’ll
41. Donate a Drink for a Cause
To demonstrate how the
smallest donation can make a difference, ask fundraisers to give
up a daily beverage and donate the money they would have spent to
your cause instead. Provide supporters with data showcasing the
impact of $5, $10, $20 donations. Encourage them to share their
activity on social media and ask their networks to take action too.
Intensify the appeal by asking supporters to participate for a
certain number of days or encourage them to meet
a personal fundraising goal.
42. Afternoon Tea Time
Invite your community to relax, sip their favorite tea, and
support your nonprofit’s mission. Attendees can secure their entry
with a standard registration fee, then dress up for your classy
high-tea fundraiser to make the most of the event.
Prepare elegant cutlery, fine china, and classic tea party snacks.
Consider partnering with a local tea or coffee shop for tea leaves
43. Comedy Night
Laughter is one of the most powerful sources of connection.
Recruit community members, local performers, and up-and-coming comics
to show off their talents at your comedy night event. Sell entry
tickets, then encourage donors to show additional support through the
form of food and beverage purchases for suggested donation amounts.
See if a local comedy club would offer their space for your
nonprofit to use, or host your event at a bar or restaurant that
would contribute a portion of their proceeds back to your cause.
44. Head-Shaving Fundraiser
If you can find brave supporters to go the extra mile for your
nonprofit, a head-shaving fundraiser is a great way to bring
attention to your cause and attract new audiences. Participants
pledge to shave their heads (or long-lasting beards) to raise money.
In return, your nonprofit can offer an exclusive perk, prize, or
public recognition on your website or social media platforms.
45. Trivia Night
Trivia nights are a weekly occurrence at bars for a few simple
reasons—they’re easy to organize, affordable to host, and can be
customized to appeal to any audience. Ask a local restaurant or bar
to host your fundraising event and encourage participants to form
teams in advance.
To earn their spot in the competition, set a minimum fundraising
amount that each participant must meet to play. If registrants don’t
meet the minimum, they can donate the remaining amount.
Charge an entrance fee for anyone not participating in the
competition, but still wants to support your cause and be part of the
action. You can also host a virtual trivia night to reduce overhead
costs. Simply create a list of questions, secure an engaging virtual
host, and encourage attendees to tune in for the live event to earn
If you decide to go with an in-person gathering, consider asking
if the venue would share a portion of their food and drink proceeds
with your nonprofit. Nothing encourages business like being
46. Yard Sale
Collect gently worn clothes and home goods for a yard sale your
community won’t want to miss. If you have valuable items, like
first-edition books or signed collectibles, you can hold an exclusive
auction for these top-tier pieces at the end of the day. In addition
to opening up donations to your staff, supporters, and collective
networks, reach out to local celebrities or philanthropists for those
Take pictures of the items and post them on social media to
generate buzz around the event. You might just find your next
corporate sponsor while drumming up excitement online.
47. Community Potluck
Invite supporters to dig out their family recipe books for a
community potluck. This cheap fundraising idea is accessible to
donors who might not be able to afford a ticket to your annual gala
or other large fundraisers, but still want to get involved with your
cause. Encourage donors to buy a ticket through your event page, then
simply show up with an appetite and their favorite meal, dessert, or
drink in hand.
To leave attendees with something special to remember the evening,
ask registrants to submit their recipes to your team ahead of the
potluck and create a cookbook of everyone’s unique contributions.
Either send the book home for free as a gift for attending, or sell
them for a low price at the event for additional donations.
48. Photo Contest
Today, everyone has a professional-grade camera in the palm of
their hand. Kick off an amateur photo contest to find out which
supporter can snap the best photo from their iPhone, camera, or
Either set a theme for the contest, like sunsets or photos of
nature, or keep it broad enough for participants to get creative. Ask
each person to submit their photos to your team directly, then
publish them to your event landing page where people can vote for
their favorite through small donations. Take it to social media to
garner additional votes, and be sure to send an email blast asking
community members to help determine the winner.
Participants can either pay an entry fee or earn their spot in the
competition through peer-to-peer fundraising. Whichever you decide,
offer the opportunity to showcase the winning photo at your next
event or share it on social media for everyone to see.
49. Restaurant Partnership
A restaurant fundraiser allows supporters to eat at a local
restaurant or bakery on a particular day, and the restaurant donates
a percentage of their sales back to your cause. Set up a committee to
identify potential partners, then arrange a meeting with those
restaurant managers to explore your options. Determine how the
proceeds will be split, and discuss if there will be an option for
supporters to make a reservation ahead of the event to confirm their
50. Talent Show
Secure a venue, recruit your talent for the evening, and prepare
attendees for a fundraising event to remember. Research some free
community spaces to rent, or consider striking a deal with a local
business to host your event for a portion of the proceeds.
Encourage supporters of all ages to take the stage to pursue the
grand prize, whether that’s a coveted trophy or custom T-shirt.
Just be sure to preview the acts beforehand to ensure they’re
appropriate for all eyes.
51. 50/50 Raffle
If your organization is looking for a cheap way to bolster
donations, try a 50/50 raffle. Sell tickets for entry into the
raffle, typically for a fee of $1 per ticket. Add up all of your
ticket sales, then divide them in half. One half goes to your
organization, and the other goes to a lucky winner.
You can host the raffle at an in-person event, or take it virtual
by selling the raffle tickets online. Whichever you choose, keep
supporters updated as you sell tickets to show just how large the
prize fund is getting.
52. Dog Walking
It’s not always easy for people to make time for an afternoon
stroll with their pets, but you can help make their days easier by
walking their dog in exchange for a donation.
Launch an online sign-up sheet where donors can reserve a date and
time, submit their donation, and insert all relevant contact
information. Charge a flat rate for a 30-minute walk, or offer longer
walks in exchange for larger donations. You could also offer
additional services, like bathing their dog, for an additional fee.
53. Pet Sitting
When people travel for the weekend or just go away for the day on
business, it can be challenging to find someone they trust to take
care of their pets. Help relieve some of their stress with pet
an event landing page with the details of your offering to
ensure donors know exactly what they’re signing up for, then follow
up with each participant to confirm the date, time, and location. Set
a flat hourly rate, or offer an exclusive weekend package for those
who need a little more help.
54. Polar Plunge
There’s nothing like jumping into an ice cold ocean to
re-energize your nonprofit community. A polar plunge is the perfect
opportunity for peer-to-peer fundraising where supporters can tap
into their networks to raise money on behalf of your organization.
Similarly to those participating in nonprofit
endurance events, polar plunge participants can ask their
friends, family, and loved ones to support their ambitious goal.
Whether you host your plunge at the beach, lake, or even in a local
pool, it will grab supporters’ attention.
55. Meditation Night
Allow donors to unwind and destress at a community meditation
night. Find a quiet, comfortable space to convert into your
meditation studio, then recruit a local yoga teacher, volunteer, or
passionate supporter to lead your class.
Charge a registration fee to attend, then bolster your
opportunities for donation by auctioning off a series of guided
meditation sessions or a free one-year membership to popular
meditation apps like Calm or Headspace.
56. Holiday Cooking Competition
Round up supporters and foodies around a friendly culinary
competition. Contestants create their best holiday dishes with a
specific ingredient or other criteria, and people pay to taste each
dish and cast their votes. By giving your supporters the option to
sign up as a chef or judge, you’re appealing to a large audience
and providing a fun and unique experience that will help donors
associate your organization with a good time.
57. Winter Clothing Drive
Host a clothing drive ahead of the freezing winter temperatures to
support and protect community members in need. Collect these in-kind
resources early in the winter season to ensure adequate resources for
your beneficiaries when the coldest temperatures hit in December and
In addition to giving jackets, hats, and gloves, encourage donors
to contribute a one-time donation on top of their in-kind
contribution to help your organization sustain its critical work.
Clarify how each dollar will directly benefit a community member and
remind donors how much just $5 can do for someone in need.
58. Indoor Cycling
Invite donors to warm up in the winter months by sweating for a
cause. Partner with a local gym or spin studio and ask your community
to participate for a suggested donation. Recruit a local instructor
to donate their time and lead the class through an energetic and
fulfilling workout. To jazz it up, throw in mood lighting, a killer
playlist, and after-spin refreshments for an event to remember.
59. Community Bonfire
Get donors together for a night of smores, hot chocolate, and
campfire songs. Sell tickets to your event through a branded campaign
page, and also consider setting up a booth on the weekends leading up
to your event to sell tickets in person.
Recruit donors, beneficiaries, or partners to speak at your
bonfire to help clarify the impact of your mission to new and
prospective supporters. Put together a slideshow to display at your
bonfire to highlight the other events your community has enjoyed
together, and consider adding a few other small games or activities
for attendees to do throughout the evening. Something as simple as
bag toss, a cookie decorating station, or holiday movie screening
would work well.
Creative Winter Fundraising Ideas to Raise More
60. 5K Run or Bike Race
A 5K race is a year-round favorite that can raise big bucks for
your cause. Rather than rely solely on entry fees, implement
peer-to-peer fundraising so participants can start raising
money upon registration. Throw out a suggested fundraising goal,
prepare incentives, and send
participants tips on how to reach out to their networks to
solicit additional donations.
For organizations looking to do this virtually, charge
registration in the form of a donation and then encourage the athlete
to complete the distance on their own. Hope
for Haiti hosted their third annual virtual Hike
for Haiti Challenge in 2021, which challenged students and
families to climb 200 flights of stairs. This distance represents the
journey taken by students and families in Marre à Coiffe to access
clean water and other vital resources.
Supporters worldwide posted photos and videos of themselves on
social media climbing stairs at the gym, at a local stadium, and even
in their apartment complexes, raising over $344,000 in the process.
61. Color Run
Put a creative spin on the traditional 5K by hosting a
community-wide color run. As participants make their way through the
course, they’ll be covered with water and color powder to help
create memories that will last a lifetime.
You can host your color run at a local school to target a younger
audience, or open the event to your larger community to boost
exposure and increase attendance. Ask registrants to cover a flat
registration fee that will offset the cost of materials, and
encourage them to tap into their extensive network to raise more
through peer-to-peer fundraising.
Post-race swag, medals, or even branded water bottles are great
incentives for each runner. If that’s not within your budget, offer
the winner a set of free tickets to your next fundraising event.
Encourage supporters to fundraise on behalf of your cause through
a walk-a-thon peer-to-peer fundraising event. Provide attendees with
all necessary fundraising and marketing materials they might need to
solicit donations, like a fundraisers
toolkit, and incentivize their participation with exclusive perks
Although most commonly held at a track, you can take this event to
a local park or even online to host a virtual walk-a-thon. Consider
tapping on event sponsors to support your event, or think about
creative ways to collect in-kind donations from your community to
keep walkers fueled throughout the day, like drinks, snacks, and
63. Pub Crawl
Don’t discount the potential of a fundraising event that’s
centered around bar hopping. This is the fun fundraising idea
the start of Classy. A pub (or restaurant) crawl can be a great
way to put a philanthropic twist on a fun Saturday night.
Plan your route with local breweries who may offer potential
discounts, or ask participating bars and eateries to donate a portion
of their profits to your cause. Charge for entry and invite
registrants to secure donations for each stop they make.
You can also charge a fee for people to participate in the crawl.
To take it one step further, ask people to dress up to fit a theme,
or have participants earn branded swag for each stop they make on the
64. Tree Planting
Do a good deed for the environment while simultaneously driving
your mission forward. Sell or auction trees in partnership with your
local native plant nursery, or promote donations for memorial trees
that your organization will plant to remember loved ones.
The holiday season presents another lucrative fundraising
opportunity for your nonprofit. Offer a Christmas tree collection and
recycling service for a suggested donation, or help supporters get
their trees to the curb on trash day. Gather a team of volunteers to
do the heavy lifting, and be sure to reward their hard work with a
65. Marathon Sponsorships
Reward top peer-to-peer fundraisers in your community with entry
to exclusive marathons or running events, like the Boston
an official charity partner of the race of your choice, then
determine how many athlete spots you’ll be given. Reserve those
coveted spots for supporters who bring in the most money for your
cause in the months leading up to race day, saving them the costly
race registration fee they would have to pay otherwise.
accepted as an official community charity partner for the 2021 TCS
New York City Marathon, encouraging supporters to fundraise on their
behalf to earn their spot at the start line. They successfully sent
three ambitious athletes to New York to make the 26.2-mile trek as a
well-earned reward for their fundraising success.
66. Basketball Tournament
Put a spin on the standard basketball tournament with other fun
games like dunk contests, free-throw contests, or dribble challenges.
Keep it simple with a flat registration fee, or tap into the
potential of your supporters’ networks through peer-to-peer
67. Relay Race
Put a fresh spin on the traditional 5K or 10K by turning it into a
team relay race. Runners can solicit their networks for donations, or
ask their friends and family to purchase event tickets to come watch.
Perhaps each leg of the race demands a particular costume theme or
humorous obstacle like carrying an egg on a spoon or a three-legged
Spring Fundraising Ideas to Engage Donors Worldwide
68. Craft Fair
If Pinterest has taught us anything, it’s that the
do-it-yourself aesthetic isn’t going anywhere. Gather talented
friends and family members to help create and sell custom crafts,
like bracelets, buttons, keychains, or hand-stitched blankets.
69. Ice Cream Social
This fundraising event idea is perfect for families and children.
Ask your community and local businesses to donate supplies and help
you get the word out. Charge per scoop or set a flat ticket fee for
an all-you-can-eat option.
Consider adding an ice cream eating contest to shake things up, or
host a competition to see who can create the most beautiful sundae
with the ingredients they’ve been given.
This can easily become a virtual event as well by sending a gift
card to each donor who reaches the designated fundraising level.
Encourage them to purchase their own treat and attend a livestream
ice cream social to connect with fellow supporters.
70. Dunk Tank
While getting an adult to sit in the tank might take a little
convincing, this fundraising idea is an engaging weekend activity
sure to leave everyone laughing. Identify volunteers, donors,
partners, or board members willing to take a shift in the dunk tank,
and sell tickets to those interested in sending them for a swim.
You can sell different tiers of tickets, rewarding those who
donate larger amounts with additional attempts to dunk the person
inside. Another creative twist is kicking off a peer-to-peer
competition leading up to the event, and the person who raises the
least has to take the first shift in the tank.
71. Local Concert
This idea is for all the live music junkies out there. Partner
with a local venue and recruit artists to participate in your show.
Performers can create fundraising pages leading up to the event so
that fans, friends, and family can donate, even if they cannot
You can also make this an online event by asking bands to perform
for your virtual audience in a closed venue. Sell tickets for the
event, collect donations throughout the evening, and livestream
the performances for all donors to enjoy.
72. Surf Tournament
If you’re near the ocean, a surf competition can be the perfect
fundraising idea to draw beach-loving crowds and get people outside.
Ask participants to create peer-to-peer campaigns with a fundraising
minimum. Be sure to leverage impact
blocks on your campaign page to help tie your fundraising
goal to a tangible solution. For example, participants that raise
$1,500 will cover the cost of sending one cancer survivor to camp.
Not near the coast? Lakes are perfect for athletic events too.
Plan a kayak race or a swim relay to take advantage of the great
73. Local Olympics
Put together an Olympics-style sporting event for locals and ask
each participant to fundraise a minimum amount to help you reach a
collective goal. Either stick with the classic Olympic events, like
basketball and track and field, or get creative with more unique
games, like bag toss or bocce ball.
74. BBQ Cook-Off
Invite your local chefs to cook up their best barbecue plate and
ask guests to donate, taste, and cast their votes for their top
choice. Segment the competition even further to crown the winner of
the best barbecue sauce, rolls, or side dishes. No matter what, be
sure to keep a lot of napkins on hand.
Fun Summer Fundraising Ideas to Fuel Your Mission
75. Costume Race
Host a race where people dress up in theme to add some extra flair
to the classic endurance event. Whether it’s zombies, Star Wars,
Harry Potter, or another theme, a costumed race allows donors to dig
out their Halloween boxes and have some fun. With all the different
options to choose from, this funny fundraising twist on the classic
5K never gets old.
76. Flag Football Tournament
Tap into a global interest and host your own charitable flag
football tournament. Charge an entry fee per team, or ask
participants to fundraise for entry. Consider how you could raise
additional funds day-of, whether that’s an on-site concession stand
or branded merchandise. Either seek out volunteer referees or ask
your staff to step in, and remember to highlight the prizes that are
up for grabs for the winning team.
77. Bowling Tournament
Like all other tournaments, ask each team to fundraise a minimum
amount for entry. You could also recruit partners to sponsor lanes or
uniforms where they can feature their logos.