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At Funds2Orgs, we understand it can be difficult to consistently hit your fundraising goals, expand your donor base, and keep your supporters engaged. Sometimes it can feel like the enthusiasm just isn’t there. 

If you’ve been executing the same old fundraisers year after year, it might be time to spice things up. It’s exciting for your supporters to have new ways to get involved in supporting your cause, and that excitement will surely lead to more donations. 

With that in mind, we’ve compiled this list of standout fundraising ideas for nonprofits. The enthusiasm for your cause is there—you just have to stoke it! You’ll find the following categories of nonprofit fundraising ideas on this page: 

  • Our Top Fundraising Idea for Nonprofits
  • Best Virtual Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits
  • Top Fundraising Event Ideas for Nonprofits
  • Easy Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofit Organizations
  • Creative Nonprofit Fundraising Ideas that Stand Out

Sometimes all you need is a little inspiration to hit (and even surpass!) your fundraising goals. Let’s get started. 

 

Our top fundraising idea for nonprofits can help you raise money with very little effort.

Our Top Fundraising Idea for Nonprofits 

Shoe Drive Fundraisers 

Our top fundraising idea for nonprofits is perhaps the easiest of them all: host a shoe drive fundraiser

With this nonprofit fundraiser, it’s possible to raise a substantial amount of money for your cause while spending very little time planning. A shoe drive fundraiser allows your supporters to clear out their closets for a good cause, supporting your mission! 

Here’s how it works: 

  1. Partner with a shoe drive fundraising coordinator.
  2. Place the collection materials they send you around your building, campus, or at your fundraising event.
  3. Advertise the shoe drive fundraiser and ask your supporters to donate gently worn, used and new shoes.
  4. Your shoe drive fundraising coordinator will pick up your shoes at the end of your fundraiser.
  5. All you have to do is wait for a check in the mail!

See? We told you it was easy! Plus, shoe drive fundraisers are not only awesome on their own, but they also pair well with other campaigns. So even if you have your heart set on one of the other nonprofit fundraising events on this list, consider incorporating a shoe drive fundraiser as well to maximize your fundraising ability.

 

These virtual nonprofit fundraising ideas can bring your community together while remaining at a distance.

Best Virtual Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits 

Sure, the recent pandemic has made virtual fundraising necessary. But even outside of pandemic times, it can be hugely beneficial to your nonprofit’s fundraising efforts to add a virtual aspect to your campaigns. 

Why? Because not everyone who wants to attend your events in person will be able. You may have people who connect with your cause who live across the country, or you may have supporters who have limited abilities or are chronically ill who can’t make it to all of your events. 

So even going forward past COVID-19, we hope you’ll continue to use virtual components in your fundraisers to maximize interest, participation, and engagement. Let’s get started! 

 

Online Donation Page 

An essential nonprofit fundraising idea is an online donation pageCost: $

Difficulty: ✔

Earning Potential: ★★★★

Online donations these days account for a considerable portion of the fundraising revenue nonprofits bring in every year. Without an online donation page, you’ll miss out on a huge opportunity to collect donations. 

For all of your virtual nonprofit fundraisers, you’ll want to direct traffic to your online donation page. When you’re crafting this page, keep these elements in mind: 

  • Mobile optimization: Make sure your donation page appears correctly from a mobile device, so you don’t miss out on donations from supporters using their smartphones. 
  • Length: Limit the required fields to the essentials. You want to encourage completion of the donation form, not find out everything you can about your donors. Remember, there’s plenty of time to learn about your supporters after they’ve donated! 
  • Clarity: The last thing you want to do when you’re close to donation conversions is to confuse your supporters! Prioritize ease-of-use on your donation form to bring in the most donations possible. 

Your online donation page will serve as the main portal to donations for many of your virtual nonprofit fundraisers, so make sure it’s up and running well before you get started on any of these ideas! 

 

Virtual Gala 

A virtual gala is a fundraising idea for nonprofits that lets supporters get dressed up and get involved from their own homesCost: $$

Difficulty: ✔✔

Earning Potential: ★★★★

Just because social distancing is in effect doesn’t mean you and your supporters can’t get dressed up and attend a gala. Virtual galas are just like their in-person counterparts, except supporters can livestream your programming from the comfort of their own homes. 

Galas are traditionally an effective way to bring together your major donors and long-term supporters. With the shift to virtual and the lower costs due to the lack of venue and catering, consider expanding your gala invitation list to include all of your supporters who wish to attend. 

 

Online Book Club 

Bring your supporters together for an online book club as a fun fundraising idea for your nonprofit.Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔

Earning Potential: ★

Get your supporters together to get reading! For this nonprofit fundraiser, you’ll need to advertise the opportunity to join the book club to your supporters ahead of time. Choose a book on a topic related to your nonprofit’s cause, or survey your supporters to see what kind of books they would be interested in reading together. 

All you’ll need to do is charge a small registration fee to join the club. From there, set up a weekly, biweekly, or monthly video call where book club members can gather to discuss the book. 

To maximize the results of this nonprofit fundraiser, you’ll also want to advertise your online donation page at the beginning of your book club meetings, along with your nonprofit’s text-to-give number, if you have one. 

 

Virtual Race 

A virtual race is a great fundraising idea for your nonprofit to get your supporters up and moving.Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔✔

Earning Potential: ★★★★

Who said races have to be in person? Take your traditional fundraising races virtual with this fantastic fundraising idea for your nonprofit. 

Beyond providing a suitable fundraising event for the social distancing era, a virtual race saves your nonprofit a significant amount of money compared to an in-person race. The costs to plan and launch are significantly less. 

Just like a regular race, a virtual race gets your supporters up and moving in support of your cause. The only thing that’s different about a virtual race is your supporters will complete the race route independently. There are a couple of options to consider about the structure of your race: 

  • You could provide a specific day and time for participants to complete their route.
  • Alternatively, have participants complete the race on a date and time of their choosing, as long as it’s within a certain window of time. 

Either way, your participants will report their running, biking, or walking times to you upon their completion of the race. 

Charge a registration fee to make money from this nonprofit fundraiser, and consider pairing it with other fundraising ideas like peer-to-peer fundraising or a shoe drive fundraiser

 

Digital Concert 

A digital concert is a nonprofit fundraising idea that will bring your supporters together for an awesome performance.Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔✔

Earning Potential: ★★★

Odds are, your supporters would jump at the chance to see some live music. Consider recruiting a local band, singer, or other performers to donate a night of their time to your organization. 

It’s a good idea to survey your supporters ahead of time to see what kind of music they generally like. You may even present some choices of performers and see who gets the best response from your supporters. 

Once you have the artist nailed down, promote your digital concert online ahead of time on your social media accounts and your website. Make tickets available in advance and ask supporters to buy tickets to gain access to the event. 

When the day of the concert arrives, make sure everyone knows where to go to watch the livestream, and enjoy! 

 

Virtual Movie Night 

A virtual movie night is a low-pressure, low-effort nonprofit fundraising idea to bring your supporters together.Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔

Earning Potential: ★

Get the popcorn ready! This low-effort, COVID-friendly fundraiser will bring your supporters together for a night of family-friendly fun.  

To launch a virtual movie night fundraiser, follow these simple steps: 

  1. Choose a movie to screen. Try to pick something relevant to your cause or of particular interest to your donors. Don’t be afraid to ask them what movies they would be interested in seeing. 
  2. Promote the movie screening, and provide information on where to access it. 
  3. Charge a small fee for a “ticket” to the livestream of the movie, or just provide the link to your donation page and ask for suggested donations.

Once everything’s lined up and ready to go, all that’s left to do is get watching! 

 

Online Class 

An online class is a virtual fundraising idea for your nonprofit that encourages learning and raises funds at the same time.Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔

Earning Potential: ★★

An online class is a versatile virtual fundraising idea for nonprofits. You could offer various classes—try to gauge subject interest before you set the topic and find a teacher. 

One option is providing a class on a subject related to your cause. For example, if your nonprofit is a wildlife conservation organization, you could offer a course related to ecology, zoology, or conservation with a prominent scientist. 

If connecting with an expert in the field isn’t feasible, consider finding an instructor affiliated with your own organization. Send out a survey to see who has expertise in which subjects, as well as who would be willing to teach a class. Then, just promote the program online, charge a registration fee, and get learning!

 

Email Campaign 

An email fundraising campaign is a classic and effective fundraising idea for nonprofits.Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔

Earning Potential: ★★★

While email campaigns may be traditional, that doesn’t mean they’re ineffective. In fact, email-based marketing generates a considerable chunk of all online nonprofit revenue. Studies found that email marketing accounted for 28% of all online nonprofit revenue in 2017.

An email fundraising campaign should definitely be on your nonprofit’s radar. There are a couple of best practices to keep in mind when planning your email campaign:

  • Personalize your appeals: Generic “Dear Supporter” emails don’t tend to resonate with potential donors. Instead, use their names and reference personal details about your supporters within your emails. How can you do that? Try segmenting your donors within your donor database so you can address specific subsets of your supporters all at once. 
  • Consider a multi-channel approach: While email is an exceedingly effective way to raise money for your organization, it can help to widen your reach by including social media, text-to-give, and even direct mail in your fundraising campaign. 

A good email campaign can make a huge difference in your nonprofit’s annual fundraising and help you hit your goals. 

 

Social Media Takeover 

A social media takeover is a fundraising idea for nonprofits that can garner donations and spread awareness about your cause.Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔

Earning Potential: ★★★

A social media takeover can have many benefits for your nonprofit. To execute a social media takeover, you’ll need to find an influencer, expert, artist, or another prominent figure to “take over” one of your social media accounts, usually for a day. 

The endorsement from a trusted public figure increases your organization’s credibility while expanding your reach to all of the influencer’s social media followers. You’ll likely gain new followers from the takeover, which will inevitably lead to new volunteers and donors. 

To make the takeover more fundraising-centric, discuss how the influencer will encourage or solicit donations for one of your campaigns during the takeover. Make sure to clearly define the terms of the agreement as well as the goals, so you’re more likely to succeed!  

 

Text-to-Give 

Text-to-give is a modern fundraising idea for your nonprofit to increase the convenience of making a donation.Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔

Earning Potential: ★★★

An easy approach for a text-to-give fundraise is to host a campaign where your team promotes your organization’s designated phone number. Alternatively, providing a text-to-give option along with your other fundraisers ensures maximum donation convenience. 

To get started with text-to-give, you’ll first have to choose a provider. Once you’re set up with a number and keyword, all you’ll need to do to take advantage of your new donation channel is to promote your text-to-give information in your communications and on your website. That way, your supporters will always know where to donate quickly and easily! 

 

Virtual Lemonade Stand 

A virtual lemonade stand is a nostalgic fundraising idea for your nonprofit that can garner tons of donations on social media.Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔

Earning Potential: ★★★

You may be wondering how a virtual lemonade stand is possible, much less effective. Spoiler alert: there is no lemonade involved in this fundraiser. 

Instead, a “virtual lemonade stand” is just an endearing way to brand a peer-to-peer fundraiser. Instead of sharing your average peer-to-peer fundraising page on social media, participants share a link to their “lemonade stand” and request donations. The reference to lemonade stands can be nostalgic for viewers and encourage more donations to your P2P campaign. 

To execute this nonprofit fundraiser, you’ll need to invest in a peer-to-peer fundraising platform with customizable pages. In particular, you’ll want your participants to be able to add images to their pages so they can upload a photo of a lemonade stand. Ensure your branding appears on every page, so viewers always know the cause to which they’re contributing! 

 

These events are great fundraising ideas for your nonprofit.

Top Fundraising Event Ideas for Nonprofits 

General nonprofit fundraisers are useful for raising money. Still, if you’d like to foster a sense of community and socialize with your supporters while garnering donations, a fundraising event is the way to go. 

Nonprofit fundraising events usually occur at a specific time, place, and location, so the window during which your nonprofit receives funds is smaller than with a broader campaign. It can be helpful for nonprofits who find themselves needing to hit a fundraising target quickly. 

We’ve compiled our top fundraising event ideas in this section to inspire your nonprofit’s team. Let’s get started. 

 

Silent Auction 

A silent auction is the perfect nonprofit fundraising idea to raise money and build community partnerships.Cost: $$

Difficulty: ✔✔

Earning Potential: ★★★★

An auction is a wonderful way to raise money for your organization and get to know local businesses, artists, and vendors. 

To start, you’ll need to reach out to some of these figures in your community to see if they would be willing to donate items, experiences, discounts, and so on. Consider auctioning off the following: 

  • Gift certificates 
  • Art by local artists 
  • Gym memberships
  • Classes (cooking, yoga, pottery, etc.) 
  • Gift baskets 

Don’t forget to back up your auction with software to make the process as smooth as possible. 

 

Ice Cream Social 

An ice cream social is a simple yet effective fundraising idea for your nonprofit.Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔

Earning Potential: ★

If it’s still warm outside in your part of the world, consider bringing your supporters together for a nice, cool ice cream social. 

You could opt to charge a fee for attendance, but it’s more common to suggest a donation or encourage donations at the event. This activity is a beneficial nonprofit fundraiser to encourage socializing among supporters and staff at your organization. 

You could combine an ice cream social with a volunteer training day or a project launch day to help everyone in your community get to know one another! 

 

Tie-Dye Party 

A tie-dye party is an inventive nonprofit fundraising idea that supporters of all ages will love.Cost: $$

Difficulty: ✔✔

Earning Potential: ★★

A tie-dye party is an arts and crafts fundraiser that supporters of all ages will love to join in on! 

For this nonprofit fundraiser, your organization provides supplies for making tie-dye shirts. Then, your supporters can participate and take home a tie-dye shirt in exchange for a donation. If your organization has branded T-shirts, those would be perfect to use for this fundraiser. That way, you’re getting a little marketing outreach from the event as well! 

Plan a date and time for your tie-dye party and promote your fundraiser well ahead of time. 

To save money on staging this event, see if a company would be willing to donate the dye necessary to make the shirts. 

 

5K 

A 5K walk, run, ride, or swim is a healthy and potentially lucrative fundraising idea for nonprofits.Cost: $$

Difficulty: ✔✔

Earning Potential: ★★

A 5K run is the perfect nonprofit fundraiser to energize and activate your supporters in advancing your mission! Consider combining your 5K with crowdfunding or peer-to-peer fundraising, so participants can fundraise and spread awareness about your organization to their friends and family. 

Be sure to start planning your 5K early, as you’ll have many decisions to make, like: 

  • Where your route will be 
  • Who will sponsor your event 
  • Who will work the event 
  • What your fundraising goal is 

5Ks aren’t just limited to running, either. You could have a 5K walk, ride, or swim instead. 

When you’re reaching out to potential sponsors, consider who might be interested in providing t-shirts, water bottles, and towels to market their brand. Sporting goods companies could be a good choice. 

Of course, leading up to your 5K, it’s a great idea to incorporate a shoe drive fundraiser so your participants can get rid of their gently worn, used or new shoes that no longer fit, and make room for a new pair of running shoes! 

 

Dance-a-Thon 

A Dance-a-thon is a fun peer-to-peer style fundraising idea for your nonprofit.Cost: $$

Difficulty: ✔✔

Earning Potential: ★★★

A dance-a-thon is the perfect peer-to-peer fundraiser to get your supporters moving and grooving! Here’s how it works: 

  1. Set a date and a fundraising goal for your dance-a-thon. 
  2. Promote the dance-a-thon far and wide, and make sure to make your messaging fun! This event is a great fundraiser for the whole family. 
  3. Ask your supporters to commit to a certain amount of dance time. Many dance-a-thons run for 12, 24, or even 36 hours! But people could do the dancing in shifts, so your supporters don’t get too tired. 
  4. Ahead of the event, ask your participants to collect pledges from their friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers. Many pledge to donate a certain amount per hour of their participant’s dance time. 
  5. Have your event and watch the funds flow in! 

Don’t forget to advertise the team aspect of dance-a-thons. Families, coworkers, or friends can join together and commit to raising a certain amount together. Then, see which team can raise the most and reward them with a fantastic prize. 

 

Dinner Party 

A dinner party is a versatile fundraising idea for your nonprofit.Cost: $$

Difficulty: ✔✔

Earning Potential: ★★★

A dinner party fundraiser is highly versatile. While it’s more common as more intimate events with a nonprofit’s most supportive donors, you can make it as big or small as you like. 

Think gala, but on a smaller scale! One of your donors may want to host it, or you could find a venue that would donate their space for the evening. Consider lining up catering, or if you’re taking a less formal approach, have your supporters bring food, potluck-style. 

Regardless of the approach you take, make sure to set a fundraising goal for your dinner party and collect pledges or donations at the event. 

 

Golf Tournament 

A golf tournament might require a little more effort than some fundraisers, but it’s still an effective fundraising idea for nonprofits.Cost: $$

Difficulty: ✔✔✔

Earning Potential: ★★★★

Have some golf fans in your community? Bring them together for an annual golf tournament. This fundraiser will require a lot of prep beforehand, but it’s worth it! Golf tournaments can have a high return on investment if you take advantage of peer-to-peer fundraising beforehand. 

9-12 months out from your tournament, you’ll want to assign a committee to begin planning your event. As you get closer to the match, market your event on your organization’s social media pages, website, and email channels. Hype-up the tournament by revealing the prizes that will be awarded to the winning teams and best-performing individuals. 

Instead of registration fees, have your supporters form teams and meet a minimum fundraising threshold to register for the event. Reward the team that raises the most funds with an awesome prize to incentivize peer-to-peer fundraising at next year’s tournament! 

 

Bingo Night 

A Bingo night is a family-friendly fundraising idea for your nonprofit.Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔✔

Earning Potential: ★★

Take advantage of bingo’s broad appeal and invite your supporters to a bingo night! They’ll bring the whole family for a night of fun. 

To pull off this nonprofit fundraising idea, you’ll need help from volunteers, an online registration form, and of course, a game of bingo with cards. And don’t forget to get some really cool prizes for your winners. Consider reaching out to local businesses to see if they would donate items or gift cards to your prize bucket. 

Ahead of your event, sell entry packages to your supporters that contain an admission ticket, a certain amount of bingo cards, and even a voucher for a snack or drink. Have a donation kiosk or collection box available at your event and encourage donations between games. 

 

Fashion Show 

A fashion show is an exciting and highly collaborative fundraising idea for your nonprofit.Cost: $$

Difficulty: ✔✔✔

Earning Potential: ★★★

Bring the catwalk to your community with a fashion show fundraiser. These are fun and exciting fundraisers that get many different supporters involved in your organization. You’ll need: 

  • Models: Flatter community members by asking them to model in your fashion show fundraiser. Welcome all shapes and sizes to make your event inclusive and fun for everyone. Keep in mind that the more models you have, the longer your event will take, so plan accordingly.
  • Volunteers: A lot of volunteer staffing will go into this nonprofit fundraising event. You’ll need volunteers to sell tickets at the door, organize models backstage, and sell concessions.  
  • Clothes: A local designer or boutique may be interested in donating clothing to your fashion show, or you could introduce a challenge by asking supporters to design and fabricate 1-2 outfits for a model assigned to them. 
  • A venue: Obviously, you’ll need a space suitable for your fashion show. You’ll want somewhere big enough to accommodate your guests and a raised platform for the runway. 
  • A digital sign-up form: This will make it much easier to keep track of who’s modeling and volunteering at your event. 

All that’s left to do is sell your tickets! A fashion show isn’t the easiest nonprofit fundraiser to pull off, but it’ll be worth it in the end. 

 

Car Wash 

A car wash is a relatively low-intensity fundraising idea for your nonprofit.Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔✔

Earning Potential: ★

If you’re in a pinch, a car wash fundraiser is a relatively quick and easy event to plan to raise money for your organization. All you have to do is gather supplies, recruit volunteers, and market your fundraiser ahead of time! As far as location goes, any parking lot will do (with permission, of course). 

Have your volunteers make signs you can place along major roads sending traffic to your car wash. That way, you’ll spread your reach beyond just your supporters and garner donations from the broader community. 

A car wash works well because many of your supporters likely own cars, and “attendance” to your event is easy—they can just sit in the car while your volunteers get to work washing and shining! 

 

Carnival 

A carnival is a fundraising idea for your nonprofit that’s sure to be a blast.Cost: $$

Difficulty: ✔✔✔

Earning Potential: ★★★

Who doesn’t love going to the carnival? Combine a fun, family-friendly event and raising money for your cause with this nonprofit fundraising idea. 

If it’s within your organization’s budget, rent carnival rides and games like a Ferris wheel, a carousel, and spinning teacup rides. However, if renting large carnival rides isn’t feasible, you can still host an excellent festival. 

Some fun lower-cost games you could rent include bouncy castles, a dunk tank, and skee-ball. You don’t even have to rent classic games like the ring toss, 6-pin bowling, or balloon pop—you can get some volunteers together to make your own. 

Regardless of the exact rides and games you end up with at your carnival, be sure to have prizes for winners at every game so your supporters will really want to play! 

To raise funds from your carnival, charge a flat admission fee or charge attendees for tickets that let them play games. Offer concessions as well, so you’ll have another chance to raise money and satisfy your carnival-goers with treats like funnel cake and cotton candy. 

Sometimes the easiest fundraising ideas for nonprofits are the best

Easy Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofit Organizations 

If you find that your nonprofit is low on time or resources, but still needs a fundraiser to meet your goals or make a project possible, an easy nonprofit fundraiser is probably your best option. 

These fundraisers won’t require months of planning, but they are still effective ways to raise money and bring your community together. 

With all that saved time, you and your staff can dedicate more attention to building relationships with donors at your event or strategizing for your next fundraising campaign. Plus, consider that easy fundraisers can have high returns on investment (ROI) due to the lack of upfront costs and work-intensive planning required on the front end. 

An easy fundraiser could be just what your nonprofit needs! Let’s get started. 

 

Bake Sale 

A bake sale is an easy (and delicious) fundraising idea for nonprofits.Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔

Earning Potential: ★★

A bake sale is a classic nonprofit fundraiser for a reason: who doesn’t love sweet treats for a good cause? This fundraiser requires little to no up-front costs, as you can easily reach into your base of support to find volunteer bakers. 

All you’ll need is a good location to stage your sale, tables for all of your baked goods, and a baker sign-up form (an Excel spreadsheet could work, or you could use a volunteer management tool to keep track of participants). Ensure all of your bakers can see who’s making which items, so you end up with a breadth of different baked goods, rather than several duplicate ones. 

You’ll want to sell all the bake sale classics, like chocolate chip cookies, brownies, cakes, and pies. Some vegan and gluten-free options would be nice to include for your supporters with dietary restrictions as well! 

 

Cooking Competition 

A cooking competition is a nonprofit fundraising idea that will appeal to those who like to cook and those who like to eat.Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔

Earning Potential: ★★

Barbecue cook-offs, chili cook-offs, and bake-offs are just a few options for your nonprofit’s cooking competition fundraiser. Like a bake sale, this fundraiser doesn’t require your organization to devote a hefty amount of funds to its planning and execution. All of the food for your event will be provided by your supporters. 

To execute a successful cooking competition fundraiser, create buzz on your organization’s social media accounts and email marketing channels. Challenge your supporters to make the best [food item of your choice] ever and bring their creation to your event for others to taste and enjoy. 

You’ll need a panel of judges, a suitable location to host your event, and tables where participants can serve their dishes. Have all of your chefs sign up ahead of time, so you know what you’ll have to offer your event attendees. Charge an admission fee and award prizes to the winners, and you’re done! 

 

Sports Tournament 

A sports tournament is a fundraising idea for your nonprofit to encourage friendly competition.Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔

Earning Potential: ★★★

With a sports tournament fundraiser, there are tons of options. Depending on what kind of sports your supporters like, you could opt for traditional games like: 

  • Soccer
  • Basketball 
  • Volleyball

Or you could go with less conventional sports, like: 

  • Capture the flag
  • Roller derby
  • Cornhole 

No matter which sport you settle on, make sure to promote your tournament ahead of time. You’ll need a sign-up form for teams to fill out, volunteers to referee, and a suitable location to hold your fundraiser. Charge teams for registration or encourage peer-to-peer fundraising ahead of time, and you’ll be all set to raise money for your nonprofit! Don’t forget that this is another perfect opportunity to coordinate a shoe drive fundraiser to maximize funds.

 

Donation Kiosks 

You’ll need a way to collect donations at your fundraising events, so invest in a donation kiosk.Cost: $$

Difficulty: ✔

Earning Potential: ★★★★

Donation kiosks aren’t entirely fundraisers on their own, but they can facilitate the collection of funds at all of your other nonprofit fundraisers! Think of them as cash registers for your nonprofit, so supporters can give anywhere they are. 

Giving kiosks come in a range of sizes. Some are the size of iPads, which is an effective option if you’d like to collect donations in various locations and events over the year. These donation kiosks come with a credit card swiper attached to the device, making collecting card donations easy. 

Meanwhile, a nonprofit like a church might want to purchase a larger, permanent kiosk where congregants can donate on their way into the church. It just depends on what type of organization you run and how you interact with your supporters. Regardless, donation kiosks are a convenient way to collect donations for your nonprofit. 

 

50/50 Raffle 

A 50/50 raffle is an easy, low-effort fundraising idea for nonprofits.Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔

Earning Potential: ★★★★

Fundraising raffles work by incentivizing your supporters to buy tickets with the promise of a chance to win a prize. In this case, your nonprofit sells a certain amount of tickets, and the prize for the winner is 50% of the money raised through ticket sales. Your nonprofit keeps the other 50%, hence the name “50/50” raffle. 

If you’d like to increase your participants’ chances of winning money, you could split the 50% prize among different tiers. For example, the grand prize winner could win 25% of the pot, the second prize could be 15%, and the third-place prize could be 10%. This strategy might encourage more ticket sales by creating more winners. 

For this nonprofit fundraiser, you can sell physical tickets for a fee, or you can take your raffle entirely online for an even easier experience executing the raffle. A 50/50 raffle is an excellent opportunity to encourage peer-to-peer fundraising ahead of time; consider rewarding participants who sell the most raffle tickets to others with a prize. 

 

Family Photo Day 

A family photo day is a fundraising idea for your nonprofit that provides a meaningful service to your supporters.Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔

Earning Potential: ★★★

We all know how meaningful it is to have nice pictures of your loved ones. A family photo day fundraiser provides this service to your supporters while raising money for your organization. 

For this fundraiser, the most critical part is finding a photographer. Odds are, if you look within your base of supporters, you’ll find a competent photographer among them who would be happy to donate their time to your organization. 

6-8 weeks ahead of your family photo fundraiser, start promoting the event on digital channels, through direct mail, and with posters and flyers, if applicable. Have a digital sign-up sheet available for your supporters to register for specific time slots, so your photographer doesn’t become overbooked. 

It’s entirely up to your organization where this nonprofit fundraiser takes place. More formal photos might be staged inside with a plain background and professional lighting, while more casual photos could be taken outside on a nice day. Either way, your supporters will love the results! Have them pay for each image they’d like to keep, and you’ll be well on your way to meeting your fundraising goals. 

 

Comedy Night 

A comedy night is a fundraising idea for your nonprofit that will have your supporters laughing for a good cause.Cost: $$

Difficulty: ✔✔

Earning Potential: ★★★

Who doesn’t love a stand-up comedy show? Have your supporters join you for a night of laughs with a comedy night fundraiser for your nonprofit. 

You’ll want to ask a few local comedians if they would be willing to donate their time to a good cause. The more popular they are, the better they’ll draw in attendees to your comedy night. 

Beyond the comedians, all you really need for this nonprofit fundraising idea is a venue and a way to sell tickets. Consider selling food and beverages at the event to provide another opportunity to raise money. You might sell “package” tickets that grant admission to the event, plus come with food and drink vouchers. 

 

Envelope Fundraiser 

An envelope fundraiser is an interesting, engaging fundraising idea for your nonprofitCost: $

Difficulty: ✔

Earning Potential: ★★★

An envelope fundraiser is an incredibly easy way to raise money for your organization. It’s best when combined with another fundraising event, like a comedy night, concert, art show, or another gathering with a good flow of your supporters nearby. 

To get started on your envelope fundraiser, just follow these steps: 

  1. Buy envelopes. The amount you’ll want depends on the size of your event, but we’ll recommend 100 or more. 
  2. Write a dollar amount on the outside of each envelope, starting with $1 and increasing to $100, or however many envelopes you have. 
  3. Pin your envelopes up on a bulletin board, wall, or other high-visibility surfaces. Pin them in order with their amounts visible to everyone who walks past them. 

From there, just make sure your supporters know what to do: grab an envelope and fill it with the donation amount written on the outside. This is a good nonprofit fundraiser, because it is low-pressure and provides donation options for a spectrum of budgets. 

Because your supporters might not carry cash or checks, consider having a donation kiosk nearby so supporters could pay the envelope amount digitally and fill the envelope with their donation receipt or something similar. 

 

Dog Walk 

A dog walk is a fundraising idea for nonprofits that your supporters and their dogs will love.Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔

Earning Potential: ★★★

A dog walk fundraiser is a win-win-win: your organization raises money, your supporters get their dogs exercised, and you all get to spend time with sweet pups! 

A dog walk is similar to a 5k walk or walk-a-thon, except this time, your supporters bring their dogs! Like other walking fundraisers, charge a registration fee for your supporters to attend and bring their dogs for an afternoon of exercise. 

Consider possible fun add-ons, like a dog costume contest, a photo booth for your supporters to take pictures with their pets, or vendor booths along the route of your dog walk. You might find a pet store to sponsor your event in exchange for marketing their brand to all of your dog-owning supporters! 

 

Get creative with these fundraising ideas for nonprofits.

Creative Nonprofit Fundraising Ideas that Stand Out 

Sometimes, when it comes to staging fundraisers for your nonprofit, the same old ideas get thrown around again and again. If you’re getting bored with your own fundraising, your supporters probably are too. 

Instead of executing the same five classic fundraisers over and over, try to introduce some creative fundraisers to keep your community engaged. If you’re continuously providing fun, exciting, and different ways to contribute to your organization, you’re more likely to hold your audience’s attention and garner more donations. 

Let’s dive into some creative fundraising ideas! 

 

Craft Fair 

A craft fair is a fundraising idea for nonprofits to encourage your community’s creativity.Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔✔

Earning Potential: ★★★

Embrace your community’s creativity with a craft fair. To host a craft fair fundraiser for your nonprofit, you’ll need the participation of local artists who want to sell their items. Some standard craft fair goods are pottery, jewelry, art, textiles, and collectibles. 

There are a couple of options for how to raise money at this event: 

  • Charge the artisans a flat fee to sell at your craft fair. 
  • Take a percentage of the total profits, usually about 10-25%. 

Market your craft fair ahead of time and consider the event’s timing—before Christmas is a smart idea, as your supporters will be looking for gifts for the friends and family. To execute your craft fair, just make sure you have the proper space (outdoors could be fun if the weather permits). 

 

Yard Sale 

A communal yard sale is a fundraising idea for nonprofits that raises money and helps your supporters clean house!Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔

Earning Potential: ★★★

We’re willing to bet your supporters’ homes and garages could use a little spring cleaning, no matter the time of year! 

Bring everyone together for a community yard sale and raise money for your organization. For this nonprofit fundraising idea, your supporters all contribute items to sell at your communal sale and let your organization keep the profits. It couldn’t be easier—just make sure to spread the word about your sale ahead of time and remind your supporters to drop off their sale items the day before the sale. 

 

Matching Gift Drive 

Double your supporters’ donations with this fundraising idea for nonprofits.Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔

Earning Potential: ★★★★

Your donors may not realize they could be doubling their donations through matching gifts programs. 

Matching gifts are a part of some employers’ corporate philanthropy programs. Through these programs, companies match donations that their employees give to nonprofits up to a certain amount. In a matching gift drive, try to get 100% of your contributions matched by your donors’ employers. 

To accomplish this, it’s best to partner with a matching gift database provider like Double the Donation that can help your supporters determine if they are eligible for matching gifts. All they’ll have to do is search their company’s name, and easily determine their eligibility.

 

Pub Crawl 

A pub crawl is the perfect fundraising idea for nonprofits with a responsible adult audience!Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔✔

Earning Potential: ★★

A pub crawl could be an awesome way to get your (aged 21+) supporters together to raise money for your cause. 

A pub crawl involves traveling to multiple bars in a night with a group of people. Usually, the bars are within walking distance from one another, but if your area doesn’t have a bar strip to accommodate that, you could try renting a bus to transport your crawlers! 

To start, contact the owners or managers of the local bars you’d like to visit and ask if they’d be interested in participating in your pub crawl. They would need to provide free entry to the bar and maybe even some pub crawl drink specials for your attendees.

How do you raise money with this event? Charge a fee for tickets. Anywhere from $10-$40 is within a reasonable range. 


Custom Merch

Custom merch is always a reliable fundraising idea for nonprofits.Cost: $$

Difficulty: ✔✔

Earning Potential: ★★★

An effective way to get some marketing reach out of your fundraising ventures is to sell custom merch to your supporters. With your name and/or logo on merchandise like t-shirts, water bottles, pens, and mugs, you can spread the word about your organization without lifting a finger. 

It’s possible to order your branded merchandise in bulk and sell them individually at your events and on your website. Still, there are also fundraising companies like Bonfire that handle everything from design to shipping. Plus, these providers house the online store for your supporters to purchase from, so your team doesn’t have to build one out. 

 

Oddball Events

Oddball events are worth coming up with as a unique fundraising idea for nonprofits.Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔✔

Earning Potential: ★★★

You’re probably wondering what an oddball event is and how it could raise money for your organization. One word: Movember. 

Chances are you recognize that word as the popular November fundraiser to raise awareness for men’s health issues. In November, men are encouraged by the Movember charity organization to grow their beards in cool and fun ways and raise money online in support of the Movember cause. 

That’s pretty fun, right? That’s exactly the idea behind oddball events. They’re supposed to be weird, wacky, and specific to your cause. Movember is now a household name, so it’s worth a try to brainstorm something similar. 

 

Charity Calendar 

A charity calendar is a fundraising idea for nonprofits that will help remind them of your cause year-round.Cost: $$

Difficulty: ✔

Earning Potential: ★★★

A charity calendar is a wonderful option for reminding supporters of your cause every day of the year. Your calendar will include a large, high-quality photo for every month of the year, plus a cover image. You can also have your logo and website URL throughout the calendar to encourage supporters to engage with your organization online. 

You’ll want to sell your calendars in December for the upcoming year, so make sure to get planning early, around September. You’ll need to make decisions about the calendar, like: 

  • Which holidays to mark 
  • Whether or not to include dates specific to your organization, like major annual fundraisers or volunteer opportunities 
  • Which images to use 
  • Who will sponsor your calendar (if you plan on getting sponsors)

You could print your calendar yourself, but it might be easier to use a calendar production service. That way, you know all the details will be right, and you’ll end up with a high-quality calendar that your supporters will be proud to hang up in their homes! 

 

Cupcake Wars Fundraiser 

A cupcake wars fundraiser is a fundraising idea for nonprofits that will thrill your supporters!Cost: $$

Difficulty: ✔✔✔

Earning Potential: ★★★★

We’ve all seen baking competition shows on TV, but not all of us have gotten to participate in one. That’s the experience you’d give your supporters with a cupcake wars fundraiser. 

For this nonprofit fundraiser idea, encourage crowdfunding and P2P fundraising leading up to the event. Allow participants to register alone or as a team. Instead of having a master chef judge everyone’s cupcakes, why don’t you give a seat on the judging panel to your 5 best-performing fundraisers? That way, your supporters will really want to raise money for your cause. 

There are a few key steps to take to pull off a cupcake wars fundraiser for your nonprofit: 

  • Find a space with ovens and kitchen space for your competitors. 
  • Provide ingredients. 
  • Have prizes. 
  • Invite your supporters to the event. 

Charge for viewer tickets as well, and let attendees taste the delicious cupcakes at the end! Your supporters will love contributing to your cause, while creating (and devouring) delicious baked goods!

 

Chores for Charity 

Help your community around the house with this fundraising idea for nonprofits.Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔✔

Earning Potential: ★★★

No one exactly loves doing chores, but you probably have some hardworking supporters who would be happy to lend a hand for a good cause. Depending on your volunteer workers’ skills, some of the chores you can do for your community in exchange for a donation are: 

  • Gutter cleanout 
  • Yard work (weeding, mowing the lawn) 
  • Vacuuming, mopping, etc. 
  • Miscellaneous household repairs 

For this fundraiser, you’ll need a couple of different forms: 

  • Volunteer sign-up form. This form will collect information about who is willing to work on your chores for charity today. You should also find out what kind of skills each volunteer has or what type of work they’re ready to do.  
  • Chore request form. Those who need work completed can submit a chore request form for assigned chores during the charity day. Share the chore request form around your community and clarify what level of donation is expected for each type of assignment. 

Ideally, your forms will automatically integrate with your donor database so you can keep track of who’s participating in your nonprofit’s fundraising events. That way, you can alter your fundraising strategy to target groups of donors who either do or don’t regularly attend events! 

 

Serve-a-Thon 

Encourage community-building with a serve-a-thon as a fundraising idea for nonprofits.Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔

Earning Potential: ★★★

A serve-a-thon is a wonderful way to make money for your organization and encourage service and community-building among your supporters. 

For a serve-a-thon, ask your supporters to commit to a community service project, whether that’s a certain number of hours volunteering at the local animal shelter, a local highway cleanup initiative, or grocery delivery for seniors. You set a timeline for your serve-a-thon and encourage every participant to make a page with a peer-to-peer fundraising platform. 

From there, each participant raises as much money as they can from their family, friends, and coworkers to support your mission while they work toward their service goal. 

 

Sports Skills Clinic 

This fundraising idea for nonprofits will help your supporters improve their sports skills.Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔✔

Earning Potential: ★★

Do you have an athletic supporter base? Are a lot of them interested in the same sport? If so, you might have enough interest to plan, execute, and charge a fee for a sports skills clinic. 

After you’ve identified the sport you think would encourage the most participation, determine if someone in your community would be qualified to teach the clinic. If so, wonderful! They may be willing to donate their time. If not, you might have to find a local professional coach to hire for your clinic. 

After you’ve secured a coach, work with them to decide which aspect of the sport will be the focus of your clinic. For example, you might focus on ball-handling, shooting, or man-to-man defense for a basketball clinic. 

Once you’ve nailed down the details, advertise the cost and timing of your clinic to your supporters over a variety of marketing channels. Charge a registration fee, and you’re done! 

 

Wacky Wager 

A wacky wager is the perfect fundraising idea for your nonprofit to draw attention to your cause.Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔

Earning Potential: ★★★

If you’ve never run a wacky wager fundraiser at your organization, you’re in for a fun time! 

Encourage your supporters to create peer-to-peer pages and set miniature fundraising goals. For example, their first goal might be $50. Your supporters post their first goal along with their crowdfunding page on social media for their followers to see. 

That’s where the “wacky wager” comes into the picture. They offer a bizarre incentive for their friends to donate. For example, a person might post, “When my fundraiser hits $50, I’ll eat a pickle covered in maple syrup and rolled in cocoa puffs.” 

Of course, participants are required to upload proof of the completed wager, so they’ll have to take pictures or videos of their wacky activities. You can see how this idea might take off! 

Other wacky wagers could include donning a strange outfit and dancing, embarrassing yourself in public, or altering your appearance (like with temporary hair dye). Your supporters’ friends will make sure the funds keep rolling in! 

 

Scavenger Hunt 

A scavenger hunt is a fundraising idea for nonprofits that will keep your supporters engaged.Cost: $

Difficulty: ✔✔✔

Earning Potential: ★★★

A scavenger hunt will easily appeal to your supporters’ competitive spirits. This nonprofit fundraiser can be completed virtually, but it’s probably more fun in person. 

To raise money with this idea, you’ll need to encourage peer-to-peer fundraising ahead of time (like with many of our other event suggestions). It would provide a good incentive to fundraise if you restricted registrants only to teams who can garner a minimum donation amount from their friends, family, and coworkers. 

Once you have teams signed up, you should have an information session (virtual or in-person!) to ensure all participants are clear on the rules. Then you just have to design the scavenger hunt, in which you’ll send the teams around your city to find hints, complete tasks, or collect items. Offer a fantastic prize for the winning team to keep everyone motivated. 

 

Check out these free resources to help get the most out of your nonprofit’s fundraising ideas.

Free Nonprofit Fundraising Idea Resources 

With fundraising at the center of a nonprofit’s necessary duties to continue fulfilling its mission, we know your team already devotes a great deal of time and effort to maximize your fundraising capabilities. If your fundraisers are falling flat, or you just want something new to try, we hope you’ll take an idea from our list to help you garner support for your cause. Regardless, you’ll definitely want to check out our other nonprofit fundraising ideas and useful resources: 

If you didn’t find the perfect fundraising idea for your nonprofit in this list, see about these additional 100+ unique ideas from the Funds2Orgs team. 

 

Because you’ll get so much use out of it, you need to make sure your crowdfunding website is the best it can be. Check out Double the Donation’s list of top providers. 

 

Browse this list of additional fundraising ideas that are perfect for raising money from your church congregants. 

 

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