100+ Unique (And Easy!) Fundraising Ideas

Funds2Orgs Shoe Drive Fundraiser

Explore our 100+ unique fundraising ideas for nonprofits.

 

If you’re part of a nonprofit or school community, you likely know just how challenging raising money can be.

Asking people for gifts never comes easily—especially when you’ve already used your favorite fundraising ideas. Repeating the same fundraisers over and over can lead to donor burnout, leaving you without the vital funds your organization needs.

Instead, try hosting new and unique fundraisers that will captivate your donors and inspire them to give.

Supporters get excited to see fresh new ideas tailored to their interests. Having trouble getting unique ideas flowing? No worries! We’ve put together a list of 100+ unique fundraising ideas that are sure to excite donors.

To make it easier for you, we’ve divided these ideas into categories so that you can find what you need. Feel free to read from the beginning or use the navigation below to jump to the ideas that will best serve your organization:

Get a jump start on your next unique fundraiser with our top unique fundraising idea: shoe drive fundraisers!

Consider this best unique fundraising idea to generate revenue for your cause.

Best Unique Fundraising Idea

Raise money quickly and easily with a shoe drive fundraiser.Shoe Drive Fundraisers

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Whether this is your first fundraiser or your hundredth, shoe drive fundraisers are the perfect addition to your fundraising efforts.

They’re a quick and easy way to raise money. Best of all, they engage the community and direct attention to your cause.

Here’s how they work:

  1. You partner with a shoe drive fundraiser coordinator (like Funds2Orgs).
  2. They provide shoe collection materials to place around your community.
  3. Call on your supporters to gather their gently worn, used and new shoes.
  4. Funds2Orgs will pick up the shoes and send you a check in the mail.

It’s as simple as that! Check out some of these shoe drive success stories.

Then, watch this video to see more about how to host a shoe drive fundraiser:

get started

A shoe drive fundraiser makes a great standalone event but can also be combined with other unique fundraising ideas. Let’s dive a little deeper and explore some other top unique fundraising ideas.


Check out these easy fundraising ideas for any cause.

Top Easy Fundraising Ideas

Maximize your fundraising efforts by promoting matching gifts to your donors with this easy fundraising idea.Matching Gift Drive

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Chances are, your donors don’t realize they could be doubling (sometimes tripling!) their contributions.

Matching gifts are a part of many corporate philanthropy policies. Through these programs, companies will match a portion (typically 100% or more) of the donations their employees give to nonprofits.

To simplify the process, partner with a matching gift database provider to help supporters find their matching gift opportunities. All donors will need to do is search for their employers’ names. The search will yield all available guidelines and eligibility requirements for their employers’ matching gift programs.

Matching gifts are a powerful, simple way to maximize the donations you’re already receiving. Check out Double the Donation’s matching gifts database to learn more about this unique fundraising idea!


As one of the best fundraising ideas, sell t-shirts to spread your brand name while raising money.T-Shirt Fundraiser

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Selling customized t-shirts is not only a unique fundraising idea for your organization but also a great marketing strategy for your nonprofit’s brand.

Create a compelling design to represent your brand best or to commemorate an event. Then, take to social media and your organization’s website to spread the word.

Once you’ve established an effective merchandise strategy, expand to other items, such as hats, water bottles, pens, and so on. Your supporters will enjoy spreading the word about their favorite organization (that’s you!) with this easy fundraising idea.


A phone-a-thon is one of the best fundraising ideas for any cause.Phone-a-Thon

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Get ready to pick up the phone and start dialing for this timeless fundraising idea.

A phone-a-thon is easy to organize but will require a team of strong-willed volunteers. Arm your staff and volunteers with a list of names and numbers and a script, and get to work! Best of all, you won’t have to worry about supplying supporters with phones as most have personal smartphones these days. However, keep in mind that some people won’t like being called on the phone, so make sure you prepare your script to address that possibility.

To maintain momentum throughout the fundraiser, why not use a fundraising thermometer? It’s also a great way to keep track of donations as the day (or night) wears on!


A talent show is an easy fundraising idea that is sure to generate revenue.Talent Show

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Show off some local talent with a talent show!

Everyone loves showing off their unique skills, so why not make a day of it? Be inclusive and invite supporters to show off a range of talent, no matter how out-of-the-ordinary! These could be musicians, comedians, and magicians, just to name a few. Stagger your performers so that similar performances don’t occur one after the other.

Don’t forget to sell tickets, concessions, professional photographs of the performers, t-shirts to commemorate the night, and more. Just make sure to advertise well in advance, whether you do so online or with posters around the community.


 Engraved bricks are a unique fundraising idea to cover the expenses for a new facility or renovations.Engraved Bricks

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If your nonprofit is building a new facility or renovating a building, engraving bricks is a unique way to raise funds to cover the expenses.

Depending on donation sizes, you can offer bricks of different sizes and colors as well. To spread the word, take to social media, local radio stations, the town newspaper, and so on. Create a dedicated donation page, but also make your unique fundraiser available to those who aren’t tech-savvy with a paper order form.

You’ll be surprised at how much donors are willing to dish out to be a permanent part of your building.


Engage the community online in your next unique fundraising idea with a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

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Peer-to-peer fundraising empowers online supporters to spread the word about the causes for which they care.

Design your peer-to-peer fundraiser using custom branding, compelling imagery, and exciting gamification features, such as:

  • Leaderboards to showcase your top volunteer fundraisers.
  • Badges that appear on individuals’ profiles when they reach certain milestones.
  • Fundraising thermometers to show how close you are to your goal.

Ask supporters to create personalized fundraising pages on behalf of your cause. Then, have them share those pages with their network of online friends and followers through social media, email, and other digital platforms. Encourage them to share a personal story about their connection to your cause on the fundraising page. This way, more people will feel compelled to give.


A trivia night is another easy fundraising idea that puts participants’ knowledge to the test.Trivia Night

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Get ready to put your random knowledge to the test with this inexpensive fundraising idea: trivia night!

There are a couple of ways you can go about this. Either you can partner with a local restaurant, or do it DIY-style! Teaming up with a local restaurant comes with the most benefits, though. Ask participants to form teams in advance and determine a certain amount as their registration fee.

If you anticipate that you’ll attract a decently-sized crowd, propose that the restaurant share a portion of their food and drink proceeds with your organization. Nothing boosts business quite like being a charitable company!


Coupon books are an effective and unique fundraiser for nonprofits of all sizes.Coupon Books

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Coupon books are an effective and unique way to earn an extra buck for your organization.

Most often, organizations purchase coupon books from manufacturers. These feature franchise restaurants and chain stores found within most communities. However, you’ll yield the best results by creating the booklets yourself.

Partner with local businesses and offer agreed-upon discounts. Once you have enough participants, compile the discounts in a well-designed book and sell them to the community. Don’t forget to add an expiration date so that the coupons get used promptly. Plus, this enables you to do the fundraiser on an annual basis. Supporters will look forward to your coupon booklet every year with this easy fundraising idea.


 A paper airplane competition is a unique fundraising idea that requires supporters to get crafty.Paper Airplane Competition

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Consider hosting a paper airplane competition for your next unique fundraiser. Set it up in your organization’s parking lot or go to a local park. Break the venue into sections using tape or string. Then, put prizes in each square. When participants throw their airplanes, they’ll land on a square, winning whatever prize is there!

Alternatively, you can have participants line up one-by-one and see how far they can throw their airplanes. Reward those with the furthest throws with a prize (like a restaurant gift card or a trophy).

In any case, give them colorful paper, and all the time they need to design their creative planes. Make sure they remember to mark their creations with their names. You’ll be shocked at how many unique airplane designs people create!


A read-a-thon is one of the best fundraising ideas for any cause.Read-a-Thon

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Grab your favorite novels for a read-a-thon!

This unique fundraising idea works for any cause but performs especially well for schools. Parents will love watching their children read for pleasure, making them much more likely to contribute to your cause! Have participants obtain pledges from their friends and family members. You can choose to track pages, chapters, books, or even time (minutes, hours, or sessions). The most common model for read-a-thons is reading as much as possible during a designated period.

To incentivize participation, offer a reward to the individual who reads the most! If you have enough participants, you can even provide small rewards for every milestone each reader reaches.

Check out our school fundraising ideas guide for more engaging and unique fundraisers for kids like this one.


 A reverse raffle is a unique and easy fundraising idea that lets attendees test their luck.Reverse Raffle

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Put a twist on the traditional raffle by making it a reverse raffle!

You’ll still sell raffle tickets and pull them out one-by-one. However, you won’t draw a ticket number and instantly announce the winner. Instead, each one you pull will not win and will instead be pulled from the running. Keep pulling numbers throughout the night, and whichever one is last is your lucky winner!

Stretch the event out by pulling a certain number out of the bowl at a time (10 or 15 should do), announcing them, and waiting 15 minutes to announce the next set. To keep attendees entertained while waiting between announcements, consider including the following:

  • Live music
  • Family-friendly games
  • Food vendors

Whether you host it as a standalone fundraiser or coordinate it with another event, this easy fundraising idea is a terrific way to generate additional revenue.


Consider a make-a-snake campaign as your organization or school’s next unique fundraising idea.Make-a-Snake

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This unique fundraiser works well for all ages but is particularly useful for schools, Sunday school groups, and even sports teams.

Encourage children to collect spare change from around their homes (with parents’ permission, of course). On a designated day, children will bring in this spare change and bills. Then, each class will make a “snake” with their dollars and coins.

Whichever group creates the longest snake wins! Reward the winning team with a pizza party or another prize they’ll all enjoy.


Encourage your supporters to come out for a bingo night as your next unique fundraising idea.Bingo Night

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Challenge people to test their luck with a bingo night!

All you need is a venue with tables and a caller. Once you have this, you’re in business! Select a date, publicize your event, and watch as your guest list builds up. Before the event, you can purchase bingo supplies from a party store, but to get the most bang for your buck, make your own.

Buy ping pong balls, label them, and have the caller pull them out of a large plastic tumbler the night of the event. Make sure to create playing cards for participants beforehand, too. Also, there are plenty of bingo templates online. Simply select the game format you want and print them off! For extra durability, laminate the playing squares.

Then, to generate revenue using this easy fundraising idea, either charge $1 or so per round or charge around $20 for unlimited playtime. Your supporters will enjoy playing this game of chance while also competing for prizes (think gift cards, movie tickets, etc.).


Put an envelope fundraiser at the top of your list of easy fundraising ideas.Envelope Fundraiser

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Put the power of fundraising into your supporters’ hands with an envelope fundraiser!

Often called ‘The Wall of Money,’ an envelope fundraiser is an easy fundraising idea that’s sure to rally up support. To pull it off, simply pin envelopes to a noticeboard (or even just a wall). Make sure to grab colorful ones to really catch people’s eyes. Then, label each envelope from $1-$100. From here, passersby select an envelope, place the amount written on it, and pin it back on the wall. Pair this unique fundraising idea with one of your high traffic events to maximize visibility.

If you fill all of your envelopes, you’ll have raised $5,050 by the end of the night. It’s just that simple!


Collect used books and sell them back to the community as a unique fundraiser.Used Book Sale

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A used book sale is a simple, easy, and unique fundraising idea that anyone can pull off!

Ask for donations of unwanted (but still readable) books from your community. Set up donation boxes in your facility and ask local businesses to do so as well. You’ll be surprised as the number of books piles up.

Once you have plenty of used books, sell them at a used book sale. Hang flyers around the community and post about your favorite finds on your organization’s social media pages.


A pie-in-the-face fundraiser is an easy fundraising idea for generating revenue and support.Pie-in-the-Face Fundraiser

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It’s not every day that you get to smash others in the face with a shaving cream pie—all in good fun, of course!

No matter your cause, this is an easy fundraising idea to pull off. All you’ll need is plenty of shaving cream as well as paper plates. Encourage a brave, well-known volunteer to step up and get pied in the face. For schools, this would be the principal or a well-known teacher. But if you’re doing it for the whole community’s enjoyment, you’ll want to get a public official on board. For the best results, get a line of volunteers to participate. Then, charge $5 or so per pie. In any case, make sure to advertise well in advance, so interested pie smashers know to attend!


A sleep-in-a-box fundraiser is an easy fundraising idea to raise money quickly.Sleep-in-a-Box Fundraiser

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With this easy fundraising idea, teach a bit of compassion and raise awareness for a worthy cause: homelessness.

The idea behind this fundraiser is that volunteers will sleep in a box on the floor all night. Charge an entry fee and encourage participation with a schedule jam-packed with music, games, and delicious snacks. Make sure to have participants register beforehand so that you can get an accurate headcount. On the night of the event, equip your volunteers with people-sized boxes. To really penny-pinch, go around to local hardware and department stores to collect leftover refrigerator and appliance boxes.

For some extra revenue, sell t-shirts commemorating the night. Don’t forget to line up sponsors, too! They’ll jump at the chance to have their brand associated with such a worthy cause.


Host a sip and paint class and help supporters show off their creativity with this unique fundraising idea.Sip and Paint Class

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Allow supporters to explore their creative sides with a BYOB paint and sip class.

Start by partnering with a local sip and paint store that’s willing to give a percentage of the proceeds to your cause or secure a location to create it yourself. If you’re creating it yourself, ask a local artist or volunteer to teach the class.

In any case, have people pay a registration fee to attend this class. People will enjoy being creative and sociable while sipping on their favorite wine at the same time with this easy fundraiser.


Another easy fundraising idea is an ultimate frisbee tournament.Ultimate Frisbee Tournament

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Put your frisbee skills to the test with an ultimate frisbee tournament!

This easy fundraising idea also works for Capture the Flag or any casual sport. Charge admission for teams or individuals to register, and plan for a sunny day of outdoor fun! Set up a bracket beforehand, and one lucky team will get closer and closer to winning with each passing game. Remember to have water on hand (and maybe snacks that can be purchased as well). You don’t want your competitors to overheat! Once the tournament wraps up, host an awards ceremony afterward where you award the top teams with medals or trophies.

The tournament is also an excellent opportunity to host a shoe drive fundraiser, too! After a hard day of athleticism, participants will surely want to change into a more comfortable pair of shoes. You could even have them donate a pair in place of an entry fee. Simply let participants know beforehand, so they know to bring a change of footwear.


This unique fundraising idea allows you to leverage healthy competition between supporters.Battle of the Sexes

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Encourage a little friendly competition with a Battle of the Sexes fundraising campaign.

For this fundraiser, you’ll set up two drop-off stations in a well-trafficked location. One will be the “male” drop-off, and the other will be the “female.” Then, encourage supporters and community members to take part in your fundraiser by contributing to one of the two boxes.

Be sure to use social media and other digital marketing tools to keep donors updated on your progress throughout the process of the campaign. For example, you might send out daily or weekly updates concerning which team is in the lead for the time being!

This fundraiser is engaging and leverages the power of competition by pitting the sexes against one another—in a healthy, friendly way, of course—for a good cause. Plus, this fundraiser doesn’t have to be limited to financial donations. You can turn your shoe drive campaign into a Battle of the Sexes style fundraiser as well.


These are our top unique fundraising ideas that can be hosted virtually.

Top Virtual Fundraising Ideas

Consider hosting an online auction for an engaging and unique fundraising idea.Online Auction

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Promote engagement and giving incentives through an online auction fundraiser.

A charity auction is often one of the most successful types of fundraisers for organizations everywhere, thanks to the excitement and unique perks offered to donors. Instead of simply donating, the individual ends up with an auction item as a prize!

Recently, online auctions have become more prevalent in the charity space for many reasons. By saving on venue and catering costs, you have more funding to put towards securing top auction items. Plus, online auctions allow individuals from all over the world to get involved, instead of limiting the audience to just those in a particular geographic location.


A virtual 5K is a unique fundraising idea that promotes healthy living, too!Virtual 5K

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Encourage healthy living and charitable giving with a virtual 5K fundraiser.

You’ve undoubtedly heard of an organization hosting a 5K fundraising event to raise money for its mission through a runner entrance fee. A virtual 5K is a similar concept, although participants choose their paths—as opposed to everyone running together!

This adaptation of the classic fundraiser offers many unique benefits, including the ability for runners to social distance if needed. All you need to get started is a group of willing participants and time and distance tracking tools (like those within a smartwatch or cell phone app).


Teach your supporters to make a delicious, home-cooked meal with this unique fundraising idea.Online Cooking Class

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Encourage supporters to expand their cooking skills with an online cooking class.

Learning to cook a new meal is always exciting, especially when you’re learning with friends from a professional! Charity cooking classes have been successful face-to-face fundraising events in the past, but they’re also super easy to transform into virtual events.

Find a talented chef from your community who is willing to volunteer their time to teach your online cooking class. Then, promote your class online and encourage community members to register and pay an entrance fee. Make sure each participant has the required ingredients (either by sending out a grocery list or providing pre-made kits for pickup ahead of time) and get to cooking!


Encourage your supporters to unleash their creative sides with this unique fundraising idea.Online Art Class

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Teach your supporters to explore their artsy sides by hosting an online art class.

Similar to the online cooking class, hosting an online art class fundraiser is a great way to raise money for your organization while encouraging your community to learn new skills. Find a talented local artist willing to volunteer to teach your class—whether that’s painting, sculpting, or drawing.

Again, make sure participants have the right tools and supplies, and set the date and time for your online class. Participants will love having the opportunity to create impressive pieces of art, and the final product will work as a useful reminder of your amazing fundraising event!


Drum up financial support in a single day with these 24-hour unique fundraising ideas.24-Hour Campaign

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Focus on the urgency of your fundraiser with a 24-hour giving campaign.

24-hour fundraising campaigns, also known as giving days, are an effective fundraising idea that tends to bring in substantial revenue despite the short timeframe. By leveraging a sense of urgency surrounding the campaign, supporters are more likely to donate due to the inspiration from others and the joy that comes from being part of a group doing social good.

Be sure to spread the word far and wide before the start of your campaign to boost excitement and inform your supporters about your upcoming fundraiser. Utilizing social media, your website, email outreach, and more are effective ways to get the word out and bring in more funds.


A virtual gala is a great way for supporters to engage with your organization from anywhere in the world with this unique fundraising idea.Virtual Gala

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Provide a unique and engaging experience with a virtual gala fundraising event.

Charity galas are popular fundraising events that offer an elegant experience to supporters and community members while also raising money for a good cause. These events typically involve an impressive venue, catering, and exquisite outfits.

In the move to more virtual events, galas have begun to change shape as well. Virtual galas are an excellent way for donors to get involved in your organization from the comfort of their own homes. Encourage participants to dress up for your virtual gala, but of course, they can tune in to your live-streamed event even in their pajamas!


Showcase supporters’ pets and allow others to vote for the cutest with this unique fundraising idea.Cutest Pet Contest

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Allow supporters to show off their fur babies and vote for the best with a pet contest.

Everyone thinks their pet is the cutest—but whose really is? Let your audience decide by hosting a virtual pet contest! Encourage supporters to submit their best photos of their furry friends and feature them on your website for voting purposes. Be sure to ask for a brief background on each pet (including their name, age, breed, favorite activities, etc.) so that voters can get a better idea of each animal.

You can either charge a small fee to submit a photo, or have supporters cast their votes on each pet by donating! This fundraiser is easy and effective because everyone loves looking at pictures of cute animals.


Encourage supporters to create unique designs ideas for your nonprofit with this type of unique fundraising idea.Design Challenge

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Choose a new logo or t-shirt design by hosting a design challenge fundraiser.

Is it time to update your nonprofit branding and marketing materials? Consider hosting a design challenge for your next virtual fundraiser and encourage your most creative supporters to submit their unique design ideas.

Then, allow your entire network of supporters to vote on the designs that they think are best. Winning designs can be used on custom-designed t-shirts that you sell for funds, posters and flyers, social media accounts, and more! This way, you can get the word out about your organization while earning funds and updating the face of your nonprofit.


 Host a virtual benefit concert and raise money for your organization through this unique fundraising idea.Virtual Concert

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Find a local musician or band to share their skills for an online benefit concert.

Do you have a talented singer or band member in your organization, whether on staff or as a volunteer or donor? Even if you don’t, you may be able to find a local musician willing to host a benefit concert for your organization.

Everyone loves listening to music—especially when that music is also supporting a good cause. And thanks to computers and other technology, throwing a concert online is easier than ever. You can either charge a virtual admission fee or accept donations from charitable music lovers!


Make use of your social media networks with this unique fundraising idea.Facebook Fundraiser

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Harness the power of social media with a Facebook fundraising campaign.

Your social media networks are one of your most powerful tools when it comes to fundraising and getting the word out. That’s why Facebook fundraisers are so effective! Not only can you share an online fundraiser with your network of support, but you can also encourage your followers to share your campaign with their networks as well.

This way, you can reach new people, gather increased fundraising revenue, and raise awareness for your mission. All you have to do to get started is to begin a campaign with Facebook’s fundraising tools and start promoting it far and wide!


Offer an incentive for giving with this unique fundraising idea and encourage more donations for a good cause.Digital Download with a Donation

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Provide a unique incentive for giving with a digital download with each donation made.

Offering something in return for a donation is a great way to increase support and encourage donors who may have been on the fence to make a gift. While the incentive could be a physical offering, like a t-shirt or bracelet, sometimes all you need is a virtual resource!

When donors contribute to this type of fundraiser, they become eligible to download an exclusive resource from your organization. It might be a video, an image, a white paper, etc. While this virtual resource might not have tangible value, it can be useful for boosting donations.


Whether celebrating a holiday or just to show your love, selling e-cards can be a great way to get involved with unique fundraising ideas.Virtual E-Card Sales

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Allow your supporters to spread the love by sending e-cards to friends and family.

Set up a simple online store on your organization’s website so that donors and other community members can purchase e-cards for their loved ones. It’s a great way to raise money from current supporters, as well as expand your network of support with new relationships as well.

Consider hosting this fundraiser as a major holiday approaches, such as Valentine’s Day or Christmas, to leverage the holiday and giving spirit. Be sure to keep the price reasonably low, as to encourage participants to send out multiple to each of their favorite people!


This unique fundraising idea involves online raffle tools and the chance to win a good sum of money!Virtual 50/50 Raffle

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Earn money for your organization quickly and easily with a virtual 50/50 raffle.

Hosting a raffle is a great fundraiser for any cause. Supporters simply pay a set price per ticket, and then a winning number is chosen at the conclusion of the event. While some raffles are for big-ticket items like vacation packages or cars, the winner of a 50/50 raffle simply receives half of the total money collected.

It is an effective fundraising idea because you don’t have to secure a huge prize, plus any winner will be excited for a chunk of cash. And when handled virtually, supporters from all over the world can enter your 50/50 raffle!


Many board games are available to play online. Get started with this top unique fundraising idea.Virtual board game tournament

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Encourage supporters to engage with your online board game tournament fundraiser.

Are you looking for something exciting to do that’s simultaneously a great way to earn money for your nonprofit? Host a virtual board game tournament and play classic games like Monopoly, Scrabble, and Clue through the internet!

Supporters pay a small fee to enter the tournament, and you’ll have a prize ready for the champion. Participants will have a great time playing with friends and strangers, while knowing they’re supporting a great cause, as well.


Host a cake decorating contest using online tools to share and compare final products with this unique fundraising idea.Virtual Cake-Decorating Contest

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Combine supporters’ artistic ability and food skills with a virtual cake-decorating contest.

Charge a small entrance fee for participants, and sell cake decorating kits for maximum convenience. This way, supporters will have everything they need to create their cake masterpiece with minimal effort on their part.

Then, encourage participants to decorate their cakes in any way they’d like. Each participant will then upload a picture of their cake to an online portal, and other supporters and community members vote on the top cakes digitally!


Explore our list of best fundraising ideas for events.

Top Fundraising Event Ideas

A bowl-a-thon is a unique fundraising event sure to generate some revenue.Bowl-a-Thon

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Get ready to bowl some strikes with this unique fundraising idea.

Partner with a local bowling alley for your bowl-a-thon. Negotiate a discounted rate by offering to host it on a weeknight when business is slow. Leading up to the night, your volunteer fundraisers will collect pledges. The longer they bowl or, the more pins they knock down, the more money they raise!

Don’t forget to coordinate a shoe drive fundraiser. Participants will have to change into bowling shoes for the event anyway. Just make sure to advertise well in advance.


Encourage your supporters to get active with a unique 5K fundraising event!5K Race

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A 5K is a classic, unique fundraising event the whole family will enjoy.

Set up a 5K race in your community. It’s an easy and creative way to fundraise right in your neighborhood. Plus, it motivates community members to be more active.

Partner with local businesses to sponsor your 5K event. Feature their logos on signs, apparel (like race-day t-shirts), and swag that runners get at the end of the race.

Don’t forget to set up your shoe drive fundraising materials at the race. Offer a discount for race registration to people who bring their old sneakers to donate to your shoe drive fundraiser. Start marketing months in advance and watch registrations soar!


A dance-off is one of the best fundraising ideas that will get supporters excited for your cause!Dance-Off

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Get ready to show off your best dance moves with this unique fundraising idea!

Encourage local dance crews to battle it out on stage, and invite your supporters to enjoy the show. Charge an admission fee, and auction off the best seats in the auditorium. If the dance crews are fairly popular, consider auctioning off backstage passes, too. Don’t forget about the concessions! Offer popcorn, candy, and other snacks for audience members to munch on during the show, as well as sodas and other beverages.

Make sure to cater to the preferred dance style of your audience. For instance, some attendees may prefer a ballet performance over a freestyle challenge. It can be tricky to navigate, so consider polling supporters on what type of show they’d enjoy the most.


Challenge your supporters to do a polar plunge at your next unique fundraising event.Polar Plunge

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Instead of hiding away inside, supporters will need to brace the cold for this unique fundraising idea.

This event is not for the faint of heart. Only your most courageous supporters will want to take a dip in ice-cold winter water. Participants will take pledges and raise money on your behalf. At the event, they’ll plunge into the icy water and endure it for as long as possible. The longer they stay, the more money they raise from pledges.

To incentivize participation, line up live music, and encourage local vendors to provide you with necessities such as:

  • Towels
  • Blankets
  • Warm beverages like hot chocolate
  • Hand warmers
  • Waivers

For the best results, host it around the holidays. Each year, this unique fundraiser will draw a larger, more festive crowd.


For your next unique fundraising event, host a costume obstacle course.Costume Obstacle Course

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Get ready for some wacky costumes and a good time!

Set an engaging theme for your costume obstacle course. You can always ask for your supporters’ input! Then, charge a registration fee and create innovative obstacles. From inverted walls to monkey bars, the possibilities are endless! Just make sure the challenges are doable in full costume. Hand out prizes or trophies for the fastest completion, most creative costume, and so on.

Don’t forget to coordinate your shoe drive fundraiser! Participants will likely want to stretch out their feet once they’ve finished the race. You can even offer a reduced registration fee in exchange for a pair of gently worn, used and new shoes. This way, you can maximize participation in this unique fundraiser.


Another unique fundraiser is a rubber duck race.Rubber Duck Race

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This playful fundraiser lets you see who has the fastest rubber ducky in town.

All you need is a moving water source. A stream or river is ideal for this event. Number each rubber duck. Then, offer them for adoption at $5 a pop. You can even line up sponsors for the event! When it comes time for the race, drop them all in the waterway. The first to cross the finish line wins! Give them a prize, whether it’s part of the raised funds or a shiny trophy.

Don’t forget the refreshments and music! If all goes well, consider making it an annual event that families come to look forward to every year.


Support your organization as well as local businesses with a raffle night for your next unique fundraising idea.Raffle Night

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Raffle nights enable your organization to support local businesses while fundraising uniquely.

Feature desirable prizes that are donated by local businesses. Promote the idea that it’s an excellent opportunity for local restaurants and shops to spread their brand name to the community. Plus, you won’t have to worry about these extra expenses.

Actively market on social media leading up to the raffle night. Also, consider including raffle tickets with prizes at other events to energize people for the big night. In no time, you’ll generate support (and revenue) using this easy fundraising idea.


For your next unique fundraiser, create a themed scavenger hunt.Scavenger Hunt

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In terms of unique fundraising ideas, a scavenger hunt is a great find!

Select a theme and then have participants register in groups. This way, they’ll work together to solve the clues. Create a sizable (but attainable) list of items to find in the community. Each piece should be related to your theme. For example, a Christmas-themed search could feature items like candy canes and holiday ornaments. Get specific, and don’t make it too easy.

Tailor the hunt to your audience to make the most of this inexpensive fundraising idea. For instance, if you’re hosting a scavenger hunt for an elementary school, make it engaging and understandable for kids. However, if you’re hosting it to appeal to an audience of young adults, get a bit more sophisticated with your requests.


Looking for the best fundraising ideas for young adults? Smash cars to fundraise for your organization.Car Smashing Fundraiser

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Hosting a car smash is a unique fundraising idea perfect for teenagers (with supervision) who want to release some pent-up energy.

Ask a local junkyard to donate an old, beat-up car to your cause. Preferably, encourage them to provide one with the body and glass still intact. There’s a bit more you’ll need to do before letting participants run wild, though. Have a mechanic take the dangerous parts and liquids out of the car. This way, you can assure potential attendees that it’s safe.

Don’t forget to provide safety glasses to those who sign up! To smash the car, they’ll need metal bats or sledgehammers. Have them pay per swing or minute of mayhem.


Host a silent auction and get your community involved in this unique fundraising idea.Silent Auction

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Host a silent auction and get the whole community involved in this unique fundraiser.

Reach out to local businesses to donate auction items. Remember, restaurant and shop owners will love the opportunity to spread the word about their brand. Encourage them to get creative with their prizes, reminding them that you’ll announce their names when their item is presented. Think gift certificates, art by local artists, movie tickets, gift baskets, and so on. Then, encourage supporters to bid on their favorite items.

For a modern twist, encourage supporters to bid from their smartphones! Mobile bidding software simplifies silent auctions by making it easy for people to donate. To get started, explore OneCause’s silent auction planning guide.


For your next unique fundraiser, host a concert contest for talented local musicians to raise money for your cause.Battle of the Bands

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For your musically-talented supporters, host a battle of the bands competition.

Local bands will be excited to donate their time to show off their skills for a good cause. Incentivize them even further by advertising a prize for the game’s winner. Then, encourage community leaders to judge the competition or have the audience decide on their favorite group.

Line up event sponsors and encourage a local business to donate event space for your venue. They’ll appreciate the extra revenue, and you’ll have the perfect stage for your competition. As part of this easy fundraising idea, you can even sell concessions for a few extra bucks. Ask attendees to pay a cover fee, and let the competition begin!


A bike relay race is a unique fundraising idea for getting supporters up and moving.Bike Relay Race

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Promote exercise and teamwork with a bike relay race.

When you’re limited on space, a bike relay race is a great way to involve everyone in the athletic fun. Split competitors into teams, and as each participant completes the course, they hand off a sash to the next team member. The first team who has all members complete the course wins and gets medals!

Put a twist on your race by giving it a theme. For example, a really popular option would be to make it a decorated bike competition. Participants can decorate their bikes with twirling ribbons and streamers. Remember to set up your shoe drive fundraiser collection materials to raise additional funds too!


A murder mystery dinner theater is a unique fundraising event that will bring in a decent-sized crowd.Murder Mystery Dinner Theater

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Channel your inner Sherlock Holmes for this mysteriously unique fundraiser.

For the best results, rent a venue that combines good food with a mysterious atmosphere. Negotiate a flat group rate that features dinner and dessert and charge enough to turn a profit for entry. Alternatively, use your facilities and cook the meal yourself.

Have your members perform the script or work with a local theater group. Plan out when to give your guests clues so they can work together and solve the mystery!


Challenge your community to bring the best chili in town with this unique fundraising idea!Chili Cookoff

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Invite the best home cooks in town to concoct their best chili creation.

People pride themselves on their mouthwatering chili recipes. Bring the community together for friendly competition and an afternoon of fun. Before the big day, select a panel of judges. Ask community leaders to participate or rely on staff members to judge.

Require a registration fee, and give the top contestants a prize (donated by generous local businesses, of course). Don’t forget to align sponsors for the event. If all goes well, consider making it an annual event for the community to look forward to each year.

This idea works for more than just chili, which makes this one of the best fundraising ideas out there. Try barbecue, salsa, or maybe even baked goods. For the best results, cater the food competition to reflect your community’s favorites.


Show off your community’s crafting ability with a unique craft fair fundraiser.Craft Fair

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Encourage community members to explore their creative sides with a craft fair.

Traditionally, craft fairs raise funds by charging a fee for artisans to display and sell their goods at the show. Either settle on a flat rate per booth or charge a percentage of their profits for the day, ranging from 10% to 25%.

For a venue, find somewhere with plenty of floor space, like a local park or community center. Make sure to plan well in advance so that you can line up the appropriate permits. In any case, make sure you advertise ahead of time, featuring eye-catching images of some of the goods people can expect to find at this unique fundraiser.


Put a skate-a-thon at the top of your list of unique fundraising ideas.Skate-a-Thon

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A skate-a-thon is a fun, unique fundraising idea for the whole family.

Depending on the time of year, partner with a local ice skating rink or rollerblading rink. Set a fun theme to incentivize participation. Pick theme-appropriate decorations, entertainment, food, and music. Encourage skaters to dress in costume, too.

Similar to walkathons, skate-a-thon participants will raise pledged donations from their social networks. The longer (or further) they skate, the more money they raise. Modernize your skate-a-thon with a fundraising thermometer and track your progress as the night goes on.

Don’t forget about hosting a shoe drive fundraiser! Skaters will already have to take off their shoes to change into their skates anyway. Let them know well in advance, so they’ll know to bring a change of shoes. You’ll raise even more money, making this one of the best fundraising ideas out there.


Take the classic walkathon to a new level by incorporating themes as part of this unique fundraising idea.Funny Run

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Take your annual run or walkathon to a whole new level by incorporating unique themes.

Here’s your chance to get creative. For your next walkathon or run, choose an engaging theme, such as:

  • Glow-in-the-dark walk
  • Turkey trot
  • Pet parade
  • Pajama walk

Participants will encourage their friends and families to pledge donations for every mile they run or walk. Don’t forget to set up water stations, too. This idea is another perfect opportunity for a shoe drive fundraiser. Set up collection materials and encourage participants and spectators to donate their gently worn, used and new shoes to benefit a good cause.


Host a carnival night as one of the best fundraising ideas the whole family can enjoy!Carnival

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Carnivals make for a fun family outing as well as a unique fundraising event for your organization!

Rent carnival games and attractions. Then, sell tickets to the event and charge per game.

If your budget won’t cover all the fees, no worries! Design and create your own carnival games. Stick to the classics like a ring toss, balloon pop, and pick-a-duck. Feature unique games that you design yourself, too. If you run out of creative ideas, host a design competition where donors and volunteers submit their most ingenious creations. Then, make the wackiest creations come to life!

Make sure to offer fun prizes for attendees of all ages, too. Then, line up vendors and sell classic fair foods such as cotton candy and funnel cakes.

Before announcing your event, set a fundraising goal. With larger events like this one, you may find it easier to plan it and keep track of progress using dedicated event management software.


Have your bravest volunteers kiss a pig at this unique fundraiser for nonprofits.Kiss-A-Pig

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This unique fundraiser is sure to raise some community spirit.

Encourage beloved community members (like officials or even well-known teachers) to agree to kiss a pig in front of everyone. You’ll need at least 4 volunteers for this to work well. Set up a donation station with jars for each volunteer. Using their dollars, attendees vote on which “kisser” they’d like to see kiss the pig.

Once the decision is announced, the chosen volunteer will have to kiss the pig! Ask the crowd if they’d like to see anyone else smooch the animal. They’ll then donate more money for another volunteer and even other audience members to do it, too!

To jazz up the event and keep everyone in suspense, feature music and delicious snacks for spectators to purchase while they wait.


Gather the cards and chips for a poker night, which is one of the best fundraising ideas out there!Poker Night

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Purchase some cards and chips for supporters to play a few rounds of poker.

To determine the best fundraising techniques, check local regulations. You may consider giving your winners a portion of the pot. Alternatively, require an entry fee to play or have participants buy their chips.

If you line up sponsors for the event, ask them to donate a few high-value prizes. Then, offer them to winners at each table or overall winners for the night. Remember, no social gathering is complete without snacks and drinks! Book local vendors or ask a local bakery or grocery store to give to your cause.

Make sure to set the atmosphere with a theme and music, too. Consider what type of audience you’d like to attract and cater to them. For instance, if you’re fundraising for a school, make it a family-friendly event with colorful balloons and ribbons. However, if you’re a larger nonprofit, consider making it an adult’s only event and play classical, jazz or soft blues music. You can also set-up a bar (which can be great for generating more profit).


Bring people together over good food and unique fundraising at your classy gala event!Gala

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A gala may take a bit of planning, but it’s sure to capture your generous donors’ attention.

Galas are used time and time again and for good reason! They’re one of the best fundraising ideas out there. They allow people with similar interests to bond over good food and a common cause. Part of the funds will come from registration fees, but don’t stop there! To spark some friendly fundraising competition, combine your gala with a silent auction or raffle.

Consider a themed gala to turn this classic idea into a unique fundraising affair for the whole community! Depending on the time of year, make it a traditional costume ball, a Halloween costume party, or an event themed to a popular movie series.


Another one of the top unique fundraising ideas is a plant sale.Plant Sale

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Regrow the environment while also earning some extra green for your cause.

Put a plant sale at the top of your list for environmentally-friendly and easy fundraising ideas. Ideally, you’ll want to grow the plants from seeds and pot them yourself, but this isn’t always feasible. If you’re short on time, partner with a local nursery and see if they’ll sell you plants at a discounted rate. A great way to strike a bargain is by buying bedding plants at wholesale prices. Then, sell them to supporters for a profit.

Select an outdoor venue, if possible. For instance, try a school playing field or a generous volunteer’s yard. Host it in late spring or early summer as that’s when people are planning their vibrant gardens. From fruits and vegetables to budding flowers, ensure you have options for every type of green-thumbed supporter.


Spread the word about your organization with a branded merchandise sale as your next unique fundraising idea.Merchandise Sale

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Earn some fundraising dollars and spread the word about your cause with branded merchandise.

Even if you’re not creative, you can host a contest where your supporters come up with their most innovative designs. Then, have everyone vote on their favorite sketches. Feature everything from t-shirts to coffee mugs on your online store and at your facility.

You’ll likely find the most success in creating merchandise for each of your organization’s major campaigns. When you host an out-of-this-world event, people will want to purchase memorabilia so that the day lives on.


 Provide an exciting opportunity for local kids to develop their athletic abilities with this unique fundraising idea.Sports Camp

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Raise money for your cause by hosting a sports camp for local kids.

Parents are always looking for exciting new experiences for their kids, especially in the summertime. That’s why organizing a sports camp can be the greatest fundraising event you can host! Gather local athletes (such as coaches and players from your high school sports teams) that are willing to volunteer their time to teach at a charity sports camp.

Then, kids in your community have the chance to learn new skills from talented players in their fields, and you can earn revenue for your organization from tuition costs! You might even decide to host a variety of sports camps throughout the summer, dedicating certain weeks to different sports.


Let supporters get to know top board members and other nonprofit staff with this unique fundraising idea.Ice cream social

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Introduce supporters to board members and nonprofit staff at an ice cream social.

An ice cream social is a great way to get to know your supporters and allow them to get to know you! Be sure to bring your nonprofit’s board members, staff, and key volunteers for this unique get-to-know-you event.

Find a nice, open area to host your ice cream social—such as at a local community center or in a public park. Then, sell cups or cones of ice cream to supporters. Plus, don’t forget to provide lots of sauces and toppings so each person can customize their ice cream the way they love!


Explore inexpensive fundraising ideas that will help you raise money on a budget!

Inexpensive Fundraising Ideas

Reduce your carbon footprint with this inexpensive fundraising idea: a bottle and can drive.Bottle and Can Drive

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Here’s another timeless and inexpensive fundraising idea for your cause: a bottle and can drive!

This drive works especially well for environment-focused organizations but can work for any cause. Pick a central location and have individuals drop off their recyclables. Some people may not want to travel to a collection site, so sweeten the pot by offering to pick up donations. Alternatively, provide a prize to the person who donates the most. People will be much more motivated to contribute with some sort of incentive.

Once the drive wraps up, your team can take the bottles and cans to a recycling center. Just make sure you have a team of volunteers and heavy-duty bags to make transporting a breeze. Your bottle and can drive is sure to generate revenue and raise awareness for your cause, all while reducing your carbon footprint.


Encourage everyone to bring their favorite food to a fundraising community potluck dinner as part of one of the best fundraising ideas.Potluck Dinner

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Potluck dinners are a super-easy way to generate some revenue for any organization.

Bring supporters together for an afternoon of delicious home-cooked meals and great conversation. All you need to do is line up a venue and set up tables and chairs. Then, advertise online and around the community.

Charge a donation fee at the door and enjoy the hot meal. From the delicious food to the donations, everyone has something to look forward to at this unique fundraising event.

Remember to make an announcement about your shoe drive fundraiser and tell everyone where your collection materials are located!


Test your basketball shooting skills with this inexpensive fundraising idea: a free-throw challenge.Free-Throw Challenge

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Put your basketball shooting skills to the test with a class free-throw challenge!

To pull this inexpensive fundraising idea off, all you need is some basketballs and hoops. However, you may want to jazz things up with music, food, and other games. Either charge a registration fee or take a peer-to-peer fundraising approach. Participants can share their peer-to-peer pages online, where their friends and families can pledge to donate a certain amount for each free throw they make.

The best part about this fundraising idea is that it can go on rain or shine! Either partner with your local gym or head to an outdoor community court. In any case, designate a referee to monitor the challenge and declare a winner. Award your winner with a prize or a trophy—or pure bragging rights.


A field day is an engaging and inexpensive fundraising idea that will get supporters up and moving.Field Day

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Get up on your feet for this inexpensive fundraising idea: a field day!

Athletic or not, participants will enjoy getting their endorphins flowing with a day of fun and games in the sun. Depending on the age group, include engaging outdoor activities, such as:

  • Tug-of-war
  • Relay races
  • Water balloon toss
  • Sack races

The only limit is your imagination! Charge a small admission fee, either for the entire day or for individual games. You can even coordinate a shoe drive fundraiser and charge a pair of shoes in exchange for a reduced entry fee. Don’t forget to sell water and other beverages to parched participants! Maybe some generous volunteers will even whip up some baked goods for your concession stand.


Use a photo contest as a unique fundraising idea to encourage supporters to be creative.Photo Contest

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A photo contest is a unique fundraising idea that encourages people of all ages to get involved.

Create divisions, ranging from children to amateur to professional. Select a theme for the contest, such as:

  • Hometown pride
  • Holiday/Season
  • Pets

If possible, don’t charge an entry fee. Instead, rely on donations to fund the event. Remember, people won’t want to participate unless you have a highly desirable prize. Set up a jar in front of each display, and encourage donors to vote using their dollars. Your participants will love exploring their creative sides!


Offering cleaning services is a great addition to your list of inexpensive fundraising ideas.Cleaning Services

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Ready to get your hands a bit dirty while also raising some extra cash? Try offering cleaning services!

All you’ll really need for this inexpensive fundraising idea is cleaning supplies and some strong hands. Many businesses need their trash taken out, parking lots cleaned, and so on, but are running low on human resources. That’s where you come in! Gather a team of volunteers who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. Then, call up local businesses and offer to complete any extra tasks for a small fee.

Even if your hands are full during the week, you may be able to find some spare time during the weekend!


A tie-dye fundraiser is a unique fundraising idea that’s fun for all ages.Tie-Dye Party

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Mix things up with a tie-dye fundraiser.

Stock up on white shirts and sell them for your event. On the big day, pass out the t-shirts and let participants dye their shirts all colors of the rainbow! Alternatively, you can offer to tie-dye attendees’ personal items for a donation. In this case, have some spare white t-shirts and low-cost tie-dye materials. Give supporters the option to create their own masterpieces.

Tie-dying isn’t a time-consuming task, so offer other family-friendly games, activities, and crafts too. Don’t forget the refreshments and upbeat music!


Earn extra dollars by hosting a duct-tape-the-official as one of your unique fundraising ideas.Duct-Tape-the-Official

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Gather your bravest volunteers for this sticky, unique fundraising idea.

A duct-tape-the-official fundraiser works best for schools but can be adapted for any organization. For K-12 schools, encourage a brave principal or beloved teacher to be duct-taped to a sturdy wall. Sports teams can choose the coach to be duct-taped. Nonprofits can ask well-known city officials or community leaders to volunteer.

Whoever your courageous volunteer is should stand on a step stool until there’s enough tape to hold him or her up. Remove the stool for a grand reveal that will amaze spectators. It’s important to note that since the duct will trap heat, you should have some water and a fan off to the side.

Purchase duct tape with flashy colors and wacky designs. Then, charge participants $1 per yard. Everyone will want to join in on the sticky fun!


Support your community with this inexpensive fundraising idea: a community serve-a-thon.Community Serve-a-Thon

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Make a positive impact on your community while raising money for your cause with a serve-a-thon.

Round up your most agile volunteers to clean up the community. It could be something as simple as raking leaves during the fall or picking up litter around town. Service projects can be customized to fit the relevant needs in your area. For instance, consider the following:

  • Helping homeless and crisis shelters
  • Volunteering at a soup kitchen
  • Delivering meals to patients at a local hospital

To raise money using this inexpensive fundraising idea, take a peer-to-peer fundraising approach. Your volunteers will commit to completing community service and obtain pledged donations from their friends and families. Get ready to make a lasting impact on your community, promote a spirit of philanthropy, and raise some extra cash for your cause all at once!


Consider a yard sale powered by donations as one of your top unique fundraising ideas.Yard Sale

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Give unwanted clothes and belongings a new purpose with this unique fundraiser event.

Spring cleaning is a major motivator for this kind of event. Supporters will want to clean out their closets while also supporting their favorite organization (that’s you!). Advertise well in advance, giving supporters enough time to clean out their closets. Encourage donations of all kinds so long as the items are usable. Set a drop-off day (or two). Then, watch the donations roll in.

Chances are you’ll have too many items to price individually. Implement a system with color-coded price tags. For instance, blue can represent $5 items; red can represent $10 items, and so on. You’ll want to price bigger-ticket items, like furniture, individually. Once you’ve done this, set up an organizational structure. For instance, feature a music section with CDs and vinyl records, a used book section, a clothes section, and so on.

This idea is yet another excellent opportunity to host a shoe drive fundraiser. Set up your collection materials around your yard sale and encourage shoppers to donate their gently worn, used and new shoes to your cause.


Encourage community cooks to concoct their best baked creations with this unique fundraiser event.Bake-Off

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Challenge your supporters to see who can create the best baked goods in town.

Who can resist a plate of mouth-watering cookies or fudgy brownies? Choose a seasonal theme for the event or select a type of baked good (like pies, cookies, etc.). Then, participants will present their crowd-pleasing recipes.

Ask attendees to vote for their favorite baked goods using their dollars. Set up jars in front of each dish. Whichever dish receives the most money wins. Reward your best bakers with medals that they can wear as badges of honor!


As part of this unique fundraising idea, encourage donors to give up a bad habit for a good cause.Give-It-Up Challenge

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Even the smallest donation can make a difference with this unique fundraising idea.

Ask supporters to give up a beverage or meal they consume daily (or quite often). Then, encourage them to donate the money they would have spent to your worthwhile cause instead.

To spread the word, encourage them to share their charitable efforts online and ask their social networks to do the same. Everyone will start to see the impact even $5 can make.

Intensify the challenge by daring participants to last as long as they can. For instance, set a certain number of days or a personal fundraising goal for each donor. Both your donors and your nonprofit will be amazed at just how much money accumulates!


A business partnership is a unique fundraising idea that will generate funds for your nonprofit.Business Partnership

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Business partnerships are a unique way to earn some extra cash for your nonprofits.

Although it may not seem like it on the surface, these partnerships create a win-win situation. Otherwise, businesses wouldn’t be sponsoring nonprofits left and right.

As part of the ever-growing corporate philanthropy sensation, business partnerships provide nonprofits with cash flow and community exposure. On the other end of the deal, businesses receive positive PR and, in turn, an increase in sales.

To find the right business partner, start by looking at local companies whose values align with yours. Then, conduct outreach and show them the benefits you can bring to the table. By taking this approach, you’ll obtain financial support in no time!


Fundraising letters are a unique fundraising idea that’s sure to generate some revenue.Fundraising Letters

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Although they take a bit of time, fundraising letters are a straightforward way to generate funds.

Spell out your financial needs and create a persuasive ask using compelling stories from those your organization helps. Make sure to suggest the donation amounts you need for the campaign. After all, you’ll rarely receive what you don’t ask.

Depending on the size of your donor base, you may not be able to handwrite these letters. While handwritten notes are more likely to yield donations, you can still tailor your typed letters. Add a personal touch on typed emails by adding your signature. Then, include a stamped envelope pre-addressed to your organization to make it easier for donors to send their gift.

Explore these fundraising letter tips to craft an enticing donation request and set your organization up for fundraising success using this inexpensive fundraising idea.


If you’re on a budget, consider a trash art auction as one of your inexpensive fundraising ideas.Trash Art Auction

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One man’s trash is another one’s treasure—especially with this inexpensive fundraising idea!

A trash art auction isn’t just for eco-artists but for all creative types. Enlist local artists to create unusual masterpieces out of recyclables and other waste products. You can give them a theme or let their creative spirits roam free! Then, auction off the pieces. Alternatively, collect recyclable materials and hold a contest to see who can make the most impressive creation. Charge an entry fee and incentivize participation with a prize for the winner.

This type of art auction is also an excellent opportunity to coordinate a shoe drive fundraiser. Participants will be in an environmentally-conscious mindset already, so they’ll be excited to repurpose their unwanted shoes that are still in good condition!


Collect used books and sell them back to the community as a unique fundraiser.Used Book Sale

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A used book sale is a simple, easy, and unique fundraising idea that anyone can pull off!

Ask for donations of unwanted (but still readable) books from your community. Set up donation boxes in your facility and ask local businesses to do so as well. You’ll be surprised as the number of books piles up.

Once you have plenty of used books, sell them at a used book sale. Hang flyers around the community and post about your favorite finds on your organization’s social media pages.


A movie night is one of the best fundraising ideas for any cause.Movie Night

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Grab your favorite film and plan a night of family fun.

Either select a movie or poll attendees to see what type of movie they’d be interested in watching. Then, sell tickets and concessions to raise money. Make sure you have traditional movie snacks, like popcorn and candy. Maybe some generous volunteers will even conjure up some delicious baked goods for you to sell!

Best of all, this unique fundraising idea works year-round. For cooler weather, partner with a local theater or another indoor venue. For warmer weather, plan an outdoor movie night on a generous volunteers’ lawn or a local park. Attendees can bring their blankets and lawn chairs so that they’re as comfortable as possible. In any case, make sure you have all the proper equipment—including a projector screen, speakers, and (of course) a movie!


Set up a tip jar in a local business and watch as loose change adds up with this super easy and unique fundraising idea.Restaurant Tip Jar

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Allow community members to support your nonprofit through a restaurant tip jar.

For this fundraiser, it’s essential that you find a business to partner with that supports your mission. While this typically works best in a restaurant, tip jar fundraisers have been successful at grocery stores and other local businesses as well.

Decorate a nice tip jar to leave at the business for an extended period, and wait for supporters and other community members to contribute. You might be surprised at how many people are willing to donate loose change!


Many unique fundraising ideas ask for tangible products rather than money.Wishlist Drive

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Gather support in the form of wishlist items rather than financial contributions.

Wishlist drives are popular fundraisers for schools and hunger relief organizations, although the idea can be adapted to fit any nonprofit. Simply provide a list of items that are most valuable for your mission and encourage supporters to donate those items at a predetermined location.

A wishlist drive is an excellent way to gather support from your community for many reasons. For one thing, donors who are unable to contribute financially may be able to offer tangible items instead. Plus, the impact of a donation can be more clearly defined when it’s a product rather than a sum of money.


If you’re running low on time, consider these quick fundraising ideas.

Quick Fundraising Ideas

Put a unique spin on a classic car wash fundraiser to make it a more unique fundraising idea.Car Wash

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Put a twist on the classic car wash fundraiser to make it unique and exciting!

From traditional nonprofits to schools, this fundraiser works for any type of organization. Set up in a prominent place exposed to a lot of traffic, like at a park. Make sure also to do plenty of advertising online and around the community. Then, rely on supporters to supply you with car washing tools, such as:

  • Soap
  • Buckets
  • Hoses
  • Towels

Try a wacky car wash where volunteers dress up in their wackiest clothes. You can even turn your car wash into a dance party with loud music and vibrant lights, making it one of the best fundraising ideas out there. Get creative and watch the fundraising dollars roll in!


A balloon pop fundraiser is one of the best fundraising ideas that’s engaging for all ages.Balloon Pop

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A balloon pop is an explosion of fun for all ages.

Set your balloons at varying price points. For instance, blue balloons can be $10; red can be $25, and so on. In your balloon pop area, have 40 or so balloons, your prize table, and a couple of straight pins for popping the balloons.

Each balloon should have a slip of paper that says what prize they won—select grand prizes for each price level. For instance, the grand prize for the $10 balloons could be worth $25, the $25 balloons worth $50, and so forth.

Team up with local businesses that will supply these prizes. Think gift certificates to local restaurants, gift baskets filled with goodies from a local shop, and so on. This unique fundraising event will generate more revenue and support than you think!


A dog wash is a unique fundraising idea that pet owners will appreciate.Dog Wash

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Encourage pet owners to pamper their pooches at your dog wash.

This idea is great for on-the-go supporters who don’t have time to bathe their pets. Give pet owners a break and offer a dog wash. Choose a warm day, and get to work.

Make sure you have a few water bowls for thirsty pups waiting in the queue. A local pet shop may be willing to donate these and any other items you may need, so you won’t have to worry about covering any costs. It may include dog shampoo, towels, and so on.

To turn a profit, encourage pet owners to donate to your cause when you bathe their four-legged friends. Consider having volunteers bake dog-friendly treats to sell for extra profit, too.


Promote health and wellness with this quick fundraising idea: a buck-a-pound fundraiser.Buck-a-Pound Challenge

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Encourage supporters to lose a few pounds and gain a few extra dollars for your cause.

Have volunteers join together for a weight loss challenge. To start, set a range of time for the challenge. A month or two should do. Then, have volunteers form teams of 4 or 5 individuals. Record each team’s starting weight and compare it to their end weight once the challenge wraps up. For the best results, approach it as a peer-to-peer fundraiser by having participants raise pledges for every pound lost. Reach out to local gyms to sponsor your event, too!

To rally up the most support, capitalize on New Year’s resolutions by starting the challenge on January 1st.


Bring out your favorite board games for this unique fundraising idea.Board Game Tournament

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Bring out old board games for a unique tournament fundraising competition.

If you don’t own board games yourself, rely on volunteers to bring in their beloved childhood games. Whether it’s Monopoly, Scrabble, or Connect 4, supporters will have a blast reminiscing over their favorite games.

Throughout the night, participants will play against one another, competing for the top spot. Give a prize to each game’s top scorers. To raise money, require a small registration fee. Sell snacks and beverages, too!


A viral video contest is a unique fundraising idea to spread the word about important issues.Viral Video Contest

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Put your supporters’ social media skills to the test with a unique viral video contest.

Viral video fundraising got everyone’s attention back in 2014 when the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge caught wind and dominated the Internet. Like this campaign, start with a central message relevant to your mission or campaign goal. Then, create a challenge to highlight this central message—like sleeping on the floor for a night to represent homelessness. Participants should take a picture or a short video share online. From here, create an “ask” for every challenger, keeping it between $5-$25 for each nomination.

Whenever a supporter completes the challenge, they should nominate at least three people. Then, those people have to choose three more people each. Soon enough, you may have a viral video challenge on your hands!


Promote a healthy lifestyle with this quick fundraising idea: a 10,000 steps challenge.10,000 Steps Challenge

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Reaching the number of daily recommended steps can be difficult—especially after a long day at work or school. Motivate supporters with a 10,000 steps challenge!

Start by choosing a time frame. A month should do! Each day, participants will attempt to reach at least 10,000 steps. To track their progress, encourage them to use their smartwatches or download a free pedometer app. They’ll create their campaign pages and share them online to rally up support and raise awareness. Then, their friends and families will donate whatever amount they see fit for each day they complete the challenge.

Not only will you promote a positive and healthy lifestyle change with this quick fundraising idea, but you’ll also raise a few bucks in the process!


Get people involved in a crowdfunding campaign as a unique fundraising idea for your cause.Crowdfunding Campaign

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Crowdfunding campaigns enable nonprofits like yours to collect small donations from a broad audience.

Chances are you’ve at least seen (and maybe even donated to) crowdfunding campaigns in the past. At the time, you may not yet have known what it was.

To kick off your efforts, set up a fundraising page explaining your mission and why you need the funds. Toss in a moving story or two about those you’ve impacted. Then, have your supporters share the page with their social networks so that it reaches the widest audience. This approach is a unique fundraising idea that can generate a lot of support and exposure for your nonprofit.

Explore the best platforms that will best meet your needs with Fundly’s 40 Best Crowdfunding Websites.


A hug-a-dog fundraiser is a quick fundraising idea that requires minimal planning.Hug-a-Dog Fundraiser

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If you’re looking for a last-minute unique fundraising idea, look no further than a hug-a-dog event!

All you’ll need is a well-trained, gentle dog that participants can pet or hug for a small fee. Head to a park or a local store (with permission, of course), and set up your booth. Depending on the time of year, you may even choose to dress up your cooperative canine. For instance, dress it in a Santa hat around Christmas, a costume around Halloween, or maybe even a jacket sporting your cause’s name. Plus, as passersby pet the pup, you’ll have the perfect opportunity to let them know more about your cause!


As one of the best fundraising ideas, make donating quick and easy for your supporters through text-to-give technology.Text-to-Give Campaign

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Text-to-give allows donors to give straight from their phones.

These campaigns are easily accessible and allow supporters to text donations without hassle.

Using text-giving software, create a unique fundraising phone number and keyword. When donors text your organization’s number, they’ll instantly receive a link that routes them to your mobile donation page.

Host a dedicated text-to-donate campaign or feature your text-to-give number at all of your fundraiser events. Just create and hang posters that showcase your organization’s text-to-give number or announce the giving opportunity over loudspeakers.

Best of all, donors don’t even have to be at your event! If they’ve opted to stay home, they can still support your cause whenever and wherever it is most convenient for them. When you post the text-to-give number on social media or your organization’s website, they’ll be able to find it easier to support the cause.


This unique fundraising idea challenges supporters to gather enough spare change to stretch a quarter mile.Quarter Mile

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Challenge your supporters to donate enough quarters to stretch a quarter mile (or more!).

If you have an extensive donor list, you may be able to set a larger objective. In any case, choose an attainable (but aspirational) goal. This way, supporters won’t be disappointed if they fall a little under, but they’ll be motivated to reach it!

Start by finding a venue large enough to host this fundraiser. Your best bet is outdoors. Choose a sunny day and get to work! So long as your supporters are up to the challenge, all it takes is a bit of encouragement. Best of all, everyone has spare change lying around, and it ensures that everyone has a chance to give.


Encourage your supporters to show off their singing skills with a karaoke fundraiser, which is another great and quick fundraising idea.Karaoke Fundraiser

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Bring the community together for a good time with a karaoke fundraiser (no talent necessary)!

Partner with a local restaurant or bar that can provide all the goods you need. Don’t forget to mention the idea that this quick fundraising idea will increase foot traffic and associate their business with a worthy cause. Alternatively, see about hosting it at a local school or another small, inexpensive venue. To raise money, sell tickets, and if you’re hosting it at a restaurant, see if they’ll let you take home a percentage of the night’s profit. For extra revenue, consider passing a hat around for donations throughout the night.

Don’t forget to reward your performers with prizes. Get creative and put them into categories: best performance, funniest performance, and so on!


Contact local chain restaurants and ask about the unique fundraising opportunities they offer.Restaurant Percentage Night

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A restaurant percentage night is probably one of the easiest fundraising ideas to pull off.

It requires minimal planning. Plus, it works for any size and type of organization—from school clubs to charities. Everyone already buys dinner, so why wouldn’t they want part of their purchase to go to a good cause?

When proposing a partnership with a restaurant, make sure to leverage the idea that the fundraiser is an effective promotion tool. The restaurant sees an increase in business while your nonprofit raises money. It’s a win-win situation!


As one of your organization’s unique fundraising ideas, try dog walking.Dog Walking

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Here’s one of the oldest fundraisers in the book: dog walking.

Most pet owners don’t always have time to walk their four-legged friends thanks to their busy schedules. Plus, daily puppy daycare visits can quickly add up. Give pups a chance to stretch their legs and owners a chance to kick back and relax after a long day’s work. All the pet owners have to do is pay a small fee. Adjust the price based on dog size and charge more for longer walks.

Encourage your dog-loving volunteers to take charge of this unique fundraising idea. Make sure you know what types of dogs (i.e., size and breed) each volunteer is comfortable with walking. Then, map out routes, making sure all registered pups get to participate.


For your next unique fundraiser, create and sell a community cookbook with everyone’s favorite recipes.Cookbooks

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Invite people to show off their favorite family recipes in a community cookbook fundraiser.

A cookbook is a unique fundraising idea that everyone can get behind. People love expanding their kitchen skills—especially when it comes to their neighbors’ homestyle cooking.

First, collect local recipes, starting with your own and branching out to community members and local restaurants. Once you’ve done this, compile them in a well-designed book. Feature colorful photos for each recipe, making it look as professional as possible. Then, sell the community cookbook back to community members. You’ll learn unique recipes and raise some money at the same time!


A roller race is a quick fundraising idea that is sure to boost funds and support.Roller Race

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Put the traditional 5K on wheels with a roller race!

This quick fundraising idea is fun for the whole family! Set a date and book a venue. Even if you’re unable to line up a route on local streets, a parking lot will work just as well. Just make sure to mark the course clearly. Keep in mind that not everyone will own a personal pair of skates, so partner with a local skating rink to provide them. In exchange, you can promise to list them as the head sponsor! For additional revenue, encourage participants to raise money for branded protective gear like helmets and knee pads, too.

Don’t forget about coordinating a shoe drive fundraiser! Encourage participants to donate their gently worn, used and new shoes for a reduced entry fee. They’ll have to bring a change of shoes anyway, so they’ll be more likely to consider bringing an extra pair to donate.


Start a penny war competition amongst highly competitive groups as a unique fundraiser.Penny Wars

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Penny wars are the perfect unique fundraising idea for highly competitive groups and teams.

Set up various jars. Then, label them using each team or group’s name. If a donor places coins in a jar, that team gets points for each cent collected. However, if someone puts a dollar or other paper money in a jar, that counts as negative points. For instance, a dollar bill equals negative 100 points against that team. Encourage donors to put coins in their team’s jar while putting dollars in their competitors’ jars!

Divide people into teams or have them choose their groups. They’ll compete against one another in this friendly contest, aiming to gain the most points. Incentivize participants by giving the winning team a prize. By the end of the competition, the jars will be overflowing, and you’ll be that much closer to your revenue goals!


Consider hosting a video game tournament as a unique fundraising idea for your organization.Video Game Tournament

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A video game tournament is a unique fundraising idea that’s perfect for your younger generation of donors.

Chances are your supporters own consoles they’d be willing to donate for the night. If not, rent some consoles from a local video game store. Bring some classic games such as Mario Kart, Sonic, Super Smash Bros, and so on. Charge a small entry fee to compete and let the games begin!

Offer small prizes to each game’s winner. Think gift cards, movie tickets, and so on. If you have a larger turnout, feature high-value prizes, like a new video game console, a gift basket, or a classic video game.


For this quick fundraising idea, encourage supporters to bring out their furry friends for a day of de-stressing with a pet playdatePet Playdate

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Encourage everyone to bring out their furry friends for an afternoon in the sun!

Invite pet owners to bring their friendly companions of all shapes and sizes, from dogs to cats to bunnies. The best venue for this would be a local park since there will be plenty of grassy space for animals to run (or hop) around. Sell treats for a reasonable price, and provide water free of charge so that the pets don’t get overheated. Either make them yourself or encourage a pet store to donate them. Allow pet owners to attend for free (so long as they bring their companions) and charge a small entrance fee for everyone else.

People will love spending an afternoon de-stressing with these furry creatures.


A gift wrapping fundraiser is a quick fundraising idea that’ll likely produce a good amount of revenue.Gift Wrapping Fundraiser

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Whether it’s the holiday season, Mother’s Day, or another holiday, a gift wrapping fundraiser is sure to bring in some revenue.

Just make sure your team of cheerful and enthusiastic supporters is armed with plenty of wrapping paper and bows. To save on expenses, encourage supporters to donate extra wrapping paper that they have lying around at home. Then, either charge a set fee or encourage donations in exchange for a well-wrapped gift. For the best results, set up in a mall where there’s plenty of foot traffic. Remember, people expect their gifts to be well-wrapped, so make sure your volunteers have at least some experience.

Best of all, people tend to feel particularly philanthropic during the holiday season, so they’ll likely be extra generous with their donations.


Allow families to capture valuable memories with this unique fundraising idea.Family Photoshoot

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Preserve cherished family memories with a family photoshoot fundraiser.

Parents love having high-quality photos of and with their children as keepsakes, although many are unable to afford the high prices that come with hiring a professional photographer. That’s why this fundraiser is perfect!

Bring in a talented photographer (preferably a volunteer, to keep the costs down) to take beautiful pictures of your supporters and their families for an affordable price. Then, distribute either a physical or digital copy of the photos that families can keep forever.


Free Unique Fundraising Ideas Resources

Want to continue exploring unique nonprofit fundraising ideas and tools for organizations of all sizes?

Check out these unique fundraising ideas and helpful resources:

Find out more unique fundraising ideas for your PTO.

To help your parent-teacher organization come up with its next creative fundraiser, take a look at more of our PTO fundraising ideas.

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Learn more about crowdfunding as a unique fundraising idea for your organization.

Crowdfunding is one of our top unique fundraising ideas. Explore Double the Donation’s lineup of the best crowdfunding websites.

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These 45+ unique fundraising ideas are designed for schools of all sizes.

Want to see more easy and unique fundraising ideas? Click here to check out our creative ideas for schools.

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