Want some creative fundraising ideas? Don’t get stuck in a rut, get some inspiration from this list list to put the FUN back in fundraising!
Fundraising has always been a big part of my life. My family has always been involved in charities and helping people, and as a result, fundraising. It can be frustrating to want to help out an organization that you love and want to support, but lack the funds to be able to do that at the capacity you want to. Likewise, if you run a charitable organization, unless you just happen to be rich, you will need to come up with fundraising ideas to help keep your cause or organization flourishing and successful.
Organizations like the the one my family runs count on individuals like you and I to help keep their organization available to those who need it. I know of many families who have bonded over raising money for a cause they’re passionate about, and it’s wonderful! My family started a Free Store Ministry 20 years ago and now my Mama runs it. We’re not rich, and rely on other groups and families heavily to be able to help those in need. If we all do our part, we can work together to make the world a better place! Use some of these fundraising ideas to get some inspiration for how you will raise money together!
How can I raise a lot of money fast?
A lot of people want to know the answer to this question. Realistically, it usually takes a lot of hard work and planning to create a successful fundraiser. Some of the options below, like having a yard sale, bake sale, or shoveling snow and raking leaves may be the easiest to do without planning and on the spur of a moment with success. Otherwise, you may need to make sure to take your time planning and advertising to ensure you make enough money from your efforts.
What are the most profitable fundraisers?
In my experience, and I have a lot of experience, fundraising ideas that can reach a lot of people will do the best. Find something that has little to no overhead cost, and that will make you the most profit. Hosting a successful vendor event can be a profitable fundraiser, teaching a class on something you’re knowledgeable about, selling t-shirts etc. Basically, the more people that can be involved in your fundraiser, the more money you will make. You can only sell so many baked goods, and wash so many cars.
What food can you sell at a fundraiser?
As long as you follow state and local food sale laws, you can sell any kind of food you want for a fundraiser. Things like bake sales, baking auctions, chili suppers etc are very popular fundraising ideas and bring in lots of money for organizations each year. Clever ideas like making and selling candy bouquets (see the DIY tutorial HERE) that you can deliver to schools for holidays and graduations etc are also an excellent money raising idea that involves food.
What are some good fundraising ideas? Try these out:
- People Auction – Have people or students volunteer to be “auctioned off” to the highest bidder to work for the winning bidder for the day. This is popular in our area as a school fundraiser as many local farms or houses could use an extra hand.
- Car Wash
- Bake Sale
- Sell Krispy Kreme
- Host a Concert
- GoFund Me
- Raffle (You can raffle off anything from a quilt, a gun, a gift certificate, a vacation, and common in my area is part of a beef or hog haha)
- Set up Donation Jars – Many local businesses should allow you to set up jars at their check-out counters asking people to donate.
- Restaurant Proceeds – Many restaurant chains will allow you to book a fundraiser night where you get a percentage of the bill of anyone who comes in and mentions your fundraiser, or brings in a flyer etc donated to your cause. Here’s a list of some participating restaurants.
- Yard Sale – Have people donate items for a yard sale.
- Sell Candy Bars
- Host a Facebook Auction – Many organizations do this. Have local companies donate items like tickets, or gift certificates, or product baskets and auction them off on FB. The person with the highest bid at the end of the designated auction period wins.
- Go Door to Door – this is old-fashioned but is still effective! Don’t do this alone, and only go to safe neighborhoods.
- Sell T-Shirts
- Flamingo a Yard – people pay so much to have your group sneak and place a myriad of plastic flamingos in someone’s yard, and then that person pays to have them removed and put in someone else’s yard. See HERE for an example.
- Host a Vendor Event
- Silent Auction – have businesses or individuals donate items to be auctioned off silent auction style.
- Gift Wrapping – Have people donate to have their gifts wrapped at the holidays.
- Paper Cut-Outs – If you have a public place to display them, or have a business you can team up with, have people pay a certain amount of dollars to pay for a paper shape that you choose and put their name on it. These do really well!
- Art Auction – Have students or individuals make artistic pieces to be auctioned off to the highest bidder.
- Host a 5k or Walk-A-Thon
- Sell Discount Cards – Team up with local businesses to create a discount card you can sell to friends and family.
- Sell Popcorn
- Use Your Birthday – Facebook makes it easy for you to use your birthday as a way to fundraise!
- Bingo Night
- Change Drive – Have donors save up their change for a certain time period and then collect it all at the end of it. This is one of the easiest fundraising ideas.
- Chili Dinner Night
- Lemonade (or Tea) Stand
- Sports Tournament (Volleyball, Basketball, Baseball etc)
- Read-a-Thon – kids will get pledges for every book they read – say $1 per book – in a certain time frame. So it can be a week, or a month or whatever time frame you feel is appropriate.
- Shovel Snow or Rake Leaves – go around the neighborhood offering to rake leaves or shovel snow for people in exchange for a donation of a certain amount.
- Zumba-thon – I LOVE doing Zumba and several places in my area have hosted Zumba-thons to raise money!
- Adult Prom – Everyone loves the idea of getting dolled up for a prom-type night! Pick a theme and a place and charge attendees to wear their best and dance the night away!
- Catalog Sales – a TON of different companies specialize in this.
- Card Sales – Usborne Books offers these awesome boxes of cards for all occasions that you can sell to receive a percentage of the profits. Go HERE to get more details and then contact the Usborne rep directly to set it up! (Hint: they have other book fundraisers too!)
- Paypal Money Pool – have friends and family contribute to a money pool to raise money amongst yourselves.
- Sell Pizza – Little Caesar’s has a fundraising program with AWESOME pizza kits you can sell!
- Beauty Contest – 1 vote = $1. Person who raises the most money wins!
- Concession Stand – offer to be the concession stand for local sports events, or even kid’s soccer or t-ball events.
- Karaoke Night
- Dunking Booth – People pay for a chance at dunking a local celebrity in water.
- Pie in the Face – Similar to the above, people pay to throw a pie in the face of a local celebrity.
- Do Something Drastic – Have fundraising levels and have crazy things you are willing to do once those goals are hit. Examples include dying your hair purple, wearing your clothes inside out for an entire day (work and social events included), shaving your head etc etc.
- Pie Auction – Or really any baked desserts work. These are my favorite things in the world!!! People will pay an incredible amount of money for Aunt Edna’s Pecan Pie! This is one of my favorite fundraising ideas!
- Sell Plants – Start plants from seeds and when they’ve grown into seedlings, or maybe even full sized plants, sell them to raise money!
- Daddy Daughter Dance – hosting these is fairly cheap and can raise a lot of money!
- Gala – Host a gala. This will require some money out of pocket, but can have great return on your investment if you advertise and do it correctly!
- Family Fun Day – have vendors pay to set up and host an activity for kids and families. Have a local bounce house donate a day. Have people pay to get in.
- Sell Crafts – Find a small craft that’s seasonal to sell for a profit to raise money for your favorite charity.
- Teach a Class – Good at something that people want to learn how to do? Like couponing, crafting, cooking etc? Host a class, or multiple classes and charge an admission fee as a fundraiser idea.
- Amazon Smile – Amazon Smile is an amazing way to raise money for established 501(c)3 organizations! See the details on that HERE.
- Host a Dog Show – Have local pet authorities act as judges and have entrants pay to enter their pets. Winners receive a trophy.
- Make and Sell Candy Bouquets – this is perfect for Valentine’s Day for school kids!
- Date Night Out – Have parents pay to drop their kids off while they enjoy a date night, while volunteers entertain the kids for a few hours.
- Hang Christmas Lights – Let’s face it – very few people actually enjoy doing this and would GLADLY pay someone else to do it for them at the holidays, especially if that money also supports a good cause.
- Host a Booth at a Vendor Event – Have people give donations for balloons or balloon animals, or face painting etc.
- Photo Booth – Have people pay to take fun pictures in a photo booth. Post all the photos online on the organization’s Facebook page and have people tag themselves and share the photos.
Have some more fundraising ideas to add to this list? Leave them in the comments below! Good luck raising money for your cause! Use any of these Fundraising Ideas? Tell us! We’d love to know!