Fire Department Fundraising Ideas

Fire Department Fundraising Ideas

Fire departments play an essential role in keeping their community safe. While people might assume that taxes cover their local department’s expenses, this is usually not the case. In actuality, fire departments are often underfunded and understaffed, especially ones that rely on volunteers. Despite their importance, many fire departments lack the resources to operate at their fullest potential.

This is why fundraising is a great way to increase funds for your fire department. It can raise your department’s revenue while connecting you to the community. Plus, there are fundraiser ideas for fire departments that require little planning, making it perfect for your busy staff. Here are 13 fire department fundraising ideas for every department size and budget. 

Classic Fundraiser Ideas for Fire Departments

Fundraising Ideas for Fire Department

Fire departments can get busy saving lives so event planning might be at the bottom of your priority list. However, if your department is looking for a fundraiser that requires little preparation, these classic fundraiser ideas for fire departments are great options.

Hold a silent auction 

Silent auctions are a versatile and fun fundraising idea. They can be held as a single fundraiser or added to our other fire department fundraising ideas. If a silent auction is part of a fundraiser event, it can give community members an extra incentive to get involved.

It is essential to consider the demographic of your audience when selecting an auction item. You can request an in-kind donation from a local business to acquire a worthy auction item. Or, you can send a fire department donation request to a fundraising website like Charity Safaris.

Charity Safaris provides destination hunting packages to charities and nonprofit organizations across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia. Donations fully fund the packages, so your fire department can keep all the proceeds.

In addition, Charity Safaris guides participants throughout the planning and auctioning process to ensure a memorable experience. Historically, Charity Safaris offered hunting trips have raised to $4,500. Destinations include New Zealand, Argentina, and South Africa. If you are interested, see their online donation request page.

Sell customized calendars 

Are you looking for volunteer fire department fundraising ideas? Consider making a calendar for next year. Creating and selling customized calendars is a classic way that fire departments can raise money. Your fire department can make calendars for both adults and children. The former calendar can feature an adult-friendly fire department photoshoot.

The children’s calendar can introduce them to their local heroes and the vital work of the fire department. To create a calendar, you must upload your photos onto a website that makes calendars like Shutterfly.

You can quickly spread awareness about your calendar sale through social media. You can also provide a link so that people can quickly purchase it online. Selling calendars can be a fundraiser itself or an addition to our other fundraiser ideas for fire departments. 

Sell T-Shirts

Fire Department Fundraising Ideas

While photos might be the best way to capture a memory, having a souvenir is a close second. Selling souvenirs, like a t-shirt, at a fundraising event is an excellent way for your fire department to raise money.

People love to buy merchandise that pays tribute to their local community and reminds them of a great memory. This form of fundraising works best when it’s an addition to other fire department fundraising ideas.

However, if your department isn’t planning an event anytime soon, you can still use tee-shirt sales as a standalone fundraiser. To reach a wider audience, you can sell your shirts online and post about them on social media. Supporters can share their tee shirt purchases on social media using hashtags.

Start an online campaign

During the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual campaigns became one of the only ways for organizations to spread awareness of their cause and continue fundraising. As the world slowly returns to normal activities, virtual campaigns remain a popular and effective way to fundraise. This is because they can raise serious revenue while keeping costs low.

Your online campaign can include information about your fire department, its recent work, and photos of the firefighters in action. Including a goal meter in your online fundraising campaign can motivate others to participate. Posting your progress on social media can encourage supporters to participate and share their donations online. 

Fill the boot

Are you looking for volunteer fire department fundraising ideas? “Fill the Boot” is a straightforward way to fundraise. All it takes is a boot and a few volunteers. In a “Fill the Boot” fundraiser, a few volunteers stand at a designated location and ask for donations. A place that gets a lot of foot traffic is perfect for this type of fundraising.

Hold a raffle

Raffle ideas are a classic way to increase funds for any organization, including the fire department. You can hold raffles in-person, online, as a single fundraiser, or as an addition to a fundraising event. There are many different types of raffles, but these two forms are the most popular:

Single Raffle

Fundraising Ideas for Small Fire Departments

Consider holding a single raffle if your fire department just received an excellent donation. Single raffles can be held in person or online. If you have a fundraiser event planned, holding a single raffle at the event might encourage more community members to attend.

If your fire department has no fundraising events on the calendar, you can use an online raffle to donate away. Regardless of how you host the raffle, you can sell tickets and promote the raffle online. Ticket prices will depend on the value of the raffle prize.

50/50 Raffle

A 50/50 raffle may be better if your fire department hosts a significant fundraising event. During a 50/50 raffle, participants purchase tickets to enter the raffle. If the number on their ticket is selected, the participant wins 50% of the money raised throughout the fundraiser. The remaining money goes to your fire department. This is a great fundraising option because it is easy, and many people are already familiar with it. 

Regardless of what type of raffle you choose, you can count down to the raffle’s end date online to increase excitement and encourage others to donate. If you want to hold a raffle but need a raffle prize, send a fire department donation request to businesses in your community. 

Ask supporters to purchase a brick 

Are the bricks at your fire station looking a little bare? Consider asking supporters to buy a brick. During a “Buy a Brick” campaign, donors purchase a brick by donating a selected amount. The donor’s name and donation amount can be etched into the brick. This benefits both the fire department and the donor.

The department gets a donation, while the donor gets to see physical proof of their contribution. You can share the “Buy a Brick” campaign on social media to encourage community members to participate. You can also share when a new brick is purchased. When people see others’ names etched on the bricks, they will be inspired to send their donations.

Event Fundraiser Ideas for Fire Departments

If your fire department has the time, holding a fundraiser event is a worthwhile experience for both the department and the community. Consider trying these fundraiser ideas for fire departments.

Have a car wash

Fire Department Donation Request

Among all the fundraising ideas for small fire departments, an old-school car wash is the most popular, and for a good reason. This fundraiser is a fantastic way to bring the community together.

People in the neighborhood will enjoy checking a chore off their to-do list while supporting their hometown heroes. What’s great about a car wash is that the fire department already has the main supply it needs- hoses!

You can charge a small fee for this fundraiser or make the event donation-based. Either way, it is wise to have donation buckets readily available during the event. In addition, you can sell your annual fire department calendars and tee shirts at the car wash for additional revenue. 

Host an adult training camp

What kid didn’t want to be a firefighter when they grew up? By holding a training camp, adults in the community can put their dreams to the test. They can see if they have what it takes to be a firefighter (and maybe impress a few people along the way).

Most fire departments already have tests available. On a selected day, you can have community members attempt to complete the test. In addition, you can allow contestants to place a bet on how far they make it. If the contestant wins the bet, they get back double the amount they bet. If the fire department wins, the department keeps the money as a donation. You can also offer a prize to contestants who can complete the challenge. 

You can promote this event on social media to build up excitement. To raise additional revenue, you can also sell tee shirts, calendars, and other accessories. Create a hashtag for the event so you can share live results on the day of the fundraiser.  

Host a family fun day for your community

Are you looking for unique fundraiser ideas for fire departments? Host a family fun day at your fire station! This event is similar to an adult training camp but more suited for kids. On the day of your event, families can stop by the fire station for an afternoon of educational and entertaining activities. Children can tour the fire trucks, learn about fire safety, and meet the firefighters working in their community.

Because the event is held at your station, all your department needs to provide refreshments and plan a few games to keep the kids engaged. To raise additional funds, your department can sell tee shirts or children’s calendars at the event. Create a hashtag for the fundraiser so families can share their photos from the event on social media.  

Hold a friendly sports game

Volunteer Fire Department Fundraising Ideas

Are you looking for a way to involve other essential community members in your fundraising event? Why not challenge the police department to a sports game? Firefighters and police officers are both crucial parts of the community.

They keep the community safe, and their job requires them to stay physically fit. Challenging each other in a sport can put these first responders in the spotlight while providing some local entertainment. Whether football, kickball, or soccer, this is an event that the entire neighborhood will enjoy.

If the police department accepts your challenge, you can split the costs (and the profits). You can sell tickets online and hold the game at a local park or school. For additional revenue, you can sell tee shirts that support each team. You can also have sports or seasonal-related raffle baskets near the snack stand. 

You can set up a fundraising campaign online and post it on social media to raise excitement about the event. You should include videos of firefighters introducing themselves and preparing for the big game. Supporters can donate money using the event’s online campaign and even comment on whom they think will win. Holding this event near the holidays, like Thanksgiving, can encourage the whole family to get involved. 

Host a pancake breakfast

Need fundraising ideas for small fire departments? Try hosting a pancake breakfast! The ingredients are inexpensive, and pancakes are simple to make. You can even have the fire department staff cook the pancakes or be servers for the day.

Since you have enough space, you can host this event at the fire station. Or you can also ask a local restaurant if they would host your event. To spread awareness about your fire department’s pancake breakfast, post on social media about the event and share a link where tickets can be purchased online. You can also have raffle prizes or a silent auction at your pancake breakfast to increase revenue. For fun and effortless raffle, make a breakfast-themed raffle basket. Winners can create their very own pancake breakfast. 

Pizza Party at the Firehouse

Not a breakfast person? Consider having a pizza party at your fire hall instead! A pizza party is easy to host and something the whole family can enjoy. Community members can get a glimpse into the life of a firefighter, meet their hometown heroes, and enjoy some fresh pizza, all at the same time! Like the pancake breakfast, your department can have raffle baskets and a silent auction to increase funding. You can also sell tee shirts and calendars for extra revenue.


A fundraiser is a perfect way to raise revenue for your fire department. It involves your department with the community while helping you acquire the resources essential to protecting it. Using one of our fire department fundraising ideas, your department can plan an event the community won’t forget. For example, if you are holding a silent auction and need a profitable donation, check out the fantastic free hunting trips at Charity Safaris

Charity Safaris Hunting Trips