Fundraising for Nonprofits
Finding the right fundraiser for your nonprofit organization can be daunting. However, it doesn’t have to be. This article covers 50 fundraising ideas for nonprofits that you can adapt to any theme or budget.
10 Most Popular Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits
Below are the ten most popular ideas for fundraising for nonprofits.
1- Silent Auctions
Silent auctions are excellent fundraisers for nonprofits because of their versatility and earning potential. They work well as standalone fundraisers or as additions to a fundraising event. Plus, all your organization needs is something that community members will love.
If your nonprofit wants an item, consider requesting an in-kind donation from Charity Safaris. As a leading fundraising site in the U.S., Charity Safaris provides fully-funded destination hunting packages to eligible nonprofits. Their hunting packages with destinations including South Africa, New Zealand, and Argentina have raised as much as $8,000 in silent auctions and $15,000 in Live Auctions. You can request a hunting trip today through their online donation request form.
2- 50/50 raffles
The versatility of 50/50 raffles makes them one of the most successful fundraising ideas for nonprofits. In a raffle, supporters buy a ticket for a chance to win a prize. In the case of a 50/50 raffle, the award is half of the money raised by selling tickets. 50/50 raffles are great as a standalone fundraiser or an additional revenue stream at a fundraising event, and 50/50 raffles are fundraising ideas for nonprofits.
3-Walk or run
For good reasons, an organized walk or run is among the most popular fundraisers. It allows the community to unite and get active while supporting a great cause. To host, map out a course, and advertise the race online. You can also sell refreshments near the finish line.
4- Exercise class
Exercise classes are already popular, so the opportunity to participate in one while supporting a good cause is likely to bring in a large crowd. To do this fundraiser, ask a local fitness instructor to teach a class where all the ticket proceeds go to your organization. The more known the fitness instructor is in the community, the better!
5- Golf Tournament
Of all fundraiser ideas for nonprofits, a golf tournament can raise serious funds for your organization. Consider reading our step-by-step guide on golf tournament fundraising ideas that attendees will look forward to.
Contact your Local, Municipal, or Country Club to see if they will host your event.
You can also ask them to donate some or all of the fees so you can raise more money.
6- Bake Sale
This tried-and-true fundraiser is a great way to interact with the community while raising money. First, have volunteers bake their favorite treats to sell at your organization’s bake sale. Then, set up a booth with baked goods and raffle baskets that appeal to any sweet tooth.
7- Movie night
A movie night fundraiser can double as a fun date night or family night out. Rent a space to show a screening of a highly anticipated movie or a well-loved classic. You can have supporters buy tickets for entry and sell refreshments for additional revenue.
8- Talent show
Fundraising for nonprofits can involve all ages! Hosting a talent show is a great way to raise money and reach a broad audience. You can ask volunteers to showcase their talents and sell entry tickets. Increase intrigue by offering a prize to the most popular act. Having refreshments and raffle baskets available can increase your funds. Talent Shows are good fundraisers for nonprofits.
9- Comedy show
Are you looking for lighthearted but successful fundraising ideas for nonprofits?
Try hosting a comedy show! Your nonprofit can ask a local cafe, bar, or restaurant to host a comedy night at their space. You can sell tickets for entry and raffle baskets to increase revenue.
You can also reward the most popular comedy act with a small prize.
10- Trivia night
Put your supporters’ knowledge to the test with a charity trivia night. What’s great about a trivia night is that you can customize the theme to fit your nonprofit’s mission. To plan, ask a local bar or restaurant to host a trivia night where supporters donate to enter a trivia team.
Virtual Fundraising for Nonprofits
These ideas for online fundraising for nonprofits can help you raise funds from the comfort of your home (or the office).
11- Host a virtual walk or run
Fundraising online for nonprofits doesn’t have to be complicated. A virtual walk or run can bring in serious revenue with little planning on your part. You must create an online page asking supporters to run or walk a designated distance. Participants do so independently and share their results on your site. They can also collect pledges to increase funds and encouragement. Your organization can post your fundraising goal so supporters can donate without participating.
12- Virtual yoga class
Are you looking for online fundraising for nonprofits that get participants moving? Consider hosting a virtual yoga class! Ask a licensed yoga teacher to lead a course online for your organization. Advertise the class online and require that supporters donate to receive the event link. Of course, the more well-known the teacher is, the better!
13- Bake sale
A bake sale is one of those fundraising ideas for nonprofits that work well in person and online.
Create a website for a virtual bake sale that lets people shop and order bakery items online.
Have supporters pick up their bakery items or offer delivery services for an additional cost.
14- Talent show
You don’t need a big stage to host a talent show! Skipping the stage saves your organization time and money. Instead, you can host a talent show via Zoom. Require that people donate to sign up or to receive the event link as a spectator.
15- Virtual conference or workshop
The options for online fundraising for nonprofits are endless! Your nonprofit can host a virtual conference on any topic of your choice. Make your webinar more enticing by asking a local expert to make a guest appearance at your event. Supporters can donate to receive the event link.
16- Charity fantasy football league
Football fans will love the opportunity to join a fantasy football league while supporting a good cause. To plan, tell your community via social media that your nonprofit is assembling a fantasy football league. Supporters must pay a fee to enter the league. Fantasy football themes are great fundraising ideas for nonprofits.
Giveaways are a perfect fundraising opportunity for nonprofits recently receiving an in-kind donation. To be considered for the giveaway, request that interested people follow you on all social media platforms and refer a friend to your giveaway by tagging them in your post.
Crowdfunding is a popular online fundraising strategy and for a good reason. It allows your nonprofit to reach a broad audience and gain exposure from people unfamiliar with your work. Ask organization members to set up their fundraising pages and do outreach individually to crowdfund.
19- Social media takeover
Fundraising for nonprofits online has always been challenging with social media. Ask a local business if you can do a “takeover” on their social media platforms for the day.
You can show viewers daily life at your office, interview team members, and share your organization’s story!
Doing so allows you to reach a wider audience and introduce new faces to your organization.
20- Sell customized tee shirts
Need ideas for fundraising online for nonprofits? Try selling customized tee shirts! This fundraising idea works well as a standalone fundraiser, but you can also sell customized tee shirts at any other fundraising event.
21- Sell customized calendars
Customized calendars are one of those fundraising ideas for nonprofits that will always be useful. Your nonprofit organization can create themed calendars using a photo service website like Shutterfly. You can sell your customized calendars as a standalone fundraiser or bring them to fundraising events to raise additional money.
22- Sell Cookbooks
Is your nonprofit organization food-focused? If so, selling a cookbook might be your right fundraising idea. First, have members of your organization bring in one or two of their favorite family recipes. Then, create a cookbook featuring all of these hand-picked meals. You can sell your cookbooks as a standalone fundraiser or bring them to events for additional revenue.
23- Matching gifts
Matching gifts is one of those fundraising ideas for nonprofits that can raise serious revenue. It refers to when a company matches the donations that its employees make. Finding a company that offers matching gifts can help you double your funds without doubling your fundraising efforts.
Holiday Fundraising for Nonprofits
These three successful fundraising ideas for nonprofits are perfect for the holiday season.
24- Wrap holiday gifts for a donation
Many people prefer to avoid wrapping holiday gifts. Instead, lighten their to-do list by offering to wrap holiday gifts in exchange for donations.
People can drop off their holiday items and return to pick up nicely wrapped gifts later that day.
25- Christmas carol
Of the many successful fundraising ideas of nonprofits, this one is perfect for getting in the holiday spirit. Members of your nonprofit can go door to door singing Christmas carols in exchange for donations. Not only does this spread holiday cheer, but it also allows you to perform direct outreach in the community.
26- Set up a holiday pop-up shop
Your nonprofit can rent a hall (or use your own space) to set up a holiday shop. Ask volunteers to donate new or gently used items to be resold at the event. This idea allows supporters to tackle their shopping lists while contributing to a worthy cause.
Fundraisers for Nonprofits
The following are fundraising ideas suitable for any nonprofit mission or budget.
27- Host a corn hole tournament
A corn hole tournament is the perfect fundraising idea for summer. Community members will love letting loose with some friendly competition while supporting your cause. To plan a cornhole tournament, coordinate with volunteers to secure a location and collect enough cornhole boards and bags for attendees. Ask that volunteers pay a fee to form a team. You can also offer a prize to the winning team. Having refreshments and raffle baskets available can also increase your funds.
28- Happy hour
Of all fundraising for nonprofits, a happy hour is almost guaranteed to bring in large numbers. To plan, ask a local bar or restaurant if you can host a happy hour in which a percentage of all profits from the night would go to your nonprofit. You can also create a signature drink to make the night more unique. Supporters will love to unwind with friends while contributing to a meaningful cause.
29- Adult field day
Nonprofit Fundraising can be a smooth process. An adult field day is a fundraising event that everyone will remember. To host:
- Get permission from local officials to host a field day at the park.
- Set up games like corn hole, tug-of-war, or an obstacle course with tires.
- Advertise the event online and ask that supporters donate to sign up and register a team.
- Have refreshments available for purchase.
30- Football tailgate
Perfect for fall, a football tailgate is a simple way to increase funds for your nonprofit organization. Share on social media that your organization will host a charity tailgate and invite people to attend. Having games, music, and refreshments available for purchase can draw more people to your tailgating spot. You can also have football-themed raffle baskets available to increase revenue.
31- Bingo night
A bingo night is a simple way to raise money and bring awareness to your cause. First, rent a hall or get permission from a local bar to host a bingo night. Then, advertise your event online and ask supporters to donate to sign up. You can also allow sign-ups on the night of the event (make sure you have enough boards for everyone!)
32- Hold a concert
Nothing brings people together quite like live music. Ask a local band to host a concert where some or all of the proceeds go to your organization. Advertise your event online and ask supporters to donate for entry. You can also post your fundraising goal on the site so that people unable to attend can still donate and contribute. The more well-known the band, the better!
33- Poker night
Supporters will love putting on their best poker faces at this fundraiser event. Get permission from a local bar to host a poker night. Advertise your event online and ask the bar to offer drink discounts to attract more attendees. Let players know that all bets and proceeds will go to the organization. You can also have a casino-themed raffle basket available for additional revenue. Fundraisers for nonprofits like this usually do very well.
34- Karaoke night
Who doesn’t love karaoke? First, ask a local bar or restaurant if you can host a karaoke night and have supporters donate to participate. Then, advertise your event online and request the bar offer drink discounts for participating attendees to increase the number.
35- Fashion show
Is your nonprofit fashion-focused? Consider hosting a fashion show! Coordinate with local clothing brands and designers to assemble your show’s looks. Your nonprofit can sell tickets for entry and ask volunteers to model. You can also offer a “meet and greet” after the show where supporters can donate to meet the designers.
36- Outdoor movie night
Put a spin on the classic movie night fundraiser by bringing it outdoors! Set up an outdoor movie screening in the local park or drive-in. You can sell entry tickets and have lawn chairs and blankets available to rent.
37- Car wash
Car washes are classic fundraisers for nonprofits and are perfect for spring or summer. Have volunteers offer to wash cars in the neighborhood for a donation. You can also have refreshments available for purchase to increase your fundraising potential.
38- Pump it up
Washing cars is one of many ways to fundraise. With permission from the gas station, have volunteers offer to pump gas or clean windshields in exchange for donations. This fundraiser will likely draw large numbers, especially on a busy weekend.
Are you looking for fundraisers for nonprofits that also help the community? Consider having a “Rent-a-Worker” day where community members can donate to “rent” volunteers. Tasks could include mowing the lawn, raking leaves, or taking out the trash. This fundraising idea is one that older community members will enjoy.
40- Host a spa day
Pamper the community by hosting a spa day. Have volunteers offer community members mani and pedi services in exchange for donations. You can also ask volunteers to bring in different nail polish colors. Having refreshments and a spa day-themed raffle basket available can increase your fundraising potential.
41- Hold a sit-a-thon
Does your nonprofit organization work with children? Organize a Sit-a-thon where volunteers
provide babysitting services for a night in exchange for donations. To make the offer even better, ask a local restaurant to offer a discount for parents participating in the event. Games, snacks, and movies are available to ensure the kids have a fun night.
42- Go bald for a cause
Set up a campaign online stating that volunteers have pledged to shave their heads if your nonprofit organization hits its fundraising goal by a specific date. Allow supporters to donate and write encouraging messages on the campaign site. You can also have volunteers collect donations and pledges individually. Post pictures of the volunteers cutting their hair once you meet your fundraising goal!
43- Host an art class
Class is in session! Ask a local art teacher to teach an art class for your organization. If qualified, a member of your organization could also host the course. Advertise your art class online and require that interested supporters donate to attend. Art lovers will love the opportunity to build on their skills while supporting your cause.
44- Have a yard sale
This classic fundraiser idea is likely to bring the community together. Ask organization members to collect new or gently used items to be sold at your yard sale. You can advertise your yard sale around the neighborhood by hanging flyers and posting about it on social media. Selling refreshments for attendees to enjoy while shopping can raise additional funds.
45- Bag groceries for donations
Looking for places to do outreach in the community? Try the grocery store! Have volunteers bag groceries in exchange for donations. On busy weekends, reaching a broad audience is a given.
46- Dine for a cause
Ask a local restaurant to partner with your organization for a night. Advertise a “Dine for a Cause” night where a percentage of the profit will go to your organization. This fundraiser allows attendees to support a local business while supporting your cause.
47- Dress-down day
This classic fundraiser is likely to attract a broad audience. Coordinate with a local school or business to host a dress-down day where students or employees can donate a set amount of money to dress down for the day. This fundraiser works best in schools or offices that require uniforms.
48- Challenge the Community to Collect Change
This is a simple yet effective fundraiser that kids can enjoy. Give classes or families each a jar and challenge them to collect as many coins as possible for a set amount of time. The family or class that collects the most coins wins a pizza lunch. In addition, you can have volunteers collect jars from home or purchase gently used jars to give to supporters.
49- Throw a BBQ
Perfect for summer, a barbeque fundraiser is a great way to bring the community together while supporting your cause. Your organization can sell delicious barbeque plates, drinks, and other refreshments. You can also set up picnic tables and yard games for attendees. In addition, having cooking or summer-themed raffle baskets available can increase your revenue.
50- Host a pancake breakfast
A pancake breakfast is a tried and true way to raise money for your organization. It requires little planning and spending and is something all ages can enjoy. To host a pancake breakfast, secure a location and spread the word on social media. Families and community members can stop by for all-you-can-eat pancakes made by volunteers in exchange for donations. In addition, you can have raffle baskets available to increase revenue.
Final Fundraising Thoughts
Fundraiser events can raise money for your organization while building your connection with the community. With these 50 fundraising ideas for nonprofits, you can plan a successful fundraiser that supporters will love.