Whether you’re fundraising for a school, a nonprofit board, association, or another important organization, fundraising is a challenge. To make the most impact, fundraising usually involves the tough tasks of organizing large groups of volunteers and marketing your event or drive so it’s a success.
Let us help. No matter the cause, we have 15 easy fundraising ideas that will help you reach your goals.
- Dining out for charity. One great option is to partner with a local restaurant to host a charity night. Your nonprofit invites supporters out to share a meal and the restaurant agrees to donate a portion of the night’s earnings to your nonprofit.
- Create in-kind sponsorships. Sometimes people are more comfortable donating items rather than money. By sponsoring a certain element of what your nonprofit stands for, people can see in a tangible way how their giving helps. Using dog rescues as an example, people can donate blankets and food for the transportation of rescue animals.
- Create custom sports socks. Custom branded sports socks are a great way to raise money while also raising team spirit. Whether your cause has specific colors, a logo, or a tagline, it can be great to design socks to match. These fun, branded socks are a great way to get people to rally around a cause and donate money for a neat pair of designed socks in return.
- Host a virtual charity run. A “regular” charity run can be an excellent way to bring a community together to support a cause, but it can be extremely difficult to organize. Instead, consider a virtual charity run. It can be organized through a website where people can sign up, join a charity team, and create a fundraising page. From there, people can visit the different pages and donate to the team of their choice. Teams can pledge the miles they are willing to walk or run and can complete those miles on their own time and where they would like, whether it’s at the gym, around town, or on a hiking path.
- Friendly business fundraising competition. Another way to really get the fundraising juices flowing is to find two businesses in town (ideally with values aligned with your organization) and get them to join a fundraising challenge to see who can raise the most money. A little friendly competition never hurt anybody and it can be a great way to raise money and get the community involved.
- Wedding fundraisers. Some couples prefer direct gifts to their favorite cause rather than registering and accepting gifts for their new home. This can be a simple way to raise money for an important cause that simply requires a mention on the save-the-dates and invitations.
- Fun holiday fundraisers. There are endless numbers of quirky, fun holidays out there, including Ask Your Cat a Question Day. Choosing one of these days to run an online fundraiser around can be a fun and effective way to get people interested in and excited about your cause while raising money.
- Run a matching gift campaign. A matching gift campaign is a great way to boost the power of your campaign to double. Not only does it mean your cause could walk away with double the funds, but it also serves as a powerful motivator for would-be donors. Try to find a major donor or partner that is willing to match the amount raised after a certain point.
- Set up a personal feat campaign. Everyone loves to follow a person’s personal journey to greatness and it can also be a great motivator for raising funds. Choose a spokesperson for your campaign who is willing to try to accomplish a great feat (finishing a marathon, summiting a mountain, etc.) for a good cause. When people have a journey to support, they are likely to give more. It also presents a great opportunity to make the campaign social, as personal feats and accomplishments are usually rife with photo opportunities and stories to share to get people engaged and involved.
- Create a 24-hour drive. Setting aside one specific day to raise funds or goods for your cause can often add in some extra motivation for donors. You have the flexibility to choose any day you’d like, which could also center around a day that is important to your nonprofit or cause. Rally supporters to get involved on this day, driving home the sense of urgency around the 24-hour deadline. If you can secure a matching grant for the funds raised on this day, even better.
- Run a T-shirt fundraiser. Opt to sell customized t-shirts to raise money for your cause. Not only does this aid in raising funds, but it’s also a way to promote free marketing for your nonprofit or cause. Your t-shirts can be customized to showcase the nonprofit or to feature an event. You can even sell the shirts using crowdfunding techniques.
- Try a text-to-give campaign. These allow donors and supporters to give right from their smartphones. Text-giving software allows you to set up a special fundraising phone number that is paired with a keyword. Donors can simply text your special number with the keyword to get a link to a mobile donation page. Once they donate, they can receive a digital receipt.
- Host a silent auction. A silent auction is a wonderful way to get local organizations involved in a fundraising effort. Local businesses can donate items for the auction, which may include movie tickets, gift baskets, or other items that your target donors will be interested in. People can then bid on their favorite items. Silent auctions can also happen online, making it easier than ever to host an event like this.
- Hold a car wash. This is a classic fundraiser idea that can be updated for the modern era. Add a theme to your carwash, perhaps having volunteers dress up a certain way or by turning the carwash into a musical event. This is a flexible event that can be tailored any way you like to raise funds for your cause.
- Host a gala. Galas are another tried-and-true way to raise money for a cause. Galas can also be combined with silent auctions or raffles to double and triple fundraising efforts. Galas can also be customized by theme and turned into a costume ball or a themed party.
Utilizing one of these ideas may be your key to fundraising success. Consider all the options and narrow it down to two or three that make the most sense. After weighing the pros and cons of your top options, you should be able to settle on one that will have the greatest impact for your cause.
About the Author: Louis Louw is the owner of Elite Sport Socks. He is passionate about business, technology, and rock climbing. Elite Sports Socks sells personalized socks for sports teams and school fundraisers.