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Fundraising ideas

Natasha Geraghty-Medved

It can be hard trying to get people in your network and community to donate or get involved in fundraising activities. This is especially true if you only reach out to them when you need something from them.

There are three obvious and often forgotten tricks to having a successful fundraising event.

  1. Nurture your donor base consistently not just when you want a donation. When you reach out, create a relationship with them, and highlight how they, as an individual, made a difference in the cause. Do include a way to donate even when you are not asking, and they just might.
  2. Ask again. Do not only ask once and in one way; people might not be able to donate money but they might be to give their time. Giving your audience options can increase their involvement in your organization.
  3. Make it fun and easy. People want to have a good time; they want to feel like they get something in return. Make your fundraising event unusual or fun. Or consider giving out a specific reward or celebration for people who contribute to a certain level of time or money to the cause.

When you are fundraising for a cause, there is not a specific way or style to do it; there are hundreds of methods.

Always start with your audience and what draws them to an event, then tailor your fundraising event to them. Start your email marketing campaign which will lead your audience to the event registration and payment page.

Having an online event registration and payment solution in place helps with more than managing the details, it also helps you accept donations from people who could not attend.

Back to the actual fundraising event, don't wrack your brain for ideas, but put your own twist on your fundraising. Here are a few fundraising ideas that I have seen work in the past.


General Fundraising Ideas

  • Auctions are a great way to raise funds. Gather an audience for a silent auction or take the auction online and reach a larger audience.
  • Host an educational seminar or webinar and charge attendees admission.
  • Have a Vegas Night where people pay to get chips. You can even hold a card game tournament and sell spots to participate.
  • Collect gold since it is selling at a high rate and you can ask your community to donate what they haven't worn in years.


Family-Friendly Fundraising Ideas

  • Fundraise a walk or run which can be for a set distance or a number of laps. Register walkers and have them seek pledges for completion or per lap. Or take this idea to dancing and hold a dance-a-thon
  • Hold a music related event. Think battle of the bands, a concert, a DJ mashup, or a party that people will pay to attend or have a karaoke night where attendees not only pay to participate but can donate to see your staff sing!
  • Host a dinner or breakfast. Spaghetti or pancakes are inexpensive and almost everyone loves them. Focus on gathering people together and including fun side events or contests.
  • Have a community yard sale, not only do you help others purge their stuff by donating it to your cause, but someone else is finding a treasure while you get to keep the proceeds.
  • Become the recycling center and then sell the collection to the actual recycling plant, cans add up quick.
  • Consider reaching out to the artist community and within your organization (children in particular) seeking artwork to sell.