With summer just around the corner, now’s the time to kick start some unforgettable camp fundraisers. Whether your nonprofit camp needs a helping hand to continue running, wants to offer scholarships to kids in need, improve camp facilities, or simply lower costs for campers, camp fundraisers are a great way to achieve all of this and much more.
So, follow our simple guide on camp fundraising ideas and get tips on how to create a fun, memorable, and successful camp fundraiser that will have your campers coming back year after year.
What We’ll Cover
A camp fundraiser is a community-driven opportunity to help provide resources, raise funds, and spread the word about your nonprofit camp. Camps can be expensive businesses to run and although the main camping events are seasonal, maintenance of the grounds and other expenses are a year-round operation.
Camp fundraisers can help lessen financial strain by raising essential funds and increasing exposure to your nonprofit camp.
Benefits of Hosting a Camp Fundraiser
Although camp fundraising may seem daunting initially, the benefits of a successful campaign certainly outweigh the drawbacks. Beyond raising much-needed funds, camp fundraisers can give your group the opportunity to:
- Promote and spread your camp’s brand and mission.
- Gain exposure for your camp. This ensures alumni and families keep returning year after year, and you can attract a new crowd of enthusiastic campers.
- Engage and secure valuable sponsors and build long-lasting and lucrative partnerships.
- Smash fundraising goals as a community.
- Get children and their families involved and motivated, and create unforgettable memories together.
- Offer scholarships and support for those in need.
20+ Best Summer Camp Fundraising Ideas
We’ve compiled a list of the top 20 camp fundraising ideas to get the most out of your nonprofit camp. Even though attending camp is seasonal, the fun doesn’t have to end when the weather changes. So, to help with the year-round efforts, we’ve also added some of our top off-season camp fundraising ideas.
Walk-a-thons, bike-a-thons, and dance-a-thons are just a few top peer to peer crowdfunding ideas to smash your camp fundraising goals and get into the community spirit. Simply set up a free personalized crowdfunding website to let everyone know about your camp fundraiser, its goals, and the impact you plan to make. Make sure to integrate donation buttons and mobile giving to increase the number of contributions, and away you go!
Whether your nonprofit camp offers thriving arts activities or you want to show off the many skills and talents of the children in your community, why not host a fundraising talent show? Advertise auditions on social media and with flyers, select the acts, and sell tickets on your fundraising page. Offer food and drinks at the event and get some fun prizes for the winners. Maybe even offer a camp scholarship for the winning act. Don’t forget to live-stream the event for people unable to attend and give them the option to donate online.
To get the kids hyped up about camp fundraising, why not host a t-shirt designing contest? Set up a free fundraising page and get the kids to send in their custom t-shirt designs with your nonprofit camp’s logo. The best designs will then be sold in your free eCommerce store, where people will pay to own the winning design, promote your message while wearing it and raise essential funds. It’s a win-win!
Trivia nights, quizzes, and board games are great camp fundraising ideas to get into the team spirit and raise valuable funds for charity. Just charge everyone a small ticketing fee to participate, offer food and drinks for sale, and find some fun prizes for the winners. Include entertaining activities or dares throughout the evening to keep up the giving momentum.
If you’re looking for an opportunity to bring people together to network and secure potential future clients with valuable funds to offer, a gala camp fundraiser is a great choice. Increase your network of families and alumni, along with new business contacts and sponsors. Why not add a silent auction and a fun gala theme to increase donor interest and maximize profits?
Online auctions are always popular camp fundraisers. The diversity of items offers great appeal and the profit potential helps smash your camp fundraising goals. If you’re on a tight budget or want to move away from the traditional format of an auction, why not mix it up a little and host an auction of services? This will get the kids to understand the value of hard work and volunteering to help others in the community. The promises could be anything from car washing to gardening to dog walking – there really are no limits.
Similar to an auction, camp fundraising raffles are incredibly popular. Offer online ticket sales through our seamless raffle fundraising websites and advertise the event on social media, local radio, and through flyers. Many fundraiser raffles go hand-in-hand with another fundraising event like a golf tournament or a charity breakfast which can be extremely lucrative.
Read more on our 30+ Best Raffle Prize Ideas (and How to Get Them Donated)
Boost your donations even more by creating camp fundraisers on social media with an online-a-thon. One way to do this is by setting up a trendy branded hashtag challenge, posting stories on Instagram and Facebook, and adding donation buttons on your chosen platforms. Contact local media to cover the story to spread awareness of your cause and increase supporter participation.
Sponsorships are a great way to keep your nonprofit camp running and pulling in campers year after year. Why not ask campers to write a personal letter to potential sponsors to show them the long-term impact they’ll be making on their lives? Remember when looking for camp sponsors to ensure they align with your brand, values, and nonprofit’s mission.
Another way to benefit from sponsors, and avoid your campgrounds gathering dust in the off-season, is by renting the campsite to them to host corporate events, conferences, and team-building activities.
Teach your community about the benefits of being environmentally and socially responsible by running an eco-friendly camp fundraiser. A garbage or rubbish clean-up in your area, where collected waste products can be bagged and taken to the local recycling center is the perfect opportunity to share your camp’s story, engage and educate supporters, and raise valuable funds.
What better way to enjoy the summer weather and smash your camp fundraising goals than with a summer fair? With arts and crafts stands, guessing games and tombolas, freshly baked goods, and face painting, a summer fair provides the perfect all-inclusive atmosphere. Simply ask for a small entrance fee and let everyone participate in their favorite activities.
Plan a charity golf day, have fun outdoors, and raise vital funds for your nonprofit camp. Make sure your event stands out from the rest with a hole-in-one and other fun contests to ensure participants will return in the future.
Check out our list of Fun Golf Tournament ideas here.
Host a spaghetti dinner or BBQ fundraiser to get people eating, drinking, networking, and building lasting relationships while raising money for a great cause. To optimize your camp fundraiser’s profitability and success, why not add an auction or raffle to hit your fundraising goals?
This is the year to incorporate matching gift programs into your camp fundraising campaigns. This is where employees are given the chance to increase their fundraising when their employer or corporate partners match the money they donate. Match giving is a great way to double your donation while doubling your impact.
Although competition is fierce among nonprofits to see who will snag a valuable government grant, it’s always worth a shot to help multiply your organization’s revenue streams. Once your nonprofit camp passes strict eligibility requirements, you can benefit from non-repayable funds awarded by foundations and government entities, which will be invaluable to your camp’s fundraising success.
Grab a load of camping volunteers and offer your car washing services to the local community. Get out into the warm summer weather and clean dirty cars to raise money and increase awareness for your nonprofit camp.
Give Year Round Classes and Courses
Don’t limit your incredible courses and camp activities to a few weeks a year. So many people can benefit from the skills and expertise of your camp staff, teachers, and counselors. Offer virtual, hybrid, and in-person classes and courses throughout the year, and watch your nonprofit thrive.
Show off the kid’s artistic talents by creating an art show fundraiser. Sell their works of art to the highest bidder and charge an admission fee. Boost your profits by selling food and drinks at affordable prices and invite the local media along to increase your camp’s exposure.
For donors who want to help but prefer not to give monetary contributions, why not ask if they can offer in-kind donations for your campers? This would give them insight into the inner workings of your camp and build valuable connections and appreciation for your organization.
Achieve Maximum Participation and Impact with Camp Fundraising
Before diving into a camp fundraiser, it’s vital to gather a solid fundraising team. Round up campers, parents, camp staff, and the local community to all pull together and make an unforgettable and successful charity event. Hosting a summer camp fundraiser teaches children to become fundraisers and helps them learn to set goals and strive to accomplish them. And it’s another way to get them excited about summer camp.
Be clear about your camp fundraising goals and let donors know in advance where they’ll be making an impact. It’s important for them to see the positive results of their generosity and encourages them to give more. To make this clearer for your supporters, provide a list of pre-set donation levels to illustrate where their money is going. For example:
- $50 for art and craft supplies
- $100 for sports equipment
- $500 to sponsor a child in need to attend camp
Don’t forget to prioritize end-of-camp reports so your organization can keep improving every year.
As you can see, the ideas for camp fundraisers are incredibly diverse. So, start getting creative, let your imagination run wild, and dive into planning a successful camp fundraiser.
Camp fundraising is a great way to create unforgettable memories year after year, for campers and the entire community. With the help of great fundraising websites to manage everything and a strong, enthusiastic team, you won’t regret putting in the time and effort once you see the smiles on your camper’s faces.