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20 Best Camp Fundraising Ideas

20 Best Camp Fundraising Ideas

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.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What is a Camp Fundraiser?

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 keeping track of expenses are a year-round operation.

Camp fundraisers can help take off some of the financial strain by raising essential funds and increasing exposure to your nonprofit camp.

Benefits of Hosting a Camp Fundraiser

Although camp fundraising may seem like a daunting task initially, the benefits of pulling off a successful campaign certainly outweigh the drawbacks. Take a look at a few of the top reasons for hosting fundraising events.

Camp fundraisers give you the opportunity to:

  • Promote and spread your camp’s brand and mission
  • Gain exposure for your camp. This ensures alumni and families keep coming back year after year and you’re able to 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, motivated, and creating unforgettable memories together
  • Offer scholarships and support for those in need

20+ Best 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. 

Crowdfunding for Camps

Crowdfunding for Camps

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!  

Talent Shows

Whether your nonprofit camp offers thriving arts activities or you just 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.

Sell Custom Camp Merchandise

Sell Custom Camp Merchandise

To really get the kids hyped up about camp fundraising, why not host a t-shirt designing contest? Just set up a free fundraising page and get the kids sending 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!

Quiz Nights

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 take part, 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.

Themed Galas

Themed Galas Work for Camp Fundraising Ideas

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

Online auctions are always popular camp fundraisers. The diversity of them offers great appeal and the profit potential helps smash your camp fundraising goals. If you’re on a tight budget or you just want to move away from the traditional format of an auction, why not mix it up a little and host an auction of promises? 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.

Raffles

Raffles are great camp fundraisers

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)

Get Online

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.

Attract Great Sponsors

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?  Just remember when looking for camp sponsors to make sure 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.

Community Clean-ups or Recycling Campaigns

Community Clean-ups or Recycling Campaigns

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.

Summer Festivals 

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 then let everyone take part in their favorite activities.

Golf Tournaments

Golf Tournaments for camps

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 contests to ensure that participants will be back for more in the years to come.

Check out our list of Fun Golf Tournament ideas here.

Spaghetti Dinners or BBQs

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.

Gift Matching

This is the year to incorporate matching gifts 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.

Nonprofit Grants

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.

Car Washes

Car Washes

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 a bunch of dirty cars to raise money and increase awareness for your nonprofit camp.            

Give Classes and Courses All-Year Round

Don’t limit your incredible courses and camp activities to a few weeks a year. There are so many people that 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.

Art shows

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.

In-Kind Donations

For donors who want to help but prefer not to give monetary contributions, why not ask if they can offer in-kind donations such as helping out and volunteering at camp? This would give them great insight into the inner workings of your camp and build valuable connections and appreciation for your nonprofit and its people. 

Achieve Maximum Participation and Impact

Before you dive 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 not only teaches children to become fundraisers but also helps them learn to set goals and strive to accomplish them.  And it’s another way to get them jazzed up about summer camp!

Achieve Maximum Participation and Impact

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 that your organization can keep improving every year.


Conclusions on Camp Fundraising

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, not only for your campers but for the entire local 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.

Sarah Bender

About Sarah Bender

Originally from Surrey, UK, Sarah has worked remotely in various online fields for the last 8 years. Currently, she is focusing on writing blogs on online fundraising and special events for a UK audience. When she is not spending her days researching and writing, you can find her running around after her two highly active young sons which constitutes a serious workout program!

See other posts from Sarah Bender

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