Rotary International is one of the premier service organizations worldwide, with 1.2 million members and over 35,000 Rotarian clubs around the world. The mission of Rotary International is to ‘provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through our fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.’ Fundraising for these causes is often an essential part of a Rotary Club’s projects, as critical services and infrastructure require money.
We support several Rotary clubs here at DoJiggy and realize that many clubs are looking for easy to use fundraising websites and Rotary club fundraising ideas. Holiday and year-end giving campaigns are popular right now for Rotary clubs and we can help get you up and running quickly.
Rotary Fundraising Ideas for COVID
The face of fundraising has changed for most nonprofit organizations due to COVID-19, and Rotary Clubs are no different. We saw many clubs canceling events this year and some are scrambling to replace that income. Here are some of the best ideas we’ve seen for safe and virtual fundraising campaigns during COVID.
Rotary Fundraising Sales
Many Rotary clubs have sales fundraisers each year. Popular sales items for Rotary clubs can include holiday decorations and gifts, local produce or food items, Rotary branded clothing and merchandise, and more. Take your fundraising sales online with a free nonprofit store, for contactless sales.
Sell BBQ or Plated Meals for Pick-up or Delivery
Rotary clubs regularly host annual BBQ or Rib dinner fundraisers. These are fun community events that get the club and families together – but these events may not be possible this year. If you can’t get a bunch of people together, why not host a BBQ meal pick-up or delivery? Most people are happy to drive by and pick up items and Rotarians can volunteer to deliver to the elderly or those who pay extra for delivery service.
Virtual Whisky, Wine, or Beer Tastings
Organizing a wine or whisky tasting fundraiser is a great Rotary Club fundraiser. This year, you can do it virtually via a livestream event. Live-streamed fundraisers have gained popularity with nonprofits during COVID-19, as a means of hosting or enhancing virtual fundraising campaigns. Just remember, you need to make sure these events are fun and interactive.
For virtual events, send a party box by mail or ask supporters to pick up their box in advance of the event. Let guests know that they should have the box ready, and only open the box during the virtual tasting. Include wine or other spirits for tasting, menus and recipes for pairing, sponsor swag, a toy or game to occupy kids, and balloons. Bring on the party!
Online Charity Auctions
Here is a virtual fundraising event that can be quite lucrative. Make your charity auction a virtual event, and let our auction websites do all the work for you. Simply create your website and add auction categories and items. Set the time for online bidding to start and begin advertising your auction via online and social media channels. Bids are made online and via text to bid. Auction winners are automatically charged and winning bid notices can even be automated.
Read more on procuring great auction items.
Similar to hosting an auction online, fundraising raffles are a great virtual event. Fundraising raffles incentivize people to buy tickets for a chance to win a prize or prizes, so the prizes are really important. Travel packages, electronics, and cash prizes are always popular. Some organizations even go big and raffle motorcycles, cars, and houses.
Whatever you choose, our online raffle platform allows you to securely sell tickets and manage all of the details. The system can randomly draw winners and you can host a live stream of the drawing.
Read our article on how to host a 50/50 fundraiser.
All of these fundraising events can be successfully run on our new platform for virtual fundraising.
10 Traditional Rotary Club Fundraising Ideas
Rotary clubs sometimes fundraise together with other area clubs or organizations to build camaraderie and extend the reach of their fundraising networks.
Here are the best ideas that Rotary Clubs generally favor for fundraising, when social distancing is not required or can be controlled.
- Golf Tournaments – Charity golf tournaments are always popular Rotary fundraisers. Enhance fundraising opportunities by making your tournament a Golf Marathon, selling sponsorships, raffle tickets, and adding a charity auction.
- Miniature Golf Tournaments – If your club doesn’t have a strong group of golfers to help recruit participants for a tournament, why not try a mini-golf tournament instead? The nice thing about this is that most everyone can bring the family and play.
- Walkathons and Fun Runs – Walkathon fundraisers are another healthy Rotary Club fundraising idea that most everyone can enjoy. Add a holiday theme like this Rotary Club does, to make it more fun! Virtual walkathons are also an option during COVID.
- Dinners and BBQs -Plated dinners and BBQs are an old-standby for Rotary Club fundraising. The Rotary Club of Burlington hosts a popular Lobsterfest each year. These can be formal events, but usually, they are casual family affairs with music and entertainment to match the dinner theme.
- Duck Races – Rubber duck races are a popular Rotary fundraiser. The idea is to sell rubber ducks and race them. The winning duck’s owner gets the pot or another prize and fun is had by all. These events are generally combined with food and entertainment, making them a highlight for members and the community at large.
- Casino Nights – Casino nights and charity poker tournaments can be lucrative fundraisers. First, you’ll also want to check on state and local laws and regulations to ensure that you’ll be able to host a charity poker or gaming event. Next, you’ll need to have some poker experts and a large space for hosting the event. Many fraternity lodges (such as Shriner’s or VFW lodges) have the necessary permits in place, and they may also have the supplies you need.
- Clay Shoots – Sporting clay shoots or skeet fundraisers can be good Rotary fundraisers if you have a nice shooting range in your area. Think safety first! Be sure to include vests and ear plugs for all shooters. Talk to the shooting complex and follow their lead here.
- Bikeathons – For bikeathons, cyclists bike a predetermined course and commit to raising money for your organization. Bike-a-thon fundraisers work well because almost everyone enjoys riding a bike. They are a great family event, while also offering a venue for avid cyclists to participate. Bikers may collect pledges per completed mile or kilometer or contributors may choose to donate a set donation amount to the benefiting organization or charity in support of a biker’s efforts.
- Gourmet Pancake Breakfasts – The nice thing about a breakfast fundraiser is that it does not take nearly the amount of time to organize as larger fundraising events, but it still raises significant funds while bringing members of your organization and the community together in a social setting. Many Rotarians will line up to flip pancakes!
- Polar Plunges – With a polar plunge fundraiser, Rotarians take the plunge into frigid or icy waters to raise awareness for a charitable cause. One of the most appealing reasons to host a polar plunge is that it attracts quite the attention of the media and local community.
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