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Nonprofit Fundraising Ideas

Crowdfunding and P2P Events, Raffles, Golf Tournaments and Much More
Our Nonprofit Fundraising Ideas Have Been Proven Again & Again
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Fundraising is a critical aspect of any nonprofit organization. But how does your organization decide which nonprofit fundraising ideas to execute? Yes, raising money is important, but that’s not the only goal. Spreading awareness of your cause and reaching new people is also extremely important. Your nonprofit fundraiser should mirror the mission of your organization since this is how many will come to see you.

A great place to start when brainstorming nonprofit fundraising ideas is to take a look at our nonprofit fundraising strategies. You’ll want to look at your goals, budget, resources (staff, time, volunteers) and determine what message you are trying to communicate.

Below we’ve provided a number of nonprofit fundraising ideas. Each of these campaigns have proven time and time again to be successful. There isn’t one right answer or fundraising event. Just be sure the chosen fundraiser makes sense for your organization. And, remember that fundraisers really take off when you add an online or virtual component. With our fundraising software for nonprofits, your organization will be able to spread more awareness for your cause and offer a safe place for donors to make online donations, all while saving time and money by increasing efficiency in managing your charitable event.

Our Favorite Nonprofit Fundraising Ideas

Wine Tasting Fundraisers

Wine Tasting Fundraisers

Wine tasting events are very popular social and Valentine’s Day fundraising events. After all, most people love tasting wines! This makes finding participants for these happening fundraising events pretty easy. If event promotion is done well, you are very likely to attract people outside of your donor base, purely on the popularity and appeal of wine tasting events. Find detailed information on planning and managing a wine tasting event.

Walk-a-thons and Fun Runs are nonprofit fundraising ideas

Walk-a-thons and Fun Runs

A walkathon fundraiser provides a great opportunity for raising lots of fundraising dollars via peer-to-peer fundraising. Each individual participant and teamwork hard to bring in donations. This can become a very exciting activity for individuals as they are able to create a personal fundraising page where they can set goals, upload images, track personal progress, and then share their page with family and friends. It also allows for competition among participants – driving them to earn more in an effort to win prizes and recognition. And a walk-a-thon event not only raises money for your nonprofit but also brings people together to have fun and support a cause. 

Zumba Festivals

Zumba Festivals

The Latin-inspired fitness dance of Zumba can be used as a unique fundraising idea for your charitable organization. Help to improve the self-confidence and fitness level of your community members and donors of all ages and motivate them to exercise. Zumba is a fun way to accomplish this and no previous dance experience is needed. Include a raffle or silent auction and a donation table with refreshments to boost income. Read our article on how to organize a Zumba fundraiser to get inspired and start an easy fundraising idea.

Farm to Table Events

Farm to Table Events

Farm-to-Table events are a great opportunity to teach everyone, kids included, about organic farming. Farm-to-Table events may be held at a local farm or community center. Serve a great dinner using all local and organic ingredients. Ask a local chef or restaurant to sponsor a farm to table fundraising event in support of your work. Pair this event with wine tasting to raise money and attract more guests. Bring green energy vendors to the table who’ll sell their products and earn extra income through selling sponsor packages. Read more on how to plan a Farm-to-Table fundraiser.

Holiday Fundraising Events

Holiday Fundraising Events

Holding your holiday fundraising event around Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Giving Tuesday opens the door to an additional opportunity for service. Why not feed community members in need and join in the true spirit of giving? Contact your supporters, local grocers, and restaurants to donate food and supplies. Perhaps a local restaurant can help organize a buffet for the homeless or needy in your community. The extra reward of such a rich and giving community event following a 5k race or a fun run during the holidays will remain in the hearts of your donors.

Crowdfunding Ideas for Nonprofit Organizations

Color Runs

Color Runs

Nonprofit fundraising campaigns may have great fundraising success with Color Run fundraisers. Splashes of vivacious hues of color powders being thrown throughout a walkathon or Fun Run is just one of the magical ingredients that make a color run fundraiser successful. The paint is safe for all ages, and everyone will remember the day. Add an after-party to bring the community together and offer event sponsors an opportunity to showcase their products and offer samples.

Bike-a-thons are a top Nonprofit Fundraising Idea

Bike-a-thons

Plan your bike-a-thon fundraising event with specialized crowdfunding software. Participants can send out an email donation request which includes a link to the online pledge page, making it very easy for potential donors to contribute. Nonprofit organizations may add a link to the donation page of their organization’s website, and encourage participants to post links on social media platforms. Encourage healthy competition in fundraising for nonprofits while motivating participants to do more crowdfunding by providing incentives and prizes for the best performers. For example, partner with a local bike shop to see if they would donate a brand new bike for the participant who collects the most donations.

Community Service Projects

Community Service Projects

Service to the community, while raising money for your nonprofit, makes this a special fundraising opportunity. Organize groups committed to a service area: nursing home care, park or beach clean-up, help for elderly homeowners, or feeding the hungry. For the weeks leading up to the serve-a-thon fundraiser, participants solicit donations for their efforts in support of our cause. Top fundraisers and groups are recognized and rewarded with prizes. Serve-a-thon fundraising events are a perfect method to help the particular community you serve and raise awareness of your mission.

Spin-a-thons

Spin-a-thons

Turn your spin-a-thon into a nonprofit community party with a spin doctor DJ, food and beverage vendors, and fun games and contests while people spin on stationary bikes. Ask your local spinning studio to either donate their studio for some advertisement or pay to rent it out for the day. Spin-a-thon fundraising events are a low-cost venture in fundraising for nonprofits, yet loaded with energy and potential for high profit.

Dog Walks

Dog Walks

Dog walks are successfully held by all types of nonprofit organizations to raise money for their cause. They are not relegated to animal shelters and services that love and support dogs. Yet such organizations are a clear fit for dog walk fundraising. Their popularity is on the rise, as they are a fun and appealing way to gather your community for a non-profit crowdfunding event. Canine costumes may be the highlight of a Halloween party held in conjunction with a Dog walkathon. Award prizes to the top three individual and team fundraisers as well as the top three dog costumes. Hold dog-walk walkathons as a fundraiser for your nonprofit any time of the year for a spectacular crowdfunding event.

Unique Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits

Fred Astaire or Themed Galas

Themed Charity Galas

What’s so unique about a charity gala event? Add a theme that starts with the invitation and allows donors to dress up and get excited about the event. A night of cocktails and dinner combined with a unique theme and auction almost sounds too fun! Enthuse your donors to mix it up and show off their dance moves with great music. This type of fundraising event provides an excellent way to target your exclusive high-level donors and VIPs. Make your gala event a VIP spectacle that people do not want to miss by providing great entertainment (think magician, music, art performances), high-end food, and perhaps a celebrity appearance. That will allow you to charge a high ticket price while attracting a large audience and capturing media attention. Read about more charity gala event ideas.

Community Clean-ups

Community Clean-ups

Perhaps there is an area in your community that needs a cleanup like an ignored park, land, or watershed. Celebrate the environment and your conservation efforts with an After Glow party in the park afterward. Or perhaps hold a gala dinner the next weekend and show a slide show of photos from your clean-up. Fundraising ideas that go to the heart of your cause and mirror your mission truly work. Yet fundraising events that highlight social responsibility are perfect for most nonprofits.

Book Fairs

Book Fairs

Book fairs can be fun, educational events. Invite a writer to present a reading of their book to increase ticket sales at your event. Community fundraising events such as these provide a great opportunity to gain awareness for your cause as you’ll be promoting the event throughout your community. Approach local businesses to sponsor the event. Offer food and beverage and merchandise for sale. Perhaps bring on game vendors – such as bouncy houses, giant slides, fun games, etc. Invite popular local bands to perform, helping to draw in a large audience and tap into their followers. Invite radio stations to come on-site at the event and air-live. Online book sales on your fundraising website are also an effective way to extend the reach of a nonprofit fundraising book fair.

Silent Art Auctions

Gourmet Art Auctions

When a gourmet charity gala is mixed with a charity art auction to support your nonprofit, donors will leave satisfied. Seek an artful, gourmet chef to cater the fundraising event and auction off paintings and other art donated from the community. Add wine pairings or highlight local spirits and distillers. The art forms at this fundraiser can be quite varied with sculpture, paintings, photography, and more. Hold a silent auction online prior to the event to increase awareness and funds.

Film Festivals

Film Festivals

Cocktails and movies appeal to almost everyone. Bring new donors to your nonprofit by appealing to their love of classic films held in partnership with the local theatre followed by a cocktail party. The gala event can be as simple as wine and cheese. Or perhaps a local catering company would like a chance to show off their service and donate their cost in part. A series of such gala events with a film series held over a month offers much opportunity for fundraising and networking.

Charity Golf Tournament Ideas

Golf Tournament Contests

Golf Tournament Contests

A fundraising golf tournament provides a number of creative ways to raise extra money throughout the course of the tournament. One easy way to drive additional revenue is to offer various golf tournament contests based on golf skills, such as Closest to the Pin or Longest Drive. Perhaps bring in a celebrity golfer to attract a large audience and offer a Beat the Pro contest. And definitely consider offering a grand prize for a hole-in-one such as a new car or vacation getaway. This is entirely possible (and risk-free) when using Hole-in-One insurance. Charge golfers to enter each contest or create a package, including golf and raffle contests, that they can’t resist signing up for during online tournament registration.

 

Golf Marathons or 100 Holes of Golf Events are nonprofit fundraising ideas that work

Golf Marathons or 100 Holes of Golf Events

Golf marathons are crowdfunding golf tournaments (or golf-a-thons) that rely on the support of dedicated golfers. Golf marathons challenge players to see how many holes of golf they can play in one day or over the weekend – depending on the duration of the golf event. Often, the goal is to golf 100 holes in an event. Generally, you only need about 36 dedicated golfers to have a successful golf marathon event. Golf marathon software tools allow your crowdfunding participants and teams to personalize their own page, upload photos or videos, and set fundraising goals. 

Golf Party and Raffle

Golf Party and Raffle

Charity golf tournaments generally include lunch or dinner for the golfers and others who wish to attend. Instead of the usual plated chicken dinner or box lunch, why not create an atmosphere of fun and celebration? Hire a DJ or a band to entertain your event participants. Create a menu with flair and fun like a taco stand or food stations from around the world. Host a fundraising raffle and sell raffle tickets on your golf tournament website and at the golf event. Create an event that non-golfers will love to attend and bring their friends.

Virtual Golf Tournaments

Virtual Golf Tournaments

Virtual Golf is not a video game, rather it involves real golfing at real courses. Host a virtual golf tournament and ask your supporters to compete against friends across the country and golfers around the world. Golfers pay to participate or raise money for your organization with a golf-a-thon format, and top golfers and fundraisers win prizes. Your organization selects a time frame and recruits golfers but doesn’t have the burden of putting on a full tournament. Fundraising with a virtual golf tournament casts a broader reach and allows for social distancing in this golf tournament style, while your golf-a-thon website does most of the work. 

Miniature Golf Events

Miniature Golf Events

The great thing about mini golf is that anyone can play… and it only takes a couple of hours, rather than an entire day on the golf course. Hosting a charity mini-golf tournament is a great fundraising activity for youth sports, school groups, and team organizations. Just like a regular charity golf tournament, a mini-golf event is fun, encourages team-building, and can bring in a lot of funds.

Online Fundraising Ideas

Donation Drives are easy nonprofit fundraising ideas

Donation Drives

Although this seems like a simple solution, it’s often a good one, especially for nonprofits with little internal resources (including staff and budget). For this type of fundraiser, you simply set up an online donation website where donors can easily go to learn more about your cause and make a safe and secure online donation. To promote this type of fundraiser, simply send email blasts with a direct link to your site and be sure to post a fundraising widget on your organization’s home page. you’ll also want to share on social channels, partner sites, blogs and encourage participants to make posts in their social networks as well to create a viral approach. You may want to consider offering a prize for the best video appeal where people can share a video on YouTube – a great way to spread awareness and drive traffic to your website!

Charity Auctions are a popular nonprofit fundraising ideas

Charity Auctions

Not only do online auctions have tremendous fundraising potential, but they also require minimal resources and are relatively easy to plan. Using charity auction software, your organization can easily create a charity auction website where you can list all auction items (with photos, descriptions, fair market value, and more). Bidders can easily register, place mobile bids, and track items and outbid notices via SMS text messages. 

 

Online Raffle Fundraising

Online Raffle Fundraising

Raffle fundraising can be a very successful way for nonprofits to raise fundraising dollars. The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure your raffle prizes are awesome and relevant to your target audience of supporters. Next, host an online fundraising raffle. Post information about the charitable cause of the fundraiser, as well as an overview of all the prizes. Selling tickets via your raffle fundraising website makes promotional efforts easier as you don’t have to sell the tickets in person and supporters can share the raffle via social media networks. Many people prefer to purchase raffle tickets online over making a straight donation as they always have a chance to win great prizes.

Giving Tuesday Online Fundraising Drives

Giving Tuesday Online Fundraising Drives

GivingTuesday is a global day of generosity and giving, aimed at transforming the holiday season from receiving to giving. The goal is to try to get people to donate some of what they typically spend during the busiest holiday shopping days following Thanksgiving, Black Friday & Cyber Monday. Donors are looking for causes to donate to on GivingTuesday and an online Social Media campaign is all you need to kick off your year-end giving campaign and start raising money for your cause.

Board Member Just Ask Campaigns are great nonprofit fundraising ideas

Board Member Just Ask Campaigns

Your Board Members can be powerful fundraisers for your organization – but, they’re too busy, right? Make it easy on them and implement an online fundraising campaign for your Board Members. Using peer-to-peer software, your Board creates a page where they tell their social network why they support your organization and how you make a difference. Then, they ask for donations to support your cause. By sharing their connection and work, others are motivated to help out and donate. Make it a contest with a 30-day deadline and reward the top fundraisers.

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Why Special Event Fundraising Works for Nonprofits

A fundraising event can be an excellent way for your nonprofit to raise money while bringing members of your organization, supporters, and media together for a worthy cause. Keep in mind that planning a fundraising event does take a lot of time and resources. You will need dedicated staff and volunteers to plan the logistics (vendors, permits, sponsors, media, etc.). You also need to start your fundraising event budgeting and planning months in advance. But, often the financial rewards and increased awareness in the local community make a nonprofit fundraising event well worth the effort involved.

Read more on the importance of hosting fundraising events.

To make registrations and donations easy and secure, use event management software. Our software helps you manage all the details of your fundraising events, allowing people to register online or make donations directly. Be sure to promote your event website throughout the community. Send press releases, create event flyers, and start the conversation online throughout your social media networking channels.

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