Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits: 205+ Actionable Ideas for Your Organization
If your nonprofit is looking for fundraising ideas, you should consider the wide range of options available. To help you consider all of the ways to fundraise, Nonprofit Megaphone has compiled a list of 205 fundraising ideas your nonprofit can use to raise money and promote your cause.
Set up a faux tree along a wall, and any time someone donates, have the donor fill out their name on a leaf to add to the tree. The tree could be made of paper on the wall, or could be an actual tree replica. Get creative!
There are nonprofits that specialize in accepting and selling donated vehicles on behalf of charities. They do all of the work, and you get the majority of the donation. Read more about that process with one such organization here.
This fundraiser works well in elementary school settings. Your school could use a fundraising program like Read-a-Thon, where participants commit to certain 30 minute reading sessions. Alternatively, you could choose a day to have students or even adults read. Their sponsors could donate a specific amount based on how many pages they read.
Find local poets who would be willing to read their work out loud, or bring together readers who would be willing to read the work of famous poets out loud. Make sure to offer coffee or tea, which you can even sell to raise more money.
Many baseball, basketball, hockey, and football teams will donate tickets or memorabilia for auctions and raffles. Check your local teams’ websites to see whether they offer a way to apply. In Chicago, for example, the Bears, Cubs, White Sox, and Bulls offer in-kind donations.
If you work with a nonprofit supporting the environment, consider applying for an in-kind donation from Camping World. The organization also provides donations for groups working against world hunger and those looking to help children and veterans.
Organic Valley Foods offers assistance to nonprofits in a variety of ways. From in-kind donations to helping find speakers, the company can help make many different fundraising ideas become a reality for nonprofits supporting local causes, sustaining the environment, or working against hunger.
Hosting an event is hard work. To make it easier, you can host a Chick-fil-A Spirit Night, where a portion of the profits made at your local Chick-fil-A that night are donated to your organization. This is a great partnership opportunity for religious organizations, as many other companies have restrictions against supporting religiously affiliated groups.
Panera Bread also hosts fundraising nights for a variety of nonprofits, including religious groups and sports teams. Once you schedule an event, a designated percentage of sales from your local Panera will be donated to your organization.
With Restaurant.com, your nonprofit can purchase and sell dining gift certificates to raise funds. If you’re looking for fundraising ideas for a smaller project, this partnership works well because the minimum order is only 10 gift cards.
Food trucks are one of the most current trends. If your nonprofit has a local space to host a food truck night, this could be a great way to bring supporters together. Organizations like Food Truck Connection in Los Angeles already have fundraising policies set up, making it easy to partner with them.
Many companies have programs that will match their employees’ donations to select eligible nonprofits. Gap Inc. and General Electric are two examples. Encourage your supporters to partner with their employers to raise double the funds.
Contact local businesses to see if they would be willing to run a “Buy a Vacation Day” fundraiser. Employees can choose to “buy” an extra vacation day, but their salary from that day is donated to your organization.
Partner with a local school or office to have Penny Wars, where each team—which can be classrooms or departments—compete to have the most pennies in their jar at the end of a given amount of time. Teams can sabotage other teams by adding in dollar bills, which cancel out 100 pennies in their opponents’ jar. Either way, the money in the jar goes toward your organization in the end.
These parties have become increasingly popular, and your organization can host one! Have dinner and come up with a murder mystery party theme. You can either invent the story on your own or purchase a kit.
It’s hard to say no to ice cream. You can host this event at a local ice cream shop, or purchase ice cream and host in a different venue. Offer sundae toppings like hot fudge and whipped cream to elevate this ice cream experience.
Sell tickets to raise money with this event, and be sure to include safe transportation to each bar. Talk to each bar on the planned route ahead of time to let them know your organization is coming, and consider asking for drink donations or discounts.
Like the Taste of Chicago, have participants purchase tickets, which they can redeem to try food from different tables or booths. If local restaurants are willing to participate, you can use their food as the center of the event, or you can have individual volunteers cook their best meal or dessert.
You can make this event as big or small as you want. You can host a carnival for small children, with various booths like face-painting and ring toss run by volunteers. You can also rent carnival rides and host a major event for the entire community.
This fundraiser is common with youth groups and schools, where students stay overnight in the school and participate in a variety of fun events. You can host this type of event anywhere, though. Just make sure to have enough activities to keep everyone awake!
This classic kids’ fundraiser could be expanded to raise funds for your cause. Especially on a warm summer day, lemonade can sell well in areas of high foot traffic. If you’re looking to make this a fancier fundraiser, offer a variety of flavors, or make fresh lemonade.
Have supporters pay to throw a pie in a particular person’s face, or pay to vote for which person out of a few options they think should receive a pie in the face. Either way, this is sure to be a fun addition to your event.
Once the principal, boss, or coach agrees to the event, have participants vote throughout the night from a set of ridiculous things, like dyeing hair or running laps. To vote, supporters give money toward each “punishment,” and the one that results in the most monetary contributions at the end of the night is the winning “punishment.”
Photo booths have become very popular at weddings in recent years, but you can also have one at your fundraising event. Set up a space for photos, get a few props, and have a volunteer take photos of groups. Supporters give a donation to receive either a printed copy of their photos, or you can also send a digital file to save money.
Consider using a donation kiosk for your event. These kiosks can be rented or purchased, and allow donors to contribute to your cause using their credit cards, similar to kiosk ordering at some restaurants.