Are you struggling to come up with new nonprofit fundraising ideas? Do you have a high target to hit, and just aren’t sure how to get there? Whether you’re trying to raise funds for a nonprofit, club, or association, there’s a lot of pressure riding on you to find the best idea and to raise enough money to keep your organization going.
To help you out, I’ve created this comprehensive eBook packed with 99 nonprofit fundraising ideas. These ideas suit any organization, no matter your type, time frame or budget.
These are all nonprofit fundraising ideas I’ve heard of through working with thousands of other organizations over the years and in my work at Wild Apricot, proven to generate a positive return for your organization if they’re properly coordinated.
In this eBook, you can expect to see:
The cost for each idea, with the lowest-cost fundraisers indicated by $ going all the way to $$$$ for the highest-cost fundraisers.
The complexity for each idea, which is rated on a scale of 1 to 4. 1 indicates an easy fundraiser that’s quick to plan, and 4 indicates an event that takes a lot of coordination with different stakeholders to get up and running.
The expected return for each idea, also indicated from $ to $$$$.
Advice and practical tips from a variety of fundraising experts throughout the eBook to inspire you along your fundraising journey.
Finally, I’ve sorted the ideas by type, so you can easily find the kind you’re looking for. Dig in, and enjoy!
A Sneak Peak Into This Ebook: 99 Proven Nonprofit Fundraising Ideas
Before committing, take an inside look into the eight chapters in this ebook
Chapter 1: 25 Contest Fundraising Ideas
Who doesn’t love a good contest? A little friendly competition is sure to get your supporters’ hearts racing and get them riled up to support your cause.
1. HOCKEY PUCK SHOT • Overhead Cost: $ • Complexity to Plan: 2 • Expected Return: $
You could run this as a competition to hit a target from a set distance, or to score a set number of goals within a limited time. It can also be run with any other kind of sport, such as most baskets in basketball or the highest score in darts.
CHALLENGES TO CONSIDER: As long as you have a venue, you’re good to go!
THE BEST TIME TO DO THIS: Anytime works, but consider doing it around the time of playoffs for your chosen sport so that people are extra riled up!…
Chapter 2: 5 Ongoing Fundraising Ideas
Some fundraising ideas can be run as campaigns all year round, or can be integrated into larger campaigns. Check them out below!
1. CAN BY THE REGISTER • Overhead Cost: $ • Complexity to Plan: 1 • Expected Return: $$
The can is another classic. All you’ll need is an engaging image that conveys a succinct message to catch customers’ eyes at the checkout counter. People are actually more generous with their loose change than you’d think.
CHALLENGES TO CONSIDER: You’ll need to find a way to make your message stand out from the crowd. THE BEST TIME TO DO THIS: Anytime. SPONSORING OR PARTNERING ORGANIZATION: Local grocery stores and small businesses are great places to ask about placing a can.
Chapter 3: 11 Fundraising Ideas for Kids
Although many of the ideas on this list can be adapted for kids, or are well-suited for organizations that focus on serving youth, here are a few that are specifically designed to appeal to a younger audience.
1. CARNATION SALE • Overhead Cost: $ • Complexity to Plan: 1 • Expected Return: $
Pre-sell single carnations for kids to bring home to parents or give to best friends and teachers on a special day. A
CHALLENGES TO CONSIDER: Be sure to decide early whether you’ll be purchasing carnations from a nursery or growing them yourself.
THE BEST TIME TO DO THIS: Carnations typically bloom in late spring…
Chapter 4: 6 Online Fundraising Ideas
If you’re hoping to get more donations online, or want to set up a recurring campaign, here are a few fundraising ideas you can use.
1. TEXT-TO-GIVE • Overhead Cost: $-$$$ • Complexity to Plan: 2 • Expected Return: $-$$$
Websites like Txt2Give and Snowball arrange the text service for you, so you just need to decide on a memorable word or phrase for people to donate, and then encourage them to start texting in. Each text they send will trigger a donation, so it’s an easy way to give that doesn’t involve filling out forms.
CHALLENGES TO CONSIDER: Remember to factor in the cost of your text to give service. Some charge a monthly fee, others charge a small amount per donation, and with some you can pay a one-off fee for an event.
THE BEST TIME TO DO THIS: Anytime…
Chapter 5: 11 Quick Fundraising Ideas
Don’t have much time to raise donations? Try these quick fundraising ideas out for a little boost!
1. PHONE-A-THON • Overhead Cost: $ • Complexity to Plan: 2 • Expected Return: $-$$$$
This is less fun than many of the events listed here, but can still be effective. Grab your phone book, hand out a script, and get your volunteers calling!
CHALLENGES TO CONSIDER: Some people don’t like being called on the phone, so ensure the script you have prepared respects that.
THE BEST TIME TO DO THIS: Anytime…
Chapter 6: 9 Raffle Fundraising Ideas
Running a raffle is a great way to add value to a larger event or to get donors excited. Check out our ideas below for a few variations on the theme.
1. LIMITED TICKET VEHICLE RAFFLE • Overhead Cost: $$ • Complexity to Plan: 2 • Expected Return: $$
Secure a large prize at cost, and then sell a limited number of expensive raffle tickets so each buyer has fixed odds of winning!
CHALLENGES TO CONSIDER: To sell expensive $100+ raffle tickets, you need the right type of donor. This means going to many events and selling tickets over a full season or year to make sure the raffle is sold out and cover costs. It might also not work with every audience.
THE BEST TIME TO DO THIS: Anytime…
Chapter 7: 17 Fundraising Sale Ideas
Capitalize on your audiences’ shopping habits with the following fundraising ideas.
1. CHARITY CALENDARS • Overhead Cost: $ • Complexity to Plan: 2 • Expected Return: $$
There’s just something great about a paper calendar that has pictures from your favorite charity. Whether it’s cute puppies in need of a home or firefighters who need new uniforms, if you make sure the production value is high, people will want to have a copy
CHALLENGES TO CONSIDER: Custom calendars are huge around the holidays, so get your order in early to ensure they arrive in time for holiday sales.
THE BEST TIME TO DO THIS: Shoot for the holidays so that your calendars are out before January 1st!
SPONSORING OR PARTNERING ORGANIZATION: Try to link up with a local photographer to take the calendar pictures and keep costs low…
Chapter 8: 15 Unique Fundraising Ideas
Looking for some fundraising inspiration that’s a little out of the ordinary? The following ideas might help.
1. SINGING TELEGRAMS • Overhead Cost: $$ • Complexity to Plan: 2 • Expected Return: $
This one is an old favorite. What better way is there to say “I love you”, “Happy birthday” or the occasional “I’m sorry” than with an unexpected singing message? Recruit the Frank Sinatras and Whitney Houston’s among your community to fulfill song requests around town
CHALLENGES TO CONSIDER: Make sure your customers give a very specific “delivery” time. Unlike flowers or chocolates, the sweet gift of song can’t simply be left on the doorstep.
THE BEST TIME TO DO THIS: Singing telegrams are a delight all year long, but may be a particularly big hit around Valentine Day.