FUNdraising Events!

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This makes for memorable photos — perhaps ones that could go viral, get it? Pumpkin run: Sure, you can organize a charity run — but one where participants have to run the course while carrying a pumpkin?

48 Fundraising Ideas in Under 8 Minutes

Beer run: A beer run or beer mile could be one of two takes: either participants run from brewery to brewery and stop briefly for samples, or runners swig a beer at specific points on the course. Costumes and hilarity combine with fundraising and friendly competition — what more could you ask for? Again, this is a great themed run for photo ops that can help drive more donations even after the event is done. Underwear run: Strip it down even further and have participants run in their undies.

Jingle Bells 5K: For a Jingle Bell run, organizers give sets of jingle bells to everyone who runs, which makes for both a festive sound and a memorable event. Be sure to include a walk option or maybe even a toboggan pull? Movember: The November event has become a worldwide tradition, in which teams of men and women!

The 10 Steps to a Successful Fundraising Event

Encourage participants to set high goals, and even provide awards for the longest moustache, most creative facial hair, and more. Participants can also get sponsors to ensure they go through with the deed — especially if it involves shaving their head bald! Tug-of-war competition: A team competition with added physicality, a massive tug-of-war contest can be a blast for everyone participating.

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This is an especially good team-bonding exercise for colleagues or students, and can be given extra twists like a mud pit in the middle! Be sure to get plenty of photos taken for fun social media content. Golf marathon: For something a little less physical but just as fun, look at holding a golf marathon — after all, the game can be fairly long so you might as well make a fundraising event out of it!

You could even encourage golfers to dress up in themed outfits or bring fun props. Challenge participants to go a set number of hours without food, but provide entertainment and games to keep their minds off their hunger!

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Schools are perfect for this fundraiser, which can include a built-in sleepover-in-the-gym component. Challenge campaigns: If the thought of going without food for a set period of time is too much, suggest other challenge campaigns like giving up sugar or alcohol for a month. Participants can hopefully form good habits while collecting sponsors to help them stick to their goals. Get teams together to row and drum their way to fundraising victory! Participants can gather teams together to face off in a day of road hockey games while competing to see which team can gather the most sponsors.

Stair climbing: Ready to take a hike? Many major cities have tall buildings or landmarks with a ton of stairs, so why not make a fundraising event out of it? People can choose to take part in a massive stair-climb while having supporters sponsor them to see how high they can go. Be sure to get participants to use their social networks to their fullest extent in order to spread the word.


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Encourage people to donate in order to partake in a pancake breakfast with all proceeds going to charity. Individuals can gather pledges to partake and to raise awareness.

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It's especially effective in the colder months of the year! Trivia night: Why stay at home watching trivia game shows when you can support one being put on for charity? Teams can take pledges to participate and charge admission for spectators coming to watch the trivia showdown. On a smaller scale, you could put on a trivia night at a local bar and promote it around a specific theme.

Plane pulls: This one is an epic challenge and a memorable experience. Gather teams together and flex muscles to see how far a plane can be pulled for charity! Tough Mudder: Only the strong survive in this physical obstacle course that challenges people every year. Encourage colleagues and friends to pair up and seek donations to fuel their drive to the finish line. Have photographers on hand to capture all the action for social media collateral! Ragnar: A Ragnar Relay is a relay run that goes on for 24 hours — yes, seriously! You could even pair together a bunch of strangers to relay for a good cause!

Jump rope competition: Forget the traditional dance-a-thon and boost cardio gains with a jump rope competition!

Encourage participants to ask for individual pledges from family and friends to see how long they can jump. Text fundraising is a really convenient way for supporters to contribute. All they need to do is text your pre-determined fundraising phone number and follow the prompts. In most offices, employers offer their employees free coffee throughout the day. A quick way to raise funds is to recruit businesses to place a donation jar by their free coffee.

Then, employees have the option of making a small gift every time they grab a coffee. Not only does this build a steady revenue source for your nonprofit, but it also introduces new people to your cause. As an added incentive to donors, you can commit to treating participating offices to a round of premium coffee once you reach your fundraising goal.

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Alternatively, you can have offices compete against one another to reach your goal the fastest. At the end of the contest, you can award the winning office a gift card to a local coffee house. Did you know that some companies and large organizations offer challenge grants to nonprofits like yours? Challenge grants are essentially donations contingent upon reaching some sort of goal. All you need to do is find the right partner to access it. Often, these partnerships will require promoting the business at your fundraising events or on your social media pages, so be sure to pick a challenge grant sponsor who is aligned with your mission.

One of the most effective ways to secure a gift from a supporter is to personalize your ask! While this may seem pretty intuitive, all too often nonprofits send out generic donation requests that fail to capture the attention of supporters. When you make an ask, whether online or in-person, be sure to center the individual supporter at the heart of your request. Always thank them up front for their continued support and then ask them for the gift.

When you send out email requests for giving, be sure to include their name in the subject line to stand out. This best practice can quickly convert supporters into donors and is a great way to secure immediate, spur-of-the-moment donations. Money and date fundraisers are a really popular fundraising idea, and for good reason! These challenges turn quick fundraising results and are a great way to energize supporters. In a money and date fundraiser, your nonprofit picks day and asks supporters to donate in a sum that matches the numerical value of the fundraising date.

This way, festive donors have the opportunity to make small but impactful donations to your cause. For your next big fundraising campaign, be sure to hold an online donation drive! To boost the success of these drives, try offering incentives and prizes to donors as they reach different benchmarks to your goal. Straw draws are a great way to build awareness for your cause while quickly boosting your fundraising revenue.

Then, participants will randomly select a straw. All of the straws should have a prize attached, but not all of your prizes need to be equal. See if local businesses will donate gift cards or products to the fundraiser. Participants can enter the drawing by purchasing a ticket to your straw draw event. You can pair a straw draw with a larger fundraising event or hold it on its own. Bring this fundraiser to the next level by offering different drawings with different types of prizes. This way, participants will be more excited to enter specialty drawings. One often overlooked fundraising idea is to encourage supporters to open up fundraising pages in memory or in honor of a loved one.

For example, an individual might start a fundraising page in the name of a deceased family member, or they could honor someone in their life battling an illness. Alternatively, participants will launch peer-to-peer fundraising pages and encourage their networks to donate. Your team might pick up trash, clean up a park, build housing, or take on a similar public works project that benefits everyone in your area.

Looking for a way to boost the results of your online fundraising forms and peer-to-peer fundraising pages? Incorporate gamification tools into the mix! Gamification tools comprise elements like fundraising thermometers , badges, and leaderboards that add a healthy element of competition and excitement to your fundraising campaigns. For peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns especially, ranking volunteer fundraisers encourages them to amp up their fundraising efforts to secure their positions as top fundraisers.

Then, the business will encourage its employees to start peer-to-peer fundraising pages on behalf of your organization. When the employees reach a predetermined fundraising goal, their employer will add an extra vacation day or two to their paid time off balance. This makes tickets to these shows a hot commodity, and an even hotter fundraising incentive.

What is a fundraising event?

For your next fundraiser, consider offering front row tickets to a popular show as a prize for your top fundraiser. Then, once you have the tickets ready, start promoting this fundraiser to your peer-to-peer fundraising volunteers. Another way to amp up spontaneous donations from your supporters is to hold daily online auctions on your social media pages.

Participants can place their bids and then the winner will fulfil their pledge after receiving their gift. Your team can auction off small prizes or donated gifts to keep costs down. Since there will be a new prize every day, your supporters will stay posted for auction updates to find out if they want to participate that day.


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For newcomers to your organization, participating in an online auction can be a great introduction to your cause and help grow your community of supporters. Everybody loves ice cream, especially your donors! This makes an ice cream social the perfect fit for your next fundraising event. Ice cream socials work well because they take little planning but yield dramatic fundraising results. All your team needs to do is purchase a variety of flavors and toppings to get started. Invite your supporters to the ice cream social event and charge a small ticket price for admittance.

Even better, have supporters invite friends and family to join them. For an added fundraising boost, call on a local ice cream shop to sponsor the event and provide free ice cream supplies.

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