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13 Easy Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits

There are almost two million nonprofits in the U.S, which shows the importance of brainstorming new ways to fundraise. 

Fundraising is essential for extending the NGO’s lifespan and raising enough funds for a cause you’re passionate about. But with so many possibilities, it can be difficult to know which ideas will most appeal to the public and important donors. Maybe that’s why you’re here; you are searching for fundraising ideas and are searching for inspiration.  

Sounds like you? No worries, we’ve got you! Here are 13 easy fundraising ideas to try out.  

1. T-Shirt Fundraisers 

One of the top fundraising ideas for nonprofits is hosting a t-shirt fundraiser. This is where your NGO designs and sells garments to raise money for a cause you’re passionate about. The beauty of t-shirt fundraisers is that it’s a win-win situation for everyone because nonprofits can promote their cause while donors get a well-designed t-shirt.

You can also turn it into a competition by seeing who can create the ultimate design. And if you’re not a fan of t-shirts, try different forms of merchandise like mugs, hats, or stationery.   

2. Arrange a Walk-A-Thon

If you’re unsure how to raise funds for nonprofits, arrange a walk-a-thon. To make this successful, hand out the necessary marketing materials to supporters and encourage them to fundraise on behalf of your NGO. You should also incentivize their participation by giving out great perks or prizes, depending on how much is raised. 

Although many nonprofits arrange this on a track, you can contact your local council and have it at a park. You could also try hosting a dance-a-thon or even a 5K race to generate interest and raise money.  

3. Raffle 

Hosting a raffle is another great example of fundraising for nonprofits.

This is where donors buy a ticket to support your cause with a chance to win a prize. For instance, you could partner with a local business or restaurant, so participants can potentially get a discount at the establishment. Another popular idea is creating a 50-50 raffle where the winner receives a chunk of the funds generated through ticket sales.  

4. Photo Contest

Running a photo contest is another great tip for nonprofit fundraising.

Not only does it generate funds, but it also builds brand awareness and helps you engage donors organically. Before making it public, choose a theme or subject for your contest, so there’s a level playing field. For instance, ask donors to snap a winning photo of your town or their pet.

Also, to keep it simple, encourage everyone to upload these photos onto social media by a specific date and use your nonprofit’s hashtag. Then, once you’ve got an extensive collection of entries, ask your community to vote for their favorite by making a small donation and find out whether a local gallery will display the winner’s photo as a prize.

You could also hold a pet costume party and get donations by selling tickets and rewarding the best costume. Start by finding a pet-friendly space to host the event, such as your local dog park, and have a parade where judges can rate the best costumes.

5. Battle of the Bands 

Reach out to local bands and see whether they would fundraise beforehand to secure a spot on the stage. You should also charge attendees a small fee for tickets, which you can use for donations. To make the stakes higher, invite local personalities to judge the event and raise awareness of the evening. 

And don’t forget to incentivize the event by giving the winning band a prize and the one who generated the most donations.  

6. Bake Sale 

Bake sales are synonymous with fundraising because they’re so effective. Gather your best bakers and get them to whip up delicious cakes, bread, or favorite desserts, so there’s plenty for donors to choose from. You can even turn this into a competition by inviting participants to taste the baked goods and see which one is their favorite.

Or, if you’re not a fan of competitions, charge a flat rate and throw the donations into a pot. You can also do the same with beverages, where you sell lemonade or juice in the summer and warm beverages in the winter. But familiarize yourself with your state’s food serving laws to prevent any issues further down the line.

7. Auction 

There’s no better way to fundraise for your nonprofit than with an auction. You can easily get donations by hosting a silent one where you encourage people to donate items before the big day. Then, auction them off by placing forms in front of each attendee and asking participants to donate with a chance to win.

Further, try an alternative version like the skills auction. This is where people offer up a skill or service to be “sold” to a bidding participant.

The beauty of this option is that there is huge room for creativity, especially if you refer to your cause. For instance, if your NGO is based in the education sector, your team could offer tutoring services.

8. Guessing Game

There are endless variations of this fundraising tactic, but it’s the same principle. This is where you ask participants to guess something and they pay for each go. The most popular version is where you fill a jar with affordable items like candy and ask participants to guess how many are inside. 

Know, that you can make the game harder by filling a large jar with small items like candy or confetti. It’s important to place the jar where there’s a high traffic of people, such as in a shopping mall or a university. 

9. Car Wash

Another fundraising favorite for nonprofits is hosting a car wash as it’s a quick money maker. All you need are a team of volunteers, a location, and some cleaning supplies, which everyone can bring home. And don’t forget access to the water supply!

The key to hosting a successful car wash is promoting it before the big day. You should use flyers, ask your team to spread the word, and post them on your social media accounts. Then, on the day, split everyone into smaller groups and designate a task, whether it’s soaping each vehicle or drying to make the event more streamlined.

10. Crowdfunding Campaign 

One of the most famous fundraising platforms online is GoFundMe where you can start a crowdfunding campaign online. Many nonprofits favor this type of fundraising because you can tailor it to suit your goals by writing a description of your cause and building donor advised funds. You can also easily share it on your social platforms or to your email subscribers to quickly gather donations. 

Nonprofits can also create an online donation form and post it on your website. You can customize a donation form and offer a straightforward process, so it’s easier to receive donations. But make sure you publicize this on multiple platforms to spread the word. 

Further, try dotting donation jars throughout your town or city. Ask local eateries and businesses whether they can place these jars by their checkout registers and you’ll be surprised at how much extra you’ll get. 

11. Treadmill Relay Race 

Collaborate with a gym to jumpstart your fundraising campaign. Encourage your community to sign up for a time slot on the treadmill and collect pledges of a specific amount per mile that the team completes. For instance, ask for $10 for every mile completed.  

12. Host a Garage Sale 

If you’re not a fan of bake sales, gather your junk and host a garage sale. A bonus of this option is that you don’t need to spend weeks planning the event; simply lay out your unwanted items and hope for a sale. You should also ask the community to donate old goods and publicize the event online and by posting flyers around town.   

13. Try the Give It Up Challenge

We all have our expensive pleasures, whether it’s hitting the drive-thru every week or spending a fortune on a daily Starbucks. But you can turn this into a positive by encouraging the team to join the “Give It Up Challenge”.

As the name suggests, this is when you give it up for two months and put the money you’ve saved towards the nonprofit.   

Check Out These Easy Fundraising Ideas

Hopefully, your nonprofit will try out these easy fundraising ideas and see fantastic results. 

There are many exciting ways to raise money for a cause you’re passionate about, such as arranging a walk-a-thon or selling unwanted items at a garage sale. Nonprofits should also try hosting a garage or bake sale to raise awareness of your NGO while receiving donations. Good luck with your venture! 

Found this article helpful? Great! Then, check out the rest of the site for more tips and tricks.