Fundraising is unavoidable for most organizations, but it can also be a fun and creative activity that will energize volunteers and excite donor-targets. Sometimes all it takes is a twist on an old tradition; other times you might want to try something new!
Traditional Fundraising Activities (with a Twist!)
Annual bazaars featuring the handiwork of members are a fun tradition in many organizations, particularly churches and schools.
To make traditional activities stand out in your community, consider using a special theme to unite the items being sold. Holidays can provide a theme, but you could also call on regional icons as a unifying theme.
Twist: Try a “rocking chair” bazaar, in which the members pay not to make anything!
These can be fun! Consider unusual sorts of food items to sell at your bake sale. Try colorful cupcakes on a stick or gigantic decorated cookies. To optimize your sales, consider adding sugar-free or gluten-free options.
Twist: Instead of baked goods, feature healthy fruits and vegetables in colorful and attractive arrangements.
Sponsored walks or races have become a tradition for many organizations. Consider other fun activities that lend themselves to sponsorship: dancing, spelling, car washes, cleaning up litter– the possibilities are endless!
Twist: How about a virtual marathon, in which participants make an online trek by following a series of random links to certain destinations?
Auction off the services of a person for a day or a week. This is an excellent fundraiser for young people who can offer services such as babysitting, lawn care, dog walking or assistance with household chores.
Twist: For an adult version, get local professionals to donate one service: a mechanic could offer a free oil change; a hairstylist, a free hair cut; or a professional chef could offer to be a private chef for an evening.
Less Traditional Fundraising Activities
Plastic flamingoes, toilets, artificial flowers, even goats– organizations have raised funds by placing items in peoples’ yards, and then asking for a donation to remove them.
Variations include getting a donation to put the offending items in another persons’ yard, or paying a donation to avoid getting them in the first place. Volunteers have a lot of fun sneaking out to plant the items without getting caught!
Cooks could pay entry fees for the chance to show off their skills. Create intense rivalries over the best barbecue or chowder; or if your region is famous for a certain type of produce, sponsor a competition for the best dish made with it.
Funds can be generated by entry fees from the competitors and a flat fee to people who attend, which entitles them to sample the food.
Online Service Auction
Online communities have raised thousands of dollars for disaster victims or other good causes by auctioning off their members’ creativity. People bid to have someone write a special story or create a work of art to their specifications. All money is given as a direct donation to the designated organization.
These are just samples of the many creative and fun ways to raise money for your organization. Fundraising can be fun!