Fundraising Event Ideas

Fundraising Event Ideas

Are you trying to come up with a new fundraising event but struggling with anything exciting? We’ve put together a comprehensive list of the best fundraising events out there, take a look and see which works best for you.

We’ve created this list based on a number of factors including affordability, profitability, accessibility and of course the fun factor! Check them out and click on the links to jump down the page and learn some more about what it entails.

  1. Gala
  2. Walkathon
  3. Carnival
  4. Talent show
  5. Trivia night
  6. Movie night
  7. Fun run
  8. Charity concert
  9. Car wash


We truly believe that of all the fundraising ideas, the gala is the most accessible. It’s a formal sit-down dinner with activities and some entertainment. These can be additional fundraising activities such as a raffle or entertainment such as a charity choir. Galas are always held in the name of some sort of fundraising or charity with the aim of reaching a target by the end of the night. Ticket sales allow guests to access the event and typically there is a dress code. If your guests enjoy the glitz and the glam or if they’re typically on a sports field, we know a black tie event is the perfect evening for them.


This fundraising idea is the pinnacle of affordability. You need literally no money at all to carry out this event. All you need is a bunch of volunteers willing to do the work. Set a date, set a route and possibly even a maximum distance or time spent walking and get going. It might be on a treadmill if you live in a built-up city, it might be a relay so that you can continue the walkathon over a long duration. You can dress up in costumes or you can all wear the same clothing to show unity. Get out there and start walking for a good cause!


Do you want to have a fun weekend of fundraising? Then hosting a carnival is the epitome of fun! Of course, it requires a lot of organization and a lot of initial funds in order to rent the rides, but we’ve found that especially in smaller towns – they’re like gold dust and people flock to them. Charge for entry and be sure to set up a few dedicated fundraising stalls. You don’t need only the big rides for a carnival to be a success. Have raffle stands, a silent auction, games, and a kissing booth. All of these can raise a profit with a minimum initial spend.

Talent show

Everybody loves a talent show and these work great in schools. It might be a way to raise some new funds for the chess club, decathlon team or even the drama club. Talent shows are far easier to put on than school plays. They allow individuals to express themselves, they also bring in lots of funds as family members and friends flock to support their star.

Trivia night

If you’re from a sports background, we know that a trivia night is the perfect affordable fundraising event. All a trivia night requires is a big enough room to host all your guests or an online platform where you can host the trivia night live. You don’t even need to write the questions! There are plenty of quizzes online that you can download for free. Some are themed, and some are general knowledge. You will always be able to find a quiz online to download. Hosting a quiz online does allow for huge accessibility and potential profits as your audience can be maximized. However, there is an element of wondering if people cheat. Make your questions smart – something that cannot be Googled.

Movie night

Everybody loves a night at the movies but they are expensive. So hosting a movie night of your own, at affordable and charitable prices will no doubt get a lot of ticket sales. You could host the movie night in a large auditorium or, perhaps in the summer months, outside and use a large building wall to project the film onto. You can grab snacks and drinks at wholesale prices and make a profit from those sales. You might even be tempted to host a bake sale alongside the movie night as a form of extra income.

Fun run

Just like a walkathon this is a great fundraising idea for those who are active. We recommend a 5km run. This distance is achievable for those who just want to walk it, those who are mildly into running and those who race competitively. It’s the perfect distance and you can comfortably charge $15-20 per ticket. Set out the 3.12 miles in a route around your local town. Try to avoid busy roads and stick to fields and countryside paths where possible – this way you won’t need to ask the local police department for road closure assistance. Make sure you have a few marshalls to guide runners and First Aid trained people on site and enjoy the day!

Charity concert

Every town has a local star. Whether they’re famous internationally or just in your country. There is always someone that local folk love to see perform. A charity concert is as simple as asking these people to perform. Sure, some might say no, but as soon as one of them says yes – the rest will flock. It’s about providing exposure to them. Costs will need to be covered, and these artists can’t afford to perform at a loss – but knowing that profits are going to a worthy cause will help bring out their own charitable nature. You charge a semi-premium for the concert, not too much, but if you would typically charge $10, charge $12.

Car wash

A classic and a favorite for many people. The affordability is amazing, the accessibility is universal, the profitability is always high and the fun factor is through the roof! You can’t get more successful than a car wash and that’s why decades later they are still a hit. All you need to do is get permission from the landowner to host the event, a few sponges, cloths and buckets of soapy water and you’re ready! Recruit your most dedicated volunteers and spread the word.

Adding an auction into your fundraising event can also help raise even more money. The best two options are:

  • Live auctions

Perhaps one of the most profitable fundraising events is live auctions. Some may view these as traditional and a little dull. However, live auctions can be extremely exciting – all you need is a good host and some great items up for sale. What’s great is that live auctions are extremely flexible in that you can host them in person and online at the same time. People can bid via the internet, social media, telephone, texting and of course in person. They’re so accessible, which is what makes them so profitable.

  • Silent auctions

A silent auction is a little different to a live auction. You don’t know what other guests are bidding. Bids are submitted in secret, people only bid what they think the item is worth. For some guests it means they’ll bid even higher to get what they want, making sure that nobody would submit such a high bid. Other people place a low bid, hoping to get a deal. Guess who usually wins. That’s why silent auctions are perfect for raising lots of money. Plus the whole event is a little more exciting when winners are randomly announced at the end of the event.

Ella Jacques

Ella Jacques

Global Client Services Manager at Givergy

Ella heads up the global Fundraising & Events team. A key part of Givergy’s growth for four years, Ella has a passion for event planning and ensuring her and her teams’ clients exceed their fundraising targets. Furthermore, Ella’s exposure to some of the highest-profile fundraising events gives her a unique insight into the newest and most innovative way in which charities are engaging with their audiences.