12 of the Best Charity Fundraising Ideas
Are you looking for a charity fundraising idea to be the talk of the town? No matter what funds your community needs to raise, be sure to test out our best ideas. They’re easy to run, accessible and fun for people of all ages to enjoy.
1. Treasure hunt
Remember the excitement around treasure hunts as a child? Finding clues, deciphering them and then charging ahead to the next location. Well, the excitement doesn’t have to end just because everybody grew up. If you’re raising funds for adults, they still love problem-solving! The crossword section is one of the most popular in newspapers! You can create adult-themed clues, perhaps leading them on a path to creating a unique cocktail.
Alternatively, if you’re running a treasure hunt where families can get involved, send them on trails through local parks. It can be a great way to get the entire family involved and perhaps the winner could win a family meal out or even a day at a theme park.
2. Carnival night
Running a carnival might seem like an expensive decision. But they can also be great money makers. There are a few ways carnivals work, so let us talk about what we think is best for fundraising. Carnivals need one or two main attraction rides. These will be the things that make the biggest dent in your budget, but stands are great money makers.
Some of your attention will of course need to be directed to the big rides – they’re what attract the magic. But you can make money from entrance fees, food and drink stalls, and even create a few games to play. It’s not too much money to make a coconut shy or a face painting stand. Get creative, buy at wholesale to keep your profit margins high, and then drum up some publicity. Soon you’ll feel confident that hosting a carnival isn’t quite the financial nightmare you had imagined.
3. Open-air cinema night
If there was any way to bring the community together and raise money for a common cause it’s with an open-air cinema night. This works great for raising money for a cause such as a sports team or a school. Why? Because you’re going to need a big wall, schools and sports teams usually have ample facilities that they use regularly, so sourcing it should be easy.
You can raise awareness of the event by getting people to vote on what film should be shown on social media groups. But we feel like cinema nights should come with a twist, so make sure you offer VIP packages. It could be ticket entry with snacks and drinks, it might be offering a shelter to sit underneath with fairy lights and pillows to sit on.
4. Charity run
If you’re raising funds for a sports team we know this one will be a home run. Literally! It’s excellent at getting the whole family involved. Typically, competitive children have competitive parents so there’s the potential to entice a lot of people with this idea. You might make it a simple 5km to raise funds or you could go the extra mile.
Charity fun runs can involve a few obstacles. Get people running over hurdles and crawling under cargo nets. You might make it a costume run and the best dressed takes home first prize. Perhaps you want to involve the family and it’s going to be a team or relay race. Could you create the annual pentathlon with wacky races going through your community? Plan this one out to be fun for all because quite swiftly it will become a popular event for you to host every year.
5. Quiz night
Quiz nights are always a big hit. Alongside showing off your physical abilities, mental abilities are just as impressive so you can expect a lot of people to flock to this fundraiser. Fun for all ages too. The elderly can get involved in answering questions and even the smallest of children, all you need to do is make your quiz suit the audience.
The one thing you don’t want to get into is a boring type of quiz. Where a question is read and then an answer needs to be written down. Think of multiple choice questions, picture rounds, riddles, and acronym answers. There are so many types of quiz questions and of course, you can make them themed too. Are they about the history of a specific sports team? Are they about Disney princesses? Are they about the local area? Get thinking and create the ultimate quiz night!
6. An awards gala
Is it the end of the school year? End of the sporting season? Or the end of a big tournament? It’s the perfect time for an awards gala! Celebrating all the achievements that have happened – and remembering achievements aren’t just about winning. Reward the most dedicated, the person with the highest spirit, the person who supported their friends in hard times. But more than that, make this awards gala an excellent fundraising event.
Beyond the awards, you can serve dinner for everyone. It might be a fancy sit-down meal or it could be a buffet. This way you can charge an entrance fee. There might also be the space to host an auction of the season’s memorabilia for teams. The ball that won the winning touchdown in the big rival game. Auction it to raise funds for the new season. Think about framing big moments and auctioning the signed picture from the whole team. Go the extra mile to make the evening special and people will flock to it. Take a look at our virtual gala event solution.
When you think of fundraising, one of the first ideas that will pop into your mind is a raffle. Big or small, as a side attraction or the main focus, they’re great at getting the cash in and keeping overheads to a minimum. So get collecting some prizes to win and before you start thinking about ticket sales. You can ask local businesses for donations to the raffle or see if you can purchase some at a discount before paying for prizes at full price.
The good thing about a raffle is that once you have your prizes, you can create restrictions as to when the draw happens. This gives you as much time as possible to maximise your ticket sales. It might be a draw that happens the following month or you might draw the prizes after a certain total is raised. Never shy away from selling multiple tickets to one person, remember this is about profit not creating a ‘fair’ chance to win! Take a look at our charity auction prize solution.
8. Sponsored car wash
Want to try and help the community while you fundraise? Car washes are the way to go! Water is one of the cheapest utilities around. Meaning it will cost you pennies to fill up buckets and wash cars. All you need to pay out for is the soap and sponges. Oh, and then the small matter of getting some volunteers to wash cars.
Now, we know what you’re thinking. Who will you get to wash the cars? Our suggestion is for whoever will benefit from the money you’re fundraising. It might be the football team or the seniors for their prom. Remember the more volunteers the more cars you can wash and the more money you can make.
9. Making a calendar
If time is of the essence, perhaps you need to think about making a calendar. One day with a photographer is all it takes to create 12 images for you to make into a calendar. There are so many opportunities here. You could create a calendar for the local area, the sports team, the school or even of puppies from the local dog shelter.
The good thing about calendars is that you no longer need to buy hundreds of them and then hope to sell them. You can give people a link and a code online for them to order one for their house. Leaving you with no leftovers and maximising your profit.
10. Skills donations evening
Everyone needs something to be completed in their home. Whether it’s a deep clean of the oven, a new lick of paint on the front yard fence, or their gutters cleaned. Skill donation evenings are the perfect opportunity for everyone involved. Whether you’re the person who is bidding on someone with the set of skills or the organisation trying to raise money. Even those who carry out the work get the pleasure of saying they helped someone for a good cause.
11. Silent auction
If you’ve never heard of a silent auction before, be sure to check out our ultimate guide on how to run one. We go over everything you need to know. From sourcing items to auction, all the way to the best method for delivering large items to people’s homes. Silent auctions are a great way to host an alternative evening while still raising money. Plus, if you get the right crowds in, you can make huge bucks.
12. A 24-hour challenge
24 hours sponsored silence? 24 hours to climb Mount Everest (in a team) on a step machine? 24 hours relay running event? Giving yourself 24 hours provides you with a massive window of opportunity to raise funds, and as it’s the only restriction, you can get as creative as you like. Take your 24 hours and run with it… you never know where you’ll end up with it.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of the best charity fundraising ideas. If you need any help running your best charity fundraiser, please consider looking at our tools including silent auctions, donations, prize draws and live auctions.
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.