Published on November 5, 2007
Fundraising Ideas: Fundraising Ideas 50/50 Raffle: 50/50 Raffle Perhaps the simplest of all fundraisers is the 50/50 raffle. Many organizations that rely on fundraising efforts offer a 50/50 raffle at every meeting. Some companies have “fun teams” that are entirely funded by a 50/50 raffle and are able to offer excellent events. This is a wonderful way to provide events to members or employees that are self funded, but don’t have a compulsory payment to participate. The 50/50 raffle itself is incredibly simple. You get a roll of raffle tickets from a local party supply shop. These are the style of tickets that have two sections that both share a unique serial number. You sell as many tickets to each person as they want, for a fixed fee. Typical fees are $1, $5, or $10 depending on nature of the organization. You give the participant one half of the ticket and place the other half in a bucket or box. At the end of the event you draw a ticket from the bucket and announce the winner. The prize is the half of the amount collected from ticket sales. Typically participants have to be present at the time of the drawing to win. If nobody claims the prize when the number is drawn, simply draw another number until somebody wins. All Saints Day Cleanup: All Saints Day Cleanup Little ghosts and goblins can wreak havoc on yards and pumpkins during Halloween. Have an all saints day cleanup for your next fundraiser. Create a flyer about your group and what you are raising money for. Advertise locally with signs and in your local newspaper that you will be going around the day after Halloween cleaning up yards for a donation. Head out the day after Halloween with rakes, gloves, and garbage bags. Patrol the local neighborhoods, looking for yards with a mess. Knock on doors and politely ask the homeowner if they would like you to clean up their yard. Hand them your flyer and explain what your group is doing. Find yards that need their leaves raked as well. Decide with the homeowner everything that you are going to clean up for them and get to work. Ask the homeowner if they would like you to take the trash with you or dispose of it in their trash cans. Let the homeowner inspect your work before you leave and give them a thank you note. Bachelor/Bachelorette Auction: Bachelor/Bachelorette Auction Calling all eligible bachelors and bachelorettes. Help raise funds for your group and meet some new people while doing so. Host a Bachelor/Bachelorette Auction. This fundraiser is appropriate for adult groups. Everyone knows someone looking for love, so volunteer yourself and your friends to be auctioned off to the highest bidder for a night on the town. Find some local celebrities willing to participate to generate interest in the auction. Contact local restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and activity places (i.e. miniature golf, bowling alleys, etc.) to see if they will donate gift certificates for the dates. Package the bachelor/bachelorette with the gift certificates based on their interests. This will let potential bidders know something about the people up for auction and help the date go more smoothly if it is planned. Find a location to host the auction and an auctioneer to run the show. Hand out lists of the available bachelors/bachelorettes with a bio and date planned before the auction starts. It should be the responsibility of the bachelor/bachelorette and winner to decide on what date and time works for them. Your group may be responsible for making a love connection! Bagger for a Day: Bagger for a Day Sometimes it seems that your local grocery store can be too busy and that you always end up bagging your own groceries. Provide a nice service to your community and raise funds at the same time. Find a busy grocery store that is willing to help your group and pick a busy day of the week. Print off flyers that explain your group and what you are doing in the store that day. Hand out the flyers to people entering the store. Give your “baggers” a quick lesson on how to properly bag, for example heavy items on the bottom and eggs and bread on the top. Have a tip jar at each register. You may want each bagger to wear a nametag with your group’s name on it as well. Bag each person’s groceries quickly and with a smile. Offer to push their cart and help to unload them into their car. Board Game Tournament: Board Game Tournament Create a fun twist on a card tournament and do something that everyone can participate in. Have a Board Game Tournament. Pick a favorite, such as Sorry, Trouble, or Monopoly. Assemble 4 person teams that will work together to accumulate points or you can allow individuals to participate. Charge an entry fee for each team, in order to earn money for your charity. Give a portion of the proceeds as the winning prize or get prizes donated from local businesses. Decide if you are going to play with a time limit for each game so that everyone has the same chance and to keep things running on a schedule. Decide on any “House” rules beforehand. Set up bleachers for the audience and consider having a 50/50 raffle or raffle for door prizes. Definitely have a concession stand with coffee, soda pop, popcorn, chips, hot dogs, and bottled water to earn extra money. Butler Auction: Butler Auction This fundraiser will probably prove to be very popular with the underclassmen at your high school. Let the seniors’ auction themselves off to be a butler for a day. Butler responsibilities would be greet their “employer” as they arrive for school, carry their books, fetch their lunch, etc. Get volunteers willing to auction themselves off for the day to the highest bidder. Set rules in advance of what the butler is and isn’t responsible for, for example no test taking. Identify what time the butler day starts and stops. It would be up to each employer if they are going to institute a dress code or not. Maybe their butler has to wear a silly hat or a Mickey Mouse t-shirt. All students still have to attend class, so duties would be suspended then. Have a special pizza dinner that evening for butlers and employers to thank them for their participation. Car Smash: Car Smash When someone you know is hurting from a disease or illness, it is good to be able to get your aggressions out. You can combine that with a fundraiser to help pay for treatment or research with a Car Smash. Contact a local junk yard, automobile dealer, or auto insurance company to see if they have a car in relatively good condition (just the body and glass) that they would be willing to donate to your group. All fluids should be removed from the car as well as other hazardous materials. Allow people to take a swing at the car with a hammer for $2. Proper safety precautions must be taken such as safety glasses, protective outerwear, and a safe distance maintained by the crowd. Have paramedics on hand in case of emergency and check with your local authorities for permission and other safety tips. Contact your local rescue squad to see if they would be willing to give a Jaws of Life demonstration. This should bring in a larger crowd and more people to pay to smash the car. Campaign for Fun: Campaign for Fun This fundraiser is both a fun time and a learning experience. Many people would like to run for a political office and this is a fun way to try it out. Run a campaign for fun to elect someone to an honorary position, such as Mayor for the day, or Grand Marshal of a local parade. You can run a small election with a few different candidates. Use your creativity and invent a couple of different political parties and a platform for each. Collect money as votes during the course of the campaigning. One penny equals one vote. You will want to place “ballot” boxes in a secure location. Decide if you will keep a running total board or if you will keep the results secret until the end. Host a debate for the candidates to talk about the issues. Run a concession stand to make some extra money. Remember, the most important thing is to have fun. Carnation Day: Carnation Day Everyone loves to receive flowers and it can be very uplifting to know that someone is thinking of you. Have a carnation day on Valentine’s Day or Sweetest Day as your group’s next fundraiser. This is a great fundraiser for a school. Carnations are a relatively inexpensive flower and you should be able to get a great deal buying them in bulk. Contact a local nursery, greenhouse or florist and see if they can help you out. Have pre-sales of the carnations before school and during lunchtime for a week before the day. Make up cards that have a line for student’s full name, homeroom, and spot for a personal message. Set up a table to sell the cards and pens for the students to fill them out. Have collection boxes to place the cards in. You may want to have the boxes labeled with homerooms or alphabetically (A-D, E-G, etc.) to make sorting easier. Have a cash box with small bills and coins so that you can make change. On the morning of Carnation Day, have some people grouping flowers and cards and others delivering them to homerooms. The recipients will love hearing their names read off and receiving the flowers. Consider ordering extra to give each teacher and principal one as well. Coffee House and Poetry Slam: Coffee House and Poetry Slam Lattes, mochas, and cappuccinos… Coffee houses are sweeping the nation and are the place to hang out on Friday or Saturday night. This fundraiser works great for a school or church group and is appropriate for all ages. For a smaller group, see if someone has an espresso machine that you can borrow for the evening. They will probably be very happy to act as your barista for the evening. A barista is a person who makes coffee. You will want to have ground espresso, both regular and decaf, skim milk, whole milk, flavored syrups (vanilla, hazelnut and caramel are popular), sugar, artificial sweetener, chocolate syrup, regular drip coffee, and several varieties of tea. If it is a large group, you may want to find someone that rents all of the equipment and supplies. They may be willing to give your group a discount in exchange for the free advertising at your event. They will probably provide a barista too. Fundraising will come from drink sales. Make sure you have non-coffee drinks such as steamers (steamed milk and flavored syrup) and hot chocolate on the menu as well. You should have juice if you are expecting children. To keep the crowd entertained, have board games to play. A poetry slam is also a good idea. Have a microphone and invite people to share a favorite poem they have written or one written by their favorite poet. This will be a fun time for all. Death by Chocolate: Death by Chocolate Chocolate lovers are everywhere. Give them what they want with a Death by Chocolate Fundraiser. Contact local restaurants and pastry chefs to see if they would be interested in participating. They would receive free advertising in return. Find a banquet hall that is willing to let you host the event for free or a reduced price. Let them set up a cash bar to recoup some of the cost and maybe you can split the proceeds. Sell tickets as a Chocolate Tasting Event. Tickets sold in advance can be reduced price from tickets sold at the door to encourage pre-sales. Have each chef prepare sample sized portions of their favorite chocolate desserts. It would be great if they could attend the event to answer questions (and get praised) about their desserts. Make sure you have variety of milk, dark and white chocolate desserts. Something for everyone! You may also want to have a wine tasting. Find a sommelier willing to help suggest wines that will pair well with chocolate. This fundraiser is sure to be popular and a great moneymaker. Drive-in Movie: Drive-in Movie Drive-in movie theaters were a popular American staple during the 1950s and 1960s. Most of today’s generation has never even heard of one, so recreate the fun for your next fundraiser. You may not be able to have an exact replica, but there are many ways to go about getting the feel of a drive-in movie. One option would be to find a large building with a smooth surface that you can project a movie on. If you wanted to be really elaborate, rent a local radio frequency to broadcast the soundtrack on so people could listen in their car. A simpler way would be to have your “drive-in” movie inside of a gymnasium or cafeteria. Project the movie onto a screen and let everyone set up lawn chairs or blankets to watch. Charge an entry fee and have a concession stand to raise money. Have a countdown until the movie starts so everyone knows how long they have to buy snacks. You may be able to find the corny dancing snack movie that used to play at the drive-in. This will be a fun one for everyone. Funny Photo Contest: Funny Photo Contest This is a chance for all aspiring photographers to show off their funniest pictures. Have a funny photo contest and ask for submissions from your group. Setup pictures like an art show. Have the picture framed or matted and include a small biography of the artist. In order to raise money, make it a juried art show. Place a jar, can, or box in front of each picture in which people can place coins or bills to vote for their favorites. One cent equals one vote. Offer sparking grape juice, fruit and cheese to your patrons as a thank you for coming. Consider setting up in a public space, such as a local shopping mall to increase your traffic and votes. Leave the display set up for at week or a long weekend. As an alternative you could auction off the funny photos and which ever one sells for the highest price is the winner. Fill'er Up: Fill'er Up Full service gas stations used to be the way of life in America. Now it is rare to see them anywhere outside of New Jersey. Bring back the service, even if just for a day, to a local gas station. Find a gas station that is willing to help your group out. Have your group become gas station attendants for the day. For a donation have members of your group pump gas and clean the windows of all the cars that come into the gas station. Most people will be more than happy to let you help them. Gas stations provide the squeegees, cleaning solution and paper towels already, so you will have all the equipment you need. You could ask for a set amount, but most people will be more generous if you just tell them to feel free to give whatever they would like. Make sure you advertise locally to improve your turnout. Wrap It Up!: Wrap It Up! The Holidays are busy and people are willing to pay for certain services to save time. One of the most popular Holiday services is gift wrapping. Set up a booth for your next fundraiser. This fundraiser is appropriate for all groups and could be run just about anywhere there is shopping. You will need several different wrapping paper choices, ribbon, gift tags, tape, scissors, and volunteers willing to wrap. Either charge a set amount per box wrapped or accept a donation. People may be more generous with the donation. Here are some ideas on where to have a gift wrapping booth. Contact a local shopping mall about setting up a booth during the busy Holiday shopping season. The weekends would be a great time to provide this service. Bookstores are a popular shopping destination and books are extremely easy to wrap. Talk to local store managers about having a gift wrapping booth for their shoppers. This is a great add-on to a Craft Show. You may want to have some empty boxes on hand to help wrap unusually shaped gifts. Pennies From Heaven: Pennies From Heaven This fundraiser will create a healthy competition amongst classes, homerooms, or Sunday school classes while letting the students work together for a common coal. A penny fundraiser is simple. Each class will have a jar to collect pennies in. One penny equals one vote towards the class. To make it interesting and raise more money, let any other coin denomination equal a vote against the class. For instance, a nickel would equal five votes against the class. Keep each classes jar in a public location to allow anyone to cast a vote for or against a class. Empty each jar at the end of the day and keep a running total. Let this fundraiser run for at least a week to give everyone a chance to bring in their pennies. A great time to run this fundraiser would be during school spirit week. The final result can be revealed during a pep rally at the end of the week. This is a fun and easy fundraiser. Windshield Washing: Windshield Washing Find a busy and local fast food restaurant with a drive thru lane that is interested in helping your group have a fundraiser. Gather squeegees, towels and cleaning solution. Offer to wash the windshields of cars going through the drive thru for a donation. Pick the busy times of the day to set up, such as lunch or dinner. Have someone at the back of the line explain to the driver who your group is, what you are raising money for, and ask if they would like to donate. Keep the speech short so that you don’t hold things up. Mark the cars that donate with a bar of soap, or a sticky note so that the people at the front of the line know to clean the windshield. Work quickly, but thoroughly and with a smile and thank you. You will want to keep the drive thru line moving smoothly. The restaurant and their customers will be thankful. What's in the Box Auction: What's in the Box Auction Curiosity killed the cat and it will be curiosity that will work in your group’s favor with this fundraiser. Have all the attendees bring a wrapped package, big or small, to the auction. They can place anything they want in the box from tickets to the opera (perhaps weighted down with some rocks) or the lamp Aunt Esther bought them as a wedding gift (a hideous thing really). As each box is brought in, label it with a number and place on tables that have been set up. People should be allowed to examine the boxes, picking them up and shaking them. Absolutely no unwrapping or peaking! You can either run the auction live with an auctioneer, or as a silent auction. In a silent auction, people write down their bids on a piece of paper kept near the box and try to outbid each other that way. Seed the auction with a few really great items that have been donated by local stores to keep bidding high. Let each winner unwrap their box in front of everyone after they win to show off if they got a great prize or a dud. This will be fun for everyone. Lollipop Fundraisers: Lollipop Fundraisers Lollipop fundraisers are extremely successful for schools and other groups with large amounts of children as their salesforce and supporters. At 50 cents per lollipop, they're often an easy sell. eFundraising also offers a large array of options in lollipops for your fundraising sale. Raising money via a lollipop fundraiser is easy. Your group purchases cases of lollipops and gives them to your salesforce to sell the your supporters. No deliveries to make at a later date and no orders to separate www.efundraising.com Scratch Card Fundraisers: Scratch Card Fundraisers This unique fundraising concept mimics a scratch lottery ticket, except that whatever amount is under the square is what you donate to the group instead of win. As a thank you, supporters get valuable coupons to use on everyday products and services. Scratch card fundraising allows groups to make 100 percent profit on each card. There are no products to deliver and no orders to seperate and group. eFundraising's scratch card program also allows you to choose from 30 different card styles and even offers a 10 percent card bonus. www.efundraising.com Crush Your Crush: Crush Your Crush This idea is a pretty novel one. It begins with your group collecting full cans of crush sodas in either orange or grape. Next you pre-sell the cans of soda just as if you were to sell carnations, setting up a delivery time and the person to deliver the cans to. The twist comes in when you tell the person that their crush can pay to have the name of the sender revealed. To prevent the sender’s name from being revealed, the sender can pay to lock in their identity so that it remains a secret. This is a great idea to be implemented near valentine’s day, but don’t let that deter you from doing it at anytime of the year.