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Fundraising Ideas That Will Help Your Charity

Updated on February 12, 2015

Money VS. Fun

I have been in lots of clubs. Everyone wants to have fun but they don't want to participate in helping the event.

It is important to be realistic about any idea. Pass out cards of possible events that could happen that year. Ask each person how long would take to set up event. What is the price of the event? When is the event? This will let you understand what is going on in the volunteers's heads.

So far, I have a list of 48 fundraiser ideas listed.


Event - Set up time - Price - When

An example like: A Haunted House would have have to have started in January because the event needs lots of communication and planning to make everything happen. You will also need some storage space keep keep your club event. To start in the beginning of October will stress out most of your volunteers, making them not want to help out next time or quite. This might cost $2000 dollars. The cost can be less if you have a location that already has hallways set up.

Please, note that your charity is only giving money so that it can one day stop this charity all together. There is no need for research if the cure already known by all. Yes, you will be out of business. This is what you want to hear. You have worked hard on a problem that has a conclusion.

When your job is done forever...the cure is found... that is the best reward.

Image: DChance


It is important to treat volunteers fairly. Each has their own skill levels. Pushing a volunteer too hard will make them leave or not want to go to the next event.

Find out in advance, if the person can cook. Don't make them cook. Give them options for what they can do as a team member.

Make sure that all the projects are told to people in advance. Give them a schedule for them to sign up.Let them know the possible date and times that the event may be held.

Phone each volunteer to make sure they have the items and call them when you have your items.

Try to keep up open communication between all members. Show everyone that they matter.

Treat your club members as friends. You might just make a new friend.

I know this is hard to say ... I was president of a club in college. It didn't turn out well for me finding volunteers. Everyone had something else to do or had family issues. This things can not be helped. Sometimes, you have to keep all your fundraisers simple or make them look simple.

Respect each member for coming to the meeting. Maybe, that is the only time they have to be at the activity. This means that you can have a fundraiser at that time somewhere in the building instead of the meeting. Sell something to the students.

Don't get too upset if you can only do activities on campus. If you like, you can pair with another club. Each pay for half of the fundraiser. Share the profit, somehow. This way, your club does not have to spend hundreds of dollars on pizza each time.

There are techniques that help you keep your volunteers. Gifts, dinner, free drinks, prizes, volunteer points that lead to a prize, tell them thank you, give them all thank you e-mail cards, give a specific date in advance for your event, tell them who you are helping in more detail, Facebook groups, make a forum for your event to ask more personal questions about volunteer, and talk about the past events that made people smile.

image: DChance

Pancake Breakfast - One

I love these type of events. Pancake breakfasts can be one every year or twice a year. All of the pancake stuff is available for rent. So, the supply store will have everything there. I have one in my town. But, if you plan to have many of the you may want to buy the supplies and store them, later. Remember, you will need to clean them.

Research what it costs to go to other pancake breakfasts in your area.

How many tables and chairs will you need? You will be needing a table to grill the items. It should be next to an outlet. Bring surge protector or two with you. Some times bad things happen.

Think about parking. If you want 100 people to come to your breakfast: Will there be room for parking?

Keep in mind the number of people that can fit into the building you pick out. How long does it take you to eat your dinner? If your event only is two hours then the people might stay the whole event.

If make the event longer, change up your volunteers. Someone might be able to say for two hours and but not six hours. Six hours is a long time for someone to stand, if they are not use to it. Be realistic about the hours you give them. Once fatigue sets in they might not come to the next event.

Make sure that volunteers eat free. I know that this does not sound like the best idea but if they are not being payed then this may get them to volunteer a second time. I am not talking about giving them a pile of pancakes ... enough to make them sick. I am asking to give them two pancakes and a milk free.

Make Two Signs to place outside your event. You want them to know that you are having a charity event, not try to find your event on Google maps and miss it. That happens a lot of times.

You may have to pick up extra plates, plastic forks and knives. There may be times when you run out of syrup or pancake mix. Designate someone to get more grocery items before the event. This should not come as a surprise to anyone.

This one should be easy. Post your event in one or more papers. You can even ask a radio station to mention your event. Tell your church, family and friends that you are having this event.

Make sure you tell the people what the event is for when they ask. There should be more enthusiasm about the event. You want the person to go. Tell them.

This event might cost $1000 or more to do so make sure you have the money. Keep track of where the money is coming from so that money can be distributed correctly at the end of the event.

Blitzby 7039 Color Teeth Whitening Kit, Adjustable, White
Blitzby 7039 Color Teeth Whitening Kit, Adjustable, White

You may need a few of this if you want to serve the pancakes hot.

Love this item. I do not have this one but I do have a griddle. Also, a griddle was used in one of the fundraiser I was in and it worked perfectly.


I love pancakes for breakfast. Just, add sausage and bacon.

Auction Sites


Sell items that your group does not need any more on-line.

Say your event does not make money and you are stuck with all that stuff your organization bought. Sell stuff you don't need any longer.

Websites like EBAY keep the stuff you don't want out of your home and into someone else's home. Don't like that picture on your wall that has been hanging there for 20 years? Sell it.

Image: DChance

Potluck - Three

This is about the same as the pancake breakfast but your members bring the food. When the food runs out ... your event is done.

Doing this one will save the club or nonprofit the cost of food. There may be required to make all the food at the kitchen.

Concert In The Park - Four

Do you or your friends have a talent that everyone needs to hear? Why not throw a concert?

Your group can ask a park if your group can play there.

Make sure their is enough seating and figure out to if the people that see your concert should be charged or should they donate money to your charity.

Dance - Five

Rent a venue for this one. You will also need a stereo system or DVD system for this one. Make sure that someone has a microphone to speak into as the song changes.

The winner will be to the couple who can dance the longest.

Charge at the door or a table.

This one can be done for a prize. Maybe, a romantic get-a-way or a romantic restaurant. For younger people, a food card can be given to the winner.

I would make this idea even more fun by hiring real dancers to dance. There might not be people who want to start to dance first on the dance floor.

Have the loser gets cream pies thrown at them. The winner gets to be pie free.

Complete Line Dancing Collection 3cd Box Set
Complete Line Dancing Collection 3cd Box Set

I have gone to a line dance charity thing. I was charged at the door. For this, someone sang the songs. However, the songs must be memorized. This is a great way to memorize the words.

Make sure you know how to dance. This box set is only music.



Here are some dances the may be learned for your party.

You only need one partner for this dance.

Another, one partner dance. Make sure you know your partner and your partner can do the correct moves.

Buisnesses Give Charities Money


Some buisness give money to your charity. There are many places like that one.

If your charity is well known some business will help out your charity. You can go on-line to see if they will help you out. Some people will only donate to one charity. Make sure you know their charity before asking them.

What stores do you like to go to when you have the time? Would they be able to support your charity or non-profit? I have heard some someone that only support Easter Seals: like Toys R Us does in my area. Others give you money when they support your non-profit camp, run/walk, research, and/or telethon.

Don't be surprised if the business does a background check on your non-profit.

Image: DChance

Pinata Party - Seven

You can make your own or buy one.

Feed people BBQ and drinks. Have guessing games. Get a bouncy house.

Talk, eat and have fun.

Candy will spill out all over the ground. You can make sure that your hitter gets candy by letting him or her pick up the first handful of candy.

Ideas Mostly for Schools

8 - 28

8. Pizza sale - Make sure that your club likes the pizza place first. Make a list of places. Charge per slice. Get a cooler to sell drinks. This can be done once a week or once a month.

9. Candy sale - You can get candy from a store or an outlet store.

10. Bake sale - Cook cupcakes and bring them to sell. This one will not be good for a non-profit that requires a kitchen to sell products. Check your state's requirements about selling baked items.

11. Candle sale - I have never done this one but I love candles.

12. Lollipops sales - This one does work for schools.

13. Carnation or flower sales - Flowers can be purchased in bulk to sell. Don't let the flower stems bottoms dry out.

14. Raffles - This can be done at any time. Make the prize be something that the club can afford if the money is not raised.

15. Spaghetti Dinner - I love spaghetti. Spaghetti noodles can be made in a large pot. The rest can be made on a stove, too.

16. Auction stuff that no longer is needed - This can be done just to get read of unwanted items. This is at a real auction and not an auction site. You might find one by looking in the paper or on-line.

17. Run or Walk - This one can take lots of planning. There are regulations that must be fallowed. Ask running groups how this one is done.

18. Car Wash - I have seen this one done. I have only done this once for church. Get signs. Make sure that where you are washing the cars is legal.

19. Art Sale - Sometimes, there are real artists in the community that can help out your charity or school event.

20. Theater - Make up a play or skit. Or, they can put on a play of one of their favorite shows. You can summarize the longer parts of the play. Charge for seats. Make sure that you get reimbursed for the price of the show then the rest will go to charity.

21. Sell fresh fruit or vegetables - This can be done by planting them at the beginning of spring. Then, selling them later in the summer.

22. Sing-offs - Charge at the door. Let the people sing. Give prizes.

23. Game Day - Have table set up. Keep take of the winners. Give small prizes.

24. Spelling Bee - Charge for each person. Hand out prizes to winners.

25. Craft Sale - Sell crafts that you like to make at home. I like to make knitted hats.

26. BBQ Sale - Sell BBQ at an club event.

27. Carnival - This one will take lots of time, money and volunteers. Search websites on what works and what does not. Make sure you have different rooms for each event. Or, you can section the room off. You may make your own games or buy them on-line. I know dunk tanks are available for rent (the water does get cold).

28. Haunted house - This one is not easy. Make it outside or make it inside by walking in the halls. The dark is your friend on this one. Lite sheets can be hang up to hide people. Scary props can be put up. Taped up. Hang spiders. Put up small sticker mirrors at random places. Be creative. What makes people scared? Add art work with lighting. You can add those stick up lights. People can push them on and off. Try to work one year with someone that has done haunted houses before you try to do your own.

You can also tape old tents together. Use black garage bags taped to the sides to block out the sun.

29. Movie night - Pay to watch movies. Provide new movies or bad movies to watch in different rooms. Pay for popcorn, candy, and drinks.

image: DChance

Day Camp


Pay to go to camp for the day. Some people love spending the day with other people. Why not charge them for full event.

It is important to get out of the house. Hike, tell stories, play outside tennis, go to a golf course, miniature golf, learn to row, swim at the YMCA, pack a lunch for everyone (ask what they like in advance), walk, run, learn a new hobby, watch a favorite movie at someone's home, fish, and have fun.

Give them a schedule of events. Where do they need to be at which time?

Mark everyone's day off. You may need to make a group day. Make several groups.

Group A: Has days off on Saturday.

Group B: Has days off on Sunday.

Group C: A day of the week.

This event is done not only to collect money for the charity but to spend time together.

Make sure to include the price of the actual places into the Adult Day Camp price, too. Get payed in advance.

Trust someone who is good with money with the money. Yes, people will steal. Make sure they know that that is not their money but it is the clubs money to pay for club events. In this one, the club might go to a golf club. The money that was given should pay for each person. Also, it should go to other places. No discounts!

Image: DChance


31. Circus - Volunteers might: clown, do magic, juggle, manage an evil cat, can tame many dogs, aerobics, ride a motorcycle, unicycle, yo-yo, be someone that has their owns a horse, dance, a contortionist, announce, costume design or someone who picks up the costumes from a rental place, provide music, and play music.


I have done clowning before for a small amount of time. It is a lot of fun but you have to have a high self esteem. Make sure you can put your make-up on the same way each time. Fans will want to see their favorite type of clown. Some people like the red nose others like the painted on noise. I had my face be like a small puzzle. It was strange. I stood out. At another time, I dressed as a fairy. The wings can get in the way of movement: take note.

I could make balloon animals and I have taken drawing classes. However, you can draw fun stars and butterflies, too. Make the design simple. Kids will be waiting in line for their chance to get their face painted. So, practice what you do! I was a fan of Fred, from the Flintstones. I can draw that very character very fast.

Dancing in clowning is fun but it is much more fun as a team. Get your friends to make up a slapstick dance. Have one fall down but make sure they fall on something soft. You don't want anyone to get hurt.


I have seen clowning books that have simple magic in them. This is fine. However, if you want to cut someone in half ... make the saw fake and brake on the box. You can show the trick for fun. Then, have someone else else do the trick the correct way. Make fun of them in some way. Don't hurt anyone's feelings.

You can also do larger tricks. However, you need to get the crowd excited enough to want to see the trick. That is what dancing girls and good looking guys are for so play that point up.

Managing An Evil Cat

I have one of this evil cats. This could all be a show. Give treats. This will take a long time to put the cat through a routine, IE hoops but it will look good when you are done. Make sure the cat does not get scared with crowds.

Tame Dogs

Dogs can be trained, too. They can catch a frisbee, have a puppy bowl, and they can walk on two legs with a toy on their noses.


Make sure everyone knows how to do flips. Get people in sparkly clothing to help out. I have done free-for-all aerobics. This can be a filler program, if an act does not show up. Or, this can be an act that makes the show longer.

Make sure that everyone knows what they are doing, please. Get some funny people in between the serious people. Make sure to keep someone who knows CPR or a medic on hand. If your clown is a nurse ... that is even better.

Hot dogs and cold bottled drinks can be sold. There can be cotton candy.

This will not be a professional event but make sure everyone knows the location.

Word or warning. If your juggler is juggling hammers ... make sure the floors can take a hammer to them. This has happened to a group that I was in, in the past.

Make sure that everyone cleans up the mess.

Have an after show party.

Aerialist might be available for rent

Fighter dancing, Hula dancers, Belly dancers, live sugar artists, on the spot large live drawing, bike stunts, and skateboard stunts.

image: DChance

I love the clowns. It is so much fun to be the clown.

Remember: Don't scratch your face. That make-up is caked on and is going to get all over your clothing. Also, keep your posture straight. Make sure everyone knows your movement. Make every move bigger than life or smaller. Both are funny. There can only be so many clown that don't act funny in the act.

Aerobics And More

32. Aerobics - This one can be done alone or with the circus. As a kid, I use to do aerobics. My parents were charged for seats. Ask your local YMCA.

33. Get someone to fix hair for your charity.

34. Science experiment contest. The best wins a prize.

35. Trivia night with silent auction.

36. Robot fighting.

37. Anime watching night.

38. Laugh-off. Have people try to make a crowd of people laugh. Charge to enter. Make shirts for the event to sell.

39. An adult musical with prize event and food. Get permission first, if you need it. Each group tries to act out their favorite musical. They can make cheesy props and clothing. This idea is different from the other on the list because this one has more adult themes in it.

You can make this several rounds. The people pick a musical out of a hat. The pick can be recorded on-line. A Facebook page can be done to keep up the press of the musicals. Don't go too far. Cardboard signs might be enough for props. Costumes can be something that is found in a thrift shop.

End the end, you can do an award event. Charge for seating. Show favorite scenes. Have someone perform. Sell tape of the shows.

Or, if you know how to ice skate, why not have the show on ice? Rent out your local skating rank and see if you can charge for tickets to get into the event.

Winners: Best Male Lead, Best Female Lead, Best Supporting Actor ... are just some of what might be chosen. You can even add a meal with this event. ($25 dollars a plate.)

40. Boggle contest. Give a prize to winner.

41. Food drive. Collect food for local pantry.

42. Wine tasting event.

43. Ice Sculpture event.

44. Golfing event. Get permission.

45. Sing Off.

46. A medieval fair.

47. Gaming events. Have several XBOX's, and Play stations hooked up. There will a time limit to pass each quest. The best score at the end of the quest wins a prize.

Tickets And Tents

The tickets are ones that the volunteers will be using for the event.

Tents can be used for cooling stations for outdoor events. You can even have personal fans to pass out there and water bottles to pass out. You can even put some chairs in them. If you have a health care worker on your team this would be a great nurses station.

SALE Orange Double Raffle Ticket Roll SALE
SALE Orange Double Raffle Ticket Roll SALE

I like the two ticket ones. You can keep one and the other can be kept by the person.

It is easy to forget to buy this one. They are the first thing that works it's way into your mind but you forget them at the last minute: making you have to write out small card for each person.

Fun Express Rhode Island Novelty Assorted Plastic Stamps, 50 Count
Fun Express Rhode Island Novelty Assorted Plastic Stamps, 50 Count

You can put stamp on the back of the tickets. This is done so that tickets will not be duplicated.

I like to use this as hand-stamps. These will stay on you most of the day.



Some fundraisers have music playing when they sell items. Don't keep the music too loud if you are inside a school. Make sure there is a mix of popular music.

You can set up a stereo to play in the background. It might be fun to get someone to play an instrument.

Poetry Slam


This is a contest that all about poetry. You get to read your original works in front of people.

To start, you need to read poetry. There are several styles. Your style should flow out of your mouth. This means you need to have confidence in what you read. All of your words should sound like they belong together: like a song.

The pauses in your poetry should be already planned. This means no starting and stopping that is not planned.

Practice with a group. If you practice in front of others it will be easier to talk in front of larger numbers.

Practice in front of a mirror. You are your greatest critic. In the end, you have to face yourself. Live with yourself.

Tickets can be sold at the entrance.

How Your Ideas Work

Here is how it usually goes: there are many ideas. Others in the club hear the ideas but they don't want to do the activities. They want to show up to say they are in a club. Fun comes at the experience of someone making sure every activity has some fallow through.

When a club or non-profit needs money they have to put in money to get money. This is a fact. Someone is going to have to get payed! If it is not the workers then the suppliers and if not them then the banks. There must be money to in your account.

Look for easy ways to make money that will not cause your club or non-profit too much money. Also, make the event be at most one day. Your volunteers will want to be payed if your event takes two of their days off of work.

Remember that if you act fake at your event, then others will know you are unhappy. Believe in what you are doing or don't do it at all. Try to be nice to all your volunteers.

Choose a quality item to sell instead of a cheep item. Cheep items may fall apart easy. And, high priced items will be too expensive to buy.

Food items: I think that most people in the U.S.A like more food item than the UK on sale. Even Subway sells twice as long subs in the U.S.A. then in the UK. I have only heard that people in Russia eat less, too. You can try making small party subs for your parties. Make sure to include in your parties with fresh vegetables. You can cut them up and put them in plastic bags.

Remember, some people will not eat in front of you. You can provide them with brown bags to keep the food together.

However, if you are doing a run/walk you may want to have free water in bottles at the end. Put up recycling bins near your event.

Don't forget to get feed back from each of your events. And, always clean up or have a clean up crew clean after the event.

Return to the top of the page.

“We cannot do great things on this Earth,

Only small things with great love.”

— Mother Teresa

I know that some of this events listed will cost a lot of money. Start off slow and work your way to a larger event. Hiring a band might not work the first year but it could work the next. Make sure everyone, including future club members, know what events works at what time of year.

What prices worked? What prices didn't work? How many people came to your event.

What events have you made the most money on?

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