Win The Year With Six Great Fundraising Ideas

Six Great Fundraising Ideas

Inspiration for fundraising can be tedious business, especially when there are a lot of people involved, tossing ideas back and forth and arguing – or simply being passionate.

Sure, it’s up to you to make the process fun and yes, brainstorming can be fun. But often it’s easier to just keep it simple and steal ideas that have already been proven to work.

Some of the ideas below may seem quaint or a bit strange, but the fact is they work.

Choosing something from this list of great fundraising ideas means you get to worry less about how unique your ideas are and more about how you’re going to meet and exceed your goals.

1. Beer Tasting

Great Fundraising Ideas - Beer Tasting

If you’re a charity fundraiser and already know this beer tasting idea isn’t going to fly with your organisation’s values, be sure to check out other more appropriate yet equally creative ideas for charity fundraising.

That said, hosting a beer tasting is an incredibly fun way to involve your wider community.

Find out how many people in your community are brewing their own craft beer then organise a tasting.

You’d be surprised how many folks are secretly brew masters in their garages and sheds. Many people actually invest in labels and bottling supplies to give their homebrew a personal touch.

First of all, get some of these amateur brewers to donate beer. Ensure they promise to attend to explain their process and give tasting notes.

Then, if you think the line-up’s a little skimpy, contact local brewers, taverns or grocery stores and ask for some donations to fill out the talent.

If there’s a local beer expert on hand (the local liquor store owner, perhaps) you can recruit them as a judge and offer a prize.

The only thing to keep in mind is that you can’t sell the beer directly unless you have a license. You can collect a donation at the door or even sell tickets to the event and give away beer, but if you want to sell it, be sure to obtain the correct licenses.

2. Grocery Bag Craft

Great Fundraising Ideas - Craft Bags

We all know that plastic bags at the grocery store are an environmental nightmare. They pile up in landfill and never biodegrade, all for the convenience of carrying your groceries easily from the store to the car.

Many people already use their own grocery bags and many grocery stores sell reusable bags. Set your more crafty volunteers to making crafty, creative, custom grocery bags and then get local stores to offer them for sale at a modest price, with 100% of the profits going to your programs.

This is one of those great fundraising ideas that makes the world a better place while raising money for a good cause. To keep the idea going throughout the year, all you need to do is keep making bags – and people will almost certainly keep buying them.

Crafts are great because they combine creativity with a low-impact on the environment.

3. Friends in Low Places

Great Fundraising Ideas - Low Places

This idea hinges on the contrast with ‘gala events.’ The Low Places Gala is an inversion of the standard cocktail dress and jazz quartet event where people pay top dollar for a plate in exchange for a fancy evening of open bars and dancing.

The Low Places Gala charges the same price for a seat at the table, but then very publicly and ostentatiously goes low-end on everything. For example, supermarket hot dogs and local beer by the can, paper plates, and someone’s iPod hooked into a stereo system for music.

The idea is, take every cent for the cause, not the event. The more obvious and obnoxious you are about it, the more people enjoy it.

4. The Smash Up

Great Fundraising Ideas - Smash Up

This one takes the cake. You will need:

  • One donated old car. Something fancy would be great, but take what you can get. A bus might be too much, though.
  • One sledgehammer. Yes, we said sledgehammer.

The way it works: People pay a donation to get the chance to take a whack at the car. $10 for ten swings of the hammer or something like that. Then people proceed to have a great time absolutely destroying the car.

It takes longer than you might imagine and people have a lot more fun than you might believe, tearing a vehicle apart.

You’d be surprised how successful this can be, especially when it’s paired with an event that serves alcohol. Don’t let it get out of hand, though!

5. Cash Raffle

Great Fundraising Ideas - Cash Raffle

The humble raffle is often pooh poohed, but it works. All you need are some tickets which can be bought for pennies apiece at a newsagent or $2 dollar store.

Then you just need a few people to help sell them.

The rest is simplicity itself: You collect money, then you hold a draw.

Whoever’s ticket gets selected gets a percentage of the money, and you keep the rest. If the winner is moved to donate their winnings, all the better!

6. Credit Where Credit Is Due

Great Fundraising Ideas - Credit Thank You

Selling something is often an effective way to raise money, even if the item being sold isn’t really worth much.

Selling rewards, credit or appreciation is effective and doesn’t require you to source any stock or supplies.

Let people know that, when they donate to your cause, they will receive a ‘shout out’ on social media, a signed plaque to appear on their office wall or a tile with their name to appear on a donor wall in your own building.

When raising funds, it’s a constant battle between people’s reluctance to put out money and their desire to help worthy projects. There’s also a battle between the constant noise in everyone’s life and ideas that aren’t always the most compelling or interesting.

These six great ideas will surely cut through the noise this year. Good luck!


Eli is Canvas Factory's resident blogger and social media buff. She has a passion for art, craft, design, fashion and photography. She loves to explore the joys and challenges of family life, relationships, motherhood and pet ownership. Eli finds it's more funny to poke fun at herself than others. She's travelled extensively and considers herself a citizen of the world.

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