Fundraising ideas for nonprofits

26 Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits

There is a wide range of ways to fundraise for your nonprofits. There is always a way to get people engaged in your organization based on fun events and activities you can plan to raise the money you need for your nonprofit. Below are some fundraising ideas that are good for both nonprofits that are just starting out, as well as ones that have been established for a while. 


  1. T-Shirt Fundraisers
    • Everyone loves a good t-shirt. Coupled with good color and signature design, people will always be willing to buy a t-shirt for a good cause.

  2. Crowdfunding Campaign
    • You are able to reach a large group of small donors with a crowdfunding campaign. It is definitely the more inexpensive route and requires a lot of social sharing for people to get involved but, it can be extremely effective in reaching your fundraising goals.

  3. Penny Drive
    • Super simple fundraising idea. You could even ask a local restaurant or coffee shop to showcase your donation jar in their store. Or create a fun competition between teams to see who can raise the most during the penny drive.

  4. Used Book Sale
    • Everyone has books just lying around the house somewhere and there are always bookworms looking for new books to read. A used book sale is a good way to target those audiences through a fundraising technique. This is another one of those fundraising ideas that are low in cost but has the potential to bring in a good amount of money.

  5. Holiday Candygrams
    • These are popular among schools and workplaces but still can be just as effective anywhere else. Candygrams do not need to cost that much money to be able to make an impact on your goal for your organization.

  6. Food Truck Partnership
    • People go wild for food trucks. Connecting with your local food trucks and asking them to partner with you for your cause will be a great way to attract a lot of people. Having unique food along with a variety of different styles will get people intrigued to come out and try some good food.

  7. 50/50 Raffle
    • These are perfect for when you host an event and place a raffle. People put in however much money they want and a winner is picked to win half of the donations and the other half will go to the cause. Even the thought of receiving money can get people to donate to your cause.

  8. Online Merch Store
    • Merchandise is a great way to even just get your name out there. Having quality products that can actually be put to use is another factor that can bring in good money. Things such as mugs, t-shirts, blankets, bracelets, etc. All great for spreading the word about your cause and drawing other people in. The people who own that merchandise most likely already know a lot about your organization if they are willing to invest so it can also play as a word of mouth marketing to raise money.

  9. Social Media Challenges
    • Social media is a powerful platform. You are able to reach a large number of people with just some frequent posts about your fundraiser. Make it something fun that people will want to engage in as well as an easy way to make those donations. Platforms such as Facebook make this process simple to set up and share.

  10. Silent Auctions
    • Silent auctions give people the ability to bid whatever they would like without the stress or pressure of offering large amounts of money. You will have many items to choose from and people will go around and bid on a piece of paper in front of the item of how much they would purchase that item for. The highest bid wins. This is a great way for your community to get together and have a fun way to raise money for your organization.

  11. Corporate Sponsorship
    • Corporations are good to have on your side with fundraising. They will give you donations in return for the advertising of their company at events and on certain merchandise such as t-shirts.

  12. 5K Run/Walk
    • There are multiple routes you can go with doing a 5K. Giving people the option to walk versus run will get a lot more people involved. Also, these do not have to be in person. You can have a virtual 5K or have a goal of a certain amount of miles in a set amount of days.

  13. Pub Crawl
    • A pub crawl is a fun way to get the community involved together. A lot of people will come out for a pub crawl because it is something fun that everyone can do together. You can make shirts and the purchasing of those will go to your proceeds. Be sure to reach out to local breweries that would be willing to donate some of their profit to your organization and create your route that way.

  14. Virtual Event
    • These are becoming more and more popular. There is a wide variety of events you can host virtually. Such as that 5K option. It can be completely virtual where people complete it whenever they want and wherever. Or it can be done over a multiple-day stretch.

  15. Talent Show
    • Having a night where people can showcase their talent is a perfect event. Young kids especially love to show off their newest talent to whoever they can. Selling tickets for a night of fun entertainment is great to get people to want to show up for the community especially knowing where the money from these donations is going.

  16. Trivia Night
    • Talk to local restaurants or bars that may be willing to host a trivia night. People can grab a bite to eat while having fun playing some trivia. Even if people do not know anything about a topic, trivia night is always fun.

  17. Viral Video Challenge
    • Viral videos are very in style with how popular social media is these days. The best example would be the ALS ice bucket challenge. People posted a video of a bucket of ice water being poured over their heads and in the video, they will name people they would like to challenge to do the same thing. It’s a great way to get more people involved and donating.

  18. Bowling Night
    • Even if you are a terrible bowler, most people still love a good bowling night. Being around a good community of people will make the night fun and memorable. A fun outing that people will be more than willing to donate money for. You can easily just sell the tickets to the event online or at the door.

  19. Gala
    • Having a fun and fancy night is a good way to get adults out to your event. A gala is more appealing to adults than children but still a great way to raise money for your cause. This idea just requires early planning and a good amount of volunteers.

  20. Donation Pages
    • Simple but effective. Having a donations page will get people going with just donating straight to your cause through your website without you having to plan an event or reach out to any businesses.

  21. Food Festival
    • Food intrigues people. Contacting multiple vendors to create a nice spread of different types of food for all the attendees will attract a lot of them. Reaching out to the smaller, self-owned restaurants and seeing if they are willing to donate a portion of their profits to your organization is a great way to get people to donate as well as good marketing for those restaurants.

  22. Discount Cards
    • These cards allow people to get discounts at different types of locations. Usually the local restaurants. Reach out to different local restaurants and other establishments to see what kind of discount they are willing to offer if you do decide to go this route.

  23. Give It Up Challenges
    • Challenges of this type are always a fun option. People always have a habit they are trying to kick and when partnered with helping out a good cause, it just might be what they need to get started.

  24. One Time Donors to Monthly Donors
    • Someone who has already donated is likely to want to donate again. Turning those people from just one-timers to monthly donors will be inexpensive to you and allow for more fundraising to continuously flow in.

  25. Giving Club
    • A giving club is basically just a subscription. You can partner this with helping convert your one-time donors into monthly donors. But, you can set up your subscription however you would like. Yearly, quarterly, monthly, etc.

  26. Send Video Message
    • Getting your message out there is important. People need to know what your cause is, what the problem is, and how their money is going to fix it. Communicating with the people you are targeting is just as important as having the fundraiser itself. 


It is important to know the community you have created loyalty with. Knowing what type of fundraiser they may respond to better is the route you should go. It is also important to know that you can combine these ideas together to create an amazing event that has the potential to raise a lot of money for your nonprofit organization.