Easy Fundraising Ideas

Getting creative with your fundraiser can inspire donors to give more. These easy fundraising ideas can add unique and fresh elements to the long list of established fundraising ideas. Here’s your guide to leading the fundraising charge with proven ideas that will grab the attention of donors, inspire donations, and boost social shares in your community.

Fundraising ideas that spark creativity

1. Host an art gala

An art gala is one of the more creative fundraiser ideas. If you’re an artist or have friends or students that are artists or craftspeople (perhaps photographers, painters, or jewelry makers), ask them to donate pieces to an art sale supporting your cause. Here’s how:

  • Find a space to host the event—ideally a gallery, café, or school space. Serve drinks and appetizers.
  • Allow people time to walk around, chat, learn about your cause, and enjoy the art.
  • Provide information about your cause by setting up a donation station with a mobile device displaying your fundraiser page. Show people how much their purchases and donations can help.
  • Once everyone’s had a chance to browse, begin the sale; winners can make donations to your fundraiser.

2. Host an art workshop

This is one of our favorite quick fundraising ideas. If you have artistically talented friends and family, you can host an art workshop. There’s likely to be a great deal of overlap between people who support your cause and those who want to learn a related craft.

  • Ask yourself: what kinds of fun art workshops can you and your fundraising team teach? Can you book an accomplished teacher to donate his or her time?
  • Think about figure drawing, portrait or still life photography, landscape painting, even cake decorating or other food art.
  • Host half-day or full-day workshops in exchange for donations to your fundraiser.

3. Organize a talent show

If you’re looking for unique fundraising ideas, then you just need to allow your community to show what makes them special. Host a talent show and invite supporters and members of your local community to perform. Some easy steps to do this are:

  • Name the talent show after your fundraiser. Ask guests to make a donation to your cause as the price of admission.
  • Choose a venue like a gymnasium, local theater, or other public space.
  • Publicize your talent show in your community and on your crowdfunding page.
  • If possible, ask a well-known member of the community to act as your emcee.
  • Ask businesses for sponsorships and matching donations.
  • For those who can’t attend, share pictures and videos from the show on your fundraiser page and social media to inspire them to give.

4. Sell crafts online

If you and your fundraising team have ideas for clothing, jewelry, or other artwork you can reproduce in large quantities, you can use sites like eBay and Etsy to help you raise money. This is just one of many virtual fundraising ideas!

  • Choose crafts you can produce in quantity, don’t require too many resources, and customize easily with buyers’ names or other information.
  • Upload photos of your crafts onto an e-commerce site.
  • Note in the item description that profits from the sales go to fundraising for a cause, and link to your fundraiser.
  • Make and deliver the items to order.
  • If your first set of items are a success, consider adding new ones.
  • Donate all the funds made from selling your crafts (i.e. the margin between costs of making and shipping the products and the amount you make after selling them) to your fundraiser.

5. Sell handmade wreaths

This is a perfect gift for the holidays! The best fundraisers plug into existing trends and excitement. Offer your wreaths in exchange for donations to your fundraiser.

  • Make them yourself, or find a wholesale supplier who’s willing to donate fresh wreaths or raw materials to your cause.
  • If you assemble the wreaths yourself, add flourishes like dried berries, succulents, flowers, chili peppers, corn husks, herb, or ribbons—especially if they visually or symbolically relate to your cause.
  • If one wreath is selling out, recreate it to meet to supply the demand.
  • Create a delivery process and make sure to schedule out your deliveries.

6. Knit a quilt with your community

Making a quilt with your fundraising team and other volunteers is a great way to bring a traditional craft into your fundraiser. Here are some tips:

  • Ask people, organizations, and businesses to sponsor squares on your quilt with a donation to your fundraiser.
  • You can include a message or image of their choice for them to read on the square of each sponsor.
  • Once the quilt is finished, you can sell it for a reasonable price and put that towards your fundraiser goal.

Examples of successful fundraising ideas on GoFundMe

Help someone fund their college tuition

Chris Cognac did just that while serving as a police officer in Hawthorne, California. After meeting a passionate young girl who needed some help Chris set up a fundraiser for Yanet’s education. She’s now attending Berkeley.

Donate

Fund an independent student newspaper

A group of students from Boston came to GoFundMe to save their 44-year-old independent student newspaper, The Daily Press, and raised over $80,000 to keep their operation running.

Donate

Build an amazing invention

11-year-old cancer survivor Kylie Simmonds invented a wearable IV backpack. Sick of the constraints of traditional IV machines, Kylie’s invention gives children more mobility during their treatment. Her incredible story was picked up by national media outlets, and Kylie is now building her first prototype.

Donate

Do something special for a veteran

When Sherwin Callender was contacted to attend the 70th anniversary of D-Day at Normandy but didn’t have the funds to fly, friends and family came to his rescue and made sure he was able to attend. Their fundraiser, Send Sherwin Callander to Normandy for the 70th Anniversary of D-Day!, ended up raising more than $10,000.

Donate

Help people in your local community

In 2011, Kasonja Holley started a project called Love In Motion. During lunch one day per week, she spends her time passing out 20 meals. With an amazing network of friends, and family, Kasonja raised over $10,000 to feed the homeless in Park Forest, Illinois.

Donate

Seasonal fundraising ideas

1. Winter gift wrapping station

Take advantage of all the holiday shopping that happens during winter by creating a gift wrapping station. Many people are either too busy to wrap their holiday gifts, or they’d rather pay someone who’s better at it. Work with a local business to make sure it’s okay to set up your gift wrapping station nearby or inside, and be sure to make it clear through a sign or poster that all funds will be used to support your cause. People will likely be happy to contribute to a good cause while getting their holiday wrapping all taken care of.

2. Spring March Madness bracket

Spring is the perfect time to launch a new fundraiser or revive an old idea. People are ready to shed their winter layers, socialize more, and attend more sporting events. Tap into excitement for NCAA playoffs by starting a basketball bracket that helps your cause: supporters can exchange donations for entrance to your bracket. From there, you can encourage people to pledge more donations for specific events that happen during the season!

3. Summer potluck and yard sale

Combine some favorite summer activities with a single, outdoor fundraising extravaganza. Everyone loves a good potluck, and it also encourages sharing, community bonding, and plenty of opportunities to talk to others about your fundraiser.

You can sell tickets to the event beforehand, letting community members know that all proceeds will be donated to your cause. Or, you can organize yard sale items beforehand, and let everyone know that those sales will help fund your worthy cause.

4. Autumn book sale

Fall is a time when students are back in class and trying to work their way through reading lists for class. Tap into this academic need by asking community members and neighbors to donate books that they no longer want or need. Once you have enough books for a sale, set up your goods in your garage, or work with a local school to use their gymnasium. Be sure to let everyone know that all funds will be used to support your cause.

Fundraising ideas by cause

Medical

Raise funds to cover out-of-pocket costs for medical expenses like surgeries, medications, and even lost wages due to time off from work. Raise funds for family or friends facing illness or medical debt.

Funeral and Memorial

Reduce the financial burden of a loved one’s funeral by fundraising online for a memorial service or raise money to honor their legacy with a scholarship fund.

Pets and Animals

Raise funds for your pet’s veterinary care, treatments, or surgery. Animal lovers can also fundraise for animal shelters or support the preservation of endangered species.

Emergencies and disasters

Kids and Family

Fundraise online for children of all ages. Help pay for summer camps, sports camps, Eagle Scout projects, science fairs, and more. Or, hold a fundraising party for your children’s sports teams to raise money to pay for the costs of their next tournament.

Education and schools

If you’re looking for the best fundraising ideas to change someone’s life: raise funds for school supplies, field trips, school improvement projects, programs, or facilities upgrades. Start or supplement a college fund. Connect your student group with a special charitable organization or raise funds for a classroom.

Nonprofits and charities

Whether you’re fundraising for your nonprofit or want to support the work of your favorite charity, create a Charity fundraiser to support the causes you’re passionate about. Raise funds to help the sick or disadvantaged; provide scholarships and training to those in need. Invite your community to donate and help create positive change on a local and global scale.

Churches and faith

Raise funds for education, training, mission trips, and other church programs and community activities. Leave a donation jar with a sign out near the coffee station or ask your church if you can organize a community garage sale in their parking lot—the ways to promote donations for a mission trip are endless.

Neighbors and community

Provide financial assistance to friends and neighbors struggling in the aftermath of a natural disaster or other hardship. Help fund projects that benefit your community.

Sports

Support amateur athletes by raising funds for equipment, facilities, league expenses, prizes, team activities, tournaments, travel, and more. Put together a sports tournament and let people play a game for a good cause. You can sell tickets and food to spectators and funds can be put towards charity.

More fundraising ideas

There’s no shortage of creative fundraising ideas to help you raise meaningful donations. A unique, well-executed idea can be the key to fundraising success. Be sure to always include a link to your fundraising website so that supporters know exactly where to get involved.

Fundraising essentials

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Set up your fundraiser

Add your fundraising goal, high-quality photos, videos, and write your story.

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Boost awareness and build your community

Share your fundraiser with our built-in links to Facebook, Twitter, and email.

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Keep it fresh with fundraiser updates

Write fundraiser updates, add new photos, and send thank you’s to your donors.

Fundraising strategy ideas

Set up your fundraiser

Connect with images and video

Visuals are powerful. Fundraisers with compelling visuals raise more money than those without. Add high-quality photos and videos to your fundraiser page to help potential donors connect with—and share—your cause with the world.

Raise awareness and build community

Reach out to media

Getting your fundraiser featured in the news is a surefire way to get your story out into the world. And, it isn’t as hard as you might think. Check out these great ideas for shining a spotlight on your fundraiser.

Use social media

Social media is one of your most important fundraising tools. Use your social networks to spread awareness among family, friends, and even strangers— reach as many potential donors as you can.

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