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Fundraising ideas for disaster relief

What can you do to recover from the devastating effects of a natural disaster? From hurricane damage to the after effects of a fire, communities around the world have endured weather-related disaster. With natural disasters comes destruction, loss of life, jobs, and more.

After the disaster, a community needs to rebuild and heal, and crowdfunding offers many ways to help. Even after buildings are repaired and streets cleaned, there is still recovery to be done. Try some of our disaster relief fundraising ideas to help someone with urgent and long-term needs after disaster strikes.

Start a disaster relief fundraiser

stormy ocean with boats

Fundraising ideas for hurricane relief

storm damaged house

1. Disaster preparedness clinic

Invite people to get educated about hurricane relief and hold a disaster preparedness clinic. Recruit a local firefighter, police officer, or other first responder to help you. With your co-host, create a program that will teach people valuable skills in the case of a hurricane, or other disaster. Ideas could include CPR, making an evacuation kit, or how to board doors and windows with everyday materials. Have everyone create a disaster recovery plan for their family. Ask for donations to your fundraiser for the price of admission and watch the community help with disaster relief in more ways than one.

smiling family

2. Sip and paint

If you’re community wasn’t hit, but you still want to help the families affected, try a creative fundraising idea. Host a sip and paint party with drinks (boozy and non-alcoholic). Before the event, have people sign up so you can provide the right number of canvases, brushes, and paints. Recruit an artistic friend to guide participants through an easy scene of your neighborhood (like a beach, park, or monument). For the price of admission, which all goes to your fundraiser, participants get to take home their work.

Fundraising ideas for fire relief

firefighter in front of fire truck

3. Symbol of hope

There are few things as devastating as losing loved ones, homes, and more to fire. In a moment of community heartbreak, offer some hope in the form of a ribbon, button, pin, or other adornment that symbolizes what your community went through together. Each sale of this symbol of hope will go towards your fundraiser. And each time someone wears the symbol, it’s an opportunity to spread awareness.

grandparents and child

4. Host an art gallery

After the devastation of a fire, bring everyone together to celebrate something hopeful by hosting an art show. Reach out to local artists, in every form, and ask them to create something in a theme that relates to the recent hardships your community experienced. Rebirth, unity, or perseverance could work well as topics to center your art show around. At the show, have a smartphone or tablet set up where people can donate on the go.

Fundraising ideas for flood damage

man and woman in rainboots

5. Community potluck

There are few things that bring people together more than sharing a meal. After a damaging flood, bring back morale and community bonds through a neighborhood potluck. Find a venue that wasn’t affected by the flood to host your event. Ask people to bring their favorite treats (homemade or store bought). Those who bring food to share can pass on admission price, but encourage participants without food to donate as the price of admission.

man in flood waters

6. T-shirt fundraiser

Let supporters wear their heart on their sleeves with a custom t-shirt. Sites like Bonfire make it easy to pair your crowdfunding fundraiser with a t-shirt element. Fundraising with t-shirts is a great way to get people involved in a concrete way. Your t-shirt design can commemorate the damage done to your community or offer hope in a slogan of goodwill.

Fundraising ideas for earthquake relief

group eating on a beach

7. Community forum

An earthquake can literally and figuratively unsettle the foundation of your community. Take some time to decompress and move forward after a disaster by bringing your community together in a forum. With thoughtful conversation about the future of your neighborhood, you can figure out how to work together and rebuild. Ask a few members of the community to speak and then open the floor for all voices. Sell snacks and beverages, with the money going to your fundraiser.

group of friends

8. Social media contest

Social media offers great potential to expand awareness of your fundraiser. Take advantage of it and hold a contest on one of the many platforms. Come up with a theme that relates to the disaster. For example, you could ask people to post pictures of themselves participating in disaster relief or share stories of hope in a short essay.

Create hashtags that identify your cause and help people find your fundraiser. It’s easy to host a social media contest and see support for your fundraiser grow.

Check out this inspirational fundraiser for disaster relief

country singer Chris Young

Hurricane Harvey Relief

Country music star Chris Young has deep ties to Texas, so when the state was devastated by Hurricane Harvey, he knew he had to help. He started a fundraiser on GoFundMe, pledging $100,000 of his own money to go toward the Red Cross’s rescue and recovery efforts. He spoke directly to his fans across the country, and he rallied support for a total of more than $380,000 in donations. Most importantly, he focused on the people whose lives were directly affected and used his national platform for the greater good.

Funding hope for your community

Disasters tear through lives and communities every year, but there’s hope for recovery in the aftermath. From natural disaster fundraising to rebuilding after a house fire, people find support for all types of disaster with crowdfunding. Whatever disaster relief fundraising idea you pick, you’ll inspire healing and help in rebuilding.

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