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Eight Great Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofit Organizations

With the rise of crowdfunding, it’s easier than ever for nonprofits to meet their fundraising goals and spark change. Online fundraising tools have unlocked the power of global giving, making it effortless for nonprofits to reach new donors and raise more money for causes they’re passionate about. To double your fundraising efforts, consider using one or all of the below nonprofit fundraising ideas.

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1. Organize a major one-time fundraising event



There’s a reason why benefit dinners are one of the most popular ways to raise money for charity. Benefit dinners work well as one-time fundraising events because they bring community members together for a fun time and make it easy for people to give. Benefit dinners can take many forms—from black-tie galas to backyard barbecues.

  • Reach out to volunteers who have given time to your organization in the past. Offer them an opportunity to attend your fundraising event as honored guests if they sell a certain number of tickets.
  • Connect with local businesses to find out if they would be willing to volunteer their space as the event venue or offer a discount in exchange for the business you’ll bring in.
  • Set the price of admission so it covers the cost of dinner, entertainment, and other expenses in addition to the amount you hope to raise. Ask guests to make donations at or above that amount.

For more fundraising ideas for nonprofit organizations, read our blog post Charity Event Ideas to Help Drive Donations.

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2. Focus on events specific to your mission

Think about your nonprofit’s focus and goals. What type of event might best highlight your mission? Get your fundraising team together and brainstorm possible ways you can use your nonprofit’s skills and expertise to run an event.

Examples of organizations that host events related to their cause:

  • Food Runners, a nonprofit dedicated to delivering excess food from businesses to those in need, hosts cooking classes to raise funds.
  • Summer Search, a nonprofit that helps low-income youth, hosts youth leadership events to further raise funds for their mission.
man drinking coffee at cafe

2. Kick off a “week without” challenge



This idea highlights the concept of “making every dollar count.” Ask supporters to give up an everyday luxury for one week and instead donate the money they would normally spend on it to your fundraiser.

  • Suggest supporters give up things like restaurant meals, fancy coffees, or going to the movies.
  • Crunch some numbers so donors can understand their impact. For example, tell everyone that if just 10 people give up their daily $5 coffee for seven days, that would bring in an extra $350 for your organization in a week.
  • Inspire them to think about your fundraiser each time they consider their routine, keeping your cause top of mind for an extended period.

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3. Launch a series of smaller fundraising events

Organizing small fundraising events each day can build momentum for your cause and put people in the mindset giving regularly.

  • Consider hosting a bake sale on Monday, a car wash on Tuesday, and so on, until you reach the major concluding event of the week.
  • Build momentum by making sure people see and hear about your fundraiser over the course of the week. It works especially well for workplaces, schools, and other places where events can happen on the same property.
charity book sale

4. Throw a charity sale

There’s no shortage of big online fundraising ideas for nonprofit organizations. But keeping it simple with an old fashioned fundraising sale can be just as effective. Whether you’re selling books, calendars, or donated items, a charity sale can be a perfect addition to your online crowdfunding efforts.

  • Smaller-scale sales are great alternatives for nonprofits that don’t have a staff prepared to take on the planning of a major fundraising gala.
  • Brainstorm items that might appeal to your donor base, then reach out to businesses in the area that might be willing to offer donated goods or services.
  • Try throwing a community yard sale in which participants donate their gently used items to the nonprofit for resale.
woman speaking to group

6. Invite a guest speaker to give an inspirational talk

Are you looking for unique charity fundraising ideas that will inspire others to rally around your cause? Asking a guest speaker to lead a talk about a topic related to your nonprofit’s mission is a creative and refreshing way to garner support. Guest talks are also a great way to renew support for your cause and bring in fresh support if your fundraiser stalls.

  • When selecting a speaker, start by reaching out to celebrated members of your community—people who can draw a crowd and speak on a compelling topic.
  • Host the event at a well-known bookstore, theater, or local community center.
  • You can use the profit from ticket sales for your cause, or make the event free and simply ask for voluntary donations.
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7. Solicit pledges or other forms of planned giving

Planned giving is a crucial piece of the fundraising puzzle for any nonprofit seeking a stable revenue stream.

 By asking people to commit to a recurring donation, it sets up your nonprofit for a stable financial future. If you aren’t sure how to ask for donations, take a look at our blog post Use These Fundraising Email Templates to Reach Your Goal.

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8. Sync up with your local radio

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Getting the help of your local radio station is just one way to take advantage of fundraising without social media. Radio or print media attention can boost donations and lead to viral fundraising.

  • Find out if a local radio station is willing to read a PSA about your fundraiser or use their other promotional channels to spread the word about your cause.
  • If possible, convey a sense of urgency and ask supporters to make their donations in the span of a few hours. This will encourage others to hop on the giving bandwagon.
  • Live tweets, a giving countdown, or a fundraiser hashtag can increase your visibility.

Ready to double donations with these ideas?

Whether you’re trying to reach donors down the street or across the world, crowdfunding can help you tap into the power of social networks. We hope these charity fundraising ideas have inspired you to get creative with your organization’s fundraising efforts. If you’re ready for your nonprofit to make an even bigger difference, sign up and begin your journey into nonprofit fundraising today.

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