Simple Fundraising Ideas to Maximize Donations

Even when you’re raising funds for complicated reasons, fundraising itself is simple. Crowdfunding is a simple and direct way to raise funds quickly and easily. Your fundraiser page can tell your story simply and honestly, and it gives people one central place to support you both financially and emotionally. Pair your online fundraiser with one of these simple fundraising ideas to help raise awareness, bring people together—and boost your donations.

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Combine crowdfunding with a fundraising event

While crowdfunding can jumpstart your fundraising efforts, events can keep the momentum going and help raise awareness for your cause. Simple fundraisers are easy on the wallet and don’t require extensive planning, among other benefits:

  • While your online fundraiser can reach a wide audience, connecting with supporters in the real world can take your fundraising to new heights.
  • Events provide social proof that your fundraiser is legitimate and worth supporting.

Five easy fundraising ideas

cupcakes

1. Bake sale

This is one of the most popular fundraising ideas for a reason: it’s easy, inexpensive, and it works. People love sweet treats, and they are more likely to open their wallets for a good cause if you serve cupcakes while asking for donations. Bake sales may sound like a lot of work, but if you plan carefully, they can be surprisingly effortless.

  • Don’t try to bake all of the cakes, muffins, cookies, and bread by yourself. If you spread the responsibilities among a group of supporters, no single person gets stuck with a huge commitment. Put someone in charge of delegating tasks, and create a master list of who is contributing specific desserts. 
  • Be sure to have flyers available with the details of your online fundraiser so people can contribute directly to your cause again in the future. 
  • Use both online sharing and offline sharing to amplify your reach and bring in a crowd. 
cornhole tourney

2. Backyard game tournament

Field games are wonderful fundraising events because they don’t require a huge investment. They also provide self-organizing entertainment for guests, which can take some of the pressure off of the host. 

  • Throwing a bean bag through a hole cut into a piece of wood may not seem particularly entertaining, but this classic game has been a party staple for decades. It can be easily adapted for a tournament, giving spectators the chance to pledge a certain amount of money to the winning team, all for a good cause.
  • Croquet is another party pleasing game that you can easily set up as a tournament.
  • Ask for a donation to your fundraiser in exchange for admission to the party, and make it a potluck style event to keep costs down.
elderly people playing bingo

3. Bingo night

A bingo night tournament is one of the best, simple fundraising event ideas around. Keep these tips in mind when planning a bingo night: 

  • See if a local café, restaurant, school, or community center will let you use its facilities.
  • Ask businesses to donate prizes for the winners.
  • Post flyers in prominent places in your neighborhood, and share event details on your crowdfunding page and via social media. If you have time, try running a social media contest to drum up excitement for the event. 
  • Ask guests to make a donation to your fundraiser to participate. Recruit a friend to call numbers if you think you’ll be too busy taking donations and managing the event to do so yourself.

4. Garage sale

Many people have experience with garage sales, and even those who don’t will find these events straightforward. Garage sale fundraisers can be a great opportunity to raise money while clearing out extra clutter from your home and garage.

  • Find gently used items you no longer need and sort them into groups by type or price.
  • Ask neighbors, friends, and family members to donate items they want to get rid of, too. Consider holding multiple sales if supporters have enough donated items to make up multiple events.
  • Be sure to recruit volunteers to help advertise the sale, sell refreshments, and manage the cash box. 
woman hiking with dog

5. Hike-a-thon

Hiking events are a fantastic opportunity to get active for a cause. They require very little planning or investment, so you typically get a great return for your efforts.

  • Pick a trail and route you want to take, pack some snacks and water, and let people bid for the opportunity to join in the fun.
  • You can even recruit a prominent member of your local community—anyone who qualifies as a “local celebrity” or commands a great deal of respect—and have them lead a private hike for the highest bidders.
  • Try writing a fundraising letter ahead of the event to explain why you’re raising funds and why it’s so important to receive support. 

A crowdfunding platform that sets you up for success

GoFundMe is a powerful platform that offers free fundraising to help you reach your goals faster. Pairing your GoFundMe with one of these easy fundraising ideas can help you maximize your donations and connect with new supporters. If you haven’t already, sign up today to create a donation page and get closer to your fundraising goal.

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