#1 Treasure Hunt
If you can get a corporate sponsor to donate a big prize (think trip, car, or shopping spree) then you could create a fun treasure hunt. Each team of two would pay to enter and get their first clue. Teams then follow a trail of clues that take them all over the city until they make it to the end and claim the grand prize.
#2 Movie Night
If you have a large room and a big screen, having a movie night can be a fun way to get your supporters together and raise some money for your cause. Charge an admission price – maybe $15 – and then sell snacks like popcorn and candy. You could also incorporate a raffle or silent auction to generate additional revenue. Depending on what kind of supporters you have, you might even want to make it a late night and show a couple of movies. Ask people to wear their pyjamas and bring pillows to get comfy!
#3 Community Garage Sale
Garage sales are lots of fun and everyone always has stuff lying around their house that they don’t want. Ask them to donate the good items, then have a large garage sale (inside maybe if it’s cold). Sell hotdogs and other treats at the sale to generate additional revenue.
This one is good to pair up with another fundraising event, say the garage sale idea above. You could get a couple great prizes from corporate sponsors (think flatscreen TV, iPad, or iPhone) and set the hole up so it’s pretty difficult to get a hole-in-one. People pay for a chance to hit the ball and whoever gets it in, gets to choose a prize, or gets a ticket for the draw for the prizes. The “hole” can be a very difficult golf putt; tossing a basketball from very far away; or even tossing a baseball through a hole.
Does your organization have some talent? Maybe you’ve got actors, artists or performers. If so, think about taking the show to the road. People will be shocked to see such great talent on the streets and will be happy to pay for the entertainment. And they’ll be happy to pay more if they know it’s for a good cause, so be sure to put out a sign telling them what you’re raising the money for. Oh, and don’t forget to comply with local licensing laws for street entertainers.
#6 Photo Booth
This one is going to require a little bit of creativity. Let’s say there is a big event coming up in your city or town. You can set up a photo booth at the event to raise funds for your charity. All you need is a unique backdrop that goes with the theme of the event, a camera and a printer. Let’s say there is a winter fair coming up. You could have a backdrop of a snow covered Bigfoot and take pictures of people that makes it look like they are running from it or capturing it. To make it even more novel, put the picture on a fake magazine cover. This is just one idea. You’ll probably want to think of one that ties into both the event and your specific cause.
This is a great fundraiser for a school, camp or community centre. Gather together the kids favourite recipes and create a cookbook that you can sell to parents and other supporters. You can even hold a contest for designing the cover to make it more exciting.
#8 Piggy Bank
At your next big gathering of your supporters, hand out fun piggy banks and ask supporters to take them home and fill it with spare change. You can find big, plastic piggy banks in the shape of almost anything. Make it interesting by inviting them all back in a year to have dinner where the piggy banks are each weighed and the heaviest gets a prize. Be sure to thank everyone graciously for contributing and send them all a follow-up letter or email after you have tallied up the donations letting them know how much they helped you raise! This works especially well in countries with high value ($1, £1, €1) coins.
#9 Re-Gifting Sale
This is perfect after large holidays like Christmas. Ask everyone to bring in their unwanted gifts and then have a large sale where you sell them back to others who want them.
#10 Empower Your Supporters
How about this idea – take a break from fundraising all together and empower your supporters to do it on your behalf! If you need to raise a particular amount of money for something, gather your supporters together and ask them to help by fundraising for you. They can do anything they’re good at – baking, running, creating art, or even something silly like shaving their head. The idea is to use their talents to raise money for the cause. They can use a website like Fundly or any one of these social fundraising websites to create a personal fundraising page and track their success. To make it really interesting, you could make it into a contest and announce a winner based on the idea and how much was raised. You could then highlight the winner in your newsletter to inspire others supporters to get involved in the same way.