35 fundraising

You can plan small activities with family and friends or large community events, which raise awareness for a cause that's close to your heart

35 fundraising ideas

You can plan small activities with family and friends
or large community events, which raise awareness
for a cause that's close to your heart


A sale is a classic fundraising idea, which can become a single event or complement other fundraisers.
bake sale goods

Bake sale

Spice up a typical bake sale by including recipes with goods sold. Add a theme or seasonal touch to the event, or cater to specific dietary needs.
baby stuff

Baby stuff sale

Parents often end up with lots of baby clothes, toys and more. Collect the stuff, clean it, sort it and sell it to new parents and grandparents for a good cause.
holiday baking

Holiday baking

Many of us love homemade cakes, pies and cookies but are too busy to bake during the holidays. So why not bake for your friends and family? Create an order form with a delivery date option, so people can customize orders and ensure they receive their treats on time.
art supplies

Art book

This idea works best for schools, camps and daycares. Encourage children to draw or paint pictures, and then bind them together to create a beautiful coffee-table book. It can include information about your cause. Give advance notice so parents can pre-order.
recipe book

Charity cookbook

Combine favourite recipes to create a cookbook. Include a chapter about your cause, and sell it to friends and family.


Tournaments are great for practically any game. You can raise funds through participation fees, admission tickets as well as on-site food and beverage sales.

Board game

Let participants choose their favourite board game to play. Give out prizes to the winners — you can approach local businesses for contributions. Charge an entrance fee, a fee to play and sell refreshments.

Best ball golf

Everyone signs up in teams. Each person hits their ball; the best hits again. Ask club management to donate tee time. Also consider inviting a local celebrity to promote your cause. Charge an entry fee, a spectator fee and give the winning team a prize.


This can be an online event. Gather teams or individuals to play videogames. Charge an entry fee and spectator fee. Give the winner a prize.

Other ideas

Darts, paintball, bowling, tennis, hockey, soccer.


Commit to doing something difficult, and then get people to sponsor you. Participate in a race or initiate an online challenge. An online challenge usually involves making a video of yourself performing a tough task in support of your cause and challenging your friends to do the same and to donate. The classic example is the “ice-bucket challenge.” Include educational material about your cause when you reach out to sponsors.

Polar-bear swim

This popular fundraising idea is best for early spring. Gather willing participants who have raised money, then you all take the plunge. Sell hot chocolate and chili on site.

Cross-country GPS race

Get sponsored to run cross-country, facing different terrain and several obstacles. Use GPS as a guide.

Guinness Book of World Records

Pick a category (one that helps raise awareness for your cause), register with Guinness, and get sponsors to back you. Then break the world record.

Mud run

The dirtier you get, the better. Get sponsored to run a gruelling race through mud, and earn funds for your cause based on the number of kilometres you run.

Sing a song

Post a video of yourself singing a song, and challenge your friends to do the same and donate.


Auctions can run as standalone events or as part of almost any other fundraising idea. The most profitable ones raise money by auctioning donated items or services. Many businesses are glad to contribute in exchange for advertising, and you can sell refreshments on site.
personal assistant

Personal assistant

This idea is great for schools, universities and camps. Auction off a graduating class or elders of a student group as personal assistants for a day.
Local artwork

Local art

Get local artists to donate pieces to your auction, and/or announce an “art jam” where local artists create art together; each piece is then auctioned off.


Get local professionals to donate vouchers for services, and auction them off. This idea works well in combination with a golf tournament.
Private lessons

Private lessons

Get local artists and teachers to donate private classes. Create coupons and auction them off. This idea is especially successful in combination with a charity dinner.


Almost any idea can become a fundraising event. Most often, money is raised through ticket sales, but you can add other sales, auctions and games to your affair.

Charity dinner

Get a local chef to cater a dinner and a local musician or band to provide entertainment. Invite a guest speaker to raise awareness for your cause.

Truck and tractor rally

Gather tractors and trucks in a large field — vintage and new vehicles make it especially interesting. Charge admission, and sell trucker hats displaying your charity’s logo. It will raise awareness and additional funds, too.

Coffeehouse pottery slam

Get a local coffeehouse or club to host. Charge admission at the door, and advertise a Poetry Slam night with prizes. To raise awareness, challenge each participating poet to write a poem about your cause.

Drive-in movie

Many young people have never experienced a drive-in movie. Give them that experience. Using the side of a building as a screen and a parking lot as the viewing area, charge a fee per person or per car. Sell popcorn and run a short video about your cause before the movie.

Scavenger hunt

Make the hunt as complex as you want, catering to any age group. Raise funds by charging a participation fee, and give the winner a prize.


Games work well in combination with other fundraising ideas, but they can be the main attraction, too. Funds are primarily raised through participation fees.
Balloon Pop

Balloon pop

Gather donated prizes. Insert coupons for the prizes inside balloons and blow them up. Write “Sorry, better luck next time” on other coupons, and insert them in many other balloons. Participants pay a fee. Pop the balloons at once.

Trivia night

This idea can be combined with another event. An MC reads out questions, and participants write down the answers on a score sheet after paying to play. You can organize this game in a hall, club or coffee shop. Management at the venue might be willing to provide the prize in exchange for the extra business and publicity.
Coin vote

Coin vote

Place coin jars around a school, church or other venue, and encourage people to vote on an issue with their coins. The subject of the vote can be anything: the prom theme, a special speaker, whatever you choose. All the coins go to your cause. Create awareness by decorating each jar to showcase your cause, and/or through the theme of the question that’s up for vote.


Providing a service is a great way to raise money for your cause, and it can also be a fantastic team-building tool. Working together for a common goal connects people and encourages community effort.


Gather a group for a carwash. If you don’t have access to water, offer a full-interior cleaning and vacuuming instead. Have everyone involved wear the same colour T-shirt or ones with your charity’s logo. Talk to your town hall; they might allow you to use municipal land for a central location.

Christmas carolling

Go house to house singing yuletide carols. This fun tradition brings together family and gives you a chance to get to know your neighbours. Ask local businesses and the town hall if your group can sing for shoppers, too.

Cooking class

Host a series of cooking classes. Volunteers can take a turn teaching participants how to make a favourite dish. This idea combines well with the charity cookbook idea (above).

Other ideas

Kids love to have their face painted. Have a book of patterns on hand; it helps narrow down choices. This idea works well with any of the tournaments noted above.


Contests bring people together doing what they like to do. Whether it’s eating, cooking, racing, singing or flying a kite, this fundraising idea combines a good time with a good cause. Charge a participation fee, spectator fee and sell food and drinks, too.

BBQ cook-off

Contestants cook their best dish for a panel of judges, and the winner gets a prize. Charge a contest entry fee, spectator fee, and sell barbecue food and drinks, too.


Contestants cook their favourite cake or pie for a panel of judges, and the winner gets a prize. Charge a contest entry fee, spectator fee and sell dessert and coffee/tea, too.

Cardboard boat race

This fundraising idea works best in the summer. Contestants make cardboard boats and race them across a pond or other shallow body of water. Charge a participant fee, a spectator fee and sell refreshments, too.

Fly a kite

Invite contestants to bring a kite to a good flying location such as a beach or an open field. Give prizes for the highest, longest flying, and most beautiful kite. Have a contest-entry fee and refreshments for sale.

Dance/singing show

Very popular on TV, this fundraising idea is sure to attract a crowd. Have the performers judged by local celebrities, and see if a local venue will donate the space. Charge each contestant an entry fee, and sell tickets at the door.

We hope our fundraising
ideas inspired you

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