11 Creative Fundraising Ideas to Try for Your Next Event

Looking to raise some funds for your charity but tired of the usual bake sale or silent auction? An engaging event where participants and donors can interact and have fun just may be the solution.  We have put together a list of creative fundraising ideas to inspire your next fundraising event. If you are feeling a bit more motivated, why not combine two or three of the activities to amplify the fun, inspire engagement, and of course, increase donations.

1. Book Swap

girl holding a stack of books, hosting a book swap as a creating fundraising idea

The mechanics of a Book Swap Party is pretty straightforward; everyone brings books that they would like to let go and swap with titles from other book owners. Organizers can set up shelves to display the books, set up an area where participants can lounge, mingle, read the books and enjoy refreshments. Leftover books can be donated to schools and local libraries. If you wish to gather funds with this event, you can ask the participants to pay a minimal fee for the books they will get from the swap.

2. Fashion Show

Hosting a fashion show is a creative fundraiser to gather support. When hosting a fashion show, you can enlist the help of budding fashion designers in your school and community. This can be a good opportunity to promote their talent. Another option is to gather clothing donations, showcase the line through a fashion show and have the participants bid for the items. Items that were not sold can be donated to an organization.

3. Trivia Night

Hosting a trivia night can be a great way to raise funds. One way you can do this is by asking the participants to pay a fee to join the game. Include creative fundraising events throughout the night by selling craft beers or souvenir items. Make the night more fun and intensify the competition by adding a prize for the winning team.

4. Art Jam

group of artists painting as a creative fundraising idea

Art and Paint Jam is starting to gain a foothold as a creative fundraising idea. It works by inviting painters, usually street artists, to paint side by side. Viewers and art enthusiasts can watch by paying an entrance fee. If possible, artworks produced during the event can be set up for bidding.

5. Guess Who? Baby Photo Contest

Guess Who? Baby Photo Contest is one of the creative fundraising ideas you can hold in the office. A board in the pantry or along the hallway can serve as a display area for the featured employee’s baby photo. By donating a certain amount, participants can get a stub where they can write their guess. To make it more fun, organizers can raffle off small prizes from the submitted entries.

6. Board Game Tournament

A board game tournament is an interactive way to raise funds. Choose a board game that most people are familiar with like Monopoly, Scrabble or Jenga. Look for a space with enough room for spectators and audience. You can inject a little bit more competition by adding time constraints and giving prizes to the winners.

7. Tree Planting Charity

volunteers planting a tree as a creative fundraising idea

There are various organizations that you can work with to set up a tree planting charity event. There’s a long list of fundraisers you can choose from depending on your goal—from memorial gift trees to recycling Christmas trees to Adopt-a-Tree events. Whichever organization you decide to support, mother earth will thank you for organizing an environment-friendly charity.

8. Barbecue Cook-off Contest

Get your neighbors grilling by hosting a barbecue cook-off contest in your community. Creative fundraisers such as a barbecue cook-off contest can bring along a string of benefits. Apart from raising funds, it’s a great way for the members of the community to socialize and get to know each other. If proven successful, you may just be starting a yearly tradition in your community.

9. Treasure Hunt

Kids of all ages will love a good treasure hunt event. If your event falls close to a holiday, you can use this holiday as the theme for the hunt. A treasure hunt is more fun in groups, it can be a great way to boost teamwork. Organizing a treasure hunt for grown-ups? Make it more challenging by encrypting the treasure hunt clues. Use pictographs or mirrored writings instead of the usual map.

10. Discount Coupon Books

There are two ways to organize a Discount Coupon Book Fundraiser—connect with your local shops and stores and self-compile the coupons or sell booklets made by coupon book companies. Just remember that you will need to create an extensive promotion and advertisement plan for this kind of creative fundraiser. Use fliers and posters, and create a social media page or website for the campaign.

11. Skip the Snacks

Looking for creative fundraising ideas to host in your office? Skip the Snacks could be it. This works by asking your colleagues to donate the amount that they usually spend for snacks. Get more participation by hosting this event in January when most people are looking for ways to shed off the holiday weight gain.

With a little bit of creativity, charity and fundraising events can be fun and exciting. So, go ahead start planning your next fund drive with these creative fundraising ideas.

About the Author

Imee Rabang is a blogger/writer and bilingual poet from Manila, Philippines. She is an advocate of Philippine culture and supports causes that promote language and national identity. She juggles her time between work, parenthood, and community outreach programs. She also dabbles in photography and graphic arts in her free time.
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