Not Your Boring Bake Sale: Fundraising Ideas for Non-Profit Organizations

If you’re a non-profit, you’re used to organizing car washes and bake sales to raise money. Maybe you sell t-shirts or something. Well, there are many other fundraising ideas you haven’t tried. Here are a few to try out for your next campaign.

Host A Street Carnival

A carnival or a fair is a great way to raise money. Yes, you will need a lot of volunteers, and you will have to rent some party equipment, but it will be well worth it. Rent an inflatable bouncing castle for kids, hire a band, and set up various games or even an old-fashioned kissing booth.

Tell the community about it. You can charge a nominal entrance fee or charge for each game. If you want to raise more money, set up a food stand or have a BBQ. If you buy meat in bulk, or work with a local butcher for donated or partially donated meat, you could raise quite a substantial sum of money.

Send Potential Donors Texts

Text for dollars. Send potential donors text messages and ask them to send in donations via texts. You can promote the campaign by word of mouth and social media. Organizations like Text2Give might be able to help your organization put together the best fundraiser you’ve ever had.

Text donations are simple, and this is really why they work. Donors can respond with pledges to give, or they can donate right from their phone.

Organize A Competition

Organize a local competition. An eating contest, a dance contest, a fashion show – all of these could work very well for your organization. People will pay to enter the contest, and you can put together first, second, and third prize gifts. Just make sure that you check local laws so that you’re not breaking any laws.

Sell Raffle Tickets

This is a bit old-school, but consider holding a raffle. People pay money to enter the drawing and you choose between one and three winners. You could give away something really fun like custom playing cards or you could offer a percentage of the total takings.

Again, make sure you check with local laws to be sure that your raffle is legal – especially if you’re hosting a “lottery-style” giveaway where part of the proceeds are given back to a lucky winner.

Organize A Dance

Organize a dance where everyone who comes pays a small entrance fee. You can use services like Spotify, Apple Music, or Pandora to play music all night long for dancers. If you want to kick things up a notch, organize a ballroom dance that includes the waltz, swing dancing, and foxtrot.

This will bring in serious dancers.

You could also set up a refreshments stand or bring in someone to cook food for dancers throughout the night and charge a nominal fee for the food.

Finally, don’t forget to offer the dancers something. You don’t necessarily have to hold a strict dance contest, but perhaps you could combine the raffle idea with the dancing and offer a door prize.

Bruce Webb occupies a senior role within a non-profit organization. He is passionate about his work and pleased to share his insights online. You can find his previous posts on a number of different websites.

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