6+ Best Fundraising Event Ideas

Holding an event is the most popular way of raising funds. Typically you can get the community involved for a greater financial gain. Non-profits all over the country hold different events to maximize collections and are usually an annual thing. Holding a fundraising event can be the major way an organization replenishes their funds and keep your organization out in front of the community. Offering a chance to work on donor relations and cultivation. Lets start with some tips on running a fundraising event. Then move on to some fundraising event ideas. 

Fundraising Event Tips


Probably the most important part is to advertise the event. This may go without saying, but all too often it is over looked. Partnerships with local newspaper, television or radio can keep costs low. Often a simple press release to the local news station will give you a start on advertising. 


Choose a location that is known through out the community. Accessible to everyone and large enough to hold the expected amount of attendants. 

Date and Time

The obvious choice is a weekend day. You can get away with a Friday evening or an earlier week night if you plan on the event being short. This will also depend on the expected crowd. Not enough time and the attendance will be cut short. Too long and you may be wasting time waiting for people to show. 


Make sure you have a committee to organize and run the event. This committee should be outside of the executive committee and it's sole focus is this event. Finding volunteers to help the day of the event will take a load off the committee as well. Many hands make light work. Even if a volunteer can only help for a couple hours, this can be huge to prevent volunteer burn out. 

Fundraising Event Ideas

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Events

Doing a "food" type event can be very profitable. Many organizations do a breakfast or chicken-q type of event. This does mean you will require volunteers to cook. There are food safety standards and any licenses to consider as well. But these types of events usually bring large crowds looking for a good meal. Space can be minimal here as the crowd will not be staying for more than 35-45 minutes. You can move attendants through the line quickly and even offer take away meals. Pre-sales help with determining how much food to purchase or prep. 

fundraising event idea chicken q

Bake Sale

Following the food line... A bake sale can be held at the same time as the breakfast or dinner event. Setting up baked goods for sale table following the food line or next to a drink table can entice hungry attendants to purchase more. Volunteers will often jump at the chance to donate some baked good instead of helping at the event. They can bake something on their own time instead of dedicating time at the event. 


A raffle can be a great way to add extra funds to an event. Similar to the bake sale idea, you can have donated items from local business up for raffle. Attendants purchase tickets for a chance to win the items. Check with local authorities on any ordinances or laws you need to adhere by before doing the raffle. 50/50 drawings are also very popular. Attendants purchase tickets for a chance to win 50% of the funds collected. As more tickets are sold the "pot" increases. If you have this type of raffle make sure you announce what the wining pot will be at specific intervals. This increases awareness about the drawing and as the pot gets larger more people will purchase tickets. Again check on local laws to make sure your organization does not get into any trouble. 

fundraising event ideas rubber ducks

Rubber Duck Derby 

This is going to be difficult if you don't have access to a waterway close to your organization. These little ducks are relatively cheap to purchase in bulk and can be reused year after year. Storage may be a concern. You will also need a way to collect the ducks when the event is over. Check with your local DNR or local government to make sure you can do such an event. Typically the duck is numbered and the attendants pay to sponsor a duck or ducks. The winning duck get a percentage of the funds collected. Easy, fast but again check with local authorities on rules about using the water way. 

Costume Party/Dance

Holding a costume party or dance is a great way to bring a community together. Selling tickets to the dance to cover the cost of entertainment and venue. Then sell baked goods, soda, and (if allowed) alcohol. These events do the best on the weekend evenings for obvious reasons. With social settings on hold for 2020 these can be a huge fundraising event idea for the coming year. You can do any number of the other fundraisers at this particular event as well.  


These are great for school aged children. Typically students seek out their own donors. They collect pledges based on the number of activities they complete in the allotted time. For example a read-a-thon the activity is reading a set of books in a month. For any type of a-thon you will need some way of tracking the students progress. There are all kinds of platforms to collect online pledges as well as tracking. 

Clothing Drive

Double the Donation lists out great ways to organize a shoe drive. A drive for coats in colder climates is a great way to support children who don't have a warm coat for winter. Clothing drives are simple and easy to setup up. Typically you need a donation bin and some time. You should still advertise the drive to the community you are targeting for the drive. Later the clothing can be distributed to a needy child or family in the community. 

Fundraising doesn't have to be an all year thing. There are many more events that can be successful for your organization. Finding partners and volunteers is a big part of making your event successful. Make sure you check with local authorities on any event you put on. There is nothing worse than holding a great event and finding out you broke a law and can't hold the event again. 

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