Resources / Nonprofits
Posted by Angel Rutledge
Creative and Easy Ways to Raise Money for Your Organization
Often, the most challenging part of fundraising is coming up with a creative idea that will motivate the troops. Since the best idea is often found in having a lot of them, you’ll be off to a great start with your next fundraiser with these 50 easy fundraising ideas.
- Choose the Torture - Have donors pay $1 a vote to decide which form of “torture” to inflict on your organization’s leader (i.e. dye hair, dress as a clown, trade a job for a day).
- Bingo Is Its Name-O - Get prizes donated and charge an entrance fee.
- Party Like It’s 1999 -Get entertainment and food donated and charge a ticket fee for each guest.
- SpellS-U-C-C-E-S-S-Hold a spell-a-thonwith each contestant collecting donations for the number of words they spell correctly. The top winners receive donated prizes.
- Smoothie Stand - A healthy and yummy twist on the tired ol’ lemonade stand.
- Strike Gold - Participants ask friends and family to donate old jewelry they no longer wear and turn the gold in for cash.
- 50/50 Raffle- Sell raffle tickets and offer half of the proceeds as prizes.
- Going Once, Going Twice - Seek out service and product donations. Hold an online or live silent auction.
- Buy a Meal - Volunteers donate homemade meals to sell.
- Karaoke Style - Have participants raise pledges for their commitment to lip-sync and sell tickets to the performance.
- Working at the Car Wash - Coordinate group members to wash cars in a high traffic location for donations.
- Cook-Off - Solicit local celebrities to enter their best dishes and have people pay to vote on the winners.
- It’s a Wrap - Coordinate with a store to offer gift wrap services during the holidays.
- It Tastes so Sweet - Get baked goods donated to sell at a large event like a dance or basketball game.
Collect money for a capital campaign with an online sign up.SAMPLE
- Trendy Bracelets - Sell silicone bracelets that promote your cause.
- Scratch Cards - Donors receive a sheet of coupons for a small donation of a few dollars.
- For the Birds - Deliver a group of fake pink flamingos to a donor’s yard and leave a note explaining the cause and asking for a donation to “replant” the flamingos in the yard of the next “victim” the first donor designates.
- Another Man’s Treasure -Collect gently used items from group members to be sold at a yard sale.
- Text It - Use a service that allows your organization to receive donations of $5-10 by text messages.
- Bail Me Out -Handcuff two willing fundraisers and let them loose when they raise “bail”.
- Sticky Fly -Sell pieces of duct tape for donors to stick your group’s leader to a wall suspended above the floor for a portion of an event.
- Sit-a-thon - Offer babysitting services for a designated evening or two.
- Make it Up - Send out invitations to a made up event and offer invitees tickets to support the cause without having to leave home.
- It’s a Bust - Sell balloons for $10 each and insert a number in each that corresponds to a raffle ticket given to the purchaser. Pop a balloon for each available prize and read off the winning number.
- Nacho Dough - Sell a lunch or dinner of nachos and a cookie at a church or school when participants already need to stay through a meal.
- Go Hairless -Volunteers commit to shaving their heads if a specified amount is raised by a deadline.
- Make the Grade - Have students get pledges for “A’s” and “B’s” at the beginning of a quarter and collect the donations after report card time.
- Change It - Start a competition between classes, families or individuals by giving them each a coin jar to collect change for a designated amount of time. The one with the most collected wins a prize.
- Skip a Meal - Sponsors commit to giving up a meal together and give the money saved to the designated cause.
- Holiday Shop - Collect new and gently used items from your volunteers and resell them in gift baskets at a holiday shop.
- Rent-a-Worker - Volunteers commit to working for an afternoon doing any odd jobs sponsors “hire” them to do.
- Egg ‘Em On - Go door to door negotiating with each neighbor for how much they will pay to see you do a crazy stunt with a raw egg (i.e. juggle, crack it on your head, throw it up and catch it).
- Go Casual - In schools or offices with specific uniforms, everyone gets to dress down if they raise enough money to meet a goal.
- Pay it Forward - Give each person in your organization $10 and a specific amount of time to use the funds to raise as much as they can for the cause.
- Reverse Raffle - All potential sponsors get a raffle ticket and sell it back for $10 to avoid getting their name drawn to do something embarrassing.
- Cookbook -Group members offer their best family recipes for a cookbook.
- Fore! - Hold a tournament at a golf course that will offer reduced greens fees and get prizes donated. Getting local celebrities to participate will draw more participants.
- Diva it Up -Design and sell t-shirts advertising your group’s cause.
- Work of Art -The younger members in your organization create a drawing that is transferred onto note cards, t-shirts, mouse pads or coffee mugs for purchase.
- Spa Night - Offer to have female volunteers give manis, pedis and 5 minute massages at a Women’s Night Out for donations.
- Halloween Collection - Use this door-to-door holiday to collect coats, candy, or change for your charity.
- Give it Up -Sponsors commit to give up a regular activity for a month and donate the money they save to the designated cause.
- Capital Campaign - Set a goal, make the direct ask, and avoid an endless slew of small fundraisers.
- Social Media Call - Let potential donors know about your fundraising need through Facebook and Twitter.
- X Marks the Spot - Sell golf balls for $10 each and send them all down a hill with the “tosser” blindfolded. The 3 that get closest to the center of a taped “X” below win cash prizes.
- Eat for a Cause - Ask a local restaurant to donate 10% of their profits on a designated night for your cause in exchange for encouraging supporters to eat there.
Organize volunteers for a fundraiser with a sign up.SAMPLE
- Matching Gift -Ask a corporation or individual to match any donations your organization collects in a specified amount of time. Then, contact potential donors about giving to match the gift.
- Birthday Pledge - Ask for donations to a favorite cause instead of birthday gifts.
- Who’s Got Talent - Hold a talent show with an entry fee for each act and sell tickets.
- Pump it Up - Coordinate with a local gas station to have volunteers serve as gas station attendants who pump gas and clean windshields for donations for a day.
If you'd like to read about even more fundraising ideas, check out additional articles on the SignUpGenius Resource page. You can also leave your own creative idea for a fundraiser or let us know which ones you like best from this article in a post below. In order to protect our users, we ask that contact information and names of specific companies not be posted. May your next fundraiser be the most successful one yet!
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How to raise $5,000 for charity? ›
- Start a crowdfunding campaign.
- Encourage matching donations.
- Sell event tickets online.
- Use raffle games and sell products to raise more money.
- Fundraise during giving days.
- Invite supporters to raise money for you.
- Talk to the charity you're raising funds for. ...
- Run your own fundraising event. ...
- Launch a social media competition. ...
- Ask people to volunteer their time and skills. ...
- Make it easy for others to share details of your fundraiser. ...
- Get your community together – online and off.
- Matching Gifts. ...
- Coffee Bean Sale. ...
- Dog Walking. ...
- Text-to-Give Tools. ...
- Penny Drive. ...
- Specific Date and Amount Fundraiser. ...
- Used Book Sale. ...
- Holiday Candygrams.
- Donation Jars. In the age of cryptocurrency and digital wallets, we often forget about cash as a quick donation option. ...
- Community Yard Sale. ...
- 50/50 Raffle. ...
- Bake Sale. ...
- Concession Stand. ...
- Car Wash. ...
- Team Trivia Night. ...
- Sports Tournament.
- Rent a Home, Car, or Storage Space.
- Make Deliveries.
- Drive for Uber or Lyft.
- Sell High-Value Items.
- Invest in Stocks.
- Sell Stuff Online.
- Real Estate Investing.
One of the most common myths to clear up is that $5 won't do much good. Many nonprofit experts, like Tibbetts, actually argue the opposite. “Monthly giving is the best way to maximize your impact, especially with smaller contributions,” she says.How to raise millions for nonprofit? ›
- Create a donation page.
- Offer the text-giving option.
- Send out fundraising letters.
- Launch a crowdfunding campaign.
- Host a fundraising event.
- Try peer-to-peer fundraising.
- Enable recurring donations.
- Ask for sponsorships.
1 on Forbes' annual top charities list: Feeding America, the Chicago-based umbrella that helps supply a network of more than 200 U.S. regional and local food banks. It posted $4.06 billion in donations, a 47% increase in its two fiscal years overlapping the pandemic.What is a good amount of money to give to charity? ›
Start with 1% of your income, then work your way up. If you make $100,000 a year, that's $1,000 per year going to a public charity, or $20 per week. That's very doable. If you want to match the donation of the average American in your income bracket, you can slowly move it up to 3% of your income.How can I fundraise without begging? ›
- Thank Donors. Thanking donors is probably the number one way to involve board members in fundraising without having them feeling like they are fundraising. ...
- Open Doors. ...
- Sign Letters. ...
- Forward Emails. ...
- Bring Guests. ...
- Lead Tours. ...
- Host Receptions. ...
- Research and Write Grants.
How can I make money in one hour? ›
- Online focus groups or surveys.
- Be a virtual assistant.
- Sell or resell items of value.
- Review your recurring bills.
- Rent out recreational equipment or your pool.
- Become an online tutor or translator.
- T-Shirt Fundraisers. ...
- Matching Gifts. ...
- Online Product Fundraisers. ...
- Volunteer Grants. ...
- Walk-a-Thons. ...
- Crowdfunding Campaign. ...
- Virtual Classes. ...
- Virtual Book Club.
It's knowing when and how to respond appropriately, being clear and accurate and making the exchange pleasant. Fundraisers should focus on delivering information about their cause in a way that's tailored to the listener. It should be engaging, interesting and informative. And that takes advanced communication skills.What is a successful fundraiser? ›
Great Interpersonal Skills
Building a good rapport with potential donors can make them more likely to contribute to your cause. This is particularly important for face-to-face fundraising, but it's also a key skill for online fundraising campaigns and telephone fundraising.
- Create and share your fundraiser. ...
- Host offline fundraising events. ...
- Ask local businesses to match donations. ...
- Sponsor group events. ...
- Collect donations for school fundraising.
- Take part in research (up to $150/hour) ...
- Get paid to take surveys. ...
- Get paid to watch videos online. ...
- Answer questions for money. ...
- Get paid to play games online. ...
- Download this app and make money by going online. ...
- Make an extra $100 pet sitting. ...
- Become a shopper.
- Sell Your Stuff.
- Get a Side Hustle or Part-Time Job.
- Start a Blog.
- Start an E-Commerce Store.
- Invest in Real Estate.
- Set up Passive Income Streams.
- Make Money Online.
- Sell Your Car. If you own a car that's paid off, you could sell it and make a significant chunk of money quickly. ...
- Sell Unwanted Jewelry. ...
- Sell Stuff You Don't Need. ...
- Start a Trash Cleanup Business. ...
- Rent Out Your Camper or RV. ...
- Rent Out Your House. ...
- Rent Out Your Car or Truck. ...
- Rent Out Storage Space.
The IRS requires charities and nonprofits to give donors receipts for annual donations totaling $250 or more. Asking for $19 monthly adds up to only $228 a year. This saves them from the cost and time needed to mail receipts to their many donors.Why are all donations $19? ›
According to Marketplace, $19 is around the minimum that makes sense from a budgetary standpoint. Running charities and advertising them cost money, and organizations don't want all the funds they raise to go into these additional expenses. Donors also want to feel like the money they're giving will make a difference.
What is a decent donation? ›
Some recommend giving 1% of your income to charity each month, while other recommendations range between 3% to 10%.How does a CEO of a nonprofit get paid? ›
The bottom line is that non-profit founders and employees are paid from the gross revenues of the organization. These salaries are considered part of the operating costs of the organization.How many fundraising staff does it take to raise $1 million? ›
The conclusion from the survey is that “it takes one full-time staff person to raise $500,000, with additional staff needed for $1M and incrementally thereafter”. In other words, for every $500,000 of revenue, you'll need 1 staff member.What are the main 4 categories of fundraising? ›
- Donations. Smaller groups often think it's too hard or they're not worthy to get donations. ...
- Crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is an online fundraising campaign for a specific project. ...
- Memberships. ...
- Events. ...
- Sales and earned income. ...
|1||Novo Nordisk Foundation||Copenhagen|
|2||Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation||Seattle|
|4||Stichting INGKA Foundation||Leiden|
|Charity Name||Percentage of funds that go directly to the cause, versus administrative or fundraising costs|
|Matthew 25: Ministries||99.40%|
|Kids In Need Foundation||99.40%|
|Brother's Brother Foundation||99.40%|
He has given away US$51.5 billion over his lifetime, according to Forbes. The top 25 richest Americans gave US$27 billion to charitable causes in 2022, outpacing the previous two years despite a slumping stock market that sent many fortunes back.What is the most common donation amount? ›
According to their data, the average one-time donation in 2021 was $125; that's up $14 from an average donation amount of $111 in 2020. The average monthly gift size increased, too, but only by $1. The average monthly donation in 2021 was $25, up from $24 in 2020.What is a wealthy person willing to help those in need? ›
In short, a philanthropist is someone who donates their money, experience, time, talent or skills to help others and create a better world. Though we often think of them as people who have millions of dollars to donate, you don't have to be a famous philanthropist with a huge net worth to qualify.How much does the Bible say to give to charity? ›
10% to support the priests and Levites (Numbers 18:21,24). This is what we think of when we refer to tithing today. 10% provided for a sacred festival (Deuteronomy 12:17-18; 14:22-27) 10% supported orphans, widows and the poor (Deuteronomy 14:28-29; 26:12-14) and was collected one time every three years.
What is illegal fundraising? ›
Fundraising can be illegal if it contravenes the Income Tax Act or any other laws. It is also unacceptable for a registered charity to fundraise or otherwise make its resources available to support terrorism.What is the number one rule of fundraising? ›
The first rule of fundraising is that people give to people. The corollary of this rule is that the people who are getting must have a viable list of prospects who can give.Can you do a fundraiser for anything? ›
The best thing about personal fundraising? There are no restrictions on what projects, life events, or causes you can fundraise for. As long as you can create a page and ask people to donate, the possibilities are endless!How can I earn $200 a day? ›
- Freelancing. Many skills can make you money as a freelancer. ...
- Drive for Uber or Lyft. ...
- Deliver Food. ...
- Complete Tasks on TaskRabbit. ...
- Pet Sitting or Dog Walking. ...
- Sell Items Online. ...
- Participate in Paid Focus Groups or Surveys. ...
- Rent Your Space.
- Massage therapist.
- Health coach.
- Freelance photographer.
- Freelance designer.
- Interior designer.
- Take Online Surveys.
- Deliver food.
- Drive for Uber and Lyft.
- Freelance on Fiverr or Upwork.
- Pet Sit.
- Be an Airbnb Host.
- Give transparency into details about your story. As the saying goes, honesty is the best policy. ...
- Be specific in your ask. ...
- Create a sense of urgency. ...
- Be thoughtful in your outreach. ...
- Use text messages and email to your advantage. ...
- Make it easy to donate. ...
- Try other creative ways to ask for donations. ...
- Show gratitude to your donors.
In short, an envelope fundraiser involves a series of envelopes that represent different donation amounts. Supporters select an envelope of their desired gift size, put their money in it, and return it to your nonprofit.What is a penny drive fundraiser? ›
Generous schoolchildren donate pennies, change, and even dollars to help Joya serve children. Community and school penny drives have raised a total of more than $3.3 million since 1996.Do fundraisers make a lot of money? ›
Fundraisers made a median salary of $60,660 in 2021. The best-paid 25% made $78,470 that year, while the lowest-paid 25% made $47,250.
What do you say in a fundraiser? ›
I'm writing to ask you to support me and my [cause/project/etc.]. Just a small donation of [amount] can help me [accomplish task/reach a goal/etc.] Your donation will go toward [describe exactly what the contribution will be used for]. [When possible, add a personal connection to tie the donor to the cause.How long should a fundraiser last? ›
Ideally, a fundraiser should last for a week or two to give people enough time to learn about the fundraising campaign and contribute to it. It will provide room for the campaign promotion and reach a wider audience.What is the most important aspect of fundraising? ›
Goal setting is one of the most important aspects of any endeavor. Budgetary needs of the organization generally guide the fundraising goals that are needed. Your organization should have yearly financial requirements, and then a plan to reach that requirement with individual fundraisers and campaigns.What are the three C's of fundraising? ›
The 3 Cs of Fundraising – Capacity, Commitment and Connection.How can I raise money fast? ›
Selling personal belongings—such as clothing, electronics, or books—online may help you raise cash in an emergency. Consider taking on an odd job, such as babysitting, dog walking, or yard work, to help bring in extra money. You may be owed unclaimed property by the state, especially if you've moved around a lot.How much can I donate to charity without raising a red flag? ›
With cash donations, you'll need either a receipt or a canceled check with the date and amount -- if the donation is for less than $250. Donations of $250 or more will require a written record of the donation from the organization.How much can I say I donated to charity without proof? ›
For any contribution of $250 or more (including contributions of cash or property), you must obtain and keep in your records a contemporaneous written acknowledgment from the qualified organization indicating the amount of the cash and a description of any property other than cash contributed.How much can you reduce income by giving to charities? ›
The gift makes up a large percentage of your income.
Your deduction for charitable contributions is generally limited to 60% of your AGI. For tax years 2020 and 2021, you can deduct cash contributions in full up to 100% of your AGI to qualified charities. There are limits for non-cash contributions.
As a general rule, a private foundation should make a charitable “payout”—in grants and qualifying operating expenses (explained further below)—totaling at least 5% of total assets annually to remain in compliance with federal and state tax codes.Who gets audited by IRS the most? ›
Who gets audited by the IRS the most? In terms of income levels, the IRS in recent years has audited taxpayers with incomes below $25,000 and above $500,000 at higher-than-average rates, according to government data.
Does the IRS know how much money I have in the bank? ›
The Short Answer: Yes. Share: The IRS probably already knows about many of your financial accounts, and the IRS can get information on how much is there.Can you write off a $100 donation? ›
The total of your church cash donations plus all other charitable contributions you make during the year typically cannot exceed 60 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI). If it does, then you cannot deduct 100 percent of your donations in the current tax year.How does the IRS verify charitable donations? ›
If you donated cash or a monetary gift, you must have written confirmation from the charity to claim the deduction. The confirmation must state the name of the organization, the date you made the gift, and the amount. It must also state the value of anything you received in exchange.Can I claim up to 300 without receipts? ›
Even if you only claim below $300, you should be ready to explain what it was, how you paid for it, and how it is related to your work. Claiming deductions without a receipt can be a tricky part of doing your tax return and it is certainly not recommended.What is 50% vs 30% charity? ›
But there are limits depending on whether you donate the funds to a “50% charity” or a “30% charity.” As the name implies, the total deduction for gifts to 50% charities cannot exceed 50% of a taxpayer's adjusted gross income (AGI). Accordingly, donations to 30% charities are limited to 30% of AGI.What is the most you can write off for charity? ›
Your deduction for charitable contributions generally can't be more than 60% of your AGI, but in some cases 20%, 30%, or 50% limits may apply. Table 1 gives examples of contributions you can and can't deduct.What is the easiest nonprofit to start? ›
- Youth sports.
- Youth welfare (e.g., education, anti-drug, arts)
- Animal welfare.
- Arts and culture.
- Civic group (e.g., garden club)
If your foundation will have an administrator, then $500,000 is generally considered the minimum amount to have to start a foundation, $2 million to $5 million if the foundation will hire staff.Is it hard to start your own charity? ›
More often than not, the goal is to create a positive change in the world or have a positive impact. However, many nonprofits out there like to make it look easy. But the fact of the matter is that starting a charity organization is no easy feat, especially if you are coming from the number-crunching business world.