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Giving Tips: 20 Unique Fundraising Ideas!

fundraising-300x300Fundraising, without a doubt this is the ultimate hustle for anyone leading a nonprofit, and you must do it to thrive. The challenge often is coming up with something that is unique, that can rally the troops and most importantly raise funds. Truth is tried and true is often the same route that a lot of nonprofits take, i.e gala’s, product sells and the list goes on. Donors do get tired of the same old fundraising ideas, they are looking for something unique, something fun and it’s your job as the nonprofit to keep them giving and keep them on their toes. Use these 20 unique Fundraising Ideas to get things moving for your nonprofit. As always, we here at BCG wish you the best of luck with funding your mission!

  1. Get The Kiddies Involved! So often we think of fundraising from the adult perspective but people have kids and they are always looking to get their kids involved in something. Hold a Kids Teddy Bear Picnic, A Kids Day Out – Have your staff and program participants teach kids dancing, modeling, acting, arts activities ect. Set a price that fulfills all that you spent perhaps $15-25/per kid. Set a goal to have 100+ kids and you may see an extra $2,000 in your bank account.
  2. Get Hip to Affinity Group Fundraising!  Affinity fundraising groups are when you put together a network of people who will support your organization and raise money on your behalf.  For example, you may have a lawyers group, a young professionals group, or a nurses group. Look at your professional network, if you are a lawyer, consider hosting a Lawyers for (Insert Your Cause Here) mixer or gathering where people pay to attend for the cause.  Because affinity fundraising group members share something in common, they often grow virally, with members inviting new people who share the group’s common interest to join, your efforts are multiplied beyond the time and other resources you spend on the group.
  3. Strike Gold! If you haven’t seen a we pay cash for gold sign or commercial you obviously have been living under a rock. Start a campaign where you ask volunteers to ask friends and family to donate old jewelry they no longer wear and turn the gold in for cash. Make it fun, create a flyer, tell people how much their treasure was worth to your cause.
  4. Host a Street Carnival! Surprisingly, carnival games are cheap to rent. Come uo with a small budget, perhaps $500 to rent a bounce house and other carnival games, sell tickets, maybe two for a $1, plus sell food and drinks and start promoting. Remember people are always seeking activities for the kids.
  5. Competitions Rule! Everyone has a competitive spirit in them, well not everyone, but a lot of people. Consider hosting a competitive event, maybe a Wii or XBox challenge for prizes, each entrant pays a fee and they compete for bragging rights and others prizes.
  6. 50/50 Raffles Don’t Get Old! Sell raffle tickets and offer half of the proceeds as prizes.
  7. Snoballs! Micro-giving is certainly growing and the best thing about it is you can continuously be receiving small donations even while you are doing your other fundraising initiatives. People can donate $1 every time your home sports teams win a game, the more people you get to pledge the better. For more information on setting up a Snoball click here.
  8. Holiday Giving! Rally the troops around the holidays to sell items surrounding the holidays. For example on Valentine’s Day sell roses or handmade cards, or for Easter, sell participant made easter baskets. People will feel good that they are getting what they need but also helping out a cause.
  9. Dance-A-Thon! Get people moving,  Father -Daughter Dances are great! Hold a dance night for elderly couples, offer a prize for best outfit or who danced the longest.
  10. Offer a Service or Training for a Fee! Do you or someone on your staff have a training specialty you can offer? Consider hosting a speaker series or training series for a cost where people can learn certain techniques or services they can in-turn offer to others.
  11. Fashion Shows! Fashion shows are always fun, getting clothes from major retailers is often as simple as providing a one-sheet, credit during the show and providing your credit card in case any of the items are damaged. Hold a model call and rally the troops. Be creative, fashion shows don’t always have to be about people, a Philadelphia organization hosts a dog fashion show every year, last year they raised a cool $20k, people l love their dogs!
  12. Jean’s Day! Know a large law firm or call center? Pitch a jean’s day, all employees pay $5 to wear jeans.
  13. Take a celebrity “prisoner.” One of the absolute best unique fundraising ideas is to take a local celebrity “prisoner” for a day. The celebrity is given a cell phone and only released (usually kept in a faux cage in a public place) when he or she has raised enough money from friends, family and the crowd that gathers in front of the cage. It’s all in good fun and can attract public attention for your cause.
  14. School supply packages. While selling school supplies, isn’t unique, your group can make it easy on parents by getting the school supply lists from the local schools, buying the supplies, organizing them into packages and charging a premium.
  15. Host a Cook Off! Everyone believes they are the best cook in the city right. Well solicit local celebrities and everyday people to enter their best dishes and have people pay to vote on the winners. $1/vote and the person with the most money wins the trophy. Think of a Chili cook out, maybe the best fried turkey, be creative. You can also get local restaurants involved, think ‘The Best Soul Food” in the city. And if we know one thing people love to eat so it’s all in how you advertise it!
  16. Crowd-funding! Social networking campaigns with GoFundMe or Indiegogo. No list of unique fundraising ideas would be complete without mentioning the impact social networking sites have had on charitable giving. By creating an engaging and attractive presence on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, your organization can often boost donations and increase public awareness of your mission
  17. Match Maker! People are always looking for love!  Host a charity Dating Game or a Bachelor/Bachelorette Auction. The highest bidder wins the date and all the public is welcomed, with a  fee of course.
  18. Make the Grade! Does your organization work with kids?Have students get pledges for “A’s” and “B’s” at the beginning of a quarter and collect the donations after report card time.
  19. Host a Spa Night! Offer to have female volunteers give manis, pedis and 5 minute massages at a Women’s Night Out for donations.
  20. Birthday Pledges! Ask for donations to a favorite cause instead of birthday gifts.

Yes fundraising is hard and very competitive but you must do it if you hope your organization will continue to remain and thrive. Be creative, maybe these 20 ideas are not for you, but never stop thinking of ways to raise the funds you need! Do share these tips with someone in your network!


9 Responses

  1. Logan Langhout

    Fundraising organizers are realizing that in order to complete the event with a significant amount of raised revenue, it must be run as efficiently and resourcefully as a business. Websites, online payment capability, and electronic payment processing are three key factors that can help overcome many of fundraising’s obstacles. :;

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  2. Brad Campanaro

    Fundraising through various activities as sales, silent auctions, walk-a-thons, races, or entertainment events is a popular revenue generator for charitable and non-profit organizations. However, quite a few obstacles exist in the pursuit of running a successful fundraiser, including lacking or overworked volunteers, limited payment methods, limited reach, and overall process inefficiencies.`;

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