8 Successful Fundraiser Ideas for Nonprofits You Should Know about

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Written by Tim Grable

April 25, 2019


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Finding new fundraiser ideas for nonprofits is no walk in the park, and doing it consistently is even harder. There is a lot of pressure riding on you to come up with profitable ideas which will raise enough money to keep your organization moving forward.

The most successful fundraisers are the ones who manage to spark interest, engage donors and ultimately raise plenty of donations for their cause.

So although there are plenty of resources online to get inspired from, it’s sometimes hard to know which ideas are profitable.

With this article, we wanted to help you save time planning your next event by sharing a few fundraising ideas for nonprofits you can use to plan exciting events and gain support for your cause. Let’s dive right in!

4 Successful Fundraiser Ideas for Nonprofits You Should Know about

1. Online Fundraiser

Sometimes you need to be creative in raising money for your nonprofit.  Consider shifting galas and fundraising online during times of crisis.  A virtual fundraiser is a new way to reach donors and overcome gala fatigue.  Many charities have successfully raise more money virtually than in person!

2. Benefit Concert

If you want your next fundraising event to stand out from the rest, you can’t go wrong with organizing a benefit concert. Concerts are fun, appeal to a large crowd of people and can be extremely profitable.

You’ve probably seen those big shows on TV featuring famous singers and bands performing for a cause.

But not all events need to feature huge celebrities to sell tickets, meaning you can adapt this idea to fit the size and budget of your nonprofit – and still raise plenty of funds.

Assuming your best friend isn’t a huge celebrity whom you have on speed dial, your safest bet for performers will be local musicians. This can be a positive thing, given the fact that these performers will likely invite their family and friends to see them perform.

That means more potential donors at your event and more tickets sold.  

keyboard, music, artist

Plus, you can even ask the performers to promote your charity across their social media accounts in the weeks leading up to the event. Alternatively, you can set up a fundraiser page so performers’ fans who can’t attend the show can still show their support and donate.

3. County Fair

As you probably know, this is the time of the year when county fairs are starting to pop out throughout the country. These types of events usually gather many people and thus represent an excellent opportunity to raise money for your cause.

Instead of organizing a fundraiser event from scratch, you can reach out to organizers of a local county fair happening in your area. Talk to them about your organization’s cause and ask to be a part of the county fair.

Set up a booth to attract county-fair goers and get a chance to tell them about your nonprofit, the cause it supports and how they can contribute.

4. Bowling Day

A bowling alley is probably not the first venue which comes to mind when thinking about hosting a successful fundraiser event – but that element of novelty is precisely what will help your event stand out from the rest.

Reach out to a bowling alley in your area to rent a group of lanes. If you know you will have many guests, rent the entire space. Make sure to take care of this aspect as early on as possible and see if you can get a discount for renting multiple lanes.

To raise money, ask an entrance fee to the event. At the event, divide guests into teams and consider offering small prizes to those who win (such as branded merchandise).

5. Community Picnic

With the weather warming up, you can start thinking about applying more fundraiser ideas for nonprofits which involve hosting fun events outside – like a community picnic.

It’s a great way to raise awareness about your cause among community members, as well as get people to interact in a fun and casual manner.

picnic, people, park

To raise money, you can charge for the food and drinks being served during the event. Make sure you have a team of dedicated volunteers helping you out with handing out the food or hire a catering company – if you can.

Also, think about pitching your idea to local businesses like bakeries or sandwich shops which may be willing to support your cause by contributing to the event.

6. Doggie Happy Hour

This is one of those successful fundraiser ideas for nonprofits which pretty much appeal to any demographic.

After all, few things are better than getting to play with an adorable dog while sipping from a delicious drink, right? As the name suggests, this event idea involves community members bringing out their cutest four-legged friends for a fun get-together.

dog, dogs, puppy, running

To raise money for your cause, you’ll ask for an entrance fee to the event. Just make sure guests are aware of the allergy risks which come with interacting with dogs. Also, if your event is open to minors, it’s best to stick to serving non-alcoholic beverages and cocktails.

7. Fun Run (Peer-to-Peer Fundraising)

Peer-to-peer fundraisers involve connecting with your base of supporters and encouraging them to reach out to their friends, family, and neighbors to help raise more money together.

This empowers your supporters and helps you engage a larger community in your fundraising efforts.

When it comes peer-to-peer fundraising, athletic events such as runs are extremely popular; allowing big numbers of people to come together in support of a cause. Also, you ensure the event is not only cost-effective but also much fun.

Set up an event page and ask supporters to spread the word, so their friends and family register to attend. To further boost the event’s return on investment, you can sell T-shirts with the name of the event and your organization’s logo.

You can also include a “fun walk” as part of the same event to make sure families with children can participate, as well (a walk is not as physically challenging as a run).

8. Custom Artwork Charity Auction

Auctions remain one of the most profitable fundraising ideas for nonprofits, especially if they feature unique items such as custom artwork which often sparks bid wars between attendees.

You can include anything from paintings and sculptures to jewelry and glasswork; what’s most important is the artwork is handcrafted and 100% unique.

This will help raise the price of the item, as those bidding will know there won’t be a second opportunity to purchase that exact piece of art they liked.

As far as procuring the actual artwork goes, start by getting in touch with local artists and craftsmen. Ask them if they would consider creating a one-of-a-kind piece for your auction pro bono. Don’t forget to share details about the impact their gesture could make.

Liked These Successful Fundraiser Ideas for Nonprofits and Want More?

We hope you’ll consider trying these ideas this year and it will help you raise more funds for your organization.  If you enjoyed these ideas and want to keep the inspiration coming, then be sure to check out some the other blog posts posted on our site.

For more inspiration and tips on how to plan successful fundraising events, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter and receive the best ideas via email.

Also, if you have any questions about booking the best entertainment for your event, you can reach out to us at (615) 283-0039We’re continually adding new articles, so you get new information.

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