13 Top Fundraising Event Ideas to Boost Donations (2021 Edition)

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Written by Tim Grable

January 31, 2019

Organizing a charity event is an excellent idea because of several reasons. The first one is that it is a great way of spreading awareness. Another one is that these types of events are enjoyable both for the organizers and the attendees. The final and most important reason is that you can get a large number of donations.

Every year, you can organize a limited number of non-profit events because they usually take months to plan. To maximize the revenue and minimize the expenses, we recommend choosing fun and creative fundraising event ideas your guests will enjoy.

The more interesting the event is going to be, the higher the chance you’ll have at involving the attendees in supporting your cause.

There’s no denying the fact organizing a non-profit event requires much creative power, as you always have to come up top fundraising event ideas.

However, if done right, you are looking to raise your revenue by quite a substantial margin.

The secret is to cater to your donors’ expectations and strive to exceed them.

Well, if you are looking for the best charity event ideas which will boost your donations, all while offering your guests a fantastic experience, then you’ve come to the right place.

Want to surprise your guests with a creative non-profit event?  Looking at some of the most popular fundraising tactics which will dominate 2021, we have pieced together a list of top fundraising event ideas which are worth trying.

1. Give People a Chance to Donate a Lot

Selling a large number of tickets to the benefit event is a good start but don’t stop there. Many attendees will be willing to help the cause even more. Give them the opportunity to do so.

The first step is to make the sale of tickets as easy as possible. Some attendees may only be able to pay online or with specific credit cards. Make sure those methods are available to them. Also, implement a system by which participants can also donate more when ordering their tickets. Many will be happy to do so.

Activities such as raffles, contests, and auctions can be very enjoyable. They also encourage people to donate more money. Organize such affairs, but keep the goal of your organization in mind. You should plan something that represents the cause.

Set up a booth at the fundraising event where people can give out their information. That can result in them becoming regular donors for the cause. A small donation each month, for example, will not make a big difference for them. It will, however, provide your organization with a steady income.

Whichever of these methods you use, make sure to give each donor the attention they deserve. People want to know that they are making a difference, that they matter.

 How to Get More Donations at a Fundraising Event

2. Digital Donations, Always an Option

Ballot box type of donations always seemed like the go-to strategy. However, with nowadays technology, digital donations are gaining traction at a very rapid pace.

Going digital doesn’t mean you’re completely leaving out the traditional way of fundraising. You are offering your guests more ways in which they can contribute.

For example, guests who are unable to attend in person can still donate digitally.

Top Fundraising Event Ideas to Boost Donations (2019 Edition)

Besides that, digital donations can be easily integrated within your social media campaign or a live stream, giving people who are willing to contribute the means to do so without having to be present in-person at your event.

3. The Powerful Keynote, Book a Motivational Speaker

To show how much you appreciate the help people are offering, a simple “Thank You” will not suffice. The event must be a fun way to connect with donors. Make them the stars of the fundraiser.

Many organizations make the mistake of talking too much about themselves. Speak directly to the attendees and explain the change they are making.

To inspire your audience, book a motivational speaker for the fundraising event. This person will also handle the entertainment aspect of the ceremony. A good speech can be genuinely moving and offer attendees the incentive to donate more.

Your speaker should thank the audience and help them understand their importance. Getting donors emotionally invested in the cause is a surefire way of gaining their loyalty and continuous support.

A motivational speaker will bring you closer to the donors and build a powerful bond between you.

To raise awareness for a particular cause, consider inviting a person directly affected by it to give a heartfelt speech and share their story.

Often, seeing the affected in person hits home for many people. Not to mention, motivational and inspiring stories have the power to encourage people to take action.

You can also invite a professional speaker to motivate and incentivize people to support the cause.

 Dan Diamond

To better illustrate our point, we want to introduce you with Dan DiamondHe is a motivational speaker who served as a first-responder when Hurricane Katrina hit, back in 2005.

Dan’s speech will offer your guests a first-hand account of what happens when disaster strikes. So he will showcase how people’s contributions can make a difference in the lives of those affected.

4. Donation Matching

For this top fundraising event idea, you will need to find a company or an organization which is willing to match the donation amount once it had reached a certain threshold.

What this does is effectively doubling the total earned amount.

This strategy may incentivize your guests to donate more since they know their contribution may end up being worth twice as much.

If you are unable to find an organization willing to match the donation amount, you can ask your top donors if they are willing to double their bid once specific criteria is met.

donate, word, hands

5. Use the Fundraising Event to Grow Your Donor List

The affair only lasts a few hours, but its effects can be long-lasting. Ask attendees to leave their email address or phone number so you can contact them later. If the event is successful, you will gain a significant number of new possible donors.

After some time, send people a message thanking them for their attendance. It is also the perfect opportunity to inform them how to help the cause further.

6. Organize a Raffle

Raffles is one of those fundraising event ideas which can help you generate much interest in your event.  Even to this day, raffles are some of the top fundraising event ideas. The reason behind their popularity is the fact they come with prizes and, without a doubt, lots of fun.

The secret is to determine what type of prizes your audience will enjoy the most and which will make them want to buy tickets to your event.  Even if the rewards from the raffle are just symbolic, people will want to participate for the thrill of it.

If you want to broaden the raffle’s appeal, you can go on and add a variety of prizes. We recommend going for a mix of products, such as electronics and experiences, trips or spa treatments.  More people will be incentivized to take part in the raffle knowing they have more chances of winning.

7. Gaming MarathonCreative Fundraising Event Ideas You Need to Try out

Fundraising through gaming is a creative yet effective method of fundraising. Most people love gaming anyway, not just kids or teenagers, so when this activity is associated with a charitable cause, it can get even more people involved.

Here are a few aspects to consider when organizing a gaming marathon to raise funds:

  • Decide on the marathon length. For starters, you can organize an 8-hour long gaming session, or you can go as long as 24 hours, depending on your fundraising goal.
  • Choose which games to play. Here you can either go for a game genre or for the ones which are popular at the moment. The possibilities are endless in this case.
  • Approach professional gamers. Streamers or popular YouTubers who are well-known in the gaming area can help you boost the popularity of your event, so inviting a few to join (either live or online) is a must.

8. Dinner Party

You can quickly turn a fundraising idea into a themed party. These type of events can be entertaining to organize.

To attract many participants, it’s essential to choose a theme which goes hand in hand with your cause. Then, you also need to think about what kind of entertainment you’re going to hire.

You have countless options here – from a live band to a stand-up comedian, a live painter or a talented magician. It all breaks down to the type of atmosphere you want to create for your event.

9. Dance-off

dance, party, dj, entertainment

A dance-off is suited for a large variety of people – from teenagers to middle-aged people. This means you can adapt the event to the target audience you want to attract.

The primary focus of your fundraising event is going to be the music. The bigger the variety, the better.

Make sure you’re going to choose a DJ who can provide an extensive music collection and knows how to energize the participants and make them join the dance floor.

A DJ with amazing references is also going to help you publicize the event and encourage other people to get involved.

Excellent Entertainment Ideas for Top Fundraising Events

Coming up with fresh entertainment ideas to drive impact and increase fundraising goals is always a challenge in the nonprofit world. It is easy to unintentionally slip into a dull routine and plan the same types of events over and over again. The problem is, it can result in donors becoming disengaged and downright bored.
4 Excellent Entertainment Ideas for Top Fundraising Events

10. Clean Comedy with a Juggling Swirl

Clean comedy is always a good idea when it comes picking entertainment for a fundraising event, as it can help you attract donors and ensure they will have a smile on their faces throughout the event.

However, if you want your event to stand out from the rest truly, consider booking an entertainer who can bring something extra to the table in addition to humor.

  • Who we recommend: Chris Bliss. His act comprises both stand-up elements and juggling to deliver a memorable experience and captivate audiences with his unexpected routines.

11. An Improv Act Which Makes an Impact

Improvisation is well-known as comedy and entertainment, and its surprising nature is bound to spark the interest of donors. Also, the first rule of improvisation is everyone can contribute to the discussion, which means donors can participate and thus feel more involved in your fundraising event.

  • Who we recommend: Fish Sticks Comedy. The main reason we think they will be an excellent addition to your event is they do more than just entertain with their high-energy improv comedy. With literally unlimited material to draw from, the group makes their performances meaningful by bringing people in the audience together towards a common goal.

12. An Innovative Edutainment Performance

As you may have guessed from the name, an edutainment performance is one which not only has the power to entertain, but also includes content intended to teach.

An edutainment act comes in all shapes and sizes – from video productions to live presentations and musical performances.

Also, the reason this entertainment idea is so appropriate for a fundraiser event is it allows you to tell your nonprofit’s story in a way which grabs donors’ attention and shows them why they should care.

  • Who we recommend: TELL•A•VISION  (“the telling of a vision”). Their live edutainment act mixes patented wireless screen technology with tightly choreographed moves to create a highly-visual storybook which instantly gains audience’s attention. To get a better sense of what their art is all about and what they can do to elevate your fundraiser, we encourage you to take a look at the video below.

13. Speed Painting

If you are looking for original entertainment ideas, then a speed painting performance may be that one ingredient missing from your next fundraiser.

The reason to consider this idea is it will bring a new level of excitement to your event, giving donors a unique chance to see the process of art coming to life unfold right in front of their eyes.

What’s more, speed painting is highly-customizable, and finished works can be auctioned or raffled off as part of the fundraiser.

  • Who we recommend: Michael Israel. Dubbed as the Greatest Live-Action Painter on Earth, Michael is exceptionally skilled at communicating a state of increased emotion through the use of paint and music. Guests will feel both energized and fascinated by his insanely fast, emotionally engaging performances.

art, paint, brush   

Which of These Top Fundraising Event Ideas Will You Try?

Fundraising can get creative and fun, as long as you put a little bit of effort into every event you’re organizing.

We hope these fundraising event ideas will provide that much-needed inspiration and that you will use them for your next activities.

Why wait?  With the ideas featured in this article, you can put on an amazing event and increase the odds of getting more donations. Now, if you want to go the extra mile and take your events to the next level, we suggest you book professional entertainers.

Get started by browsing our catalog and find the talent which best fits your needs!  

Lastly, don’t forget to contact us at (615) 283-0039 if you need help picking out the best entertainment for your fundraiser.  We are looking forward to hearing from you.

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