4 min
9 Resources for Creative Fundraising Ideas

25 Quick Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits and Charity

Why Quick Fundraising Ideas?

Oftentimes, individuals and organizations alike need some quick fundraising ideas to get the ball rolling on a longer-term campaign, get through a mid-campaign hump, or for an emergency situation. The ideas also need to be engaging enough to get people involved, and quickly. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 25 quick fundraising ideas that are sure to rally people to raise money for charity, and have fun while doing it!

1. Channel Your Inner Master Chef

A nod to cooking reality TV, try rounding up supporters and foodies around a friendly culinary competition. Contestants create their best dishes with a specific ingredient, or other criteria, and people pay to taste and cast their votes.

2. Nearly New Sale

Collect your team’s gently worn, barely used clothes or artifacts and host a weekend sale or auction. Take pictures of the items beforehand, post them on social networks and generate buzz around your event.

3. Breakfast in Bed

Solicit local businesses to donate breakfast foods, have supporters and their networks place orders, and deliver the goods!

Click here to download a guide full of campaign ideas

4. Scavenger Hunt

Organize a scavenger hunt and send participants all around town. Charge a registration fee and offer extra tips and hints for different donation amounts.

5. Donate for Talent

Crowdsource talent with this quick fundraising idea and put on a talent show. In addition to an entry fee, supporters can donate to cast votes for winning numbers of different categories.

6. Tie-Dye Party

Tie-dye and sell T-shirts that promote your cause, host a get-together with materials for people to make their own tie-dye shirts and charge an entrance fee, or offer to tie-dye personal items for a donation.

7. Give It Up

To demonstrate how the smallest donation can make a difference, ask fundraisers to give up a daily beverage or meal and donate the money to a worthwhile cause instead. Intensify the appeal by asking supporters to participate for a certain number of days or encouraging them to meet a personal fundraising goal.

8. Bike Relay

Turn a tried and true fundraising idea – the traditional bike race – into a team-oriented activity. Set up a relay style race with prizes for the teams that place.

Download Now: The Ultimate Campaign Planning Kit

9. Film Fundraising

Host a film festival and have participants enter their own unique productions. You can even turn it into a contest, where attendees can give $5 in order to cast votes for their favorite films.

10. Hairless Fundraisers

Participants pledge to shave their heads (or long-lasting beards) to raise money.

11. Trash Art Auction

This quick fundraising idea isn’t just for the eco-friendly, but for all creative types. Enlist local artists to create some avant-garde masterpieces out of recyclables or other waste products, and auction off the pieces.

12. Quizbowl

Host a “quiz game” night and charge an entrance fee for attendees. Group people into different teams to see who can gain bragging rights and raise the most money!

13. Run the Race

Host a costumed race where people dress up in alignment with a pop culture phenomenon, whether it’s zombies, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, or another theme. With all the different options to choose from, this quick fundraising idea never gets old.

14. Roller Race

Or, how about switching up the usual 5K run/walk with a roller-skating marathon? In addition to fundraising for entry, participants can raise money for proper gear like helmets and kneepads.

15. A Dance Marathon

Host a dance-a-thon and challenge participants to dance for as long as they can! Supporters can also request songs for $5. Last one standing receives a prize.

Read Next: How One Dance Marathon Got Into the Classy Top 25

16. Dodgeball Tournament

Ask each team to fundraise a certain amount to participate and to come geared up for some serious dodging.

17. House Party

Invite supporters and their friends and family to your charitable house party, which you can fix around a certain holiday or pop culture event. Incentivize donations by offering prizes for different levels of sponsorship, like discounted tickets to your next event or other unique party favors.

18. Gaming for Good

Gamers can raise money by participating in a video gaming marathon. Livestream the event to reach a larger audience, and viewers can donate in order to submit challenges or request other forms of entertainment. [Check out Desert Bus for Hope for a real-life example!]

19. Battle of the Bands

Gather local bands to put on a charity concert! Both performers and attendees pay a registration fee. Having influencers on the judging panel, like popular radio hosts or a local celebrity, can also be a great way to get people interested in your show.

How to Throw a Benefit Concert in 4 Simple Steps

20. Athletic Tournament

This quick fundraising idea rallies locals around a sports tournament to raise money, whether it’s baseball, flag football, or bowling. You can even establish a theme or costume rule, requiring each team to come up with its own unique getup.

21. Craft Sales

Gather talented friends and family members to help create and sell your crafts, whether they are bracelets, buttons, keychains, or other wares.

22. Good Ol’ Pub Crawl

The fundraising idea that started Classy, a pub (or any kind of) crawl can be a great way to put a philanthropic twist on a Saturday night. Charge a fee for people to participate in the crawl, get people to dress up, and have participants earn sponsorships for each bar they make it to.

23. Localympics

Put together an Olympics-style sporting event for locals, and ask each participant to fundraise a minimum amount to help you reach a collective goal.

24. Recipe Books

As a tribute to pre-Pinterest days (before people could share DIY projects and recipes on social media) you can crowdsource recipes from different supporters, and even across your organization, to compile a solid, hard-copy charity cookbook.

25. Art Show

Local artists and supporters can pay a nominal registration fee to have their pieces showcased, and attendees can pay a registration fee to browse the collection. Afterwards, artists can choose to auction off their pieces for charity.

Image Credit: Jenny Ryan

  • Donating football can also be a great idea.Because there are over 400 million people worldwide who do not have the chance to kick a ball either once in their lives.So donating a football to them means immense joy to them.

    • great ideas for ideas!

      • Turn a tried and true fundraising idea – the traditional bike race – into a team-oriented activity. Set up a relay style race with prizes for the teams that place.

        • Collect your team’s gently worn, barely used clothes or artifacts and host a weekend sale or auction. Take pictures of the items beforehand, post them on social networks and generate buzz around your event.

  • Laura Balun

    great ideas for nonprofits with little effort

    • Elizabeth Chung

      Thanks for reading, Laura! Hope they come in handy.

      • Helpurrs

        Here you can see another simple idea that uses classy.org to beneift Mercy for Animals:


        Here’s how it works:
        1. You ZIP with a password your self made ebooks, songs or whatever. Then you upload them to Google Drive.
        2. You advertise your stuff on a blog where people can download it (but they still will need the password to unzip the files).
        3. You optionally can use this to skip Google Drive’s downloading annoyances: https://sites.google.com/site/gdocs2direct/
        4. You send the password to every donor by email, so it’s like you are selling your stuff in exchange for any donation.

        Fortunately Mercy for Animals’ interface based on Classy allows to automatically send a customizable thank you email for every donor.
        If you want to fundraise for your own private cause, you always can explore other options like maybe:

        Anyway it looks like unless you have many online friends this system will take ages to make money. I started that Helpurrs blog 1 week ago and I haven’t got a single visit yet. I have no Facebook or anything though.

    • Put together an Olympics-style sporting event for locals, and ask each participant to fundraise a minimum amount to help you reach a collective goal.

    • You a word there.

  • Steve Davidson

    Thanks for provide the valuable ideas for non profit fundraising ideas with us.

    • Elizabeth Chung

      Our pleasure, Steve! Thanks for reading, glad they’re useful!

  • Cassia Eckert

    If anyone has anymore ideas i need then fast because my club needs ideas to raise money for the community. Please list what it is called in the comments and a small description please ASAP.

  • Andy Kowieski

    If anyone is looking for additional fundraising ideas, I suggest checking out BoosterShot (http://goboostershot.com/). They have a unique set of fundraising products that our community loves to support. We’ve had a lot of success with their products based on the NFL and March Madness. Typically, our booster club raises over $7,000 every year with them. They are very hands-on and always work hard to ensure we meet our fundraising goals.

  • Clint

    If you are in need of fundraising merchandise we may be able to help. We have partnered with a few organizations in the past (community groups, kids sport teams, etc) to help them meet their financial goals. It’s not the focus of our business but it has worked out well and been alot of fun.

    We have a type of lens that we sell for smartphones for taking selfies with…an alternative to the selfie stick. Anyhow we have two approaches that both worked out well:

    Option 1

    We sell a number of them to you up front at a discount of 25% off of the retail price and we cover the shipping to you. This works best if you are going to sell them at an event or with a group (like the model with the infamous Girl Guides cookies). Your group makes about $8usd ($10.50cnd) per sale. Any that you cannot sell you can ship back to us for a refund.

    Option 2

    we issue your group a code for our website. You direct lots of traffic to the site and make sure that everybody knows to put your code in at the checkout. We process the payments and your code tracks which purchases came from you. We ship out each of the lenses and then at the end of each month or at the end of you campaign we issue you payment of 12.5% of total sales you generated.

    Unfortunately this is only available in Canada and the US.

    If you are interested contact me at info@selfiepro.com and good luck with you fundraising events…the ideas on this page are incredible!



  • Lora

    I like these ideas. I really like the idea of using social media to share your items in the nearly new sale. You see lots of online garage sales these days. We have some quick Thanksgiving fundraiser Ideas. https://www.charityauctionstoday.com/p/8-easy-thanksgiving-fundraisers-schools/

    • Elizabeth Chung

      Thanks for reading and sharing, Lora!

  • Erick

    Great ideas. I also did find this guy who rewards his donors with a package of books http://wp.me/p76DNe-2

  • Tom

    These are all great ideas! I am going to share this on Pinterest.

    • Elizabeth Chung

      Thanks so much Tom! Glad you enjoyed.

  • Prerna Kulkarni

    Thanks for sharing the fascinating fundraising ideas for non-profit.

    To make your fundraising campaign successful join a fundraising platform. Givey.com provides supports to make your campaign successful. No fees to register our charity, projects or for sign up. Also they give 100% of the donation amount along with gift aid to charity of our choice.

    Also you can have your business registered on this sight and motivate your employees to donate for a good cause.

  • Pawan Kumar

    Thanks for providing the valuable ideas for nonprofit fundraising ideas with us. To make your fundraising campaign successful join a fundraising platform. impactguru.com provides supports to make your campaign successful.

  • Shawn C

    Check out https://www.giftcardtank.com – they allow you to accept gift cards as donations. We’ve been using them for a few months and it has supplemented the way our supporters contribute to our pro-troop organization.

  • Howard Gottlieb

    Elizabeth I have a few other suggestions. If your readers want to raise money for school age groups they should certainly look at the reading fundraiser at http://www.read-a-thon.com.

    If they want to comparison shop lots of fundraising ideas in one place they might spend some time at http://www.easy-fundraising-ideas.com.

  • Rent a tandem zip line racer and have races, whoever looses, donates 2x! http://www.rentazip.com

  • Rick white

    Easy for our team, but all parents needs to get involve. http://www.draw5050.com

  • Shireen Miller McLaughlin

    I am looking for fundraisers for a museum, the beautiful Bingham-Waggoner Estate. It’s a wonderful old house museum. Our volunteer staff is aging and not as able to facilitate the fundraisers as back in their day when they could run circles around anyone. So…we need lots of money with little volunteer participation. Visit us at http://www.bwestate.org ! You’ll LOVE us!

  • Soccer Fundraiser

    Thanks for sharing such a great information here.Soccer is one of the most popular sports around the world, and for good reason – it’s a fun, high-energy, competitive sport that bonds teammates and brings communities together.For more info visit http://www.soccerfundraiser.net/

  • Tiffany Weeks

    Have anyone done the craft sale yet. If so how was it, did it make a good profit off of it. I’m looking for a good fun raiser for a grade levels fourth fifth and sixth..

    • Meg

      My choir did a craft fair last year and made $602 plus about $40 in cash donations. I’m hoping to convince the group to do another one this year.

  • K Hood
  • Gnosis Media Group

    Fundraising events can be lucrative, but sometimes they are just a waste of time. The problem is: they’re so unpredictable while requring a not-insignificant time and labor drain. One important key to nonprofit management (it also applies to business management in general) is efficiency. If the labor and resources spent on a event cost more than the return you get from the event, you should question the value of the event.

    In our experience helping nonprofits, having the right tech tools is essential to increasing efficiency. Sometimes increasing fundraising margins is not about how many fundraising events you attend or administer but about having the best tools. And some tools convert better than others.

    For example, research shows that many nonprofits will raise more overall with an SMS donation program in their marketing mix than they will without one. Text-to-donate is one area that is experiencing an increase in clickthrough and conversion rates, as more and more people transition to mobile-first. Check out this helpful infographic: http://www.gmg.cm/blog/do-sms-donations-work

  • Thank you Elizabeth. Great ideas.

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