Fundraising Ideas

Here is a list of what seems like a 100 different ways to raise funds.

Fundraising ActivitiES

  • Bagging groceries

A great idea for clubs, charities and groups. If you are part of a charitable organization, you can coordinate with a supermarket to bag customers’ groceries in return for a small donation to your charity.

If you are not part of a charitable organization but are part of a group or corporation you can also coordinate with a supermarket to bag customers’ groceries in return for a donation to the charity of your choice

  • Bobbing for Apples

It’s wet and it’s wild! Bobbing for apples is a fun, quick and easy way to make some money for your chosen charity. It’s best to incorporate it into a larger event like a carnival or costume contest.

Set up a large container — something like a child’s paddling pool is perfect. Fill it with water and throw in the apples. (Don’t put in too many apples at once or it will be too easy; you can always keep topping the apples up as supplies dwindle.)

If it is part of a themed party, like Halloween, then why not add some extra flavoring to the water? Throw in some black food coloring and some plastic spiders to really give your guests a fright!

Take a small amount of money for each attempt, to be given to your charity of choice.

Bobbing for apples is perfect for children and adults alike. Kids love getting wet and splashing about, especially if there’s something tasty in it for them.

Book Sale

Collect unwanted books from friends, family, work colleagues, etc. and hold a book sale. This can be held in your place of work, school or community centre. You can even hold a street book sale in your neighbourhood. Proceeds are then given to the charity of your choice.

  • Street Music

Use your musical or vocal talents in your local area to collect donations. You can get donations for simply playing/singing or ask for donations and let people choose which song they want to hear or have played.

Please remember that you may need a license for the activity.

  • Car wash

Set up a car wash in your neighborhood, workplace or school. Charge a small amount for each car washed and a little more for extra services such as polishing or interior cleaning.  Make sure you get permission from your superior or head teacher if you are setting this up at work or school.

  • Caroling / singing

Make the most of the season and the most of those vocal chords! Get a group of friends or family together and go around your neighborhood singing carols for charity.

  • Clothing collection
  • Create and sell a CD

Charity singles are very popular. Put your talent to good use and make a CD single or album for charity. Get your friends in on the act and generate some cash for the charity of your choice. You can sell the CDs at work, school, or on an Internet site such as eBay or Facebook.

  • Dog Walking

Utilise your free time to make some cash for your charity by walking dogs for your friends, family and neighbors. You can even get your friends involved. Just send out some flyers watch the bookings start rolling in.

Please remember to be considerate of your community and ensure you have the correct tools to dispense of the dog waste.

  • Donation Jar

Take a donation bucket around school and work to collect for your favorite charity. You can also collect in your local area, on the high street, in supermarkets or shopping malls. Nowhere is out of bounds as long as you have permission.  It’s also a good idea to give out charity leaflets to donors who want more information.

  • Dunk Tank (teacher / parent / boss)

Everyone wants to see their teacher, boss or parent get dunked, don’t they? So why not set up a dunk tank and charge a small amount to dunk the person of your choice.

This can, of course, be part of a “fun day” of activities. Get your office, school and friends involved; more people getting dunked means more cash for your charity!

  • Face Painting

If you’re good with a paint brush and have an artistic flare then why not set up a face painting booth? Take a small donation to create some weird and wonderful images on the faces of the young and old alike… there’s no age limit on charity!

You can do this in your neighborhood or as part of a larger event like a carnival, shopping fair or street party.  Please make sure the paints are suitable to be applied to the skin and wash off easily.

  • Farmer’s Market

Are you good in the garden? Do you have green fingers or do you know someone who does? If so, go along to your local farmer’s market and sell some of your locally grown produce. You can also get others involved to bake fresh breads and pastries. Your locally-made items will be a hit in the community and will help your charity or cause too.

  • Gift Wrapping

At those seasonal times of year you can set up a gift wrapping booth to wrap and decorate gifts in exchange for a small donation per item or a group amount. With permission this can be done at your school, work, local mall or your very own street.

Some seasonal dates could be Valentines Day, Easter and Christmas, but you can also offer a year-round service for birthdays, anniversaries, Christenings, graduations and other celebrations.

  • Guess the Number In A Jar

Perfect for work or school: Buy a jar, fill it with sweets (remembering to count them first!) and charge to guess the number of sweets in the jar. The person who guesses correctly, or comes closest, wins. The winner takes home the sweets or a 50/50 split of the donations. Just don’t be tempted to eat those delicious treats!

  • Kissing Booth

Show some affection and set up your very own kissing booth. Stock up on lip balm, charge a small amount and wait for your very own Prince or Princess Charming to come along.  We can’t promise true love; however, we are sure your chosen charity will be overjoyed with your effort.

  • Make and Sell Greeting Cards

Get creative, get artistic.  Everyone loves to receive a card whether it’s for a birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s Day, Christmas or one of the many other card giving occasions. Make it extra special by designing your own hand-made cards and selling them to friends, family or at a craft fair.

  • Odd Jobs

There’s a handyman (or woman) in all of us! What better way is there to make some money for your favorite charity than by helping people with those jobs they can’t or won’t do themselves?

Set a small charge per job and offer your services around your neighborhood, to friends, family, work colleagues or even advertise in the local newspaper or a shop window. You’ll be helping out your friends and charity at the same time.

  • Paver / Brick Sale
  • Perform Magic Tricks

Are you full of magical energy? A master of illusion? Is there a mystical performer just waiting to break out? If so, put on a show, involve your audience and put some magic in the air.  Ask for a small donation from each guest at the show or charge per trick. You can even perform street magic. You may just be able to conjure up some money for your favorite charity

  • Personal Shopper Service

We all know someone who doesn’t like to go shopping, doesn’t have the time or energy or is unable to get out to the shops.  Earn money for your cause by setting up your own personal shopper service. Do someone’s grocery shopping, run their errands or just accompany them around town… all for a small donation of course.

  • Raffle

What can we say about the much-loved raffle? Whether it’s a way to get rid of that Rudolph sweater that grandma gave you for Christmas or you’re a generous soul with the latest gadget to donate, everyone loves a raffle.

Get together your friends, family, work colleagues and local businesses, ask them to donate prizes to the raffle and then sell, sell, sell those tickets! Your local restaurant may offer a dinner for two, maybe a fruit basket from your local green grocer or a few unused and unwanted gifts from neighbours. Whatever the prize, everyone likes to get involved in a charity raffle.

  • Sell Calendars

Can you take the perfect photograph or paint the perfect picture? Do you know someone who can?  Making and selling a calendar is a great way to make money for your charity while giving a beautiful, year-long wall or door hanging.  The topics are endless from landscapes to skylines to the well-loved animal calendar.

  • Skills Auction

You can make some money for the charity of your choice by taking your skills and selling them to your friends, family, school or work colleagues. Are you a trained masseuse? Can you bake the perfect cake? Are you good at fitness and sport?

Auction off your chosen skill and watch while a bidding war begins! You could also auction off a number of places for a master class of your chosen skill; there’s always someone who wants to learn something new.

  • Swear Box

Do your colleagues not know how to hold their tongues? Does your better half like to berate their beloved football team while watching television?  Make money for your cause by introducing a swear box. Culprits pay a small amount each time they mention any taboo words.

  • Wristband Sale

Fundraising Charity Events

  • Art Gallery Showing

If you’re the next Picasso (and even if you’re not), then you could be putting your talent to good use for charity.  Putting on a show doesn’t have to be difficult. Ask at your local art gallery and if they know it’s for charity they may let you use the premises for a few hours. If you don’t have access to an art gallery then ask at your local community centre, church center, church or you could even hold a show in your own home.

The most important thing is not where the show is held but what is on show. Make the most of your pieces and earn as much as possible for your chosen charity either by charging admission or selling your artwork to benefit your fundraising cause

Bay Bread Company Traverse City

Cranberry Orange Scones. Mmmmm

  • Bake Sale

Holding a bake sale is a delicious fundraising idea. With a pinch of creativity and a dash of cooking expertise, your bake sale can be a success for your charity or cause.

  • Battle of the Bands / Talent Show

Do you fancy yourself as the next Paul McCartney, Justin Timberlake or Lady Gaga? Get your friends together and have a Battle of the Bands – one night of amped up musical competition where the real winner is your chosen charity.

Invite your friends, neighbors, family and colleagues and put on a show of pure energy. Take donations per guest, or donations for song requests, and offer prizes for the winners. Let the competition begin

  • Bingo Night

It’s not just for your Aunt Sheila and her knitting group! Bingo Night can be energetic, extremely funny, loud, lucrative and fun for all the family.

Charge each guest for a bingo card and put some of the money towards a prize fund, with the rest going to charity.


  • Bowling Tournament

A bowling tournament is a fun activity that anyone can enjoy, from the very young to the very… wise (we don’t want to call you old!). With a smell of competition in the air and a shine of your bowling ball you can be dancing down the alley John Travolta-style with your very own Sandy on your arm.

Work with a bowling alley to get space donated or for a reduced rate. Charge competitors to enter and have participants collect sponsored pledges for their total score. You can also sell refreshments and give prizes for the winners of the tournament

  • Casino Night

Put on your best tuxedo, pour the martinis (shaken, not stirred) and get set to play the high stakes! Of course the house always wins; however, in this case “the house” is your chosen charity, so you really won’t mind.  Casino nights are a great way of combining fun with fundraising.

Choose a variety of games to suit the interests of your high rolling guests. You can rent items like the Wheel of Fortune, roulette wheels and slot machines. Other popular games include: blackjack, poker and baccarat.  Then invite friends, family and colleagues (adults only) and get ready to shake, rattle and roll those dice. You’ll win some and you’ll lose some but your charity will go home a winner

  • Charity Auction

Do you have a skill that can be auctioned off to the highest bidder? Do you have a signed pair of Wayne Newton’s shoes, which would look great on someone’s bedroom shelf? Are you willing to put yourself up for auction? If so then a charity auction is a great way of making money for a worthwhile cause.

Collect items from friends and family that can be auctioned off. You can also contact celebrities and ask them to donate an item to your auction, and local businesses can also contribute gift cards or experiences (e.g. lessons from a dive shop; a day driving around a Rolls Royce from a car dealer). Have some fun with it and maybe you can bid on someone doing your ironing for a month.

  • Charity Concert

A charity concert is a fantastic way of raising money for a good cause and giving people a great night of entertainment. Get together some good local bands (check out the local clubs or entertainment section of the newspaper for bands that play in your area) and put on a charity concert. You could even have an amateur section and ask your local high school if they have kids interested in performing as bands or solo acts.

You can talk to your local church hall, community centre or even a local bar or club about providing the space. They will likely have all the equipment you need. All that’s left is to sell tickets and promote a great night of fun for all.

  • Charity Dinner

Everyone loves good food and good company. Fill your bellies and your charity’s coffers with a charity dinner.  Put on a charity dinner with each guest paying a “per head” fee for a 2 or 3 course meal. Make it a meal with a theme or get a local musician to donate their time and put on some entertainment.

  • Charity Race

Whether you run for fitness, for the love of running or so you can have that extra piece of cake tonight, a race is a perfect way to collect those pennies for the charity of your choice.

You can run in a pre-arranged race, such as the Traverse City Marathon – choosing your specific charity to run for and collecting donations – or set up your own charity race. Get your friends involved and ask for sponsorship. Race participants can take flat donations or pledges based on the distance you travel.  Plot a course, get any required permission, get set, and go!

  • Christmas Party

Don’t let Santa get stuck in your chimney. Instead, invite him along to your Christmas party and make this year a jolly, holly Christmas! A Christmas party is a great way of starting off the party season with a bang and raise some money for a very worthwhile cause too.

Rent a space, decorate it and put on the full Christmas feast. You can charge admission to your event, charge for food and drinks or simply ask for donations at the door

  • Coffee Morning
  • Costume Contest
  • Craft Fair
  • Dance / Ball
  • Easter Egg Hunt
  • Fashion Show
  • Golf tournament
  • Halloween Party
  • Karaoke
  • Learn a New Skill day
  • Meet-a-Celeb Night
  • Photography Exhibition
  • Road Rally
  • Shopping Fair
  • Singing Contest
  • Skating Party
  • Skills Raffle
  • Sporting Match
  • Street Party
  • Talent Show
  • Themed Fundraising Party
  • Treasure Hunt
  • Variety Show
  • Wheelbarrow Race
  • Wine Tasting

Sponsored Events

  • Bad hair day
  • Base Jumping
  • Bike Ride
  • Dance Marathon
  • Eating Contest
  • Endurance Test (e.g. staying awake, standing up, reading)
  • Fire Walking
  • Haircut – Shave Bald
  • Mountain Climbing
  • Pajama Day
  • Skydive
  • Swim
  • Travel Abroad
  • Walk
  • Wax a Body Part  (pay to watch the big hairy guy at the office get his back waxed)

Related pages about Donations: