I bet many of the FOF gurus’ are on community and non-profit boards. Does anyone have any great ideas for fund raisers?

44 Answers

  1. Jane Hardin wrote on :

    I’m also a member of the Lions Club and we just completed a Silent and live auction this past weekend and raised $10,000.

  2. Andrea Lawley wrote on :

    There are really too many to name. A not-so-simple bake sale will pick up quik bucks. So does A Whale of a Sale if you have the items, large facility and plenty of help to pull it off. Taking your and your friends’ lightly used clothing to a resale shop and having the checks of profit made out to your organization. Silent auctions are always a hit.

  3. sharynfireman wrote on :

    I have been in Boson doing fund raisers for 30 years. FUN FINESSE AND FOOD.
    if you are a 501(c)3 organization then you can have donations tax free. My events are WACKY and fab. Where r u and what do you want to raise in $$$?

  4. avonlady wrote on :

    A good fund raiser is where you have a company come into a park and set up a Christmas/holidya light show throughtout the park…People pay a fee to enter the park and drive thru the park and see the beautiful light show.

  5. elise pothier wrote on :

    Tupperware runs a fabulous fundraiser. 40% of the total retail sales are given to the organization. As a Tupperware Consultant, I can take care of signing you up. Just give me a call: 508-763-5475, e-mail: jepothier@verizon.net or copy this link into your web browser to sign up: http://order.tupperware.com/coe/app/tup_widget.show_page?fv_page_code=fundraiser_us&fv_section_name=home&fv_category_code=shop
    Thank you,

  6. Marilyn McMillan wrote on :

    Like some of the other FoF comments, it would help if we knew how much money you want to raise, for what cause, and how many volunteers you have to work with. I’m a volunteer here in Columbia, SC, and the two events I work with are the Festival of Trees and the B106fm Radiothon – both events go towards the Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital. These are both very significant events, and that means lots and lots of work, but it also means lots and lots of funds raised. We’ve raised from just under $100,000 to over $200,000 with each event annually. Now, I’ve also worked with other events where we raised a few hundred to a couple of thousand, too. One event I’ve been wanting to try is a Chocolate Festival. You can make this on as grand (or not so grand) scale as you’d like. You can have local crafters rent booths (and it’s always an added plus to ask them each to donate one item to auction or raffle off, too). You’ll also want to contact a few chocolatiers to see they can demonstrate chocolate techniques, or even have a chocolate sculpture contest (with a fee-based entry, of course). The best time to do this is February – National Chocolate Month. If this is for a small women’s church circle or group, ask your group to all donate items for a chocolate bake or candy sale – all homemade. Fundraisers are hard work, but they are also so much fun! And it’s a great way to get others involved in a great service state of mind. Good luck with your fundraiser!

  7. Alice Forbes wrote on :

    A company called shurepets.com does this type of thing with pet products!

  8. jana koch wrote on :

    Throw a “retro prom”! We all pull out our vintage prom dresses and throw a prom much better and more fun than the one we were too nervous to enjoy because of our teenage angst! Music from our real prom era & with our confidence and security as FOF; we actually dance the night away with legal spiked punch! $100/couple or $50/single…realy alot of fun!

  9. Rosemarie Matley wrote on :

    I am associated with a company that has a special program for raising funds for non-profits on year-round and year after year basis. By asking the non-profit’s supporters to purchase things they would buy anyways through a web portal set up for the non-profit, the non-profit receives royalties from these purchases . The supporters receive cashback for their purchases and 1/2% cashback for life on the purchases of any friends they invite to participate. Since many products are consumable, anongoing income stream is developed over time. This is a win win for all involved.

  10. Adrian Humphreys wrote on :

    Yes. You can get a hold of some of the local art galleries and have an art auction and wine and cheese party. There are many different art galleries that do these sorts of fundraisers.

  11. Beatrice Boyle wrote on :

    My chorale group visits nursing homes, hospitals etc. to bring some joy into their lives. we hold 3 concerts a year, but the cost of running the groups, hiring musicians, costumes, etc. is very expensive. We do not raise enough money from the concerts alone, so have several fundraisers during the year.

    The most successful ones are 2 Karaoke dinners that we run…in the spring and the fall. The members do the cooking (Pasta & Meatballs and it’s byob.

    It’s so successful that we have to limit capacity every time, and practically force everyone to go home at the end of the evening! It’s a fun night for couples, while being inexpensive and enjoyable for the public…they look forward to it every year, and our coffers are in the black as a result!

    I urge you to try it!

    Bea Boyle

  12. Sandra Mooring wrote on :

    A silent auction

  13. sherrie hunter wrote on :

    My friend had to do one for her son’s school. She went to “Sam’s Club” or any bulk store and bought a box of chocolate bars and sold them for $1.oo piece. I know prices have changed so price may need adjustments. Also at party stores or “Staple’s” they sell rolls of raffle tickets. Go to Dollar Store for candles, picture frames, etc. and raffle items for .50 a ticket. Good luck! Sherrie

  14. Julie Prideaux wrote on :

    Not sure where you are located or what your organization is, but I work for a non-profit health care agency and am also on the board of several non-profits. If you are interested in selling Yankee Candles, they have a great fundraising program where you can sell their candles and earn 40-43% for your agency!

  15. Patricia Jaseck wrote on :

    One idea is a silent auction. Contact quilters, crafters, etc. in your circle of friends and ask them to donate the fruits of their labor. Many are willing to donate to a worthy cause and the auction can really raise money

  16. Charleen Dowell wrote on :

    I had two great fund raisers years ago for Women Business Owners: “Can He Bake” bake sale. We had very prominet business leaders, (mayor, president of Chamber of Commerce, husband of our members) bake for us. It was great….
    Another was a Neiman Marcus Fur Style Show. They brought the furs, coats, clothes, etc. and our members walked the runway. We were in Peoria, Illinois and they came down from Chicago. It was wonderful. We also had a speaker who talked on the new developments, industry and businesses coming to the area. Anything positive about your city.

    • Judith Phaneuf wrote on :

      What a fabulous idea having the men bake – we are taking your idea – thanks so very much!!!!!!!!!

    • Charleen Dowell wrote on :

      It was a hoot. We even got as full page write up in the local newspaper with one of our cooks holding his wine, cigar and pasta plate. I wish you lots of luck.

  17. Sharon Kidd wrote on :

    Fifteen years ago, I founded The Womens Resource Center with a good friend – I was Chairman of the Board, she became CEO. To fund our idea, we started a resale store called Ritzy Raggs. With alot of help from our friends, we gathered the merchandise and staffed the store. The WRC has since become The Center Against Family Violence, a subsidiary of the YWCA, but Ritzy Raggs endures to this day.

  18. Kim Lencsak wrote on :

    My daughter is involved with varsity soccer and we are always doing fund raisers. Some of the more popular is when youwork with a local restaurant or store that when people come in with your flyer you will receive a percentage for money spent. Some of these places are chili’s/TGIF’s/Five and below/Mandee’s etc. Also we have bagged groceries at a supermarket(need to go and work the time and how many people they will need). Almost everyone gives you a dollar. We have done car washes in the summer(we live in NJ) and also plan a day trip to Atlantic City(or a local place by you). One really popular one is where you sell different pick three numbers and if your number comes out during the month, you win the prize money in the box. Not sure how they do this, but I just bought two different numbers for $10.00 for the months of April and May. It’s based on the NJ Eveneing Pick Three….everyone seems to like to play the lottery. Good Luck!

  19. Catherine Del Spina wrote on :

    Hello Judith, I designed a fundraiser around “heirloom tomatoes” and the local food movement. In a day we raised over $10,000 . Lots of great food, classes, a flea market, book stalls, kid events and music. All healthy, upscale events with a focus on our community. I”m happy to discuss it with you should it capture your imagination!!
    Visit the website and see what we did.

  20. Karen Schnarr wrote on :

    check out snacksnsuch online website for “fun”draising ideas

  21. Catherine Vigil wrote on :

    Just saw a great idea on a non-profit website that I work with. Takes the silent auction idea on-line!!!! You can see the software they used to develop it at http://www.readysetauction.com. Hope this helps!

  22. Alexis Marnel wrote on :

    I am the founding director of a non profit and also a consultant for other non profits – my two new favorite no cost fundraisers are campaigns you can put together on http://www.kickstarter.com and a combination of facebook and twitter fundraising. 2 years ago I did a campaign based on the old Herbal Essence commercial (I told two friends and they told two friends). I did an email appeal asking people to donate just 10.00 and recommend two friends who would also donate 10.00 – and we made about 4000.00! Hope this helps.

  23. Margo Taylor wrote on :

    We’ve brought in a winery to do a wine appreciation and tasting class – they donate the wine for the event, but are permitted to sell wine to those interested. Our local Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and several restaurants all donated food to go with the wine, and we had a Silent Auction with (donated) wine related items. A local realtor found us an upscale home to hold the event in, with the permission of the owners. It was an easy way to hold a successful fundraiser!

  24. Darcy Silvers wrote on :

    I’ve been on numerous boards (still am), and members are often tired of being “nickeled and dimed,” so to speak. You might want to hold an event that taps the resources – and pocketbooks – of those beyond your membership, so you can extend your reach. Another idea is a “non-event”; for a piece of neonatal equipment, we held a virtual baby shower and asked for donations as “gifts.” Good luck!

  25. Eileen Davis wrote on :

    Judirh I’m on the board of a local cat rescue/adoption group. We’ve had luck with Happy Hours at local hotels but only if we include a Silent Auction (that’s what brings in the money). Then at end of year, we found a member who writes really well and she composed a beautiful heartfelt letter including a story of a particularly dramatic cat rescue and his little success story — it brought in almost 10,000. Just one letter.

  26. Jaki Scarcello wrote on :

    A gala event to thank volunteers or volunteer of the year etc. This sort of event can generate income, highlights the best people associated with the organization and with the right press can advertise the cause and the good work being done

  27. Victoria Salti Wilson wrote on :

    While a walk is large scale, it does not have to be. I love the idea of a walk, because everyone should be exercising any way and they know it. What is really beautiful is the disabled can still participate in wheelchairs. It is a dual purpose fundraiser and a great way to involve others. Stay Fabulous, Victoria

  28. Sharon Kidd wrote on :

    I am honored to serve as Chairman of the Board of the El Paso Community Foundation. Of course we have projects in the works at all times, but one of our most public events is The Plaza Classic Film Festival – very successful way to reach everyone in the Community and a roaring success. Debbie Reynolds was one of our guest stars last year – totally delightful.

  29. JoAnn Josemans wrote on :

    Although I am not on a non-profit board, I do work with many non-profit organizations to assist with their fund raising efforts. This is accomplished by mail and/or telemarketing programs that are tailored to meet the needs of the organization we are dealing with.

  30. Andrea Lawley wrote on :

    You just simply cannot beat a great combo of “estate sale” (that means good stuff) and bak sale combo. Our Sisterhood did it last summer and quickly raised over $3000! It was also a whole lot of fun for everyone 🙂

    • Catherine Del Spina wrote on :

      Hello Andy, I’ve also done “estate sales” as charity events.
      They have all been successful and bring the community together. Two great things!!

  31. Marcia Robinson wrote on :

    I can only ask where you live. I’ve done fundraisers for political clubs in NYC. Usually involves dinners. Cocktail parties are a good idea. Let me know further. Will try to think more about it.

  32. Carolyn Wispe Burns wrote on :

    I was just an invitee, but the Youth Health Center sponsored at Tea. The invitation included a tea bag and invited everyone to a quiet moment at home and to drop a check in the mail. We are a fairly small close-knit community and have many events to attend so the idea of not going to another fund raiser was appealing. Good Luck.

  33. gerdi scheffler wrote on :

    Not on any board but have been to plenty of fundraisers such as car/dog washes, bake sales, bachelor/bachelorette auctions, garage sales, white elephant auctions (very entertaining because you don’t know what you are getting), volleyball (beach optional)/basketball/soccer tournaments, spaghetti dinners etc. Auctions, silent and otherwise, seem to be the most common with goods and services donations sollicited from businesses. Gift baskets are always popular in auctions and can be put together with small donations.

  34. Hope Wolf wrote on :

    I believe that it would depend upon what the fund raiser is for. If you could let me know more details about the goal of the organization for which you would like to raise funds, I believe that I would be able to offer suggestions.

  35. Leslie Saunders wrote on :

    Planning a successful fund-raising event involves tapping into the interests of the people you hope will contribute. Golf events obviously have limited appeal to people who are not golfers and some religious groups shy away from anything that sounds like gambling events such as Las Vegas night, Casino nights and Bingo-like events. If your contributing audience happens to be in the 40-60 year age range, dance-a-thons are great fun, as are spa events, and auctions for business services (like consulting hours, typing and data entry hours, volunteer hours, etc.). Young kids really like pet-walks and pet- parades. Adolescents and younger adults enjoy events that involve foods and music from different cultures.

  36. Vonna Husby wrote on :

    You might try “lunch and learns” – our biggest was “Estate Planning for Pets”. People really care about their pets – part of the family. Our guest speaker was an estate attorney and we decorated using animals, etc. We try to decorate our tables based on the topic. We try to put on interesting and unusual events so we get the “curious” and community support. Another examples “Antiques and Vintage Wines” – we held the event at a local antique store. It was fun!

  37. E.D. Green wrote on :

    Here’s a site offering a free Fundraising Idea Kit:

  38. E.D. Green wrote on :

    Movie tickets – who doesn’t like to go to the movies.

  39. Orelle Jackson wrote on :

    Hi Judith,
    I have worked in non-profits for years and have done so many fund raisers like galas, walks, golf events, dinners, bowlathons, and the list goes on. I think one of the best things you can do is figure out what will work in your community and your target audience. There is nothing worse than trying to “make” an event fit your community. For example, one of the volunteers I have been working with is trying to attract a younger audience and is based in Vermont. He knows that the traditional gala won’t go over well, so he is looking at a fishing event as he knows this is something that will be well received in his community.

    Another “cool” event I have been involved with is a young professionals event where they added a silent auction to the classic Cocktails for a Cause. Instead of bidding on your usual silent auction items, the young professionals bid on the opportunity to spend time with some “seasoned” professionals. The seasoned professionals loved the mentoring opportunity and did some really neat stuff with the young professionals. Some included a round of golf after a morning at the office. My young professional got to spend the day of one of our special events with me, sat at the head table, met the guest speakers etc. Several young professionals remained in contact with their seasoned professional long after the event. So, apart from being a fund raiser it was also a great way to get young people involved in the community. Got to get the leaders of tomorrow ready to serve!

    I have several more ideas to share but I am sure you will hear from some of the other gurus. Feel free to contact me if you would like to talk further.

  40. Marcia Reed wrote on :

    Several years ago, my boss here at the Santa Barbara Chamber invented a “limothon”…very successful, fun! When we were finished producing the event, we “gave” it to my husband’s nonprofit. It was met with great success again…tailored a little differently to his donor base.

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