11 Easy Nonprofit Fundraiser ideas; Get Great Results Right Now!
by Thomas R. Reich PhD
Remember when you were younger and your Boy Scout Troop, school group or church group announced a fun easy nonprofit fundraiser? It actually was low cost, fast, fun, and an easy non profit fundraisers. Today we seem to forget we don’t have to make fundraisers complicated, but they do have to be fun. Today, so many nonprofit organizations forget this simple rule; “Make it fun, low cost, easy and fast”. Let’s look as some 11 easy nonprofit fundraisers that you can pick up and do today, next week or next month with very little cost or prep work:
1) Super Healthy Smoothie Event – Get a table or stand at the local fair, farmers market, church bazaar or flea market and sell fresh in-season fruit smoothies. Have the fruit and other ingredients donated and have all your members and volunteers bring blenders. You can even have local celebrities volunteer as super smoothie makers for an easy nonprofit fundraiser!
2) Embarrass the Director Event! – Have donors and staff pay a dollar a vote, with no limit on the number of votes they can buy, to decide from a list of 5 embarrassing fates for your good natured director. Their fate could be shaving all facial hair, die hair an embarrassing color, wear a clown suit for a day, trade jobs for a day with volunteers, clean the floor of the local city hall, etc. The possibilities are endless for this easy nonprofit fundraiser and only you know what can bring in the most votes.
3) 50/50 Raffle – This is a no brainier You get a local printer to donate professional looking raffle tickets and sell chances to win for, say $1 each, with no limit to the number of tickets that can be purchased. Here is the hook, the prize is ½ the total intake of funds on this easy nonprofit fundraiser. This way you can periodically announce the size of the prize as it grows, and there is no chance of your organization losing money or insulting a donor because of low ticket sales for the prize they donated!
4) A Seasonal Gift Wrap – The hook here is to set up gift wrapping tables for events other than Christmas in local high traffic shopping centers and malls. Examples of events for this easy nonprofit fundraiser are Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and Secretary’s Day. Again, the possibilities are endless and the free advertising you may get from the mall or shopping center could be stellar!
5) Holiday Email Fun! – In the past, Western Union would send special messages for a fee to loved ones at various events and holidays. This elegant luxury is mostly lost today, but with this easy nonprofit fundraiser you can sell donors the chance for a personalized card to be sent to a loved one with an added gift that the donation made to send the E-card is credited to the recipient as a donation to your organization made by the sender in the receivers name.
6) Mystery Admirer- This event can be a lot of fun. Each donor has a personal note delivered to someone they secretly admire, or someone they openly admire. Here is the catch in this easy nonprofit fundraiser, the one who is delivered the anonymous note must make a set donation to find out who the admirer is, this donation includes a return message; it could go on all day!
7) Mile of Change – In this vary easy nonprofit fundraiser, the organization buys many roles of masking tape and presents the tape in varying lengths to local businesses. The idea is to stick coins of 1 cent up to 50 cents to the tape – end to end. The business that makes the longest strip of tape full of coins wins a nice donated prize. As an added option, have 3 or 4 prizes available, but only if the prizes are donated.
8) Skip a Meal for Hunger – Donors agree to donate at least the value of 1 nice meal and in exchange they skip the meal to demonstrate their solidarity to stamp out hunger in this easy nonprofit fundraiser.
9) Sell Casual Day! – Work with local businesses to get donations from their employees and get the sponsor companies involved to make it a competition for the highest level of donations. The winning companies get an unscheduled casual day, possibly all participating sponsor companies will win if a high enough funds are gathered. This easy nonprofit fundraiser costs nothing, encourages friendly competition, and gets the most dedicated employees a fun cost free brake; win/win!
10) Give to Give it up! – Sponsors donate a minimum amount that can be put up to encourage the victim to participate, to have a friend or boss give up an annoying habit. In this easy nonprofit fundraiser, wives can donate to have husbands agree to not smoke, employees to have a boss shave or weir a T-shirt, the possibilities are endless.
11) Helicopter golf! – Sell Golf balls for $10 each with a unique number, then, send them all up in a helicopter which will then hover over a hole on a local golf course. All the balls are dropped from 500 ft and the one closest to the whole wins. Alternatively, have 3 or even 10 prizes, but all prizes must be donated. If you don’t have access to a helicopter, you can get the local fire department to hover the tall cage over the hole, it is all just good fun after all. This may not be a really easy nonprofit fundraiser, but remember, this kind of event does not happen every day, milk as much publicity for your cause and the donor golf course as possible, maybe even organize a golf tournament around it, but that is a different blog!