The Best Fundraising Ideas in America
Looking for a great fundraiser? Below you will find more than 44 proven fundraising ideas to consider, ranging from product sales to online fundraisers to events proven to raise money. You'll also find fundraising e books, thermometers, widgets and reviews
Fundraising E Books and Guides
NEW! Reading Fundraiser
Make Reading a Rewarding JourneyWhat if you could raise the money your school needs by focusing on reading instead of selling fundraising products? Now you can. Running a Read-a-thon through your school, group, or parent organization is free to start, requires little to no volunteers, and you get to keep 80 or 90 percent of all the money raised. It really is the most rewarding fundraiser ever.
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Review Posted by: Joan - (December 16 2016)
Hello Lisa, First and foremost, I would like to thank you for all your assistance. I have been very busy and rushed, all with a broken computer and email system. You have answered all my questions and have been very efficient. We love the candles, and I will be doing more fundraising through this company in the Spring. Thank you again, Mrs. Joan Stanolis
Review Posted by: No Mind Gets Left Behind - (November 15 2016)
Hi Teresa, thank you for everything. That is great thatI will receive the candles soon. So far it has been great working with you I will make sure to recommend easy fundraising to everyone I know. Thank You Vanessa
Easy Fundraising Ideas is different than other fundraising companies
You can find fundraising products all over the web. The problem is that many companies simply sell you products and you are more or less on your own. We're different.
We supply you with a complete starter kit if you choose one of our no upfront cost brochure fundraisers. We will send you a free brochure for each member of your group along with a cash collection envelope to keep money and checks secure.
But we also supply an online fundraising dashboard where you can manage your fundraiser. One of the most valuable tools is our tallying tool. The tool is especially helpful for larger groups with quite a few sellers. We help you keep track of orders by seller and save the data so when you're done you've pt together your bulk order.
Once your order is entered online you can submit it and pay right then.
We are the only online fundraising company where you can schedule a fundraiser, order your brochures, enter individual orders, sumbit a bulk order and then submit payment without ever picking up a phone or leaving your desk.
We also have one of the most highly trained customer service staffs in the industry so if you need any help simply call (866) 874-8383 and one of our team members will gladly help.
21 Other Creative and Easy Ways to Raise Money
1. How Many Marbles - This old favorite is one of the easiest ways to raise some quick cash. Get a large jar and fill it with marbles. Be sure to count the number of marbles you place in the jar. You make money by asking donors or supporters to pay $1 to guess how many marbles you have placed in a glass jar.
You can add some excitement to the contest by having supporters write their guess on a sheet of paper that you place in a secure box until the end of the contest. If you are doing it in conjunction with a gathering or meeting it's a great way to end your meeting by pulling the guesses out one at a time and announcing them to the crowd.
The best way to attract even more attention is to get a local business to offer a nice prize to give the winner. The business can get great exposure by being your sponsor.
2. Bingo - Everyone loves an occasional game of bingo. Since it's easy to organize a bingo game and people enjoy playing it makes a great fundraiser for churches, schools, sports clubs and non profits.
There are lots of ways to play bingo. We suggest you play at least 3 to 5 games though to give people multiple chances to win. Make some of the games simple like any straight line bingo for smaller prizes. Then make your last two games a little more difficult by playing a cover all where a player needs to mark every number on their cards or a big X where players need to mark both diagonal lines across their cards for larger prizes.
People happily purchase cards for $5 or $10 each. Depending on the value of your prizes you might even charge for special Cover All Cards for the grand prize only. We've seen groups charge as much as $25 per card again depending on the prize.
3. Raffles - Raffle fundraisers are great for any group size. The beauty of raffles are that they cost virtually nothing and the upside is unlimited.
Ideally you want to have your prize or prizes donated by sponsors who get lots of publicity for supporting your group with their donation. Obviously the bigger the prizer the more attractive your raffle tickets are. That also means the better the prize the more you can charge for each ticket.
When it comes to raffles think big.
You can learn how to hold a successful raffle at Step by Step Fundraising. But let's just take a couple moments to break down the entire process into easy to follow steps:
- Schedule a first planning m where you discuss the major aspecty of your raffle. The big topic, of courae, is researching prizes.
- In a subsequent meeting you need to finalize your big prize
- Finalize all the other details including when you will start selling ticket sales when you will choose your winner.
- Ideally you should have some smaller prizes so there is more than one raffle winner.
- Design your raffle tickets and get them printed. We strongly suggest you get your raffle tickets numbered.
- Give tickets to members of your group to sell.
- Have a mid-campaign meeting to get a feel for how sales are going and whether you need to implement new strategies to drive excitement and sales.
- When your end date comes gather a group of people together to witness the actual drawing of winning tickets.
- Contact your winners and give them their prizes
4. Have a Gold Party - The price of gold and silver is near record highs. Get people to donate unwanted old jewelry. Their junk can turn into your treasure.
So how do you set up a gold party?
Most every town in America has a merchant who purchases gold and silver. The truth is that people do not receive near the market value for the raw metals but most people have lots of old jewelry sitting around that they don't ever wear and many of those pieces contain quite a bit of gold. That's an ideal market for the precious metals dealer who can inspect jewelry, coins and other collectibles and make offers to your supporters.
You should negotiate a percentage that you will receive as a commission from the dealer before you get started.
Even though the dealer will make money purchasing old jewelry for below market prices everyone can leave happy with some extra money in the coffers - including your group.
5. Fresh Cookies - How many people won't pay a few dollars for a product like freshly baked cookies? Raise some dough with this one!
How many restaurants have you been that have fresh cookies in a display right where you pay your bill? They know people will purchase a cookie or two just because they see them. So how many more cookies would people buy if they knew the money was supporting a good cause?
There are companies you can go to that will supply the oven and cookie dough. But the fact is you really don't need them.
The more important need is to have a high traffic location to offer your cookies. Be creative. Many retail centers will allow you to sell your cookies at their entry. Schools and churches can sell cookies in their entry ways. Remember the more people that see your cookies the more cookies you will sell.
6. Walk-a-thon - Promote healthy living while you stuff your pockets. Great way for schools and others to raise some capital.
Just think about the large organizations like Susan G Komen and the March of Dimes that raise most of their money from walk-a-thons. It's easy for most anyone to participate. It's fun and it gives people a good reason to get outside and get some excercise.
Walk-a-thons raise money when walkers in your event recruit sponsors to pledge or donate money for each mile they walk. Logically the more walkers you have the more money you will likely raise. So it's critical to recruit as many walkers as possible.
The other important chore is marketing your walk-a-thon to the most people possible. That will not only attract the most walkers it will also let people know about the campaign which means more sponsors. In fact larger walk-a-thons can even get local sponsorship from retailers who cater to walkers.
7. Car Washes - Never a shortage of dirty cars. Provide a good service and you'll be surprised at the donations you can receive. That means car washes are one of the most common fundraisers chosen by many groups. After all there's virtually no monetary cost.
You need some supplies and a lot of hard workers.
But here are some ideas to make sure your car wash raises as much as possible:
- Plan ahead of time if possible. So many people plan a car wash fundraiser at the last minute and then wonder why they don't raise much money.
- Sign up as many volunteers as possible. Unfortunately if you are raising money for a youth group you want to have an appropriate number of adults to both supervise and help wash cars.
- Choose a location that is on a main street, easy to get to, and so people can see you washing cars from the street. Make sure there is an outside faucet and your hoses will reach the area you will bewashing the cars.
- Here is a list of supplies you will want to gather BEFORE the day of your car wash: soap, buckets, brushes, sponges, towels and hoses. For the most part these are household items so you can probably get your washers to bring the supplies so it doesn't cost your group any upfront money.
- Before your event decide if you will charge a fixed price or simply ask for donations. Arguments can made for either approach so discuss it with your group.
- Be sure your signs tell people exaxctly what you're raising money for. The better the cause the more people will stop and the higher your donations or tips will be.
- Try to sell tickets to your car wash before the actual day of your wash. That way you've banked some money and more people will know about the car wash. Like lots of other thing if you have lots of customers it attracts more customers.
8. Silicone Bracelets - So many big groups raise money selling bracelets. Great way for supporters to promote your cause as well. There are lots of groups that are identified by their fundraising bracelets like Livestrong or I am Second.
Custom bracelets can be sold for profit or be given as thank you gifts to supports.
The important things to consider are design and color. You want to create a bracelet people will wear. The better the design the better your sales will be.
Remember when buying bracelets that they are very price break oriented. In other words the more you purchase the lower your price. In fact prices drop dramatically once you've purchased more than a minimum quantity. Obviously the less you pay per bracelet the more money you'll make. But don't buy too many or all of your profits could be tied up in bracelets that don't sell. You can learn more about fundraising bracelets at Fast Track Fundraising.
9. Spaghetti Dinner - Spaghetti dinner fundraisers are so simple to run and once you've run a successful one many groups choose to hold annual dinners.
You want to put the same preparation into your spaghetti dinner fundraiser as you do the car wash above. You need to have a meeting well before the dinner to plan everything that needs to happen. First and foremost you need to decide if your team will cook the food and serve it at your school or church or if you'll partner with a local italian restaurant.
You want to start selling tickets at least two weeks prior to the dinner. It is not unreasonable to ask each group member to sell a minimum of 10 tickets.
The great thing about spaghetti dinner fundraisers is that once you have the audience there are so many ways to ask them to donate more money or purchase additional products to maximize your revenue stream.
10. Cook Books - Have members submit recipes and print your own cook book. People will pay good money for local recipes and you can cash in.
There are two thoughts on how to produce your actual cookbook. While many groups opt to do the whole thing themselves including gathering recipes, formatting every thing, laying it out, printing and binding the books we believe you might be better off using one of the companies like Fundcraft, which has been publishing fundraising cookbooks and keepsake cookbooks for more than 75 years.
Companies like that are experts at what they do so they can help you through the process and are great resources for what works best in that market.
The good news is that people love to buy local recipes and selling cook books allows you to cash in on that desire.
11. Grade-a-thons - One of the best ways for schools to raise some money and promote performance. Get parents, friends and others to pledge money for each A or B. Collect every grading period.
The popularity of thon fundraisers has exploded recently. Many schools are turning to fun runs, walk-a-thons and read-a-thons to raise money.
Well a grade-a-thon is a simple offshoot of the same type of fundraiser. At the beginning of a marking period have your students talk to sponsors who are asked to pledge money for every A, B or C they receive on their report card. Ideally the donor will offer more for an A than a B and so on which is fabulous for so many reasons. Obviously you want your kids to strive for the best grades possible. With this fundraiser the school or group directly benefits from their effort.
12. Holiday Shop - At one time Holiday Shop fundraisers were being held in virtually every elementary school. Interestingly schools felt like besides the fundraising aspect of the program that the shop also taught the kids the basics of commerce.
These days there are not as many holiday shop fundraisers but they can still raise decent amounts of money.
Basically a fundraising company sets up a retail store in your school. They will stock 100 or more items that typically all sell for less than $10. Many items sell for a few pennies.
The kids are asked to go home and get their parents to give them some money to spend on holiday gifts for friends and family. The schools makes a profit margin on every item the kids purchase.
13. Capital Campaign - Just cut to the chase and tell your supporters and members that you have cash needs and ask for their contributions. DonorPerfect is one of many software companies that can help here.
14. Talent Shows - People love to attend fun events. And they really enjoy seeing people they know show off their talent ... or make fools of themselves.
That's a couple reasons why talent show fundraisers make sense. Of course it depends on your group size and how much work you want.
You need a good venue. You need a good audience and hopefully you need some talented folks. See if you can rally together some talent in your group and sell tickets to see your show.
15 . Skip a Meal - Of all the new fundraising ideas we've either introduced or discovered this is the one we hope really takes off. It works great for any type of group and it sure promotes healthy living. And best of all you don't even have to ask people for money.
Gather every member of your group and have a meeting. At the meeting ask people how many times a week they eat out. Get an average cost for what they spend on those meals.
Then ask if your people would consider skipping one or more meals a week and putting the money into a jar that you use to meet your fundraising goal. It's a great fundraising idea when you think about!
16. Silent Auctions - Silent auctions are one of those fundraisers that people usually like to participate in. The keys to success are getting attractive items to auction off and getting a good crown of the potential bidders. You could even consider an online silent auction with WinningCause.
Typically people place the silent auction items on tables starting with the least expensive and going to the most expensive. We suggest you put an arbitrary value on each item. Honestly you should show the highest possible value that people would think is reasonable. Hopefully this gives bidders an idea of the actual value of each item so they have an idea of what to bid.
In front of each item you place a log sheet where bidders come and make their bids. The bidders should register before the auction and notate their bidder number next to their bid so you know where the bids come from.
At the end of the auction you call a end to the bidding process and start identifying winners. You collect their bid and give the winner the item they won,
Go around to local businesses and even group members and ask them to donate new items to your group. Write down descriptions and suggested prices and people to bid on the items. At the end of a designated period of time identify the winning bid and award the prizes.
17. Recycle Printer Cartridges - This is a great idea for a supplemental fundraiser. Stop throwing away used printer cartridges and instead get members to donate them and sell them to a recycler. Funding Factory appears to be the leader of this type program.
18. Read-a-thons: If you're looking for a natural school fundraising idea then consider holding a read-a-thon. After all most schools have required reading. Why not turn that requirement into a revenue source?
Readathons are not for every group. Obviously they don't work as well once kids reach junior high or older grades. At that point people are not impressed by students doing extra reading.
However it is something the friends and family look favorably upon when it comes to elementary aged students and younger kids. There are lots of ways to set up a read-a-thon. You can do a pledge based campaign where people make pledges based on the number of pages, books or minutes you read. The other way is to simply ask people to sponsor your kids just for their participation.
The great thing about this time of program or the skip a meal above is that they not only have the ability to raise a lot of money there is actual benefit for the people participating in the fundraiser.
19. Online Donations: Depending on the purpose you're raising money for you might consider one of the many cause-related online fundraising companies that you can pursue donations through. In fact we recognized the strength of online fundraising years ago long before Paypal made it easier for people to donate smaller amounts of money.
Probably the best known player in the online donation business is GoFundMe.
You can simply go to their website and create your own fundraising campaign. They give you basic contact tools to reach out to friends and family so you can tell them why you're raising money and ask for their help. Thousands of groups are running campaigns at any time and they claim they help groups raise billions of dollars every year.
20. Marathon Sporting Events: In years past many sports teams and athletic departments raised money holding a marathon softball game, basketball game or other sports event. Supporters would come by and donate money. More money is raised through concessions and sponsorships by local businesses.
21. School Carnivals: Carnivals are a terrific way for elementary schools to raise a ton of money. But of all the school fundraising ideas this may actually take the most work, the most planning and require the most volunteers.
But the good news is that school carnivals have the ability to raise crazy amounts of money. You can get some great school carnival ideas on Pinterest.
Let's spend just a couple moments talking about the major things you'll have to consider when planning your carnival:
- You will need a committee of people to help run your carnival. You really need someone in charge of each area and you want to spend time to choose the best team possible.
- You can simply run a carnival or you can theme your carnival. We suggest you choose a theme. It helps everyone stay on the same page and makes the overall event more fun.
- Determine when and where you'll hold your carnival. Lots of schools prefer Fall events because they then know how much money they've raised and know if they need to hold additional fundraisers. We always suggest your carnival be held at the school if possible so there is no question about location.
- Unlike any other fundraiser we highly recommend your group have an insurance policy. I'd imagine your school would require it. But you definitely don't don't want the liability so be sure to check into insurance.
- Plan your booths, games and food options. Definitely focus on food. It's one of the best money makers. As for games or events use your imagination. The more games the better. The one, though, that we always recommend is a dunk booth where the principal is one of the victims. The kids love it and it's always one of the hits.
- Security when it comes to money is also critical. Unlike other fundraisers a carnival generates a lot of small cash transactions. You're best off selling tickets so food and games only accept tickets instead of cash. That will limit the number of people handling cash. But make sure no one is ever alone with the money. Have at leats 2 people count and transport the cash including when they deposit it at the bank.
Plan on lots of games of chance, some rides if possible and other fun activities. You can make much more money if you sell food as well. The only downside is the number of volunteers. Great carnivals are year long in the planning but well worth it if done properly.
Let Us Introduce Ourselves
For more than 10 years Easy Fundraising Ideas has been the leading online source of products for groups needing to raise money.
Our goal is simple: Provide groups with tried and proven ideas. We want to help you quickly choose the best option that meets your specific needs as easily as possible. We make product fundraising as simple and easy as possible.
As you browse our site you will find the most successful products offered anywhere. Once you choose a product it only takes one click to get started. If you choose one of our brochure campaigns we not only provide free marketing materials we also provide free online tools to tally and place your order.
There are no hidden fees. Free shipping is available on all of our products. And all of our fundraisers are easy to start, easy to sell and easy to complete!!
Easy Fundraising Ideas Creative Fundraising Ideas Scholarship
What is our scholarship?
Easy Fundraising Ideas is offering a $500 cash scholarship open to all college students in the United States in English speaking universities. The scholarship will be paid directly to the winner to use for any school related expenses. We are taking applications now.Requirements: Applicants need to submit one 500-2000 word essay on creative ways to raise money. We are looking for ideas that are out of the ordinary but reasonable for a school group to run. Applicants must include a link to a legitimate social media account so that we can verify their identity if they win.
The closing date is April 15, 2017.
We will pick the best 5 on May 31, 2017.
We will pick a winner on June 15, 2017.
The $500 fundraising scholarship will be paid directly to the winning entry.
This scholarship is perfect for marketing, business and education related majors.***DO NOT CONTACT THIS BUSINESS FOR QUESTIONS OR UPDATES. USE THE APPLICATION SYSTEM TO APPLY.***