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Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits

Especially in times of economic hardship, money is a high-priority topic for nonprofit leaders. Nonprofit fundraising is challenging. You have built and managed many successful programs, but those programs will fail without the fundraising they need. Sometimes the mission of the organization can be so crucial to volunteers and team members that the development of clear fundraising strategies is overlooked. This results in a foggier financial situation where incoming money is not directed to where it will do the most good and where philanthropists are hesitant to contribute because they don’t know how their money will be used. 

The way to avoid these issues is to develop a clear fundraising strategy that will keep the money flowing so that you can focus on achieving your goals. A strategy, or model, governs how you market your nonprofit and the kinds of activities you are going to hold to raise money. This can help you create a more consistent, organized appearance for your donors, who will be more likely to commit funds at regular intervals. 

One fundraising idea is to take the heartwarming approach of sharing how the organization is providing good for others. An example of an organization that follows this model consistently is St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Another fundraising strategy focuses on raising money from those who have benefited from their services in the past. For example, a school might raise money from alumni. A third example of a fundraising strategy is where your target audience has a mutual interest in your mission. Legal action and environmental non-profits can often use this strategy to great effect. Whatever fundraising ideas for nonprofits you decide to implement, you should think about how they will fit into your overall model. 

Let’s take a look at some fundraising ideas for nonprofits that you can use as inspiration for your own activities. 

Fundraising Event Ideas

When it comes to deciding which fundraising event ideas to implement, you’ll want to consider such factors as budget, time, and complexity. Budgets are often limited for nonprofits, and volunteers do not always have extra time. Furthermore, highly complex events can be difficult for a smaller nonprofit to pull off successfully. Another consideration you should make is whether or not you want physical events or virtual events. With pandemic fears receding, many physical venues have reopened their doors to nonprofit organizations. On the other hand, virtual events give you the opportunity to have a global reach. All of these elements must be considered when comparing fundraiser event ideas. 

1. Host A Dinner Party

One of the more popular fundraising ideas is to hold a dinner party. This idea has lots of versatility. You could hold the dinner in a volunteer’s home or rent out a venue. You could sell tickets and create a customized experience for your guests that will inspire them to contribute to your cause. Finally, a dinner party provides you with an excellent opportunity to stand up and deliver your pitch, explaining why your mission is so vital. 

2. Hold A Silent Auction

A silent auction can be done virtually or physically and can be an excellent way to bring your target audience together to support your cause. You can reach out to volunteers to start collecting items and then rent an affordable venue. It’s also easy to attach a silent auction as an additional fundraising opportunity to another event.  Many organizations have effectively implemented this approach which is what has made it so popular as a fundraising event. 

3. Casino Night

You could host a casino night where you invite guests to dress up and donate to participate in a variety of casino games such as roulette, blackjack, and poker. You could supplement this event with a prize raffle that attendants could enter by gifting a certain amount. The raffle could be for a set of steak knives or a gift card. 

Most Successful Non-Profit Fundraisers

The most successful nonprofit fundraisers are usually fairly sizable. This is true of most famous charity events, such as The Met Gala and the Make-A-Wish Foundation Gala. The best way to do fundraising for nonprofits is to rely on a few large events in a year that raise a significant portion of your annual operating budget. That way, your volunteers have more time to focus on achieving their mission than just setting up the next fundraising event. Concentrating on more revenue-generating events can also result in a steadier budget which is vital for building successful programs. 

Here is a list of some of the best fundraising event ideas for nonprofits:

  • Hold A Gala – One of the most successful fundraising events generally
  • Auction A Vacation – Can be an expensive trip or a stay-cation
  • Wine Tasting Tour – Ask local winery to donate wine
  • Launch Your Own Fashion Show – Works best when done in a partnership with a local venue

If you are a growing organization that is not yet ready to take on these larger events, here are some excellent ideas for fundraisers for small nonprofits: 

  • Host An Amateur Art Show – Ask volunteers to submit their own pieces
  • Run A Photo Contest – Pick a theme and invite competitors to share their photos on Instagram
  • Hold An Open House – Invite people into your offices or facility to get a personal, behind-the-scenes look at what you are accomplishing every day

Unique Fundraising Ideas 

The big-money fundraising ideas we have just been looking at have been historically successful. However, you will sometimes find those unique fundraising ideas are a better fit for your organization. Differentiating yourself by hosting these kinds of events can be a great way to ensure that philanthropists and donors will remember your name. Some successful fundraising ideas for nonprofits include a read-a-thon, a live stream on social media, and a scavenger hunt. These are unique fundraising ideas for individuals or small organizations that can be used to generate more revenue for your nonprofit. 

Read-a-thons can be done virtually and can be done with kids as an excellent educational fundraiser. Livestreams can be another way to get the word out about your cause. There are many streamers in the online world that regularly hold charity streams. By partnering with them, you can get them to share your nonprofit and promote it to their audience. This can be an excellent way to expand your current donor pool. Finally, a scavenger hunt is a flexible, scalable event that can involve the entire local community. Ideally, you’d structure the hunt around a specific theme and encourage participants to visit related locations around the local area. 

Easy Fundraising Ideas For Small Groups (200)

Smaller groups and organizations may find it challenging to arrange formal events. Fundraising ideas for individuals can be difficult to come up with because budgets are usually tight, and it can be challenging to get a large group together. Fortunately, we have curated a list of fundraiser ideas for small groups that are ideal for smaller nonprofits.

In this list, you’ll find fundraising ideas for students, fundraising ideas for kids, and easy fundraising ideas for small groups. 

1. Crowdfunding

Using sites such as Kickstarter or GoFundMe are excellent ways for small nonprofits to access funding. Although you may not run into many large-scale philanthropists, you will have global access to thousands of people who are interested in supporting your cause. Many nonprofits have achieved success using crowdfunding methods. The key is to explain your mission and ensure that donors understand how their money will be used. 

2. Make Something and Sell It

It’s as old as the lemonade stand. Are you an artist? Can you bake? Perhaps you know someone who can make things. The idea here is to simply create something that you can sell to members of your community to support your nonprofit. Girl Scout cookies are a perfect example of this fundraising approach.  

3. Hold Community Classes

A very affordable event is to hold community classes where volunteers from the local community share their experience and practical skills. You could have classes for topics on a variety of things from gardening to dance. By selling seats in these classes, you can raise money for your nonprofit while also giving back to the community. 

How Board Management Software Can Streamline Fundraising Goals

Finding new ways to raise money is crucial for many nonprofit organizations and charities. Holding events like the ones we have described above can be a great way to increase your revenue. Another method to raise money for your organization is to reduce your costs by automating and streamlining your administrative processes. One of the best tools for achieving this is board management software like Boardable.

With Boardable, you’ll be able to facilitate board reports, and board voting/polls from one convenient platform. This kind of solution can help you move to paperless board administration and uses cloud technology to store important documents. This means that your board can always access the information they need from their PC or mobile devices. Software like this can also make board fundraising easier. Boardable has worked with many nonprofit organizations, including:

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters Of America
  • United Way of Central Indiana
  • Frisco Arts Foundation
  • National Diaper Bank Network

If you’d like to see why these organizations love and trust Boardable, schedule a live demo today!

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