When it comes to fundraising, there are literally dozens of ways to make your initiatives engaging, entertaining and enticing to potential donors. So why should you have to choose the same fundraising ideas that have been used over and over again? Well, you don’t! There are plenty of unique, outside-the-box ways you can go about raising donations for your cause.
Online crowdfunding has been proven by many individuals and nonprofits alike to be an effective way to raise money, keep a fundraiser organized, and have the tools of today’s technology at your fingertips, since you can literally spread the word about your campaign across social media networks in an instant. With a crowdfunding campaign, you can utilize interesting online promotions and initiatives and also complement your campaign with offline events.
Unique Online Ideas to Add to Your Campaign
- Create a free website or blog
Creating a website or blog based on your YouCaring campaign is a fantastic way to build an online social presence so people will follow your cause. By building one, you can customize it to look however you’d like, add as much information as you feel necessary, and can even add your YouCaring widget directly to the home page so your followers and supporters can easily donate. For more information on how to make this happen, check out our post How to Start a Fundraising Website or Blog.
- Make a thank you video
Making a YouTube video for your fundraiser is always recommended as they are a truly impactful way to communicate with your potential supporters and will greatly improve your fundraising success. A great way to use the power of videos would be to upload a “thank you” or “update” video to your campaign for your supporters, rather than emailing or typing one. You can then share this video to your social media networks as well so everyone will see your important message.
- Piece of the puzzle
This is a really creative and fun way to entice people to make a contribution to your campaign. First, you will design a puzzle with however many pieces you choose. Then, donors will “purchase” a puzzle piece (or pieces) for a set amount such as $25, and their name and optional message will be written on the back. Once every piece of the puzzle has been sold, the puzzle is assembled and framed and the names of all the donors can be viewed, making it a really cool keepsake.
Unique Offline Ideas to Complement Your Campaign
- No-bake sale
Yes, bake sales have been around forever and are a tried and true fundraising method, but let’s face it, they’re pretty played out at this point! In this day in age, most people seem to be on the health kick anyway, so why not try something besides cookies and brownies with a no-bake sale? Healthy and tasty treats are sure to be a big hit with everyone, and you can set up a table in front of a local school, community center, or business to sell them for donations toward your online campaign.
- Restaurant night
Go around to local restaurants in your area and ask if they would be willing to host a fundraising night where a percentage of their sales goes toward your campaign. In exchange for their donations, let them know that you will promote their restaurant to everyone you know and advertise the fundraising event on social media to draw in a large crowd. Most restaurants would love to have the free marketing for their business, and by helping support your cause, it’s also giving back to their community, which is usually something it’s happy to do. It’s a win win for both of you.
- Blind auction
Throwing a blind auction is a fun way to bring people together and raise donations for your campaign. You can set up a luncheon or dinner banquet either at a house, community center or clubhouse and ask that everyone attending bring a wrapped item to be auctioned. Donors may wrap small items in large boxes to disguise the contents, and they may choose to bring something funny or of actual value. Have everyone place their packages on a table and allow everyone a chance to examine and pick up the boxes to get an idea of how much they would like to bid. You’ll have fun seeing everyone open their packages after your bidding fun ensues.
Unique Causes to Fundraise For
There are also many great causes that you can donate to or help raise awareness for.
- The Give Back Yoga Foundation
The Give Back Yoga Foundation believes in making yoga available to all who might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience the transformational benefits of yoga. The Give Back Yoga Foundation supports and funds certified teachers in all traditions to offer the teachings of yoga to underserved and under-resourced members of the community. Through this work, it aims to inspire grassroots social change and community cooperation.
ShelterBox assists disaster survivors during the critical period following a disaster but before reconstruction. To help these people begin to rebuild their lives and communities, ShelterBox volunteers deliver shelter and lifesaving supplies in the form of a “ShelterBox,” which consists of a disaster relief tent for a family, thermal blankets and groundsheets, water storage and purification equipment, solar lamps, cooking utensils, a basic tool kit, mosquito nets and a children’s activity pack.
- Project Linus
The mission of Project Linus is to provide love, security, warmth and comfort to children all over the country who are seriously ill, traumatized, or are otherwise in need of a security blanket. The blanket gifts consist of new, handmade blankets and afghans, which are lovingly created by their volunteers, also knows as “blanketeers.”
- Learning Ally
The mission of The Learning Ally is to promote personal achievement when access and reading are barriers to learning by advancing the use of accessible and effective educational solutions. The Learning Ally strives to help blind, visually impaired and dyslexic students succeed in education, and it also offers the world’s largest collection of audio textbooks and literature as well as a support system and community for parents, teachers and students.
Causes We Love: Three Great YouCaring Fundraisers
Every day, we see some of the most unique campaigns for personal and charitable causes created on our site. Draw inspiration for your own campaign through the following YouCaring fundraisers.
Kyle Syrenne Stake Park
In honor of Kyle Syrenne and to help his memory live on forever, his brother Riel created this campaign to raise funds toward building the skate park he always wanted. “Kyle knew first hand, the benefits of a skatepark and how it could not only connect people but it was always a place to go to find happiness, peace and groups of people that were as loving as himself,” Riel said. What really sets this fundraiser apart from others is the beautiful video they created with images of Kyle hanging from trees, spanning from when he was little until the age he was when he passed away. The way they shot the video with all of the images made it come together in such an interesting way.
Brotherton Adoption Puzzle Fundraiser
After 15 years of marriage, Jeff and Karen Brotherton have made the exciting decision to grow their family through adoption, and have created this campaign to raise the necessary funds needed for the adoption process. Jeff and Karen got really creative with their fundraiser by making a 500 piece “adoption puzzle” where donors can purchase a puzzle piece for $50 toward their campaign, and their names will then be written on that piece (or pieces). Once the puzzle is complete, it will be framed and hung in Baby Brotherton’s nursery. So adorable!
For the Manatees
Maggie loves Manatees. “The West Indian (Florida) Manatee was once plentiful around the coast of Florida, but now its survival as a species is in jeopardy,” Maggie says. So she has created this campaign to raise funds toward helping to prevent their extinction. The really cool thing about her fundraiser that makes it unique from others is that Maggie decided to attribute 25 percent of purchase prices on any items selected from her Etsy or web store to go directly to the Save the Manatee Club. If donors do not purchase anything from her online stores, their full donation to her campaign will be donated to the Save the Manatee Club as well.
Ready to start your own unique fundraising campaign? Launch one here today!