Spring is in the air! Warmer weather plus a feeling of renewed energy means that people are once again looking to engage with the world. All of this makes spring a great time to freshen up your crowdfunding campaign or launch a new one.
Spring is also the perfect time to host an event—check out our helpful tips for hosting a successful fundraising event. Take a look at these spring fundraising ideas and choose one or more to make your campaign blossom.
Spring fundraising event ideas
1. College basketball
For college basketball fans, March means March Madness—the NCAA playoffs. It’s a great time to invite your supporters to enter a basketball bracket in exchange for a donation to your cause. For the tournament semifinals or finals, host a game-watching party. As two teams go head to head, make things more interesting by asking people to pledge donations each time a specific event happens in the game—a lead at the end of a quarter, a minimum point total for a particular player in a quarter, free-throw percentages, number of fouls, a certain player getting ejected, etc. This not only makes it a lot of fun to watch—it’s a slam-dunk for your fundraiser.
2. April Fool’s for good
Everyone’s wary of playing the fool on April 1. Use the day for good by hosting a prank-a-thon. Come up with a fun title such as Random Pranks of Kindness. Write up a list of sweet, compassionate, and funny “tricks”—for example, covering the “target’s” car with kind or silly notes, or filling a friend’s shoes or a coworker’s desk drawers with a pleasant surprise like flowers or candy. Once you have a list of nice pranks, circulate it among friends, family, and colleagues. Have people sign up for specific pranks on behalf of loved ones, and name their price. All money raised goes to your fundraiser, of course.
3. Easter egg treasure hunt
At a local park or in your own yard, host an Easter egg hunt to raise awareness of your cause and funds for your fundraiser. Add fun and festive activities—make a list of clues for people to figure out, then fill plastic eggs with sweet treats and riddles for where to look next. At your entrance table, have a sign-in sheet so people can opt in for updates and other communications about your cause. Have participants pay a small fee to enter the hunt, with proceeds going to your fundraiser. You can also take advantage of the perks of mobile giving—have a smartphone or tablet ready with your donation page on display, and accept direct donations on site.
4. Tree planting
This is a great option if your cause is related to climate change or environmental issues. Celebrate Arbor Day (April 27) by planting new flora around your neighborhood. In the weeks leading up to Arbor Day, ask for pledges from supporters. Get volunteers to join you as planters. You could also have volunteer planters secure pledges from friends and family. Accept donations of seedlings and other plantable items, ideally native plants. If you plant on private property, ask the owners for a donation to your cause in exchange for the plantings. If you plant on public property, such as in a park, be sure to get permission from local authorities. Make a festive day of it and have a mobile device on hand to collect donations from visitors to the park.
5. Garden party
Another great opportunity for environmental causes is Earth Day, April 22. It’s the perfect day for a garden party where everyone comes together to plant a garden. Pick a site, such as a communal area at a park or a neglected lot, and invite the neighborhood to make it beautiful. For a donation to your fundraiser, provide a plant, such as herbs, flowers, or shrubbery, and the supplies to get a garden growing. See Arbor Day above for related ideas.
6. National Volunteer Week
The last week in April is National Volunteer Week. Many organizations offer special volunteer events across the country, and you can do the same for your fundraiser. This is a great week to leverage the work of volunteers into a major fundraising win. One option: check with a local high school or college to see if you can coordinate an event where students volunteer in support of your cause. It could be as simple as a car wash, or more complex. The event then becomes your fundraising opportunity.
7. Mothers Day tea
If your cause is related to advancing the causes of women and children, Mothers Day can be a great opportunity for a fundraising event. A tea time is a perfect option for spring. Set it up at in an outdoor or indoor space with decorations, a variety of teas and treats, and a table where people can learn about your campaign and make a donation. Using a mobile device, you and attendees can quickly make donations.
8. Memorial Day barbecue
Memorial Day weekend is a great opportunity to host a community event. You might include outdoor games—ring toss, sack races, even a huge Jenga game. Serve food donated by local restaurants. Ask a live band to provide music (if your fundraiser supports schools, why not include the school band?). Events held on long holiday weekends are usually well attended. Create flyers with information about your fundraiser and leave them around town and at the park or venue where your event will happen. A large poster at a central location is also a great way to spread information—especially if the poster is something people want to take a picture of or with, to post on social media.
Virtual spring fundraising ideas
9. Garage sale
With spring cleaning comes an excellent opportunity for online and in-person garage sales to raise money for your cause. Create an event page on a neighborhood site, such as Nextdoor.com, and invite your community to donate and/or buy items. Add pictures and prices for each item. Create conversations about interesting pieces. Share your listings on social media. You can also hold a classic in-person garage sale, separately or in conjunction with your online sale. In either case, let people know that all sales benefit your fundraiser—include the name of your campaign and links to the donation page wherever possible.
10. Produce sale
Warm weather is a time for bounty—and just as fruits and veggies come into season, so do the opportunities for fundraising with them. Partner with local farms or produce stands to get food at wholesale prices, then create special produce bundles to sell in exchange for donations to your fundraiser. Once you get donors, schedule a time to drop off the bundles along with a flyer containing details about your fundraiser.
11. Easter candy bundles
Sweeten the deal for donors with a gift of Easter candy for each donation. Before the Easter season, promote your event. Spread the word in person at your workplace, schools, community centers, and other community hubs. Once you’ve secured a list of donors, create baskets of treats to drop off. Play Easter Bunny for the day and watch your donations multiply.
12. Pet photo contest
Say cheese to a fundraising idea that engages supporters in a new way. National Pet Day is April 11 and National Pet Week is in May—why not celebrate with a photo contest featuring your supporters’ pets? Create special categories like funniest pair, most adorable, most aloof, best dressed, most exuberant, etc. Post pictures of the candidates and the winners on social media so everyone gets a chance to shine. For more in-depth suggestions, see our post How to Run a Successful Social Media Contest in Six Easy Steps.
Examples of spring-themed campaigns on YouCaring
Red Hook Dog Rescue, an organization that helps animals with medical issues, held a spring match-a-thon to successfully raise over $10,000 in donations. The group created an exciting event for donors by securing an anonymous matching donation. Once smaller donations from multiple people added up to over $5,000, that amount was then matched by the anonymous donor.
The University of Massachusetts’ Beacon Voyages for Service started a fundraiser for an alternative spring break trip. The group hopes to travel to Florida to help protect coastal ecosystems. To raise funds, students posted many updates for followers and hosted offline fundraising events such as a Paint Night, with all proceeds going toward their goal.
Close Ties Leadership Program held a successful fundraiser called the Spring Break College Tour. On this trip, young men visited schools to see what college life is all about. Close Ties set up its fundraiser a few weeks before the trip and was able to exceed its fundraising goal of $3,000.
Bounce into spring fundraising
We hope these spring fundraising ideas can help you spring into action and raise funds for your cause. While there are many ways to reach your goal, embracing the seasonality of fundraising is often a winning strategy. If you haven’t crafted your fundraising campaign page yet, plant that seed today.