Creative Fundraising Ideas

For organizers who are blessed with an artistic side, the options for potential creative fundraising ideas to amplify crowdfunding campaigns expand greatly. From sewing quilts to making jewelry to having enough artsy friends to fill a talent show, your creativity gives you a special opportunity to explore a unique, exciting set of fundraising options that add to the long list of unique crowdfunding ideas. In addition to helping out a great cause, you can relax and enjoy the time you spend doing what you love.

A Heart for Art

Creativity seems to be growing in popularity when it comes to giving back, perhaps partly due to the fact that arts programs are some of the first to take a hit when schools look to cut spending. Even people who aren’t creative often have a soft spot for the arts, the growing “maker” culture and the effort that goes into producing things, so they might be more inclined to contribute to your crowdfunding campaign via a creatively inspired event.

  • The National Philanthropic Trust recorded a 9.2 percent increase in giving to arts, culture and the humanities in 2014, the largest rate of growth among all types of nonprofits.
  • Art events help the economy! When hosting an arts-related fundraising event, expect the average attendee to spend $24.60 beyond the cost of admission, according to the Americans for the Arts blog, “Top 10 Reasons to Support the Arts in 2014.
  • Creative fundraisers encourage an appreciation for arts programs. If you meet your fundraising goal through an arts- or crafts-based event, you provide an example of the concrete benefits of arts organizations and education.

Six Great Fundraising Ideas for Creative Types

  1. Hold a Quilt Fundraiser

    Hand-crafting a quilt by yourself or with your fellow organizers is a great way to bring an old-school art form into your campaign. Contact people who support your cause, and ask them to sponsor a square on your quilt via an online donation in exchange for a message or image you agree to stitch on it. Along with the square in their honor, your patrons will receive a raffle ticket for the quilt. Once you've finished it, raffle off the quilt. Another alternative is to combine both these routes. Have patrons sponsor a square, but instead of raffling it off, host a live auction with your quilt as the centerpiece and invite your supporters to share an honorary dinner afterward.

  2. Host an Art Gala

    If you’re an artist or have artistic friends or acquaintances such as photographers, painters, jewelry makers, print makers or creative types specializing in any other medium, ask if they would donate a piece for an auction supporting your cause. Find a space to host the event, ideally a gallery, cafe or gymnasium, and buy drinks and appetizers to serve to your guests. Be sure to have plenty of collateral about your cause as well as a donation station with a laptop displaying your campaign page. Allow people time to walk around, chat, learn about your cause and enjoy the art, but eventually transition into an auction portion of the night, with winners paying via your online campaign. You could even run a silent auction alongside a live auction, saving the most expensive pieces for the live portion.

  3. Get 'Classy'

    If you have a particular talent or can enlist the support of someone who does, from culinary arts to fine art to photography, host a half- or full-day class for several people in exchange for donations to your crowdfunding campaign. As long as the session is taught by someone talented in their field, you’re likely to receive a good deal of interest from people wishing to support your cause and learn a new craft or technique. The sky's the limit when it comes to options—including cooking classes, photography lessons, painting instruction and jewelry making.

  4. Organize a Talent Show

    Host a talent show and invite supporters and members of your local community to perform! You can hold these events at a gym, in a local theater, or even at a coffee shop or restaurant. See if the establishment is willing to donate a portion of the proceeds of that night's sales to your cause. Ask guests to make a donation to your online campaign for admission to the event. Publicize your talent show well in advance both in your community and on your crowdfunding page. If possible, solicit a well-known member of the community to act as your emcee. Even if some of your supporters can't attend the event, posting about it on your campaign page and social media channels may prompt them to give online anyway.

  5. Make Your Own Handmade Wreaths

    Around the holiday season, hand-crafted wreaths can be a lucrative and creative fundraising idea. Find a supplier who might be willing to donate fresh fir wreaths to your cause or a portion of an order you place. Spice them up with dried berries, ribbons and other artsy flourishes. Also consider using succulents to build truly unique wreaths. Other particularly beautiful options include wreaths made of flowers; sticks and branches; chili peppers; corn husks; cooking herbs; and even repurposed metal. You can offer your wreaths as a gift for donations of a certain amount on your crowdfunding page.

  6. Look to Online Retailers like Ebay and Etsy

    The Internet provides new opportunities for talented craftspeople to reach potential clients. If you have an idea for a simple clothing item, piece of jewelry or other artwork that you're willing to make over and over, upload a photo of it to one of these sites, and start making your product to order. If you find that your products are a success, branch out and experiment with different pieces and materials. Websites like eBay and Etsy allow you to be your own merchant, so all of the revenue your goods raise can go straight back into your fundraiser. Consider having friends or family members help you out if you need to take on more orders. 

Right-Brained and Ready?


Creative fundraising ideas allow you to express yourself through arts and crafts while also giving back through our free fundraising platform, which doesn't charge fees to fundraise. Combining your passion for the arts with your compassionate nature can put you on a path toward crowdfunding success. If you haven't already started a creatively inspired campaign, kick off a fundraiser today.