Fundraising Event Ideas

Your YouCaring campaign can generate donations via the power of videos, photos, social media sharing and other useful promotional tools, but why not step it up another notch? There are many ways to engage potential donors online, but offline endeavors give your cause that added personal touch.

Connect With Your Audience

With live events, you have the opportunity to personally connect with friends, family and others within your community and beyond. When people see how much time and effort you and other campaign participants are devoting to the cause, it makes your campaign even worthier and more important to them.

  • Gathering with friends and family helps ease the burden emotionally when the cause is a sudden medical incident or other stressful situation.
  • If beneficiaries are able to attend, donors and potential donors have a chance to engage with them and see the importance of their contribution.
  • Whether you're raising money for tuition, a friend in need or a charity, offline events can oftentimes be truly inspirational for everyone involved.

Top 10 Fundraising Event Ideas

  1. Art Exhibit Fundraisers

    Ask artistic friends such as painters, photographers, jewelry makers and others to donate a piece to the cause. All artwork sold at the event can be processed as donations on the online fundraising page at the event. Also consider selling raffle tickets at the door, with the top prize being one of the donated pieces of artwork.

  2. Silent Auctions at Events

    Hold a dinner or reception at a local restaurant and conduct a silent auction. All winners can pay for their prizes via a donation on your online fundraising page at the event. There are a variety of options for silent auction items. It’s a matter of asking for donations from any business or individual you can think of. Options include restaurants, tour companies, wineries, spas, hair stylists, artists, lawyers and others who can donate a service.

  3. Bicycling, Running, Walking Events

    With active events, participants can ask people to donate a certain amount based on the number of miles completed at the end of the race. The sponsor would then make the donation directly on your online fundraising page. Participants could also set up teams and enlist the support of local businesses to donate based on the number of miles completed. You could also ask local businesses to match online donations or contribute a certain portion of proceeds to the cause for a period of time.

  4. Parties and Banquets

    Hosting a dinner party or putting together a charity banquet is a great way to get a large group of people together who will donate to your cause and at the same time, be able to enjoy a nice meal or a get-together. You can gather your friends, family members and neighbors. This can either be done at a home, a clubhouse, or by renting out a banquet hall, and you can have the purchase of the meal ticket made as an online donation to the fundraiser.

  5. Benefit Dance

    Hosting a benefit dance (or better yet, a themed benefit dance) is a fun way for adults and kids to come together to raise money for your fundraiser. You can share your fundraiser on social media and announce that those who wish to attend can contribute a certain amount online to your campaign to receive a ticket to the dance. You can also have someone working the event selling tickets at the door and entering the cost of the tickets as online donations.

  6. Charity Sports Event

    Put together a charity sports event such as a baseball game, basketball game or hockey tournament. Announce that tickets to attend the event can be purchased online by making a contribution to your fundraiser, and ask that those wishing to participate in the event can also make a contribution online to your fundraiser for their spot to play. Ask your local sports organizations and teams if any of the coaches would be willing to help coordinate the event.

  7. Skate-a-Thon

    If you are raising funds for a child (or an adult) who loves skateboarding, throw a fundraising skate-a-thon at your local skate park, where kids and adults can skate for your cause. Tickets to attend the event can be purchased by making an online donation to your fundraiser; you can even try reaching out to a pro skater to ask if they would be willing to sign a few skateboards to raffle at your event, with tickets purchased through donations to your online fundraiser.

  8. Customized Promotional Items

    Creating and selling t-shirts, bags, cups and other items for your online fundraiser with the image of the beneficiary and fundraiser name and URL is a unique and creative way to spread the word about your fundraiser. This way, anyone wearing a shirt, for example, is a walking promotion for your campaign. Items can purchased by making an online donation of a certain amount to your fundraiser. 

  9. Car Wash 

    Car wash fundraising events have long been a popular way to drum up support for a cause, so why not use this to your advantage and incorporate it into your online fundraiser? You can advertise the car wash on your fundraiser and through your social media networks, and let your donors know they can receive a car wash on a certain date for making an online donation to your fundraiser. You can also sell cxfar washes at the event. This is a fun way to get out in the community and spread word of your campaign.

  10. Barbecue Night

    Host an evening barbecue with plenty of grilled meats and fish, and provide entertainment. Ask volunteers to help out by bringing side dishes such as potato salad, fruit, vegetables and dessert. See if you can find a local band or musician who is open to performing for free, and feature outdoor games such as cornhole, three-legged races, bocce ball and horseshoes. Ask that guests make a suggested donation online in exchange for admission, and give them a chance to donate during the night as well via a donation station.

Additional Tips

Use a fundraiser update alerting people about your upcoming event. Print flyers with high-quality images and the fundraiser name and your custom URL so potential donors can easily locate your campaign online. Take these flyers to your offline fundraising events and pass them out to everyone. Additionally, be sure to spread word of your offline fundraiser via social media channels such as Facebook or Twitter, and ask your friends and family members to do the same. Be sure to take pictures of your fundraising event and add them to your campaign once your event is over to keep the momentum going and generate more donations. Combining these tips with great fundraising ideas, from creatively inspired events to those above, will ensure a successful campaign. 

On Your Marks!

Ready to get started with plenty of great live fundraising event ideas? If you haven't already done so, launch your online campaign and begin planning some in-person gatherings to supplement your fundraiser.