Simple Fundraising Ideas

Fundraising can be stressful, especially if you or a loved one is in a life-threatening situation or need money fast. Nothing is more frustrating than feeling like you have no way to take action and start raising the money you need, and organizing a fundraising campaign can be overwhelming if you don't know where to start. Crowdfunding is a useful tool for people looking to raise money for their cause because it is simple and direct. It consolidates all of the information you want to share into one link and gives people a place to give directly.

Combine Online Efforts With Live Events

While crowdfunding can do wonders to simplify your fundraising process, sometimes taking action offline can help you feel empowered as well. Consider hosting an in-person fundraising event to kick your campaign into gear. We came up with some simple fundraiser ideas that you can use to take action but that aren't overwhelming or overly elaborate. And you can take comfort in these facts from CDS Global that illustrate Americans' commitment to giving back.

  • 1 in 4 Americans believe that they have a personal responsibility to make the world a better place.
  • Of the $335 billion in American donations the website tracked, 72% were given to individuals.
  • 68 percent of Americans gave to charity in the past month.

Six Simple Fundraising Ideas

  1. Organize a Bake Sale

    This is one of the most popular, cliched fundraising events for a reason: it works. People love sweet treats, and if you come to them with cupcakes before asking for money, they're much more likely to open their wallets. Bake sales sound like a lot of work, but if you plan carefully beforehand, they can be surprisingly simple. Don't try to bake all of the cakes, muffins, cookies, and bread yourself. Delegate! If you spread the responsibilities out among a group of supporters, no single person is stuck with a huge commitment. And by having customers pay online through your crowdfunding page, you simplify the donation process!

  2. Organize an Afternoon Tournament of Backyard Games

    Field games are wonderful fundraising events because they don't require a huge investment, and they provide organized entertainment for guests (which takes some of the pressure off of the host). Cornhole is one of the simplest field games, with teams competing to throw a bag through a hole cut into a piece of wood on a raised platform. It can be easily adapted for a tournament, giving spectators the chance to place bets on winning teams. Croquet is another fun game that can easily be set up as a tournament. Keep it simple by asking for a donation to your campaign in exchange for admission, and ask some of your supporters to bring dishes to serve to guests.

  3. Put on a Bingo Night

    Hold a bingo tournament! See if a local school or community center will to let you use their facilities to host the event, and ask businesses to donate prizes for the winning competitors. Create publicity for the event by posting flyers in prominent places in your neighborhood, and post event details on your crowdfunding page and social media channels. Ask guests to make a donation to your campaign in order to participate, and recruit a friend to call numbers if you think you'll be too busy the night of to do so yourself.

  4. Organize a Garage Sale

    Many people have experience working garage sales, even if only as a child, and those who don't will find that they're pretty straightforward. Find gently used items that you no longer need, and sort them into groups by price. Ask neighbors, friends, and family members to donate items they want to get rid of, too, and consider holding multiple sales if supporters have enough donated items to make up their own event. Garage sale fundraisers can be a great opportunity to raise money in a straightforward fashion and simplify your life by getting rid of all of the excess junk that's cluttering up your home.

  5. Host a Hike-a-Thon

    Recruit a prominent member of your local community—anyone who qualifies as a “local celebrity” or commands a great deal of respect—to lead a private hike with the highest bidders. Hiking day events are a great opportunity to get active outside for a great cause, and they require very little planning. Simply pick a trail and route you want to take, pack some snacks and water, and let people bid online for the opportunity to join in the fun.

  6. Set Up a Text-to-Donate Campaign

    One simple option is a text-to-donate campaign in which supporters send a keyword to a specific number (or “SMS short code”) in order to give $5 or $10. These fundraisers can be incredibly successful because they require little effort from donors. In order to launch a text-to-donate campaign, you will need to find a provider that specializes in them, such as Give by Cell, Connect2Give, mGive, Mobile Commons or MobileCause; however, these companies are far from perfect, so be sure to look at the fine print before you pursue this option. Some watchdog groups warn that certain providers charge fees or take a percent of proceeds.

Simple Tools Help Prepare You for a Fundraiser

With a step-by-step setup process, simple tools and instinctive features, creating a crowdfunding campaign online with YouCaring is easy. Meanwhile, these simple fundraiser will get you off to a great start, and you can check out several other great suggestions on our Fundraising Ideas page.