Fundraiser Ideas

Finding a lucrative, inexpensive way to raise money for all kinds of nonprofit organizations can be a challenge. This guide contains fundraiser ideas.
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September 22, 2007 Flag
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I need fund raising ideas for a nonprofit pet organization in my county. Can anyone help me please?

Carolyn from Appling, GA

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September 23, 20070 found this helpful
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I used to live near DeLand, Florida. There, every year (I believe it was on the weekend before Ash Wednesday), they had a family-friendly Mardi Gras parade for dogs. Families would bring their dogs, many in costume and always on a leash, to the downtown area. Some would walk their dogs down the street, and others would just bring their dogs and watch; the restored historic downtown area had quite a crowd every year. This was actually a benefit to raise money for a local theater, but I think it would be fabulous for a pet organization. The rules were that each dog had to be current on its shots, licensed, on a leash, not vicious, and not "in season" (heat). I believe they also had a minimum age for taking part in the parade and children below that age needed to have a parent or other adult walk with them as they walked the dog. The parade did not have any motorized vehicles in it, and was always really cute. They would have a different theme each year, such as outer space or Old New Orleans, and the parade dogs would be dressed up in costumes reflecting that theme. Prizes were awarded for best costume, smallest, largest, and oldest dogs, and they also had doggie talent shows and other related events. It was a family-oriented Mardi Gras and was absolutely adorable and lots of fun. You could get more information about it by contacting either the Sands Theater in DeLand, Florida, or MainStreet DeLand's offices. (Sorry I don't have addresses for either group.) The committee that put together this annual event was called the "Krewe of Barkalee," but it was affiliated with the theater.

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September 24, 20070 found this helpful
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We volunteer at our Humane Society in the fundraising part. They have 3 big events each year. One is a huge rummage sale of donated items that are collected throughout the year. They run a thrift store year round and get alot of donations. Every summer they take donated items that have been stored and they lease the National Guard Armory for a week. Mon - Thurs are set up days and Friday and Saturday are the Sale. Sunday is cleanup day. They raise $30-45,000.00 each year. We have worked with them for 5 years.

The second thing that they do is have a Fur Ball which is a gala event and they have a formal dance with silent auctions and gourmet food etc. and tickets for the event are quite pricey and donations just seem to flow in.

The third is called Santa Paws and they purchased a nice camera on a tripod and a printer. They set up at the mall with Santa Claus in a suit and a nice chair and for a fee you can get your pet's picture taken with Santa. They do dogs and cats and birds but nothing too gross or exotic, like creepy things - snakes, rats, gerbils etc. You can buy as many prints as you like or bring as many pets as you wish.

Simpler things are yard sales, bake sales, selling their logo or picture printed on their t-shirts, making their own calendar with pictures of the cute shelter animals, selling key chains or car magnets with their logo, etc. Hope this helps and gives you some ideas.

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September 26, 20070 found this helpful
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August 31, 2011 Flag
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It seems like the economy has created a new draw to fundraisers. Few people have the extra money to buy high priced wrapping paper to benefit a school, and sending kids door to door with a sales brochure isn't safe. Instead, a myriad of companies offer fundraising for "shopping you'd do anyway."

It's not a bad idea, and it doesn't cost the schools anything to join nor does it require a lot of volunteers. If you're involved in your school's fundraising, check out some of these businesses and sign up. Even one shopper could earn a few dollars, and every school can use those.

Shop Online for Profit

Shop For Students is a website created primarily for the online fundraiser. The premise behind it is that 15% of your purchase is donated to your school with a cash check each month.

The selection of items for sale is limited, but with an offer to new vendors it could increase dramatically with little warning. Glancing over the prices, they're high, but most fundraisers factor the donation into the overall cost. For consumers looking to grab a bargain, this isn't the place. A prime example is the reusable grocery bags that sell for $6 and up. They're stylish, unlike those offered in the grocery store, so if you're looking to give them as gifts then they're worth it.

To counteract the few items with high prices, there are a few great bargains. The best one is probably the ink cartridges. They're re-manufactured but incredibly cheap, plus there's a donation to your school.

Overall, the fundraising aspect of this site is top notch. Upon signup, the school receives help with promotions of the site and links to add to the school website. Created by a father who sought to help his daughters raise money for their school without all the hassle, it has the potential to grow into an outstanding source for school funds.

Editor's Note: Shop for Students is now named 4InkandToner. They still have an affiliate program for schools, now offering 20% back. Here is their updated link:

Target the Sales

A nationally known fundraiser for schools is Target. If your school isn't registered, register it. Anyone who uses a Target Visa to purchase items at the store or online will earn a 1% donation to the affiliated school. When signing up for the Target card, you'll be prompted to enter the school you'd like to receive your donations.

Compare the 1% donation to the 15% donation in the previous website, and you'll see why a specialized online fundraiser is better. However, people won't have to be reminded to shop at a large box store like Target, and people who have no connection to your school can earn you money. Most Target Visa owners list their residing school district anyway.

Target also offers specialized fundraisers through their Take Charge of Education for schools that are interested. They claim to offer a variety of options from "tried and true" to "wackiness," so a little investigation might be worth it.

Giving Back to Schools

Office Depot also offers a 5% credit to schools for using its Back to Schools program. You need to know your school's Back to Schools ID number which can be found at the store or on the Office Depot website. For all qualifying purchases, the school linked to that number will receive a 5% credit.

Since many schools order their basic supplies from Office Depot, this program could reap some heavy rewards. The program is valid for online as well as in person purchases, and purchases made during the calendar year can still be applied to the school's credit voucher. If you purchased from Office Depot this calendar year but didn't credit it to the school, bring your receipt, and your school's ID to the store and ask for your purchase to be applied.

May 19, 20150 found this helpful

I know for a fact that both Avon and Tupperware conduct group Fundraisers. And there may well be others. They have flyers for you to hand out for people to order from. You collect the orders with payment to give the representative. [Payment is usually up front so you know it's paid for.] All orders are separated & packed, then delivered to you to distribute to each customer and you receive a percentage of the sales. It's so nice for the fundraising group as most of the actual work is done for you.

Good Luck!

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May 19, 20150 found this helpful

When I was teaching the absolutely best fundraiser was magazine sales. Most of the food sales required your supporters to pay quite a bit more for whatever they were peddling than you would pay elsewhere. The only food sales that were really successful were chocolate almonds, as although they were expensive, you could by just a box or two, and it wasn't a big outlay of money, and the almonds were delivered right then.

The absolute worst fundraiser was a scratch what you donate, and then what you paid for was a sheet of coupons for businesses that were not convenient for our parents to use. Our highschool students called these "scratch and lose" tickets! Raffles are also a good fundraiser. Personally, I support those fundraisers where the kid (or at least the parent) sells the product. I quit buying magazines when the student didn't come to the door, but I was contacted by email. I insist on the personal touch.

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February 11, 2010 Flag
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I need some inexpensive centerpiece ideas for 75 round tables. It is for a spaghetti dinner fundraiser. Many thanks for your help.

By Meg from Augusta, GA

February 15, 20100 found this helpful
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Our RVing group had to decorate tables for a group of 350 people. Our budget was nearly zero. We purchased plastic table cloths for each table at a dollar-type store. We purchased a few extras in case some might get torn or whatever during the 3 days/nights of the event.

We came up with the idea of using the empty cans from vegetables, soups, fruits, and so on. We saved our cans for several weeks prior to the event. (Wash the insides first!) I can see your face now ! ha you are thinking how "tacky" is this? this gal has to be from Tennessee! ha! :)

Many of these cans have very colorful labels. Some purchased at the dollar-type stores were different than the regular old soup cans. Some labels on tomato sauces, spaghetti sauce cans would fit your theme.

We put some gravel in the bottom of each can, so they wouldn't turn over easily. And each gal in our group brought some silk flowers in the color scheme that we had chosen. (either from her "stash" or from a dollar store) After each can was full of colorful blooms, each table looked great!

We had so many compliments from people who ate at the tables. Several thought it was such a cute idea. Everybody has cans. Nobody had thought of using empty tin cans! At the end of the event, each gal was allowed to take her silk flowers back home with her. Which meant we ended up with just about zero cost for table decorations. And we re-cycled besides.

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February 19, 20100 found this helpful
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I would save the cans from spaghetti sauce, like Barb suggested. Then, put some cheap dried spaghetti out on a table with paper or a table cloth on it, and spray glitter them red, green, and white spray glitter. When dried, and you may have to apply several coats since they need to be rolled and sprayed, you simply put them in the cans and jars, mixing the colors. Enjoy!

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April 6, 20100 found this helpful
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April 23, 2007 Flag
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My class is planning a trip to Malawi in June 2008. As sports leaders we will be teaching/helping out in some P.E. classes. But before we go we have to raise the money to get us there. Altogether we need to raise about £10,000. We have been thinking of ways to raise the money but so far haven't got anything. I was just looking for some good ideas/ways to raise this sort of money!

lilme2k7 from uk

April 25, 20070 found this helpful
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I was president of my daughter's chorus group's Booster Club and one thing we did to raise money was for each of the students to write to family members/friends/members of their church asking for a donation. In the letter, they described the trip, the benefits to be gained from the trip, and thanked them in advance for the donation. It worked! Give it a try!

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April 25, 20070 found this helpful
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How about doing a dinner (something inexpensive like spaghetti) with a silent auction of items you got donated from local businesses, art galleries, parents, etc. My neice is going to Ireland to compete in the World Irish Dance Competition and this is how her group raised their money. It worked really well.

To earn the rest of her portion here are some things she's done:

She had a garage sale at home with stuff donated from everyone she knows - she went and got it all and cleaned it, marked it, and did the sale herself

She has gone to the downtown area of her city during the weekend nights (with Dad/Mom as escort) and set up a little dance demonstration with a jar for donations. Since she also plays the violin, she's done that as well. People walking around from restaurants and bars have stopped and enjoyed her performances and she's earned up to $100 per night.

She has babysat and held workshops to teach younger girls how to babysit and make kits that they take with them. She charged them $10 each but they got the class and their first job through her.

In our city, curbs need to be painted with the house number on them so emergency vehicles can identify the address. She went around to new developments and did this for $15 per home. She made quite a bit of money doing this.

Hope these ideas help!

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April 29, 20070 found this helpful
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November 8, 2007 Flag
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I teach a Sunday school class for little kids 5-8yrs and I can't think of ideas to raise money fast. We don't have any money and we need to fix our room. Please I need help!

~God Bless You~

Emili from Chicago, IL

November 8, 20070 found this helpful
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What about some type walk-a thon with people sponsoring each walker. I am not sure, but I think you sponsor so much per mile. Or ask your friends and family to each bake up one thing like brownies, fudge, or candies and collect them the next day and have a bake sale. Most Walmarts let you sell outside if you tell them its for a good reason. Our Walmart just had a craft show outside and they show the community how they sponsor that. They even set up a food booth with hotdogs and Cokes. You could even get all your unwanted household items like clothing, etc, and ask others to donate theirs as well and you schedule a day to pick them all up and then set up at a flea market on some Saturday and use the funds from there to redecorate your classroom. If you do the bake sale idea make up flyers on your computer telling about it when it is what is for and post them everywhere like laundromats, car washes, bulletin boards in grocery stores, some restaurants have bulletin boards as well. Just ask them first to make sure. Our Pizza Inn sponsors fund raisers all the time for many places like schools, churches going on mission trips, etc. They advertize with flyers ahead of time. All tips on those certain dates that they sponsor go to the event. Call your local Pizza Inn to see if they too participate in that.

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November 9, 20070 found this helpful
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My son who is now 47 used to make those little hot pot holders with the little plastic loom and knit loops. He sold them to the neighbors for walking around money. You can still get those looms fot not too much money. Your class is a good age bracket to do this sort of thing. With the holidays coming people in your church could buy "handmade by the kids" stuff for gifts.

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November 12, 20070 found this helpful
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February 15, 2010 Flag

I need to come up with some fundraisers for my daughter's fastpitch softball team. They are all 17 years old. We already have a car wash. Any great ideas? We need to make alot of money.

By Joyce from Pittsburgh, PA

February 15, 20100 found this helpful
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Get local businesses to donate gift certificates or goods and then have a silent auction or a raffle. The girls can work in teams and approach four or five businesses each. They should have a letter explaining where the auction/raffle will be held, what the money raised will be used for, and how the sponsors will be recognized (they'll be looking for some kind of free advertising). Try to get working parents to donate something also. Hope that helps.

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February 19, 20100 found this helpful
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You might ask your local grocery if they'll let your ladies bag for donations. This was a great fundraiser for my kids' marching band a few years ago.

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February 19, 20100 found this helpful

July 28, 2011 Flag

What is the best "meal" to serve at a fundraiser dinner held in the high school cafeteria? We need something that is good and filling, easy to prepare and serve, yet something people would come out to eat. Should it be all-you-can-eat or one-time plate?

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April 8, 2016 Flag
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This is a guide about community center fundraising ideas. Community centers frequently need to raise funds for additional operating and event costs.

Arched window on a building with the words "Community Center"

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