Fundraising Ideas for a Nonprofit Organization

Category Fundraising
There are many ways to earn money in your community, such as car washes, yard sales, pancake breakfasts, auctions and other organized events. This is a page about fundraising ideas for a nonprofit organization.


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Here's a great fundraising idea that my Relay for Life team developed. We purchased 60 small teacups and saucers off eBay. We took the cups to a local candle making shop and had them put a wick and scented candle wax in the cups. (They gave us a discount since we were raising money for American Cancer Society.) We then glued the tea cups to the saucers, put them in cellophane bags and tied on a pink ribbon. We sold them for $10 each, with the proceeds ($400) going to American Cancer Society.

By Momof1 from Wilkesboro, NC

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In my area historic/unique house or church tours are done for fundraising. People get to see fine old houses and help a good cause at the same time. Another idea is to have garden tours in the summer.


For either of these, people pay a fee and get a map of the houses or gardens on the tour, and go at their own pace. Sometimes light refreshments are served. Though a dinner at the end of the day could be done as well, at a church hall or other venue.

By Jennifer from Gilbertsville, NY

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August 8, 2013

Penny Wars is an easy fundraiser that we have used several times in our office. You need several containers, we use 5 gallon water jugs, but even one gallon jugs would work. One jug for each of the groups. We use floors in our building, you could use departments, etc. You just set the jugs together somewhere people can see them. We use our lunch room, since it is a common area most people visit everyday. All the money collected in the jugs are points. Pennies are negative points, 'silver' coins and paper money are positive points. You put your pennies in other peoples jars, and 'silver' coins in your own. Everyone has change in their pockets/purse so it is not like you are asking for a large donation, but the money adds up. You can run the contest for a week or a month then donate the money to a worthy cause.


The winning group can get bragging rights, donuts for breakfast, so some other small incentive. It is fun and everyone gets rid of their change.

Source: Our office has done it several years now.

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I'm a member of our local Rescue Squad and I am looking for some ideas for fundraising for a non-profit organization. We have about 20 members and we are in great need of a "new" truck and tools. Is there anything out there that doesn't involve door-to-door selling? Also, we have a BBQ Festival coming up in our town and we set up a table under a small tent. What is something we could do on somewhat short notice to make some money while we're there? We only have about 2 weeks to prepare. Any ideas?


Renee from West TN


By Sandy from WI (Guest Post)
September 19, 20060 found this helpful
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Contact local businesses and see if they can donate items for a silent auction. People bid on these items on paper and the ones with the highest bids get the items after paying for them. Be sure to ask for a phone number of the bidders.

A. Make bead bracelets and sell them.

B. Make some type(s) of Christmas ornaments and sell them.

C. Bake sales are always popular. Stick to foods that don't require refrigeration.

D. All of the above. Good luck and God Bless.

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September 19, 20060 found this helpful
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As long as you have a table already, how about a used book sale. Sell paperbacks for .50 and hard cover $1.00 each.


How about a 50/50 raffle. Sell tickets for $1.00. When you draw the name out, they get half of what collected and organization gets the other half. You can do that at end of day, or every 2 hours or so.

Have someone bake large cookies and sell them for .50 each.

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By claudia York (Guest Post)
September 20, 20060 found this helpful
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face painting for the kids is a big hit at our festival. Make it cheap like fifty cents and then the kids will keep coming back for more. Except for the paint, brush and paper towels, it is all pure profit.

Another group has a salad lunch. All the salads are donated by the members and the tickets are $4 and they are presold (set amount 50), or what ever your room can hold and you feel you can feed. That too is all profit.

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September 20, 20060 found this helpful
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At our church's rummage sale, we have a bake sale and sell regular size homemade cookies, 5 in a ziploc for .50 cents a baggie. These always sell good. Some bake regular cookies, some bake Sugar Free cookies, & they ALL sell. Usually the cookies sell out first, over the other baked goods.


Also, in our area, I'm sure this is in your area, too. The local grocery stores, if asked, will donated a case or so of spaghetti and pasta sauce, for a donation for a benefit supper/dinner or event. Ask if your grocery store will do this for your Fire/Rescue Fundraiser. Then have a 'Spaghetti Feed'. Along with the spaghetti, serve a scoop or 2 of green salad w/dressing and a piece of cake, for a few bucks each. Tell the grocery stores in your area, what you're planning, they might even donate the whole list of ingredients to make the meal with. If not, ask one store for the spaghetti, ask another store for the pasta sauce, ask another store for the cake mixes/frostings, etc. (If you live in a big area).

Also, asking the grocery stores for donations, I've heard about selling Root Beer Floats & doing well with it. Best of Luck with whatever you choose to do and write back letting us know what route you chose.

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I am looking for some simple, inexpensive fundraising ideas for our Relay for Life team. Something to raise money before hand and at our tent the night of the relay.

Alice from Fort Smith, AR


March 13, 20090 found this helpful
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Our JC group works with other relay groups to double up on fundraisers for before the relay. We will be doing the "BBQ" for another groups Hold 'em Poker Tourney. The hall is donated by the local Elks Lodge.

I think also, a kids craft night might go over well. is a great place to buy inexpensive craft items and then your group could charge a flat fee for kids to come make something (will need to buy some glue too) and have some free games to play, maybe get a grocery to donate cookies and punch? Wouldn't be a very lucrative project, but would get the kids in your community going. It could double as a "Day Away" three hour drop off for busy parents. Be sure to have them sign a responsibility waiver for accident prone kids. The city may have something to say about whether or not this is an ok project too.

Also, it's still good and cold out, try a chilli soup cook off. Set up in a plaza or downtown shopping area, and charge $5.00 to taste to vote.

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August 30, 2016

A successful fundraiser depends on the popularity of the activity or theme. Try a food event where all things are chocolate. This is a page about planning a chocolate heaven fundraiser.

Chocolate fountain with people dipping marshmallows and fruit

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Better Living Charity FundraisingAugust 23, 2011
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