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100+ Incredible Fundraising Ideas

Obviously we believe that our Read-A-Thon is the best fundraising idea for schools, school groups, libraries and other groups with school aged children. But it is not the perfect solution for everyone.

So we decided to offer a comprehensive list of fundraisers from other companies. Hopefully you will find the best way for your group to raise money right here.

 

The Best Fundraising Ideas We Could Find

Readathon Fundraiser, the ultimate literacy based fundraiser

There's no doubt in our minds that the best way to raise money for a school is to hold a Read-A-Thon. That's especially true for elementary schools and younger grades down to daycares. The fact that you can raise lots of money focusing on reading in and of itself makes Read-A-Thon the smartest choice. Then when you throw in the fact that there is no cost to hold a Read-A-Thon and that you should make as much or more money than any other fundraisers should seal the deal.. Learn More

 

Best Fundraising Ideas

There are many different fundraising ideas that organizations can use to raise money for their causes. Here are a few ideas that may work well for your organization:

There are many reasons why Read Across America is important. Here are a few:

  1. Online fundraising: Online fundraising platforms, such as Read-A-Thon, GoFundMe or Kickstarter, can make it easy for organizations to reach a wide audience and collect donations from a variety of sources.
  2. Fundraising events: Fundraising events, such as charity walks, auctions, or gala dinners, can be a fun and engaging way to raise money for an organization. These events can be held in person or virtually, depending on the current health and safety guidelines.
  3. Sponsorship: Organizations can seek sponsorships from businesses or other organizations to help fund their activities. Sponsorship opportunities can include naming rights for events, advertising in event materials, or sponsorship of specific activities or programs.
  4. Merchandise sales: Organizations can sell merchandise, such as t-shirts, hats, or other items with the organization's logo, as a way to raise money.
  5. Crowdfunding campaigns: Crowdfunding campaigns allow organizations to create a specific project or goal and ask for small donations from a large number of people to help fund it. These campaigns can be hosted on a variety of online platforms.
  6. Grant writing: Organizations can research and apply for grants from foundations, government agencies, or other sources to help fund their activities.

Overall, the best fundraising idea for your organization will depend on your resources, goals, and audience. It may be helpful to try a variety of different fundraising methods to see what works best for your organization..

Easiest Fundraising Ideas

There are many different fundraising ideas that organizations can use to raise money for their causes, and some may be easier to implement than others. Here are a few ideas that may be particularly easy for organizations to try:

  1. Online fundraising: Online fundraising platforms, such as Read-a-thonb, GoFundMe or Kickstarter, make it easy for organizations to reach a wide audience and collect donations from a variety of sources. These platforms handle the payment processing and often have a variety of tools and resources to help organizations create successful campaigns.
  2. Merchandise sales: Organizations can sell merchandise, such as t-shirts, hats, or other items with the organization's logo, as a way to raise money. This can be done online or in person, and organizations can often find suppliers who can produce and ship the merchandise for them.
  3. Crowdfunding campaigns: Crowdfunding campaigns allow organizations to create a specific project or goal and ask for small donations from a large number of people to help fund it. These campaigns can be hosted on a variety of online platforms and can be promoted through social media and email marketing.
  4. Corporate matching programs: Many companies offer corporate matching programs that allow employees to donate to charities and have their donations matched by the company. Organizations can reach out to local businesses to see if they offer this type of program and encourage donors to take advantage of it.
  5. Direct mail campaigns: Organizations can send direct mail campaigns to their list of donors or potential donors to ask for donations. These campaigns can be relatively easy to implement and can be an effective way to reach a large number of people.

Overall, the easiest fundraising ideas are those that require minimal effort and resources to implement and that can reach a large audience. It may be helpful to try a variety of different fundraising methods to see what works best for your organization.

Free Fundraising Ideas

There are many different fundraising ideas that organizations can use to raise money for their causes, and some of these ideas may be free or have minimal costs associated with them. Here are a few ideas that organizations can try:

  1. Social media fundraising campaigns: Organizations can use social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, to promote their fundraising campaigns and collect donations. These campaigns can be promoted through posts, hashtags, and other features of the platforms and can be an effective way to reach a large audience for free.
  2. Crowdfunding campaigns: Crowdfunding campaigns allow organizations to create a specific project or goal and ask for small donations from a large number of people to help fund it. These campaigns can be hosted on a variety of online platforms and can be promoted through social media and email marketing. Many of these platforms have free options available, although some may charge a fee for certain services or features.
  3. Corporate matching programs: Many companies offer corporate matching programs that allow employees to donate to charities and have their donations matched by the company. Organizations can reach out to local businesses to see if they offer this type of program and encourage donors to take advantage of it.
  4. Direct mail campaigns: Organizations can send direct mail campaigns to their list of donors or potential donors to ask for donations. These campaigns can be relatively easy to implement and can be an effective way to reach a large number of people.
  5. Fundraising events: Fundraising events, such as charity walks, auctions, or gala dinners, can be a fun and engaging way to raise money for an organization. These events can be held in person or virtually, depending on the current health and safety guidelines. Some events may have minimal costs associated with them, such as renting a space or purchasing supplies, but many organizations are able to offset these costs through sponsorships or donations.

Overall, there are many different ways that organizations can fundraise for their causes without incurring significant costs. It may be helpful to try a variety of different methods to see what works best for your organization.

Crazy Fundraising Ideas

There are many creative and unusual fundraising ideas that organizations can use to raise money for their causes. Here are a few ideas that might be considered "crazy" or outside the box:

  1. Talent show: Organizations can host a talent show and charge admission or sell tickets to the event. Participants can perform a variety of acts, such as singing, dancing, or comedy, and the event can be promoted through social media and other channels.
  2. Scavenger hunt: Organizations can create a scavenger hunt that participants can complete either in person or virtually. Participants can be charged a fee to participate, and prizes can be awarded to the winners.
  3. Charity auction: Organizations can hold a charity auction and ask local businesses or individuals to donate items to be auctioned off. The event can be held in person or online, and participants can bid on the items to raise money for the organization.
  4. Bake sale: Organizations can hold a bake sale and sell a variety of baked goods to raise money. This can be a simple and fun way to raise funds, and it can be held in person or online.
  5. Charity marathon: Organizations can hold a charity marathon, where participants can run or walk a certain distance to raise money for the cause. Participants can be charged a fee to participate, and sponsorships from local businesses or individuals can help offset the costs of the event.

Overall, there are many creative and unusual fundraising ideas that organizations can try to raise money for their causes. It may be helpful to think outside the box and come up with unique and engaging ways to engage donors and raise funds for your organization.

Online Fundraising Ideas

There are many different online fundraising ideas that organizations can use to raise money for their causes. Here are a few ideas to consider:

  1. Online fundraising platforms: Online fundraising platforms, such as GoFundMe or Kickstarter, make it easy for organizations to reach a wide audience and collect donations from a variety of sources. These platforms handle the payment processing and often have a variety of tools and resources to help organizations create successful campaigns.
  2. Social media fundraising campaigns: Organizations can use social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, to promote their fundraising campaigns and collect donations. These campaigns can be promoted through posts, hashtags, and other features of the platforms and can be an effective way to reach a large audience for free.
  3. Crowdfunding campaigns: Crowdfunding campaigns allow organizations to create a specific project or goal and ask for small donations from a large number of people to help fund it. These campaigns can be hosted on a variety of online platforms and can be promoted through social media and email marketing.
  4. Online auctions: Organizations can hold online auctions and ask local businesses or individuals to donate items to be auctioned off. Participants can bid on the items through the organization's website or through a third-party platform, and the event can be promoted through social media and other channels.
  5. Online merchandise sales: Organizations can sell merchandise, such as t-shirts, hats, or other items with the organization's logo, online through a website or through a platform like Etsy.

Overall, there are many different ways that organizations can fundraise online to raise money for their causes. It may be helpful to try a variety of different methods to see what works best for your organization.

School Fundraising Ideas

There are many different fundraising ideas that schools can use to raise money for a variety of purposes, such as funding extracurricular activities, supporting academic programs, or improving school facilities. Here are a few ideas to consider:

  1. Online fundraising platforms: Online fundraising platforms, such as Read-a-thon, GoFundMe or Kickstarter, make it easy for schools to reach a wide audience and collect donations from a variety of sources. These platforms handle the payment processing and often have a variety of tools and resources to help organizations create successful campaigns.
  2. Sponsorship: Schools can seek sponsorships from local businesses or community organizations to help fund their activities. Sponsorship opportunities can include naming rights for events, advertising in event materials, or sponsorship of specific activities or programs.
  3. Merchandise sales: Schools can sell merchandise, such as t-shirts, hats, or other items with the school's logo, as a way to raise money. This can be done online or in person, and schools can often find suppliers who can produce and ship the merchandise for them.
  4. Fundraising events: Schools can hold fundraising events, such as charity walks, auctions, or gala dinners, to raise money for their causes. These events can be held in person or virtually, depending on the current health and safety guidelines.
  5. Book drives: Schools can hold book drives to collect donations of new or gently used children's books. These books can then be sold or given away at school events to raise money for the cause.

Overall, there are many different ways that schools can fundraise to support their programs and activities. It may be helpful to try a variety of different methods to see what works best for your school.

Church Fundraising Ideas

There are many different ways that churches can fundraise to support their programs and activities. Here are a few ideas to consider:

  1. Host a benefit dinner or concert: Many churches have a large and active community that can be called upon to support fundraising efforts. Hosting a benefit dinner or concert is a great way to bring people together while raising money for a good cause.
  2. Sell items or offer services: Consider offering items or services that people in your community may be interested in purchasing. For example, you could sell baked goods, handmade crafts, or offer lawn care services.
  3. Host a car wash or garage sale: These types of events are easy to organize and can be a lot of fun. You can also use this as an opportunity to get to know your community better and build relationships with people.
  4. Set up an online fundraising campaign: There are many online platforms that make it easy to set up a fundraising campaign and share it with your community. Consider using platforms like GoFundMe or Kickstarter to raise money for a specific project or cause.
  5. Partner with local businesses: Many businesses are willing to support local organizations and causes, so consider reaching out to businesses in your community to see if they would be willing to donate goods or services or to help promote your fundraising efforts.
  6. Host a charity auction: A charity auction can be a fun and engaging way to raise money for your church. Consider asking local businesses to donate items for the auction, and be sure to promote the event widely to attract as many bidders as possible.

Remember to be creative and think outside the box! With a little bit of effort and some help from your community, you can come up with some great fundraising ideas to support your church.

Sports Fundraising Ideas

Here are a few sports fundraising ideas to consider:

  1. Host a sports tournament: Consider hosting a sports tournament in your community. This could be a fun way to raise money while also bringing people together and promoting healthy competition.
  2. Sell team merchandise: Many sports teams have their own merchandise, such as t-shirts, hats, and other items. Consider selling these items to raise money for your team.
  3. Host a sports-themed fundraiser: Another idea is to host a sports-themed fundraiser, such as a bowling tournament or a mini golf tournament. This can be a fun way to raise money while also getting people involved in a fun activity.
  4. Set up an online fundraising campaign: There are many online platforms that make it easy to set up a fundraising campaign and share it with your community. Consider using platforms like GoFundMe or Kickstarter to raise money for a specific project or cause.
  5. Partner with local businesses: Many businesses are willing to support local organizations and causes, so consider reaching out to businesses in your community to see if they would be willing to donate goods or services or to help promote your fundraising efforts.
  6. Host a raffle: Raffles are a classic fundraising idea that can be a lot of fun. Consider selling tickets for a chance to win a prize, such as a gift basket or a gift card.

Remember to be creative and think outside the box! With a little bit of effort and some help from your community, you can come up with some great sports fundraising ideas to support your team.

Fundraising Ideas to Avoid

There are a few fundraising ideas that you may want to avoid, either because they are not effective or because they may not be ethical. Here are a few examples:

  1. High-pressure sales tactics: Avoid using high-pressure sales tactics to persuade people to donate. This can make people feel uncomfortable and can damage your reputation.
  2. Misleading or false advertising: It is important to be honest and transparent in your fundraising efforts. Avoid making false or misleading claims about the cause you are supporting or the use of donations.
  3. Unsolicited requests for donations: It is generally not a good idea to solicit donations from people who have not expressed an interest in supporting your cause. This can be seen as intrusive and may lead to negative feelings towards your organization.
  4. Fundraisers that are not aligned with your mission or values: It is important to ensure that your fundraising efforts are aligned with your mission and values as an organization. Avoid hosting fundraisers that do not align with your values or that may be seen as controversial.
  5. Fundraisers that are not well planned: Poorly planned fundraisers can be frustrating for participants and may not be as effective in raising money. Be sure to plan your fundraiser carefully and consider all of the details, including the timing, location, and promotion.

Remember to always be respectful and ethical in your fundraising efforts, and choose fundraising ideas that align with your mission and values.

Fundraising Ideas That Raise the Most Money

There are many different fundraising ideas that can be successful in raising money for your cause. The best idea for you will depend on your goals, resources, and community. That being said, here are a few fundraising ideas that tend to be effective in raising a large amount of money:

  1. Online fundraising campaigns: Platforms like Read-a-thon, GoFundMe and Kickstarter make it easy to set up an online fundraising campaign and share it with your community. These campaigns can be very effective in raising a large amount of money, especially if you have a strong social media presence and can effectively promote your campaign.
  2. Benefit dinners or auctions: Benefit dinners or auctions can be very effective in raising money, especially if you are able to secure donations of high-value items or experiences to be auctioned off. These events can also be a lot of fun and can be a great way to bring people together.
  3. Sponsored events: Sponsored events, such as runs, walks, or bike rides, can be a great way to raise money while also promoting a healthy activity. Participants can solicit sponsorships from friends and family in exchange for their participation in the event.
  4. Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding is a type of online fundraising campaign where people can contribute small amounts of money to a project or cause. This can be an effective way to raise money, especially if you have a compelling story or project that resonates with people.

Remember to be creative and think outside the box! With a little bit of effort and some help from your community, you can come up with some great fundraising ideas to support your cause.

T-Shirt Fundraising

T-Shirt fundraising

Raise money for your sports team this year by launching a t-shirt fundraiser on Bonfire. Their platform gives you a free and easy way to design and sell custom spirit wear for your fans, friends, and family to purchase online. At the end of the campaign, your team will keep 100% of the profits, and Bonfire will ship all of the shirts you sold directly to your buyers for you. Learn More

 

Lollipop and Candy Fundraisers

Lollipop fundraising

One of the most popular ways for sports groups and school groups to raise money has been by selling candy bars and lollipops. For years those products sold well. After all, who wouldn't give a kid a dollar for a candy bar or $.50 for a lollipop?

But then the government starting blaming childhood obesity on candy and other unhealthy foods and that kind of pulled the rug out from candy sales - especially on school campuses. Even before school districts started banning those items, many schools came to the realization that you had to sell a bunch of candy or lollipops if you wanted to raise any serious amount of money. Those items work well if you want to raise a couple hundred dollars, but not if it's your main school fundraiser.

 

Crowdfunding

Online crowdfund fundraising

The internet has radically changed the fundraising industry. After all Read-A-Thon is a web based solution.

Crowdfunding in general has exploded. Gofundme claims to be the #1 crowdfunding website in the world. We have watched as this company has more or less taken over the space that allows individuals to easily set up online fundraising campaigns that they share via social media and through email. The target sponsor audience is friends and families but many Gofundme campaigns become viral and attract donations from many different financial channels. Learn More

 

School Carnivals

School carnival fundraising ideas

One of the best ways for a school to raise money is to hold a school carnival. It's actually one of the few fundraising ideas people actually enjoy. The problem, though, is the extensive manpower required.

On the plus side there are so many revenue opportunities for energetic schools that choose this fundraising option. You can charge admission. You can sell tickets to play games or ride on rides. You can sell food and other concessions. You can hold raffles. The ideas are endless so we have included a link to a Pinterest page with tons of ideas to consider. Learn More

 

Shoe Drive Fundraiser

Funds2Org fundraising

Could you really raise money by collecting used shoes? This is one program we are willing to suggest without any first hand knowledge. We love the concept, After all everyone has gently worn shoes in their closet, right? And as we researched the program we couldn't find any complaints. So we offer it for you to consider. Learn More

 

Brick Fundraiser

Brick Fundraiser

Selling bricks to raise money might not sound like it would be a fruitful idea for many groups. But before you discount it consider what it requires and why it may make more sense than you think. If you have a sidewalk that needs repair or space where you can put a new pathway consider letting people associated with your group and people who want to support your group commemorate or memorialize people to events by having messages engraved in bricks and used to build your path. In some ways it literally could be the road to riches. Learn More

 

Box Tops for Education Fundraiser

Box Tops for Education Fundraiser

This is one of the fundraising ideas that is so unique and cost free that you are actually foolish if you don't at least consider it. In fact if you're not doing this program you should stop what you are doing and sign up now. Your group simply cuts off box tops from participating products and you save them. Your school's Box Tops Coordinator will collect all the Box Tops and send them in so your school can get cash. Checks are mailed to schools twice a year in December and April. These are products your folks will purchase at a store anyway. This really is easy money. It may not be a huge fundraiser but it adds up over the course of a year. Learn More

 

Cookie Dough Fundraisers

Cookie Dough Fundraiser

Lots of PTA's and principals sell cookie dough as their main school fundraiser every year. We know that the typical school will sell between $5,000 and $15,000 of cookie dough during a typical fundraiser. Schools usually keep less than 50% of the profit.

The biggest problem with cookie dough, though, is that you can only sell it to people who live close by. That in and of itself is very limiting. Grandparents who live in a different state aren't potential cookie dough customers because of where they live.

Now let's compare that to Read-A-Thon. Last year, our average elementary school received more than $12,500 in profits. One repeat customer has set $80,000 as their goal for next year. As you can see, the potential is much higher with our program.

Unlike cookie dough, there are no geographical limitations with our program because you aren't delivering a physical product. Last year schools received donations from 10 different countries. It is very common for a student on the East Coast to receive donations from the opposite coast and vice versa. In fact, we even had a school in Guam that used our program and most of their donations were from people all over the United States.

So, when you compare Read-A-Thon to cookie dough fundraising, you find that most groups raise more money and the pool of people that can support their fundraiser grows astronomically.

Cookie Dough Fundraisers

 

Magazine Fundraising

Magazine Fundraisers

There are lots of companies still pushing magazine fundraisers, so let's compare that fundraising idea to a Read-A-Thon.

Years ago, magazine sales were soaring because the typical household received one or more magazine subscriptions. But that's no longer the case. Huge publications like Newsweek have failed and you would be hard pressed to find too many magazines with growing circulations. And, although the top magazine fundraising companies tout their prices as up to 90% off the newstand prices, very few people pay newstand prices anyway. The magazines themselves even compete with magazine fundraisers because they inundate subscribers with the best deals as expiration dates approach which really limits renewal sales.

While magazine sales falter, the focus on reading and education continues to grow. More people will support your child's participation in a reading event than will purchase a magazine. I would challenge any of you to identify an elementary school that raised $12,500 or more recently with a magazine fundraiser.

But, while we are comparing the two, let's take a quick look at one of the tools we offer that you won't get with a magazine fundraiser.

Magazines, like many other programs, are sold with brochures. Most schools hold a kick off and send their students home with the brochures. Two weeks later the students are supposed to turn in their orders. But you have no visibility into which students are participating and which aren't.

Read-A-Thon provides real time reporting so you can see exactly who is participating and who isn't long before your fundraiser is done. We also provide actionable tools to increase participation every step of the way.

Brochure Fundraising

Gifts, Wrap, Jewelry and More

We've lumped these items together because they basically work the same way. A company puts together a catalog or brochure with a selection of overpriced imported items and then recruit your kids to become their sales people. They hope your kids will show friends and family the catalog and those people will buy some of the items.

People will certainly purchase these items. But think about it for a second. You're home and the doorbell rings. You look at the window and see an adult standing by your mail box and a child you barely know standing at your door with a fundraising brochure in their hand. Truthfully, don't you wish you had the courage to simply not answer the door? And, if you do answer, don't you look for the least expensive item and buy it out of guilt?

Is that really the best school fundraising idea for your school?

So why is Read-A-Thon better? First of all we help each reader identify the best potential sponsors. We walk them through a 10-step process that suggests who would make the best possible sponsor. Unlike the gift catalog, you can identify people that don't live anywhere near you. That's not the case with gift wrap. With the gift sale, you probably have to knock on doors. That dramatically reduces your customer base.

Read-A-Thon provides state-of-the-art tools to communicate with the sponsors you've targeted. We can grab email addresses from your contact lists. We provide email campaigns with compelling text asking for donations from people that know your child and want to help them become better readers. We also offer single click social media widgets and even provide custom flyers if you really want to knock on doors for support.

We believe that time is better spent reading rather than peddling gifts door to door. What do you think?

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