BlogFundraising 15 Quick & Easy Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits and Clubs Fundraising 15 Quick & Easy Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits and Clubs Author: WildApricot May 17, 2023 Contents 🕑 11 min read Fundraising involves a lot of hard work—especially if you’re facing planning limitations. Whether you’re new to the world of fundraising or seasoned at the task, these simple fundraising ideas can save you a whole world of planning worry. Whether you’re short on time and resources or just trying to boost fundraising between events, these are a great way to bring in revenue—and to help a great cause—anytime. Read on for our ideas on how to maximize return with minimal planning and investment, and watch your fundraiser soar! Want More Fundraising Ideas? Still looking for the perfect fundraising idea? We’ve got a big list of ideas here—but believe it or not, there are even MORE out there! And we’ve got articles that cover all of those for you. If you’re looking for inexpensive fundraising ideas, check out this post. And if you just want some unique fundraising ideas? We’ve got you covered. Finally, if you’re feeling like you want to review the basics of fundraising, here’s a special post on how to fundraise. With this info under your belt, all that’s left to do is have fun planning! What We Mean By Easy Fundraising Ideas If you want to raise money without flashy events, intricate planning, or a large monetary investment, this post is for you. We’ve collected these ideas because they require minimal extra equipment, can be run by a small team of volunteers, and demand little upkeep from beginning to end. These ideas can also be done on short notice. If your organization is facing a gap in your fundraising calendar, try out one of these small fundraiser ideas. Most can even be done in a day! Making the Most of Easy Fundraising Ideas Not only can you use these fundraising ideas anytime—they can be used again and again. Consider turning one of these simple fundraisers into an annual tradition—see if you can beat last year’s fundraising total! These fundraising ideas are great for: Beginning fundraisers looking to get their feet wet in fundraiser planning Fundraisers without a lot of time or money to commit to a fundraising push Organizations between bigger fundraising events but who want to keep donations coming in Small teams without a lot of resources to commit to fundraising …Or anyone! Make sure you set up a donation website for even these fast fundraising ideas. You’ll want to make it as easy for your supporters to contribute as possible! Without further ado, here are our easiest fundraising ideas. 15 Quick & Easy Fundraising Ideas 1. Used Book Sale Overhead Cost: $ Complexity to Plan: 2 Expected Return: $$-$$$ Ask your supporters to donate their used books in support of your cause, then hold a book sale! Your community can come and browse your wide selection—and learn more about your club in the process. Challenges to Consider Plan ahead for how you’ll be accepting payments. Will your needs be met with a simple cash box, or will you want to set up a digital point of sale? You’ll also need to spend some time pricing the books and organizing them by genre, so people can more easily find what piques their literary interests. When to Do This This fundraiser can work any time, but your supporters might be particularly interested in donating books around the time they’re doing their spring cleaning and decluttering their homes. If you’re hosting the book sale outside, you may also want to plan for fair weather to encourage book browsers to linger! Extra Tips & Tricks This is a particularly great fundraising idea for small clubs, as overhead costs and organizational logistics are both minimal. All you need are pricing labels, a few tables, some boxes, and a method of payment. 2. Phone-A-Thon Overhead Cost: $ Complexity to Plan: 2 Expected Return: $-$$$$ Though less flashy than other options, phone-a-thons are effective fundraising tools. Grab your phone book, hand out a script, and get your volunteers calling! Challenges to Consider Volunteers may not feel comfortable using their personal phones. Consider providing a club phone for members to call from. Also bear in mind that some people don’t like being called on the phone. Give some tips for dealing with this situation in the script you provide to volunteers. Finally, how will you advise donors to give? You may want to set up a donation page to refer people to, especially if they want to return to the idea at a later time. The Best Time to Do This Anytime. Extra Tips & Tricks A visual aid that shows fundraising progress can be a great morale booster to your phoning volunteers. Consider using a fundraising thermometer to keep track of donations and celebrate your successes! 3. Family Ticket Fundraiser Overhead Cost: $ Complexity to Plan: 1 Expected Return: $$ This is an especially great fundraising idea for sports clubs. Sell family tickets to a sporting event at a local stadium and take the guesswork out of weekend plans! Additional fundraising could be set up through a small refreshment or merchandise stand. Challenges to Consider Plan ahead to make transactions as straightforward as possible! Will you use fundraising software to process donations? How about keeping track of supporters to reach out to during your next fundraiser? Are the tickets physical or digital? Make sure you know before you begin! Bear in mind that weekend events can sell out fast. Plan this fundraising push well in advance! The Best Time to Do This Though some outdoor sports events may be seasonally dependent, you can fundraise for indoor events anytime. Extra Tips & Tricks Not a sports club? This could be a great opportunity to form partnerships! Find a sports league at the local level featuring adults or kids. They might jump at the support and exposure offered by your partnership. Partnerships could also be made with local businesses. Consider a family ticket event to tour a local chocolatier, or for a kid-friendly escape room. 4. Gift Card Fundraiser Overhead Cost: $ Complexity to Plan: 1 Expected Return: $-$$ Partner with a website that specializes in fundraising through gift cards, such as Fundscrip or FlipGive. Through these websites, you can buy a supply of gift cards to sell on to your supporters at purchase value. Whenever your supporters use their gift card to pay, your charity automatically receives a donation of up to 10% of the amount, depending on the retailer. Neither you or your supporters will pay an extra dime! Challenges to Consider This fundraising method requires a significant sunk cost upfront. It also relies on supporters to use the gift cards to see any additional funds raised. This might not be the best approach for time-sensitive fundraisers. The Best Time to Do This Holidays are an especially great time to move gift cards. Since they can also be used for everyday expenses at grocery stores and restaurants, they can work at any time of year. Extra Tips & Tricks Peer-to-peer fundraising is a great way to generate word-of-mouth support for this fundraiser. Make sure the people in your network are reaching out to their networks in turn! Consider offering a prize to the volunteer who sells the most gift cards as an incentive. 5. Shaving Time Overhead Cost: $ Complexity to Plan: 1 Expected Return: $ Get people to shave their hair for your cause, and others who aren’t quite so brave can donate to support them via peer-to-peer fundraising. Challenges to Consider This event will have to be well-publicized to raise enough funds. Make sure you can find people who are comfortable—and ideally practiced—at using clippers to volunteer their time! The Best Time to Do This Jump on the Movember bandwagon and run this event at the beginning of December. People sick of their partners’ beards are sure to donate to see them shaved off! Extra Tips & Tricks Set up a photo booth so people can take before-and-after photos, with all additional proceeds to go to your fundraiser. 6. Bottle and Can Drive Overhead Cost: $ Complexity to Plan: 1 Expected Return: $ An oldie but a goodie! Pick a central location like a school gymnasium or community center, and have people bring in their recyclables to exchange for money at a collection site. Challenges to Consider Storing and transporting bags and bags of recycling isn’t the easiest or most thrilling task. Get some awesome volunteers to help make this task fly by—and offer plastic or newspaper to cover the backs of their cars! The Best Time to Do This Anytime. Extra Tips & Tricks It’s a lot easier for people to just pop them in the bins right outside their door, so consider sweetening the pot by offering a prize to the person who brings in the most cans. Door-to-door campaigning is also an option for this one. You could also hand out flyers to the interested if they don’t have any cans or bottles to give you. 7. Can by the Register Overhead Cost: $ Complexity to Plan: 1 Expected Return: $$ The can by the grocery register is a classic. Partner with local, independent grocers and set up eye-catching cans to encourage customers to give. People are actually more generous with their loose change than you’d think! Challenges to Consider Many grocers already run charitable campaigns. Even once you find grocers willing to partner with you, you’ll need to find a way to make your message stand out from the crowd. In this day of debit, you may also want to provide an alternative method for people to give. Consider adding a link to your website on the can, or a QR code that goes straight to your donation page. The Best Time to Do This Anytime. Extra Tips & Tricks If you’re short on grocers to ask, ask small, local businesses to partner instead—especially those with a cash-only model. 8. Money Rolls Overhead Cost: $ Complexity to Plan: 1 Expected Return: $ Send an empty coin roll home with your team and ask everyone to fill them up and return them. The change can then be donated. Challenges to Consider In this day of debit, change can be a scarce entity. Consider alternatives to filling entire rolls, such as a change jar by the front door. A filled jar could mean a fun office social! The Best Time to Do This Anytime. Extra Tips & Tricks Incentivize your team to return the rolls by putting names into a raffle for each roll returned. Prizes could include a paid morning off, a pound of coffee from a local roaster, or a potluck lunch with food of their choice facilitated by coworkers. 9. Quarter Mile Overhead Cost: $ Complexity to Plan: 1 Expected Return: $ Let supporters know you’re trying to collect enough quarters to stretch them over a quarter mile—or longer! For an extra donation boost, tell people you’re trying to set the world record for the most quarters laid end to end. Challenges to Consider Obviously, you’ll need the space to lay out a quarter mile—or more, if you’re lucky! Consider blocking off a school parking lot on a weekend. A public quarter-laying event might generate more support in real time! The Best Time to Do This This is a great outdoor activity for nice weather, but it could also be done in a large indoor space—think gymnasium or community center. Extra Tips & Tricks This is a great fundraising idea for small clubs, and a fantastic way to get kids and youth involved. 10. Gift Wrapping Overhead Cost: $ Complexity to Plan: 2 Expected Return: $$ Set up a gift-wrapping table in your office or a mall and ask for a donation per package wrapped. Team members could donate extra wrapping paper they have at home to save on expenses. Challenges to Consider People expect their gifts to be wrapped well, so confirm that your volunteers have some wrapping competence before starting. The Best Time to Do This Grant some peace in the gift-buying rush by offering your services close to major holidays. Extra Tips & Tricks Offer diverse wrapping paper choices for extra support from people with family birthdays near holidays, or for those who don’t celebrate Christmas but still want to support the fundraiser. 11. Wacky Wagers Overhead Cost: $ Complexity to Plan: 1 Expected Return: $$ People donate to see wacky fundraising incentives that volunteers set. For example, people might donate $20 to see their boss dance through the centre of town in a tutu once the pot reaches a certain total. This can be a fun way to bring your community together. Challenges to Consider Take to social media to spread the word. This idea relies on people getting to hear about the hilarious incentives and be rewarded by seeing them fulfilled. The Best Time to Do This Anytime! Bear in mind that fulfilling some of the challenges may be weather-dependent. Extra Tips & Tricks Set fundraising competitions by offering an extra prize to whoever raises the most money with their incentive. One idea might be a professional photography commemoration of the winning idea being fulfilled. 12. Birthday Pool Overhead Cost: $ Complexity to Plan: 1 Expected Return: $ Odds are that the newest member of your team hasn’t celebrated a birthday with your organization yet. Have team members bet on their birthday or zodiac sign, with a portion of the betting pool offered to the person who gets closest. Challenges to Consider It’s best to get the team member’s permission before subjecting them to scrutiny. People who already know employees’ birthdays, like HR and supervisors, will have to be willing to keep the secret. The Best Time to Do This Anytime. 13. Read-A-Thon Overhead Cost: $ Complexity to Plan: 1 Expected Return: $$ Participants pledge to read a certain number of books in a day, over a weekend, or in a month, then ask family and friends to sponsor them for every book read. Challenges to Consider Word-of-mouth advertising will be needed to raise awareness for this read-a-thon. This event will also run on the honour system; there is no way to verify whether participants actually read the books they claimed. When to Do This Anytime. Extra Tips & Tricks Make a bingo card for participants to fill out with different genres of books. This may give them guidance on what to read and give donors guidance on what read-a-thon landmarks to support. It’s also a great opportunity to theme the read-a-thon to your organization’s mission. 14. Carnation Sale Overhead Cost: $ Complexity to Plan: 1 Expected Return: $ Buy individual carnations wholesale from a local nursery and sell them at a profit. Challenges to Consider This fundraiser is time-sensitive—the faster you can move the stock, the better! Word-of-mouth marketing might be key to the success of this fundraiser. Fortunately, the carnations are eye-catching enough to lift their own weight. The Best Time to Do This Carnations typically bloom in late spring. Mother’s Day weekend might be a particularly good time to set up your stand. Extra Tips & Tricks Other types of flowers may give you more flexibility on timing for the sale. For a much hardier stock, sell individual succulents instead! 15. VIP Parking Sale Overhead Cost: $ Complexity to Plan: 1 Expected Return: $$ There’s always a prime parking spot in a workplace or apartment building parking lot. Auction off exclusive parking rights to the spot for a year and see the donations come rolling in. You could even add a sign with the winner’s name to make it officially theirs. Challenges to Consider Be sure to check with the building management first, and to let everyone else with access to the parking lot know that the spot is now out of bounds. The Best Time to Do This January, so you can auction off the spot for a full year. You can also auction it off month by month. Extra Tips & Tricks Have a personalized sign made to make it clear the spot is really theirs. The winner can take the plate home at the end of the year! Conclusion These quick and easy fundraising ideas are great ways to boost your organization’s community engagement and revenue. Whether your team works best with challenges, collections, or sales, any outreach is a great way to get word out about your mission! We wish you the best of luck with your fundraiser! 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