20+ Easy Nonprofit Fundraising Ideas (Updated 2024)

  • By: Gina Guy
  • June 13, 2023
Fundraising ideas for nonprofits
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Fundraising is a tried-and-tested technique that has stood the test of time. However, selecting the best fundraising concept for your nonprofit can be difficult. There are several things to consider, including your audience, budget, time restrictions, and more.

Whether you’re wondering how to raise money for a nonprofit, or simply want some fun and creative ideas to inspire your audience to donate, we’ve put together 20 ideas you can include in your board fundraising strategy.

Let’s dive in.

Easy Nonprofit Fundraising Ideas

Inventive fundraising strategies can help your nonprofit achieve long-term financial goals, overcome a fundraising slump in the middle of a campaign, or swiftly gather funds in an unanticipated emergency. Your ideas must effectively engage donors, spur them to take action, and hopefully sign up for recurring donations.

The board of directors are often the leader, advocate, and most ardent supporters of fundraising initiatives. They provide guidance on fundraising activities and can be key allies in promoting your fundraising goals.

Ready to learn more? Read on for some ideas your fundraising board can put into action.

1. Host a Virtual Happy Hour

Meeting and spending time with like-minded individuals is one of the benefits of joining the nonprofit community. You can promote connection and participation at virtual happy hours using video conferencing tools like Zoom, Google Meet, and WebEx. Make sure to  research different technologies to ensure you pick the appropriate software for your requirements. 

2. Launch a Social Media Campaign

Campaigns on social media offer a terrific method to attract new followers and supporters. If you know an influential person or well-known local figure who supports your cause, consider inviting them to join your campaign. They can help raise money for your nonprofit by engaging their sizable following.

3. Host a Charity Auction

Charity auctions are among the most successful fundraising activities, as donors will be eager to support your cause. Just make sure to auction off some enticing items, like gift cards, event tickets, or a meet-and-greet with your nonprofit’s celebrity spokesperson (if applicable).

4. Plan a Golf Tournament

Charity golf competitions put the fun in fundraising. Your community can enjoy good weather and picturesque surroundings, while also supporting your nonprofit. 

5. Leverage Crowdfunding Tools

Regardless of what you may assume, properly executed crowdfunding offers an effective fundraising tool. After all, it’s a collaborative effort. To achieve your goal, you’ll need to use the appropriate crowdfunding tools, such as Donorbox, Fundly, Classy, and others, to promote your cause.

6. Find Community Grants

Many corporate giving programs include community grants. In these programs, organizations donate to projects that directly impact the community. Grant writing for nonprofits provides a risk-free fundraising approach since there are no upfront costs.

7. Host a Community Carwash

A carwash offers a fun and practical way to fundraise with minimal overhead costs. You’ll likely find a church, business, or community center that will let you use their property (and water) to hold the car wash.

8. Host an Art Auction

Hosting an art auction allows local artists to promote and sell their pieces to the community— for a good cause. 

9. Host a Walk-A-Thon

Walk-a-thon fundraisers are typically organized and promoted by larger institutions. But you can most definitely organize a more modest community fundraising walk to hit your special goal. You can charge an entrance fee and sell hats, water bottles, and T-shirts along the walkathon route to raise additional funds. 

10. Partner With a Local Restaurant

Working with a local eatery can help raise funds, typically by charging an admission fee, a per-meal fee, or by providing a portion of the profits to your nonprofit. Many restaurants are more than willing to assist local nonprofits.

11. Host a Penny Drive

A penny drive is a simple and inexpensive method of raising money. Simply place donation buckets in a busy spot and inform the community of your fundraising goal. Even if you don’t raise a lot of money, it’s a terrific method to spread awareness about the initiative or cause.

12. Host a Wine Tasting

Wine tastings are an excellent opportunity to collect money for your nonprofit. You can have a tasting led by a sommelier and charge an entrance fee for attendees, or sell wine-paired goodies like luxury chocolate and cheese platters.

13. Host a Silent Auction

Silent auctions offer a fantastic opportunity to interact with your contributors while they bid on exciting and enticing products. Additionally, popular auction products may increase your ability to raise money. Common items in a silent auction include vouchers, autographed memorabilia, courses from local experts, gift baskets, excursions, etc.

14. Host a 50/50 Raffle

50/50 raffles have grown in popularity in recent years. They provide a win-win scenario as half of the ticket sales go to the nonprofit, while the other half goes to the highest bidder. 

15. Build a Recipe Book

Cookbooks are popular right now, and you can easily make one by gathering recipes from various supporters, volunteers, and staff members. To make the book feel special and unique to your organization, ask donors to share their recipes online and include a commitment, sketch, or remark with each entry.

16. Host a Bake Sale

Bake sales, an annual fundraising tradition in many cities, offer an affordable-yet-fun way to fundraise. Invite your nonprofit members to bake their tastiest cakes, cookies, and pies. Then watch as people open their wallets for these tasty treats. 

17. Sell Branded Merchandise

Your fundraising event can benefit significantly from selling branded goods like T-shirts and caps. These might complement your current fundraising campaigns or be an extra item given to volunteers in exchange for their assistance. 

18. Host a Community Yard Sale

A community-wide or group yard sale will be well-liked by your neighbors and provides a simple method to raise money. The best way to increase donations is to request that vendors donate a portion of their profits or volunteer to sell the items they provide. 

19. Host a Trivia Night

The costs to organize trivia nights are low, and the rewards can be high. You can create the quiz or buy an assembled trivia night bundle. Make sure to pick a topic that will resonate with your audience.

20. Host a Networking Event

Most professionals today look for new places to network with others. You can hold a networking luncheon or supper for your upcoming fundraising event, and use the occasion to collect money from community members and donors.

Board Meeting

Ensure effective, efficient meetings with our comprehensive Board Meeting Agenda Template.

Does Your Nonprofit Need a Board Portal?

The right fundraising software can optimize and automate your fundraising efforts. OnBoard’s board management software provides key tools to set meeting agendas, create timelines, assign tasks to committee members, communicate virtually, and monitor progress. 

Board management software also helps nonprofits increase awareness, raise money, and smash fundraising goals. 

Planning an upcoming nonprofit board meeting? Check out the free OnBoard board meeting agenda template for tips on managing a productive meeting and keeping track of follow-ups.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • 1. Should You Hire a Nonprofit Fundraising Manager?

    It depends on the nonprofit. However, nonprofit fundraising managers can refocus your staff and help your organization set new objectives in motion.

  • 2. How Much Should a Nonprofit Spend on Fundraising?

    Your nonprofit organization should spend no more than 10% of its budget on fundraising initiatives.

Board Meeting

Ensure effective, efficient meetings with our comprehensive Board Meeting Agenda Template.

Ready to level up your board communications? Start your free trial of OnBoard today.

About The Author

Gina Guy
Gina Guy
Gina Guy is an implementation consultant who specializes in working with nonprofit organizations get the most from their board meetings. She loves helping customers ease their workloads through their use of OnBoard. A Purdue University graduate, Gina enjoys refinishing furniture, running, kayaking, and traveling in her spare time. She lives in Monticello, Indiana, with her husband.