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8 Best Charity Fundraiser Ideas

Author: Adie M.
Charity fundraiser ideas

Hosting good fundraising events is a key part of running a charity. If you’re looking for inspiration on how to raise some money, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll cover some of the best charity fundraiser ideas that are effective and inexpensive.

With these fundraising ideas, you can support your local music, art, or culinary scene, foster environmental awareness, and encourage social engagement with community members. All the while, you’ll be raising funds for your specific cause.

8 Top Fundraising Activities For Charities

Here is a list of 8 of our favorite charity fundraiser ideas for you to try.

Design Challenge

If you’re thinking about incorporating custom merchandise into your repertoire, why not utilize the artistic talents of your audience?

On a social media platform like Instagram, ask supporters to submit t-shirt design ideas that align with your organization’s branding, and ask your followers to vote for the best one. This charity fundraiser idea is a fantastic way to boost interest in your organization, get donors excited to purchase merchandise, and raise funds in a fun way!

Express to your audience that there is a submission fee for their design and decide on a reasonable price people will pay for a shirt with the winning design.


In this digital age, it’s important to use social media to boost your fundraising campaigns. Additionally, you can conduct an entire fundraising activity online! In 2013, 87% of nonprofits in the U.S. revealed that they use online fundraising methods to generate and secure funds 

So why not try a time-limited giveaway to raise funds? Share a photo and enthusiastic description of a unique prize on your organization’s Instagram page. This could be a meal, a spa treatment, a vacation, a date night, or simply a piece of merchandise like a bag. See if any local businesses are willing to donate items for this giveaway. 

Ensure you post step-by-step instructions on how individuals can enter and win the exciting prize.

To raise money through a giveaway, allow donors to donate more for more entries. Everyone loves the idea of winning a prize!

Battle Of The Bands

A good old battle of the bands is an event that is entertaining and beneficial for everyone. 

Recruit some local bands to put on a concert. Offer an exciting and incentivizing prize for the winning band and let them know that they need to fundraise to earn their spot in the contest! 

You can offer an additional prize for the band that raises the most money as a further incentive.

Attendees will need to purchase tickets to the concert and then they get to vote for the best performance.

This acts as a night of entertainment for everyone involved, with added benefits for the participants by promoting them and their music. 

battle of the bands charity fundraiser

Bingo Night

A fun and social event, such as a bingo night, is another great charity fundraiser idea for every age group to participate in. It’s also cheap and easy to organize - especially if you can find a donor or local business to sponsor the prize for the winner. 

Decide on a unique and interesting theme that drives engagement. Then pick out a venue that allows for bingo tables, catering, and maybe a bar area. Your venue is usually the most expensive aspect of planning a fundraiser. So ensure you work this into your budget carefully!

You’ll also need to factor in many pens, markers, and erasers. But you can print the bingo cards online or make them yourself, and volunteers could make the food offered during the event. Doing this helps to save costs on this type of event.

Yard Or Garage Sale

Due to its effectiveness, the classic yard or garage sale remains among the best charity fundraiser ideas to date. It’s like thrift shopping, which has also become exceptionally popular over the past few years!

Collect gently worn clothes, books, and various home goods from volunteers, staff members, supporters, the local public, etc. 

Then promote your charity event on your organization’s social media pages to get the word out and encourage your audience to donate and attend. Take pictures of some of your best items before the event to generate buzz.

Another way to promote your event is to reach out to local celebrities and philanthropists. These individuals could donate special autographed items or something of the like that would rake in funds.

Tree Planting

You’re already on a mission to help the world in some way. So, why not add “environmental justice” to your list?

Our recommendation to do so is by simply planting some trees.

As an example, you can get donations for memorial trees that your organization will plant to remember donors’ lost loved ones. 

It’s a good deed for the environment, fills an emotional need, and drives your organization’s mission forward.

Cooking Or Baking Contest

Invite chefs and bakers of all skill levels to participate in a specified cooking or baking competition. The specification could be cakes, pies, chili, or another food specific to the season or region in which you’re located. 

The food made could also relate to a specific national or international holiday. Spooky cookies for Halloween? Or perhaps delicious pink cupcakes for Valentine’s Day?

You could also make the theme specific to your organization and its values. Vegan recipes for the environment or the animals? Sugar-free or gluten-free recipes for health? Be creative!

Ensure that you take the venue, judges, ticketing methods, and prizes for the winner into account. A cooking or baking contest is a fantastic way to promote your cause. But you also want to generate funds from ticket sales since fundraising is your primary objective here.

Virtual Auction

Last but certainly not least on our list of charity fundraiser ideas is to hold a virtual auction. Online fundraising is a great way to reach more people and hold events over a longer period of time. And with auction software like BiddingOwl, it couldn’t be easier to do!

Collect items from donors or businesses willing to donate or offer items at a lower cost. Then list them for auction online. People can bid from wherever they are, meaning you’ll get more bids, which will drive the final item prices higher and make more money for your charity.

Virtual auction bidding from laptop


There are many options to choose from when considering what fundraiser would work best for your charity or nonprofit. 

Just make sure to take relevance into account when brainstorming. Your fundraising idea should match the values and rationale of your organization.

Other than that, have fun and make it exciting for all involved to generate enthusiastic participation!