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7 Different Types Of Fundraisers

Author: Adie M.
Girl enjoying food at a fundraiser

There are many fundraising types that nonprofits and charities can choose from. It doesn't have to be the same old thing every time. You can also find creative ways to approach increasing donations within the constraints of your resources, team size, and more.

Let’s take a look at some of the common types of fundraising and their benefits and disadvantages.

7 Types Of Fundraising To Consider Using

Live Events

Live events are a fantastic and popular way for charities to bring their communities together. Guests and donors get to engage with your organization in person and learn about what you do through interactive activities. Social engagement and brand and community building are, thus, two big benefits of holding live events.

Parallel to this is the potential to raise more funds. Live events enable donors to see the people that work in your organization, understand the value of the work you do for the community, and more. This personalization of your message for your audience may make them more likely to donate.

The variety offered by live events as a fundraising option is another pro. There are many models you can choose from including silent auctions, charity walks, marathons, dinners and galas, fashion shows, concerts, and more.

Online Events & Donations

In recent years, charity organizations have increasingly turned to the digital space for their fundraising

Online events like virtual auctions, webinars, and interviews with known public figures have become a cost-friendly way to share brand messages and bring awareness to causes. This is particularly useful for fundraising as it expands the group of potential donors. People can participate in online events and make donations from all over the world.

For online donations (but even for marketing live events and other fundraisers), it is important to have a dedicated website. With a fundraising site, you make it possible for donors to access important information, including how they can contribute.

Online donations and events are easy to organize with the right technical support. Crowdfunding is an example of how you can set up and ask for donations online. For online auctions, you can utilize auction software to help you manage items, bids, payments, and more.

However, since your audience is inundated with millions of content online each day, you need to be creative in your approach. Remain aware of what other organizations in your industry share and try to stand out to potential donors so they want to donate to your charity.

Direct Mail

Donating via direct mail is a traditional approach to fundraising. It usually caters to an older demographic of donors who may prefer sending a check over using a digital platform or other technologies. Often, direct mail donations are checks rather than cash as this is more secure.

Making donating accessible to older groups is one of the upsides of opting for this fundraising form. It also often works well for organizations that are heavily embedded in one community. 

Charities can take a personalized approach to each letter sent to community members when they ask for donations. This also allows you to include detailed information that you may not be able to on other platforms like social media.

The downside is that this is quite a dated model. Many people today use email and other digital spaces for communication and find it more convenient to simply transfer money online.

It may also mean more work for your team; writing individual letters, gathering addresses and other information, ensuring responses don't go missing, and more. 

Email marketing

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a more traditional approach to fundraising. And much like online approaches, email campaigns must work hard to grab the attention of digital users and achieve high engagement rates. 

However, it still proves to be an effective fundraising type for charity organizations. With email marketing, you can increase brand awareness, nurture and develop leads, update and connect to existing donors, etc. You can also share details with a personal touch. It’s like digital direct mail except it is faster and easier to manage and track communications. 

Using email marketing is also cost-effective and virtually free. You can design a campaign using free tools online and send emails out for free. 

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

This fundraising type leverages an organization’s existing network. Your team and other actors in your organization reach out to their peers and circle for donations. This can be a clever and fast way to raise funds as the people you contact are already familiar with the work your company does.

You do, however, have to teach each fundraiser how to collect funds, approach potential donors, and more. They also have to do the extra work of managing their unique fundraiser page where they receive donations.


Text-to-donate fundraisers are a convenient and easy-to-navigate option for donors. Often, the donor simply has to send a text with a code or word to the fundraiser number, and voila! Some organizations may require donors to fill in a form with their information, but for others, it's as simple as sending a text from a smartphone.

This fundraising type is great for modern audiences that prefer fast convenience. You don't have to keep their attention for too long or take them through a lengthy donation process. The simpler donating is, the more likely people will do it.

A disadvantage of using text-to-give is the cost of running the campaign. You need to consider software fees, transaction costs, and licensing payments. These amounts can cut your donations by up to 10 percent.


Sponsorships, grants, and other partnerships are central to running non-profits. They are some of the primary ways that charities raise funds and build legitimacy and trust in their organization.

Working with known partners opens up access to resources and networks that your company may not have had otherwise. It also benefits the partner by aligning them with a social cause and visibly contributing to their community and greater society. 

fundraising partnerships


Choosing a fundraising model is a decision affected by various factors including your organization’s resources, location, support base, and more. Use the list above to guide you on the best route for your fundraising goals.