School, church and sports fundraisers can be tricky. People are getting tired of all of the stuff that is being sold. And while sometimes asking for a cash donation is a lot easier, that can start to annoy people as well. Fundraisers build community, so we came up with a list of great ideas.
Figuring out a way to help create community at the same time as raising money is a great way to go. Your group gets the money they need and the donors feel like they were a part of something and hopefully had fun was well.
4 Fundraising Ideas You Can Try that Build Community
1. Host a Spirit Night at a Local Restaurant
This is a simple one and there are so many businesses that love to host spirit nights. At my kid’s school we have raised $300-$1200 a in a single “spirit night”. They key is to hold them often, almost monthly and change the day of the week as well. That way if a family can’t make it to one spirit night, they can make it to another. Also, you don’t have to stick to a chain restaurant. Many locally-owned places are more than willing host a spirit night for you, just ask. It is a great way for them to turn around a normally slow night.
A few places that I have used are:
2. Organize a Movie Night
Everyone loves a movie night. This one fundraising event, where you can go as big or as small as you’d like—or as your venue allows. If you host it indoors with a white sheet and borrowed equipment you can save on the cost of renting a movie theater. Or, go all out by hiring a company to provide the equipment and have it outdoors in a park or athletic field. Charge an entry fee and then have a concessions stand for everyone to buy movie snacks. You can even sell package deals ahead of time that include a bag of popcorn or candy.
Want to raise even more? Create a VIP section that can be raffled off. Sell tickets and the winner get prime seating with chair and blankets already laid out for them the night of the movie.
3. Boo-grams and Valentine-grams
This fundraising idea is a kid favorite. We chose Valentine’s Day and Halloween, but you could customize this one for just about any holiday or make one up! About two weeks before each holiday teachers or club leaders send home a sheet to be filled out with the names of people they want to send a ‘gram’ to. We charge $1 a ‘gram’. Then one evening the volunteer moms get together and create the ‘grams’ and attach a small piece of candy to them. They are then delivered to classrooms or special event location on the chosen holiday. This fundraiser has easily brought in over $1000 each time for us. Here are a couple sources for flyers and ‘gram’ designs:
4. Locker Decoration and Marquee
This fundraising idea is for schools and can be a HUGE money maker if you have a few parents willing to take it on. Parents order locker decorations for their child’s birthday and pay $15. Then we decorate the lockers on the Friday before the child’s birthday so they get to have a decorated locker for their birthday week. If your school has a marquee that can be used, you can sell space for messages of Happy Birthday or Congratulations to students. Since the space is typically limited, you can charge more for the marquee.
Creating a fundraiser that also boosts community spirit makes others around you happier. Although, like all fundraisers they can be a lot of work. Almost all of these fundraisers can be made easier and quicker with online funds collection. PopUp Funds was created to help make fundraising—and collecting—easier.
Check out these 6 tips on how to make each of your fundraisers successful.