7 Fresh Fundraising Ideas for Fall

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Fundraising - Raffle
Photo by Catholic United financial

Fall is a terrific time for fundraisers—right between the lazy days of summer and the frenzy of the holidays. If your non-profit’s fundraising strategy needs a bit of a shakeup, you might want to give these fresh ideas a try:

  1. Try a fundraising event that requires little or no investment, like a car wash or yard cleanups around the neighborhood.
  2. Consider selling items that consumers buy anyway, like candles, chocolate, or holiday wrapping paper (it’s never too early!).
  3. Organize a raffle for a high-value item, like an iPad or a TV. You could even ask a local vendor to donate a prize in exchange for advertising. For a more integrated campaign, consider giving away custom stylus pens with that vendor’s logo (which are perfect for use with an iPad)!
  4. Take advantage of the beautiful fall weather by organizing a fun run or walk and charge an entrance fee. Offer entrants custom t-shirts or caps to make sure everyone who sees them knows which cause they’re walking for! 
  5. Take a cue from your inner grade-schooler and organize a bakesale—nobody can resist fresh homemade treats!
  6. Create personalized products imprinted with your cause and give them away in exchange for donations. Popular giveaways include silicone bracelets, promotional pens and pencils, personalized mugs, water bottles, and tote bags.
  7. Brainstorm with your staff and partners for more original ideas that can really grab people’s attention—maybe even get some free media coverage. For example, This Week in Technology (TWiT) helped fund its new studio by selling bricks for a “Wall of Honor” to be located in the new building’s entry.

Of course, with the holidays just around the corner, you have even more options:

  • Offer a gift-wrapping service at a local mall or holiday bazaar where volunteers wrap gifts in return for donations.
  • Set up a booth for pictures with Santa or family holiday portraits and offer to email the photos in exchange for a donation.
  • Who has time to cook during the busy shopping season? Offer a holiday lunch or brunch and sell tickets at a premium; you might even get a local school choir to provide free entertainment.


Those are a few of our favorite non-profit fundraising ideas—do you have any to add to the list? Let us know in the comments!

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