Top 7 Profitable Fundraising Event Ideas for Non-profit Organizations

Sometimes it is hard to get away from the same old, boring fundraising ideas. If you choose the right fundraising tactics for your campaign, it can be huge boost for your organization in terms of collecting maximum donations and retaining donors for future events.

Remember, make it fun!  

When participants are having fun, they are more likely to freely open their wallets and give.  With creativity, you can make your event unique and stand out from other non-profits.  You need to motivate participants to make it go viral and encourage communities to participate on mass.

Time to brainstorm!

Looking at the resources on your team and your outreach in the community, what strategies would be most successful?

Have a look at the top 7 profitable fundraising event strategies that work:

1. Children are key

Who can say no to a child?

If you can motivate a child, then that child can motivate their parents to give. 

Children should not be ignored. Although they may not be the decision makers in the family, they do hold influence.  Having kids participate in an event or show and you will have their family there to support them.

 2. Hold a family carnival!

Queue up the band, pump up the bouncing castle and take it to the streets!  Allow participants to play fun games for a small donation fee. Open up the carnival to vendors from your community and collect a percentage of the proceeds for additional cash flow.

Just last week BCSPCA’s Paws for a Cause in Kelowna exceeded it’s campaign goal by $25k with it’s community driven approach.

3. Text up the cash!

Aside from receiving cash donations, you can get people to open their digital wallets! Get participants to text to donate a small amount through mobile giving (, which will be added onto their monthly phone bill.

It’s a great benefit for organizers as they have a secondary revenue stream. They don’t have to worry about handling physical money and provides a safer route for larger donation amounts.

Red Cross uses this kind of campaign very successfully.

 4. Organize a competition

Get those competitive juices going!  You can have a competition in a variety of ways: eating contests, sports races or in arts & crafts.  Attendees can donate to the participant they are rooting for and the winners will get to donate the funds to the charity of their choosing.

Just remember safety first, some competitions can get very intense!

Photo by: Compassion over killing

5. Up to old tricks – Raffle tickets

Sell raffle tickets for surprise prizes. Everybody wants to be a winner and this will create a positive vibe that will appeal to donors. The most popular is 50-50 drawing (make sure to have a license for this depending on the legal regulations in your area), where the winner receives 50% of the money raised through the raffle.

You can also add in prizes that are donated by sponsors, whether it be a gift basket, spa package, or event tickets to increase an incentive to give.

Photo by: Alyson Hurt

6. Hidden gems!  Turn old into GOLD!

Put a call out for donations of gently used items for charity.  Items can range from electronic equipment, clothes, antiques, appliances, etc… Once you have collected the items, research appropriate pricing and market the sale…it’s time for an auction! 

This is a great way to get donors that may not want to donate cash, but are comfortable with giving away something of value that they don’t use anymore.

Photo by: Meathead Movers

7. Online crowdfunding – Engaging stories

Aside from holding physical events, online fundraisers are a great way to raise donations. All of us have heard the amazing stories when someone in need turns to social media and the news goes viral in an instant. Their stories create a lot of buzz and have an ability to reach a wider audience of donors.

Crowdfunding sites such as GoFundMe or Indiegogo have gotten ever more popular as a fundraising source. Giveffect is a new Canadian based crowdfunding platform aimed specifically at non-profits. 

Photo by: Rocio Lara

Here is an insightful video from Giveffect on how to leverage crowdfunding to better engage donors.

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Anne Frank