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Collecting Donations for Emergencies and Disasters: 5 Disaster Relief Fundraising Ideas

by John S
Last Updated 11/07/2023

person holding donation box

When a natural disaster strikes, the effects can be devastating. Unfortunately, many communities have to contend with the destruction and emotional, professional, and monetary losses that come with extreme weather-related events.

However, everyone deserves to heal and recover from such a devastating experience. Communities need to rebuild beyond repairing homes and cleaning streets. Also, people often deal with stress, anxiety, and other common reactions.

Fortunately, crowdfunding offers many ways to help disaster victims raise money for their urgent and long-term needs. Setting up a disaster relief fundraiser can give you a better chance of getting money from family and friends to cover the expenses caused by the devastation brought on by these emergencies.

Are you looking for disaster relief fundraising ideas to collect donations and help your loved ones or vulnerable community recover from these events? Read on to find some!

Crowdfunding for Natural Disasters: Is It a Good Idea?

From hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods to pandemics, fires, and wars, disasters of all kinds can cause extreme devastation.

Many people lose their loved ones. Others are left without access to food or homes and have to pay huge medical bills or cover other physical needs, such as temporary housing.

Where can victims get financial assistance to cover these expenses? Disaster relief fundraising can help families and communities raise money for these needs.

Individuals and entities, including nonprofits, can make a difference by donating money to affected parties when a natural disaster strikes. However, you need a plan.

Top Fundraising Ideas for Natural Disasters

hands holding each other

If you're considering running a fundraising campaign to support your disaster relief efforts, you need a plan. Although no one can predict and prepare for the unknown, some ideas can help you take action and cover your needs in time.

Let's over the best disaster relief fundraising ideas to help you get the financial aid you need during such difficult times.

#1 Online Crowdfunding for Disasters

Online crowdfunding is undoubtedly one of the best ways to raise money to cover expenses due to disasters or emergencies. Furthermore, it's an easy option since you only need to follow these simple steps to achieve your goals:

  • Set up your disaster fundraiser page
  • Define your goals on the website
  • Share your campaign information on social media
  • Get other people to support your disaster relief efforts

If you're thinking about fundraising for disaster relief, FreeFunder could be the ideal platform to get started. Unlike other crowdfunding sites, it doesn't charge any platform fees, which means you'll get the most from your fundraiser.

Plus, FreeFunder makes it easier to create and customize a campaign, whether you want to spread awareness about the situation or collect donations. This platform also allows you to share your goals and add more details to attract potential donors, such as pictures.

FreeFunder enables you to share your emergency fundraising campaign with other people in your community through its social media buttons.

Additionally, the platform recently included a "Text-to-Donate" feature that allows you to choose a keyword to run online fundraising events and promotions to support your campaign.

#2 Disaster Preparedness Conference or Course

When it comes to fundraising for natural disasters, communities that work together will achieve better results. Teamwork can help you execute an idea to attract donors.

A disaster preparedness conference or short course could be a great example. You can ask for help from experts, such as first responders, firefighters, or police officers. The main purpose of this activity is to exchange knowledge for donations.

Ideally, you should create a program to teach people what they can do if a disaster occurs, providing information on known protocols or making an evacuation kit. The price to participate in this conference would be to donate to the fundraiser.

#3 Bake Sales

Although this depends on the situation and severity of the disaster, having a bake sale could also help you raise money. Plus, it's a classic type of fundraiser that many people love!

If you can bake some cookies, cakes, or other desserts, a bake sale could support your disaster relief efforts. Funds may come from fees if you want to charge for these treats or from people's contributions if you exchange some for donations.

Bake sales are great options if you want the whole family to get involved, as kids and parents alike enjoy this activity. Plus, they're easy to run, making them ideal for post-disaster situations.

hands holding a donate sign

#4 Grocery Store Fundraisers

Many businesses, such as grocery stores, are committed to providing disaster relief to communities that have been hit by these events.

If you think this might be a good option, find out if the grocery store has a corporate giving program in place. You can also ask the manager or owner if they're willing to participate in a charity arrangement.

In many cities, people from affected communities volunteer and deliver groceries to the store's customers in exchange for donations.

#5 Car Wash

If you're looking for a more individualized option, you can also host a car wash to raise money to repair your property or help a small number of people. This fundraiser is perfect for small communities or those where the damage caused by the disaster wasn't extensive.

You only need to gather the supplies and offer car washes to people in a high-traffic area, such as a parking lot, or put promotional flyers around.

There are two options to raise money: charge a fee for your car washing services or exchange your work for donations.

Collect Funds for Disaster Relief

A natural disaster can be devastating, leaving significant losses and huge bills to pay. However, you can create a crowdfunding campaign on sites like FreeFunder and boost your chances of raising the money you need for your urgent and long-term needs.


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FreeFunder Works!

When an accidental fire burned through the third floor and attic of an apartment complex, Colleen Fallon wanted to help her friends the Moore Family. After researching different crowd funding platforms, she chose FreeFunder because FreeFunder passes the entire donation on to the Campaign Creator, instead of taking 5% or more as other platforms do.

The Moores were unharmed in the fire, but many of their belongings were lost and they needed help getting resituated. Colleen set a goal amount of $1,482. Within 16 hours, the FreeFunder campaign had blown past that goal, already raising $2,370, as mentioned in this news article. By the end of the campaign, the fundraiser raised more than 300% of the goal amount, providing the Moore Family with $5,165 to help them rebuild.

"What an amazing thing to wake up to! ...In only 11 hours of this being created you all have seen the goal line and then hurdled it! ...Thank you to all who have donated and shared this link, everything little bit helps. I'll be seeing Marcus and Heather this weekend and can't wait to give them some hope for the future because of everyone who has shown compassion. Cheers to all!" - Colleen Fallon

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FreeFunder allows fundraisers to create free personal crowdfunding campaigns, with no platform fees!

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