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10 Great Ideas for Fundraising On a Budget

by John S
Last Updated 07/06/2023

hands holding a donation box

They say it takes money to make money, but when you are a non-profit organization, that is not always an option. Successful non profit fundraiser ideas are the ones that don't require you to spend a lot to arrange but have the potential to generate a good amount of income.

Here are 10 fundraising event ideas that are easy to organize, don't cost much money, and can generate a good amount of interest, awareness, and income for your NPO.

Our Top Picks for Non-Profit Fundraiser Ideas

1: Crowdfunding with FreeFunder

Crowdfunding is one of the fastest non profit fundraising strategies. Peer-to-peer fundraising is one of the most leaned-on ways to raise funds for every nonprofit organization, but simply asking for donations from the people in your circle can only get you so far.

Setting up an online donation page and fundraising campaign through FreeFunder is an excellent method for raising funds. You reach a much larger crowd, and it is easier for people to donate money from anywhere at any time.

Here are some reasons to choose FreeFunder as your campaign site.

  • It is one of the only genuinely free crowdfunding campaign platforms

  • You can personalize your donation page.

  • FreeFunder is mobile device friendly and also has Text-To-Donate available so people can donate from their phones!

  • The pages are easy to manage and share.

  • You can embed your FreeFunder page on your website for easier donations.

  • FreeFunder will actually donate up to $70 to your fundraiser based on social sharing!

2: Sponsored Challenges

Sponsored challenges are excellent fundraising ideas for non profit organizations. Any organization can raise money by participating in a challenge and asking people to sponsor them to do so. Some possibilities include fun runs, hill climbs, triathlons, and extreme sports such as skydiving or bungee jumping.

You can get volunteers and board members involved, reaching out to supporters networks to donate in support of the people taking part in the activity. You can use your FreeFunder page to manage the donations, track your progress, and promote your cause.

3: Charity Sporting Event

Host a charity soccer or golf tournament, or any kind of sport-related competition. People love sporting events and are likely to get involved for a good cause - and a bit of fun.

Participants pay for the pleasure of taking part, and you can provide snacks and drinks to make a little extra money on the day.

Consider asking a local restaurant or vendor to supply food for the event to save money, or ask volunteers to contribute with homemade snacks, just be careful that hygiene standards are followed. Some non-profit fundraising companies can help your organization put together a sports event.

hands together in a circle

4: A Fun Night In

One of the most popular non-profit organization fundraising ideas is to host an evening event such as a quiz night, bingo game, or show. Charge an entry fee, sell raffle tickets, and try to get a license to sell alcoholic beverages if it fits in with your brand image. Alternatively, provide soft drinks for purchase.

You can also sell tickets for higher-priced raffle items if you have the right crowd for it, and it is possible to solicit donations from people who attend.

5: Community Clean-Ups

A community clean-up is the perfect fundraising idea for a local nonprofit. If you are a small organization that relies heavily on your immediate community, then it makes sense to give something back. Cleaning up a park, public space, or something along those lines is a great way to show the local community that support goes both ways- and you can ask for donations and sponsors in return.

6: Social Media Challenge

Cue flashbacks to the ice bucket challenge! Although these types of things may have had their hay day, there is still a strong case to be made for using social media pages to raise awareness for your cause and bring in funds.

You can either go with a challenge that involves people sharing your FreeFunder page link to get the word out, or incorporate a donation into part of the challenge.

7: Tabletop Market with Local Businesses

Invite local businesses and vendors to attend a pop-up marketplace to sell their goods. It is a fun way to bring people together in the name of charity, and it spreads great awareness of what your organization does. You can charge a fee for setting up a stall and put donation forms and boxes at every table, as well asking vendors to include an additional cost for their products which goes to the nonprofit.

8: Online Charity Shop

Selling second-hand clothes and belongings online is a major industry right now, and it presents an excellent opportunity for non-profit organizations to jump on board. You can either sell through Facebook Marketplace or a thrift app such as Depop or Poshmark, or set up your own website if you can.

Ask for donations of clothes, furniture, and other goods to stock your online store. If you get any extra special items, you could also host the occasional online auction.

9: Online Fundraising Event

Sticking with the online theme, you can host an entire event through Facebook Live or other live-streaming platforms. It could be a quiz, raffle, talent show, or any other form of entertainment, with links to the relevant fundraising pages posted throughout.

You can make it free to join if you feel confident enough that you will get enough donations during the event, or you can require people to make a set donation to your FreeFunder page and send confirmation to gain entry.

10: Sell Merchandise

Whether you are a large-scale NPO or a smaller, local organization, selling things to your supporters is a good way to raise money. If you have a little budget to spare- and have the brand power to support it- have t-shirts, caps, or notebooks (just some examples) made with your organization's logo on them.

Whenever you host an event, sell the items- spreading awareness, getting your name out there, and making money at the same time.

people at a soup kitchen

Fundraising Event Ideas for Nonprofit Organizations Summary: Raise Money Rather than Spend Money at Your Next Fundraising Event

These 10 charity fundraising ideas make raising money more fun, more manageable, and more sustainable. None of these fundraising events require a huge investment or an army of volunteers- but they do offer simple and effective ways to generate revenue from your community members and beyond.

Successful fundraising ideas raise money and awareness- increasing the potential supporters who will donate repeatedly to your cause. Get the most from your fundraising efforts with these very doable fundraising ideas for nonprofits - all with the help of FreeFunder for optimal outreach and income!


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FreeFunder Works!

When Nancy Dear hit some rough times and needed help in order to pay her rent (both personal and for her hair salon), she set up a FreeFunder campaign as a last resort. Friends and community members starting pitching in immediately. Nancy needed $2,500 in order to get caught up, and after donations came in from 59 people in only 2 weeks, she ended up raising $2,655.

"Yesterday was particularly rough, but I made it through, got a hefty pile of sleep, and woke up this morning to the beautiful miracle of community support! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! You have saved my business baby, saved my home, saved me. I LOVE YOU. HAIRPARTY LOVES YOU. YOU ARE AMAZING. " - Nancy Dear

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