Fundraising Event Ideas for Every Season

June 18, 2019
6 minutes

Let's set the stage: You have a fundraising goal that you're nowhere near. You have the bright idea to put on a fun event, but all you can think of are outdoorsy event ideas, and it's below freezing in your neck of the woods! What's a fundraiser to do?

Well, first, put your jacket back on, Frosty!

Next, check out the list below for some fun, seasonally-appropriate event ideas that'll bring in supporters and ca$h. And get it organized from tip to tail using the Events and Ticketing feature right inside Funraise's platform.


This spring, as the buds swell and the birds warble, think about getting people out and about, enjoying the fresh air, and creating something new. Consider sponsoring a car-free street festival, like CicLAvia in Los Angeles or NYC Car-Free Day, and host events within your festival, like a Pinewood Derby. Get businesses along the route to donate a portion of the day's proceeds to your organization.

Reach out to supporters and set up a Spring Clean day. Ask them to keep you in mind as they complete a deep cleaning or Kondo-ing of their homes, garages, and storage spaces, then offer to pick up items they'd like to donate. You can sell the items online (which may be more work than it's worth; beware) or host a rummage sale. 

If you're looking for a little bit more of an out-there idea, what about putting on a karaoke competition, a scavenger hunt, or a Chopped-style cooking contest?

Bonus virtual event: do all of these things at once and broadcast it live on social media for a modern-day telethon! Who wouldn't want to see a roller-skating karaoke singer cooking biscuits and gravy?


Is it just us, or is summer always sweaty, sticky, and bonkers-busy with projects and unscheduled distractions? You, too? K, great. So you're looking for something that involves AC or nighttime activities. What about a video game competition? Competitive gaming is A Thing now and it's not just kids that are into it. Need something to keep spectators busy while the competition is going on? Borrow a ping pong table and run a table tennis competition concurrently.

Offer a service to the community! There are lots of people out there that need handy work help but can't afford professional services, especially older folks on fixed budgets. See if you can get some local contractors or handypeople to donate their time and ask for donations in return for in-home help.

Host a family campout with stargazing activities. This is a great one to plan overnight or just as a special occasion where the kids get to stay up later than usual. Provide some campout grub and a guided tour of the night sky and you'll have happy campers. 

Bonus virtual event: run an anonymous "do-gooder" task raffle. We hear you—"What does that even mean?" Ok, bear with us. You host a social media event where people post good works they'll "pay" someone else to do. Other people comment to claim the tasks and complete the task in return for a raffle ticket from you. Once the task is completed, the original poster makes a donation to your nonprofit.

Example: Holly posts "I'll donate $10 if someone sends my dad a birthday card." Michael comments that he'll do it, and he and Holly correspond to set the details. When the card is in the mail, Michael lets Holly know and she donates $10 to your organization in Michael's name. Your organization enters Michael into your raffle.


Ahhh, the crunch of leaves underfoot, the snappy chill in the air, and the smell of your very own fundraising bonfire. What's more appealing than a wholesome hayride to an apple orchard where you pick fruit and join in on a delightful cider tasting and then warm your heart in front of a crackling bonfire?

Answer: a fright-filled hayride to a cemetery where you taste the bubbling contents of a witches cauldron! Followed by a costume contest in front of said crackling bonfire. Will your donors respond to fear or nostalgia? ...only you can tell!

A different approach to the Amazing Race is the city-wide relay race! Create teams or let your supporters sign up in their own teams, then send them around your city or neighborhood to interact with local businesses, gather local history, and complete silly tasks. 

Bonus virtual event: bring some shenanigans into it! Have everyone come together to give toward increasingly bigger goals. Each goal comes with a shenanigan—your ED shaves their head, gets a tattoo, or does a little dance. The best part about it is that it can all be done online. 


As the holidays approach or disappear into your rearview, plan some cozy, crowd-pleasing events like a talent show or a drag brunch! Or if you're really fancy, start with a home tour of local historic or famous homes—bonus, they may be decorated for the holidays!—and then end with a bazaar of locally-made gifts. 

Feeling adventurous? Offer your supporters a whole day of fun with a Polar Bear Plunge, followed by a snow day and then a trivia night to shake off the cold. 

Get the pets into it! Everyone likes to see pets dressed up and doing tricks, so let those proud pet parents parade their pups. Work with your local park to get a Pet Olympics going, complete with prizes for best-dressed, sassiest, and fastest tail. 

Bonus virtual event: host an online auction with prizes like cruises to warm places or tropical vacations on sandy beaches. 

Outside of the usual galas and fun runs and casino nights and silent auctions, there are tons of kooky events perfect for any season. Just choose an idea and run with it!

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