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21 Online Fundraising Ideas for 2021

Attract more donors with a fresh fundraising idea, easily built on your own WordPress website.
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Make giving to your cause fun by enticing donors with one of these twenty one fundraising campaign ideas for online donations.

One of the challenges that nonprofits face when fundraising is finding unique ways to connect to donors and inspire giving. While simply asking can accomplish much, making donating fun does a lot more. Coming up with fundraising ideas isn’t always easy. So here are some fun ideas to consider to help grow your donations and donor base.

Remember, finding a balance in how often you set up fundraising campaigns is crucial. Putting your hand out too many times in the wrong way can cause donor fatigue. So, while we love all of these fundraising ideas, don’t try to do them all too close together. Find the ones that you think will resonate with your donors and best match your organization’s mission and goals. Then set them up at the appropriate times.

Keeping donor fatigue in mind, here are 21 fundraising ideas to choose from in 2021.

1) Teach a Course for a Donation

Teach a Course for a Donation
What better way to raise money than to teach someone the skills you know best in exchange for a donation? #Fundraising https://go.givewp.com/tw21ideas via @GiveWP

In a year of staying home and staying safe, many people have turned to the Internet to learn new skills and discover new passions. Why not capitalize on that by giving your donors a way to stay home, safe, and learn something new?

Set up an online course using Zoom or another video delivery system. Then have your donors register by donating on your form. You can also choose to pre-record your courses so that you can send them as a digital download after someone gives instead of hosting a live event. Or, choose a combination of both: Record your course as it happens and provide it for donors who were late to find out about it.

Steps to set up this fundraiser:

  • Recruit a teacher to teach a class that your donors might like: yoga, painting, woodworking, cooking, etc. Your organization might already have the expertise on hand through someone on your board or a volunteer.
  • Set up a date and time for the class. Establish how you will deliver the class (Zoom, YouTube, other online delivery). Or, set up an asynchronous recording for donors to view on their own time.
  • Determine the cost of the event for the organization, and how much each registration must raise to cover the cost and also contribute to your cause. (I.e. costs for the online delivery, the teacher, and any advertising.)
  • Create a GiveWP form with a set donation for the registration or ticket fee. You can also enable a custom amount (with a minimum donation equal to the fee) to allow registrants to donate more than the required registration fee.
  • Add a featured image that showcases the course well.
  • Add the event information to the donation receipt email for the form. This is how your students will find the class.
  • Create and schedule an email campaign.
  • Schedule social media posts throughout the registration period.
  • Follow up with social media posts and email blasts to donors showing screen shots and videos from your course.

2) Launch a Digital Scavenger Hunt

Launch a Digital Scavenger Hunt Fundraiser
Let’s scavenge on the internet! Give your donors something fun to do when they give. #Fundraising https://go.givewp.com/tw21ideas via @GiveWP

People are getting bored with traditional online events. This new fundraising idea gives your donors a way to actively participate in something fun. Send your donors on a scavenger hunt with prizes as incentives.

Steps to set up this fundraiser:

  • Choose a date and time for your scavenger hunt. We recommend using a 24-hour time period.
  • Purchase prizes or partner with a business to have prizes donated. If you purchase prizes, make sure your donation amounts will cover the cost while still helping you raise money.
  • Create a digital scavenger hunt list. You can choose existing pieces of content on different websites across the internet or partner with businesses to hide clues specifically for the event.
  • Choose a prize structure. Giving prizes for first through third places is a good place to start. If you have a lot of participants, consider adding more prizes.
  • Create a GiveWP form with a set donation for the registration or ticket fee. You can also enable the custom amount (with a minimum donation equal to the fee) to allow registrants to donate more than the required amount.
  • Add a featured image that highlights the scavenger hunt event.
  • Add the event information to the donation receipt email for the form so that your donors know when and how to participate.
  • Use the PDF Receipt Attachments add-on to include the scavenger hunt list in your Thank You email.
  • Create and schedule an email campaign to get the word out.
  • Schedule social media posts leading up to the event and make sure you have plans to be active on social media during the event.
  • Follow up with social media posts and email blasts to donors, letting everyone know who won the scavenger hunt.
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3) Host an Evening with an Expert (Online)

Host an Event with an Expert
Who is an expert in your field? Would they speak to your donors if you asked? You might be surprised. #Fundraising https://go.givewp.com/tw21ideas via @GiveWP

Similar to teaching a class (idea number one above), set up an online evening with an expert using Zoom or another video delivery system, and then have your donors register by donating on your form.

Steps to set up this fundraiser:

  • Recruit your expert to talk about an interesting topic: maybe a sommelier to share wine tips, an author to discuss their book, or a documentarian to talk about their movie.
  • Set up a date and time for the event. Establish how you will deliver the class (Zoom, YouTube, other online delivery).
  • Determine the cost of the event for the organization, and how much each registration must raise to cover the cost and also contribute to your cause. (I.e. costs for the online delivery, the expert’s time, and any advertising.)
  • Create a Give form with a set donation for the registration or ticket fee (make sure it covers the costs and raises funds). You can also enable the custom amount (with a minimum donation equal to the fee) to allow registrants to donate more than the required amount. Use a featured image that showcases the event well.
  • Add the event information to the donation receipt email for the form. This is how your attendees will find the class at the appointed time.
  • Create and schedule an email campaign.
  • Schedule social media posts throughout the registration period.
  • Follow up with social media posts and email blasts to donors showing screen shots and videos from your event.

4) Raffle Off Prizes (or Host a Virtual Auction)

Raffle Off Prizes
One Prize. Two Prize. Three Prize. Four Imagine how many donors will give you more… When they can win a prize. #Fundraising https://go.givewp.com/tw21ideas via @GiveWP

Virtual auctions or raffles haven’t always been easy to do online, but here’s a way that online fundraisers have adapted to be able to raise money while still providing a return to the highest donor. (Note: some areas have legislature governing raffles, so please abide by your local laws.)

Steps to set up this fundraiser:

  • Solicit items to raffle. (Gift certificates or shippable items work best, unless you specify local pickup for bigger items.)
  • Create a donation form for each item. Include a great image of the item. Set a minimum donation and then set the custom donation minimum to that amount.
  • Create a Form Grid to include all item forms.
  • Make sure each form (and the page that the form grid is on) all provide the following information: Each prize/item will be awarded to the highest donation. Making a donation for any item is processed at the time of the donation and does not guarantee the donor will qualify for the prize. Each prize is awarded to the highest donation (or a random donation). In the event of a tie for highest donation, a random donor from the highest level donation will be selected.
  • Set a date/time by which all donations must be received to be eligible for a prize. (Use the Form Countdown for this.)
  • Create and schedule an email campaign.
  • Schedule social media posts throughout the fundraiser.
  • After the auction/raffle is complete, notify your winners, and distribute your prizes.
  • Follow up with social media posts and email blasts to both prize and monetary donors.

5) Ask for a Year of Giving in Exchange for a Digital Gift

Year of Giving for a Digital Gift
Pledge a year, get a gift! #Fundraising https://go.givewp.com/tw21ideas via @GiveWP

A popular fundraising idea is to entice new donations with a free e-gift. An e-gift requires no or little cost and it’s a great way to incentivize new donors. It’s important to prepare a gift that people will want to receive and set it up properly on your website. Then after a new donation, the donor will receive an email receipt with a link to download their gift from your site.

Steps to set up this fundraiser:

  • Prepare your digital gift in advance. This can be a downloadable PDF (think: ebook, white paper, report, printable poster, etc.), audio file, image, etc.
  • Prepare a thumbnail image to use for the gift link. Images are far more appealing than a simple text link.
  • Upload both the digital gift and the thumbnail image to your media library as you would an image. (Note: If your file is too big to upload through WordPress, you may need to add it via FTP.)
  • Create a New Page in WordPress. This is where your donors will download the digital file. On this page:
    • Write a great gratitude statement thanking your donor for their generosity.
    • Give some instruction on how to download the file (i.e., “Click the image below to download your e-book.”).
    • Insert the thumbnail image.
    • Add the digital download hyperlink from your WordPress media files to the thumbnail image.
    • Style the page however you’d like it to look.
    • Turn off search engine indexing for this page. You do not want this page to be optimized for SEO, as this page should only be accessible to those who have donated through your Give form.
    • You can password protect the page, if you would like to, using WordPress’ visibility setting (found in the Publish section of the classic editor and Document section of the new editor).
  • Style the receipt and add the download link.
    • Open the donation form to which you want to attach the gift. Then click the “Email Notifications” tab on the left-hand side, followed by “Donation Receipt.”
    • Add a statement of gratitude to the receipt and then click “add media” to add the thumbnail image.
    • If you password protected the gift page, make sure to include that password here as well.
    • Link the thumbnail image to the new gift page you created in step 3.
  • Create and schedule an email campaign.
  • Schedule social media posts throughout the fundraiser.
  • Follow up with social media posts and email blasts to donors.

6) Crowdsource a Creative Project

Crowdsource a Creative Project
Calendars, cookbooks, video collections, oh my! What project can you crowdsource through your donors? #Fundraising https://go.givewp.com/tw21ideas via @GiveWP

Many times donors wish they could volunteer but lack the available time to do so. Give your donors an opportunity to contribute to your organization with more than just their monetary donation. Giving them an opportunity to contribute to a recipe book, calendar, or other similar project allows them to give twice with the same donation!

Have your donors submit a recipe or photo with their donation. In return, they’ll get a copy of the finished version. You can even use the completed cookbook as a digital gift for donation at a later time. (See #5 above.)

Steps to set up this fundraiser:

  • Decide what kind of recipe book you will source. (Any/all recipes? Desserts only?)
  • Set a deadline.
  • Create a Give form using the Form Field Manager add-on.
  • Using the Form Field Manager area of the form, add fields for the recipe information. Include:
    • Name of Recipe
    • Name of Submitter (as they want it to appear)
    • How many servings will the recipe create?
    • Ingredients
    • Instructions
    • File upload (if they have a photo of the finished recipe)
    • Anything else you want to include.
  • Edit your donation receipt for this form to include information on when you will publish the cookbook and how you will deliver it.
  • Create and schedule an email campaign.
  • Schedule social media posts throughout the fundraiser.
  • Design the cookbook and create a PDF.
  • Send it out to all of your contributors!
  • Follow up with social media posts and email blasts to donors.

7) Pass on Kindness with eCards

Pass on Kindness with eCards
Everyone can use a little extra kindness. Allow your donors to pass it on with eCards when they give. #Fundraising https://go.givewp.com/tw21ideas via @GiveWP

Why not set up Tributes for your donors to send out eCards – like Valentines or encouragement cards? You can also use this same concept for any other holiday throughout the year. This allows donors to donate to your cause while sending out a holiday greeting to family, friends, and other loved ones.

Valentine Cards fundraiser form grid mockup.

For this fundraiser, set a donation amount so that anyone who wants to send a Valentine will spend the same amount on each donation. Then encourage donors to send multiple eCards with the form content or your donation receipt.

Steps to set up this fundraiser:

  • Create a Give form using the Tributes add-on.
  • Customize the Tributes function for this form:
    • Tribute Title: “Send a Valentine”
    • Fieldset Title: “Send a Valentine with Your Donation”
    • Tribute Prepended Label: “Who is Your Valentine?”
  • Set up your e-card:
    • Enable eCards in the Tribute settings of the form.
    • Change your eCard Email Subject to: “{donor_name} has sent you a Valentine and made a {amount} donation because they love you!”
    • Edit the text of the Card:

Dear {notify_name},A Valentine donation of {amount} has been made to our organization by {donor_fullname}, in your honor!

Would you like to send a Valentine, too? Click here to make a donation and honor your Valentine: (add your form link here).

{donor_message}

Happy Valentine’s Day,
{sitename}

  • Create and schedule an email campaign.
  • Schedule social media posts throughout the fundraiser.
  • Follow up with social media posts and email blasts to donors.

8) Add a Donation to Your Swag Store

Add a Donation to Your Swag Store
Does your #nonprofit swag store have a donation upsell option? #Fundraising https://go.givewp.com/tw21ideas via @GiveWP

If you have merchandise for your organization, you can also use WooCommerce to sell your products and GiveWP to add a donation option to the cart or checkout.

If you don’t have merchandise yet, consider creating some T-shirts for your cause. T-shirts for your organization serve multiple purposes. They make some money on markup and they spread the word about your organization every time someone wears one.

Beagle Universe
T-shirt photos borrowed from Beagle Universe, pricing may not match. Read the Give Story here.

By adding a donation component to your WooCommerce checkout, you have the opportunity to gather even more online donations when someone makes a purchase.

Steps to set up this fundraiser:

  • Decide on the T-shirt design you will use and create a cost breakdown per shirt.
  • Determine shipping costs and logistics or create a pickup location (if your donor base is local).
  • Decide how much you will sell each T-shirt for and exactly how much will go toward your cause.
  • Install and set up WooCommerce.
  • Install and set up Donation Upsells for WooCommerce.
  • Add your T-shirt options as WooCommerce products. Include photos, a description, and the breakdown of how much will go toward the cause versus what is needed for the cost of the item.
  • Use the generic WooCommerce Shop pages or set up a landing page for your T-shirts.
  • Create and schedule an email campaign.
  • Schedule social media posts throughout the fundraiser.
  • Post videos and photos of your team preparing orders.
  • Follow up with social media posts and email blasts to donors.

9) Ask for “Why I Give” Videos from Donors

Ask for Videos From Donors
3, 2, 1, action! Donor stories, anyone? #Fundraising https://go.givewp.com/tw21ideas via @GiveWP

Asking for donor videos is similar to the unselfie campaigns and other social media challenge fundraising ideas.

Steps to set up this fundraiser:

  • Set up a Give form using Form Field Manager to add extra fields and capture the additional information needed. Add required fields for First/Last Name, Phone Number (and address if you’d like to collect it).
  • Add any Terms and Conditions necessary for the contest.
  • Set a deadline for donations to enter.
  • Once you’ve reached your deadline, export the donation information, randomize the donation records, and select a winner.
  • Create and schedule an email campaign.
  • Schedule social media posts throughout the fundraiser.
  • Announce the winner and make sure to document the winner receiving their prize.
  • Follow up with social media posts and email blasts to donors.

10) Hold a Sailboat Race on Your Website

Hold a Sailboat Race Online
Tell your donors you’ll meet them at the finish line! Let’s race some sail boats. #Fundraising https://go.givewp.com/tw21ideas via @GiveWP

There’s nothing like a little healthy competition to move donations along. For this fundraiser, come up with 4 (or more) things you’d like to see funded that are about the same cost. Then let your donors help you choose with their dollars.

Sailboat Races fundraiser form grid.

The race takes place through progress goal bars displayed through a form grid. The competition adds a sense of urgency that gives donors even more of a reason to give.

Steps to set up this fundraiser:

  • Create a form for each of the 4 (or more) projects you would like to fund.
    • Use a different sailboat image for the featured image for each form.
    • Set a donations goal for each form (set the color to blue for the “water”).
    • Explain that any money raised through the non-winning projects will go toward the general fund (or wherever you intend to use it).
  • Create a form grid for your forms on a fundraising page dedicated to this campaign.
  • Once one of the forms has reached its goal, announce the winner and get started on the project.
  • Create and schedule an email campaign.
  • Schedule social media posts throughout the fundraiser.
  • Follow up with social media posts and email blasts to donors showing the completed project.

11) Organize a Community-Wide (Virtual) Dance Party

Organize a Virtual Dance Party
Get your community moving! Host a virtual dance party to raise money. #Fundraising https://go.givewp.com/tw21ideas via @GiveWP

It’s been hard to do walk-a-thons, dance-a-thons (or any a-thons) since the pandemic started, since it’s hard to do social distancing at an event like that, so why not host a virtual one?

Your registrants can walk, dance, rocking-chair, or hula hoop in the privacy of their own home, while still getting involved with your organization and raising money at the same time. Whatever event you are using as a fundraiser, you can use a GiveWP form for registration.

Steps to set up this fundraiser:

  • Decide which event you will host.
  • Determine the cost of the event for the organization, and how much each registration must raise to cover the cost and also contribute to your cause.
  • Create a Give form with a set donation for the registration or ticket fee (make sure it covers the costs and raises funds). You can also enable the custom amount (with a minimum donation equal to the fee) to allow entrants to donate more than the required amount. Use a featured image that showcases the event well.
  • Add the event information to the donation receipt email for the form.
  • Create and schedule an email campaign.
  • Schedule social media posts throughout the registration period.
  • Follow up with social media posts and email blasts to donors showing images and videos from your event.
Learn how one GiveWP user took this online fundraising idea to new levels by partnering with their local radio station in this GiveLIVE recap.

12) Build the Future (Online)

Build the Future
Donors can help you build your nonprofit’s foundation with a “Build the Future” campaign! #Fundraising https://go.givewp.com/tw21ideas via @GiveWP

We think that some brilliant fundraising ideas center around projects. If your organization is looking to purchase or construct a new building, add on to an existing space, or update your digital tools (like your website, online community tools, and software), then this is the fundraiser for you. With a “Build the Future” campaign, donors see how much a building costs item by item, and are invited to contribute to the total in ways that make sense to them.

The main idea is to set up a form with all the items and work needed to complete your project and their associated costs. Each donation level is associated with one of these items, so donors get to choose what they purchase for you.

Steps to set up this fundraiser:

  • Create a form for the fundraiser.
  • Set a goal equal to the total amount of the project.
  • Upload an image of a sketch or blueprint of your finished building as the featured image.
  • Set up multi-level donations equal to parts of a project. For example:
    • $10 for a box of nails or part of a Zoom license
    • $25 for a can of paint or a social media ad
    • $50 for lumber or part of your annual email subscription
    • $100 for a 10’ x 10’ square of carpeting or an hour of developer time
    • $500 for lighting or part of your Slack subscription
    • $1000 for electrical work or 1/5 of your new website
  • Create and schedule an email campaign. Include photos of the building project in progress if possible.
  • Schedule social media posts throughout the fundraiser.
  • Follow up with social media posts and email blasts to donors.
  • Make sure to thank your donors when the project is complete.

13) Fast for a Cause (Give a Pizza)

Fast for a Cause
Everyone can fast for a cause at least once! Ask your donors to give the amount of a single meal. #Fundraising https://go.givewp.com/tw21ideas via @GiveWP

The main concept behind this fundraiser idea is to ask donors to give the amount that it would cost for them to do something “extra” for themselves, like order a pizza or get a cup of designer coffee. Asking your donors to fast for your cause is basically asking for the cost of a meal. Challenge your donors either to forego that meal altogether or cook at home instead of ordering out. This will encourage them to think about your organization during that time period and not only when they are on your website.

Steps to set up this fundraiser:

  • Create a form for the fundraiser.
  • Enable Recurring Donations for them to give a meal every month if they choose.
  • Set up multi-level donations equal to meals or beverages. For example:
    • $5 for a cup of “coffee shop coffee”
    • $10 for a fast food meal
    • $25 for a pizza dinner
    • $50 for a restaurant dinner
  • You can even set up your donation receipt to include a printable or shareable icon that says something like, “I fasted for ‘your organization!’”
  • Create and schedule an email campaign.
  • Schedule social media posts throughout the fundraiser.
  • Follow up with social media posts and email blasts to donors.

Amplify your fundraising with a GiveWP Plan

14) Have a (Virtual) Snowball or Balloon Fight

Virtual Snowball Fight
SNOWBALL FIGHT!!!! …. Online? Yep. It’s a great way to raise money. #Fundraising https://go.givewp.com/tw21ideas via @GiveWP

There’s nothing like a winter snowball fight or summer balloon war to inspire seasonal fun! Here’s your chance to throw a virtual snowball or water balloon at a friend or family member all for a good cause, without the mess and cleanup.

This fundraiser will use the Tributes add-on of GiveWP to send an e-card to “hit” your target with a virtual snowball/water balloon, challenging them to send one to someone else. The more people engage in the “fight”, the more money you’ll make.

Steps to Set Up this Fundraiser

  • Create a form for your virtual snowball or balloon war.
  • Explain in your Form Content Area how it works. “Send a virtual snowball/water balloon to someone, and challenge them to send one, too!”
  • Use a single-level donation for your sales. (Enable custom amounts in case your “throwers” are feeling generous.)
  • Enable the Tributes function for the form. Change the Tribute Text to “Your snowball/balloon target.” Make sure you’ve enabled e-cards.
  • Add a great image to your e-card, and change the text to reflect the competitive nature of the fight. “The {amount} donation that {donor_name} made to the “{form_title}” fund in your name will help our cause and be put to good use making a difference – and, of course, they had fun targeting you!”
  • Create and schedule an email campaign. Include the fun images and sayings like “Get competitive. Throw a virtual snowball/virtual balloon. Help us raise some funds in the process.”
  • Schedule social media posts throughout the fundraiser. Make it fun.
  • Follow up with social media posts and email blasts to donors showing them how much you raised in the process.

15) Host a (Virtual) Food Festival

Host a Virtual Food Festival
Food from around the world, viewers with empty stomachs and kitchens ready to cook – sounds like a fun time, right? Now add the element of giving. It’s the perfect #Fundraiser https://go.givewp.com/tw21ideas via @GiveWP

Who says you have to meet in person to experience different foods? Why not host an online food festival? Send out ingredient lists in advance so people can either cook along with the dishes that intrigue them, or make them shortly thereafter. Imagine the aromas that can build in your kitchen when you’re not only tasting the food…but making it, too!

Steps to set up this fundraiser:

  • Find volunteers to host cooking classes and cultural food lessons throughout the day. People can share the history of their dish, the recipe, or both.
  • Set up a Zoom webinar schedule with one person per hour.
  • Set up a Give WP form for each class and put them in a Form Grid to collect a donation per cuisine
  • Or set up one form with the Form Field Manager installed to let donors select which cuisines they will tune in for.
  • Or set up one form and let them attend on and off all day!
  • Use one of GiveWP’s Email marketing integrations (like MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, or Constant Contact) to automate event reminders, send out ingredient lists, etc.
  • Create and schedule an email campaign. Include fun facts about different cultures and cuisines, cooking facts, and great food images.
  • Schedule social media posts throughout the fundraiser.
  • Follow up with social media posts and email blasts to donors showing them how much you raised in the process. (Include a few screen shots, too!)

16) Create an Online Lemonade Stand

Online Lemonade Stand
When life gives you lemons, make Lemonade! #Fundraising https://go.givewp.com/tw21ideas via @GiveWP

This fundraiser brings the fun of a lemonade stand to your website. Why not set up a lemonade stand without the stickiness, bees, and potential weather issues?

Kids’ lemonade stands have been a fundraising archetype for decades (or maybe longer). A lemonade stand in the front yard can only raise money from those who walk or drive by, but an online fundraiser can reach anyone who clicks the link you send them. In this case, the people sending the link are your “salespeople,” and those who donate, “buy a cup of lemonade” from them.

Lemonade Stand fundraiser form

Follow these steps to get your virtual lemonade stand making lemonade out of lemons!

Steps to set up this fundraiser:

  • Form a team of people to be your lemonade salespeople. These people will actively share the fundraiser link and work to help raise as much money as possible.
  • Create a form for your virtual lemonade stand.
  • Use a great lemonade image for your featured image that makes your donors practically taste the sweet citrusy drink when they see it.
  • Use multi-level donations for your “sales:”
    • $5 for one cup
    • $10 for two cups
    • $15 for three cups
    • $20 for four cups
    • $50 for a whole pitcher
  • Enable the Form Field Manager with a drop-down list of your salespeople with the form field label of “Who poured your lemonade today?” Don’t forget to add something like “I poured my own” for anyone who doesn’t know one of your salespeople.
  • Think about customizing your donation receipt with a great recipe for homemade lemonade to really personalize the campaign. You can even include information on how the donor can become a salesperson, too.
  • Create and schedule an email campaign.
  • Schedule social media posts throughout the fundraiser. Use fun sayings like “When life hands you lemons…” and fill in the blank with fun things your staff comes up with.
  • At the end of the fundraiser total up your salespeople’s donation attributions and award the leading person a prize.
  • Follow up with social media posts and email blasts to donors showing them the completed project.
Bonus Fundraising Idea: Give your donors stickers as gifts!

17) Compete with Another Organization

Compete with another organization
It’s a race! You’d be surprised how much more money you can raise when you compete with another organization. #Fundraising https://go.givewp.com/tw21ideas via @GiveWP

In 2019, we found this fundraising idea from a GiveWP customer who competed with a similar organization in another town to see who could reach their fundraising goal first within 24 hours. Their results were shockingly successful. This got us thinking, why don’t more nonprofits compete with each other to raise money?

Steps to set up this fundraiser:

  • Find the right organization to partner with. This can be an organization that has the exact same mission as you in another town or a nonprofit complementary mission that aligns with the same goals as your own.
  • Agree on a date and goal amount to raise.
  • Consider adding in a prize to one donor, chosen at random. The City Mission and their competing partners used NFL jerseys from their hometown teams, who happened to be rivals.
  • Create a donation form on your website and set the goal amount to the amount you chose. Make sure you add the story about the competition and how it will help both causes raise money together.
  • Don’t forget to include photos of any prizes you’ve chosen to include for donors.
  • Add a countdown timer when the event begins to add to the sense of urgency.
  • Schedule social media and email blasts to let everyone know about the event before it happens.
  • Make sure you post live updates on the day of the event and email your newsletter list.
  • Post a recap, thanking your donors and the partnering organization.

18) Partner with a Business for a Matching Fund Campaign

Matching Fund Campaign
Nonprofit work goes hand in hand with businesses who display their passion for doing good. What business can your organization partner with to raise money? #Fundraising https://go.givewp.com/tw21ideas via @GiveWP

This fundraiser allows a business to support your organization and encourage individual donations at the same time!

Steps to set up this fundraiser:

  • Find a business (local or global) that you can recruit to do a matching fund campaign with you.
  • Include images and text about how excited you are that the business is matching donations, and show your gratitude with a link back to their website.
  • Set up your GiveWP form to accept donations.
    • Will they match up to a set donation per individual? Total? Find out so you can set up your form accordingly. Set a max donation on the form if this is the case.
  • Set up a goal bar to reach for the total donation the business will match. Once the donations reach that level, make sure your donation form is set to turn off. If this happens, change the language on the setting to redirect donors to your main donation page, so that you can still accept their (unmatched) donation.
  • Set up a donor wall just for this donation form. Put the shortcode for this form’s donor wall somewhere on the form page. This way your donors can see not only through the goal bar, but through the donor wall, how successful your campaign is.
  • Change your donation confirmation email to reflect that their donation has been matched by the organization, and include a link back to the organization’s website as part of your gratitude.
  • Create and schedule an email campaign.
  • Schedule social media posts throughout the fundraiser.
  • Follow up with social media posts and email blasts to donors.

19) Host a Design or Photo Contest

Host a Design or Photo Contest
Who doesn’t love a good photo contest? #Fundraising https://go.givewp.com/tw21ideas via @GiveWP

Another fundraiser involving giving back to your donors in a different way is to host a contest. In this case, each donation before a set deadline is entered to “win” something.

Go crazy brainstorming ideas as to what the prize could be. Partner with a local television station for the winner to do the weather on TV. Set up dinner with your CEO/Director. Create a gift basket of your organization’s swag. Get tickets to a concert or sporting event to use as the prize. Just make sure the prize is something that people would want to win.

Steps to set up this fundraiser:

  • Set up a Give form using Form Field Manager to add extra fields and capture the additional information needed. Add required fields for First/Last Name, Phone Number (and address if you’d like to collect it).
  • Add any Terms and Conditions necessary for the contest.
  • Set a deadline for donations to enter.
  • Once you’ve reached your deadline, export the donation information, randomize the donation records, and select a winner.
  • Create and schedule an email campaign.
  • Schedule social media posts throughout the fundraiser.
  • Announce the winner and make sure to document the winner receiving their prize.
  • Follow up with social media posts and email blasts to donors.

20) Deliver Dessert

Deliver Dessert
Deliver dessert for a donation! #Fundraising https://go.givewp.com/tw21ideas via @GiveWP

Everyone loves dessert! So why not pair up with a local restaurant or bakery to have desserts delivered to your donors? This fundraiser works best with 3-4 whole desserts (cake, pie, etc.) of different prices.

Steps to set up this fundraiser:

  • Set up a Give form using Form Field Manager to add extra fields and capture the additional information needed. Add required fields for First/Last Name, Phone Number and delivery address.
  • Set your prices per item (make sure to add to the price for the fundraiser aspect!). For example, $15 for a cherry pie, $20 for a chocolate cake, and $25 for a cheesecake.
  • Add any Terms and Conditions necessary.
  • Set a deadline for donations so the restaurant/bakery can prepare.
  • Once you’ve reached your deadline, export the donation information, and share the orders with the restaurant/bakery for no-contact pickup or delivery.
  • Create and schedule an email campaign.
  • Deliver the desserts!
  • Follow up with social media posts and email blasts to donors.

21) Provide Porch-traits

Provide Porch-traits
Take a portrait for those who give, right on their own porch! #Fundraising https://go.givewp.com/tw21ideas via @GiveWP

This is a great way for families and individuals to get some family photos or individual headshots done, and do some fundraising at the same time. On one day, your photographer will travel to each donor’s home and take socially-distanced photos of the donors in their yards, or on their porches. Once donors have submitted their donation, your organization will schedule their sitting and provide your photographer with an itinerary.

Steps to set up this fundraiser:

  • Recruit a photographer to spend a day traveling to donor homes for portraits.
  • Create a form with a set donation. (Be sure to include any costs associated with the fundraiser, including your photographer’s fees and travel expenses.)
  • Set a date by which donations must be received in order to be scheduled. (Use the free form countdown add-on for this.)
  • Be sure to use the Form Field Manager to collect phone numbers and physical addresses.
  • Set a goal for your donation for a set number of donors (to be able to accomplish all the portraits in one day). Set the goal to close the form once the number has been reached.
  • Once the donations are received and the form is closed, call each donor to schedule their portrait.
  • Create and schedule an email campaign.
  • Work with the photographer to deliver the digital portraits once they have been taken and edited.
  • Follow up with social media posts and email blasts to donors. (Be sure to get a model release (which can be included in the form with the Form Field Manager) from each donor to be able to use their portraits in social media and email.)

What’s your favorite fundraiser idea?

Which one was your favorite? Build any one of these twelve fundraiser ideas on your own website using GiveWP. Our Plus Plan gives you access to every add-on at an affordable cost. Purchase one now to create your ideal fundraiser.

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4 Responses

  1. Great list, Michelle! I’m excited to share this link with all our nonprofit clients and partners!!

    Just wanted to throw in another suggestion…

    Facebook has profile photo filters that you can create yourself and share with a link – I’ve set this up for a few clients so that the link to the filter is saved on their PDF receipt (highly recommend this add-on, btw!). Donors add the filter, and when anyone clicks on it to find out more, it links to your donation form!

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