6 Creative Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofit Organizations

We know how challenging it can be to come up with effective fundraising ideas and how tedious marketing a

nonprofit organization can be – it is difficult work. With the right assistance and strategies, however,your efforts will eventually prove well worth every second you spend brainstorming. 

Since your cause is so beneficial – addressing some of the dire situations of our society – your nonprofit deserves every bit of help (and success) it can get. Here are six fundraising ideas that your nonprofit organization can benefit from. Adapt these ideas in your nonprofit marketing strategy, and turn them into fun events that will encourage donor engagement:

1. Donating to win 

The first of several great fundraising ideas that both you and your (potential) supporters will love is holding awards or contests where a prize is given to one lucky donor. This strategy can attract new donors as well as encourage existing contributors to continue supporting your cause. Each donation made should serve as an entry into a raffle, for example, to win a unique prize. It is a good idea to partner with a company or multiple companies that will sponsor the prize(s). Offer the sponsoring companies free and positive PR and try to find those that will sponsor a prize that's relevant to your cause. 

2. Donating skills 

Not everyone will be able to donate cash at any given time, but that does not mean they cannot support your nonprofit. Encourage people to support your cause through their talents or skills. For example, a seamstress could offer sewing skills, mending or altering clothes for your beneficiaries. The same can be done with other practical skills such as painting, hardware repairs, fixing appliances or even web design for your nonprofit.

3. Eating or cooking for a cause 

One of the easiest fundraising ideas, if you are able to secure a sponsor or partner, is to encourage people to eat/cook for a cause. You could partner with a very popular restaurant that will donate a portion of their sales revenue to your organization. What makes this easy is that popular restaurants already attract a lot of paying clients, and people must eat! It's a given that meals will be sold on a daily basis at the restaurant, especially fast food outlets since they amass more patrons than a fancy restaurant would. You could also host a cooking competition in partnership with a restaurant or grocery store. Your partner/sponsor company can fund and help market the contest to ensure its success.

4. Affinity fundraising 

Another one of the best fundraising ideas that make marketing a nonprofit easier is affinity fundraising. It involves creating a network of people who have something in common to support your nonprofit as well as help raise funds on your organization’s behalf. The common factor between the members of the affinity group may be anything from career, e.g. a group of engineers, to hobbies, e.g. a book enthusiasts. Affinity fundraising makes marketing a nonprofit organization easier and diversifies your marketing, alleviating at least some of weight on your own marketing resources. 

5. Out of the box fundraising 

Fundraising ideas need to be creative enough to generate genuine widespread interest among donors without imposing heavy financial burdens on your organization. Your ideas can be funny and thought-provoking, yet fun and easy to spend on. An example of such an approach is to dress up and visit a local mall where you put on a performance that people will (hopefully) find worth a contribution. Don't forget to have a donation box with you. You could also find a willing partner to play pranks with the public. At the end of each prank, you could then explain to the audience that the performance is for a charitable cause that they could support. The humor will put your potential donor at ease – a much-needed icebreaker preceding your request for donations.

6. Don’t forget the children 

Children are very enthusiastic and attract a lot of positive attention from adults when they are involved in a worthy cause. They could be assisting with operations carried out by your organization. Involving children in charity or community development also grooms them to be giving and helpful. It can also be very advantageous to your cause in the long run as the children might contribute their own funds and other resources in the future.

It is essential that you keep the fire of passion for your nonprofit organization burning even through rough times like economic meltdowns. This will help you keep new and fresh fundraising ideas coming, and will go a long way in helping you stay focused on the reasons you are doing this in the first place.

Another valuable tip we have for you to go along with your new set of fundraising ideas is that you should keep an eye on the trends in your external environment, and think about how your nonprofit can ride the winds of change. This proactive approach will ensure that your nonprofit doesn’t fall victim to the transitions of the outside world, but rather that you will take advantage of the new opportunities.

To find out more about nonprofit marketing download our free guide entitled; How to Attract and Retain Donors, you can access it here;