Events are not only incredible in their own right but also provide amazing opportunities to bring people together for a cause. The tricky part is nailing down the right type of fundraiser for your cause.
We’ve put together a list below of fundraising event ideas broken up into categories that could fit a range of causes, from your school, university, charity, arts endeavour, sports association, local community as well as virtual events that can apply to any type of cause.
Kids and teachers love a good school carnival, making it the perfect opportunity to fundraise for your school. Host your respective school carnival as you normally do but just ask each participating student, teacher or guest to buy a ticket to the event for the day.
No Uniform Day
This one is an oldie but a goodie, as you can guarantee most students will want to participate. Pick a day this year when all students can wear whatever they want, but all you need to ask for in return is a donation of their choosing or a set amount. We have to say, there’s nothing like freedom from a uniform.
Showcase all the amazing cultures and flavors of your students and teachers by hosting a multicultural day at your school. Takeover various classrooms and outdoor areas for the day, and allow students, teachers, and guests to roam around to learn more about the diverse backgrounds of their peers as well as learn more about different cultural traditions.
Are you a regular school event organiser? Check out our fantastic guide on how school event organisers can get started on Humanitix!
Hosting a fundraising event where people can sample all the finest beverages the local pubs have to offer will definitely be one of the more popular fundraising ideas for uni students. This works best in an area clustered with pubs all in walking distance from one another and will require a theme filled with costumes to make sure you maximise the fun. Ensure you charge a ticket fee for participation and reach out to pubs ahead of time to make sure you’ll be welcome with your rollicking crew of costumes!
BBQ Grill-Off Contest
Another fundraising event sure to get uni students out of bed is when food is involved, hence, a BBQ Grill-Off contest! The competition can take place across various categories: best sausages, best steaks, best veggie kebabs - you name it! Charge a fee for both BBQ competition participants and attendees looking to sample the food, and you’ve got yourself a proven effective fundraiser.
Host a Market
Markets are a great way to showcase the talents of your student peers by allowing them to set up shop and sell their wares or culinary creations. Similar to the BBQ Competition, you can charge stall hosts a fee to participate as well as attendees for entry into the market.
Laughter always makes the heart grow fonder! Hosting a comedy night is a proven way to raise money for any cause. It’s best to partner with a local comedy club, to give attendees that comedy club feel, and allow the club to select a curated lineup of local comedians.
Gala dinners are not only great fundraising opportunities but can provide memorable moments for your guests at the same time. This type of fundraising event requires a bit more planning than others, as you’ll need to think about everything from food, drink, entertainment, and a show-stopping venue, but is certainly one of the more successful ways of attracting larger donors to an event.
Do you run regular gala dinners or awards nights? Check out our nifty guide on how to get started with Humanitix!
5k Fun Runs
The amazing thing about fun runs is that they’re so easy to put together and there are so many ways you can do it. Pick a 5k route, then charge participants a fee to run/walk as well as encourage them to seek outside sponsorships to bolster fundraising efforts. Then, consider spicing it up a little bit with a theme. If it’s December, try a Santa theme, or if it’s after dark, make it a night run with DJs and glowsticks - there’s so many to choose from!
Gather the coaches or most senior players at your sports association and host a skills clinic to help participants improve their game. Charge participants upon entry into the clinic, which can take place across any kind of sport, and perhaps consider hosting sometime during the school holidays or weekend, when parents are looking for ways to preoccupy their kids.
Food Truck Day
Partner with local food trucks in your area and host a “food truck” day during one or more weekends of your choosing. There are a few different fundraising approaches for this type of event, you could charge a flat fee for food trucks to participate, you could receive a percentage of sales, charge for food and drink tickets, or a combination of those. Make sure there is a good range of options for everyone as you’ll want to make sure you maximise your impact.
Finally, it’s your chance to get back at your coaches by hosting a “Coach Punishment Day” fundraiser. Come up with various types of punishments for your coach (make sure they’re in on the action!) and ask people to vote for the best punishment with their money. Whichever punishment raises the most money is what the coach will have to do (hint: witnessing your coach being duct-taped against a tree is always hilarious).
Art Education Walks
An art education walk fundraiser can take place at your local gallery, a series of galleries or large event space, with artists each hosting their very own teaching presentation. Charge attendees for entrance and allow them to roam free as they learn various artistic mediums such as sculpture, painting, or photography.
Mini “Laneway Festival”
This will require a bit of neighborhood planning, but if you’re looking to raise money for local music talent, why not consider hosting your very own Laneway Festival? The concept doesn’t have to be limited to just laneways, but in any unique setting, and requires a curated local musical lineup guaranteed to bring a crowd.
Cast Party & Auction
To raise money for your theater, try throwing a little cocktail party with the cast for an upcoming or ongoing play complete with an auction of costumes or past props to up the ante for the evening. Throw in a performance of key scenes from an upcoming play or performance to round out the entertainment portion.
Get together with local businesses and pull together a physical or digital (or both!) passport for purchase, which not only raises funds for the local community but also drives shoppers to local businesses. Consider using a QR code generator, such as QR Code Monkey, to create custom codes to be redeemed in-store, as well as a design platform like Canva, to design either the digital or physical passport.
Community cleanup days are incredible opportunities to bring together the community to raise money while cleaning up the neighborhood in the process. Procure donations ahead of time through social media, word of mouth, or printed signs, to name a few, and make sure you’ve secured all your supplies ahead of time. Let the cleanup begin!
Local Food Festival
Host a local community food festival that brings together local businesses as well as willing local cooks for a fun food day for a good cause! Charge attendees upon entry, a flat fee for stall hosts, or even a percentage of sales, and make sure there is a lot of thought put into the diversity of food options so that everyone in your community can enjoy the day.
Online Cooking Class
Given our deep desire to fill our days learning new things in the pandemic, an online cooking class will fulfill that need to try new things all while raising money for a great cause. You could partner with a well-known chef, or local community cooking expert, and charge tickets for entry into the class. Charge a premium if you’re planning on shipping certain items to participants ahead of the class or get participants to purchase their own ingredients.
We’re all stressed out and exhausted from what seems to be a never-ending pandemic, so what better way to soothe and raise money at the same time than host an online wellness event. This can be as simple as hosting a yoga/meditation class or as complex as hosting a full day of wellness that includes talks, meditation sessions, and yoga all included. Raise funds through tickets
Virtual Cocktail Hour
Similar to Vanity Fair’s recent Cocktail Hour event, bring together people from anywhere in the world to raise money for a great cause through a virtual cocktail/happy hour. This works incredibly well with a few interesting guest speakers participating, and can be hosted over a number of nights with a diverse range of topics up for discussion. Consider including custom cocktail recipes tailored for each night to add a little extra flavor to the evening.
Hosting virtual events is easy on Humanitix, check out this helpful guide to learn how to get started!
And if you’re a regular host of not-for-profit events, Humanitix offers special pricing for NFP events that will make your life a whole lot easier.
Have more questions? Feel free to speak with a human at Humanitix!
Em Meller lives and works in Sydney, Australia on the unceded lands of the Gadigal people. Her work has appeared in places like The Lifted Brow, Cordite, and Going Down Swinging. She has studied creative writing at the University of Technology, Sydney, and at Oxford University.