BlogFundraising Club Fundraising Ideas: Engage Your Membership & Community Fundraising Club Fundraising Ideas: Engage Your Membership & Community Author: Sonia Urlando May 31, 2023 Contents 🕑 11 min read Fundraising for your club involves a lot of hard work. Just coming up with ideas for fundraisers can be half the battle! When brainstorming, make sure to tap into your members’ interests and motivations. When you find an idea that matches what your membership looks for from your club, you’ll be setting your fundraiser up for success. Not sure where to start? Read on for fundraising ideas for clubs of any size—big or small. Why Fundraising for Your Club Matters Setting up a club fundraiser may seem daunting, but fundraising can create great opportunities for the short- and long-term success of your club. Here are just a few great reasons to start a fundraiser: Bring in alternative sources of revenue. Whether your club makes most of its money from membership fees or ticket sales, a fundraiser can help bridge gaps in your club’s operation costs! Create partnerships. Not only do fundraising partnerships create publicity for all participants, they can create ongoing relationships that benefit your club for years to come. It’s also a great way to get your club involved in your community. Support a good cause. When you’re thinking about the value your club provides, you may realize how poised you are to help your community. If you’re a sports club, think about fundraising to support local parathletes; or a photography club could run a contest to showcase small businesses. Engage your members. Providing memorable experiences to your membership is one way to remind them how indispensable their club membership is. This can be especially important at membership renewal time! Clarify—and develop—your club’s purpose. When you tailor your fundraising event to the specific niche your club serves, you remind attendees and organizers alike about your club’s values and purpose. If you’re not sure how to pitch your club, use this as an opportunity to refine your message and ideals. Need more help? Here are a few tips to help you get started: A fundraising calendar can not only make your campaign run smoother—it can increase your donations in the long run. A fundraising website provides donors with all the information about your campaign—and an easy way to contribute directly. If asking for donations is the part that seems daunting, think of it like asking for help. Especially if you’re providing a fun and memorable event, plenty of people are more than happy to help you meet your goals! Read on for just a few club fundraising ideas to get your planning gears turning. 9 Great Fundraising Ideas for Clubs 1. Used Book Sale Overhead Cost: $ Complexity to Plan: 2 Expected Return: $$-$$$ Ask your supporters to donate their used books in support of your cause, then hold a book sale! Your community can come and browse your wide selection—and learn more about your club in the process. Challenges to Consider Plan ahead for how you’ll be accepting payments. Will your needs be met with a simple cash box, will you want to set up a digital point of sale, or will donors pay directly via your campaign’s donation page? You’ll also need to spend some time pricing the books and organizing them by genre, so people can more easily find what piques their literary interests. When to Do This This fundraiser can work any time, but your supporters might be particularly interested in donating books around the time they’re doing their spring cleaning and decluttering their homes. If you’re hosting the book sale outside, you may also want to plan for fair weather to encourage book browsers to linger! Extra Tips & Tricks This is a particularly great fundraising idea for small clubs, as overhead costs and organizational logistics are both minimal. All you need are pricing labels, a few tables, some boxes, and a method of payment. 2. Phone-A-Thon Overhead Cost: $ Complexity to Plan: 2 Expected Return: $-$$$$ Though less flashy than other options, phone-a-thons are effective fundraising tools. Grab your phone book, hand out a script, and get your volunteers calling! Challenges to Consider Volunteers may not feel comfortable using their personal phones. Consider providing a club phone for members to call from. Also bear in mind that some people don’t like being called on the phone. Give some tips for dealing with this situation in the script you provide to volunteers. Finally, how will you advise donors to give? You may want to set up a donation page to refer people to, especially if they want to return to the idea at a later time. The Best Time to Do This Anytime. Extra Tips & Tricks A visual aid that shows fundraising progress can be a great morale booster to your phoning volunteers. Consider using a fundraising thermometer to keep track of donations and celebrate your successes! 3. Family Ticket Fundraiser Overhead Cost: $ Complexity to Plan: 1 Expected Return: $$ This is an especially great fundraising idea for sports clubs. Sell family tickets to a sporting event at a local stadium and take the guesswork out of weekend plans! Additional fundraising could be set up through a small refreshment or merchandise stand. Challenges to Consider Plan ahead to make transactions as straightforward as possible! Will you use fundraising software to process donations? How about keeping track of supporters to reach out to during your next fundraiser? Are the tickets physical or digital? Make sure you know before you begin! Bear in mind that weekend events can sell out fast. Plan this fundraising push well in advance! The Best Time to Do This Though some outdoor sports events may be seasonally dependent, you can fundraise for indoor events anytime. Extra Tips & Tricks Not a sports club? This could be a great opportunity to form partnerships! Find a sports league at the local level featuring adults or kids. They might jump at the support and exposure offered by your partnership. Partnerships could also be made with local businesses. Consider a family ticket event to tour a local chocolatier, or for a kid-friendly escape room. 4. Gift Card Fundraiser Overhead Cost: $ Complexity to Plan: 1 Expected Return: $-$$ Partner with a website that specializes in fundraising through gift cards, such as Fundscrip or FlipGive. Through these websites, you can buy a supply of gift cards to sell on to your supporters at purchase value. Whenever your supporters use their gift card to pay, your charity automatically receives a donation of up to 10% of the amount, depending on the retailer. Neither you or your supporters will pay an extra dime! Challenges to Consider This fundraising method requires a significant sunk cost upfront. It also relies on supporters to use the gift cards to see any additional funds raised. This might not be the best approach for time-sensitive fundraisers. The Best Time to Do This Holidays are an especially great time to move gift cards. Since they can also be used for everyday expenses at grocery stores and restaurants, they can work at any time of year. Extra Tips & Tricks Peer-to-peer fundraising is a great way to generate word-of-mouth support for this fundraiser. Make sure the people in your network are reaching out to their networks in turn! Consider offering a prize to the volunteer who sells the most gift cards as an incentive. 5. Quarter Mile Overhead Cost: $ Complexity to Plan: 1 Expected Return: $ Let supporters know you’re trying to collect enough quarters to stretch them over a quarter mile—or longer! For an extra donation boost, tell people you’re trying to set the world record for the most quarters laid end to end. Challenges to Consider Obviously, you’ll need the space to lay out a quarter mile—or more, if you’re lucky! Consider blocking off a school parking lot on a weekend. A public quarter-laying event might generate more support in real time! The Best Time to Do This This is a great outdoor activity for nice weather, but it could also be done in a large indoor space—think gymnasium or community center. Extra Tips & Tricks This is a great fundraising idea for small clubs, and a fantastic way to get kids and youth involved. 6. Gift Wrapping Overhead Cost: $ Complexity to Plan: 2 Expected Return: $$ Set up a gift-wrapping table in your office or a mall and ask for a donation per package wrapped. Team members could donate extra wrapping paper they have at home to save on expenses. Challenges to Consider People expect their gifts to be wrapped well, so confirm that your volunteers have some wrapping competence before starting. The Best Time to Do This Grant some peace in the gift-buying rush by offering your services close to major holidays. Extra Tips & Tricks Offer diverse wrapping paper choices for extra support from people with family birthdays near holidays, or for those who don’t celebrate Christmas but still want to support the fundraiser. 7. Raffles Overhead Cost: $-$$ Complexity to Plan: 1 Expected Return: $$ Invite participants to enter a raffle—either as its own event, or in conjunction with another fundraiser! This is a great opportunity to partner with local businesses to increase their exposure as well as yours. Some ideas for raffle prizes include: A day at the spa. This sort of prize is especially enticing around Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day. A night at a local Bed & Breakfast. Even a local getaway can be a fun way to break from routine! A time slot at an escape room. These prizes can appeal to families. A vacation abroad. The more expensive the prize, the higher your revenue! A chance to test-drive a luxury car. Ask your local dealership if they’re willing to part with one of its precious babies for a few hours—that is, to partner with you. Challenges to Consider Make sure the prize you choose—and the raffle style—reflects your organization. Remember, your fundraiser should represent your club’s vision! There may also be rules regulating any gaming involving money in your area that includes raffles. Check your local laws before setting up this fundraiser. It may be best to decide before you begin whether you intend to purchase the prize, or whether you want to ask a local business to donate its services. Asking for this donation may feel intimidating, but your raffle works as free advertising for their services! The Best Time to Do This You may have better luck drawing attention to your raffle in areas with high foot traffic—nice weather can help with this. Sports clubs may also be limited to holding raffles during their sports season. Extra Tips & Tricks Different types of raffles—with different kinds of prizes—can appeal to different demographics. Here are a few ways to make your raffle feel exciting and different: Hold a 50/50 raffle. This type of raffle is purely cash-based: the winner and your club split the proceeds 50/50. This type of raffle is best for sporting or other large events, where you have a captive audience to entice with the prize. Hide the winning “golden ticket.” This makes the most sense for sales-based fundraising. Entice people to keep buying chocolate bars (or cupcakes, candies, or any wrapped product) in the hopes of finding the winning ticket inside! Limit the number of tickets for fixed odds. This can be particularly effective with high-value prizes like vacations. Raffle entrants will know how likely they are to win the prize—and may buy more tickets to help their odds. 8. Contests Overhead Cost: $ Complexity to Plan: 1-2 Expected Return: $-$$ A little friendly competition is sure to get your supporters’ hearts racing and get them riled up to support your cause. Charge an entry fee for participants and watch those fundraising dollars roll in. Some ideas for contests include: Cutest Pet Contest. Everyone thinks their own pet is the cutest, so why not offer a chance to show them off? Photography. Invite the amateur and more skilled photographers in your networks to submit photos for a contest to take place during a larger event. Diorama / Craft. Great for kids or adults, host a boutique event where creators can show off their works of art. Crafts to be judged could include posters, miniatures, fiber arts, or even food! Why not host a bake-off? Cornhole Tournament. With its low athletic requirement, cornhole is the perfect game for a no-sweat friendly competition. This is a great opportunity to gain a little extra revenue by setting up a refreshment stand at the event. Paper Plane Building. Host an event to find out who can build the most beautiful—and aerodynamic—plane out of just paper. Challenges to Consider Finding a venue to host these events may be challenging in some cases, especially when animals are involved or if you want to sell alcohol. Consider whether the event can be hosted outside. Bear in mind that photography and pet contests could also be judged online! You may also want to establish clear judging rules for the contest so submitters know what they’re getting into. What criteria are participants being judged on? Will the winner be decided by popular vote or a panel of judges? Will they win a prize, or just bragging rights? The Best Time to Do This Contests hosted inside are great to host year-round, though outdoor events might be best suited to warmer months. You might even come up with seasonal contests—a hunt for the fastest wrapper of presents, for example. Extra Tips & Tricks Consider whether your contest might create unique partnering opportunities. To promote your photography contest, you might approach a community college’s photography classes. Physics or engineering students might get a kick out of a paper plane contest. 9. Challenges Overhead Cost: $ Complexity to Plan: 2 Expected Return: $ A challenge that participants can really get into can really boost your fundraiser’s engagement. Think carnival booths: carnival goers buy ticket after ticket trying to win bigger and bigger prizes. Apply that structure to your fundraiser and watch the donations roll in! Some ideas for challenges include: Hockey Puck Shot Challenge. Run this as a competition to hit a target from a distance, or to score a set number of goals within a limited time. Free-Throw Challenge. All you need for this one is basketballs, hoops, and a dedicated cheering section. Balloon Dart Challenge. Blow up a few dozen balloons, pin them to a bulletin board, and see who can burst the most with a limited number of darts. Be sure you have safety precautions in place for this one, especially to keep kids clear of the area! Challenges to Consider You may want a referee on hand to man booths or monitor contests. For most of these challenges, you’ll also need to block off a fairly large space free of pedestrian interference, especially for family-oriented events. You don’t want kids running in the path of a ball, puck, or dart! Best Time to Do This Given the space needed for some of these events, you may prefer to host outdoors, especially for basketball hoop availability. A warm, sunny day will be best for attendance. Extra Tips & Tricks Local sports teams might be particularly interested in partnering for sports-related contests. You could even ask one of the players to set a hoops/goals record for participants to beat! Final Thoughts Whether you come away with new partnerships, new donors, or fresh revenue, a fundraiser crafted with your club’s mission in mind can provide a memorable experience to members, supporters, and community alike. No matter how you decide to set up your club fundraiser, we wish you the best of luck! Related Fundraising Articles Fundraising 🕑 6 Min Read The Ultimate Guide to Legacy Gifts Marlena Moore Feb 12, 2024 Fundraising 🕑 8 Min Read 2024 Guide to Nonprofit Fiscal Sponsorship: Models, Agreements & More! Marlena Moore Feb 6, 2024 Fundraising 🕑 8 Min Read The Moves Management Guide for Nonprofits: 6 Simple Steps + Top Tips Marlena Moore Jan 30, 2024 The Membership Growth Report: Benchmarks & Insights for Growing Revenue and Constituents Get the report now!