5 Creative Fundraising Ideas to Engage Your Supporters

Nonprofits should continually be on the lookout for new and exciting fundraising ideas to keep your name and mission in the spotlight. Supporters of your organization will appreciate your creativity and passion as well as want to get involved with the planning, not to mention attending. Here are some creative fundraising ideas for nonprofits. Remember to add a personalized touch on any fundraiser so it correlates with your mission.


  1. Paint and Sip Party  This is an event that not only raises money and awareness for your nonprofit, it is a perfect opportunity to bring people together and create something beautiful that they can take home with them. It's a very simple to organize and pull off in a small amount of time. Find an artist who is popular in your community and commission them to create a design. This original will be used for promotional materials. The day of the party, the artist will bring along canvases including a sketched outline of the design and all the supplies needed.  Attendees can bring their own beverage to the party while they paint along following the artists instructions. 

    Tip:  Ask local businesses to sponsor the event including the artist, supplies, location and beverages so all the registration money supports your nonprofit. In return their logos will appear on all advertising and event signage.

  2. Ladies Night Out  This type of event showcases everything ladies love in one location and brings your board members, volunteers and supporters together. The event should include a vendor show of local direct sales representatives and small businesses, demonstrations, a silent auction, door prize giveaways, refreshments and entertainment. Get creative with this event to put the spotlight on your nonprofit.

    Tip:  Ask a local jeweler to donate a beautiful necklace so you and your team can sell raffle tickets in advance. Announce the winner during the event.

  3. Chair-ity Basket Raffle  This clever idea is not only a play on words but an easy and effective fundraiser to get everyone in your community helping promote your nonprofit. Local businesses and individuals are asked to participate by creating a basket using a chair as the theme. Encourage the entries to be as creative and original as possible. Display the entries in a common open to the public area and ask community members to vote for their favorites. Then, schedule a live auction complete with an auctioneer, refreshments and entertainment. This highest bidder wins. Plus, the basket entry earning the most votes gets a trophy or certificate and walks away with bragging rights until next year.

    Tip: Ask a local government leader or popular business professional to be the master of chair-emonies for the event to help increase attendance at the event.

  4. Art Auction  Creating a fundraiser that supports the arts is a great way to bring all ages together for a successful event. Ask local artists, schools art departments and anyone who wants to participate to donate a piece of art (paintings, sculptures, metal art, wood working, etc.) Either sell the art for a set price, auction them individually or sell silent auction tickets. Invite a local high school band to perform as the musical art entertainment.

    Tip: Schedule artists to paint during the event and auction the originals during the event.

  5. Chili Cookoff   People pride themselves on having a secret chili recipe and would love to get involved with this fundraiser!  Invite your local community members to show off their favorite chili recipe.  Ask for a registration fee to participate in the cookoff, as well as have attendees pay by the taste or set dollar amount to try all the chili entrees.  You can have 1 main award, or several smaller awards for best chili, most unique ingredients, or spiciest chili.  This could be the community event every one looks forward to each year!

    Tip:  Have local, city representatives be the celebrity judges to determine the winner(s) for a fun way to get the representatives involved with the community and provide the community an opportunity to get to know their representatives.


As you can see, this is just a small spark of creative ideas for fundraisers – once you get brainstorming, the opportunities are endless!  Your supporters will be excited to attend a fundraiser that is different and fun!

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