It’s never too early to start planning for your fundraising events! In honor of the new year, DipJar and AmFund have partnered together to bring you twenty engaging fundraising ideas that may help your organization and its mission in 2020.
1. Silent Auction
Silent auctions can be a simple and fun way of raising money for your organization. Don’t be fooled though! While silent auctions aren’t as fast-paced as live auctions, they still require plenty of planning in advance. Since the bidding during silent auctions is conducted on paper and not out-loud, there’s no need to have an auctioneer but you will need items or services to sell at the auction, a master list of the value of all the items, volunteers to help set up, and volunteers to monitor and close tables at the appointed time who can also answer questions.
2. Live Auction
Unlike silent auctions, live auctions involve an auctioneer and require much more participation. Just like any other auction, there are some things that you should consider when planning for a live auction. Before you organize a live auction, you’ll need to set a charity goal, something that you’d like to achieve through the live auction that you’re conducting. By doing this, you can clearly define an endpoint and plan out how you’re planning on reaching that endpoint. You should also consider your audience and understand who you’re going to be targeting, since different audiences will have different interests that may affect what you’re auctioning off. Lastly, ensure people are well informed on your auction, your mission, and the items that you’re selling. If the cause of the auction is widely appealing, that could not only lead to more bidders but could also attract more donors.
Raffles can be a casual alternative to an auction and can be used at low to mid-level fundraising events and dinners. Before you do your raffle, you should check the local government regulatory agencies to make sure your organization can legally hold a raffle. Some states may fully prohibit raffles while others place regulations on how many raffles non-profit organizations can conduct per year and the types of prizes that are allowed.
4. Prize Wheel
An alternative way to give out prizes could be through a prize wheel, where different prizes are placed on different parts of a wheel and participants can spin and see what prize they’ll receive. There could be different presenters throughout the night and this might give you a chance to tell your audience more about your organization and mission.
5. Wine Pull
For a wine pull, different qualities and kinds of wine bottles are collected, wrapped, and are available to attendees to purchase at random. This event could be a great opportunity to get a local winery involved by either donating or sponsoring. Try contacting local wineries and vineyards to ask if they would partner with your charity by donating a couple of bottles and be sure to include information about each of the wine’s being offered, and the donors/sponsors who made the event possible on the day of the wine pull.
6. Mystery Box Pull
A mystery box pull is very similar to a wine pull, boxes that have gifts inside of them are collected, wrapped, and are placed at a table. Attendees can purchase a box at random, and keep whatever prize is inside. Boxes could be priced by either the prize inside of them or by the size of the box.
7. Dessert Grab
This is when desserts (beautiful and unique, typically made by board members) are sold to each Gala table as their dessert for the evening. Usually, it can be done as a race and the first person from each table to purchase and grab their dessert of their choice wins!
8. Bingo Cards
If you’re planning on playing bingo, bingo cards can be a very simple way of fundraising for your organization.You could either sell an entry package, which would include entry to the event and a bingo book with bingo sheets for each game or you could just sell bingo books once the participants have entered.
For this idea, decorative centerpieces would be sold for a certain amount at the end of an evening gala.
10. Heads or Tails
Usually done after a live auction, where necklaces, rings, or trinkets are sold to guests to raise funds and identify their participation. Guests can purchase as many of these trinkets to earn “lives.” When it’s time for the game, participants will stand and select either “heads” or “tails” by putting their hands on their heads—or their tails! The emcee or auctioneer will then flip a coin and the participants whose choice matches the coin flip get to stay standing. The auctioneer continues asking participants to select “heads” or “tails,” then flipping the coin, eliminating more players until only one player is left standing. This is your raffle winner!
11. Chance Auction
A chance auction is a combination of a raffle and an auction where ticket buyers can choose which prize to focus on. Where raffles have all prizes coming out of one hat, a chance auction has each prize in its own hat. In a chance auction, bidders buy tickets, which are chances to win items and bid them on any item they want by placing one or more tickets in that items hat.
12. Super Silent Auction
A high-value silent auction that’s done for only a brief amount of time (7-10 minutes), near the close of the evening. It is fast, and valuable items so appropriately named “Super Silent”
13. Wine Toss
This would be like a ring toss but on wine bottles! Pay per throw and the bottle that a participant’s ring lands on is theirs to drink.
14. Design Challenge
A design challenge can be an interesting way to incorporate custom merchandise as well as boost interest in your campaign. For this challenge, an organization would ask its donors and supporters to submit their t-shirt design ideas for your next event. Once you’ve established a winning design, you can order these t-shirts and have them up for sale at your event!
15. Dip for a Cause (for the fund a need ex: $300 to feed a family for a month)
For this idea, participants could use a DipJar that’s been set up at their table to donate for a certain cause. An emcee could list different causes throughout the night, and interested participants could simply donate via DipJar.
16. Funny Money at a Casino Night
Participants purchase “funny money” to gamble with. They’ll purchase a set amount of chips or funny money and use it to play various casino games throughout the night.
17. Bail out of “Jail”
Typically done at Grad Bash fundraisers for school festivals, a person of authority, whether it be a principal, president, teacher, etc, is put into a “jail” and has to be bailed out with donations for the fundraiser.
18. Gift Card Grab
In a gift card grab, gift cards are placed in envelopes that include the logo for each gift card donor and the amount of the gift card. These gift cards are then placed on a board and purchasers can point out which gift card they would like.
19. Gems in a Glass
For Gems in a Glass, champagne glasses with fake gemstones in them are sold to various attendees. One lucky glass will have a real gemstone in it.
20. Mystery Keys
During mystery keys, a certain number of keys will be sold throughout the night. One of those keys will open the box which contains a prize
The American Fundraising Foundation (Amfund) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a Platinum rating from Guide Star. It has been serving other nonprofit organizations for over 20 years and has distributed over $33 million for worthy causes. Each year Amfund’s Board of Directors carefully selects organizations to support through sponsorship of their events. Every time Amfund helps an organization it is helping others. Each person has a “golden pear story” to share. That’s Amfund… The nonprofit with the golden pear.