Summer Fundraising: Fun Ideas to Engage Your Local Supporters


Nonprofit fundraising and fun summer activities have never sounded like a more iconic duo. School’s out, temperatures are up, and everyone is looking for something to do in the sun. Put the fun in fundraising with some of these summer fundraising ideas.

Why Plan an In-Person Event?

Millennials are becoming more and more interested in taking part in live experiences. This generation who grew up behind a screen craves social connection, especially with an opportunity to give. Putting on several fun events throughout the summer is great way to stay engaged with this younger generation. Be sure to create opportunities for social media sharing by having event-specific hashtags and filters. 

Creative Event Ideas:

1. Fourth of July Party

Celebrations for our nation’s independence are coming up! For all the supporters and their friends scrambling for something to do on the fourth, throw a fundraising party! All you need is a venue, barbecue supplies, and sparklers! Charge an entry fee for supporters and their friends and let the festivities commence!


2. Bike, Swim, or Run Event or even a Triathlon!

For your supporters with an itch for being active, plan an event with multiple routes for maximum participation. Let the participant choose which event they want to take part in and encourage them to collect a certain amount per mile. Create fundraising incentives like free T-shirts, water bottles, gift vouchers, and more with certain donation amounts.

   Also, consider planning a summer fun run. Throw a 5k (Check out our guide to planning a 5k here!) and increase attendance with warmer weather. People love to get outside and move, especially in the summer. Engage supporters with the feel-good vibes of getting active and supporting a good cause.


3. Throw a Pool Party!

Everyone loves cooling off in the pool on a sunny day. Partner with a local hotel, country club, or YMCA and throw a laid-back pool party. Charge for entry or create a fun fundraising idea for attendees to pay to take part in. For example, you could create a pool games tournament and have supporters pay to create teams and participate. Create some friendly competition by including a prize at the end like a night at the partnered hotel or a summer gift basket.


4. Summer Field Day

Whether it's for kids, adults, or both, this family-friendly event will be a local hit! Charge supporters a minimum donation to be part of a team and let the field games muster up that fundraising morale. Host events like wheelbarrow races, water balloon tosses, egg and spoon races, cornhole, and more! Keep a tally of each teams points and offer small prizes for the winning team.


5. Outdoor Exercise Class

Use a public beach or park to host an outside exercise class for those of your supporters looking for a social exercise experience. Look for a volunteer to lead the class and ask for a donation from the participants. Consider looking for a local fitness instructor who would consider donating their time to your organization.


6. Food and Drink Festival

Invite local restaurants, chefs, wineries, breweries, and supermarkets to share some food and drink samples at a food festival benefitting your nonprofit. Sell tickets in advance and invite your community to try new things in your area.


7. Partner with Your Local Farmers Market or County Fair

Ask to set up a booth at either of these local events. Offer to run a game or event at the county fair in exchange for publicity and possibly donations. Set up a booth at a farmers market and explain your cause. These busy summer outings are great places to increase exposure and connect with the community, face to face.


With the most fun events planned, this summer could be huge for your organization's donation intake. Summer events like these combine the great feeling of supporting a good cause and the excitement necessary to make summer as fun as possible. Be sure to think of your target audience when choosing which of these activities to try out. Your events should allow supporters to further relate to the organization.

Check out some more event planning tips in our webinar with Julie Freed or our webinar with Nonprofit Jenni.

If you have more questions about nonprofit strategy, you can always reach out to the DipJar fundraising experts for help. It's what we love to do!