A to Z of Fundraising Ideas
Arts or crafts stall – let you imagination go wild—try making greeting cards, scarves or jewellery to sell
Art Exhibition – could be a great earner if you’re a dab hand with a paintbrush. Even if you’re not, give it a go and pass it off as modern art. Auction – get goods donated and hold an auction
Auction of Promises – Visit local businesses and ask them to donate their services for you to auction off. Or rope in your friends, who could promise to wash cars, mow lawns or do housework for the highest bidder.
Band night – get a local band to play and charge people an entry fee
Beard Shaving – Grab a few hairy marys and shave them. Not just for fun – fundraise by getting people to sponsor them to go through with it. You can shave heads, beards, backs or legs… the possibilities are great.
Blind Date Evening – Get some single folks in the same room and charge an audience to watch you give Cilla a run for her money. Hopefully will raise a lorra lorra money fundraising chucks!
Barn Dance – Sweet talk a farmer into lending you his barn and then organise a night crammed full of dosy doeing. Charge for entry and/or organise a collection part way through the night. Alternatively, hire or blag your local community centre/ church hall.
Bring and Buy Sale – We bet you’ve got loads of junk in your attics and under your bed. Why not raise some money (and keep your mum happy) by organising a Bring and Buy sale. You could even charge other people to set up their own stalls.
Bingo night – an oldie but a goodie
Book sale – collect old books from everyone you know and sell them
Cake Sale – Let the Neven or Rachel in you loose. Get baking and sell your cakes on to your mates, work colleagues or random strangers. Car wash – get your friends together and have a fun day washing cars
Car Boot Sale – All you need is a car (preferably with a boot), some junk and some people to buy it from you.
Casino night – card or games night
Casual day – ask people at your work or school to pay to dress casual for a day
Caption competition – choose a funny photo and get people to pay an entry fee submit a caption
Coin trail – get a school or club to see what distance they can cover with €1 coins
Coffee Morning – Bake some cakes, bring out the Nescafe and they will come. Remember to charge them for the privelege.
Cold turkey–be sponsored to ‘give up’ something e.g. talking, driving, Facebook, television
Collection boxes–great for the workplace, receptions or workshops
Competitions–be creative with fun competitions in the home, office or workshop e.g. who can throw a gold coin closest to the prize
Crafts–if you have a talent, make something and sell it to others e.g. hand bags, necklaces, etc
Dance marathon – Get people to sponsor you for every five minutes of boogying you manage – or for every song you shimmy to.
Dinner party–ask your friends/family to come around for dinner and charge €20 p/head
Easter Egg Hunt – Charge parents to take their kids off their hands for a afternoon – plan an Easter egg/ sweet hunt in the garden to keep them amused.
Euro for Euro–ask your boss to match what you raise
Exhibitions–display your art, crafts and interests and charge an admission fee
Fancy dress–get everyone to dress up in fancy dress, award prizes and collect donationsFairs, fetes, bazaars, etc – Get yourself a big space (a hall, a field or even a car park) and let your imagination go crazy. Set up a coconut shy, apple bobbing stand, races and white elephant stalls.
Film show/premiere – There are two main ways to do this. Speak nicely to your local cinema manager and ask if you can rent out a screen – or even if they will donate one to your worthy cause. Charge your friends and family an admission to watch the newest blockbuster. Alternatively stage a screening in your own home – maybe you could theme the type of films you show? Ask people to bring their own snacks and to pay a small amount for the screening.
Fashion Shows make for Fashionable Fundraising – Depending on how ambitious you are, this could raise a significant amount. Either grab a couple of mates and stage a show in your house. They could model clothes that you no longer want or need, which could then be auctioned off at the end of the day. Alternatively, let local clothes shops know about your fundraiser and ask them to donate clothes for the show. This is also great publicity for them. Get hold of a hall and advertise the event well in advance – give out flyers and post them through letter boxes.
Football Match – Ask your local team to play a match in aid of your fundraiser. Organise a raffle at half time and get prizes donated by local businesses. Alterntively, organise a match pitting your mates against their dads and older relatives. Ask each player to pay a fee to play and buy a small cup for the winning team.
Fun run–join in a fun run and ask your friends to sponsor you
Games afternoon–get your friends together for an afternoon of board games, egg and spoon races, or wheelbarrow races… use your imagination
Garage sales–use your garage, shed or car boot to display your wares
Garden party – Whip up some cucumber sandwiches, dust off the picnic tables and crack open some Pimms. Charge a small entrance fee and organise a collection during the fundraising event.
Go-Karting – Organise a group of mates to head to the local Go Kart track. Inform the staff of your fundraising efforts and hope that they waive the admission fee – best to go off-peak times if you want to give this a try. Ask each person to pay a fee to enter a series of races. Award the winners a small prize each.
Guess the Weight – Find something suitably heavy – anything from a jar full of sweets to your Grandma – and ask friends and family to guess it’s weight. Charge folk €1 to enter and buy a small prize for the winner.
Give up a vice – Whether it be smoking, biting your toenails or your daily choccie bar – get sponsored to give it up for a set period – or ask people to sponsor you per day. Then you could rake in wads of cash!
Guessing game–guess the weight of a new born baby, ‘How many grapes in a jar?’
Hair beading/plaiting – An idea for a stall at a fete.
Halloween party – Probably best organised around the 31st October (though an out of season “Fundraising Halloween” might also be fun). Encourage your friends to dress the part and run a fancy dress competiton with a small prize for the winner. All guest should pay a small entrance fee to attend.
Head Shaving – Less impressive if you already have a crew cut, but for those of you with long flowing locks this could earn you shed loads of cash. Or if you aren’t feeling brave, get sponsored to shave the head of a hairy (willing) mate.
Highland Games – Tug of war in kilts, tossing the caber in kilts and throwing the hammer… in kilts. Charge all entrants a fee and buy some small prizes to award to the winners.
Head shave–get sponsored to shave or colour your hair
Hire services–hire out what you do best: mow lawns, handy man, massage or even accounts
It’s a Knockout competition – Get some teams together and arrange assault courses, games and quizzes galore. Each team member pays a few pounds to take part – with the winning team being awarded a prize donated by a local company (or pub!).
International Evenings –Cook themed meals, have themed table decorations and wear appropriate clothing. Once everyone is digging into your delicious food, take the opportunity to tell them all about your fundraising plans… then get the donations bucket out. To cover costs, it’s probably best to charge a small entrance fee.
In lieu–in place of a gift for any special occasion ask friends and family to donate
Jumble sale – Dig around under the bed and at the back of wardrobes for anything you can sell and organise a jumble sale. Get your friends to get in on the act selling their own unwanted items – perhaps they could donate a percentage of their profits to your fundraising.
Jazz Night – A good fundraising idea if you’re a jazz singer. Perhaps a better one if you’re not. Raise money and have a giggle at the same time by belting out some classic jazz tunes like ‘Summertime’. Pass around the donations bucket to your spellbound audience and watch the money roll in.
Jog-athon – Get sponsored to every mile you complete. If its raining outside – and you’re a bit of a wimp – you could even do it on a treadmill. Might be something to get sponsored for at your local gym.
Joke-a-thon – Go up to people on the street and asking them to pay you €1 if you can make them laugh. Best to be armed with a ready supply to hilarious jokes for this one.
Jigsaw Marathon – Get some willing people around and ask them to donate a small amount to be part of the jigsaw marathon. Each person has a jigsaw and is timed to see how long it takes to complete. Once all are completed, the jigsaws are passed onto the next team and so this continues until all jigsaws have been completed. The winner is awarded a small prize.
Jewellery Making/Selling – Buy beads and wire in bulk and get creative. Should make for some particularly profitable fundraising around Christmas time.
Juice stand–make some fresh, natural juices and sell for a small donation.
Karaoke night–hold a night where people can sing along to all their favourite songs
Kite flying – Hold a kite – flying day for kids. Charge for tickets, and provide refreshments (ice-creams or hot-dogs, depending on the season). If you’re a creative type, run a kite-making workshop before the grand kite-flying session.
Knobbly knee contest – Works especially well at the seaside in summer. Charge a €1 for people to enter the competition, and get a local company to donate a ‘quality’ prize. You get the fun of being the judge.
Lawn mowing–use your lawn mowing skills and let your friends and family know. Charge a fee for your services and make sure you explain where the money raised will be donated to inspire people to support you. Line-dancing – Hold a line-dancing party. Find out about all the line-dancing classes and clubs in your area (you’ll be surprised at how many there are) and send out invites; charge for tickets. Get in the spirit with costumes and decorations.
Longest chain of paper clips, line of coins, etc – Get sponsored per metre – you could even get a bunch or friends together and try to break the record. Alternatively, start a line of coins in your local park or college grounds. Publicise what you’re raising money for and get passers-by to add their loose change to the line. Try to make it reach from one side of the park to the other.
Lawn Mowing – Borrow a lawn-mower and drop leaflets through doors, charging a couple of Euro for your services. Make sure the leaflet explains what the money is for, and people will be more inclined to pay.
Luncheon – Invite everyone in your workplace, school or street to a grand lunch (for a small fee, obviously). Make posh sarnies and nibbles. This could work especially well in an office, where people will appreciate an unusual break in the middle of the day. Lilo
Races – In the local swimming pool, lake, pond or river. Charge teams for entry and give a prize to the winner. Be aware of safety and insurance issues.
Leap Frog – Get sponsored per leap, or per quarter-hour. More fun if you’re leaping over strangers, in the local park or on the beach. Tell them what you’re doing; they’ll either laugh and agree or walk very quickly in the opposite direction. Take photos to prove you did it!
Limbo Competition – This could work well down the pub. Charge a quid for entry to the competition, and get the bar to donate a few free drinks for the winner. Litter Picking – People will be very willing to pay you if you’re cleaning up a local park, beach or kids’ playground. This is a way to help your local community while raising money for yourself, so everyone’s a winner.
Luncheon – invite everyone in your workplace, school or friends and family to a grand lunch. Make healthy sandwiches and nibbles.
Marathon events – A fundraising classic! Hire a local hall, or see if you can get one free for a good cause. Hold a marathon table tennis, aerobics, line dancing or badminton session (in shift teams). Get relevant companies to sponsor you in exchange for publicity in the hall (local gyms, sports shops etc). Get sponsorship from friends and family too.
Midsummer masked ball – This will take a lot of organisation, but could be a very special – and lucrative – event. Go all-out to make it as posh as possible. Got a mate with a barn? Glam it up with candles and decorations, request that guests wear black tie, give a free glass of bubbly to everyone on arrival, the works!
Midnight film shows, midnight feasts etc – These could be held in your house, or in halls at uni. Make a feature of the fact that it’s being held at midnight, with atmospheric lighting etc. Charge for entry, naturally.
Mini Marathon – Get sponsored to run five or ten miles around your town, or the equivalent around your garden. The smaller the garden the better – just make sure you change direction occasionally to reduce dizziness!
Murder Mystery Night – This could be great, especially if you’re a member of an amateur dramatics group, or a drama group at school or college, who’ll help you out.
Musical Evening – Get some talented friends together and hold a concert. If you do this in a pub or bar, it will be more low-key than in a hall or theatre, and there will be things for the audience to do during gaps between performances (i.e.drinking and mingling).
Magic Show – If you’re Donegal’s answer to David Blaine, put together a magic show and get paid to perform at kids’ parties.
Marshmallow Eating – Lull your mates into a sense of security with a campfire-and-guitar evening, then crack open the marshmallows and charge extortionate rates for them. Who can resist the gooey-marshmallow-over-campfire experience?
Movie night–ask for a donation and get friends together to watch a classic
Name the baby competition–who’s that baby, get old baby photos of your mates or—much better—your bosses or teachers. Stick them up around your school or office and get people to pay to guess who they are
New Year’s Eve dance/party – This could be as big or as small as you like – in your front room, upstairs in a pub, or in a mammoth marquee…
Nearly New Sale – This is a posher version of a jumble sale. Be selective – only sell nice stuff that’s in good nick – and you can charge a fiver for items that would cost 50c in a jumble sale.
Netball Tournament – Get local and school teams to pay to enter; get a sports shop to donate cool prizes for the winning team.
Non-Uniform Day – People pay a couple of euro for the privilege of coming to school or work in their civvies.
Name the Baby/Teddy – No, we’re not suggesting you have a baby for the purposes of fundraising and then charge people for the privilege of naming it. A photo of a friend’s baby will do. Make a list of 100 names, charge people a €1 to choose a name, make €100 and give €25 for the correct guess. Ask if you can put the photo up in your local shop, with a money box and list of names.
Nature Trails – Know a bit about the wildlife in your area? Charge people for guided nature walks.
Noodle Sucking – Don’t forget to get sponsored, or this is kind of stodgy and pointless.
Office collection–stick a pot on your desk with notices telling people what you’re raising money for and remind your colleagues that it’s for a good cause
Obstacle Course – Set up a hard-core obstacle course and charge people to race. Office Collection Day – Stick a pot on your desk with notices telling people what you’re raising money for. Loudly remind your colleagues that it’s for a good cause. Probably best to do this the day before you leave your job…
Odd Job Days – Lawn-mowing, DIY, carrying shopping, walking dogs… offer your services in the neighbourhood – no job too small. Dress in a superhero costume to get noticed.
Outgrown Clothes Sale – This is good if you know lots of families with kids. They bring clothes that their kids have grown out of, and buy clothes that others have brought.
Origami – If you’re good at this Japanese art-form, hold a fundraising origami workshop for kids.
Open garden–green thumbs can invite people to visit their garden and charge an admission fee, maybe sell some plants as well
Pancake day party – Everyone loves pancakes, right? Hold a Pancake Tuesday party for all your family and friends (charge them a fiver each). Serve unlimited pancakes and hold a pancake-tossing competition.
Parties – Know some busy parents? Organise their kids’ birthday parties for them in exchange for cash. Jelly and icecream here we come.
Penalty shoot-out competition – People pay to enter; you get your hands on a signed football or some sports goodies for the winner. Get a football team or sports shop to donate the prize.
Pet show – Get a pet shop to donate prizes in exchange for publicity. Why not make it an alternative pet-show, with prizes for the waggiest dog, pet lookalikes etc? Pram push – Dress up, push your mate in a pram through the streets of your town, shake a bucket and be prepared to tell a lot of curious bystanders why they should give you money for your fundraising shenanigans. Parachute Jump – Raise sponsorship – you’ll need enough to pay for your parachute-jump; the rest can go towards your fundraiser. Contact friends, family, colleagues, your parents’ colleagues, and local companies.
Photo Competition – Charge people to enter. Get a camera-shop to donate a prize and judge the comp – good publicity for them.
Plant Sale – Requires forward planning. Buy a packet of seeds, plant them, and when they’re looking impressive, set up a stall and sell the plants. From little acorns, mighty oaks shall grow, or something like that.
Pub Games – Darts, pool, cards… Charge people to enter; the publican will appreciate the custom, and might agree to donate free drinks for the winner. You could even make it a weekly league.
Pantomime – Lure wannabe-luvvies with promises of fame and adulation; put on a fun panto and charge for tickets. Serve mulled wine and mince pies for extra money.
Pool Competition – People put money in a pot to enter; the winner takes half of what’s in the pot, you take the other half!
Picnics – Sell tickets in advance; with a little imagination you can make great, fun picnic food from cheap ingredients.
Plastic duck race – Use Google to find a company near you that hires out plastic ducks. People sponsor a duck, and they’re released at a set point to float down a river. The sponsor of the winning duck gets a prize.
Photography – Are you handy with a camera? Earn money by taking photos at office Christmas parties and other events. Some very lucrative fundraising can be had if you are good enough (and brave enough) to shoot wedding photos.
Play DJ–throw a party and get people to pay for the priviledge of playing music from their iPod
Photo competition–get kids and adults to showcase their photography skills
Quest–get your friends together and ask people to prepare and perform a talent
Quizzes – Quizzes are very popular and hence a good way to make money. Pubs are the usual venue, but you could also hold one at a local college, at a day centre for older people, or in a town or village hall.
Races – Be imaginative – think sack-races, baby races, electric wheelchair races, stilletto races… charge people for entry and get a local company to donate a prize.
Raffles – Get friends and local companies to donate prizes. Go for cool, unusual prizes like a day in a spa, a go-karting session or a takeaway pizza.
Rapping contest, show or sponsored event – You could organise this at a youth club or skate park, and get your younger siblings and their mates involved.
Read-a-thon – Get sponsored to read books – this works best if you’re someone who never normally reads.
Raffle –ask local businesses to donate prizes and run your own
Retail therapy–ask people to sacrifice three items from their weekly shop and donate the funds instead
Rugby Match – Charge spectators for tickets. For extra crowd-pulling power, play in drag…
Rounders Tournaments – Charge teams to enter, and award a sport-related prize – or a slap-up post-match picnic with booze – to the winning team.
Rowing – Get sponsored to row on a rowing machine; aim to row the equivalent of crossing the channel.
Recycling – Recycle cans for money! Some places will give you up to a penny a can. Do a massive Blue-Peter-stylee appeal and get your friends, family and neighbours to give you their empty cans. Over a year, you could make a fair bit, and help the environment too.
Slave for a day–sell a high profile person–give them tasks for a day e.g. at the local cafe, answering telephones, coffee runs
Shakespeare marathon – Get sponsored to over-act your way through the complete works… in a public place. Tights obligatory.
Silly games afternoon – Egg and spoon, silly races, wet sponge throwing… use your imagination.
Skateboard display – Firstly, get a local skate shop to agree to give a discount to participants in your show. Secondly, use this to persuade talented kids to show off their skills. Thirdly, sell tickets. Parents are probably your best market; other skaters won’t pay, as they see this stuff every day.
Sponsored fundraising events – You can get sponsored to do pretty much anything, so think creatively.
Sports contests – Again, think creatively. Any sport can bring in the money – either charge individuals or teams to enter with the hope of winning a prize, or charge spectators to watch.
Strawberry and cream tea party – Pick-your-own works out cheapest. Hold the party in your garden on a sunny day and charge for tickets.
Sponsored Silence – Could you talk for Ireland? Reckon your family and friends would pay good money to shut you up for a day? A sponsored silence is a really easy fundraising activity to organise, and can make you a fair bit of moulah.
Sports Day – Organise a sports day at your workplace, local pub, uni or college. You’ll be surprised how many grown-ups jump at the chance to don a PE kit and go back to their youth.
Squash Tournament – Charge people to enter. Get a sports centre to donate five free sessions on the squash court for the winner.
Swear Box – Get your mates or colleagues to put €1 in the box if they swear.
Swim-a-thon – Get sponsored per length. If you’re a fit swimmer, try to swim the equivalent of crossing the Channel (or half-way across).
Scavenger Hunt – People pay to enter. They each recieve a list of items they need to scavenge (a beer-mat, a yellow flower, etc, etc) Give a prize to the person who brings all the items to you first.
Scalextric Grand Prix – This one can be done in your front room, or anywhere really.
Sports days–golf tournament, tennis round robin, bowls day, darts night
Spelling bee–grab a dictionary and hold challenges in your office, club or home
Speed dating–play cupid while organising a matchmaking event
Swear jar–stick a swear jar in your office, club rooms or home for any ‘slips of the tongue’
Talent quest – get your friends together and ask people to prepare and perform a talent
Tea-party – tea is the new fashionable drink of choice, or so they say. Charge your friends to attend, and go all-out with the finger sandwiches and healthy snacks. Very civilised
Teddy bears’ picnic – Charge families for tickets, and publicise it through playgroups and primary schools. Don’t forget to bring your own teddy!
Theme days/evenings – There are loads of possibilities. Why not have an Indian night (curry, Bollywood movies…). Or you could hold a ’70s night or a Sex and the City evening. Charge people to take part, natch.
Throwing wet sponges at a person in stocks – Great at a summer fair!
Top of the Pops show – Put on a fake TOTP, with talented types impersonating their fave band or artist. Works best at a school or college.
Tuck shop – Buy cheap multi-packs of chocolate bars and crisps and sell them at extortionately inflated prices. This works well at offices and factories, as well as schools and youth clubs. Sell home-made cakes and cookies too if you’ve got time to bake them.
Tennis Tournament – Hold your own mini-Wimbledon. People pay to enter, and the winner gets a prize donated by a local business. Sell champagne and strawberries-and-cream to the spectators.
Trivia night–a great social gathering with facts and figures
Treasure hunt–place prizes around your home or park and charge an admission to play
Trek–strap on your shoes and get walking with your friends
Tug-of-war–teams pay to enter, with the hope of winning prizes. Teachers vs. students, boys vs. girls, or one town vs. another could be fun
Twister-a-thon–get sponsored to play an all-day game of Twister with your mates. People will donate more if youíre doing it in a public place—your embarrassment is always worth a donation
University Challenge–get together with your old uni friends—and have a challenge!
Unwanted Gift Sale – Get your friends and family to donate their unwanted Christmas gifts in early January. Flog them shamelessly.
Unicycle Racing – Helps if your friends can ride unicycles.
Used Stamps – Get your family, friends and neighbours to donate their used stamps, and sell them to collectors.
Valentine’s Day Event–soft music, mirror-balls, largely heart-based decor… you get the idea. Sell tickets to the love-sick and desperate. Alternatively, hold an anti-Valentine party
Variety show – Does your Dad play the didge? Can your dog dance the tango? Put on a variety show with a difference!
Volleyball Tournament – This could work well on the beach in summer-time. Promote it through a loud-speaker, and get teams to pay to enter. Get local businesses to donate prizes for the winners: try the nearest ice-cream van.
Vegetable eating – Does your family despair of your unbalanced diet? Get them to sponsor you to eat your greens.
Video-a-thon – Rent a bunch of classic movies and play them back-to-back for 24 hours. Print schedules and hand them out to your friends and acquaintances, who’ll hopefully turn up and pay to watch their favourites. Offer a discount for those who last the whole 24 hours. Don’t skimp on the popcorn.
Vegetarian Evening – Cook all your favourite veggie recipes and pay people to come eat them. Don’t just target veggies – meat-eaters will come too, out of interest.
Waxing boys–get your sports team involved and get sponsored to wax your legs or chest
Wheel barrow races–see Games afternoon
White Elephant stall – Sell anything and everything you can get your hands on at a fete, jumble sale or car boot sale. You’ll be amazed at what people will buy.
Who’s that baby – Get old baby-photos of your mates or – much better – your bosses or teachers. Stick them up around your school or office and get people to pay to guess who they are. Needless to say, you’ll need a quality prize for the winner.
Window Cleaning – Spend a weekend cleaning windows for your neighbours or local shops. Fundraising Tip: Ask for donations rather than charging a set fee and you may get more money.
Wine Tasting – Hold a wine-tasting evening. Get a supermarket or off-license to donate a few bottles for the tasting, and sell bottles for them at the end (for a small profit).
Welly Throwing – See ‘Silly games afternoon’.
Wheelbarrow Races – See ‘Silly games afternoon’.
X-Files day – Use your imagination – the ideas are out there! Hold an X-Files quiz and show episodes of the show all day.
Xmas fair/panto/party – ‘Tis the season to make money! Get out the mistletoe for a big Christmas party, or sell home-made gifts at a Christmas fair.
Xylophone Marathon – What do you mean, we’re having trouble thinking of fund-raising ideas beginning with X?
Xmas party–get out the mistletoe for a big Christmas party, or sell home-made gifts at a Christmas fair
Yo Yo competition–get people to pay to enter; hand out small prizes for duration and trick
Yacht Race – People who own yachts aren’t short of a bob or two, right? So get them to shell out to enter a yacht race, with fun prizes for the winners.
Yoga Marathon – Get sponsored to do yoga for a day. You’ll be so bendy by the end of it that you can charge people to watch you tie yourself in knots. Bonus.
Yodelling Competition – Will people pay money to listen to your tone-deaf mates yodelling? Only one way to find out…
Zany dress day–charge a fee for friends or work colleagues to wear crazy clothes or hats for the day. Why not encourage everyone to come dressed as celebrities, animals, in their team colours or in all the colours of a rubix cube
This voluntary organisation, which was granted charitable status in 1995, has been responsible for raising in excess of €5 million from membership fees, donations, church gate collections and various fund-raising events throughout the North West since 1992.
Letterkenny University Hospital,
Tel: (074)91 04466