A is for All You Can Eat
Who doesn’t like to eat? More than that, who can resist the chance to eat all they can cram into their stomachs for a low price? Try offering an all you can eat buffet of some type of food that lots of people enjoy. Some good options for this might be pizza, Chinese food, hotdogs, or miniature hamburgers. Pretty much any delicious food that you can get in bulk might do the job here, and you can pull people from miles around if you have it in a fun outdoor location like a city park. If you plan on having it outdoors, be sure to have a backup plan in case of rain.
B is for Brazilian
You don’t need to be in Rio de Janeiro to enjoy a taste of Brazilian culture. You can put together the costumes and decoration to stage your own little Carnival right in the city where you live. The music, dancing, and spirit of the event is sure to pull big crowds, and when everyone starts having a good time they’ll open their wallets to buy whatever food and drink you might have on offer. But of course, everything should be on theme, so only Brazilian style fare should be available. It’ll be a night to remember!
C is for Cook-a-thon
Again on the theme of food, you can set up a cook-a-thon where people come out and cook whatever they want and you sell whatever they make. This can get interesting as you never know what people are going to come up with, so you might end up with is a cornucopia of culinary delights. If you’re doing it in the summertime, barbequing is the way to go, and be sure to offer ice cold refreshments as well. Good food has a way of bringing people together, and that’s exactly what you want to do when throwing a fundraiser.
D is for Dance Party
Put on your dancing shoes! Rent out a music hall and change a small admission for people to come in and dance the night away. You can make this even more unique by adding a special theme like 80s disco, or 70s rock n’ roll. Not only can you generate revenue from admissions, but also from selling drinks and snacks. You’ll of course have to account for the cost of hiring a DJ or bands, the venue rental, and any other costs that come with it, but in the end you should be able to turn a profit. Do the math first to see what your breakeven point will be and figure out how feasible it will be to raise your desired amount of funds.
E is for Environmental Cleanup
Do some good for your community and assemble a team to clean up a local park, forest, or river. You’ll be doing a great service to the neighbourhood, and people will appreciate the hard work you’re doing. The way to make money here is to get sponsored by local residents and businesses. Go door to door, or ask around online, and get as many pledges as you can. The more people you have looking for pledges the better, and it also helps to plan on cleaning up an area that really needs it.
F is for Film Night
Almost anyone likes maxing and relaxing with a good movie, so this can make for a simple fundraising idea. Stage it outside if the weather’s nice and make like a sit down drive in theatre, or host it at a community centre on the cheap. The money comes from admission fees and concessions, just like a real movie theatre, and you can get popcorn and refreshment for cheap from a dollar store. Just be sure to pick a film that’s okay for all ages.
G is for Games Tournament
There has been a massive resurgence in the popularity of board games, so this presents another great fundraising opportunity. Choose a competitive game and get the word out that you’re having a tournament with a small sign up fee, and prizes for the winners. It shouldn’t be too hard to get people interested in this idea. It’ll be fun night of games for everyone, and you can also offer snacks and drinks as an additional revenue stream.
H is for Hockey
Few things are as Canadian as hockey, so better way to get people to come out and show their support for your cause then by staging a hockey game? There are a couple ways you can do this. You can either have people pay to join a team and play in either a tournament or a single match against other participants, or you can set up a game with local players and charge admission. Getting local celebrities to show up can help attract more attention to the game. Either way, keep things light and friendly because like Stompin’ Tom Connors said, “The best game you can name is a good old hockey game!”
I is for Icy Water
Every January, some people (who might be crazy) partake in the polar bear swim, which is where they plunge headlong into the frigid waters of one of the great lakes. This can also be great fundraising idea. If you or any of your partners are willing to do it, collect donations to take a dip in a freezing cold lake. You will of course want to set a minimum total donation for this, and you can make a big event out of it when you’re ready to take the plunge. The best part about it is that there really are no overhead costs as you don’t have to pay to jump in a lake.
J is for Junk Sale
More commonly called a garage sale, this is an easy way to raise a little money and get rid of any old stuff you have lying around at the same time. If you want to get other people involved, you can charge them a nominal fee to set up their own table at the event. Stage this in an area that gets a lot of foot traffic to maximize the number of potential customers, and send out some flyers around town to get the word out before the big day. Social media is also very useful in raising some awareness of your junk sale, so set up a Facebook event and promote it as much as possible leading up to the day.
K is for Karaoke
How many of us have been caught singing in the car or the shower? A lot of people have a signer inside just looking for a stage, and you can give them one with a fundraising karaoke event. Charge people admission, and host the fundraiser at a trendy cafe or small concert venue. This is another idea where you can have food and drink on offer to generate a little extra income, and a little alcohol might go a long way in helping people break through their stage fright and sing their favorite tune. It’ll be a fun night for everyone.
L is for Limbo
How low can you go? Host a limbo competition and find out! This is a great summertime fundraiser that of course lends itself to Caribbean themes. Get someone to play a steel drum and a booth where people can buy fresh coconuts, and it’ll be just like Jamaica. When the music’s playing and the bar comes down lower and lower there will be an intoxicating energy in the air.
M is for Marathon
This option isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes serious endurance to run a marathon, so you might just want to do a half marathon, but either way this is a solid fundraising idea. Have every person on your fundraising team look for sponsors to run a marathon and the money will add up quick. You might want to do a little training before hand though. It’s sure to take a lot out of you, but it’ll be worth it when you hit your fundraising goal.
N is for Nature
Maybe you live in a city with a lot of scenic trails and parks? Try arranging guided hikes around some of the most breathtaking areas and providing people with information on some of your cities best natural settings. Most cities do have natural beauty to be found, you just have to know where to look, so you can surprise people by showing where the good stuff is. For this you would charge a fee, and tips are also a possibility if you give good service.
O is for Origami
The Japanese art of paper folding is rare skill. It take a lot of patience and precision to make one of those little paper cranes or frogs, and that make for interesting knick knacks to have on your desk at the office or bookshelf at home. Find some people who know how and hire them to sit at a booth and make origami animals for people at a few bucks each. It isn’t everyday you see someone who can do this, so you might be able to get a lot attention from passers-by on the street when they see what’s going on.
P is for Pants
Or, rather, the lack of them! You’ve maybe heard of the no pants subway ride which happens in major cities once a year, and this is a similar thing. You’ll have to look for sponsors to pledge money to the cause with this one. The idea is that once you’ve raised enough money you and your partners will spend one whole day without wearing pants, wherever you go. This could be a little difficult in the wintertime, so we suggest keeping this one to the warmer months of the year.
Q is for Quiz Night
Quizzes and trivia nights are popular at bars, so if you’ve ever been to one you know how fun it can be. Stage your own quiz night at a popular venue and watch the money roll in. To generate some extra chance, offer bonus questions where anyone in the room can shout out an answer but if they get it wrong they have to contribute a quarter into the pot. Do this with some really tough questions and watch the change pile up. It’ll look like you raided a piggy bank by the end of the night.
R is Rap Battle
This one’s a great way to get younger people involved. Put the word out that you’re staging a rap battle tournament where anyone can come and test their verbal mettle. You might be surprised at how many amateur rappers there are out there. Since you would host this is a concert hall or some other indoor venue, you can generate additional funds by selling snacks and refreshments. Alcoholic beverages might be ideal here, so look into getting a liquor license for the evening.
S is for Shakespeare
Channel your inner dramatist and act out one of Shakespeare’s plays. Try going with one of the comedies as they are more suitable for all ages. If you choose to do this yourself with your business partners, we recommend going with the sponsorship route as to put on the show since you probably don’t have professional acting skills and it might be a little nerve wracking to get on stage. The other route is by hiring a stage acting crew, renting a nice venue, and charging guests a modest fee to get in the door. Be sure to offer refreshments at intermissions too.
T is for Training Seminars
If you or someone in your company has a special line of expertise, ask them if they would be willing to give training sessions. It could be anything from yoga, to motivational speaking, to marketing; pretty much anything that you think people will pay to learn more about could be offered as a training session to raise money for your business. Get the word out through social media and digital advertising to generate some buzz before the event, and give people a small discount on ticket prices when they pay in advance.
U is for Ugly Face
Encourage people to get a little silly and show you their best ugly face. Have people pay to enter photos of themselves making their most hideous ugly face and assemble a panel of judges with your staff and have a good laugh at all the ridiculous pictures that come in. The winner gets a prize. May the ugliest face win!
V is for Volleyball
Another sports-themed event, this one can’t miss in the summertime. Arrange a volleyball tournament and have people pay to enter, or you can hire celebrity teams and charge people tickets to watch the big game. Either way, it shouldn’t be hard to generate some buzz and get people interested.
W is for Water Fight
Who doesn’t love a good water fight on a blazing hot day? Get in touch with your inner child and sell people water balloons to throw at each other. Maybe you could also set up games where two teams are pitted against each other and whoever is dryer at the end of it wins.
X is for X Marks the Spot
Let’s hunt for treasure! Design a map that makes people feel like their searching for pirate gold and charge them a small fee to partake in the event. Make this a day-long event where finding one treasure gives them a clue leading to the next, and the next, ultimately sending them all over town, or maybe just a large park that would be a good fit for the event. As far as what you should use for buried treasure is concerned, the dollar store should have some cheap toys that work for this purpose.
Y is for Yoyo
How many people know how to do tricks with a yoyo? Get some yoyo pros together and put on a show or a competition and charge people admission to watch. Like with any other event, food and drinks are another way you can generate some extra revenue with this fundraising idea.
Z is for Zoo
Here’s an idea that the kids are sure to love, and if they kids love it they will bring the parents with them. Set up a petting zoo with barn yard animals, or whatever other exotics mammals and birds you can gather. It’s not every day you get to come back to face with a sheep or an alpaca, and they are very furry and tame creatures. You’ll also want to have a few animal handlers around just in case they get a little unruly from all the human attention they are sure to get.