As a nonprofit, your organization is always in need of ways to generate both interest and revenue. With more people active in the summer, it’s the ideal time to add value to a nonprofit. While fundraising can often be regarded as a thankless endeavor, a philanthropic fundraiser that brings people together in nice weather is a great way to raise funds for the causes that you care about. Here are some simple fundraising ideas to get started.
Have a car wash
Perhaps one of the easiest options for fundraising is a humble car wash. Car washes are a classic fundraising activity for a reason, as they cost very little money and require minimal planning. For events like these, it is important to properly advertise. To do so, put up posters, send out emails, and promote on your social media channels. Car washes are not usually very lucrative, but they are a low-risk way to earn some cash. Your advertising efforts can also drive brand awareness efforts.
Host a wine tasting
Wine tastings have become popular as fundraisers in recent years, but the first step is to procure the wine. Check with local dealers to see if anyone is willing to give you free or steeply discounted wine for a good cause. Find a classy outdoor venue told host it, and charge your supporters a fee to participate. This can be a fun and profitable way to spend an afternoon—just make sure all your participants are over 21, and you’re not breaking any laws!
Coordinate a marathon, walk-a-thon or bike-a-thon
…or dance-a-thon, swim-a-thon, skate-a-thon! The possibilities are endless. You can “thon” practically any activity you can think of, so long as you know you can find enough people who would be interested in participating for a long period of time. Charge a small registration fee and have your participants look for sponsors. Be warned that thons done properly take more time than you might expect, and lots of volunteers. You may need months of planning to find the personnel and resources that you’ll need to pull off a successful thon. Depending on what the activity is, you may also need paramedics standing by.
Start a summer film series
Combine public interest in watching movies and spending time outside! Reserve a park or other cheap outdoor venue for a few separate nights, such as every Wednesday for a month. Pick out a family movie for each night, rent a film screen, and charge cheap admission tickets. Again, advertising is key, as is having dates and a location that people can easily remember. Don’t forget to have a contingency plan in case of inclement weather.
Run a summer golf tournament
If you have the means to do it, and an audience of people who enjoy golf, golf tournaments can be very profitable. Find a local golf course that’s willing to partner with you and share profits for the day. For best results, make a full day of it, with a dinner and post-dinner entertainment. Silent auctions are a good option for this.