These easy fundraising ideas are designed for small groups and individuals who have a target they want to reach for a charity but not a lot of time or resources on their side.
I used to work as a professional charity fundraiser. And while I’m no longer in that industry, fundraising has always played an imporant part in my life as I build my career as an adventurer and blogger. I try to raise some money for charity every year.
One of my biggest personal fundraising targets to date was Kicking the States. Myself and my husband kick scooted the length of the USA. En route our goal was to raise $10,000 for our choosen charity supporting a school in Tanzania.
By the end of the challenge, we’d smashed our $10,000 target, using a range of fundraising ideas (you can read more about that fundraising journey here).
Here’s 8 easy fundraising ideas for small groups and individuals!
#1 Set up a sponsorship page
This works best if you are doing some sort of challenge. You can set up a sponsorship page online (Justgiving is one of the biggest) and ask your friends, families and colleagues to sponsor you.
You could do a race or long distance challenge. Or do something more creative like spend a month living in a tent. Stunt challenges like shaving off your hair or having a baked bean bath also work.
If you decide to go down the sponsorship route, check out my tips on how to get people to sponsor you for more advice to keep the donations coming in.
You don’t have to do a challenge though to ask for sponsorship. It’s also possible just to launch a go-fund-me page without needing to do a challenge. Instead, you have a clear goal in mind for what the money will be used for and ask for sponsorship this way.
#2 Do a real-time collection
This works especially well if you are doing a challenge that takes you through towns or cities where you will be passing lots of people. Or if you can have a presence at an event or crowded place…..for example, your kids football match, a busy town centre or a festival or gete.
Make a sign that says what you are doing and who you are raising money for. Wearing a Tshirt (you can ask your chosen charity if you can borrow one) will make you look more offical. Have a buket or collection container….again your charity will probably have ones you can borrow.
To have a presence at an event, check with the organisers or managment first to see if this is possible and what the restrictions are. Find the most crowded place and start shaking the bucket. Try to engage and chat to as many people as possible to engage them to give donates.
I once did a buket collection for a charity at the end of a theatre show and collecting hundreds of pounds as the people filled out of the theatre. They were all in high spirits and quick to give.
If you are doing a challenge, create a small piece of paper with your challenge and donation details on that you can hand out to people you pass. We did this on Kicking the States and donations from people we passed probably made up about 25-30% of the total.
If this can’t be done on the challenge itself, how about organising some kind of relay or challenge in a shopping center. If you are planning to cycle around the world, for example, you could do a 24-hour static bike ride in a mall and have some friends with you asking people who pass for donations.
For an example of this, check out Jamie Mcdonald and his treadmill record:
#3 Organise a charity event
This is probably the hardest of the fundraising options so have a think about your resources and time before commiting. Events can be hard work and time-consuming. But done right they have the potential to raise a huge amount in one go.
This would only be the right choice for someone who has good organisational skills to see this through although you could also team up with others to put on an event together which would take the pressure off.
Check out my tips for organising a fundraising event if you plan to go down this route.
#4 Get selling
One of my suggestions for easy fundraiser ideas for small groups or individuals is to simply to sell things!
You could sell your own things – have a good clear out of your cupboards. Ask friends and family (or another network like a school PA board) to donate items. Do a themed sale – getting people to make cakes or crafts. Or you can buy things at a cheaper price, selling them at a higher cost, keeping the profit.
The lattar obviously comes with a bit more risk but also takes less organising. A good example is to sell Krispy Kreme doughnuts. They have a scheme where you can buy them cheap with the intention to sell them at a higher price for charity. Setting this up at your workplace, in a town center or with a local club could be a really easy way to make money.
If you are planning to sell things you can either do this online (using a site like eBay), at a car boot or at an event. If you don’t want to go to the effort of organising an event from scratch, then think about places where you will find an excisting crowd. Some places this could work include:
- at a school
- a local gym
- community groups (scouts, guides, WI, book club, rotary groups)
- your workplace
This is best done if you already have a connection with a place. And generally, the bigger the audience the larger the potential is to make money.
#5 Organise a raffle
I think raffles are a great way to raise money. The most time-consuming part is getting raffle prizes. If you get creative though this doesn’t need to be difficult.
Once you’ve got a handful of prizes you’ll need to decide where to run it.
I once did 5 raffles at 5 different local pub quizzes in the space of a month. All the pubs were busy and drew a big crowd each week for the quiz. I waited until people had their first drink then gave a short talk to explain my personal reasons for fundraising. People were very generous when it came to buying tickets….I raised nearly £2000 in total and really the prizes I had weren’t anything special.
For more tips on getting raffle prizes check out: Raffle prize ideas & how to get companies to donate them
#6 Sell your services
If you have a skill or a particular talent for something then you can dedicate time to delivering this in exchange for donations. If you are a piano teacher, for example, you could auction off lessons.
This works really well if you ask your friends and family to do the same then create an auction page where people can bid for services. This could be anything from a back massage to having your name as a character in a book (a great one if you have any author friends!).
#7 Look for corporate sponsorship
When putting together my top easy fundraising ideas for small groups and individuals, I actually thought that corporate sponsorship might be the most profitable and effective if done well!
It’s not easy to get companies to donate for your cause but if successful this can really bring the money in. Companies get tax benefits if they are charitable so it is in their interest. Like with most fundraising, this is most successful if you have a personal connection. Either directly yourself or via close friends and family
Put together a letter explaining what you are doing and who you are raising money for and ask if their company would be willing to make a donation. Try and send it to a specific person, ideally the owner of the company.
If you are doing a challenge or event, you could include the company in this. This could be having their logo on your T-shirt, waving their flag at a summit or sending update videos for their staff. For bigger donations, you could also offer to go into the office to give a talk.
If companies don’t want to donate directly you could also ask if they’d be willing to do a small fundraiser. Something as simple as a dress down day at an office can raise hundreds of pounds with little effort.
#8 Deliver motivational talks
If you are a confident public speaker you can deliver free talks about your charity or challenge or any life story you may have to share in exchange for donations. This could be either a direct donation from the company or organisation that has booked you or in the form of a collection from the audience who have come to watch.
Finding places willing to let you give a talk can be time-consuming and just like most fundraising it needs you to be persistent. Some ideas of places you could deliver a talk include:
- in schools
- adult education centres
- clubs (rotary, WI, Lions, etc)
- outdoor stores
Ready to get fundraising?
If you haven’t already watched this TED talk on fundraising then it’s a good place to start:
Also, a book that really changed my way of thinking when it came to fundraising is The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer.
It taught me to approach people and companies effectively and how to get over my nerves of asking.
Do you have other easy fundraising ideas that I’ve missed out? Share them in the comments box below!
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