We have included a number of do-it-yourself fundraising ideas. They were developed by groups just like yours in an attempt to have a little fun with their fundraiser. Some of them are tried and true while others show a lot of creativity ... and even wackiness in some cases. All of them are obviously not appropriate for every group, but sometimes, with only a little modification, you might find some fund raising ideas that are perfect for your group. If you have an idea for a do-it-yourself fund raiser you are willing to share with others, we would appreciate hearing about it, please send it to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
1. “Deaf for a Day” Have your staff or co-workers pay a fee to participate in “Deaf for a Day”. No voice – hand gestures only. Raise money for BRFD and experience a day in the life of a Deaf individual.
2. Pink Flamingos – Hold a good ole fashion “flocking” at your office. Make cut-outs of pink flamingos and charge co-workers to “flock” other people’s offices or cubes. Take the cut-outs or plastic flamingos and decorate the “flockees” area. You can charge $2 per flamingo, which will generate tons of money for your team. The bigger the “flockin’” the better!
3. PJ Day – Pick a designated day at work, school or event and pay a fee to wear your PJ’s. Comfy and fun! It’s a very easy fundraising idea. Consider having a contest for the ugliest, weirdest, etc. pajamas!
4. Sticky Fly Fundraiser – For $1 per yard of duct tape, student or co-workers can tape the teacher, boss or colleague to the wall! When the person is firmly taped to the wall, and you have made a good sum of cash – enjoy watching your teacher, boss or colleague get out of their sticky web!
5. Community Clean-Up – Clean up after Canada Day firework displays, community fairs or events, etc. Often the organizers of these will events will donate to an organization for a group of volunteers to do the clean-up.
6. Tree of Lights Ceremony – Your Corporation purchases a large tree and places it out front of your workplace. Staff can pay a $10 donation for a light that represents a lost loved one or a special message to family member or friend. Everyone gathers together and the tree is lit. All the lights come on at once and it is a beautiful memorial. Share some cider and cookies - a nice way for your staff to come together!
7. Angel Tree Fundraiser – Ask a company to donate Angel ornaments which people can buy in memory of or in honour of anyone they choose.
8. Fundraising “Thon” – There is an appropriate fundraising “thon” event for everyone. While events vary widely, the basic means of raising funds is pretty much the same. Participants collect pledges from family and friends – either a flat fee or so much per “x” that they complete during the event. Your workplace may also sponsor the event – especially if it relates to their business. You can also make additional funds selling refreshments, advertising and souvenirs. Here are some examples: walk, bowl, run, fish, swim, skate, talk, sign (ASL), the list is endless!
9. Mom-O-Gram – Make corsages for a special event such as Mother’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, etc. Take orders ahead of time and collect the $10 payment in advance. With thanks to our $1 stores you can pick up some very nice silk flowers. Have small note cards available for purchasers to complete to accompany the corsages. Have a few samples on display at your workstation to help promote sales. Advance orders and collections will allow you to purchase only what you need to make the number of corsages ordered. People are so busy – they don’t have time to go out and buy and they will appreciate the home-made touch!
10.Easter Egg Surprise – Get a very large box and cut in half. Fill it with colourful Easter grass. Get a bunch of plastic colourful Easter Eggs and fill most of them with a little change, slips of paper that say “Sorry try again” or “Happy Easter! Or some pieces of candy. In one or two of them, put a grand prize such as a $20 bill, a gift certificate, or some other prize. Charge one dollar to reach in the big box and take out one egg.
11.Ski or Winter Recreational Swap – Attendees can sell and buy used and new alpine and cross country ski equipment, snowboards, winter clothing, ice skates and other winter recreational items. A 25% commission for each product sold and a $3 admission fee benefits BRFD.
12.Honey Do – How many times have you asked “Honey, will you do….” And waited (and maybe waited some more) for a home improvement project to be completed? The winning ticket will win a crew of “Home Helpers” to help with a home improvement project. Helpers could paint a room, organize a closet or pantry, plant a garden in the spring, or help with a garage or basement cleaning.
13.Give a Buck or Two – This fundraising idea is similar to the sales they have in stores during different holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day where organizations will sell paper shamrocks for a small fee. You print the donor’s name on the shamrock and it’s hung up in the store. But, do it in your workplace lobby for all to see! Butterflies would be good – it is the Bob Rumball Foundation for the Deaf logo! Did you know butterflies are deaf?!
14.Blind Auction – Get as many people as you can to bring a wrapped package (try to disguise the contents). The contents should be something of actual value. Announce that at least one of the boxes contains something of value (try to get this donated!) As guests arrive they place their boxes on a display table so potential bidders can examine them and speculate on what they contain. Guessing the contents is much of the fun. Once the bids are all in close your silent auction. The bidders will get some great prizes and possibly win the big one!
15.Favourite Photo – All staff bring in photos of when they were babies. Photos are mounted on a display board in the main lobby. Each photo is numbered and a jar is numbered for each photo for votes. Votes are made with coins, dollars bills or cheques (made payable to Bob Rumball Foundation for the Deaf). The photo with the most “votes” wins a prize. Names of the staff “babies” are posted after the contest for additional fun!
16. Money Tree – Give every person or child in your class, club or organization a plain unmarked envelope. The envelopes must be identical. Ask them to place a coin or note inside the envelope, seal it, and hand the unmarked envelope to the organizer who staples a corner to a cardboard tree. To play the game a paying customer (supporter) chooses an envelope (but is not allowed to feel before choosing). They win whatever is in the envelope or a cute little gift! Give it a go, it is always a sell out! Easy fundraising idea!
17. Valentine Bows – This works well for groups of people who know each other, e.g. schools, church, social clubs, or close-knit organization. Sell red (love), pink (like) and white (friendship) bows with a message. Use card stock (business card size) for personalized and anonymous messages – attach desired colour of bow with pin. Sell them for $1 or $2 each. Each person can “send” as many messages as they want and the recipients get to wear the bows. Great for the ego! How to do it: 1) Have the sender write their name (if they want to); the recipient’s name; brief message and attach bow. 2) The organizers of the event distribute all bows and messages (i.e. cupid) 3) Recipient receives bow and message, wears bow, keeps message. Feels warm and fuzzy. You make money for BRFD!
18. Cupid Hearts – The organizer cuts out numerous hearts in half. Some match and some will not. The recipients purchase ½ of the heart for a fee and wears it around their neck. The recipients have one day to “match” their heart with another person’s ½ heart. The matching heart wins a prize (both recipients of course!)
19.Tacky Tie Contest – Everyone in your school or organization decorates a man’s neck tie. Use all sorts of tacky things to glue on the ties….buttons, lace, small toys, flowers, etc. Display the ties in a prominent location. Put a jar or bucket beneath each tie. A loonie or twoonie equals one vote. The tie which receives the most votes at the end of 2 weeks is the winner. The principal, or boss gets to wear the tacky tie.
20.Corporate matching gift – Ask your company to match the amount of pledges you receive from your fellow co-workers
21.Friends’ corporate matching gifts – Ask your friends if their companies will match their pledges.
22.Plant a Tree of Hope - Ask a tree nursery to donate young saplings. Sell the saplings to your staff, friends or neighbours. They can bring the saplings home and watch their Tree of Hope grow! Think Green!
23.Garage sale – Know all that stuff that’s been hanging out in your garage…in your attic…in your basement? Gather it up and ask your friends to do the same. Put it in your front yard and sell, sell, sell! Put all the money raised toward your minimum pledge.
24.Bake sale – Become Julia Child (and ask your friends to do the same) and host a bake sale. You can even have it in conjunction with your garage sale. It’s a fact that people will buy more stuff on an empty stomach.
25.Extra change box – Keep a little box on your dresser or nightstand and put all your extra change in it every day. It adds up.
26.Everyone else’s extra change – Create little boxes for your friends and family to place on their dressers or nightstands. At the end of the day, they can drop spare change in the box. Put it on your desk at work and others will join in.
27.Office fundraising challenge – Challenge your co-workers. Who can raise the most money? Give the winner a prize like movie passes or gift certificate for dinner.
28.Voicemail/answering machine message – Use your voicemail and answering machine to let everyone know that calls you that you’re up to something special and you need their support.
29.Management “Noodle” Hockey Face-Off! Host this event in our large gym – and you can use our gym for free for this one time event! Invite staff/spectators to join in the fun (for a small donation of course!). Your date will be dependent on availability.
30.Online forums – Post a message to your online forums to which you belong (i.e. Facebook, Twitter). You’d be amazed at how many people you don’t even know who will be willing to help you.
31.Personalize Your web page – Create your own website about your journey.
Then, send an email to everyone on your contact list and invite them to visit the website.
32.Carry copies of your fundraising letter (with our logo) – Have them with you at all times and pass them along to people you meet. For example, if flying, pass the letter out to the flight crew. People really do want to support you!
33.Autograph party – Invite all your friends (and their friends) and get them to sign your Home Made T-shirt. Charge $10 per signature.
34.Theme party or dinner – Hold a theme party for 10 (or more) of your friends. If each person donates $50 and you spend no more than $20 per person on food and decorations, you’ll have $300 (or more) in pledges by the end of the night.
35.Movie ticket donation – Ask your local movie house to donate several movie tickets. Tender them off at work or with have a small contest with family and friends.
36.At-home movie party – Pick up a favorite flick at your local movie store, make some popcorn, pick up some soda and invite your friends and family over for movie night. Of course have your pledge forms ready to go!
37.Ask a local theater to donate tickets to a performance – Ask a local theater to donate a couple of tickets to one of their plays or musicals and auction them off.
38.Birthday gift pledge – This is a very simple way to raise money and it will be a lot easier for your friends and family to write you a cheque instead of spending hours trying to shop for you.
39.Delegate – Give 10 of your friends 10 pledge forms each and ask them to help raise money for you.
40.Creative friends – Find a local artist or ask a creative friend if he/she would donate a piece of art or some jewelry that you can auction off.
41.House warming party – Are you moving soon? If so, ask your friends to make a pledge instead of purchasing a gift for your new place.
42.Email signature – Insert a link to your BRFD fundraising page in your email signature. You will be surprised how many people will want to help.
43.Business cards – Print up some inexpensive business cards with your BRFD fundraising goal, as well as your name, address, email and the online pledge address. Hand these out to everyone you meet.
44.Travel agency – Do you always make your travel plans through the same agency? Ask them to donate a travel voucher. You can auction it off at your fundraising party.
45.Family members – ask them to get involved - they are always there when needed!
46.Spin/exercise class – Be prepared with a stack of pledge forms when you ask your instructor to make an announcement in class.
47.Mow-a-thon – Get your kids involved in fundraising! Ask around the neighborhood and mow everyone’s lawn for a cause.
48.Neighbours – Write to all your neighbours on your block (or in your building) to let them know you are participating in a walk/run/yoga-a-thon and to ask for a pledge donation.
49.“Gal” (or guy) Friday – Offer to be someone’s personal assistant for a day (or maybe a few hours). In exchange for a large donation, you can drop off dry cleaning, make appointments, research a vacation, cook dinner or do the grocery shopping.
50.Meet the press – Take advantage of all the newsletters you get: at work, church, school, professional organizations, etc. Write an article about your fundraising efforts and ask for pledges.
51.Baby-sitting – Exchange your services for a pledge. You raise more money and your friends have a night out without the kids. This is a great fundraiser for teenagers.
52.Pet sit – Are your neighbors going away and don’t want to leave “Spot” at the boarding facility? Offer your services and charge what they would have spent on the kennel.
53.House sit – Friends going out of town for a while? Maybe they need someone to bring in the mail, water the plants and feed the pets – and will make a donation to your fundraising to reward your efforts.
54.Neighborhood chores – Are you Mr. or Ms. Fix-it? A lot of your neighbors would probably rather pay you than someone else. Place signs around your neighborhood advertising your services (i.e. watering gardens, cleaning roof gutters, sweeping the driveway, fixing an easy plumbing problem, painting a room, etc.).
55.Karaoke night – Who cares if you can’t carry a tune? Spend Friday night at a karaoke night and sing your guts out. Have the announcer tell the crowd that you’re singing for pledges.
56.Talented friends – Do you have a little piano bar in your neighborhood and a talented piano-playing friend? Have the announcer tell the crowd you’re singing for pledges.
57.Seasonal events are always fun! Valentine’s Day, Halloween, etc. Host an event and charge an admission fee.
58.In honor/memory of – If you are walking in honor or memory of a loved one, include a picture of you with your loved one in your pledge letter, on posters, etc.
59.Pet birthday party – This may sound a little silly, but we all love our pets. And other people love their pets as well. Invite your friends to your pet’s birthday party (even if it isn’t Fido’s birthday). Play up the theme, tell friends to bring their pets and have a great time. Instead of birthday gifts request a pledge.
60.Television show finale party – Is your favorite show going off the air or wrapping up for the season? Gather a big group of friends to watch the big season or series finale. Of course, charge ‘em at the door and put the money toward your pledges.
61.Game night – Get out those board games and start playing! Break into teams and let the fun begin. Ask each player to pitch in $20 towards the cause before you start playing.
62.Host a card-playing night – Call your serious (or not so serious) card-playing’ friends and invite them over for a game of cards. Split each pot between your fundraising and the winner.
63.Bowling night – Plan a fun night of bowling at your local lanes. Ask your friends to pledge a dollar a pin.
64.Used book sale – Everyone has books that have been sitting on shelves or in boxes collecting dust. Gather your books and ask friends, family and neighbors to donate whatever they’ve got. Set up a weekend book sale in your front yard. Put up some signs so people will now where the money is going.
65.Curse jar – C’mon, everyone does it. Now they have to pay for it. Place a “Curse Jar” in your office or home, whenever someone says a bad word they have to put a dollar and put it in the jar.
66.Dress down day – Ask your company to allow an official Dress Down Day. For the privilege of dressing down, employees pledge $5 or $10 toward your fundraising efforts.
67.Community Ads – your local newspaper always has a community section. Advertise your event here for great exposure!
68.Is there a teacher in the house? – Get your students to help you fundraise. Kids are incredibly creative and cute, too!
69.Remind them – In case you didn’t receive an answer the first time you asked, ask again. Your potential donor may need a little coaxing.
70.Inspirational book marks – Create them and sell to friends and family.
71.Universities and colleges – Contact your local schools and ask if you can put an advertisement in their school paper. Some of the organizations may even invite you to make a short presentation.
72.Compute screen savers – Create a Screen Saver and send it to everyone in your company. A gentle reminder is a good reminder!
73.Rock on! – If you know any musicians, ask them to perform a benefit concert. Tell people to make their admission fee a donation to BRFD.
74.Share the Journey – Tell your story. The more you talk about your upcoming adventure, the more people will want to share in that excitement with you (and pledge more).
75.Children’s party – Throw a party for the kiddos to give the parents an afternoon out – in exchange for a donation, of course.
76.Temporary tattoos – Swap a temporary tattoo for a pledge.
77.Mini-Golf Tournament – gather a group of friends together and host a mini-golf tournament. A pool of bets can be gathered….of course the winner gives all donations to BRFD!
78.Alumni organization – Call you own college or university and ask them to place an ad in the alumni newsletter about your fundraising event.
79.Ask for the right amount – Make sure you ask for the right amount. Don’t ask for $100 if you know someone can pledge $1,000.
80.Don’t make the decision for them – Don’t decide ahead of time that someone can’t afford to pledge. Ask them! You will be surprised.
81.Make your own contribution – Lead the way by making your pledge first.
82.Pizza party – Make it a themed pizza party and ask for a donation entry fee.
83.Mini-Silent Auction – Make or get a great prize donated – like a homemade quilt or season tickets to the symphony – set up a “mini” silent auction at work.
84.Jellybean Count – Fill a jar with jellybeans and have people pay to guess how many there are in the jar. Or get creative – fill the jar with whatever you want! For example, plastic spiders at Halloween…Velvet hearts on Valentine’s Day.
85.Community Carnival – Get your kids involved and host a mini-carnival with games, prizes and popcorn in a local park or your own backyard. Charge admission and/or a small fee to play games.
86.Your company logo - Sell buttons, pens or t-shirts displaying your company logo. Sell the items at a reasonable price. Staff love items with their company’s name on it!
87.Endurance Contest: Gather pledges to have a dance-a-thon, rock-a-thon, or any other type of endurance contest you can think of. Try to beat a world record. And if you do – don’t forget to contact the media!
88.Craft Sale – Get all of your family and friends involved. You will be amazed with all of the hidden talent that comes forward. Set up a table and advertise in your local newspaper.
89.BBQ – Host a family & friend BBQ in your backyard with Triathlon games, horseshoes, muckers, badminton…..charge an entry fee and have a prize for the winning person.
90.Minute-To-Win-It – You have seen the show on TV. Now re-create the games and go wild! Check out their website www.nbc.com/minute-to-win-it to get game ideas. Endless hours of run while raising money for a good cause!
91.Tournaments: Organize a basketball tournament in your school (charge an entry fee) and the winning team receiving a prize. This can also be done with soccer, tennis, badminton, or any other sport.
92.Contact your local paper and get an article – Make sure that you put information about how people can contribute. And have a photo ready to go!
93.Beat the Goalie: Pick the best hockey or soccer goalie you know and invite people to try to score a goal for a prize. Every participant has to pay to play.
94.Bingo: Host a bingo night at a local hall, in your backyard or at your school.
95.Balloon Pop: Before filling a balloon with air or helium, put a note inside. Have a certain number of the notes worth a prize. Have people buy balloons and pop them in the hope of getting the prize. Be sure to pick up the broken balloons afterwards.
96.Car Wash: With a group of friends or co-workers, set up a car wash in the parking lot at your school or workplace. Don’t forget to put out huge signs and let people know where their donated dollars will go! (Make sure you have the appropriate people designating the traffic coming in and going out).
97.Ask your friends and family members for a donation.
98.Send updates on your fundraising and a reminder on how to support your efforts.
99.Send a letter or email asking for a donation from everyone you know.
100.Start NOW! – The earlier you begin, the sooner you can reach – and even exceed – your goal.
101.ASK! ASK! ASK! ASK! ASK! ASK! – And ASK again!
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