How to Fundraise for Charity

Five Parts:Getting StartedHolding EventsUsing Ongoing FundraisersSelling, Auctioning, and Raffling ItemsUsing the Internet

Raising money for your favorite charity sounds like a great idea. It can be a lot of fun to hold events for charities, but it can also be a lot of work, too. Nonetheless, you can use a variety of ways to raise money, keeping both you and your charity happy.

Part 1
Getting Started

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    Pick a charity. The best way to pick a charity is to find a cause you're passionate about. If you love animals, fundraise for a shelter. If you're bookworm, raise money for library. If you care about making sure everyone gets fed, pick a homeless shelter, food pantry, or soup kitchen to raise money for.[1]
    • It's important to make sure your charity is legitimate. If possible, visit the charity's offices, and make sure they have nonprofit status before raising money for them.
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    Talk to the charity. If you give the charity a call, they'll be able to give you more information about fundraising for them. In addition, they may be able to offer you a few tools, such as official stickers or pens to hand out to people who donate.[2]
    • In addition, they'll be able to advise you about what you can't do when raising money.
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    See if your company matches gifts. Some corporations will match the charitable donations you make. That will double the amount of money you are able to give to your chosen charity.[3]

Part 2
Holding Events

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    Join a sponsored event. Many charities run events throughout the year, ones where you can join and help them raise money. For instance, you could join a fundraising run or walk, where you get people to sponsor you.[4]
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    Hold a carnival. You can run a carnival at a park or on the street, if you contact the city and pay a certain amount. However, you may also get a church building or other large community building to donate space if they also believe in the charity. Charge a small entry fee to the event, and get people in the community to host small games, where the money goes back to the charity. If you can, get a band to donate their time, and try to have food on hand for sale, from small vendors or trucks. You may also be able to get local businesses to donate food in an effort to get people out to the event.[5]
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    Have a competition. You can hold a competition for anything from baking to costume design. Get someone to donate prizes, and have each person pay an entry fee (the part that raises money). This event can raise even more money if you get local celebrities to judge the event.[6]
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    Try endurance competitions. That is, you can have dance-a-thons, walk-a-thons, or any other kind of marathon competition you can think of. Basically, you have people pay to enter. The last person standing (or dancing) at the end is the winner. Don't forget to have prizes for the winners, along with beverages on hand.[7]
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    Use a prison theme. That is, you can have an event where people volunteer to be "locked up." It's best if the people who volunteer are local celebrities. Then, other people pay so much money to bail them out.[8]

Part 3
Using Ongoing Fundraisers

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    Gift wrap at Christmas. One way you can raise money is to volunteer to gift wrap at Christmas time. Simply charge people a certain amount for each gift. See if a local department store will let you offer the service in-store.[9]
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    Provide cheaper snacks or drinks at your workplace. Even if your workplace already has vending machines, you can purchase cheaper snacks at places such as Sam's or Costco. Then sell them for more than you paid but less than what the vending machine charges. Make sure to check with your boss first before trying out this tactic.
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    Look to local businesses. Many local businesses are willing to donate to charities. For instance, restaurants often pick a couple of days out of a month to donate a portion of their profits to specific charities. Approach one of these restaurants to see if they will use one of their days for your chosen charity. Advertise the event to your family and friends.[10]
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    Try casual days at work. If your work is normally more formal, ask your boss if you can hold casual days on Fridays with one caveat; people have to pay a certain amount to the charity pot to go casual. You could even have levels of casual, such as someone has to pay more to wear jeans and a t-shirt or less for khakis and a polo.[11]

Part 4
Selling, Auctioning, and Raffling Items

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    Hold an auction. Using your network of friends and family, ask people to donate items or services to be raffled off. You can have an in-person event or set up an event online. Make it clear that the profit from all of the donations (minus any shipping costs if you're holding it online) will go to the charity.[12]
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    Try a raffle. Sell raffle tickets for a certain amount. You keep the other half off the ticket with the person's information. Once the raffle is over, you draw out names to see who won the prizes. You can either get people to donate items and services to win (think a massage at a local spa), or you can give part of the raffle ticket money away, though that is not allowed everywhere.[13]
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    Sell on eBay. eBay has a special program for those who donate some or all of their profits from what they sell to a charity. Basically, you get a portion of your seller's fees back based on what portion of your profits you gave. When you list, you decide how much of that profit you would like to contribute to the charity of your choice.[14]
    • Make it a community event by asking people you know to donate items. You can list them on eBay, donating the profits to your cause. If you take other people's items, make sure you donate all of the money to the cause, with the exception of shipping costs.[15]
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    Try an establish fundraiser. That is, many companies offer fundraisers where you sell their items, and a certain amount of the profit goes to the charity. You've probably seen your kids bring these types of fundraisers home from school. For instance, you can sell candles. You could also sell chocolate bars or other edibles.[16]

Part 5
Using the Internet

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    Try fundraising sites. Many websites are available to let you raise money. For instance, you can use Just Giving or Go Fund Me. These sites let you set a certain goal, and then you can invite your friends and family to donate. However, sometimes these sites will not give you the money if you don't reach your goal, so don't aim too high at first; you can always set a new goal if you reach your first one.[17]
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    Employ social media. Once you set up any kind of campaign or event, you have to advertise your event. One of the easiest, cost-effective ways to do that is to post your campaign on social media sites you use, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. These sites will help you reach out to your friends and family, who can then pass on your fundraiser to their friends, and so on. If you're lucky, your fundraiser will be passed on to many people willing to help.[18]
    • Don't forget to include why you're fundraising for that particular charity. Create a story that shows why you are passionate about it and why other people should be, too.
    • Remember to make your posts public, though, so that they can be shared by your friends.
    • Keep the posts coming. It's not enough to post about it once and forget it. You need to keep in contact with the people who can help you raise money. Try posting videos of how your event is coming along to help get people excited.[19]
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    Pay attention to sites that offer charitable donations. For instance, Amazon Smile lets you pick a charity you want to donate to. Then, every time you make a purchase through the site, the company donates a percentage of that to your charity. Other sites offer similar programs.[20]


  • Inspire donors. People will not donate money unless they believe in the cause. In any fundraising activity, clearly state your vision and why people should join you in this cause.
  • Be honest. If you are raffling off a $10 gift certificate to Denny's, don't advertise a glamorous evening out for two.
  • Say thank you. If people donate anything, thank them profusely. If they don't donate, thank them for their time. They may donate next time.


  • Don't take a "no" personally. Some people can't give, some don't want to. Either way, it is not a personal attack on you or your organization.

Article Info

Categories: Fundraising and Charity