Tips & Tricks
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25+ Essential Fundraising Ideas for Clubs

Explore our tips and ideas for fundraising to get inspired for your next club event

It can be stressful to try to secure essential funding for your day-to-day club operations. If you’re not sure where to begin or are racking your brain for event inspiration, keep reading for our list of over 25 fundraising ideas for clubs.

In this blog post, we’ll explain some time-tested fundraising strategies, tips for securing items for a silent auction or raffle, and simple yet effective event ideas. You’ll have the resources you need to not only raise money, but to also engage your community in a meaningful way.

Tried-and-true fundraising events

Host a silent auction

Silent auctions invite attendees to peruse and place bids on gift baskets, gift cards, home or apparel products, sports tickets or experience vouchers, and other items on display. Your attendees score valuable items while you raise funds for your cause.

Raffle off exciting prizes

In a traditional raffle, attendees purchase numbered tickets prior to the event. When the tickets are drawn, a handful of lucky attendees walk away with prizes. A creative variation on raffles is the “reverse raffle”. Instead of drawing the winning tickets first, all tickets are drawn until only a few are left. Then, those remaining tickets will be declared winners, and the ticket holders will win prizes.

Organize a Tricky Tray/Penny Social

Tricky Trays are similar to raffles and silent auctions, but they’re usually more accessible for participants who don’t have the means to bid on a large auction item but still want to support your club.

In a Tricky Tray fundraiser, participants first purchase raffle tickets, which they can then divide however they like amongst various items available to win. These items are laid out around a room, where participants can scan the prizes and decide which items to spend their tickets on. At the end of the night, the hosts can shake up each raffle ticket jar and pick winners.

Partner with a local restaurant

Many restaurants have a community or club fundraiser program. Usually, a restaurant will agree to donate a portion of their revenue from a designated fundraising day, but every establishment has their own variation. You’ll need to invest some time and effort into promoting the fundraising day to make this event a success.

Entertain with community game night

An easy game to facilitate with a large number of attendees is a Bingo fundraiser. Your club can collect a small entry fee from community members to raise funds. Preparing some prizes for anyone with a winning bingo card—such as gift cards for local restaurants or gift baskets—is a great way to excite your attendees.

Set up a crowdfunding campaign

This fundraising method involves requesting donations from family, friends, and community members who believe in your cause. You might utilize a crowdfunding website to collect monetary donations and share your fundraising link via email or social media. This can work for your club if you have plenty of connections with your school or community.

Asking for donations requires effective outreach. For tips and templates on writing quick but persuasive donation request messages, check out our blog post on short donation messages.

How do I secure items for a raffle or auction?

We know it can be overwhelming to search for companies who will donate in-kind items to your club (that’s why we built TheShareWay, after all!).

If you’re not sure how to start sourcing food, beverage, tickets, raffle, and auction items for your club, start with our list of companies that donate in all 50 states. Plus, they’re organized by cause, so you can find the donors who are most likely to give to your club.

Companies that prefer to donate to animal welfare causes:

doTERRA Donation Request

doTERRA is an essential oils company formed by health care professionals. They provide nutritional, spa, and healthy living products in addition to their oils.

Donates essential oil products, personal care/wellness products, monetary donations

West Paw Donation Request

West Paw is a Montana-based company manufacturing eco-friendly, high-quality pet products. They're known for durable dog toys, bedding, and accessories, dedicated to sustainability and pet safety.

Donates pet products

Companies that prefer to donate to education causes:

Kendra Scott Donation Request

Kendra Scott is a Texas-based jewelry company that designs everyday pieces, fine jewelry, and wedding jewelry. They also sell home accessories and decor.

Donates jewelry products, home decor products

Oriental Trading Donation Request

Oriental Trading is a supplier of affordable crafts, party supplies, toys, and novelty items. With over 60,000 unique products, they strive to provide goods and trinkets for every occasion.

Donates gift card(s)

Companies that prefer to donate to arts/culture causes:

Pentel Donation Request

Pentel is a leading manufacturer of quality pens, pencils, art supplies, and more.

Donates stationary products

Barnes & Noble Donation Request

Barnes & Noble Booksellers is an American bookseller that offers books, NOOK ebooks and magazines, music, movies, toys & games.

Donates books, gift cards

Companies that prefer to donate to health causes:

Brooks Brothers Donation Request

Brooks Brothers, founded in Manhattan, New York in 1818, is the oldest apparel brand in continuous operation in America. Brooks Brothers offers stylish modern clothing and fresh takes on heritage designs for men, women, and kids.

Donates apparel, gift card(s)

ecco Donation Request

Ecco is a shoe manufacturer and retailer known for high-quality, comfortable footwear, combining innovative technology with Scandinavian design for both casual and formal styles.

Donates shoes

Companies that prefer to donate to environmental causes:

Mountain Rose Herbs Donation Request

Mountain Rose Herbs is an herbal business committed to environmental sustainability, supported through their organic line of natural products that includes teas, face creams, and aroma sprays and oils.

Donates essential oil products, tea products, herb/spice products, bath and body care products, health supplement products, gift basket(s), gift card(s), monetary donation

Red Bay Coffee Donation Request

Red Bay Coffee, based in Oakland, California, offers high quality, artisanal, direct trade coffee.

Donates roasted coffee beans, gift card(s), catering, cups of coffee

Companies that prefer to donate to social justice causes:

Simple Modern Donation Request

Simple Modern is a consumer goods company known for its stylish, eco-friendly, and high-quality drinkware, including insulated water bottles, tumblers, and mugs.

Donates drinkware

Thrive Causemetics Donation Request

Thrive Causemetics works to empower and inspire women through meaningful beauty brands and products that are all 100% vegan and cruelty-free, without parabens or sulfates.

Donates makeup products

Don’t see your cause here?

Try browsing our directory of over 2,000 companies that donate items for silent auctions and raffles. Sign up for free today.

Before you request an item, it’s important to understand each company’s individual policy about how their donations can be used.

20 fundraising ideas for clubs

Still not feeling inspired? Keep reading for even more fundraising ideas for college clubs and fundraising ideas for school clubs.

  • Art show: For art clubs, members can host an end-of-year art show to showcase their work and sell their masterpieces.
  • Bake sale: Let your members show off their culinary skills and sell their homemade confections to raise funds.
  • Car wash: Spend a day cleaning cars for the community.
  • Coordinate a carnival: Invite the community to an after-school carnival event. Charge a small fee for admission, and offer snacks and fun games for the whole family to enjoy.
  • Craft fair: Get creative and create keychains, tote bags, and more to sell at your school or local farmer’s market.
  • Grab bags: Sell mystery grab bags. You might fill the bags with local business coupons, unique snacks, or create bags with a specific holiday theme.
  • Holiday gift services: The holidays are a busy time - help wrap gifts for community members for a small fee.
  • Host a movie night: Sell tickets and snacks while screening a documentary or film.
  • Paint & sip: Collect admission fees for a guided art class with light refreshments.
  • Parent appreciation: For Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, sell bouquets or cards that will make for a thoughtful gift.
  • Writing pop-up: For those who enjoy creative writing, set up a booth to write and sell poems, encouraging notes, or short stories to passersby.
  • Potluck & picnic: Reserve space at your school or a local park to host a potluck event. Ask attendees to bring a dish and pay a small entry fee to experience delicious food from the community!
  • Runs, races, and walkathons: Encourage active lifestyles in the community with these events.
  • Sell seeds or plants: Encourage others to find their green thumb with a plant sale.
  • Speaker panel: Invite local leaders or well-known speakers to a panel discussion where attendees can pay to attend and engage in a Q&A portion.
  • Speed dating: Collect a small entrance fee and help people find their perfect match.
  • Teach a class: Share your members’ expertise or special skills. Collect a registration fee and teach anything from cooking to coding.
  • Thrift Event: Collect gently used apparel from club members and sell the items. To generate extra interest, try sourcing some quality vintage clothing for the sale.
  • Tournament: For chess, sports, or even video games, host a competition and collect a participation fee. Prepare a fun prize for winning teams or individuals.
  • Tutor the community: Offer tutoring in the subjects your members specialize in and charge for each session.

What kind of fundraisers make the most money?

Ultimately, the success of your fundraiser will depend on how many people you can connect with. Fundraisers that make the most money for your club will require plenty of publicity, whether you’re promoting your fundraisers through social media, putting up posters, sending emails, or going door-to-door. Knowing your school or community is another important factor that will help you to choose the best fundraiser for your club.

For an auction or raffle, providing a variety of items will ensure that more members of the community will engage with your fundraiser, regardless of how much they’re willing to bid or how many tickets they purchase.

At TheShareWay, our average user secures $4,000 in product value per event. Some users have secured as much as $200,000 in product value. Though it takes some advance planning to secure donations, they can be an essential component of successful fundraisers.

Final thoughts

Incorporating new fundraising events into your repertoire can be a helpful way to keep the community engaged with your club. We hope our list of fundraising ideas for clubs has provided you with some inspiration that will make your next event a huge success.

Cover photo by micheile henderson on Unsplash

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