6 creative fundraising ideas

As a non-profit organization, donations are a lifeline. You require a steady stream of funds to achieve your goals and carry out the activities on your calendar throughout the year.

The goal is to retain your present donors while finding ways to attract new ones. However, finding or retaining donors is not a walk in the park. In fact, according to Bloomberg, the cost of continuously acquiring first-time donors can exceed the amount you receive from them.

Moreover, if you have a small number of donors, it can take years to break even, which essentially misses the point of donating to raise money for charitable endeavors.

One of the ways you can ensure you break even and even exceed your target amount is by collaborating with a technology solutions provider for execution, specifically if you are trying to raise funds using an online raffle-based fundraising tool.

Ascend Fundraising Solutions provides a cutting-edge technology solution for online charitable gaming events like 50/50, Catch the Ace, and Sweepstakes, as well as program execution and a broad package that covers marketing, promotions, licensing and actionable insights.

If you are a non-profit or charitable organization searching for the most effective ways to raise funds for your cause, this is the article for you. Below, we will discuss compelling ways to generate funds so you can get to saving the world! without breaking a sweat.

Creative fundraising activities

Fundraising events and concepts can be virtual and physical, depending on how much you are willing to inject into the initiative. But, of course, it also depends on other factors like the demographic you are targeting and their behavioral patterns.

In this article, we will explore both types of fundraisers.

Plan online raffle-based gaming fundraisers

Online raffle-based gaming fundraisers are one of the most engaging and effective ways to generate funds for a non-profit and the best part? You do not need a heavy initial investment to execute them. They are a compelling proposition because it is a double win for donors.

They stand a chance to win a huge jackpot when they purchase a ticket while donating to a charitable foundation. A win-win all stakeholders. There are two common types of online-raffle based fundraising techniques: Catch the Ace and 50/50 raffles.

  • 50/50 raffles; A customized website is used to sell tickets. Unlike the conventional raffle with a pre-determined pay-out, the non-profit equally divides the funds raised through ticket sales with the winner. The participants are both donors and potential winners.
  • Catch the Ace; Referred to as Chase the Ace because participants are quite literally chasing the Ace of Spades from a deck of playing cards. This raffle is particularly attractive because players have a chance to win twice! Why wouldn’t anyone purchase a ticket?

This weekly online raffle can go up to 52 weeks or until the Ace is unearthed, whichever comes first. Every week, a player with the winning raffle ticket collects a share of the week’s ticket sales. In addition, the winner gets to choose a card from a deck of cards.

If the Ace of Spades isn’t chosen, the prize share of ticket sales for that draw is carried over to the progressive jackpot of the next scheduled draw and the chosen card is discarded. If the chosen card is the Ace of Spades, the winner collects the accumulated progressive pot.

If you are not familiar with the technicalities and legal requirements of an online raffle-based gaming fundraiser, you can solicit the services of a technology solutions provider.

Ascend Fundraising Solutions offers extensive services like marketing, promotions, licensing, analytical insights and running the entire online raffle-based fundraising from start to finish.

Create virtual tours to highlight your cause

Let’s face it; we live in a digital era. People are always on their phones. As a non-profit, you can use this to your advantage by organizing a virtual tour of your organization.

It is much easier to convince donors to spare five minutes of their time to watch a virtual tour than to convince them to pay for a trip to your facilities.

In the virtual tour, show potential donors the change you have been able to effect through their donations, the facilities you are trying to renovate, or if you are helping communities. Videos of hands-on organizing are so compelling that you might not need a CTA.

Make these tours available on your donation page and social media for maximum impact.

Employ gift-matching programs

Gift matching programs are an excellent fundraising idea because they can double your donations. They are also widely popular because they are an engaging and fun way to nudge many people and large corporations to participate and donate money to a worthy cause.

According to research from Double the Donation, about $2-3bn is raised through gift matching each year, with an additional $4-10bn in matching gift cash going unclaimed.

Your non-profit can additionally persuade patrons to inquire with their HR departments to see whether their workplaces have ongoing gift-matching programs.

Hold marathons, walk-a-thons, galas, and concerts

These are some of the more traditional ways of raising funds for non-profit organizations. However, they are an effective way to raise funds and persuade donors to buy tickets.

Why? Because the participants are donating to a worthy cause and getting entertained. This can be concerts, marathons and walk-a-thons (who doesn’t want to burn off a few calories)

However, nonprofits are slowly moving away from in-person activities to the virtual space. This is because putting together marathons, concerts, or galas is hectic work.

You have to prepare months in advance and look for permits from the appropriate authorities. Not to mention the charges and delays you will most probably incur.

Moreover, according to patterns over the last year and a half, online fundraisers have greater prospects in terms of donor reach and retention. They are much simpler to put together, and you do not need to run up and down looking for permits.

Online fundraisers have an entrance fee, and entrants would raise funds from friends, family, and co-workers to cover the cost of their training and participation in the event.

Donors can sit back and watch the marathons or concerts from the comfort of their homes. The entry fee and pledges are then collected as donations by the charity.

Organize virtual and in-person auctions

Auctions are an exciting and adrenaline-filled event where individuals bid on unique items. Since you are running a non-profit, these items are typically donated by members, well-wishers and companies. All the proceeds go to the charity organization.

Virtual auctions are no different from live auctions, except they are held virtually.

For your virtual auction to succeed, you need intensive and extensive promotion across several channels and platforms. You can give potential donors a sneak peek of the hot items that will be exclusively sold during the virtual auction.

Tip: You can incorporate other fundraising activities into the virtual auction, such as online raffles. In addition, at the start and in the course of the auction, you can remind participants to make separate contributions. A group to target is those individuals who were outbid.

Tell a story

Storytelling is a powerful tool for raising funds for a cause.

Hearing firsthand what any donation, no matter how small, can change a life evokes emotions of sympathy, compassion, inspiration and philanthropy.

In addition, it humanizes your non-profit. People need to see that you are not just a building or a website. You are a community trying to make a difference, a donation at a time.

Start by running a routine campaign where a beneficiary talks about how their life has improved through the donations received by the foundation. You can take it a step further by adding a call to action at the end of every video asking people to donate to change lives.

Ensure to post these videos on every platform you have access to and your donor page. This makes it a timeless fundraising opportunity to persuade anyone who visits your site.

Tip: The end of the year (November and December) is the best times for these campaigns because people give more during the festive season.

There you have it, tried and tested fundraising ideas that will give your non-profit a chance at doing meaningful work with a steady stream of funds at your disposal.

Are you interested in scaling up your fundraising game, lack the expertise and experience?

Then, schedule a call with Ascend Fundraising Solutions and get all your questions answered- We offer a cutting-edge technological solution to guide you throughout your journey.


Gerald Ainomugisha is a freelance Content Solutions Provider (CSP) offering both content and copy writing services for businesses of all kinds, especially in the niches of management, marketing and technology.