Summer time is the right time for great fundraising events. Whether you’re raising money for sports teams, PTAs, booster clubs or any other nonprofit, take advantage of the nice weather, local festivals and tournaments with a summer fundraiser or three. Here are some easy-to-execute ideas that are true money-makers.
20 Summer Fundraisers
- Yard Sale. It takes a little planning but raising money by reducing clutter is win-win.
- Ice Cream Social. Buy bulk ice cream and toppings at Costco or online and host the party on your front yard. Don’t forget to advertise well in advance for this one.
- Father’s Day Donations. Print Father’s Day specific donation cards and sell them in your neighborhood, sporting events or at school. On Father’s Day, he will know he donated to a good cause.
- Pool Party. Obviously, someone on your fundraising team must own a pool for this one. The community or school pool would also work, and may be better if you’re concerned about legal issues. Charge a modest entrance fee and break out all the pool toys. Have a team soliciting partygoers for additional donations, raffle tickets or relay race entries.
- Duck Race. Rubber ducky races are completely ridiculous and so, so much fun. Head to the local river or stream and don’t limit each participant to one ducky. Allow contestants to enter as many as they want as long as they pay the fee. Have a cash prize for the winner.
- Pancake Breakfast. Rent or borrow a little catering equipment, cook the pancakes in your kitchen or a portable griddle and do it buffet style. $10 per person for a bellyful of pancakes will rake in the dough.
- Lemonade Stands. Scatter the stands throughout town, making sure to exploit any festivals, races, farmer’s markets or sports tournaments. Do it on multiple weekends to maximize exposure.
- Concession Stands. Don’t kill yourself baking cookies and brownies. Just buy bulk items like candy, cookies, cases of soda, etc. and set up at baseball and soccer complexes.
- Block Party. This one takes a little planning and advertising but if done right you can make a killing. Instead of charging an entrance fee, charge for specific items. For example, $5 for a burger, $1 for a soda. Make sure to have wheel barrow races, bob-for-apple contests and the like, each with entrance fees. Also, have solicitors explaining the fundraiser and collecting additional donations.
- Summer Fun Olympics. Arm wrestling contest, home run derby, 40-yard dash, three-legged race…the list goes on. A summer fundraiser to remember.
- Lawn Mowing/Yard Clean up. Canvas your neighborhood explaining why you’re fundraising and how well their yard will look. Also offer one-time cleanups, weed pulling or summer-long mowing jobs.
- Wiffle Ball Tournament. Better than baseball tournaments because teams can be smaller and you don’t need a baseball diamond. Teams of 4 or 5 will do and you can play in the street or back yards. Try father/son, mother/son, father/daughter or mother/daughter teams. Don’t be afraid to sell ice cold refreshments.
- Movie Night. Borrow a projector and play a family friendly movie on a big wall. If you don’t have enough chairs just bring blankets or towels. Make the movie appropriate, such as playing “Sandlot” for your baseball team.
- Book Sale. Clear those shelves and make room for the new Dan Brown book. Look for donations around town. Set up a stand at your local farmer’s market. Nothing goes together like turnips and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
- Church Donations. Ask your place of worship if you can set up shop outside on Sunday. What churchgoer wouldn’t donate to a good local cause or organization?
- Hot Dog Eating Contest. Everybody knows how fun these are. Make sure to have separate divisions like flyweight and heavyweight. It wouldn’t hurt to have a wheelbarrow around to get the contestants back home.
- Shoe and Cleat Shining. It sounds a little old fashioned, but baseball and soccer cleats need constant maintenance and lots of leather food. This works best if there is a big tournament nearby, but a day’s work will pay big.
- Summer Concert. Get your favorite band to play at the local pavilion. Or try playing your own instrument downtown during a festival or busy time. Don’t forget to advertise that you’re fundraising and not panhandling.
- Car Wash. A tried and true money maker. Charge extra for waxing and tire shining. Also, advertise well in advance for this one and be sure to hold the car wash in a convenient location.
- Water Balloon Fight. Who doesn’t need to let out a little aggression sometimes? A little water balloon never hurt anyone. Provide the balloons and make sure mom and dad are involved. A $5 entrance fee will add up quickly. Leave the white T-shirts at home for a PG affair.
Don’t be afraid to use several of these fundraisers in combination throughout the summer, and be sure to hold them on multiple weekends. Also, taking advantage of sports tournaments, festivals, concerts and farmer’s markets is extremely advantageous. Good Luck!