Getting the entire family involved in fundraising is a great way to involve all ages with your nonprofit. Shifting your fundraising mindset to target a slightly different audience—entire families—can be exactly what your nonprofit needs to reach your goals. That being said, it’s key to get families excited about fundraising by providing fun, engaging options and events for every season.
So whether you’re fundraising for a school organization, local nonprofit, or other charity, start planning your yearly fundraising calendar with these fun family-friendly ideas.
Spring: Plant Sale
Product fundraisers have a lot of potential. Groups sell everything from cookie dough and household goods to wrapping paper and popcorn. These types of fundraisers can be great for entire families to get behind, using their networks of extended family members, colleagues, friends, and neighbors.
Put a seasonal spin on your spring fundraiser with a plant sale. Selling bulbs, potted flowers, and other plants lets you tap into families’ post-winter enthusiasm for the outdoors and add a little color and fun to their homes. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Start by finding a reputable product fundraising partner you can work with. There are a number of options available, from large national companies who specialize in plant sales to local greenhouses and nurseries looking to support nonprofits in their community. Best Fundraising Ideas suggests working with a partner that offers both a good return on investment and high quality products.
- Promote your plant fundraiser through all your channels, including email, social media, and your website. Send notices home with students at local schools, and engage families by asking them for help posting fliers throughout your community.
- You might also consider adding a peer-to-peer element to your spring plant sale, which allows families to sell plants on behalf of your organization. You get even greater reach and exposure for the sale, which help boost fundraising outcomes. Think about adding incentives for the biggest seller or sellers to create some friendly competition between families.
Summer: Charity Sports Tournament
Sports are popular year-round, but tend to see even higher levels of participation and interest in the summer, particularly among families. Capitalize on this increased popularity with a charity sports event or tournament. Sports allow for broad participation among families and the community at large, and perhaps even more importantly, appeal to a variety of community sponsors in industries like healthcare, sports and fitness, and insurance.
You can host a charity tournament for practically any sport, but golf is one of the best options for a fundraiser because:
- Golf is incredibly popular, and is gaining new junior golfers every year. Thanks to scramble formats, mini golf tournaments, and even golf simulator events, your golf fundraiser can involve even more skill levels to participate and contribute to your cause.
- Golf events come with a ton of options to boost revenue and add fun and excitement. GolfStatus recommends adding activities such as hole-in-one contests, on-course games, live or silent auctions, and mulligan or raffle sales to raise extra dollars for your organization.
- Golf tournaments are held outdoors, giving families a chance to connect with each other, enjoy fresh air, and stay active while raising money for your nonprofit.
Fall: Fall Fun Run
Fall is a great time to bundle up and enjoy the changing seasons. Fundraising ideas that embrace the spirit of autumn, such as a fall-themed Fun Run through autumnal forests, is a great way for the whole family to get into the fall spirit. You can monetize this event by selling sponsorships, charging an entry fee, and asking for donations (monetary, in-kind, and volunteer time). Consider ways to involve the entire family, including having different age groupings or heats.
For a Fall Fun Run, you’ll need to plan a route and get permission from the city or book another venue. Keep in mind that you’ll be on the hook for costs if you choose a route that closes streets or requires police presence to manage traffic. Other fun venues might include a park or nature center, pumpkin patch, apple orchard, or outdoor sports complex.
Winter: Holiday Craft Fair
The winter months are a great time to spread some holiday cheer and connect with families in your community. It’s also a key time for nonprofits to focus on year-end fundraising campaigns. In fact, most nonprofits bring in one-third of their annual fundraising revenue in year-end campaigns.
A holiday craft fair can involve families, create connections with artisans and crafters in your community, and boost your year-end fundraising efforts. Start by putting a call out to makers across the community to invite them to participate. One option to structure the fair is to ask them to donate a set portion of their proceeds from the event to your organization in exchange for having a booth and the chance to sell their wares to attendees. You might also charge a nominal admission fee or ask for a donation of a can of food to enter.
Ensure that the event is fun for all ages and there are plenty of activities for kids to make the event truly family-friendly. Some activities include a paper snowflake demonstration or a guided build-your-own snowman craft.
You’ll also want to be sure the event is inclusive to people of all faiths and backgrounds. Recruit vendors and offer activities that are diverse and welcoming to all so you don’t alienate any populations. Remember, more attendees equals more fundraising revenue, plus onboarding new donors in your community.
Fine-tuning your fundraising strategies to target and include families takes some thought. But incorporating these fun, seasonal options into your fundraising calendar gives you a great start. Pick and choose which ones work best for your organization or find ways to add them on to an existing event or campaign. No matter what type of fundraising event you host, be sure you have the right event management software in place to make planning and execution a breeze. For instance, if you’re hosting a charity golf event, the best software solution would be one catered to golf event management. Combine useful tools, a fun event, and passion for your cause, and you’re bound to get families involved.
Logan Foote, Sales and Education Manager at GolfStatus
Logan Foote has been around the game of golf nearly his entire life. He first picked up a club at the age of four, and despite thousands of attempts, he’s never had a hole-in-one. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and pursued a career in sales. Logan came to GolfStatus in 2017, where he channels his passion for golf to help nonprofits raise money through the game. As Sales and Education Manager, Logan oversees a team that works with thousands of nonprofit clients to maximize their golf fundraisers with the GolfStatus platform, and shares his golf fundraising expertise through GolfStatus’s free educational webinars. He lives and golfs in Lincoln, Nebraska with his wife and three sons.