Special Event Fundraising Ideas

Raising money for charities has become particularly difficult for some groups in today's challenging economic times, yet the need for innovative and effective special event fundraising ideas is needed as much now as ever. With budgets growing smaller and disposable incomes shrinking, churches, schools, clubs and charities are all scrambling for whatever monies they can grab.

Car Washes? Bake Sales? Gift Wrap?

Churches have been known to hold car washes and bake sales. One Church in North Vancouver, British Columbia raised most of its annual budget making and selling hand made chocolates using the skills of its members.

Special event fundraising ideas have changed with the times. In years past, organizations had been successful with an array of product sales such as candy and gift wrapping papers, candy dishes and popcorn. For the most part, school fundraising events are often this type - groups will participate in these types of fundraising ideas to facilitate their special events.

Size Makes A Difference

Larger charitable organizations look to sophisticated high dollar special event fundraising ideas such as bingo. A high school in Diamond Bar, California has an ongoing bingo program that raises hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to subsidize school programs.

Still larger regional and national charities including The Red Cross and Big Brothers look to public legacy programs where donations include private property such as vehicles and boats which can be sold for thousands of dollars. Others are supported by annual marathons and vintage car shows.

Fundraising ideas can become special events in and of themselves. Golf tournaments and wine festivals attract thousands of participants. Companies will sponsor individual tees or holes, contests and entertainment or provide gifts and prizes to be auctioned off. The city of Paso Robles, California holds their wine festival annually and it's become a community event. Pasadena, California holds a sidewalk chalk festival sponsored by Absolut Vodka. Such fundraising provides fun events and special tax incentives for businesses to write off and for the public to attend.

Groups that have large membership bases (such as churches and universities) will often receive endowments of real property such as homes and land which generate hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars in revenue. Other monies are received directly as cash donations. Groups then look to corporations and private parties such as Bill Gates who has given millions of dollars to specific charities.

The budget needs of the organization will often determine the types of special event for fundraising. If the group is a permanent charity with staff and offices, an on-going fundraising program is needed to fund salaries and rents. This could mean the need for a professional fundraising service or a staff responsible for fund development.

All of these special event fundraising ideas provide needed money for specific programs and activities.