Fundraising Ideas

These are some great ideas to help kick start your fundraiser!


ASK

  • Corporate Matching: Take advantage of corporate matching gifts programs. Many of your donors may work for companies that have a program like this – their donation could double simply by filling out a form from their Human Resources department and following the steps to submit a matching gift
  • Waiters: Ask the waiter/waitress or bartender at your favorite hangout to donate a day’s tips. If you have a friend who waits or bartends, ask them, too.
  • Spare Change: Ask your favorite restaurant or local pub to put out a jar for donations of spare change. Decorate it with quotes, pictures, pink ribbons. Put these out somewhere obvious – you’re sure to get some attention!
  • Delegate: Give 10 friends 10 donation slips to get assistance in rounding up donations.
  • Birthday Gift: In lieu of a gift for your birthday, ask your friends and family to make a donation.
  • Ask your neighbors, doctor, dentist, veterinarian, yoga instructor, personal trainer, lawyer, insurance agent, auto mechanic or whoever for a donation.
  • Tribute Donations: Encourage your donors to make their donations in “honor of,” “support of,” or “memory of” someone they know who has been affected by breast cancer. This is a great way to let them feel very much a part of your experience. Suggest a donation amount for them to sign a shirt or a placard that you will carry with you on Race day, or print their names on a twist of pink ribbon that you will pin to your shirt.

PARTY TIME

  • 50/50 Raffle: Sell tickets to a 50/50 raffle at a large event or gathering. The prize is half the “pot”. The winner splits the “pot” with you – you get 50% of the proceeds and they get the other 50%. See if your boss will let you conduct a 50/50 raffle once a week at work.
  • Baseball Game: Or other local sporting event. Buy a section of tickets at a group rate and ask your family and friends for a donation of twice the price. Get food donated and host a tailgate party.
  • Benefit Night: Throw a fundraising party at a local establishment. Ask for a suggested donation at the door. But also make sure to ask that local restaurant, ice cream parlor or teacher’s supply store, to support you with a donation of 10% (or more!) of the night’s sales – don’t be too shy to ask. Also, check with your local restaurant if they are willing to support you with a donation of 10% (or more!) on an evening even without a fundraising party – again, don’t be too shy to ask. You can offer to generate a flyer to promote patrons coming to their establishment to help increase their business, and thus your percentage.
  • Bowling Party: Ask your local bowling alley to donate some lanes for a fundraising party.
  • Children’s Birthday Party: Post signs at local schools and child care centers offering your party planning services for a sizeable donation. Plan a theme party and get supplies, favors, food and beverages donated. If you are crafty you could even make costumes. Some ideas are a Princess Party or a Harry Potter Party.
  • Fundraising dinner at your local favorite restaurant – Ask your favorite local restaurant to host a fundraising dinner for you. They supply the food and you supply the pledge forms!
  • Gala Night: Host an elegant or formal party. Have food and beverages donated.
  • Game Night: Host a game night; Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble, Poker, Bridge, Bingo. Serve donated food and drinks. Ask for a suggested donation at the door.
  • Garden Tour: Hold a garden tour at your home or at a local historical home. Have the tour promoted through your local newspaper.
  • Golf Outing/Tournament: Work with a local golf course to plan a charity golf outing. Ask for a specific suggested donation amount to participate and see if you can get prizes donated for the winner of each hole, or the whole course.
  • Host a movie party at your house – Pick up a new flick at your local movie store, make popcorn, pick up some soda and invite your friends and family over for movie night.
  • Host a Poker Game – Call your serious (or not so serious) card-playin’ friends invite them over for poker night.
  • It’s Football Season! – With the NFL going pink each year, it’s a perfect time to get some football parties going! Or host a Super Bowl Party! And what’s a football party without a football pool? Of course, all the proceeds will go toward your fundraiser!
  • Movie Party: Host a movie party at your house. Every time the word “walk” is said in the movie, everyone antes up $1 in a donation bowl. Have pizza donated and ask for a suggested donation at the door.
  • Movie/TV Marathon: Host a movie or TV series marathon. Choose a theme (Hitchcock, I Love Lucy, Gilligan’s Island, Seinfeld) and start the popcorn! Ask for a suggested donation at the door. Enhance the theme with a suggested $1 donation every time a specific word or phrase is spoken, every time Hitchcock himself appears, every time Jerry has an “aside” with Elaine.
  • Pancake Breakfast: Host a pancake breakfast at a school, park or place of worship. Ask for a specific suggested donation amount at the door. Get the pancake mix and other food items donated by local stores. Make it an annual event.
  • Pet Birthday Party: Have a fun birthday party for your pet – or a friend’s pet. Serve dog biscuits and ask everyone to wear ears! Ask for a suggested donation at the door. Take photos of your guests with the guest of honor.
  • Scrapbooking Party: Host a scrapbooking party at your house, or at the local store. Ask a pro to lead an inspirational idea exchange and have some great samples on display, some special supplies and/or discounts for attendees. Serve donated food and drinks and ask for a suggested donation at the door.
  • Silent Auction: Ask some local businesses to donate items or gift certificates and hold a silent auction at your fundraising event, or on a payday at work. Things like a book of car wash certificates, $10 off dry-cleaning, movie passes, play tickets, restaurant gift certificates, pet grooming, a week of free coffee; the list is endless! Set minimum donation limits and allow people to bid them up. Some walkers even get their place of business to agree to set up a silent auction for one item every Friday at work. They get something donated and the office has fun bidding on something new each week.
  • Spaghetti Dinner: Encourage your place of worship, work, school or other organization to host a spaghetti dinner to benefit breast cancer. Have all of your friends help with the cooking to make an event where families are welcome and are asked for a specific suggested donation amount to join in the fun. Or organize a potluck party along the same lines where everyone brings a dish to pass and gets to socialize with friends and neighbors. Make sure to have plenty of donation slips.
  • Sweets Party: Have a dessert auction at work! Ask local restaurants, bakeries and groceries to donate yummy desserts. Post signs at work well in advance, and then bring all of the desserts in to work on Friday. Hold a silent or live auction – who doesn’t need dessert for the weekend? Add on to this by making pink ribbon cookies or some other such treat that you can sell for $1 each while you have everyone in the mood for sweets! Add on even more by getting coffee donated – and sell the coffee to go with that cookie!
  • Swim Party: Ask a local public pool to donate (or rent at a reduced rate) a couple of hours for a private party. This is a great way to get teenagers involved in the fundraising effort. Have donated snacks on hand, and be sure to include a lifeguard. Turn on some music and ask for a suggested donation at the door.
  • Tea Party: Host a traditional High Tea, or ask a local hotel to do so on your behalf. Ask for a suggested donation at the door.
  • Theme Dinner: Hold a theme dinner party for at least 10 of your friends; donation $50 a person. Spend just $20 per person on food and you’ve raised $300 in donations. Better yet, have all of the food donated!
  • Themed Music/Dance Party: Host a music/dance night – 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s style. Play all of the old favorites. Ask people to come dressed in costume and dance the night away. Serve donated drinks and food. Ask for a suggested donation at the door. You can even ask a DJ if they’d donate an evening for you, so you can have a complete selection of tunes!
  • Wine and Cheese Party – Host a party at a local restaurant and ask the owner to donate the wine and cheese. Blind tastings are fun – or dress up the event with some very special vintages.

AT WORK OR SCHOOL

  • “Loose Change Day”: It’s amazing how the change will add up! “Pennies for the Girls” is an extremely popular collection idea using large pretzel containers.
  • Personal vending machine at work: Have you ever wondered how much money the vending machine at work clears in a single week? Find out! Purchase some of the office favorites in bulk (or better yet have them donated!), mark them up, and sell them from your desk for $1 or $2. If you have a way to keep them cold, do the same with bottled water and sodas.
  • Lunch Room: Put up a display in the lunch room at work (a sign with your picture and a note about what you are doing); be sure to include a jar for donations and a stack of your donation slips.
  • Dress Down Friday: Ask your boss if you can host a “Dress Down Friday.” Employees buy a button and get to dress down on an assigned day.
  • Marathons! Think outside the box and hold a dance or cycling marathon. Collect pledges from your colleagues, friends and family!
  • Put Your Boss in Pink: Employees will gladly donate in order to dress the boss in pink!

SPREAD THE WORD

  • Say It With Color: Color your hair pink or shave your head for donations. Become a human conversation starter and see how much attention you can draw to your dedication to the cause.
  • Meet the Press: Contact the editor of your local paper, or your company newsletter – or both! Ask them to interview you about what you’ve undertaken and why, and include a request for support. Be sure they include instructions in the story for how readers can make donations to you.
  • Speak at a place of worship: Ask your local place of worship if you can speak to their congregation about the Race for the Cure® and your commitment after a service and set up a table to collect donations afterwards.

TAP LOCAL TALENT/BUSINESSES

  • Karaoke Bar: Ask your local karaoke bar to host a benefit night. Invite all of your friends; ask for a suggested donation at the door.
  • Rock On!: If you know musicians, ask them to perform a benefit concert at a backyard BBQ, block party or local club.
  • Creative Friends: Ask a local artist or creative friend to donate a piece of art or jewelry that you can auction off. If you aren’t creative yourself, ask a friend to design a thank you card or blank note card that you can package, tie up with a ribbon and sell.
  • Happy Hour: Wear a Race for the Cure® to Happy Hour and ask people to sign it for a $10 donation. Ask the DJ to announce that you are in the bar.

WORK IT

  • Bartender: Ask your favorite bar if you can guest bartend for a night and keep all of your tips. Make sure you invite all of you friends to come in that night.
  • Sell Space on a Shirt: Sell small blocks of space on a shirt you plan to wear at the Race for the Cure® for a suggested $20 donation. Encourage donors to write a tribute to you, a friend or a loved one.
  • The more you can make your donors feel a part of your experience, and therefore a part of the cure, the more they are likely to give on your behalf. Having them sign something you will walk with is a great way to accomplish this.
  • Lemonade Stand: Have a yard sale with a lemonade stand, or just a lemonade stand. This is a great way to get your kids or neighbors involved and have them feel like they are joining you in making a difference.
  • Benefit night at a local restaurant: Check in with your favorite local hangouts. Many restaurants already have programs in place to help you fundraise at their establishment. Be a guest bartender? A guest griller? Or hand out coupons to their establishment for a percentage of profits for that evening.