Super Summer Fundraising & Appreciation Ideas

We are finally into Summer and it seems no matter where you are, it is hot out there! People are outside, the sun is shining, kids are happy, and it’s a great time to do a bit of fundraising (and/or donor/member appreciation!). Here’s a few ideas for summer fundraising and appreciation:

Picnic or Barbecue! Everyone loves a picnic and throw some food on the grill and they like it even more. Picnics and bbq’s are a great way to raise money or to show your members or donors how much you appreciate them. The great thing about a bbq is that they can usually be done on the cheap too. A few tips:

  • Ask local businesses or your city officials to donate food, giveaways or the location rental.
  • If you’re looking to raise money, consider charging a small fee for attendees or sell raffle tickets for prizes.
  • Ask your staff, board and community for volunteers to make food and help out at the event.
  • Invite people! Use email marketing for invitation, post the event to Facebook and consider an online registration system (I love Eventbrite!)

Local Restaurant Fundraisers. If its too hot outside to deal with cooking, how about a restaurant fundraiser? Many local restaurants are willing to run fundraisers to give your organization a percentage of sales during a specific day or time. It benefits the restaurant by promoting them to your community and is a low effort way for your organization to raise funds. To make this happen:

  • Search online and see if any local restaurants already have a fundraising program. If not, start contacting them.
  • Promote, promote, promote! Social media is great for these types of events, consider using Facebook ads to give it a little boost. Make flyers, send emails, everything to get the word out.
  • Be there. It may sound simple, but make sure your organization is there during the fundraiser. If it’s a full day event, split your staff and Board into groups to cover the day. Make sure you have marketing materials and swag available too so the customers know who they’re helping out!

Car Wash. This one takes a bit of effort and work but can be a fun way to get everyone out and helping raise money! The biggest advantage of a car wash, though, is that it requires little to no upfront cost. You just need buckets, hoses, sponges, towels, etc. You can use a car wash fee to raise money, or you can do a free car wash for your donors or members to show them some appreciation! How to make the most out of  your car wash?

  • As always, promote, promote, promote! For a fundraising car wash, this includes flyers, website announcements, social media, email marketing and more. For an appreciation car wash, emails to your members or donors is a great tool.
  • Consider sending a press release to local media to announce the car wash. Make sure to tell them all the fun little extras you’ve got planned like snacks or games.
  • Split up shifts working the car wash, because while its relatively easy work, it can get tiring quickly!

So there’s just a few summer time fundraising and appreciation ideas. What are some of your ideas?