Fundraising Tips

6 Summer FUNdraising Ideas for Nonprofits

August 3, 2022

Put the “fun” in fundraising with these creative fundraising ideas for summer!

The summer fundraising season for nonprofits is one of the most exciting times of the year. It’s when we take events outside into the sunshine, and the whole family can participate.

Hoping to put a few more fundraising events on the calendar before the end of the season? The good news is, there’s still time to breathe new life into your summer fundraising repertoire. 

Instead of hosting some of the more typical fundraising events, why not try some of these unique alternatives? You will be sure to stand out from the crowd and get your best donor turnout yet!

#1 5K walk/run -> Duck race

You’ve probably hosted or participated in a 5K walk/run fundraiser for your nonprofit. Rather than pounding the pavement, why not put some of your favorite bath time buddies to work for your cause? With a duck race, you can encourage donors of all ages to purchase a rubber duck to race for them for the cost of a donation. Participants mark their rubber duck with their name, release it at the starting line, and wait for their duck to (hopefully) be declared winner at the finish line! Be sure to choose a race course in a local, public waterway where it will be easy to release rubber ducks at the starting line, and capture all of them once they have crossed the finish line.

#2 Picnic in the park -> Outdoor movie screening

Hosting a lunch or dinner picnic fundraiser can be a great way to engage donors while enjoying great food. Next time, think about hosting an outdoor movie screening. You can encourage donors to purchase a ticket that will get them a spot at the screening. You can also provide popcorn, drinks, and other movie-friendly treats for participants to purchase for additional donation opportunities. Participants can bring their friends, family, and blankets to sit out under the stars for an exclusive viewing of one of the classics!

#3 Ice cream social -> Flavor gallery

Ice cream socials are a tasty way to cool down from the summer heat while raising money for your cause. Why not put a creative spin on it with an ice cream flavor gallery? Enlist participants to purchase ice cream flavors and toppings to concoct their own signature flavor of ice cream. And of course, share samples of it at their own stand. Guests can walk around and test all of the unique flavors created by participants, and even pay to put in a vote for their favorite. Fundraising has never been more delicious!

#4 Golf tournament -> Mini putt tournament

Golf tournaments are a great way to engage donors and bring in a lot of donations for your nonprofit organization. Instead of having a tournament just for the pros, make some room for the rest of us! With a mini putt tournament, the whole family can join in. Who knows, you may even have some little pros who want to train to be part of your charity golf tournament someday!

#5 BBQ -> Grill guru contest

Calling all grill masters! Instead of hosting your traditional BBQ fundraiser, turn it into a friendly competition with a grill guru contest. Participants can sign up and donate in order to compete, and other guests can taste-test and pay to put in a vote for their favorite! You can even create multiple grill guru categories to give more competitors a chance to win a title, like best vegan option, best burger, and more.

#6 Triathlon -> Summer polar plunge

Did you know that cold showers can provide tons of health benefits, like increasing your circulation and making you feel more awake? Now imagine those benefits, but while raising money for your cause. Instead of a full triathlon fundraiser, opt for a quick, cool dip in the water with a polar plunge fundraiser! Reserve a spot at a local pool or beach and encourage participants to take an early morning swim for the cost of a donation. You can also set up a peer-to-peer fundraiser to increase your donation potential!