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Fundraising Tips

The 9 Best Ways to Raise Money For Charity (2024) + Examples

December 27, 2023

There are hundreds of different ways to raise money for charity. From bake sales to planned giving, nonprofits can pick and choose several options to help generate revenue — and make more impact than ever before.

In this blog, we’ll walk you through exactly how to bring in donations, including the 9 best fundraising ideas to raise money for your charity, including:

  1. Peer-to-peer fundraising
  2. Seasonal giving 
  3. Membership programs
  4. Events
  5. Raffles and lotteries
  6. Online stores
  7. Corporate philanthropy
  8. Planned giving
  9. Grants 
Call to Action: Sign up and start fundraising for free today

1. Peer-to-peer fundraising  

Peer-to-peer fundraising

Like a crowdfunding campaign, P2P fundraising is when individuals raise money on your organization’s behalf. The fundraisers create a donation page or fundraising page where they ask for donations from their friends, family, or colleagues for the cause. 

So, instead of the charity raising the money on its own, peer-to-peer fundraisers tap into their own social networks to bring in donations.  

Examples of P2P fundraising campaigns include:


Check out how the University of Montreal raised $320k through P2P fundraising →

Watch Zeffy demo on fundraising

2. Seasonal giving campaign 

Giving Tuesday seasonal giving campaign

A seasonal giving campaign is a special effort to encourage people to donate or support a cause during a specific time of the year. These campaigns are usually tied to particular seasons, events, or holidays. Or, at times when people are more charitable like:

3. Membership program

Example of a membership program for the green Foundation

A membership program allows supporters to be part of your nonprofit organization and enjoy specific perks at the same time. People become members by signing up and often paying a fee. In return, they get special benefits, updates, and the satisfaction of being part of something important. A great way to strengthen donor relationships and secure recurring "donations" (in this case, fees), memberships are often an underestimated way to reach your fundraising goals.

Here are a couple of examples of memberships in which you’d charge fees:

Compare the best nonprofit membership software here →

Call to Action: Sign up and start fundraising for free today

4. Events 

A fundraising event

Events bring people together to support a cause, raise funds, and create awareness. They can range from charity walks to galas and serve as a way for the community to contribute to something meaningful.

If you're looking to host fundraising events, consider ideas like:

Check out how Noelle’s Gift Uses Zeffy for all its events →

5. Raffles and lotteries

Winners of a raffle

Make fundraising exciting by adding a bit of luck! With raffles and lotteries, people buy tickets for a chance to win prizes donated by local businesses. It's like a win-win – supporters have fun, and the charity gets funds.

Examples include:

Learn how Big Brothers Big Sisters of St. Thomas use Zeffy’s free raffle software →

6. Online store 

In 2023, e-commerce made up $284.1 billion of sales in the U.S. To take advantage of this kind of shopping, nonprofits should sell merchandise, products, or services using an online store to support their mission. Goods include:

Call to Action: Sign up and start fundraising for free today

7. Corporate philanthropy

Matching gifts with double the donations



In 2022, corporations gave more than $21 billion to nonprofits. Take advantage of this corporate philanthropy by teaming up with for-profit corporations to make a big impact. 

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8. Planned giving 

Planned giving for Best friends charity

Planned giving is when people make arrangements in advance to donate to a nonprofit in the future. Planned giving allows individuals to leave a lasting impact on a cause they care about and support the nonprofit's long-term goals. 

Typically, a planned gift is 200 to 300 times the size of a donor's largest annual gift. Meaning, this is a great way to secure some major donors. Examples of planned gifts include:


9. Grants 

Corporate grants for YWCA

Grants are special funds or financial gifts given to nonprofits by foundations, government agencies, or other organizations to support specific projects or programs. Nonprofits apply for grants by submitting proposals that outline their project or initiative. If approved, they receive the grant money to carry out the proposed work.

Some grant examples include:

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Watch Zeffy demo on fundraising

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3 best platforms to raise money for your charity

Zeffy

Zeffy is a free fundraising platform

Zeffy is the only 100% free fundraising platform for nonprofits. With customizable e-tickets, QR codes for scanning at check-in, flexible payment types, discount codes, and custom donation forms, Zeffy does it all. Unlike other platforms that charge subscription and processing, and often a monthly fee—not to mention other hidden fees—Zeffy doesn't charge nonprofits a cent.

Plus, Zeffy doesn’t just stop at fundraising. The platform offers donor management too. This means that nonprofits can centralize all of their fundraising events and efforts in one place—for free.

Best for: Nonprofits who are looking for a 100% free option to manage their fundraising efforts. Because Zeffy doesn't charge nonprofits a cent—and offers a full suite of other fundraising tools like donor management and peer-to-peer fundraising—this software is designed for anyone looking to maximize their impact, save time, and raise money.

Pricing & fees: 100% free (no platform fee - no transaction fee)

While every other platform takes fees away from your mission, Zeffy delivers 100% of it to your nonprofit.

Here’s how it works: When someone makes a donation on your fundraising form, they have the option (but are never obliged) to give to Zeffy. Not everyone gives every time and that's okay. Enough donors leave a contribution to cover overhead AND fees.

Nonprofits paid $3 billion in transaction fees last year. Zeffy is ending this with zero fees. 

Call to Action: Sign up and start fundraising for free today

Givebutter

Givebutter platform for nonprofits

Givebutter is an online fundraising platform designed to simplify and enhance the process of collecting online donations for various causes. It caters to a wide range of users, including nonprofits, schools, teams, and individuals looking to fundraise for charitable purposes. Plus, it even allows nonprofits to sell tickets, create event pages, and more.

Standout feature: Peer-to-peer fundraising 

Best for: Nonprofits looking for a quick and easy way to start raising money by using social fundraising like P2P fundraising.

Pricing: Up to 2.9% + 30¢ in processing fees

Compare Zeffy (100% free) to Givebutter →

Donorperfect

Donorperfect

DonorPerfect is a comprehensive donor management and online fundraising solution designed for nonprofits. It provides tools and features to streamline the online donation process, manage donor relationships, and analyze data to optimize fundraising strategies.

Standout feature: Segmented invitations

Best for: Nonprofits in need of event management software. 

Pricing: Custom quote, starting at starting at $99 per month plus 2.5% per transaction

Raise more money for your charity with Zeffy (100% free)

Whether you’re looking to host a peer-to-peer campaign or open an online store for your nonprofit, Zeffy can help you start fundraising in minutes. The only fee-free donation and fundraising platform for nonprofits, Zeffy is designed to help your charity bring in more donations for less.

Unlike other platforms, which charge expensive platform and processing fees, Zeffy doesn’t charge a cent. That means that organizations can run events, sell tickets, host raffles, start a membership program, and even launch a seasonal campaign — all right within Zeffy — without paying a single fee.

Watch Zeffy demo on fundraising

Keep reading about fundraising:

Fundraising for Nonprofits : Essential Guide + 12 ideas

Peer-to-Peer fundraising: The Definitive guide

11 Best Online Fundraising Platforms (free & paid)

101+ Fundraising ideas for nonprofits