Fundraising Ideas

7 summer fundraising ideas for nonprofits

Raise mega funds with creative campaigns your donors are guaranteed to love

After more than a year of remaining inside and 6 feet apart, your supporters are just as ready for some (safe) summer fun as you are. The competition for donors’ attention may be fierce, but these exciting and engaging summer fundraising strategies will help you efficiently raise funds and call attention to your nonprofit’s mission, all while having a blast!

🎟️ Throw an event

Drive-in movies, golf tournaments and outdoor exercise classes are just a few examples of events that are experiencing a resurgence in the wake of loosening covid restrictions. Catch the wave by hosting an event that your supporters will adore — remember to suggest a donation amount or set a fixed ticket price.

Don’t have a drive-in theater nearby or know an exercise class instructor? Work with whatever you’ve got! Open houses, garden(ing) parties, fun runs, themed bike rides, happy hours, and ice cream socials are events that almost any nonprofit can execute.


🏆 Host a contest

Flip the script on traditional contests by asking donors to vote with their money. Host a big-ticket event like a Battle of the Bands, Brewery Tour, or Food Truck Competition. Or, opt for a more casual get-together like a Pet Pageant, Arts & Crafts Fair, or Car Decorating Contest. Almost anything that excites your donor base can be turned into a fund-raising extravaganza. The rules are simple: whoever raises the most wins!

💵 Conduct a summertime silent auction

Now is the perfect time to put your leftover auction items to use! Anyone can participate in a silent auction if you host it online — that increased accessibility can translate to a significant impact in both donor engagement and funds raised.

The best part: you can host your auction in-person, too. Simply replace traditional silent auction bid sheets with QR codes, and suddenly you have a hybrid event that even your vacationing donors can participate in.

Take this idea to the next level by embedding a live stream of your in-person auction on your event page.

🏡 Organize a community yard sale

Spring cleaning gets all the glory, but what better way to freshen up your home or office and shed this last quarantine-filled year than by organizing a community yard sale?! Just ask local businesses and residents to put their unwanted wares on display at the designated time and donate a portion of their proceeds.

You’ll draw a larger crowd by getting your community involved, and all participants will reap the benefits of the extra publicity. You can even tip off local food trucks and other vendors who might be interested in taking advantage of the event. Just be sure to check with local authorities to ensure compliance with any applicable regulations.

💰 Collect spare change

Local businesses are finally starting to open back up. Why not engage them and their customers with a spare change giving campaign? Whether that means leaving physical change jars at cash registers or posting QR codes that generate signups for your digital spare change donation program, this is a great way for businesses to set an example for their customers and bring the community together for a good cause.


📷 Selfies for #socialgood

A selfie campaign is a great way to spread awareness about your cause while also expanding the audience and reach of your nonprofit. Start by creating a unique hashtag for your campaign or event, then ask donors to post photos of themselves for a chance to be featured in your social channels or on your website.

Supporters can participate and donate regardless of where they are, plus help to build your nonprofit's brand. Donations will be a welcome bonus — ask your audience to donate on behalf of the winners to easily monetize your campaign.

🎉 Give away some swag

Giveaway contests involving logo-bearing “swag” are a great way to show donors that you appreciate them while also increasing retention and engagement. Entering the giveaway needs only one condition: make a donation! From there, all donors are equally eligible to participate and win prizes.

You can hold giveaway contests for 24 hours, a week, or a month; but be sure to create a deadline and countdown in order to drive action, create a sense of urgency, and maximize participation.

Need more creative fundraising campaign ideas?