Unique Fundraising Ideas

List of 27 Unique Fundraising Ideas

Thousands of schools, churches, sports teams and youth groups each month are searching for unique fundraising ideas on the internet just like you!  Welcome to Fundraising Zone, the home of unique fundraiser ideas that actually work.  For the past 50 years we have helped non profit organizations just like yours raise the money they seek without the complexity of some fundraisers.

On this page you will find:

Our unique fundraising idea for Events

Please listen closely to our top unique fundraising ideas because it may not be exactly what you are looking for at first. However, once you play with this idea, we think you’ll have a lot of fun fundraising from now on.

First off, is there anything wrong with the old boring fundraiser ideas you have tried in the past?

Well first of all ask yourself this question… Did those ideas help you raise money for your cause in the past? If the answer is yes, then please consider brainstorming for new unique VARIATIONS to make your old fundraisers NEW and exciting.

Also, remember there are no right or wrong answers when brainstorming. By combining one or two fun ideas, you might come up with a totally new creative and unique fundraiser you never thought of before! 

Sound intriguing?

When is the best time to get started? Right now!

So, how about an example?

Unique fundraising ideas for school, a nonprofit organization or charity

When you think of raising money for school, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Maybe an old-fashioned PTA bake sale? So what is the first thing you would do? 

For instance, if you have made money with bake sales in the past, you can brainstorm 10 ways to make it a unique bake sale instead. Have fun with this …

For example, just suppose you googled recipes for pop movie stars and singers favorite homemade treats, and then you use those recipes instead of the same old boring ones everyone else uses?

Imagine offering Justin Bieber brownies or Taylor Swift sugar cookies for example! This is just one way to take a proven old fashion school fundraiser and add a unique twist to it. The challenge is to turn the “expected” into the “unexpected” with a little bit of  imagination.

  • How does that sound to you so far?
  • Can you see how brainstorming can help you come up with some truly unique fundraising ideas? 
  • Do you see the fundraising potential here without any additional overhead cost or expense?

1- Unique fundraisers for sports teams in your local community.

Unique Fundraising Ideas

Let’s say you have a peewee football league and suppose you hold a football summer camp. You could ask players on your local college or high school football team if they would be willing to help teach the younger kids some new skills. Since peewee teams would naturally look up to the bigger players, they would eagerly sign up for this fundraising sports camp, challenge or tournament.

Additionally, for some other unique tips and suggestions you could:

  • Hire a sports photographer that takes action photos to sell to parents.
  • Additionally, you could print your own baseball or sports figure cards of the players on the team. You can charge a small fee and sell them to the family.
  • Furthermore, you could sell team jerseys.
  • You can also do a sports team car wash and sell tickets in advance..
  • You can write famous sports figures and ask for signed photographs. Plus you can make copies of them and sell these cheaply for a few dollars.
  • And finally, you can auction the originals off as an additional way to raise money. Or you can charge a fee and sell raffle tickets to your local supporters in your community.
  • Remember to give people in your community an option to learn about your event online. Tell your potential donors why you need to raise money and your supporters will rally behind your nonprofit cause so they can help.

2- Unique fundraisers for church

Use these unique fundraiser church ideas and tips to raise money from people in your local community.

Need to raise money for church? Try these unique fundraising ideas for church:

  • Just suppose you had a costume party where everyone dressed as a Bible character? 
  • Additionally, what if you sold t-shirts with encouraging scriptures on them? (HINT, people like fun shirts!)
  • What if you offered to do good deeds or chores for others for a voluntary contribution on the part of the donor?
  • And finally, based on popularity and profitability repeat the winning fundraiser ideas again next year.

Do you see the fundraising potential with this ideas? 

Now it’s your turn to create something unique using this concept.

Here are some of our top unique fundraising ideas for schools, sports teams, and youth organizations.

Get together with your fundraising team and brainstorm some fun ways to put a unique twist on these classic fundraisers. 

How to sell Cookie Dough to raise money in your local community. Have fun with these unique fundraiser ideas!

3- Unique Cookie dough fundraisers

What makes our cookie dough fundraiser unique?

  • Mouthwatering flavors.
  • Your customers get 2 pound tubs for only $10 each
  • What is your expected return on your Schools and youth groups also earn up to a 50% profit on every sale.
  • Finally, we have a unique price catalog to help give incentives to your volunteers to sell more product.

What are some additional ways to make your cookie dough event special?

  • Hold a contest to see who can sell the most cookie dough.
  • Build a unique theme around your fundraiser. 
  • Additionally, have your volunteers dress up in costumes when soliciting donations with your cookie dough brochure.
  • Have a contest with your customers to send in fun videos of them making and eating their cookies.
  • Finally, combine this fundraiser event with other fundraising projects to maximize your fundraising potential. For instance, use the matching gift, peer-to-peer, crowdfunding or text to give ideas we share below. Remember, your donors and supporters are predisposed to help. So ask them for their help!

4- Unique popcorn fundraisers

How to raise money in your local community with popcorn. No overhead cost involved! Enjoy these unique popcorn fundraisers ideas!

So what makes the Fundraising Zone popcorn fundraiser so unique?

  • Our popcorn fundraisers offer 8 gourmet flavors.
  • At only $8 each, this is an affordable popcorn fundraiser compared to other programs that could cost 3-4 times that price!
  • Your school or team also earns up to a 50% profit on each sale.
  • Additionally, you can choose a popcorn related theme to make this more unique. For instance, if you are representing a Humane Society, you could call it popcorn for puppies. You can hold a contest and your supporters will come up with some great ideas for you!


5- Unique winter fundraiser events

How to raise money this winter! These unique holiday fundraiser ideas can help!

Our most popular fundraising brochure has to be a winter wonderland fundraising catalog.

What makes it unique? 

  • Your customers will enjoy beautiful gift wrap designs, matching bows, and affordable gifts for everyone in the family.
  • Furthermore, there are dozens of gift ideas in this brochure for you to focus on.
  • Your nonprofit group also earns up to a 50% profit on each sale.
  • Another unique benefit of this program is that there is no money out-of-pocket or overhead to get started. By the way, all of our programs work this way. This is because we want you to have a risk-free fundraising opportunity for your supporters and school students.

Unique fundraising events.

Here are some additional unique fundraiser events to run throughout the year.

6- Peer to peer.

Reach out to everyone you know and tell them about your great organization and what you are accomplishing in the world.

Tell them why you are raising money and ask for their help. This can be done either by asking for direct donations or by asking people to buy from your fundraising catalogs.

Finally, be sure to tell your unique story and how their donation can help make a difference. Simply put, a peer to peer fundraiser works! 

The lesson? Its time for your nonprofit organization, school or charity to ask their supporters to reach out the the people they know in the community for help.

7- Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is getting more and more popular today.

It allows your organization, nonprofit or school to raise money online. It is a quick way to fundraise and raise money in your local community. Be sure to talk it up on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. 

8- Matching gift

Did you know there are businesses and organizations in your neighborhood that would be happy to match whatever money your organization raises on its own? It’s true!

So, why would a business offer a matching gift?

  • First of all, businesses and businesses are always looking for ways to get good public press.
  • Additionally, any donations they make are write-off’s for the business.
  • Finally, the businesses get plenty of free advertising and exposure to their potential customers.
  • The lesson? Matching gift campaigns work! Use this principle with your nonprofit group, school or local charity.

9- Text to give campaigns

Have your students and volunteers text all of their acquaintances about your fundraising event. You can send them a link to your fundraising page where your popcorn or cookie dough brochure is located.

Keep track of these phone numbers so you can use them for a future fundraising event.

What is the expected return on your personal fundraising efforts? The only overhead costs are your time to text your friends and family in the community about your fundraising event, challenge, tournament or raffle.

10- Face to face

While Internet and web based fundraising apps are great, nothing can replace good old-fashioned face-to-face contact with your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers.

The lesson? Personal fundraising works better than anything!

Why does this work so well?

It is because people yearn for connection in the social media world. People will donate because they like you as a person and believe in your cause, NOT because of your online fundraising efforts.

Bonus tip for phone calls: If you must use the phone then make it as personal as possible. Smile when talking on the phone. Professional companies that do telemarketing place a mirror in front of them while calling people in the community. This reminds them to keep smiling!

Bonus tip for email and texting: Texting and email can be so impersonal. So, write and text like you would talk to people face to face. When you type like you talk to people face to face you can still make this a personal fundraising event.

Unique fundraiser event ideas.

So far we have discussed that by using our imagination, we can take an “old” fundraising idea and make it a new or unique event, challenge or tournament.

The same thing applies to creating unique fundraising versions for these old favorites too.

11- Car wash

So how do you make a carwash unique?

There are many ways you can do this:

  • Combine a car wash in with a water balloon fight so people have fun getting wet and washing cars the same time.
  • Furthermore, you can combine the car wash with a cookout so people can buy a hamburger or hot dog while they’re getting the car washed.
  • Finally, you can have people dressed in cartoon character costumes waving customers down to get their car washed by your organization.

12- Hold a raffle

People love to spend a dollar or two for a raffle ticket in hope of winning a valuable prize.

How can you add a unique twist to the typical raffle program that people hold?

  • Do an online poll and ask what kind prize you should raffle off. Next, raffle off the most popular choice. The idea is that if everyone has an opportunity to vote for it, they will be more inclined to support your raffle.
  • Additionally, instead of simply raffling off a prize, why not raffle off a unique experience instead? You could include transportation and dinner combined with the event experience of your choice.
  • Finally, make it a contest to see who has the most success selling tickets. Remember to reward those who excel at spreading the word!

13- Hold a silent auction

Your volunteers can donate a prize, or you can team up with local businesses who would be willing to donate a unique prize for your auction.

Why would they be willing to do this for your school or organization?

  • Firstly, many businesses have overstocked items they cannot sell. 
  • Secondly, you will be surprised at the cool things they will donate as auction items.
  • Thirdly, they get free publicity and advertising to your supporters.
  • Additionally, this is also a write-off for their business.

14- Walk-a-Thons

You can hold a walkathon for your school or your non-profit organization.

The idea behind this walking fundraiser is for your volunteers to get friends and family to sponsor them for every mile they walk.

How can you make this unique?

  • Just suppose you walked backwards!
  • You can also walk with a pet. Imagine a pet walkathon!
  • Furthermore, you can walk dressed in a themed costume. Imagine, 500 people dressed like Elvis walking in your fundraiser.
  • You can generate a lot of free press for your organization this way.

15- 5k run marathon

5K runs are very popular. If you plan this ahead of time, you can get many people from your community that will be willing to run your marathon fundraiser. In turn, they will tell all of their friends and family too.

  • Brainstorm ideas and ways to make your marathon unique.
  • Feel free to borrow some of the ideas from the walkathon above.

16- Scavenger Hunt

This could be a lot of fun if you themed it the right way.  

Of course this would depend on who your scavenger hunters are.

  • A Harry Potter themed scavenger hunt.
  • A baseball themed hunt.
  • A Disney princess themed hunt.
  • You get the idea!

Top Unique Fundraising Events For Youth Groups

We think you will enjoy these additional creative fundraising events. These are great for raising money for school clubs, proms, libraries and teams too.

17- Restaurant parties.

Your community has all different kinds of restaurants and ethnic food varieties, doesn’t it?

Instead of eating the same old thing all the time, why not explore new foods and new cultures with a restaurant party fundraiser.

How does it work?

You can throw a restaurant fundraising party once a month or quarterly. You can take a poll and have your supporters vote on their favorite kind of food or the favorite restaurants.

Simply approach the owners of these restaurants and tell them about your youth organization and why you need to raise money. Many of them will be happy to work with you and provide you a percentage of the sales you generate for your party.

  • Pick a fun theme for every party.
  • Have door prizes.
  • Be sure to talk this up on social media.

18- Bingo night!

Many organizations have had success with a weekly or monthly bingo night. Why don’t you try one too?

It provides a great opportunity to have fun and to get to know your neighbors. You can sell refreshments and raffle tickets too.

19- Talent show!

Talent shows are very popular. How can you make yours unique?

Perhaps, you can choose a theme for your talent show.

  • Maybe just magic tricks.
  • Or stupid pet tricks. (Like Dave Letterman used to do.)
  • Or even stupid human tricks!
  • Finally, you can take lots of photos and videos for social media advertising next year’s event!

20- Karaoke night

How can you make this unique?

  • Just do Broadway show tunes.
  • Maybe just movie songs.
  • Songs about animals.
  • You get the picture!

21- Golf tournament

There are many golf enthusiasts in your community. Many of these golf lovers do not need an excuse to play golf this weekend. However, they may need one for their spouse so they can go!

So why not give them a reason to play while helping a good cause at the same time? Local charity golf tournaments are the answer.

Tell each golfer they will get a discount to enter for every fellow golfer they recommend to play. A portion of the proceeds can go toward the prize and your organization gets to keep the balance.

22- Guinness book of records event.

Want to get your community involved in breaking all of the records for the Guinness book? This would get your town on the map with plenty of free publicity and news coverage. It should be easy to get local sponsors from businesses to help out. 

Profitable Unique Fundraisers for school, sports teams and clubs.

These work great when combined with our fundraising brochures. Schedule your events through the year so you have several opportunities to raise the money you need.

23- Famous recipe book

Just suppose all of the kids in your group reached out to their favorite celebrities and asked them what their favorite recipes were? Tell them about your cookbook and how the proceeds will help your organization. Many of them will be happy to oblige. You can sell these locally or on Amazon. Team up with a local printer or an online printing company.

24- Weight loss theme

Obesity affects children and adults alike. The unhealthy consequences are high blood pressure and diabetes for many. As a result almost everyone can use the encouragement to lose a little weight.

Just suppose you had a weight-loss fundraiser. You can have a public weigh-in day using a specific scale. Then everyone needs to get sponsors to donate a dollar for every pound lost.

Your organization wins because of the donations and your volunteers lose weight and get more energy!

25- Hold a doggy car wash

This should make for plenty of good photo opportunities. It’s a great time for pets and dogs to spend social time together, as well as to get to know your neighbors.

Many people put off washing their pets because they do not cooperate all of the time. This Doggie Car Wash could help them and your youth group at the same time.

  • Have a doggy photographer on-hand to sell photos.
  • Offer to wash their cars while they wait for their dog!
  • Sell refreshments.
  • Collect email addresses and phone numbers to contact them for your next event.
  • Offer a daily or weekly dog walking service while you are talking with them.

26- Olympic Games

Create some wacky unique Olympic Games that people never heard of before.

This is an opportunity to get good exercise and have fun at the same time. Remember to take lots of photos and videos to put on social media. You’ll probably have so much fun with this you will repeat it again next year.

27- T-shirt contest

Have a logo design contest and offer a prize for the best design.

People can vote on social media for their favorite designs. The best design is turned into a T-shirt. Your group earns a portion of the profits for every shirt created and sold.

Free Unique Fundraising Resources For You

FundraisingZone.com is a one-stop source center for everything you need to succeed in holding your unique fundraiser. 

  • We have a checklist to help you organize your fundraiser.
  • We show you how to hold brainstorming events for the best fundraiser ideas.
  • Additionally, you have dozens and dozens of articles on popular fundraising ideas used by your peers already.
  • Furthermore, we have a free fundraising kit that we would be happy to send to you. It includes samples of our all of our popular fundraising brochures.
  • Free brochures! After you select the perfect fundraising brochure for your organization, we will send them to you for free.
  • Finally, you get free coaching from a fundraising expert. This is because we want you to have a successful, unique event that you can repeat again next year.

Feel free to contact us at 1.800.645.6550 to talk to someone who can answer all of your questions and and help you select a unique fundraising brochure for your non-profit group.