6 Low-Cost Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofit Organizations

Speaking with organizers all over the country, they all agreed that the following fundraisers can help you raise the money you need with a minimal investment up front. For any fundraising event, keeping costs down is key and these low-cost strategies could mean more donations from more people resulting in a major impact for your group.

Envelope Fundraisers

This option is great for attracting all levels of donors. You purchase colorful envelopes, print donation amounts across the top, and participants can pick a donation level that suits them. This is a great strategy to use with churches, schools and municipal organizations during their fairs, festivals and weekly events.

All you need is to invest in the cost of envelopes along with a little time to write the donation amount on each envelope. The donors do the rest of the work by choosing a contribution level and submitting their donation.

Weight Loss Challenges

Who doesn’t want to lose weight? What if participants could solicit donations from people to donate based on how much weight they lost? Maybe the participant would donate $5.00 for every pound lost, or they get creative and find family and friends willing to donate enough to equate to $100.00 per pound lost!

The only resource you need here is to spruce up your networking muscle and find people who are willing to lose weight and solicit donations to do it. You can even offer an attractive grand prize if you have enough interest.

Cutest Baby Content

Cute babies? Enough said! All parents think their kid is the cutest and most adorable. That is why every parent wants to show off how cute, adorable, and perfect THEIR kid is to everyone and anyone and are happy to donate money to do so.

Pulling off this type of contest is very easy, as well as cost-effective. All you need is to announce the contest on your website or social media page(facebook, twitter, etc) and let the contestants roll in.

Junk Removal

4.7 billion pounds of clothing is donated to Goodwill every year. That does not even account for the other types of clutter and unnecessary items are crowding your neighbor’s homes.

Most people throw away items that have value, and you can capitalize on that. Simply borrow a box truck, collect unwanted items people no longer want, charge between $75 and $125 per pick up, and then sell the items with value. Team up with someone on your team who is savvy with eBay, and you have a fundraising winner.

The cost to you? Gas and the cost of a rental U-haul if you cannot find one to borrow. Sometimes you may have fees from the local dump, so check with them about rates before scheduling the fundraiser.

Used Book Sale

Even with eBooks and Kindle becoming more popular, people still like to read a good, physical book. But what typically happens when they finish their latest book and move on to the next? Usually, it sits on a shelf and collects dust.

Offering a Used Book sale allows donors to clean out their old book collection to make room for new, updated titles. You can price each book at a reasonable rate while raising money for your cause. The donor feels good knowing the book is going to good use, while the person purchasing the title receives it a fraction of the original price.

Shaving Extravaganza

How much would you pay to see someone have their head shaved or get rid of that ridiculous looking beard? Spectacular entertainment. All you need is someone brave enough to pledge what they will shave, and you are in business.

Once you find your willing participants, simply take an ad out in a local newspaper, spread the word on social media, and see the donations pour in! You can even run a live feed of the event online through youtube, periscope.tv, or other platforms to broaden your reach.

How much do other nonprofits spend on fundraising?

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