Unique & Classy Fundraiser Ideas

Make your fundraising events exciting with new ideas.
Make your fundraising events exciting with new ideas. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

If you’re planning on hosting a fundraiser, you must devise a plan for one that is both innovative and appropriate in order to entice donors to participate. As many people must consider whether or not your cause is worthy of their time and money, prepare to execute a fundraiser that has class, but is entertaining.

Barefoot Ball

Give your formal ball a new twist by hosting a barefoot fundraiser. Retain the traditional method of the fundraising ball to include tickets for dinner, drinks and entertainment, but allow everyone at the event to remove their shoes upon entry. Auction off shoes from local celebrities who will show their support in the event by donating shoes that showcases their personalities. Perhaps the local newscaster will donate a pair of stilettos for the event or your local mayor will donate his ratty sneakers from his morning jogs. Aside from the bare feet, guests’ attire should be cocktail or semi-formal. Another alternative to asking guests to be completely barefoot throughout the event is to issue flip flops to everyone.

Dinner in the Dark

Fundraising benefits that feature dinner make their success through the chance that guests receive from networking and intermingling with each other over a good meal. Businesses and large groups of individual supporters can reserve seats by the table, and it’s a chance to see and be seen. Give patrons an opportunity to raise money for a good cause, in the dark. Choose an outdoor facility such as the pavilion of your local civic center and use very simple lighting for the dinner space. Use white string lights, tea lights and candles to not only light the space, but set the tone for this nontraditional event. Theme the event “lights out” for your specific cause and make it clear to guests that low lighting will be used to spotlight the importance of your issue.

Celebrity Auction

Use local celebrities within your community to raise funds for your event. Ask socialites, politicians, heads of state and the like to auction themselves off. Events like bachelor/bachelorette auctions work very well if you can wrangle up enough single “celebrities.” If most of your dignitaries are taken, auction them off for odd services for guests to bid on, such as having your dry cleaning delivered by your top radio personality or getting driven to your Monday morning meeting by the fire chief.

Ballroom Dance-a-thon

Raise money by challenging community members to compete in a 24-hour dance-a-thon. Members are eliminated when they stop dancing, and the winners of the competition can receive prizes and a trophy for their efforts. Charge entry fees for competitors and admission fees for interested fans who will cheer on their favorite performers.

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