This service is no longer live but has been archived for information purposes only. Click here for more info.

Fundraising ideas

A few fundraising ideas to get you started ...

Submitted 4/10/2006 By actnow Views 84875 Comments 8 Updated 7/1/2009

Photographer : Adrian MB

With so many charities and organisations already out there asking for donations, it’s not unusual for people’s generosity to sometimes wear a little thin. In light of this, the fundraising ideas that are more likely to succeed are those that give donators something in return for their generosity.

There are thousands of different ways in which fundraisers may do this. Following are a few simple and effective fundraising ideas that may help you to raise some cash for an organisation or cause that you support.


Garage sale

Garage sales are easy to organise and will cost you next to nothing! That well worn expression—one mans junk is another mans treasure—is full of wisdom, so gather up any unwanted gear and schedule in a Saturday for a fundraising garage sale.

If you’re quick off the mark, you can draw in some extra cash by including some new items in the sale. This can easily be achieved by approaching local businesses and asking them if they are willing to donate some of their products to your cause.

Make sure you advertise you sale well in advance. And be sure to let people know that you’re raising funds for a charitable cause—it’s bound to make them spend more generously.

Market stall

Get together with friends and setup a stall at your community or uni market day. If you and/or your friends have an artistic flair, why not transform these talents into action by making your own products to sell on the day. There’s an endless list of ideas for what you can create—printed t-shirts, jewellery, bags or picture frames to name just a few. If you’re not the creative type, or you are a bit short on spare time, why not sell your second-hand stuff? It can be a really fun way to raise a bit of cash.


Sell your old stuff on e-bay and donate the proceeds. It’s a quick and easy way of fundraising on your own.

Chocolate drive

Be sure not to dismiss the idea of the classic fundraising chocolate drive. Although it’s a little ‘old school’, the chocolate drive is a really simple and reliable way to raise money for a charitable cause. Chocolate is a confessed weakness of almost every individual, so needless to say, a chocolate fundraising drive is a sale that is hard to resist.

There are plenty of Australian manufacturers that supply their products for sale in fundraisers, and their specialised programs will make raising cash easy. Check out these links:

These companies are only a handful of the Australian suppliers of fundraising products. Check out some more at


Raffles are easy to coordinate and cheap to run. However, a word of caution—it’s not a good idea to purchase the prizes and pay them off with the proceeds. If you want to increase your fundraising profits make sure you raffle off donated prizes. Willing donators can easily be found through your work, social and family networks. Local businesses and restaurants can also be a great source of raffle prize donations, so don’t hesitate to make contact.

Organise a fundraising event

Organising an event to raise funds, can be a really effective way to get people to contribute to your cause. Gathering people together for an event specifically organised to raise funds, ups the chances that people will make large or multiple donations throughout the day or night.

Trivia night

Trivia nights can be a really fun way of fundraising, however they do take some forward planning and a fair amount of organisation. When planning the event it’s important to cater to your target audience and to keep in mind that the type of trivia night that is enjoyed by adults may not be the same as that which is appreciated by young people. The tone and setting of different venues may appeal to different audiences, different types of prizes may draw in different crowds and different types of questions may be appropriate for one crowd and not another.

One advantage of trivia nights is that they can provide you with several different opportunities to raise funds throughout the night. You can collect donations by:
  • charging an entry fee at the start
  • selling drinks and snacks
  • holding an auction in between questions.

Sports memorabilia always make for popular auction items, so remember to make use of all your connections, however distant—you never know a friend’s cousin’s cousin’s sister’s boyfriend may be an Australian sports star, willing to donate a signed picture/uniform/ball for a good cause! Short of famous connections, you could ask local businesses to donate their products/services in return for a good name in the community.

If you want to enlist the help of some experienced trivia organisers, there are plenty of companies that can organise the night for you, or supply you with kits to do it yourself.

Film night

Why not hold a film night fundraiser? If you can get your hands on a large room and a projector you’re almost there! However there is one very important thing you need to be aware of—copyright regulations. These laws prevent you from screening copyright films to large audiences and charging an entry for viewing. They don’t however prevent you from showing the film free of charge, and then requesting that people make a voluntary donation at the door or by charging for refreshments at the venue.

Alternatively, if you know any budding film makers, why not make your film night their premiere screening?

Organise a music gig

Are you a member of a band? Or do you know someone that is? If you can locate a local band that is willing to donate one night of their time and talent for a great cause, this is a fantastic way to raise funds. Advertise well, charge cover at the door, donate the proceeds to a charitable cause—and you have yourself a fundraiser.

Sausage sizzle

The good old Aussie sausage sizzle stall never fails to draw the crowds and so provides a really great way to raise some funds. A sausage sizzle stall can be set up in all sorts of locations and at all types events—sports events, market days, or on school or university campuses. Why not ask any clubs, organisations or institutions that you are a part of to become involved? Perhaps they’ll allow you to set up a sausage sizzle stall at their next event.

Get sponsored

You can turn almost any activity into an “athon” and therefore into a sponsored event. Whether it’s a marathon, walkathon, skipathon, eatathon or sleepathon—just pick an activity that you’re good at or that you enjoy— and find yourself some sponsors.

If ‘athons’ aren’t your idea of fun, perhaps you could get yourself sponsored for doing something a little daring—shaving your head, or kicking a bad habit, like swearing, smoking or biting your nails.

Fundraising challenges

Taking on a fundraising challenge is an amazing way for you and your friends to raise money for an organisation. Trekking in Peru, cycling in Vietnam and hiking in China are just a few examples of the types of adventures that you may experience through fundraising challenges. Charitable organisations benefit through these fundraising programs, by receiving the funds that are raised from people and companies that sponsor your participation.

There are plenty of organisations out there that offer charity challenges in which you can participate. Check out the following websites for information on how it works and to find an organisation that matches the type of charity challenge that suits you:

How do I know this?

This content was written by Joanne with input from Incubator 3

Grassroots Fundraising; Fundraising ideas for the fundraiser

Fundraising Ideas

NSW Sport and Recreation: Fundraising ideas for your organization

Oxfam International Fundraising Ideas

Profit Quests Fundraising: Fundraising Ideas and Resources for Non-profit Organisations

Discuss Now

Post Comment 1 | 2 |

RSS Comments

LukeH 12-May-2011

There are now more online options than ever to assist with fundraising. For example it could be setting up a fundraising page where people can easily donate or one that partners with companies to make contributions to a worthy cause when purchases are made. We chose the latter method when setting up to help Australian schools fundraise through online shopping with hundreds of well-known companies.

I think we'll continue to see many innovative developments in the online space and fundraising over the coming years.



ozzieme 26-Aug-2010

Fundraising is very hard here in Australia Gov. Grants take a lot of time to write and they are hard to get, Private funding is also hard to get for any charity or not for profit. You can end up spending all your time writing and looking for grants and not have time for anything else. We are a small sized charity group based in Melbourne A few months ago we got an invite test a community based profit sharing search engine I will leave a link for anyone who is interested at the bottom, anyway after a few months of our staff doing a few searches per day and clicking and viewing a few ads per day every day we received a check for a few thousand dollars. I don't want to guarantee you that you will make $1000's but the more people you get to use their search engine the more money your charity,school,club can make. Best of all it does not cost you anything. So It was a good opportunity for us to make some extra money for our charity and it could be just what your looking for.

Sign up page
Search engine



Richnikki 19-Oct-2009

Hi All,

I run a pretty cool little wine website called Based in Australia, we sell lots of NZ wine. We have launched a fundraising initiative called 'Wine Ambassadors', where you can raise funds by holding wine tastings..It's slightly different and you will get a great response from attendees! Check it out at




katiegirl 01-Jul-2008


I have my own jewellery business and I hold free jewellery parties. I organise invitations for charity, company, club or organisations. I have an extensive range of jewellery for all ages and for woman and men. I give 50% of all my profits back to the charity or organisation.

I have held many parties and they are a great generator of money for charities and organisations.



Amnesia 16-May-2007

I have just started my very own not for profit organisation called Red Door. For me I have stopped giving money to my church and other charities and I am putting it in a high interest account. I feel more comfortable doing this because I will know exactly where my money is going! I also have so much crap I dont need, I think I might put my personal life into liquidation!