5 Unique Fundraising Ideas that Will Capture Donors’ Attention

5 Unique Fundraising Ideas that Will Capture Donors’ Attention

Are you tired of lists of fundraising ideas with all the old ideas you’ve already seen — or tried — before? Fundraising doesn’t have to be boring or conventional — try something unique and unexpected, like a mystery event or a scavenger hunt, to get your supporters engaged and energized.

We’ve pulled together 5 creative and unique fundraising event ideas that will wow your guests at your next nonprofit fundraising event.

Hold a mystery night fundraising event

Get your guests involved with a thrilling and mysterious evening full of surprises they must work together on to solve! Guests will be treated to mystery-themed décor, costumes, clues, food, drinks, and more as they race against the clock to figure out the mystery. You can even offer prizes to those who can successfully solve the clues, adding an extra layer of excitement and competition that your guests will love.

Sell tickets to the fundraising event and include a catered meal in the registration price. Allow guests to purchase drink vouchers during registration and offer them the option to “buy a clue” during the event if they get stuck. You can sell drink vouchers and “clues” through your fundraising event website with MaxGiving. This will help keep purchases organized and allow you to track and accept donations with ease.

Another way to increase donations at your mystery night fundraising event is to incorporate traditional fundraising elements, such as a 50/50 raffle or a live or silent auction. These will help maximize the funds you can raise for your nonprofit.

You can go the DIY route to cut down on upfront costs for your fundraising event. Find a script online (there are plenty available!) and enlist volunteer actors to help immerse guests in the mystery. Or, if you have a larger fundraising budget, you can hire a mystery fundraising event team. They will provide actors and props and will run the mystery portion of your fundraising event for you.


Live stream your fundraising event on social media

Live streaming is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to engage with your supporters during a fundraising event. You can use platforms like Facebook Live, Instagram Live, or Twitch to broadcast your event and let followers watch in real time. Or, with MaxGiving’s event fundraising software, you can incorporate a live stream right from your fundraising page, making donation and auction integration a breeze!

Incorporate a live stream element into your in-person auction, dinner, or gala to boost your reach and engagement. It’s an easy way to increase supporters at your event and can help drive donations — even from those who couldn’t make it on the night!

Ask viewers to donate while they’re tuned into the live stream — you’d be surprised how generous people can be when given the opportunity. Be sure to get virtual guests involved as much as possible! Ask questions, encourage them to comment, and thank them for their donations when they come in. Live streaming is all about interaction. Make sure your viewers are engaged and that they feel like part of the fundraising event.

Other tips for hosting a livestream fundraising event:

  • Promote the event on your social media channels before and during the event
  • Enlist a high-energy host to help keep virtual viewers invested
  • Set a theme
  • Use polls to get feedback from viewers
  • Utilize hashtags and encourage guests to use them
  • Incorporate videos and images into the live stream

Put together a scavenger hunt fundraising event

Everyone loves a race to the finish line! If you’re looking for a fun and unique way to raise funds, scavenger hunts are an entertaining solution. Guests can form teams and compete against one another in a race to find certain items on your pre-planned list. Each team will be charged an entry fee, with the winning team taking home a prize. Ask local businesses to donate items for the scavenger hunt, such as gift cards or small prizes.

Scavenger hunts can be tailored to any theme and location, making them a great option for nonprofits of all sizes. You can plan your scavenger hunt as an in-person or virtual event, depending on what works best for your organization.

Put together a list of items that can be found in the area, either inside or outside, and give teams clues to find each item. You can charge extra for additional clues if guests need help finding their way around. When teams successfully complete the scavenger hunt, have them turn in their findings so you can keep track of who wins. With MaxGiving, you can easily track and assign teams, provide clues, and collect donations online.

The scavenger hunt can be used as the main fundraising event, or it can be part of a larger fundraising initiative that includes activities such as an auction or raffle.

Host an art show fundraising event

If you’re looking for unique fundraising ideas, an art show is a great option. Invite local artists to create and submit their work and sell tickets for guests to attend. This is a great fundraising event for art-related nonprofits, but it isn’t limited to them! Many local artists will appreciate the exposure and opportunity to support a charitable cause, even if it’s for a non-arts organization such as a hospital or university. 

Host a live or silent auction with the showcased artwork. Consider enlisting an artist to create a special piece that reflects your cause — this makes a great high-value raffle or auction item. Remember, artists typically work on commission. While some might be willing to donate smaller pieces, it’s important to support local artists as well as your organization. Keep this upfront cost in mind as you solicit pieces for your fundraising event.

For an even more unique art fundraising event, bring in performance artists to put on a show. Live performance art is always engaging and can make the experience even more memorable for your guests.


Wine-tasting fundraising event

For the wine lovers in your community, host a wine night fundraising event. Invite local vineyards to bring their best wines for guests to sample and provide food pairings from local restaurants or caterers. Offer silent auction items such as bottles of rare wine or experiences like a private tasting at a vineyard.

You can also put together a wine pull, where participants can select a mystery bottle of wine in exchange for a donation. You’ll need to enlist the help of local wineries and liquor stores to provide bottles for the pull.

These are just a few unique fundraising ideas that you can use to engage your supporters and raise funds. Fundraising doesn’t have to be tedious — with creative planning, you can make it fun for everyone involved! With the right tools and resources, like MaxGiving, you can easily set up and manage your fundraising event. Contact us to find out how we can help!

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