Summer is just around the corner, which means your summer fundraisers are fast approaching. Not to worry — planning ahead is what truly saves us from last-minute, half-hearted fundraisers. Luckily, you’re ahead of the game by starting to think of summer fundraising ideas now.

Host the summer fundraising event that is THE fundraiser of the season! If you’re looking for creative and unique fundraising ideas to refresh your annual summer fundraiser, check out the list below. Then, we’ll talk about how to put your marketing plan into action.

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10 summer fundraising ideas

1. 5K Race. Feel good and do good! Host a race and ensure the registration fee is a donation. This will bring out your competitive do-gooders.

2. Community Picnic. Bring together your community for some outdoor fun. “Charge” each person who attends, which is actually a donation.

3. Gardening Class. Get a local gardening expert to host a class for your organization! Entry fee into the class can go toward your nonprofit.

4. Golf Tournament. It pays to tee off! Organize a tournament event at your local golf course with a participation fee.

5. Ice Cream Social. There’s nothing better than a cold treat to cool off during the summer. Set up a booth to tell others about your nonprofit and encourage donations.

6. Outdoor Movie Night. Set up an outdoor film screening after dark. Set a donation amount to attend the event.

7. Cornhole Competition. Bring out the competition by hosting a cornhole tournament for a wide range of ages and skill levels. Set an enrollment fee that contributes toward a donation.

8. Father’s Day Grill Out. Cook up some goodness for a good cause. Honor the fathers in your life and encourage others to do the same. Consider a free-will donation or set an entry fee.

9. Petting Zoo Day. Can you say CUTE animals?! This is another family friendly event that will bring out families and the young at heart alike.

10. Spa Day Contest. Being competitive is human nature (for some more than others!). Who wouldn’t love to enter for a chance to be pampered? This could simply be a drawing for a spa day or some sort of contest.

Marketing your summer fundraising event

Now that you have plenty of ideas to get started on your summer fundraising efforts, it’s time to put your plan into action. To get the most out of your event, it’s vital to make donating easy on your audience, and that begins with event registration. Streamline your event registration with a branded landing page on your website. A long form may cause your audience to give up because they don’t have the time, meaning they’re less likely to come back to finish it later. Keep your event registration concise and easy to do!

Next, you’ll want to implement a super simple email marketing nurture campaign to invite people to your event. This will drive them to your branded event landing page. If you’ve done a good job of maintaining your email lists and building relationships, this will run smoothly. If you haven’t considered it, now is the perfect time to get organized and start!

In addition to an online drip campaign, you’ll want to use an omnichannel marketing approach. Send a direct mail piece to your audience with a QR code that links to your event registration page. After all, digital marketing has been proven to be incredibly effective when it’s coupled with print. Using multiple mediums to reach your audience only further strengthens the attendance at your events! Luckily, you don’t have to plan your summer fundraiser all on your own. Instead, download our Nonprofit Event Planning Checklist for help planning and promoting a successful event that meets your (and your attendees’) expectations.


Download our Event Checklist