Give back with fundraising that’s creative for your cause.

Put the fun in FUNdraising and give back to a favorite cause with one of our fresh ideas.

flamingos-headWhen you have a cause close to your heart, lending a hand through volunteering is an awesome way to fill everyone’s feel-good bucket. But sometimes you want to take it a step further raising dollars to donate that will make a difference in the organization that is the object of your devotion via fundraising. Fundraising ideas don’t have to be stiff, or standard—you can have fun making an effort to enlist donors to get behind the cause you’re campaigning for. And it’s likely that when you enjoy your efforts, the money you raise will match the size of your heart.  

My kids have big hearts and big ideas, too. So we googled, gauged our goals and got creative to find some fun and funky fundraising ideas that we are hoping will bring some funds to our favorite non-profit over the course of the coming year. We plan to explore our options with friends, family and our community, too. Here are the ideas we are fondest of:

Flock of Flamingos [or a Gaggle of Gnomes]

Filling someone’s yard with faux, feathered friends and insisting that they pay a fee to have them moved to another family’s spot is a fun way to raise funds. Flamingo attack!!

Or go Gnome on someone’s home. “Decorate” their yard with garden gnomes and collect donations before you collect the brood to move.

Taste Tests

Enlisting classmates, a neighborhood, or family friends in a taste-test fundraiser is a, well, delish way to raise funds. Plowing through Pinterest you’re sure to find more obscure ideas—from pies to loaded French fries—that will challenge foodies and tempt taste buds in your inner and outer circles. Donations can be made to enter the “contest” as well as to taste.

Sleep Out

Camping for a cause whether the weather is cool, warm, or any in-between, pitching the perfect tent for a non-profit can raise awareness and raise your family’s appreciation and interest in nature. Asking for donations by the hour, or donations per activity completed during the camp out [s’more eating, ghost story-telling, tag-playing, lightening bug catching, campfire song singing…] is a sure-fire way to engage campers and grow funds.


Modern art can meet family pets to create masterpieces. With non-toxic, pet-friendly paints, your cat, dog, bird [or even potbellied pig?] can walk, hop and jump on paper or canvas to make abstract works that you can raffle or sell to benefit your charity of choice. Plan to get messy—and have fun.

Touch a tank—or a plane—or a ship

Touch a Truck events are wildly popular across the United States. They give kids [of all ages] the opportunity to get their hands on bigger than life transporters that they go wild for when they see them on the highway. Giving the experience a military spin ala touching a tank, a plane, a ship – brings big smiles, calms curiosities and can really get fundraising rolling.

Worm Race

Yes, it’s a simple as it sounds. Getting friendly with mother earth and digging up some of her slimy inhabitants (or buying them from a bait shop if the ground is on the dry side or you want to spare your yard) and adding a dozen spray bottles equals one of the quirkiest ways to move worms from start to finish. Allow each worm and their human hustler a lane on a tarp and on their marks, get set…go! Take donations based on who is projected to win. It’s the Kentucky Derby of, well, worms—so be sure each participant is aptly named!

Get Goofy

Put some personality in your fundraiser, just because, and you’re sure to come through for your cause. For example, raising money for research regarding a friend or family member’s disease can be spun for fun – like it is for Jorts4Jay. With Jorts4Jay each time donors paid $50, Jay sent then a photo of himself wearing jean shorts [aka Jorts], which was good for a laugh and great for a the cause…and goofy. In short [pun intended] get goofy and go any direction you want for the organization closest to your heart.


About the author: Heidi Alger

Heidi Alger is the mother of two low-maintenance, high-energy kids under the age of 10. She offers financial guidance, budget tips and lifestyle advice keeping the challenges of modern military families in line, writing alongside an award-winning team at Pioneer Services. Her grandfather, a CW04, served in the Army Security and National Security Agencies during the Korean and Vietnam wars. Follow Heidi on Google+.

Contact: Heidi Alger


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