101 Fundraising Ideas
Sports and Tournaments
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- Pitch-a-thon: Rent a radar gun and measure how fast people can throw a baseball or kick a soccer ball. Charge $1 per try and give a prize to the fastest individual. This works best during an all-day tournament.
- Three-on-three basketball tournament: Organize a basketball tournament in your school with the winning team receiving a prize. This can also be done with soccer, tennis, badminton, or any other sport. This fund raiser is relatively inexpensive to setup and offers several additional ways to make money. You'll need a few basketballs, tables, portable scoreboards, trophies, and a gym to rent.
- Mini-Golf Tournament: Ask a mini-golf course manager in your area to sponsor a tournament to help raise money for your group. If they're willing to donate the use of the course, or at least give you a reduced price for it, they can still make money through selling concessions to your group. Get local businesses to sponsor the event and donate prizes. Prizes can include movie tickets, gift certificates and small trophies. Give prizes to the players with the lowest score for each age group or grade.
- Poker Tournament: Host a fun amateur’s night of poker playing to raise money for Wellspring. Set a buy-in price and then split the pot between the winner and Wellspring.
- Pub Tournaments – e.g. Skittles, darts, pool, cards. Just ask a local pub to host a tournament evening and charge patrons to take part in the competition for a prize. Then donate the entry fees to Wellspring.
- Board Game Tournament: Create a fun twist on a card tournament and do something that everyone can participate in. Have a Board Game Tournament. Pick a favourite, such as Sorry, Trouble, or Monopoly. Then invite your friends to make teams, sign up to play and compete for a prize. Ask all guests to make a donation to Wellspring.
- Sled-a-Thon: Obtain pledges for each trip down a big hill at a local park. Promote it as a family event and hold a "pot luck" dinner afterwards
- Bowl-A-Thon: Invite your pals to join you for a day on the lanes. You can either host an individual tournament or ask people to form teams and set up a round robin.
- Regatta: Talk to a local yacht club about hosting a charity regatta with all entry fees donated to Wellspring.
- Marathon/Half-Marathon/5km Walk or Run: If you’re participating in a marathon, walk-a-thon, stair-climb or other recreation event, please consider collecting pledges for Wellspring in support of your efforts, even if Wellspring is not listed as an official participating organization. Wellspring is happy to assist you in setting up an online donation page to support your fundraising. Please contact Wellspring for more information.
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At Your Service
- Car wash: With a group of friends, set up a car wash in the parking lot of your school, religious institution, or public area. (Be sure to ask for permission and make sure that people are careful of moving cars).
- Organize a gift wrap: This is especially popular around the holidays.
- Photo Scanning: Digital cameras and the Internet have made photo sharing a whole lot easier. But what about all those old photos stuck in albums, or piled in shoe boxes? Set up a scanning service and advertise that you will be scanning hard copies of photos with the money raised going to support Wellspring.
- Dog Wash: Everyone wants their dog to be clean, but not everyone has the ability to give their dog a bath at home, and groomers can be expensive. Your group can offer a low-cost dog wash for with the proceeds going to Wellspring.
- Old Christmas Tree Pick-Up: All you need is a pick up truck and some strong friends. The week after Christmas, put up flyers in your area advertising you will be picking up old trees in exchange for a donation to Wellspring.
- Squeegee Day Fundraising: Set up a window cleaning station at a local drive thru and ask people to donate money to have their windshields washed. Have one person at the beginning of the drive thru asking the person if they would like their windshield washed as a donation to Wellspring. If they say yes, the person places a pamphlet under their windshield wiper. Once they get to the front of the drive thru and they have a pamphlet under their wiper, a team of two washes their windshield and thanks them for their donation.
- Mow-a-thon: spend an afternoon mowing lawns in exchange for a donation to Wellspring.
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Just for Fun
- Jail and Bail: Willing participants are cuffed and booked. Housed in a make shift cell participants make phone calls and plead for donations to anyone passing by in order to make bail. At the same time, sell refreshments as other students, family, neighbors and friends who stop by to visit the jail bird! This works especially well if you get a local celebrity or public figure to agree to be jailed.
- Toonie Drive Fundraiser: Place a toonie bin in your school, office or religious institution with a sign asking people to donate their toonie to Wellspring.
- A Rubber Duck Race: This is a fun and unique fundraising idea. Not only will you raise some money, but everyone will have a great time. Rubber ducks are "sold" to participants who then write their name and phone number on each duck they purchase. Be sure to use waterproof ink! Then, the ducks are placed on a river, pond or, as a last resort, in a large pool. The duck that reaches a predetermined finish line first is the winner, and the person who bought that duck wins a prize.
- Ugly Dog Contest: With multiple ways to bring in money as well as the potential for some local press coverage for your organization, an ugly dog competition could be well worth the time and effort it will take to produce.
- Cardboard Regatta: A cardboard regatta, is a race on a calm body of water between contestants that build their own cardboard vessels. The vessels are raced across the water to see who reaches the other side first. Charge an entry fee and supply a prize for the winning team.
- Head Shave: Set yourself a target and ask family, friends and colleagues to sponsor you. Once you reach your goal, invite everyone over to watch you shave your head. Bonus points if you have long hair that can be donated to help make a wig for someone who has lost their hair because of cancer treatments.
- Don’t Shave: Grow your beard and ask people to sponsor you for each week you maintain it.
- Photo Contest: choose your subject (pets, landscapes, etc) and get people to submit their photos for a prize.
- Carnival: You can make this as grand or as small as you want. Set up some games and activities and ask your friends to help run things with you. Charge an entry fee and/or ask people to buy tickets for different attractions.
- Bingo: Pick up the supplies and organize a bingo night, charging people to buy cards and offering prizes for the winners.
- Quiz Night: Round up some smart (or not so smart friends) and arrange them into teams. Then get your ‘quizmaster’ to test them on their knowledge. This also works well if you can speak to a local restaurant and ask them to host a one night tournament with proceeds donated to Wellspring.
- Stair-Climb: Choose a building with lots of stairs and collect pledges in support of your climb.
- Bad Hair Day: Encourage people to come into work or school with their worst possible hair do and offer a prize for the best ‘worst do’.
- Scavenger Hunt: Make your own ‘Amazing Race’ with teams competing in various challenges and donate the entry fee.
- Speed Dating: Invite some single friends (and friends of friends) to join you for an evening mingling with potential dates in support of a good cause.
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- Pancake Breakfast: All participants pay an entrance fee, usually a flat fee, for an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast. This usually includes other breakfast items as well such as eggs and sausage, coffee and juice, etc.
- Snack stall: This works best at an event or a sports tournament. Set up a stand to sell dinks, snacks and treats to attendees and donate all proceeds to Wellspring.
- Bake Sale: There’s a reason this is such a staple – everyone loves it! You can even create your own twist, such as selling bagels one morning at the office.
- Breakfast Delivery: Form a committee to ask local businesses to donate some breakfast foods, ask your family/friends/collegues to place their orders, then get your committee members to help deliver your meals.
- Pie Eating Contest: Ask any big eaters to compete for the fastest eater prize.
- Lemonade Stand: Set up on a busy corner or outside a shopping centre. To change things up, try selling freezies, hot chocolate or iced tea.
- Popcorn Sale: Rent a popcorn maker and sell bags at a sporting event or even just over lunchtime.
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Sell, Sell, Sell
- Seed Drive: In the spring, canvas local gardeners and garden centres for donations of seeds, seedlings or bedding plants and host an afternoon of garden sales in the schoolyard. In the fall, capitalize on the bountiful harvest in your area and visit local growers to organize a harvest party.
- Garage Sale: One person’s trash is another’s treasure. Clear out your attic, basement or garage and rid yourself of stuff you no longer need, then donate the proceeds to Wellspring. You can even ask your shoppers if they would like to donate as they browse.
- Craft Sale: Gather a few talented friends and sell your wares, with proceeds benefiting Wellspring.
- Etsy Sales: It’s the craft sale for the new millennium. Set up an online store through Etsy.com and sell your goods to benefit Wellspring.
- Bulb Drive: Find a wholesaler and sell the bulbs around town in the fall, helping people get their gardens ready for springtime.
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At the Office
- Dress Down Days: Allow your office to dress in casual attire for a day if they make a minimum contribution to Wellspring.
- Create a self-funding “Fun-Raising Team” at work: This is one of Wellspring’s favourites! The team will host many mini-fundraisers throughout the year to provide fun events for all employees to attend. Ask event attendees to donate to Wellspring or charge admission for your events.
- Who’s the Baby?: Get people to submit a baby photo, and then everyone can guess whose picture is whose. Charge an entry fee and offer a prize to the person who gets the most right.
- Vendor Auction: Ask your suppliers to donate some of their goods and have a silent auction with the goods
- Ice Cream Bar: Everyone loves a little mid-week treat. Just stock up on the ice cream and toppings and charge people to build their own sundae.
- Pizza Lunch: Take orders ahead of time and enjoy a fun lunch with your colleagues.
- Coffee Klatch Day: Ask you boss to allow a special break where all employees are able to enjoy a coffee together in exchange for making a donation to Wellspring.
- Good Karma Jar: Keep a jar on your desk and ask your colleagues to drop in some change every time they say a bad word – whether that means a curse word or simply an overused one.
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- Art Show: ask local artists to donate a piece of art to your cause and hold a show to sell the works. Make sure to arrange any commission the artist wants ahead of time.
- Talent Show: Get together some good acts, ensuring they are suitable for the general audience, and sell tickets to a talent show at a school or hall. Hold a bake sale during the intermission and ask businesses to donate various items for an auction. Talent shows are especially appropriate for children and young teens, because parents enjoy watching their children compete.
- Karaoke Idol: This one is sure to be a fun time. You can either rent a karaoke machine and host the party at home, or speak to a local restaurant or bar about playing host for the evening. Charge an entry fee and make sure to have a prize for your winner.
- Garbage Fashion Show: Get some creative people to create designs for your show made entirely from waste or recycled materials.
- Battle of the Bands: Offer local bands a chance to showcase their music and charge an entry fee to see the show.
- Dance-a-thon: People collect pledges for participating in a full day/night dance-off. Make sure to have a prize for the person who lasts the longest!
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Start the Bidding
- Bachelor/Bachelorette Auction: Round up some single friends and invite guests to bid on a special date with them.
- Hired Hand for a Day Auction: Hold an auction where people bid on receiving the help of a ‘hired hand’ for the day. Give each ‘hand’ a specific task. For example, people can bid on John who will spend the day doing yard work or Sarah who will baby-sit for free.
- Silent Auction: This works best when run during another event by soliciting donations of prizes and letting your guests try to outbid each other.
- EBay Auction: Sort of like an updated version of the garage sale. Rummage through your treasures and see what you can bear to part with. Then post it online and watch the dollars roll in.
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The Host With the Most
- Girls Night In: Invite over some pals for a night of girl fun; think pedicures, face masks and chick flicks. Don’t forget to stock up on treats!
- Guys Night In: Fire up the BBQ and invite your buddies over for a great meal and good company. Arranging an after dinner football game or poker tournament is a great cap to the evening.
- Fashion Show: Ask local stores to donate some clothes for the show, set up your models and invite your guests to enjoy an evening of great fashion!
- "Don't Come" Event Fundraising: A "don't come" fundraising event is a clever way of asking for donations in a novel and humorous manner. This event will never actually happen -- other than on paper. You send invitations to friends and family as well as other potential supporters, inviting them to a spectacular event with scrumptious food, exciting entertainment, and a glamorous guest of honour. The sky's the limit since the event won't actually occur. Let your imagination run wild! Make sure to list the event date as ‘never’ and include a short explanation on the invite.
- Gold Party: Ask your pals to bring their old/broken gold then deliver to a gold dealer and donate the money to Wellspring.
- Guilt Free Dessert: Invite your friends over for some scrumptious treats without the guilt, since they’ll be making a donation to Wellspring.
- Celebrity Dinner Party: Do you know someone famous or notable: Invite guests to join him/her for dinner in exchange for a donation to Wellspring.
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12 Months of Holiday Fun
Holidays are a great excuse to get together with family and friends and you can make your celebrations more meaningful by using the time to help raise funds for Wellspring. Featured below are some ideas for an entire calendar year’s worth of holiday fundraisers.
All Year Round
- Friday the 13th: Improve your karma to offset any bad luck by throwing a party for Wellspring.
- Full Moon Party: Invite over some pals to celebrate the lunar event by celebrating as they do in Thailand: by throwing a dance party the night before or after the full moon.
- Chinese New Year (End of January): This day actually marks two celebrations. New Years' and a birthday. According to Chinese tradition, everyone's birthday is celebrated on New Year's Day. Host a gathering to celebrate everyone’s birthday all at once!
- Groundhog Day (February 2nd): There are so many ways to mark this day as everyone hopes for the end to winter. Host a breakfast and invite people over to watch the groundhog check out his shadow, or have a movie night with family and friends and enjoy the classic film.
- World Cancer Day (February 4th): Help raise awareness by supporting Wellspring through a bake sale, craft sale or other fundraiser. There couldn’t be a better time to do it!
- Family Day (Mid-February): Charity begins at home…Encourage your family to spend the day together and engaging in an activity that raises funds for Wellspring.
- Valentine’s Day (February 14): Why not host a dinner party featuring red wine, chocolate and a selection of romantic music? Or, go the other way entirely and throw an ‘anti-Valentine’s Day” party.
- Mardi Gras (Late February): Bring a little taste of New Orleans north of the border and throw a party with beads, costumes and plenty of good friends.
- Shrove Tuesday (Late February/Early March): Throw a pancake party to mark to last day before the start of Lent. You can even ask people to bring their favourite toppings.
- St. Patrick’s Day (March 17): Get your green on and celebrate the day that St. Patrick drove all the snakes from Ireland.
- Spring Equinox (March 20): The official New Year in the Iranian and Bahaii calendars, spring equinox is celebrated the world over as a day of rebirth. In North America, the day marks the beginning of spring so plan something outdoors to celebrate.
- Easter: Organize an egg hunt for your neighbourhood and ask people to contribute a donation in exchange for participation. Or invite your friends and their kids to join you for an afternoon making Easter crafts.
- May Day (May 1st): Welcoming the start of summer, May Day is a great excuse to gather for the first picnic or BBQ of the season or a great day to host your family reunion.
- Cinco De Mayo (May 5): This holiday is celebrated to mark the date of a Mexican victory over France. Host a party with authentic cuisine, music and activities, including of course, a piñata.
- Mother’s Day: Sell roses, chocolates or other ‘mom-friendly’ gifts leading up to Mother’s Day and donate the proceeds to Wellspring.
- Vesak (Mid-May): This Buddhist holiday celebrates the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha and is a time when followers re-affirm their dedication to live a noble life and bring happiness to those in need. What better day to engage in philanthropy and host an event to benefit Wellspring?
- Father’s Day: Host a golf tournament, BBQ or sports day and invite your friends, their dads and their kids to spend the day together.
- Mid-Summer’s Day/Eve (June 21): Marking the summer solstice, this ancient holiday falls on the longest day of the year. Host a garden party or stage an amateur production of Shakespeare’s famous play.
- Canada Day (July 1): Throw a street party and celebrate Canada’s birthday with your neighbours, then top off the evening with a fireworks display.
- National Golf Month: August is national golf month! Plan a tournament at a local course and donate the proceeds to Wellspring. For more information on hosting a golf tournament for Wellspring, please click here.
- Labour Day: This is the last long weekend of the summer, so plan accordingly. Host a pool party, beach party or BBQ and make the most of it.
- Thanksgiving: When we take a minute to be thankful for all that we have, it’s the perfect time to think about how we can give back. If you’re hosting a dinner, ask your guests to make a donation in lieu of wine or a hostess gift.
- Halloween: Host a Halloween party complete with apple bobbing, trick or treating and costumes. Or, ask some friends to help you put together a haunted house and donate the entry fee to Wellspring.
- Diwali (Late November): An Indian Festival of Lights, Diwali that is often celebrated by carnivals and fireworks shows. Organize your own event and donate any entry fees to Wellspring.
- Ugly Holiday Sweater Party: Invite your guests over in their finest tacky holiday outfits and have a prize for the winner.
- Chanukah: As a time for family and friends to gather, why not host a dreidel tournament with the winnings split between the winner and Wellspring.
- Gift Exchange: Set a limit and have your friends or colleagues swap names. Ask each person to make a donation to Wellspring in exchange for participation.
- New Year's Fancy Dress Party (January 1st): Invite your friends to help ring in the New Year in style, and ask them to help start it off right by making a donation to Wellspring.
- Eid (date changes each year): This Muslim holiday marks then end of fasting for Ramadan and is a celebration of life and the promotion of peace. Often marked by large family and community gatherings, it’s common practice to make charitable donations in support of worthy causes. Why not host a dinner and take a collection for Wellspring.
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For more information on Wellspring’s Special Occasions Program, please click here.
- Happy Birthday: Ask your friends and family to make a donation in your name instead of buying you a gift.
- Wedding Celebrations: There are a few ways to make your special day even more meaningful by including Wellspring. In lieu of wedding favours, make a donation in the name of your guests, or ask your guests to make a donation on your behalf instead of giving you a gift.
- Other special days: Anniversaries, Christenings, Confirmations, Graduations and many more milestones are great opportunities for partnering with Wellspring to raise funds.
Did You Know...
Across the Wellspring network over 50 programs are offered providing support, coping skills, and education to those touched by cancer.