Five Proven Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofit Organizations

There are many, many ideas for expanding your fundraising. Some that will be productive and others that may take you on a chase without the results you need.

We’ve considered most of these ideas and distilled a list of the top five proven fundraising ideas. This is a superb starting point as you consider options for your organization.


The possibilities for fundraising through events is nearly limitless. Here are just a few options to consider:

  • Dinners including well-known speakers, attracts donors and gets your word out.
  • Auctions of donated items, your only cost is to run the event.
  • Tours and trips where your prospective donors are a captive audience.
  • Runs and walks with goals that engage family and friends of the participants.

Visibility and desirability of the event are the keys. You should also ask yourself these critical questions: Is your intended audience interested in the event? Will they support it, participate in it, and make donations as a result?

The big key is to match your organization’s specific needs and identity with them. Plus, you’ve got to make the event exciting for your prospective donors and supporters. For further insight see my blog post “Attracting More People to Your Fundraising Event’s Website.”

Matching Gifts 

Generating interest through matching donations can be a superb way of not only highlighting your campaign and your organization but in building your credibility in the community as well. For example, when a big name corporate or individual donor steps forward and says they will match donations, they are saying loud and clear that they support your cause.

Corporate matching gift programs can also be put to use with your donors submitting their information to their employer, who has already agreed to provide matching donations to worthy causes. The big key here is getting your organization on the list of as many corporations as possible.

Planned or Recurring Gifts

It’s essential to convert first-time donors to ongoing supporters. The best way to do this is to sign them up for consistent monthly, quarterly, or annual donations at the same time they are submitting their first donation. 

This can also be an ongoing effort with special gifts or rewards for signing up for annual giving. For example, they may qualify for a different level of membership or receive a special gift. It’s a perfect way to help keep people connecting and supportive of your programs.


Memberships are normally the primary activity for associations. But they can also work well for nonprofits such as museums and other causes where people want to identify with the organization and display their affiliation through membership. It’s another a great way to build your donor database while opening up an avenue for soliciting further support.

It also becomes an additional source of revenue, particularly if you have an annual membership renewal process. This, too, lends itself well to maintaining contact with your supporters and donors. 

Membership programs include social engagement, shared interests, common goals, and many other activities that align with your organization and its mission. Before you move down this path, make sure you have the staff and resources to support the full program you envision.

Direct Appeals, Seasonal Campaigns, and Year-End Giving

The first four items on this list are all great fundraising ideas and can grow to provide considerable support for your nonprofit. Even so, it’s the tried and true direct appeals that are going to continue to make the big difference in your fundraising.

Seasonal campaigns and year-end giving, including #GivingTuesday, can add a particular element of interest and add energy to your campaigns. They can also bring the important element of a timeline that needs to be met, both for you and for your donors. 

There’s More

There’s always more. If the list above is not enough, try 60+ Unique Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits. There are plenty of ideas to help jump start your fundraising. 

But, there are no silver bullets that magically bring your fundraising up to the level needed to support and grow your programs. 

The ideas listed above and so many similar ideas are all well and good in raising money. And, they’re proven effective by many organizations. But it’s sound, day-to-day, ongoing fundraising through online, direct mail, email, and more that bring in revenue for your cause.

Campaign Now Can Help

Campaign Now works with a wide variety of nonprofits across many different fundraising concepts. They have the services, the experience, and the expertise to help.

Contact them at (855) 329-4327 or

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John Connors

John Connors

John is a passionate patriot and business owner. He launched Campaign Now in 2008 to help free-market oriented, American organizations increase their reach and achieve important results. When he’s not strategizing growth plans with clients, you can find him sharpening his history chops, playing tennis in the Texas heat, or spending time with family.


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