Fundraising Events: 3 Fundraising Ideas and the Tools You Need to Raise Proceeds

3 Fundraising Ideas and the Tools You Need to Raise Proceeds

Your fundraising efforts can only be successful if they start with a great fundraising idea. You’ll need a concept that your donor base can connect with and understand.

Your event or campaign should cater to your donors’ interests. If your donors love active events like 5K runs, marathons, or ride events, you wouldn’t want to host a gala event. Tailoring your fundraising strategy to your audience simply means you’re allowing for more donations and more success. With that being said, we’ve crafted 3 amazing fundraising ideas for you to try!

Check them out:

  1. T-Shirt Fundraising
  2. Text Giving
  3. Matching Gifts

If you’re ready to learn how to rake in extra revenue with an amazing fundraising idea, let’s get started!

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Fundraising Idea #1. T-Shirt Fundraising

How this Fundraising Idea Works

T-shirt Fundraising combines two powerful fundraising methods to create a fail-safe fundraiser. Crowdfunding lets you harness the power of social sharing and your personal network. You can ask your friends, family, and peers to donate to your cause via your online crowdfunding page where you’ll share your story through compelling copy and impactful visuals. T-shirt fundraising allows you to design a custom t-shirt to spread awareness for your cause while visually uniting your community.

With the social power behind crowdfunding and the common interest in merchandise sales, you have a killer fundraising idea with t-shirt fundraising.

What You Need for this Fundraising Idea

You’ll need a powerful platform to handle your t-shirt fundraising . You should first assess your needs and wants before searching for a provider. You won’t want to invest in a platform that’s too large or doesn’t offer the right features for you.

Luckily, most providers offer an easy start for campaigns. With Bonfire's t-shirt fundraising platform, you can start selling merchandise in just these few simple steps:

  1. Choose your products. With Bonfire’s extensive item catalog, you can find plenty of different styles, colors, and fits. There’s something for each and every one of your donors just waiting to be customized!
  2. Design your merchandise. Plenty of platforms offer libraries filled with different fonts and designs. Luckily, Bonfire provides a plethora of templates and even allows you to upload your own designs to customize your merchandise.
  3. Set your prices. Be sure to select a platform that offers a low base cost. With a low base cost, you are in total control of your earnings. Adjust your selling price to increase your profit margin.
  4. Schedule your campaign. Depending on your provider, your fundraiser can run on different timelines. With Bonfire, your campaign can last anywhere between 7 and 21 days. Choose what will motivate your audience the most!
  5. Customize your page. Draft compelling copy and add powerful videos to describe your mission and why it’s worth supporting.
  6. Promote your campaign. Spread the word about your campaign with the help of your campaign page’s built-in social sharing buttons! The more individuals who know about your fundraiser, the more products you’ll sell.

The best part? Bonfire is 100% risk-free. If your fundraising goal isn’t met, your supporters aren’t charged and neither are you. If your fundraising is successful, you’ll never be charged! Your sales will cover the base cost for producing and manufacturing your merchandise, and there will be a flat rate fee for shipping ($5 for anywhere in the U.S. and $11 for anywhere internationally).

If you decide to enable an added fundraising feature and let your supporters to make additional donations at the time of checkout, there will be an 8% fee to cover administrative expenses and credit card processing fees. Bonfire’s platform is always free to use.

A reliable t-shirt fundraising platform is a great tool for this fundraising idea. Look for a platform who doesn’t print until your campaign has concluded to avoid fines and excess inventory.

Bonus! Check out Double the Donation’s Top Crowdfunding Websites to find the perfect t-shirt crowdfunding provider for you!

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Fundraising Idea #2. Text Giving

How this Fundraising Idea Works

Text giving, also known as text-to-give, text-to-donate, and text-to-tithe, or stylized as text 2 give, is a convenient way for donors to text in their donations to their favorite organizations.

All types of charitable organizations, like nonprofit, religious, and even political organizations, use text-to-give to simplify the donation process. This way, they can raise the money they need through yet another outlet and while text giving donations may be smaller in monetary value, text giving is incredibly popular so there are often dramatically more donations.

Text giving is perfect for donors on the go and it works well for events where supporters may have forgotten cash or their checkbooks!

What You Need for this Fundraising Idea

You’ll need to invest in text giving software in order to host a text giving campaign! The good thing about this investment is that you can use text giving as a year-round donation collection, just like your online donation form. The text giving process for donors is incredibly simple. Depending on your software provider, text-to-give can take a little as 3 steps:

  1. Text a phone number. Donors will text your dedicated phone number with the dollar amount they’d like to give or with a shortcode identifier.
  2. Click the link. Donors will then receive a text back with a link to confirm their donations.
  3. Confirm donation. After clicking the link, donors will either send a pre-written confirmation email or fill out a mobile donation form to confirm their contribution.

The donation process is straight forward, which is why supporters love it so much! On the other hand, you’ll want to make sure the process for you is easy, too. Make sure your software is intuitive and can integrate with your CRM solution.

You’ll also want to look into your provider’s support and training. Just in case you can’t figure out a feature within the software, you’ll want to have a hotline to call for help. You’ll definitely need to make sure your text-to-give platform is secure as well. All providers need to be PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant and follow their regulations. These rules are in place to protect you and your supporters from fraudulent activity.

Bonus! Check out @Pay’s Text-to-Give Guide for more information and insight on this incredible fundraising idea.

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Fundraising Idea #3. Matching Gifts

How this Fundraising Idea Works

Matching gifts are a corporate giving program that allow employees to double their donations to their favorite organization.

Most companies match on a 1:1 ratio, though some match at 2:1 or 3:1 ratios! If a company matches a 1:1 ratio, for example, that means that if the employee contributes $250, the company will also give $250, making the final total $500 and doubling your donation.

There are maximum and minimum donation amounts that companies will match. The most common minimum is $25, however, the maximums range more significantly from company to company, ranging from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It’s important to note that nonprofits will need to be eligible according to a company’s guidelines for matching gifts. Many companies won’t match donations made to religious organizations but will match a donation to a project powered by a religious organization.

For example, while a company might not match a donation to your local synagogue, they may match a donation the food bank your synagogue is running.

Matching gifts are an easy and free way to maximize your donations.

What You Need for this Fundraising Idea

In order to help your donors submit their matching gift requests to their employers, you’ll need to invest in a matching gifts tool.

With access to a matching gift database, your supporters can easily research their employer’s matching gift programs, policies and all.

Different providers offer different tools, but Double the Donation offers an embeddable widget that allows your donors to type in their employer’s name and immediately access information about deadlines, forms, and more.

The process for your donors to submit a matching gift request is as follows: 1.Make a donation. Donors will begin by making a contribution to you or your organization.

  1. Submit the matching gift request. Your supporters will then fill out and submit their matching gift requests to their employer’s human resources department.
  2. Company begins review. When a company receives a matching gift request, they’ll determine the nonprofit’s eligibility and verify the organization.
  3. Nonprofit receives a check. If the nonprofit is eligible, they’ll then receive a check matching the donation from their employee. Don’t forget to thank your donors when you receive the matched donation.

Investing in matching gifts software boasts incredible potential as your organization can watch your donation amount double or triple with the help of this corporate giving program.


Now that you have our top 3 fundraising ideas and you know what tools you need to invest in to raise proceeds, there’s nothing stopping you from hosting a stellar fundraiser! All that’s left to do is settle on a fundraising idea and start raising money.


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Special thanks to Kevin Penney, co-founder at Bonfire for 3 great ideas and expert advice!

Bonfire is the online platform that is reinventing the way people create, sell and buy custom apparel. With over a decade of experience in design, technology and digital media, Kevin brings a breadth of knowledge and guidance to many of Bonfire’s strategic initiatives. He loves building things with his team, solving hard problems, and hockey – in that order.

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