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10 Free Fundraising Ideas

Raise money & awareness for your cause with free fundraising ideas!


1. Dining Out

Collaborate with a local restaurant for a night out on the town! Set a date and a percentage of sales from that night that will go to your group. Invite everyone you know to dine at the restaurant for a fun night out! This is a win-win for the restaurant, which will get your group’s business, and also for your charity. It’s an easy and fun way to make some money for your cause.

2. Photo Contest

Whether you’re holding a fundraiser at your school or office, it’s easy and free to host a photo contest! Set a theme like pet photos, baby photos, or college photos, and have everyone bring their favorite shot. Charge for entry to the contest and line the photos up in one spot. Have everyone vote for their favorite and the winner can either receive a donated prize or part of the admission proceeds.

3. Field Day

Ready, get set, go raise some money! Host a field day for your group’s fundraiser so everyone can help raise money and get active. Use a local school’s field and gym equipment to arrange stations like capture the flag, long jump, and frisbee toss. Charge admission for teams to participate in the fun. You can keep score and award the winning team a prize, or, do it just for bragging rights!

4. Karaoke Contest

Use those pipes for a cause! Hold a karaoke competition for those wanting to show off their singing chops. Find a local venue to host the event (maybe even your local karaoke bar). Have each participant make a donation, and charge admission for the main event. Find local judges looking to get their American Idol on, along with local businesses to provide food and drinks. As each attendee arrives, have them put a song on a piece of paper in a jar and pull from that jar during a lightning round!

5. Chili Cookoff

Is it hot in here? Or is it just this awesome chili cookoff fundraiser? Charge for participation in the cookoff, so each chef will pay an entry fee. Gather everyone at your school or church for the event, and charge for admission so participants can taste the chili! Find three local judges to determine the winner, or use a ballot system so that the participants choose their favorite.

6. Speed Dating

Help your cause while helping someone find love. A speed dating event is a free and fun way to fundraise. Find space at a local hall or restaurant for your event and charge a set fee for admission. Set up tables and have a moderator keep time. By the end of the night your group will have raised some money and hopefully, some sparks will fly!

7. Slam Dunk Competition

Hit the court and raise some money! Round up your basketball enthusiasts for a night of fun and friendly competition. Use a school gym for your event and sell tickets to those wanting to participate as well as for admission to watch. Offer a cash prize from some of the proceeds to the best dunker, or find donated prizes from local businesses for the winner and runner ups.

8. Lock Up

Put your favorite–or not so favorite–person behind bars! This is a great event for schools or a local business. Create an area to be the “jail.” You could even partner with your local police station to use some cells. Anyone can make a donation to lock up someone of their choice. Charge for the amount of time in chosen increments such as $1 a minute. $20 to see your boss or favorite teacher behind bars for a while? Priceless!

9.Trivia Night

Put your mind to work at a charity trivia night! This event costs nothing to put together and is sure to be a good time. Host the event at a local bar or event space and have a moderator use a trivia app to run the rounds. Charge an admission price per team and whoever wins, gets part of the proceeds!

10. Charity Hike

Get outside for a good cause! This simple idea is great for all ages. Pick a hiking trail and have participants find sponsors. Donations can be made per mile, for completing the course, or just for participating! Work with local businesses to provide water and trail snacks for everyone involved.