11 Fundraising Tips to Make Scary $ on Halloween

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Halloween can give your nonprofit a great opportunity to have supporters run peer-to-peer fundraising for your cause. All the elements are there, people talking to neighbors, a fun spirit of giving (candy at least), all that is waiting is your cause campaign that fits. 

Being top of mind matters and it is easier to ride a wave than create one yourself. Put another way, repurposing an existing holiday, that isn’t in the December holiday season is a huge opportunity for branded campaigns. Halloween has massive attention as shown by Google Searches comparing “Halloween” and “Valentines” (day)

What’s more, Halloween is a day that pulls neighborhoods together with a big focus on families. These are great communities to run peer-to-peer fundraising opportunities for causes that support the local area. 

Here are some fun peer-to-peer fundraising ideas to try with your supporters. 

1. Spooky Donation Match: Candy & A Cause

Have a donor or group of donors agree to match all donations made to your nonprofit on Halloween, up to a certain amount. This can be a great way to encourage others to give, knowing that their donation will have double the impact. 

The campaign can be printed out in fun designs by supporters that are giving away candy. In addition to giving away candy, supporters can give out those campaign cutouts announcing the donation match campaign. Make sure to include a way to give online direct from the handout.  

2. Halloween Costume Contest

Encourage supporters to get creative and come up with Halloween costumes inspired by your cause. This could be as simple as making a sign that says “I’m voting for [X nonprofit] because…” or something more elaborate like dressing up as someone who has been impacted by your work. Participants should have a sign or some branding for the organization as well as a narrative for who they are dressed up as. 

The winner could receive a prize, like a gift card to a local restaurant or store. 

3. Pumpkin Carving Contest

This is another great contest idea that can get people engaged and excited about your cause. Ask people to carve pumpkins with themes related to your work, and then share photos of the pumpkins on social media using a designated hashtag. The winner could again receive a prize donated by a local business or one of your donors. 

4. ‘Zombie Walk’ for charity fundraising   

What better way to engage with supporters than by turning them into (safely) zombies for an afternoon? Have people donate money to participate in your zombie walk, and then use the money raised to support your work! You could even have an after-party where people can celebrate their newly undead status with some spooky snacks and drinks. 

5. Haunted house donation admission

This is a classic Halloween fundraiser that can be a lot of fun for participants and also very successful in terms of money raised. Have people donate to enter your haunted house, and make it as spooky as you can! You could also have a prize for the person who raises the most money. 

6. ‘Trick or Treat’ for donations

This is a great way to get kids involved in your fundraising efforts! Have them go around their neighborhood asking for donations instead of candy, and then use the money raised to support your work. You could even have a contest to see who can raise the most money, with prizes for the top three fundraisers.

7. Halloween bake sale

Organize a bake sale with Halloween-themed goodies, and use the money raised to support your causes. This is a great way to engage your supporters and also get them thinking about healthy eating during the Halloween season! 

8. Halloween party with a twist

Host a Halloween party for your supporters, but with a twist – instead of asking for entrance fees, have people make donations to your nonprofit in order to attend. This is a great way to get people engaged with your work, and you can also use the opportunity to educate them about your cause. 

9. Scavenger hunt with a cause

Organize a scavenger hunt with clues that lead participants to different businesses or locations around town. At each location, they will learn about a different nonprofit working on issues related to your cause. At the end of the scavenger hunt, have participants make donations to the nonprofits they learned about. 

10. ‘Boo-berry’ social media campaign

This is a great way to engage your supporters on social media and also raise awareness for your work. Ask people to post pictures of themselves with their favorite Halloween treats, and then use the hashtag #BooBerry [X nonprofit]. Have participants make donations when they post their pictures, and then use the money raised to support your work!

11. Hocus Pocus 2 viewing party

Get people excited for the much-anticipated sequel to the classic Halloween movie Hocus Pocus by hosting a viewing party! Charge an entrance fee (or suggested donation) and use the money raised to support your work. You could even have a costume contest at the party, with prizes for the best costumes! Optional, you can go with the original Hocus Pocus, but everyone has to dress in their best 90’s themed costume. 

A Final Fundraising Thought

Halloween can be a great opportunity for nonprofits to fundraise and engage with their supporters. By getting creative and thinking outside the box, you can come up with a great Halloween-themed fundraiser that will support your work and also get people excited about your cause.

This becomes even more powerful when you repeat it every year, building strong brand recognition with this well-known and loved day. Repeating this campaign will also help your supporters create local traditions with built-in fundraising upside.