Whether you call it fall or autumn, that #PSL time of year means a lead-up to the Super Bowl of giving days, Giving Tuesday. As the weather gets cooler and Labor Day becomes a distant memory, here are 32 fall fundraising ideas for nonprofits (and even more if you count everything we have laid out in #32…).
1. Back to School
A themed fundraiser around the time of new pencils and backpacks can help support the younger stakeholders associated with your organization.
2. International Day of Charity
Um, just make the announcement and let the money pour in. This almost certainly won’t work but it is worth a try, though you should probably save the ask for Giving Tuesday.
3. National Food Bank Day
(First Friday in September)
Encourage stakeholders to support food insecurity in their workplace by collecting food and online donations for the cause.
4. National Beer Lover’s Day
Have volunteers lead Beer Crawls for a Cause in their neighborhoods. Use Eventbrite and some standard language to unite supporters on the day. Use Google Maps to create the game plan, or use a pub crawl app (of course there’s an app for that).
5. World Series
Have your supporters in the home cities of the final two teams host watch parties with admission fees that go towards your cause. Or host a competition to see which fans of the final two teams are the most generous — the perfect opportunity to use the Instagram Donate sticker.
6. Fantasy Football Fundraisers
If your tastes trend towards another sportball, create groups of 12 with different donation levels as the entry fee. With a registration and donation form, you can have people register and then organize the groups using Yahoo’s fantasy football. This could be a great opportunity for a volunteer or two to help run this. Don’t forget to include a variety of prizes.
7. Talk Like a Pirate Day: Plunder for Purpose
Yarrrr, ye’ should take heed and create some funny videos with bad accents to raise ye’ some plunder. A Plunder for Purpose party where everyone dresses as a pirate and donates entry fee just feels right for this day.
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8. International Day of Peace
Depending on your cause, craft a message to take 5 minutes for peace with a peaceful thought exercise. End it with a quick donation to your cause. (The placebo effect works.)
9. National Women’s Health + Fitness Day
Create a donate page that calls for people to donate to support the women in their lives.
10. National Pancake Day: Pancakes for a Purpose
Pancakes for Parkinson’s is still our favorite use of pancakes for a cause. Look at how the Team Fox community uses the cooking of pancakes on campuses to raise funds for the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
11. Rosh Hashanah
The Jewish New Year is celebrated with a two day feast with family and friends. Say happy new year to your stakeholders and help them start the year off right with a little tzedakah.
12. International Walk to School Month
Use the Charity Miles app to raise funds for every mile walked for select charities. Or use a Google Fit tracker to log the miles and get sponsors for each mile walked.
13. National Book Month
MS read-a-thon for the win, challenge your younger stakeholders to get sponsors for the number of hours or books they read — or just give the kids at heart a competitive edge with fall’s hotly-anticipated book releases.
14. National Reading Group Month
Speaking of book month, no small surprise that Reading Group Month also takes up a slot in October. Invite your supporters to reading clubs with a nominal donation going to your cause. Bonus points for selecting a book relevant to your work.
15. ‘Cookin for Cash’ in National Chili Month
Host an official chili cook-off in your neighborhood where chefs are chosen and tickets are sold for all of the tasters. Choose a winner based on votes and make sure the cause is prominently featured. Also probably best to make sure that no chili is served on industrial-grade carpet…
16. World Teachers’ Day
Create a teacher appreciation page to donate in a teacher’s name or memory. Celebrate those teachers on the page and social media.
17. Pumpkin Day: Carve for a Cause
Your supporters are going to carving up pumpkins, give them a challenge to carve for the cause. Create a pumpkin carving contest fundraiser and have challengers create carvings that support the cause.
18. Diwali Candle for a Cause
Celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists, Diwali is a festival of lights. Have your organization create a branded candle for cause for donors giving over a certain amount.
19. National Chocolate Day
Create a limited custom chocolates that your audience can order if they donate over a certain amount.. Source your chocolates from local vendors like Choco-Logo based in Buffalo, NY.
20. Halloween: Costume for a Cause
Trick or Treating for donations is a play that UNICEF has done for years however there is still plenty of room for more causes. Challenge your audience to build their costume around your cause and collect funds.
21. National Gratitude Month
Build a gratitude page and charge for 1 unit of gratitude as a joke and excuse to reach out in a fun way to your supporters.
22. Enjoy a No-Shave Movember
This amazing tradition of growing a mustache for prostate cancer and men’s health awareness has already been claimed. Though you are welcome to create your own grow-for-good campaign. (Special shout-out to Jason Sweeney for doing an entire 30 days’ worth of Great Moments in Movie History… With Moustaches videos when he fundraised for Movember a few years ago.)
23. Donate Your Hour for the End of Daylight Savings Time
(First Sunday in November)
Challenge your supporters to donate their hourly wage value to the cause because they’re losing it anyway.
24. Veterans Day
Honor the veterans in your network by publicly thanking them and raising funds as appropriate to support them.
25. World Kindness Day
Nothing kinder than giving, just remind your stakeholders that it is unkind not to give on kindness day.
26. National Philanthropy Day: Thanks Phil!
Find everyone in your database named Phil or Philip and send them a note saying that they put Phil in Philanthropy. Wishing just the people with this name on this day on email, Facebook, and LinkedIn might just be quirky enough to raise a few dollars.
27. National Take a Hike Day
Create a donate page that let’s people send their ‘friends’ a message to take a hike — for a cause, of course. This can be done as a joke and shared on social media to ping the friend being called out.
28. Thanksgiving: Remote Turkey Trot
(2019 Date: Nov 28)
Have a local 5k run or challenge your audience to do a morning Turkey Trot with you and live stream your CEO/founder doing a run on Facebook Live. Use a tool like Charity Miles to help track and raise funds.
29. Black Friday
(2019 Date: Nov 29)
Before the buying binge begins, your supporters and ask them to add you to their Amazon Smile giving. Make sure your nonprofit is registered for Amazon Smile, and the affiliate marketing link will donate a percent of a supporter’s purchases to your nonprofit.
30. Small Business Saturday
(2019 Date: Nov 30)
Find a local business to partner with and sell a product with a purpose supplied by them. We recommend chocolate!
31. Cyber Monday
(2019 Date: Dec 2)
Create an epic deal page with huge discounts on giving opportunities: A $1,000 gift now only $250! 2-for-1 classroom donation deals! Also, make sure your nonprofit is registered for Amazon Smile (this is the big day for their deals).