University of Wisconsin-Madison Relay for Life
• Loose change in a jar
– Give each team member a water bottle with a Relay For Life
sticker attached. Have participants collect dimes throughout
the semester to place in the bottle. A full water bottle will
contain almost $100!
– Check out your Relay online participant web page for
template e-mails requesting donations and send them to
family and friends!
• Bake sale
– Bake some treats and sell them at various locations around
campus for a small donation.
• Have a party with donations to Relay
– Collect donations at the door for Relay For Life. Let
your friends know where the money is going.
– Send 20 Facebook messages asking for $5 a piece.
• Have a Sponsor
– Ask your parent or employers to become your
sponsor. Ask them do match donations, for every
dollar you raise ask them match.
• Car Wash
– Ask a local gas station if you could host a car wash in their parking lot
with all donations going to Relay For Life.
• Spaghetti Dinner
– Host a spaghetti dinner at your local community center or house. Have
your team mates sell tickets to the event. Maybe even have a silent auction
with donations you receive from local businesses.
• Pie your House Fellow
– Host a night in the Residential Halls where you can pie your house fellow.
Charge a dollar per throw and see how many times your RA can get a pie
in the face.
• Drag Show
– Find a place to have your show, find some willing people to dress up as
the opposite sex, and charge a cover at the door to get in.
• Coin Drop
– Find a few old water jugs or or buckets, decorate them, and go around
collecting loose change at your office, residential hall, or school.
• Restaurant proceeds
– Ask local restaurants to donate a percent of their proceeds for a day to
Relay For Life. Pass out flyers for advertisement.
• Matching funds
– Ask your employer, parents, etc. to match the funds that your raise.
• Work a sporting event
– Get in contact with the Kohl Center or Alliant Energy Center and see if
you could do a fundraiser at a sporting event, helping with concessions, a
silent auction, etc.
• Finals care packages
– Send out letter that you have final care packages for sale. The parents will
be willing to buy one to send to their hard working students. Fill baskets
with fruit, a stress ball, and other goodies that will take away a little stress.
• Fundraising Billboard
– One unique idea is to put together a fundraising billboard in support of
breast cancer research. People pay a reasonable fee, say $100, to add a name
to a billboard list honoring those who are struggling with or have the lost
the battle with cancer.
• Dinner Dance
– Put together a fun dinner dance with live music and good food. It could be
a formal affair with catered food or a rocking good time accompanied by a
pig roast. Use a one price covers all approach, then add a cash bar or wine
tasting to raise extra funds.
• Fashion Show
– Fashion shows are always fun and, if well promoted, can draw hundreds of
women. Charge admission and offer lots of other fundraising activities. Add
silent auctions for donated items or services such as spa treatments or
private lunches with top designers.
• Pancake Breakfast
– A good location with lots of road signage can really pack them in for a
pancake breakfast. Costs are low and opportunities to add-in extras are
abundant. Offer raffle tickets, silent auction items, and sell ad space or
sponsorships on your placemats.
• Mardi Gras Fundraiser
– Great parties like Mardi Gras events attract a fun-loving crowd. Book a good
band and line up some Cajun food for a buffet. Sell beads, glow necklaces,
party hats, etc. Run a cash bar and auction off something big like a trip to
• Shop For The Cure
– Another good idea is to work with local merchants to put together a special
shopping experience aimed at women. Host in a convenient space like a
convention center, church meeting hall, or even a shopping mall. Try to get
as many items donated as possible while keeping things a win/win for your
merchants. Don't forget to promote it to men also as a good place for gift
– Cow Chip Fundraiser
– A country-style fundraising event involving raffling off chances for
winning a $5,000 cash prize. The fun catch is that the winner is
determined by where a cow answers nature's call on a field marked off
in squares. Add in live music, barbecue, and family fun activities and
you've got the makings of a major success on your hands.
– Casino Night
– Put together a full-fledged casino where adults gamble with play money
for a good cause or just make the main event a Texas Hold'em Poker
Tournament. Either one will draw a big crowd where you can add extra
moneymakers like a buffet dinner, a cash bar, a whiskey tasting, cigar
tasting, etc. Look to local merchants for partnerships and publicity.
– Krispy Kreme Donuts
– This is a good fundraiser if your workplace will let you sell
them there and even better if your team is made up of people
from different jobs. Announce that the week before relay is
Krispy Kreme week and that each day you’ll have donuts
available for a $1 donation each.
Fundraising at Relay
• Silent Auction
– Have a silent auction at the Relay For Life. Make sure to
have good advertising, so that Relayer’s know what is
available for purchase.
• Suntan Lotion Massage
– Have a massage table at the Relay. Use suntan lotion instead
of oils for your massage.
• Bake Sale
– Bake treats to sell at the Relay. Make sure to contact Relay
logistics chair to organize space to sell goods outside of
• Kissing booth
– Having a Kissing booth at the Relay. Charge $1 per kiss.
• Line the track with quarters
– Collect quarters and advertise to line the track with
quarters! See how much money it takes to makes it’s way all
the way around.
• Face Painting
– Fun for kids and college students alike! Glow in the dark
sticks or necklaces are also good sellers.