Friends and Family Fundraising Ideas
Basic Fundraising Ideas
Letter Writing Campaign:
Back to the basics with a letter writing campaign. While most people are on-line, not everyone is comfortable
giving their information on the web. Make sure your letter includes the following: a thoughtful message explaining
why you are participating in Great Strides, suggested Donations starting as little as $10 so that people understand
that any donation is welcome, a reminder about possible corporate matching, a return envelope with a stamp.
Potential Funds Raised: 50 Letters, 75% return rate with a average of $50 donation = $1875 (excluding any
Web 2.0 Fundraising:
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Social Networking has become the key to many fundraising campaigns. Create a Team
Page on Facebook and encourage your friends to become fans. Provide a link to your Fundraising Page on the CFF
site, put the message on your LinkedIn page, create a Twitter account and provide links and updates. Ask everyone
to donate something no matter the size. Give constant update on your site to keep your page fresh and in front of
Potential Funds Raised: 200 Friends, 50% donate with average of $25 donation = $2500
To assist you getting your message out, create business cards to pass out. The cards should include links to your
websites, your mission, team name and for whom or why you are walking. Give these to networking sources in
addition to your professional business cards. You can obtain inexpensive cards at a Kinkos or Vistaprint.com
Family Friendly Fundraising
Host a Kid’s Game Day:
Invite your kid’s friends, nieces and nephews, the neighborhood kids, the soccer team, to a game day at a local park.
For this drop-off party, you can coordinate a couple of hours of fun activities and ask the parents for a donation in
exchange. Tetherball, Four Square, Jump Rope, Potato Sack races, Yo-Yo contests, all the things you loved as a kid!
Get the local grocery store to donate snacks and beverages for the children. Ask a local toy store or department
store to donate small toys for goodie bags and prizes. In the goodie bags include an information sheet for your
Walk Team so that parents can donate additional funds.
Potential Funds Raised: 50 kids, $30 per kid = $1,500
Board Game Night:
Bring Family Game Night back. Have families lend board games from home for every age category. Keep in mind a
game like Monopoly may take up too much time. For younger age groups, small donated toys can be used as prizes
for each game. Don’t use anything very costly that cuts into your profits.
For older age groups, play rounds of games tournament style with a few surviving winners at the end of the evening.
A playoff is exciting for the whole crowd. A prize for the final winner could be something as simple as a gift
certificate to a local ice cream parlor, or a larger prize donated by a local business.
This can be an ongoing fundraiser done once a month or once a quarter.
Various Ways to Raise Funds: Charge $1 per game played, $10 entry fee for night, have donation jars out, and
make this a monthly event leading up to walk.
Family Friendly Fundraising
Mini Golf Tournament:
Everyone might not be able to golf but everyone can Mini Golf! To maximize attendance, price your golf event
tickets at reasonable prices. Offer attractive variations like a flat-rate family or foursome ticket or discounts
for advance purchases.
In addition to registration fees, you can raise funding by asking local business to sponsor each hole. Set the prices
reasonably, such as $25 to $75 per hole. In return, the sponsors would get a small sign beside each mini-golf
putting tee acknowledging their contribution. At the $75 level you could include an advertisement or coupon for
the sponsor in an informational package that also includes a scorecard.
Much like a full size golf tournament, you can have closet to the pin prizes, lowest score, highest score and hole-in-
one prizes. Because there could be several hole-in-ones in a Mini Golf Tournament, make sure the prize is in your
budget or have been donated.
You can also offer silent auctions of donated goods and services to raise additional funds. Place the items in high
traffic areas for everyone to bid one. Make it fun by having small ticket items so that kids can also bid on items.
Work with the facility to either run your own concession or split part of the profits from the day with the facility.
Potential Funds Raised: 50 participants, $30 per person on average = $1,500
18 sponsors, $50 average sponsorship = $900
Silent Auctions – Limitless
Can have donation Jars for additional donations
You can also encourage participants to have people “sponsor them per hole”
“21 and Over” Events
Bean Bag Tournament:
Find a bar that has a large outdoor space for you to set up a Bean Bag Tournament. Set up a bracket for the
tournament to determine a winner. Ask the bar to donate a free hour of drinking for the winning team or get other
prizes from local businesses. Charge an entry fee for the tournament. Also work with the bar to have a drink
package available for the participants.
All You Can Drink Package:
A very easy very popular fundraising technique for the younger professional. Several establishments in the area
offer all you can drink packages for charity events. A sample package is $30 per person for 3 hours or $35 per
person for 4 hours. Some of this fee will be returned to the bar for their costs. The packages often include Domestic
Drafts, Wine and Soft Drinks. Many places will also offer a package of appetizers as well.
Again a very simple and popular fundraising technique. A key to make this success is to find an area of town that
has several bars within walking distance of each other. Also the bigger and bolder the theme the more you will
draw in. (For example: The Snuggie Pub Crawl) Make sure you work with all of the bars along the route to get beer
specials and let them know you are coming with a large crowd. Charge an entry fee to the Pub Crawl of $30 per
For all Above Events:
You can offer a raffle with donated prizes from local businesses or do a 50/50 raffle. If space is available, you can do
a small, reasonably priced silent auction. You can also sell “accessories” that go with the theme of your Pub Crawl
or drink package.
Potential Fund Raised: You can raise large amounts with any of the above with the appropriate marketing.
Community Involvement Events
Waiter and Waitressing:
Work with a local restaurant for a night of waiter and waitressing. You would serve as a shadow waiter and
waitress for a couple of hours at a popular restaurant. You raise funds by earning tips from the tables you serve.
Encourage your family and friends to eat at the restaurant that evening to help fill the establishment. Ask the
restaurant if they will donate part of the check totals from the hours you work.
Work Event Venue Concession Stands:
Many of the event venues will allow charities to work one of the concession stands at a large event. You raise funds
from the tips and part of the sales. Make sure that you are wearing something to show that you are raising funds
for Great Strides and your tip jars are decorated to stand out.
Work with an area of town that has many stores within walking distance of each other. Ask each of the stores to
offer discounts of a certain percentage or dollar amount. Ask if the stores will donate part of the proceeds of the
day to your walk team. Have a “Lemonade” stand set up along the way so that people can stop for refreshments
and snacks. This can be another source of revenue for you as well.
Large Scale Events
Mystery Murder Fundraiser:
A murder mystery dinner theater fundraiser is a fun way to raise funds and is something unique for many people.
The location should combine good food with exclusive use of the facility because most of the theater performance
takes place in acts divided by dinner courses. You don't want other restaurant patrons coming and going during the
critical scenes, so it's best to book a reserved dining room at an inn or a large restaurant.
You can have your team perform the murder mystery or you can work with a local theater group to perform .
You can find mystery dinner theater scripts online for a reasonable price. It's also possible that the local theater
group may already have a working script in-house that they have already performed.
In addition to ticket price for the night , there can be a silent auction table to raise additional funds. Also the team
can create a special menu that include opportunities for sponsorship. It should also include your teams story and
why you are choosing to walk for Great Strides.
Potential Funds Raised : 100 participants, $50 per person = $5,000
Everyone loves a barbeque and everyone loves to brag about their cooking skills! Find a park with several grills or an
area where grills can be brought set up. Ask local celebrities or personalities to be the judges. Ask if local grocery
stores will donate side dishes or beverages for the main dishes.
Create categories for different meats and vegetables, and categories for mild and spicy sauces.
Potential Funds Raised: 10 entries, $100 per contestant = $1,000. $10 per plate, 100 = $1,000