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Fundraising Ideas

11 never-seen-before summer fundraiser ideas you have to try

These creative, community-centric summer fundraiser ideas will be fun for you to pull off and even more fun for your donors to show up to.

Kylie Davis
April 26, 2022

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Sun’s out 🌞, guns out 💪— and fundraising is in. Celebrate the arrival of everyone’s favorite season and warm, sunny weather with a summertime fundraising event in your community.

Summertime offers plenty of opportunities to take your nonprofit fundraising campaign to the next level. From competitive pool parties to ice cream soirees to golf tourneys suitable for all ages, we’re offering you plenty of creative summer fundraiser ideas to get you one step closer to your campaign goal.

11 innovative summer fundraiser ideas for your nonprofit

Summer fundraisers ideas: boy shouting summer GIF

Need a creative campaign idea to hit your fundraising goal? Below, we’re offering innovative summertime solutions to raise money for your good cause.

1. Ice cream making contest 🍦

Do you know that July is National Ice Cream Month? And National Ice Cream Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in July?

Take part in the festivities while raising funds for a good cause by hosting a competitive ice cream social. Contestants will make their own innovative flavors from scratch, then guests can purchase tickets to taste-test and vote on their favorite frozen treats. For an added money maker, invite guests to make extra quantities of their creamy concoctions, selling them by the pint to supporters.

2. Sand ‘n’ sip 🍷

You’ve heard about paint ‘n’ sip events, but what about a sand ‘n’ sip? Invite instructors to teach a mini class on constructing sandcastles, all while supporters partake in a mini wine tasting.

Be sure to have volunteers on hand to snap photos of each supporter and their beachy creation. While they won’t be able to take their sandcastles home with them (whomp whomp), they’ll still want to remember the evening.

3. Beach Olympics 🏖

Want to give a fun, summer twist to a classic field day event?

Host the “Beach Olympics,” where supporters partake in a number of warm-weather-themed competitive events.

Some ideas include a hot dog eating contest, water balloon-themed dodgeball, cornhole, or a beach-themed obstacle course or scavenger hunt (with both on-land and by-sea components, of course 😉).

For your ultra-competitive supporters, consider hosting a decathlon where participants enter into every single event, then rack up points throughout the day.

4. Pool volleyball tourney 🏊 🏐

March Madness gets all the glory, but why not launch an annual June Madness in your hometown? Host a volleyball tournament that’s held in a swimming pool, where players must bump, set, spike! while battling the waves. Teams will pay a small fee to participate while supporters fork up an entry fee to watch the swimming pool showdown. In keeping with the March Madness theme, consider allowing supporters to place a small wager on a bracket bet.

5. Movies in the park 🎥

Want a family-friendly event you can host all summer long? Consider offering a movie night at a local park.

Friends and family members can bring blankets and enjoy an evening showing of some of their favorite films. To increase the amount of money raised, consider selling refreshments such as soft drinks, candy, popcorn, and other snacks. Or, partner with local restaurants to offer a different menu selection at each event (think “pizza in the park” or “fajitas at the film”).

6. Doggie walk-a-thon 🐶

The weather is (finally!) warm and sunny, and it’s time to get outdoors. Give supporters some must-needed exercise with their favorite furry friends with a doggie-walk-a-thon or fun run.

Supporters can walk a set distance with their leashed best buds, all while raising money for your cause. To increase ticket sales, add a costume contest to your event. For an extra $1 per ticket, owners can dress-up their four-legged pals to be entered into a “best dressed” competition for the day.

7. Mini golf tournament 🏌

Hosting a charity golf tournament is a great fundraising option for nonprofits across the nation. There’s only one issue: Unless you’re an on-par golfer, a competitive round of 18 holes can be extremely intimidating (or frustrating, if you feel like you’re holding up other players).

Welcome your entire local community to your fundraiser by hosting a putt-putt golf tournament instead. Golf amateurs of all ages — including the kiddos! — can partake in the fun, paying an entry fee to play a round of mini golf.

8. Food truck Fridays 🌭

Want a fun summer fundraiser idea that also raises money for the local economy? Host food truck Fridays, where local businesses serve their best grub out of trucks or stands. Supporters will pay a small registration fee to attend the event (which goes toward your nonprofit organization) then pay for their actual meal, which the restaurants keep to cover their food, labor, and overhead costs. If you find enough businesses to join your cause, consider making it a weekly or monthly event with a different selection of restaurants each time.

9. Street clean up and sprout up 🪴

Summer is always an opportune time to spruce up your local neighborhood.

Gather your most loyal supporters together to help pick up trash and debris in your local community. As an added bonus, consider purchasing flowers and planting them alongside your community sidewalks. Make the day a “give what you can,” event, where supporters contribute whatever dollar amount they wish toward your cause.

10. Neighborhood tailgate 🍔

Do you have a hometown baseball team that’s headed to the state tourney? Does your local sand volleyball team have every intention of winning first place at the weekend tourney? Cheer on your favorite team while raising funds for a good cause by hosting a community-wide tailgate. 

Rope off a portion of a local parking lot and have supporters grill, BBQ, partake in a chili cook off, or sell baked goods and other goodies. You can raise funds by charging supporters per menu item (like a bake sale) or charging a flat entry fee to cover the entire cost of the event.

11. Host a summer project yard sale 💸

Summer is a great time to (finally!) tackle household projects. Members of your community will be busy painting walls, repairing their roof, trimming hedges, or refinishing cabinets.

The only problem? Once these household projects are finished, many supplies go unused (and many cannot be donated or recycled). To tackle the problem, host a summer project yard sale for all the DIYers in your community. Invite supporters to donate leftover paint and wood stain, unused lumber, scrap metal, unused mulch and lawn seed, or even used tools to the cause. Community members can purchase products (or bid on items through a silent auction) so they can tackle their summer projects, all while cutting down on waste in your community.

Launch your summertime online fundraiser with Givebutter

High School Musical summer GIF
While many nonprofit organizations focus on end-of-year fundraising, summertime offers ample opportunities to hit your fundraising goal.

From beach Olympics to sandcastle and sip outings to movie nights in the park, there are plenty of fun, warm-weather solutions to raise funds for your cause.

To help you get the most from these summer fundraiser ideas, be sure to host your campaign on Givebutter. Givebutter is the all-in-one, modern, always-free fundraising platform built with donors in mind. Givebutter comes with 130+ fundraising tools, including branded fundraising pages, ticketed events, social media sharing, and peer-to-peer fundraising to help you raise more money in less time. Plus, Givebutter is the only all-in-one solution that comes with built-in CRM and marketing automation, helping you attract corporate sponsorships and recurring donors.

Ready to see how Givebutter can help you reach your summer fundraising goal? Take a tour to get started.

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