Dec 15, 2021

40 Fundraising Tactics to Get You Started in 2022

fundraising tactics to get you started
fundraising tactics to get you started

The spread of COVID-19 marked the beginning of a new era of event planning. In-person events lessened in frequency, and online presence became all the more important. As 2021 comes to a close and 2022 begins, you may be concerned with the fundraising future of your business or nonprofit organization. Your usual fundraising methods may no longer be effective, and you may not be sure how to update them to fit the changing trends. 

Fortunately, trends can be measured and recorded, and things haven’t changed as much as you might think. We’ve compiled a list of upcoming fundraising trends, as well as forty ideas for planning your next fundraising event. 

Looking ahead to the coming year, here as some trends you can expect to see more often.

Hybrid Events

2020 and 2021 brought a massive increase in virtual events due to the spread of COVID-19. While in-person events are expected to make a resurgence in 2022, there are undeniable benefits to virtual events. 

  • Accessibility: In-person events, as the name dictates, demand that the participants arrive in person. This makes it more difficult for certain groups to attend your events, such as those who live far away from the event venue or those who have difficulty traveling. With virtual events, these issues are completely mitigated.
  • Cost reduction: When events are held in-person, the event holder has to pay whatever costs are incurred with the venue, any food or equipment required, and so on. Holding events online cuts down on those costs significantly. It also cuts down on the cost of commuting for both the event holders and the potential donors. 
  • Comfort: It’s a simple fact of life that different people have different comfort levels. Some people may not be comfortable speaking to a live crowd but can handle talking to that same crowd in a Zoom call. 

With these benefits, it’s understandable why hybrid events — events that mix in-person elements with virtual ones — are expected to be popular. 

Digital Fundraising

With the increase in technological advancements, it’s important for fundraising events to keep up with new technology. That’s why methods of digital fundraising, such as donate buttons, QR codes, and text-to-donate services are on the rise. Implementing these into an event allows for easy, hands-off donating. These methods can also be boosted using social media platforms for added visibility. 

Balancing New and Old Donors

For a long time, the fundraising norm was to try and draw as many new donors as possible. This is an understandable practice — the more donors, the more donations. However, in 2020, many programs shifted from attracting new donors to keeping the donors they did draw engaged. This lowered the number of overall donors but led to the ones who stayed contributing more to the cause. This led to many organizations focusing on donor retention over donor attraction. 

Year-round Campaigning

Instead of focusing exclusively on signature events, many programs are shifting to multiple donation events and fundraising challenges year-round. This leads to more donations, as donors are no longer stymied by missing one or two big events each year. 

40 Fundraising Tactics for 2022

Now that you know some of the upcoming trends, here are forty different ideas for fundraiser events and methods. Note that these ideas aren’t compatible with every organization — some are more formal than others, some are exclusively virtual, and some are dependent on brave volunteers. 

1) Business Partnerships

Reach out to businesses in your area and see if they’d be willing to make a donation to your cause. Locally owned businesses are easier to receive donations from, as the process often involves less red tape. 

2) Organization Competition

Instead of seeking direct donations from businesses, consider setting up a donation competition between you and a business or other nonprofit organization. Whoever gains more donations in a limited amount of time wins. Encourage potential donors to choose sides and show their support to their chosen team with donations. 

3) Create a Donor Recognition Wall

This works especially well for donors who wish to be recognized for their contributions. Create a wall, real or virtual, that lists who’s donated to your cause. You can customize this wall with pictures of the donors, the amount they donated, and even quotes from them. 

4) Raffle

Host a raffle and raise money by selling tickets. Depending on the size of your potential donor group, you can limit the amount of tickets per person, or you can let participants buy as many tickets as they want. 

5) Teach a Donations Class

Set up an online lesson over Zoom or another video communications service. Have donors pay a small fee to register. If you can’t organize a live meeting, you can pre-record the lesson or send donors digital reading material. 

6) E-cards

Create digital cards for any occasion — Valentine’s Day, Christmas, birthdays, or even just as a thank-you — and sell them online. 

7) Pie-in-the-Face

This method of fundraising works well for schools. Select a volunteer — preferably one in a high position — prepare some paper plates with whipped cream or shaving cream, and allow people to pay to pie them in the face. 

8) Leverage Board Connections

See if the members of your board of trustees have any connections to potential donors. If they do, ask if they can arrange a meeting, a luncheon, or even just a phone call with them. 

9) Design Challenge

Allow your audience to design something for you — a logo, a mascot, a slogan, or anything else that can be done by anyone. Once you’ve collected a wide variety, choose the winner and use their creation in your organization. This method doesn’t directly draw donations, but it does draw attention. 

10) Custom T-shirts

This works well with the design challenge, but it can also be used with pre-existing organization logos. Create custom T-shirts and sell them in-person or through an online store. 

11) Invite a Guest Speaker

Invite someone from a field related to your organization — or from a field you think potential donors would like to hear about — and charge an entry fee to listen to them speak on the subject. 

12) Used Book Sale

Collect secondhand books from willing donors and sell them at a book sale. Be sure not to accept books that are too heavily used. 

13) “Why I Give” Videos

This method works well for nonprofit organizations. Have past donors create a short video explaining what the organization means to them and why they decided to donate. Post the videos individually, or combine them into a longer compilation. This will help you emphasize the organization’s mission as well. 

14) Send Fundraising Emails

Send emails to potential donors explaining what your organization does and asking them to donate. Whether or not you set a specific donation amount is up to you. 

15) Tree-Planting Parties

This is a good way to attract environmentally-minded donors. Pledge to plant one tree for every donation of a certain amount. Be sure to take pictures and record clips of the planting party itself so your donors know you’ve followed through on your pledge.

16) Gala

This event works best for high-end organizations and donors. Organize a gala that will allow you and your associates to mingle with potential donors. You can host another fundraising event within the gala, such as an auction or paddle raise. Be sure to balance the costs so you don’t end up paying more for the event than you receive in donations. 

17) Trivia Night

Partner with a local restaurant to host the event and charge a small registration fee for anyone interested in participating. 

18) Sip and Paint Class

Either partner with a local sip and paint business that’s willing to share part of the proceeds or organize the event yourself by inviting an artist to serve as the teacher. Charge a registration fee and allow your participants to take home their creations. 

19) Game Tournament

The specific game doesn’t matter — it can be chess, Jenga, board game, or a combative video game. Charge an entry fee and encourage an audience to come and cheer for their preferred player. 

20) Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

This method is applicable to many other fundraising events. Encourage participants to reach out to their friends and family for donations. 

21) Yard Sale

Encourage people to donate their secondhand goods and sell them at a yard sale, with all proceeds going to your organization. Consider setting up a lemonade stand in order to boost donations and for an authentic “yard sale” feeling. 

22) Recycling Contest

Host a recycling contest within your organization. Encourage your associates to bring in as many recyclables as they can, and at the end of the event, exchange them at a recycling center and use the cash for your organization. 

23) Haunted House

If you’re holding the fundraiser during October, organize a haunted house and open it to the public for a small entrance fee. You can also host it during the summer months and advertise it as a “Summer Halloween” event. 

24) Jail and Bail

Select volunteers within your organization and have them placed in a faux jail for fake crimes related to your organization, preferably something humorous. For example, if you run a trash pick-up nonprofit, the crime could be the “introduction of invasive trash species to the local area.” Post their bail and allow people to donate to let them out. 

25) Scavenger Hunt

Choose a fun theme, charge an entrance fee, and have groups of participants hunt for items according to the theme of the event. This event can be tailored to children, teens, and young adults. 

26) Lock-in

Another good event to host for schools. Set up a fun night with games and snacks, and charge an entrance fee for students who wish to participate. 

27) Cook-off

Select a panel of judges for a cook-off centered around food of your choice. It can be chili, barbecue, cake, cookies, or any other food you think will lead to a fun variety. Charge a registration fee, invite guests for publicity, and remember to organize a prize for the winner. 

28) Ice Cream Social

This is a classic fundraiser event. Invite families in the community to enjoy some ice cream and socialize with others. Charge a small entrance fee and, if possible, try and get the sponsorship of a local ice-cream store. 

29) Potluck Dinner

Advertise the event and accept any food donations that might come in. Charge a small entrance fee, make sure you have a nice venue and allow your guests to sit, eat and socialize. 

30) Stuck for a Buck

Similar to the Pie-to-the-Face event, this works well for schools and requires the participation of a volunteer. Have them stand by a wall with a chair under their feet, then allow donors to buy a strip of duct tape and use it to tape them to the wall. At the end of the event, remove the chair and see if the tape keeps them suspended. 

31) Movie Night 

Charge an entrance fee and allow participants to enjoy a movie together. You can have a public poll in advance to decide the film, and you can either offer complimentary snacks or sell them for some extra money. 

32) Talent Show

Charge a participation fee and open the event to the general public. Allow participants to showcase their various talents, whether they be singing, dancing, magic, or anything else they can offer. 

33) Carol-grams

if you want to throw a Christmas-themed fundraiser event, sell “carol-grams.” For a small fee, donors can send your group of volunteers to friends or family and have them sing Christmas carols. You can increase the number of songs in exchange for a higher donation.  

34) Cleaning Service

Advertise your cleaning services and charge a fee in exchange for your group of volunteers cleaning an area of the donor’s choice. 

35) Tie-Dye Parties

Sell white T-shirts to your participants and give them an open space and a variety of colored dies to use. Once the shirts are done, ask them to take pictures of them and tag your organization.

36) Free-Throw Challenge

This is compatible with both the entrance fee method of fundraising and the peer-to-peer fundraising method. Find a basketball court, either outside or at a local gym. Participants can request that their friends or family make a donation for every free throw they successfully complete. 

37) Give it Up Challenge

Encourage supporters to make a donation equivalent to the amount they regularly spend on a specific food or drink. Challenge them to see how long they can make these donations instead of spending them on their food or drink of choice. 

38) Marathon

Organize a running event, charge an entrance fee, and encourage people to reach out to their friends or family and tell them about the event. The marathon can be adjusted to cover a small or large amount of distance. 

39) Animal De-Stress Day

This requires collaboration with your local pet shelter or several willing pet owners. Bring together a collection of dogs, cats, rabbits, or other animals and charge a small entrance fee. Once they’ve paid, participants can spend a predetermined amount of time with the animals. 

40) Silent Auction

Host an auction and sell off items to the highest bidder, with the proceeds going to your organization. Use either paper bid sheets or mobile bidding software, instead of a traditional loud auction. 

Learn More about GiveSmart Fundraising Software Today 

No matter what event you decide to use for your fundraiser, there’s a good chance you’ll need fundraising software for it. This can be as simple as a goal tracker, or it can be something tailored to your specific event. 

If you’re looking for industry-leading fundraising software for your silent auctions or other fundraising events, consider GiveSmart. We’ve helped nonprofit organizations raise over $2 billion over the past seven years. GiveSmart makes fundraising simple and helps you get the money you need to keep your organization running. Contact us today and start planning your first fundraiser of 2022. 


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Hope Chest for Breast Cancer

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Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County