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Top 4 Quirky Fundraising Ideas

These days, fundraising events need to be next-level in order to encourage donations.


But where to start? Inspiration can be found anywhere - especially online. In a world of crowdfunding and viral challenges, social media in particular is an ever-evolving hub of creative ideas. But it all comes down to choosing the best fit for your company or charity.


In this blog, we suggest some of our top quirky fundraising ideas, as well as some fail-safe options for you to consider.


Fundraising Events: Why They Work

Fundraising events generally are a great way to boost financial income for charities and other similar organisations.


They have long been ingrained in nonprofit culture, as they tick so many important boxes. They offer promotional opportunities, give something back to the community and create an essential income boost to support positive change. Plus, they can be revisited on a regular basis (e.g. monthly/yearly) so charities can better project proceeds and the event can be improved time and time again.


But it’s the creative fundraising ideas that stick in people’s minds. They build hype and make lasting memories for those taking part. If you’re thinking about changing up your fundraising efforts, maybe it is time to consider something a bit more outside the box.


Here are some ideas to get you started:


Top 4 Quirky Fundraising Ideas

Unique fundraising ideas are key for grabbing people’s attention. This can be difficult, as they need to be somewhat familiar to people, but enticing enough to encourage participation.


Don’t be afraid to reach out to bigger businesses for collaborations - as they have a duty to fulfill when it comes to corporate social responsibility. Whether they donate a helping hand on the day, or contribute a major prize to pique people’s interest - it is more than worthwhile introducing your idea to them.


There are several wacky fundraising ideas you can try, such as:


Online Auctions

If you want to keep costs low, an online auction makes a fantastic social media campaign - especially if you source amazing items to sell!


Online auctions make a great alternative to an in-person event, especially with the pandemic still being a concern for many people. There are so many online solutions that you can use now to easily create your own personalised platform, like Givergy, which specialises in online and in-person auction events for charities.


You can auction goods or services, whether they are relevant to the charity or not. Often, collaboration will take place with other companies to secure prizes, such as hotel stays, spa days, restaurant vouchers etc. But there is also a gap for auctioning services that will benefit the community on a greater scale. For example, you could offer one-to-one mentoring sessions through a local college, which would be a great fit if your charity is focused on improving the lives of young people.


Community Carnivals

On the other hand, nothing creates a bigger buzz than a community event where the more people are involved, the higher turnout you can expect.


Carnivals are unique in that they are inspired by vibrant circus, fun fair and festival-like events. Usually, these are heavily based on entertainment, but the possibilities are well and truly endless.


They can be done in day or even weekend-long stints that are jam packed with different experiences. These are normally centred on street and music performances, parades and food. The beauty of carnivals is the participation element - the more people you recruit to get involved, the more you raise awareness. If people participate, then they will likely have friends and family interested in tagging along or even taking part. Plus, these types of events appeal greatly to families, friends and individuals who want to socialise!


By bringing together multiple different groups of people, you can create a one-of-a-kind event that has the potential to be cemented in the community’s social calendar for years to come.



quirky fundraising idea - community carnival
The best quirky fundraising ideas are those that bring your community together. Image credit: InYourArea

24 Hour Challenges

One of the best examples of this is Radio 1’s 24 hour LOLathon which was done to raise funds for Comic Relief. But the uniqueness of this fundraising idea is that it can apply to literally anything.


While a 24 hour challenge can be physically and mentally demanding, it is a highly rewarding way to raise valuable funds for those in need. For example, many people take part in Relay for Life, which involves walking for 24 hours to raise awareness and money for cancer.


But where you can make this idea quirky is how you choose to spend your 24 hours. This could be dancing, cooking or even knitting!


One way you can optimise donations is through planning a sweepstake. This is a great way to engage people and ramp up support and competition between friends and family. For example, you could try running:

  • A bake-a-thon sweepstake where you ask people to guess the number of baked goods you'll make in 24 hours

  • A physical challenge sweepstake where your friends and family guess how many miles you will walk/run etc.

Extreme Sports

If you’re feeling daring, why not take the plunge and try an extreme sport on behalf of a great cause?


This can include the likes of sponsored bungee jumping, skydiving, wing-walking, abseiling and other adventurous events. These are perfect for those who like to push boundaries and what’s more - is that they are always a crowd pleaser!


Events such as Tough Mudder are already set up for you to take part in, or you can create your very own to give it a quirky twist. Think big - but remember to set realistic goals. Always be aware of weather conditions, and remember to train before you embark on something that’s outside of your comfort zone.


As these types of events are more challenging than traditional fundraising ideas and are not something people do every day, it’s often easy to acquire sponsorships and raise a substantial amount for your cause.


Fail-Safe Fundraising Ideas

If you want to warm up to these more extreme ideas initially, there are many fail-safe fundraising event ideas that you can organise first to get experience. These include:

  • Coffee mornings

  • Bake sales

  • Sports days

  • Dress down days

  • ‘Guess the number of…’

  • Hair cut/head shave

  • Jumble sale

  • Raffles

At S3 Solutions, we are a leading consultancy company for public and not-for-profit sectors. Our mission is to leave a positive and lasting impact on the people, organisations and communities we work with, supporting social change. If you want to get in touch with us about other quirky fundraising ideas for you to try, please contact the team today.