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Your organization is only as successful as your fundraising, so make sure your fundraising ideas are top-notch!

You’ll want to pick ideas that are practical for your organization to carry out but also within the realm of your donor base’s most popular interests. Take into consideration what’s feasible for your organization and what has the most potential for the biggest revenue. If your donors are excited about your fundraisers, they’re sure to be successful.

Check out our top 3 fundraising ideas to boost your 2018 campaign efforts:

    1. T-Shirt Fundraising Campaign


    1. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaign


  1. Matching Gifts

If you’re ready to make the most of your fundraising with some stellar fundraising ideas, let’s dive in and find the perfect idea for you and your donor base.


Fundraising Idea #1: T-Shirt Fundraising Campaign

Fundraising Idea Overview

T-shirt Fundraising combines two powerful tools: merchandise sales and crowdfunding campaigns.

Crowdfunding campaigns harness the power of social media and allow you to accept donations from friends, family, and peers. With the easy capability of sharing, your peers can share your campaign with their networks to expand your potential donor base.

On the other hand, t-shirt fundraising is an easy way to visually unite your supporters and create a community. It also activates a new tier of donor, because the investment is smaller and they get something in return for their donation.

Combining these two fundraising methods grants you access to the best of both worlds and a fundraiser your donors can’t say no to!

How to Get this Fundraising Idea Started

You’ll need to invest in a t-shirt fundraising  provider in order to successfully run your campaign. Select a platform that helps you design your merchandise and handles inventory so you don’t lose funds.

There are a few main steps once you’ve decided on a provider:

    1. Choose your products. If you select a platform like Bonfire, you can easily select multiple colors, styles, and fits so every supporter can find something they love.


    1. Design your merchandise. With a platform provider, you’ll be able to design aesthetically pleasing products, even if you’re not a graphic designer. Look for software with an extensive design library.


    1. Set your prices. Choose a t-shirt fundraising site that lets you set your selling prices. Take your base cost into consideration and adjust your profit margin as you see fit to reach your goal.


    1. Schedule your campaign. Different platforms allow for different campaign lengths. With Bonfire, for example, your campaign can last anywhere between 7 and 21 days.


    1. Customize your page. You’ll want to customize your fundraising webpage so it feels like you. Add in compelling copy as well as powerful photos and videos. This page is your chance to share your story and connect supporters with your cause.


  1. Promote your campaign. Spread the word with your page’s social sharing options so your network can donate to your campaign. You’ll want to post updates on your campaign’s progress to keep your fundraiser on people’s minds.

Keep in mind that this fundraising idea is accessible to every supporter. Because it’s based primarily online (and inexpensive to run), every donor has the opportunity to donate to your cause.

The bottom line:  T-shirt fundraising campaigns are easy to master and promote, and provide the perfect opportunity to share your mission. Plus, hosting a t-shirt campaign is a fundraising idea no supporter can say no to!

Bonus! Check out Bonfire’s How to Design a T-Shirt for more tips on customizing amazing merchandise that your donors will love.


Fundraising Idea #2: Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaign

Fundraising Idea Overview

Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, also known as social fundraising, P2P, or team fundraising campaigns, allow you to use your supporter’s networks to gain revenue.

By turning your donors into fundraisers, you have the potential to raise more money and strengthen donor relationships.

Plenty of nonprofit organizations use peer-to-peer fundraising in their overall strategies because it’s a relatively easy and cost-effective fundraiser. Since your supporters are fundraising for you, the only expense to your organization will be your peer-to-peer fundraising software.

How to Get this Fundraising Idea Started

There are plenty of ways to go about starting a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, so we’ve narrowed it down to just 4 steps for you:

    1. Set your campaign goals. You’ll want to plan your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign around your organization’s needs. Think about tying your campaign to an event and determine your timeline.


    1. Choose your platform. Just like t-shirt crowdfunding, you’ll need a platform in order to host a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. Choose one that aligns with your goals and needs.


    1. Set up your page. Once you’ve decided on a provider, start customizing your page so it feels like you. You’ll want to upload plenty of photos and videos that illustrate your cause and what you do to further your mission. You’ll want to create templates for social media posts and emails as well.


  1. Encourage your fundraisers. Remember that the donors you’ve recruited to raise money on your behalf aren’t seasoned fundraisers like you are! Remember to coach them and give them email and social media templates to promote your campaign.

Just because your fundraisers are the ones raising money doesn’t mean you get to sit this campaign out. Remember to stay on top of your fundraiser and help your supporters raise money.

The bottom line: Peer-to-peer fundraising boasts incredible fundraising potentially that you can easily capitalize on, especially when your supporters reach out to their networks for support.

Bonus! Check out BidPal’s Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Guide for more helpful tips and tricks for this fundraising idea.


Fundraising Idea #3: Matching Gifts

Fundraising Idea Overview

Matching gifts are corporate giving programs that allow employees to double their donations!

Most employers match donations at a 1:1 ratio, though some offer 2:1 or 3:1 ratios. For example, if an employer matches gifts one for one and an employee gives $100 to an eligible organization, the company will then donate $100, making the total donation $200.

Many employers won’t match contributions made to religious organizations but will match donations made to projects that religious organizations may carry out. For example, a company might not match a gift to a synagogue but will match a donation to the community soup kitchen the synagogue runs.

Typically, there are gift minimums and maximums that companies specify in their guidelines. The most common minimum is $25 but can be as low as $1 whereas maximum gift matches range from $10,000 to $100,000.

How to Get this Fundraising Idea Started

With the fundraising potential that comes with matching gifts, you might be wondering why more organizations don’t take advantage of corporate giving programs. Most donors aren’t aware of these corporate programs, so it’s worth your organization’s investment in matching gift tools to help promote the matching gift process.

The matching gift submission process takes roughly 5 steps:

    1. Contribution is made. Your supporter donates to your organization or project and your organization informs your donor on matching gift programs. They should be able to search your software to learn about their employer’s program.


    1. Matching gift request is submitted. Your donor then submits a matching gift request to their employer following the instructions and resources you provide.


    1. Company reviews the request. During this step, the company will determine if your nonprofit is eligible based on their guidelines.


    1. Nonprofit verifies the donation. Here, your nonprofit will confirm that the employee did, in fact, contribute a gift so there’s a possibility for a matching gift donation.


  1. Nonprofit receives matching gift. If your nonprofit is eligible, you’ll then receive a check matching the initial donation, thus doubling the gift amount.

These matching gift database providers offer all the information you need to inform your donors on how to submit a matching gift request and complete the process. Investing in matching gift tools allows your donors to easily research their employer’s matching gift program and policies.


The bottom line: The more informed your supporters are about this corporate giving program, the more likely they are to take advantage of it. Plus, they’re more likely to submit their matching gift requests if they know how much it can help you!

Now that you have our top 3 fundraising ideas to boost your 2018 campaign efforts, there’s no room for failure. All that’s left to do is choose the best idea for you and start raising money for your cause. Happy fundraising!

Katie Haystead

Katie Haystead

Senior Vice President, Partnerships

With over a decade of experience working with K12 schools and higher education institutions’ fundraising efforts, Katie Haystead now oversees the partnerships team at Community Funded. Her passion for partner success and satisfaction aligns with Community Funded’s priorities and Katie’s unique background is well suited to manage the day to day operations of our partnerships team as well as new market acquisition.

Prior to joining the team at Community Funded, Katie served many roles within the Fundraising Division at Ruffalo Noel Levitz. Her experience ranges from working onsite and remotely with clients executing phonathon programs, developing annual giving strategies, onsite consultations and also developing multichannel strategies allowing for strong synergy between annual giving channels and creating strong major and planned gift pipelines.

Katie is based in Metro Detroit and is a graduate of Central Michigan University, where she worked for the phonathon for 3 years while working towards her History Major.

Kim Jennings

Kim Jennings

Senior Generosity Strategist, Generis

Kim Jennings, CFRE is a skilled fundraising leader who believes in the power of Christian education to raise up thoughtful, strong, committed leaders who can make our world a better place for all.

Kim Jennings

Todd Turner

Director of Digital Strategies, Generis

In addition to his 11 years overseeing Chuck Swindoll’s Insight Living Ministries communications department, Todd Turner has worked as a digital strategist for faith based organizations across the globe..

Kim Jennings

Jennifer Perrow

Senior Generosity Strategist, Generis

Jennifer is a skilled fundraising and communications professional who helps ministries articulate vision, communicate mission, and raise abundant funds to advance Kingdom priorities.