There are so many ways to make money for your group, but often leaders get into a rut and can’t seem to get their creative juices flowing or you’ve just been thrown in at the deep end!

Here is a list of ideas just for you.

Its ten fundraising ideas to help get you back on the fundraising fast track!

1. Cook-Off

Perfect for church or school groups and sports teams, this event pits teams of group members against each other in a culinary contest. Each team is given identical ingredients and two hours to create their meal. Diners pay $5-$10 for a (hopefully) wonderful meal and the chance to have a great time voting for their favorite team. Allow participants to judge based on taste, presentation and service. To spice things up back in the kitchen, you can offer “bonus ingredients” such as cheese or additional spices to the team that can correctly answer the most culinary questions. This event isn’t going to raise a huge amount of money, but it is a fun event for everyone involved.

2. Murder Mystery Night

This event is good for school or youth groups and any organization that is involved with drama or the arts. It will work for any organization that has a fairly large number of helpers. You are basically going to host a party in which one member of your group will be “murdered” early on in the evening. Party goers will spend the rest of the night trying to figure out whodunit. Group members play the parts of various characters and spend the night doling out clues to guests. Charge admission to the party, and offer a prize for the best solution.

3. 50/50 Raffle

This fundraiser is simple and requires no investment. At any event, such as a sports game, school PTA meeting or concert, have a group member posted near the entrance to sell tickets. Near the end of the event, draw one winner. The winner gets half of the total amount collected in tickets while your group keeps the other half.

4. Bail Me Out!

This idea is a lot of fun for schools, churches and sports team. Get someone who is respected within the organization such as a coach, youth pastor or principal, to agree to be locked up until a set amount of “bail” money is raised. This is good to do in conjunction with other events where there is going to a crowd of people. “Jailers” can ask passerby for donations to help raise the bail money.

5. Bake Sale

This idea is so simple that it can be used by almost any type of group. You can either secure permission to set up shop outside of a busy store, or you can set up a table at an event such as a game or a meeting. Either way, you’ll need to check with your city as some require that any food for sale be prepared in a health approved kitchen. Remember that the more you bake, the more you can make. But, if you’re selling your goods at an event, be realistic about how many people will be present.

6. Car Wash

This tried and true method of raising funds on a Saturday afternoon is perfect for sports teams and youth groups. You’ll need to plan ahead in order to secure a location where there will be plenty of traffic. Have a “free” carwash where donations are accepted, or you can charge a set fee. Put the young people in your group to work, and you may be surprised at how much money this simple idea can bring in for your group!

7. Polar Plunge

This works best for organizations with a large number of members such as lodges. If you live in a part of the country where the winters get icy cold, then a polar plunge is an interesting way to bring in some money for your group. First, you have to convince a large number of your group to dive into the water at the ocean or a lake in the coldest part of winter. Have each participant gather sponsors who will make a donation if they actually go into the water on the day of the plunge. On event day, have hot coffee and cocoa for sale to increase your profits. Do make sure you do your own health & safety risk assessment before this risky event!

8. Cake Walk

This is a wonderful idea for churches or parents groups. Each member brings a cake to the event. There is more than one way to decide who wins a cake. One fun way to do a cakewalk is to set up chairs “musical chairs” style. The number of people who can participate in each round is the same number of chairs to include. Put a number on each chair. If there are 20 chairs, number them 1-20 and allow 20 people to play each round. Sell tickets. One ticket equals the chance to play in one round. As the music plays, participants walk around the chairs. When it stops, each finds a seat. Then a number is drawn. Whoever is sitting in the chair with the number that matches the number that was drawn goes to the table and selects the cake of her choice. Continue to have additional rounds until all of the cakes are gone. You can make it interesting by having some rounds in which there is more than one winner. Because the cakes are donated by the group, all of the money can go straight to your organization. As a bonus, it’s a great night of fun and fellowship for all who participate.

9. Penny Drive

People have pennies in drawers, jars and in their vehicles. Many don’t purposely save them. They just seem to multiply, and many people can’t be bothered lugging them to the bank. What many will do, however, is donate them when they hear that a charitable group is holding a penny drive. You can give out cans or just set up a big bucket in the hallway of your school or office. Ask people to fill the cans or drop their pennies into the buckets. Don’t think pennies can’t add up to big bucks. One community group recently held a penny drive in which they gathered so many pennies that if they were placed in a row it would stretch for 41 miles. It was enough money to completely renovate a community park AND get them into the Guinness Book of World Records.

10. Grub Day

If you want to raise a few dollars for your school, offer the students a chance to shed their uniforms and wear casual clothes. In order to be able to wear street clothes, the student must make a donation to the cause for which you are trying to raise money. If you sell the right to wear regular clothes for $5-$10 per student and multiply that by, for example, 300 students, it’s easy to see that this is a great way to bring in some extra money for school trips or projects!

Traditional Christmas Fundraiser Ideas

Other traditional ways of raising funds include selling charity Christmas cards – either through your organization, using a stall, making use of a vacant shop front in your town or city, or possibly via a website.

For people buying gifts, selling candy or candles, can be helpful in raising funds, but also offering something that people are looking for during the holiday season – easy to buy gifts for their friends, work colleagues and family.

If you’ve got a captive audience, group or workplace, one fundraiser that can work is either taking and selling family photos or getting people to pre-order Christmas wreaths and charity cards.