Fundraising Ideas That Work

How to raise $500 to $5000 quickly for your school, church, sports, or public service charity.


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Quick Auctions as fundraisers

Philip Copitch, Ph.D.



Start by looking within your organization of volunteers and staff to find particular folks with a special talent. For example, do you have someone who has a unique skill or service? Then you ask this special person(s) to allow you to exploit their special talent for charity.

30 minute driving lesson for a kid

We once had a parent volunteer who was the owner of a driving school. He had a car that had two steering wheels. We had a silent auction and auctioned off a 30 minute driving lesson for a kid. The driving instructor let a positively wide eyed child drive all over the school parking lot at break neck speeds; reportedly reaching 10 miles an hour. An added bonus for the driving instructor was that lots of the kids in the elementary school had older brothers and sisters. This gave his driving school a great opportunity to get name recognition, at no cost to him.

Chair-ity fundraiser

The Carnegie Art Center in Linton, Indiana has an annual auction that is very creative. Local artists paint chairs which are then auctioned off. Some of the designs are quite creative. "Highest Bid" and "People's Choice” ribbons are awarded to the artists of the winning chairs. All proceeds from the silent auction go to fund the handicap access renovation at the back of the Carnegie Art Center Building.

Guest Column

The local editor of the Surrey Gazette donated a unique item to the Under the Edge Arts program. One lucky bidder would get their own guest column at the Gazette for four weeks. According to the rules of the auction, the 350 word column could only be used to share the winner’s opinions, advice, or observations with the large Gazette readership.

I once had a radio station donate an “opinion minute” spot as a donation. It was aired by the radio station three times on one particular Tuesday. It was amazing how many people heard one of the three airings. This low cost donation had a high intrinsic value and garnered a lot of attention.

So, check out your amazing volunteers or membership and look to see how you can auction them off… so to speak.

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