As the warm weather approaches and school is out for the summer, that doesn’t mean you need to pause your fundraising efforts. Summer is a great time to gather people together for fun outdoor activities while also fundraising for your organization. If you’re not sure where to start with your summer fundraising plans, we’ve put a list together of some summer fundraising ideas to host for your next event.
15 Fun Summer Fundraising Ideas:
- Restaurant Fundraiser: Elevate your typical restaurant fundraiser by turning it into a picnic at a local park. On the night of your summer fundraiser, encourage supporters to get their food to-go or order ahead for pickup and bring it to enjoy at the park. This brings the community together while raising money for a good cause. Chipotle’s fundraiser program gives back 33% of event sales (subject to achievement of a minimum of $150 total event sales), and the fundraisers are easy to set up online. With a digital fundraiser feature, supporters have the option to either order in store or can order online by using the Chipotle app or through chipotle.com. Just make sure they order online for pickup at the participating restaurant during the timeframe of your fundraiser and park night. To apply for a summer fundraiser with Chipotle, click here. Be sure to choose the nearest Chipotle location to the park you are using for your outdoor fundraising event.
- Volleyball Tournament: If you have community volleyball courts or a field near you, rent them out for the day and host your own tournament. This is a great outdoor fundraising idea in the summertime and can be family friendly by allowing all ages to participate in the event. Participants can create a team in advance, or teams can be assigned that day with all experience levels. Make sure you have a prize for the winning team!
- Summer Park Concert: Partner with a local band or artist and host at a nearby park or amphitheater. Advertise and start selling tickets well in advance to bring in as much support as possible. Selling concessions the night of the event will also bring in extra money towards your outdoor fundraiser, but may require licensing and sales tax collection requirements in most states and locations.
- Field Day: Stay active and have fun with a field day for your organization! If you’re looking for a summer fundraising idea for your school, use the school’s field or outdoor area to host your field day. This can include fun games like a wheelbarrow race, water balloon toss, and capture the flag. Kids will love to play outside all day and it’s a low cost to set up.
- BBQ: Since barbecuing is often enjoyed in the summertime, use it as a fundraising opportunity. Rent out a space that has a large outdoor area with plenty of grills and invite friends and family to support your cause by paying an entry fee for their food and drink. Set up games and music to encourage everyone to stay and enjoy a nice summer night together.
- Car Wash: This is easy to execute and can lead to a great turnout! Either set up a car wash on your own or partner with a local car wash business to receive a certain percentage of proceeds for that day. Advertise to family, friends, and the local community to get their car washed in support of your organization. Pro-tip, if you have a Chipotlane location near you, it’s a great way to combine both fundraisers in one day and raise even more money!
- Outdoor Movie Night: Another great option if you have the space available for a large outdoor gathering. Rent out the equipment and charge an admission fee per person. This is a fun event for families to participate in and encourage viewers to bring blankets to sit on during the movie. If there isn’t an outdoor space available to host your event, consider partnering with a local drive-in movie theater where a portion of the proceeds that night will go to your organization. Combine this with your restaurant fundraiser at the park and you can raise even more money! Just be sure to procure all the necessary performance rights for the movie you plan to screen.
- 5K Walk/Run: This is a popular summer fundraising idea. Make sure you work with the city to close streets or paths during the duration of the race for people to run/walk on. Promote your outdoor fundraiser ahead of time by making a Facebook event.
- Golf Tournament: Golf tournaments are great ways to raise money for your next summer fundraiser. Connect with a local golf course to rent the facility for the day; many will offer a discounted price to tournaments benefiting a non-profit organization. To make your golf tournament even more fun, consider encouraging team signups and having different challenges/games at each hole. To raise more money, reach out to companies who may be interested in sponsoring your tournament. For more fun golf tournament ideas, take a look at this article.
- Community Clean-Up: Gather a group together to help clean up by collecting trash along the highway or throughout local parks and areas. To tie this into a larger movement, host your summer fundraiser on World Environment Day, which falls on June 5th.
- Lemonade Stand: What’s better than lemonade on a hot summer day? This can be hosted in conjunction with other fundraising ideas like a golf tournament and concert/movie night or can be set up on its own at a local park or event.
- Farmers Market Booth: Connect with your local farmers markets for the opportunity to set up a booth for your organization. You can hand out information pamphlets to those walking by while collecting money if people wish to donate to your cause. Additionally, get creative and consider selling raffle tickets, t-shirts or other items. This is a great way to connect with those in your community face-to-face and can increase your exposure.
- Outdoor Exercise Class: Partner with a local fitness instructor to host an outdoor exercise class to raise money for your organization. This can include yoga, dancing or bootcamp-style workouts. All you need is a large open space for people to set up a mat and the workout can be a bodyweight class with no equipment required. Set up speakers around the space to play music and have the instructor use a mic while teaching.
- Summer Camp: Host a summer camp fundraiser this summer by planning a day or weekend event for kids to enjoy. Plan plenty of games and entertainment for them to play and have fun outside. Parents will love having activities for their kids to partake in while you raise funds for your cause.
- Ice Cream Social: Since July is National Ice Cream Month, this is the perfect opportunity to put together an ice cream social as your summer fundraiser. Be sure to include all of the toppings and either set it up as a make-your-own sundae station, or have volunteers take orders and serve to your supporters. Mix it up and include options for milkshakes and root beer floats, too! Many of Chipotle’s restaurant fundraising organizations like to combine their restaurant fundraiser with a fundraiser at a neighboring ice cream shop at the same time.
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