From Pool Parties to Charity Runs: 14 Of The Best Summer Fundraising Ideas to Amplify Your Cause

Written by
Quinn Wilder
February 21, 2024
5 mins
Group of people at a summer festival

Need to boost your fundraiser this summer? We’ve got you covered with 15 standout summer fundraising ideas that are sure to captivate and mobilize your community. From vibrant outdoor events to refreshing indoor gatherings, this guide offers direct access to ideas that promise fun and funds in equal measure. With practical insights to kickstart your efforts, let’s make this summer’s fundraising goal a resounding success.

Key Takeaways

  • Summer brings a perfect opportunity for vibrant outdoor fundraising activities, like charity walks, BBQs, and car washes, providing entertainment while supporting good causes.
  • Indoor events like wine tastings, art auctions, and trivia nights offer a refreshing escape from the heat and an excellent means to raise funds and engage the community.
  • Partnering with local businesses and leveraging technology can amplify fundraising efforts through events like food festivals, fitness challenges, online auctions, virtual events, and crowdfunding campaigns.
Diverse outdoor fundraising activities under the summer sun

Outdoor Summer Fundraising Ideas

Summer is a season of vibrancy and energy—a season that brings people together.

Imagine channeling that energy into outdoor summer fundraising events that not only engage your community but also support your cause during the summer solstice. From charity walks to car wash events, the possibilities are endless and the potential huge.

Now, consider these vibrant and creative summer fundraising ideas, including a classic summer fundraising idea, that can aid in your outdoor fundraising ideas efforts amidst pleasant weather.

With a great summer fundraising idea, like an ice cream social during National Ice Cream Month, in mind, success is just around the corner as you raise money with this summer fundraising idea.

1. Golf.Gives • TopGolf Fundraising Tournaments

A TopGolf Fundraising Tournament is the perfect summer fundraising idea, blending the leisure of golf with the spirit of giving. These events offer a casual, yet competitive environment that golfers of all skill levels can enjoy, making it a fantastic way to engage a wide audience and raise significant funds.

With the added benefit of TopGolf's climate controlled facility, participants can enjoy the summer weather while driving, chipping, and putting for a good cause.

Moreover, a Golf.Gives event simplifies the logistics of a traditional golf tournament, as there's no need to worry about weather interruptions or a lengthy day on the course. The all-inclusive nature of Golf.Gives fundraisers, we take care of the venue, catering, and entertainment, ensuring a memorable experience for attendees and little to no work for you.

This turnkey solution not only makes for an enjoyable day but also maximizes fundraising potential through our peer to peer fundraising model, Penny Per YardTM pledges, sponsorships, and on-site auctions designed to boost donations.

2. Charity Walks or Runs

Charity walks or runs are a fun and healthy way to raise funds for your cause. They offer a great opportunity to promote healthy living and participation from a wide range of ages. In order to facilitate a successful event, it is advisable to initiate planning well before the event date, taking into account all logistics such as the route, permits, and equipment.

Adding a unique theme can enhance your marketing efforts and attract media coverage for free advertising. Remember, post-event activities like sending thank-you notes, collecting participant feedback, and encouraging early sign-ups for future events are crucial in building a dedicated community of participants.

3. Community Barbecues and Picnics

Community barbecue or picnic with local food vendors

Nothing says summer like a community barbecue or picnic, featuring a hot dog eating contest. These events not only bring your community together but also provide an excellent opportunity for fundraising.

Offering a diverse menu can cater to various dietary preferences and attract more attendees. Partnering with local restaurants or food trucks can enhance the event by providing diverse food options and fostering a stronger community bond.

Selecting an appropriate venue, effectively marketing the event, and providing sufficient supplies are vital elements to make your community barbecue a success.

4. Sports Tournaments

Exciting sports tournament with enthusiastic participants

How about combining the spirit of competition with fundraising? Hosting a sports tournament is a great way to engage your community and raise funds. Whether it’s basketball, soccer, or volleyball, the key to a successful event is clear planning, including goals, audience, and venue selection.

Early recruitment of sponsors can aid in defraying event costs and providing incentives for reaching fundraising goals can serve as motivation for teams to participate.

Remember to prioritize participants’ safety and be prepared for any weather changes.

5. Car Wash Events

Community car wash event with volunteers and cars

A car wash event is a classic summer fundraiser that cultivates community spirit and teamwork. With an accessible location, water, soap, and some enthusiastic volunteers, you can turn a simple car wash into a successful fundraising event. Charging a fee for the car wash services is a straightforward way to raise funds.

Effective promotion, particularly via social media platforms, plays a pivotal role in drawing more community members to your event.

Creative Indoor Summer Fundraisers

While the outdoors may be inviting in the summer, there’s something refreshing about a well-organized indoor event. With unique and creative indoor fundraising events like wine tastings, art auctions, and trivia nights, you can offer a refreshing ambiance and a break from the summer heat.

Now, let’s see how these indoor events can add a touch of excitement to your summer fundraising efforts.

Tasting Flute at a wine fundraiser

6. Wine Tasting Events

Who could resist a sophisticated evening of wine sampling? Wine tasting events are an excellent way to engage your community while raising funds for your cause. Partnering with local wineries or vineyards can offer an exclusive fundraising experience and provide a cool indoor setting for your event,. The revenue from ticket sales can serve as the primary means of raising funds for your cause.

Art Auction bidding

7. Art Auctions and Exhibitions

Art auctions and exhibitions offer a unique fundraising opportunity. By featuring artwork that might increase in value, particularly if the artists become more popular over time, you can attract collectors and interested buyers.

Local artists can be a great source of artwork for your auction, and choosing pieces with compelling stories beyond their visual appeal can enhance the appeal of your event.

8. Trivia Nights

Who doesn’t love a good trivia night? Hosting a summer-themed trivia night can engage participants and raise funds through participation fees.

Incentives for teams that fundraise before the event can increase the overall funds raised. And let’s not forget about the fun part - selling ‘mulligans’ or lifelines during the trivia night can add a twist and an extra revenue stream to your event.

Family-Friendly Summer Fundraisers

Involving the whole family in your fundraising efforts can make a big difference in your campaign’s success. Family-friendly fundraisers create an inclusive atmosphere and ensure that there are activities suitable for all ages, ultimately helping you reach your fundraising goal.

Now, let’s consider three family-friendly fundraisers that can boost the success of your summer fundraising campaign among families in your community.

outdoor amphitheater for a movie night

9. Outdoor Movie Nights

Outdoor movie nights are a hit with people of all ages. This family-friendly fundraising idea requires careful planning, including securing a license for the movie, setting up the equipment, and arranging for food and beverage options.

By selecting popular films and providing a comfortable viewing experience, you can attract a larger audience and raise funds through ticket sales and refreshments.

10. Summer Fairs and Carnivals

Summer fairs and carnivals are a classic family-friendly fundraiser. Hosting a fair or carnival can attract a larger crowd and increase chances of achieving fundraising goals. By offering family attractions and family packages, you can encourage more extensive participation and make the event more economical for families.

11. Garage Sales

Hosting a community garage sale is a great family-friendly fundraising idea. It’s an excellent way to turn unused items into valuable resources for your cause. By collecting and selling donated items, you can raise funds while also promoting recycling and reducing waste in your community.

Partnering with Local Businesses

Local businesses can be a valuable ally in your fundraising efforts within the local community. By partnering with a local business for sponsorships, support, and donations, you can enhance your fundraising events and extend your reach to more potential donors.

Now, let’s examine how collaboration with local businesses near the local park can enhance your summer fundraising efforts.

12. Food and Drink Festivals

Hosting a food and drink festival showcasing local cuisine or beverages can be an attractive fundraising event. By involving local businesses through sponsorships, you can enhance the festival experience and generate revenue through pre-sold tickets.

13. Fitness Challenges

Fitness challenges are an excellent way to promote health and wellness while raising funds. Partnering with local fitness studios can attract participants and enhance the fitness challenge experience.

Registration fees from participants and the sale of fitness-themed merchandise can provide a significant source of revenue for your cause.

14. Pool Parties

A pool party is a fantastic summer fundraising idea because it combines the universal appeal of a refreshing swim with the joy of supporting a good cause. On a sizzling summer day, the cool waters of a pool serve as the perfect incentive for community members to gather and contribute.

With engaging water games, poolside snacks, and perhaps even a competitive relay race or a splashy dive contest, a pool party can offer endless fun for families and individuals alike. By charging an entry fee or selling tickets for food and activities, you can turn this enjoyable gathering into a lucrative event that makes a big splash in your fundraising efforts.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Identifying local businesses for sponsorships can greatly enhance your fundraising efforts. Crafting visually appealing sponsorship proposals and maintaining strong relationships with sponsors can ensure future opportunities and optimal performance.

Harnessing Event.Gives Technology for Summer Fundraising Success

In the dynamic landscape of fundraising, Event.Gives' innovative software is your ally in orchestrating a successful summer fundraiser. By embracing our cutting-edge technology, you can streamline your fundraising process and captivate a wider audience.

Let’s delve into the ways Event.Gives can revolutionize your summer fundraising efforts.

Online Auctions with Event.Gives

Event.Gives transforms the traditional auction experience with our intuitive online auction platform. Our comprehensive software allows you to showcase unique items and experiences, drawing in bidders with ease. With our platform, the excitement of the auction is just a click away for supporters, ensuring your fundraising goals are met with enthusiasm.

Virtual Events Powered by Event.Gives

Virtual events have surged in popularity, and Event.Gives is at the forefront of this trend. Our platform enables you to host immersive virtual events that resonate with supporters near and far. With Event.Gives, you can create memorable experiences with seamless donation capabilities integrated directly into your event, ensuring every moment is an opportunity for fundraising.

Peer to Peer Fundraising and Raffles with Event.Gives

Harness the energy of your community with Event.Gives' peer to peer fundraising, particularly through our Golf.Gives TopGolf fundraising tournaments. This approach taps into the networks of your supporters, encouraging them to fundraise on behalf of your cause. Golf.Gives events are not only enjoyable but also foster a sense of competition and camaraderie, driving donations through friendly rivalry.

Additionally, our platform offers a raffle feature that allows organizations to host online summer raffles. This is an exciting way to engage your audience and offer them the chance to win prizes while supporting your fundraising goals. With Event.Gives, managing your raffle is a breeze, from selling tickets to drawing winners.

By incorporating Event.Gives technology into your summer fundraising strategy, you're not only organizing events; you're empowering your supporters to become active participants in your cause's success in today's digital landscape.

Ready To Start Planning a Summer Fundraiser?

Seize the day and ignite your community's enthusiasm with an action-packed summer fundraiser! It's time to roll up your sleeves and dive into the vibrant world of charity runs, lively community barbecues, or dynamic online auctions. With Event.Gives, you can transform your vision into reality today.

Start crafting your standout event now, and place your cause in the spotlight. Rally your community, spark excitement, and drive momentum towards your goal—every step you take is a stride towards making an impactful difference.

Want to know more about Event.Gives? Book a demo, or join us for our monthly topic-based demos! 

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3rd Thursday at 2 PM EST: Topic-specific demo in the Event.Gives manager portal with Q&A.

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