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Fundraising ideas

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These are just some of the ideas you can use for planning a fundraising event! Click on the links for examples of how Mercy Corps supporters like you have put these ideas into action. Have a unique idea that you don't see listed, or have you done one of these? Tell us about it!

Remember, these are just ideas to get your creative juices flowing. You know best what works for your community, do what you love and get people involved! Invite businesses you frequent to help you promote and participate in your idea.

Events for youth

Young people often astound us when it comes to fundraising. As children and adolescents learn about humanitarian work and how it's funded by donations, they also learn about self-respect, asking for help and showing gratitude. Take these on with your young ones, or work with their teachers, the PTA or school administration to get everyone in on the fun.

Holiday Party Read-a-thon Penny Collection
Bake Sale Dance-a-thon Talent Show
Sporting event Fashion Show Donations for Chores
Parents' Night Out Sell lemonade Concession Stand
Skate-a-thon Car Wash Lawn Mowing

Special celebrations

Include "peaceful change" on your wishlist for any occasion, and collect donations in lieu of gifts. You won't miss that deluxe ice cream maker when you think of how much you've helped a family turn crisis into opportunity.

Wedding Baby Shower Birthday
Bar/Bat Mitzvah Anniversary Quinceañera
Retirement First Communion Graduation
Confirmation In memory/honor of a loved one

Easy special events

Take a moment to brainstorm resources available to you, and what you like to do, and invite everyone to join you.With a little bit of planning, you can turn just about anything into a fundraiser.

Book Sale Garage Sale 24 Hour Fast
Sell your artwork Sell/Perform your music Auction
Book Club Clothing Swap Holiday Party
Poker Tournament Fashion Show Board Game Tournament
Cocktail reception Dinner Party Car Wash
Marathon/Triathlon Golf/Bowling Tournament Concert or performance


Sometimes being a little wacky is just what you and your friends need to draw a crowd of support.

Junk Car Smash Barbecue Cook-off Challenge Dodge Ball Tournament
Doggy Kissing Booth "No Talent" show Male Beauty Contest
Valentine's Day Prom Black Tie UnFundraiser* Mustache Growing Contest

*"Guests" make a contribution, but don't have to come out/dress up/find a sitter, etc. for a formal party

At work

As a business that fundraises, you will benefit from the morale boost and show your company's commitment to giving back. Whether you're a business owner or a conscientious employee who wants to make a suggestion, try these ideas around the office.

Note: In addition to generating donations at events, many employers match funds raised by their employees. Increasing numbers of companies are also establishing employer-sponsored payroll-deduction giving programs. Please contact your leadership team or HR representative to explore this great opportunity to make your donations go even further.

Jeans Day Holiday Party
Alternative Gift Fair** Bake Sale
Swear Jar Recycle Cans
Ice Cream Social Loose Change Bucket
Mass email about your fundraiser CEO in a Costume Photo Op
Set out donation envelopes A special Product/Service Offering*

*Businesses, nonprofits and individuals alike are selling items and services to empower communties by directing proceeds to Mercy Corps. “Cause marketing” partnerships generate much needed funds for our programs. In order to maintain positive and compliant cause marketing relationships, Mercy Corps follows Better Business Bureau standards and state laws. Please read our Cause Marketing Guidelines carefully.

At your place of worship

Share the spirit of giving with your congregation, and celebrate helping the brave men, women and children in the world's toughest places.

"Holiday Shopping" Child Care A special Offering for Mercy Corps
Mission Giving/Special Giving Alternative gift fair**

**Alternative gift fairs are bazaars where people “shop” for Mercy Corps Gifts which help the world’s most vulnerable people. Fairs can include tickets, booths, and even concessions! Feature the symbolic Gifts in a newsletter, or on your bulletin or website. Gifts can also be used on a giving tree or table or during your next gift exchange. To request Mercy Corps Gift cards to sell in your community, please first register and then email our Community Fundraising Team.