10 Unique College Fundraising Ideas

With fundraising season in full swing, here are some exciting ideas to boost those donations this semester!

1. PurPics

PurPics helps student organizations fundraise by connecting them with brands who are excited to donate. It’s as easy as posting an Instagram! Here’s how it works: First, your organization will be matched with a brand partner. Next, members of your student organization will all take pictures and post Instagrams featuring the brand partner. Lastly, for every like the posts receive on Insta, the brand partner will donate 10 cents to your philanthropy of choice!

What’s even better is that PurPics can fit right into the following nine events without any hassle! Raise more money at your next event AND get free goodies from your favorite brand. Sign-up today and get to fundraising!

2. Trivia Night

It’s like taking a quiz but make it ~fun~! This can easily be hosted in your Sorority/Fraternity house or for free if you reserve a room on campus! Have teams (no larger than six) pay to compete and make sure your grand prize is something sweet (we suggest asking local companies for a sponsored prize or members pitching in for a gift card). Sites like sporcle.com have challenging questions in every category. This one requires some planning so make sure you’ve got the details down beforehand!!

3. Food Eating Competition

The possibilities are endless here! Wings, donuts, hot dogs … Who wouldn’t want to stuff their face for charity?? Competitors can represent their campus organization or enter individually. They’ll pay to enter and viewers can pay to snack during the event. The winner can receive a prize similar to trivia night or just the glory 😉

4. Late Night Nachos

Looking to spice up your fundraising? Grab some chips, melt some cheese, and watch as the crowds pour in. Your sorority or on-campus house will easily transform into everyone’s favorite late-night restaurant with a few buffet tables and bowls of toppings. If you’re hosting your event on a weeknight, aim for 9:30-10pm to catch people before they turn in for the night. If it’s a weekend, go WILD! Have the event start closer to midnight to fully honor the essence of the midnight snack. 

Make it extra festive with some fun music and decorations to set the mood. Have a station at the door to pay an entry fee and collect your earnings! Pro tip: Choose an odd number (ex. $3, $5, $7) to make people feel like they’re getting a deal, and offer Venmo transactions to encourage people to come who may not have cash on them! Just make sure whatever you earn is enough to cover the cost of set up and ingredients.

5. Crock Pot Cook Off

Everyone’s a winner when they attend this event! Have student organizations enter their best crockpot masterpiece. Sell tickets beforehand and anyone who attends can vote for their favorite dish OR have attendees vote for their favorite by putting $$ in the organization’s jar. Winner(s) get a prize (maybe clean their crockpot for them too??)

6. Kickball Tournament

This is definitely an all day affair type of event but totally worth it! Get those club sports teams involved and you’ve got yourself a competition! Make sure teams have a minimum of 9 members. Each team can pay to enter and attendees can pay to enjoy some food (either donated from a local food joint or made by volunteers in your org) and fun. Make sure to plan during a good weather season and have members of your organization be referees!

7. Craft Fair

Gather all your artistic members and peers to show off their skillz at a craft fair! Let your school’s art department know ahead of time and see if any art students want to participate. Make sure all the handmade pieces are priced ahead of time — all proceeds will go straight to your philanthropy!

8. Fantasy Football Fundraiser

Tired of watching your fantasy football pool go to funding your buddy’s late night fast food runs? Give your league a greater meaning this fall with a fantasy football fundraiser! It’s as easy a choosing a preexisting platform and having participants promise to donate a percentage of their winnings. If your crew is feeling extra generous, go 100% non-profit and have all entry fees go to donations. The winner gets to pick the charity of their choice, and everyone else gets the pleasure of doing good – no one loses this season!

9. Used Book Sale

Raise money and help the environment all at the same time with a used book sale! Advertise on campus with flyers and social media posts, letting your friends know that you’re collecting old book donations. They do some spring cleaning and you expand your selection – it’s a win win. Set up a drop box at your greek life house or designated on-campus space and, when the time comes, gather the donations and set up a table on campus and sell the books yard-sale style. To prevent chaos and rummaging, organize the books by genre or even price.

10. Sweat-a-Thon

You’ve heard it said that exercise is medicine, but what if exercise could be donations? Have participants pay a small entry fee OR gather sponsorship donations from their friends and family to enter into the competition. Partner with your campus gym to have participants log their hours of weekly exercise and see who can log the most hours each week. The best part? You can have your fundraiser go on for as long as you want! Collect the logs at the end of each week and announce the leaderboard on your club’s social media. At the end of the competition, the overall winner gets a prize, your org raises money for its cause, and everyone gets a little fitter. Talk about healthy competition! 😉