The impact of fundraising for St. Jude
Since our founding in 1962, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has relied on individual contributors for the majority of our funds. Fundraising is vital to our mission; it allows us to treat children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. And families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food.
Some fundraiser ideas are easy, whereas others take planning. Explore all the ways you can fundraise to find your preferred fundraising method. Combine your passion for a charity, like St. Jude, with your favorite skills, hobbies or community events.
With so many options available, finding the right fundraising idea may seem overwhelming. Here are a few steps to help you choose the best fundraising method for you and your community:
- Consider the number of people involved, the resources available to you and your budget.
- Think about who your potential supporters are and how to speak to them.
- Set your goal — whether it's social media followers, monetary donations or partnerships.
- Define your strategy — an overall plan to reach your goal, considering all the information you’ve gathered so far.
- Decide the best tactics to use for your fundraiser idea and to reach your goal.
- Be mindful of your budget — you don't want to end up with a deficit after your fundraising project.
- Most importantly, have fun and spread your mission while executing one of our nonprofit fundraising ideas!
St. Jude hosts many kinds of fundraising events across the country, ranging from large formal events to small fundraisers among friends. Organizing an activity or event is a fun way to educate people about your cause. Virtual charity fundraising events are also a great fundraising idea for nonprofits to reach a larger audience of potential donors.
Fundraising tip: Offer incentives for attending, like snacks or a free T-shirt. Make a budget, and decide how much is appropriate to ask community members in return for participating in your event.
From football watch parties to video game marathons, the possibilities are nearly endless. Pick your theme, and let your friends know you're hoping to spread the word and gain support for your cause using these fundraising strategies.
Is there a place in your neighborhood to host a fitness or sporting event, such as a 5K walk or a 10K bike ride? Plan your route, coordinate with local authorities and then spread the word on social media or using signage. While you're planning, keep participant safety and enjoyment top of mind.
You can raise money for a good cause by selling goods and services. As a bonus, having the logo or name of your cause on the product may give your mission widespread exposure. Whether you sell goodies, like T-shirts or stickers, or you provide services, like planting a garden, there are tons of options.
Fundraising tip: Budget so that the cost will deliver a return, even if you don't sell out of all of your items.
If you’d like to sell something, but don’t want to focus on merchandise, offering services can be a useful fundraising strategy. Our supporters have been creative with ways they've raised money for St. Jude.
We love it when supporters spread our mission by wearing or using St. Jude merchandise. If your budget is small, you can start with a lower-cost item, like stickers. If you have more money to spend, try printing T-shirts or hats. Also, think about what your potential buyers might be most interested in purchasing.
School fundraising at your school or college is a smart way to educate and gain support from peers, but it's important to know your audience. For example, funny social media posts might work best for high school students, but support from the school administration could require a professional presentation.
Fundraising tip: Fundraising at your school or college usually requires permission from the administration, so be sure to seek approval when appropriate. If your ideas won't work at your school, consider working with school officials to come up with a better fit, or you could try something outside of campus.
Host a school event
Depending on what your school allows you to do, you can get really creative. Get the word out, and make it a fun and informative experience for everyone!
26. Coordinate a neighborhood or town cleanup, and inform participants about your cause
27. Organize a rally event
28. Host an evening or all-night event
29. Attend or organize a teen or college gala
30. Explore Greek life events, like Virginia Tech's TKE Week
31. Attend or organize a trike event for preschoolers
32. Host a talent show
33. Organize a scavenger hunt
34. Organize an ice cream social or pancake cook-off
35. Put together a car wash for the community
36. Coordinate a book sale
Gain support with incentives
You could work with teachers or administrators to figure out appropriate incentives for your peers and school to help raise money for your cause.
37. Non-uniform day for students who support your cause
38. Offer students a prize based on the amount they raise
39. Students get a free, non-alcoholic drink at lunch or a game when they support your cause
Partnering with an organization or company is a way to share your mission at a larger scale, by gaining help from an organization's members or a company's customers and employees.
Fundraising tip: When you present your cause and your fundraising idea to a company, do it in a professional and informative way. Because this is a partnership, come prepared to be open-minded if the company has ideas that change your initial plan.
Workplace fundraising ideas
If you find a company or organization willing to support your cause, work with them to decide on a good fundraising opportunity. For example, a place of worship might have differing fundraiser ideas than a company.
40. Casual day for employees who support your cause
41. Sell raffle tickets for a prize, such as gift cards to a local business
42. Bake sale to sell homemade baked goods and snacks in order to raise money
44. Cookie dough sale
45. Trivia night
Business partnerships and sponsorships
You could find ways to partner with another organization or company. Consider asking if they'll let you put your logo in their store window or post to their social media channel about donating to your cause.
46. Advertising for your mission
48. Payroll deduction from employees to your cause
49. Hosting an event at a local park, like a cook-off
50. Partnering with a local restaurant for your fundraiser's catering