By Jenna Davis, Content Writer at GoFundMe Charity – an easy-to-use platform that helps nonprofits raise money by offering robust fundraising features, such as custom branding, registration and ticketing, advanced data reporting, and customizable donate buttons.
Just as online fundraising has evolved over the past decade, so have fundraising event ideas. Black tie galas and silent auctions will always be mainstays, but there are new and exciting trends in charity event ideas that can help keep donors interested. Events that fall flat can waste precious resources and hinder your organization’s growth, but the right event can help you meet your fundraising goals and reach new audiences. Below, learn about new ways to elevate your fundraising events.
Five charity event trends to consider
From unconventional fitness classes to refined culinary experiences, these five ideas go beyond the standard charity fundraising event.
1. VIP packages and personalization
Creating a VIP experience for supporters during charity-centered events has been a trend gaining traction over the past few years. Curated experiences, added perks, and VIP packages help donors feel special. They also add a new level of excitement to your event. It’s easy to add VIP options to existing event tickets—simply give supporters the option to add enhanced experiences to their standard ticket during the checkout flow. A VIP lounge, extra drinks, name recognition, and valet parking are just a few ideas.
2. Experiential fitness
The traditional 5K is a solid go-to option, but there are new and interesting fitness trends that can infuse more creativity into your fundraising events.
More about laughter and adorable animals than actual fitness, this yoga craze is sure to catch the attention of supporters who love four-legged friends. To pull it off, work with a company that hosts goat yoga classes and experiences and ask them to donate a number of tickets to your organization.
Spin class disco
The popularity of indoor cycling has skyrocketed over the last few years, so asking supporters to hop on a bike for a good cause is sure to generate interest. Take your cycling class to the next level by adding energizing tunes, a black light, and lots of fist bumps.
3. Culinary experiences
Sharing a meal can bring people together and instantly create a sense of community, which makes it the perfect theme for a charity fundraising event. Your nonprofit can incorporate food-themed events into your fundraising calendar through hands-on experiences, competitions, or food tastings. Here are a few specific ideas:
Team up with a chef who is well-known in your neighborhood and willing to donate their time and expertise. Participants can purchase tickets for a cooking class, with proceeds benefitting your nonprofit.
Whiskey or wine tasting
For a 21 and older crowd, consider hosting an exclusive cocktail or wine tasting. Your organization could reach out to a local distillery or winery and ask them to donate a certain percentage of sales from the event to your cause.
A simple pot of beans and a little healthy competition can really bring people together—all for a good cause. This community-driven event can be pulled off with minimal costs but can yield a big turnout. Use the proceeds from ticket sales for your latest fundraising campaign.
4. Peer-to-peer fundraising
While not an in-person event, peer-to-peer fundraising is a growing trend in the nonprofit sector for good reason: It’s a simple way for supporters to engage with your nonprofit and help you raise money. To take this concept and transform it into an in-person event, offer one of the charity events mentioned above for free to garner interest. Then have a portion of the night devoted to a peer-to-peer fundraising workshop. You can use this time to show supporters how powerful peer-to-peer can be, and to help them launch their own fundraisers on behalf of your charity.
5. Gamified events
A return to carefree childhood experiences is a concept that is growing in popularity. The National Institute for Play, an institute solely focused on the power and importance of leisure, says that play among grown-ups helps foster connection. In fact, doing an activity for no other reason than the simple enjoyment of it can lead to lower stress and blood pressure, according to CNN.
Plan some lighthearted events that will inspire laughter and encourage supporters to remember the best parts of childhood. Laser tag, paintball, or cornhole tournaments are a few ideas to encourage team-building with a dose of friendly competition. Make it known that all proceeds will benefit your latest fundraising campaign.
Surprise supporters with your next event
Whether you’re a nonprofit that has been around for decades or you’re just starting out, fundraising events play an important role in helping you meet your yearly financial goals. By staying on top of charity event trends, you can throw successful events that keep your supporters coming back year after year.
GoFundMe Charity is an easy-to-use platform that helps nonprofits raise money by offering robust fundraising features, such as custom branding, registration and ticketing, advanced data reporting, and customizable donate buttons.