26 Wonderful Winter Fundraising Ideas & Planning Tips
Indoor & Outdoor FUNdraisers for Schools & Clubs
As pumpkins turn to snowflakes, you may find yourself scrambling to reach your yearly fundraising goals and wondering what’s the best quick winter fundraising option for your group. We’re here to help! Spread some cheer this season while raising the much-needed funds for your good cause with these indoor and outdoor FUNdraisers!
1. Carol-oake - Host a night of karaoke in which participants are only allowed to sing holiday carols – encourage festive costumes that go along with their selected carol (i.e. a sweater covered in bells to go along with “Jingle Bells”). Select a few judges to vote on the best performance and award the winner with a prize. Collect a minimum donation from performers / contest entries and viewers – be sure to stream the event and allow virtual entries to raise even more funds for your good cause.
2. Cheesecake Competition - With so many cheesecake variations, this is an easy (and yummy) fundraiser option for all. Ask volunteers to submit their cheesecakes and request a minimum donation amount from attendees. Serve bite-sized taste tests in individual-serve paper cups or bowls, ask attendees to vote on their favorites, and present a prize to the winner at the end of the event. (Pro Tip: Ask the closest restaurant supply store to donate the needed supplies in exchange for advertising their sponsorship on your website, social media page, and at the competition.)
3. Holiday Movie Night - Find a tech-savvy volunteer that can help set up a projector or other viewing device. Then, rent the rights to a holiday movie and sell tickets to attend a viewing of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Home Alone, Elf or another holiday classic. Charge a small entry fee and set up a concession stand to sell popcorn, soda, and other simple concessions.
4. Gingerbread House Contest - For this event, decide whether you want contest participants to make their gingerbread house creations prior to or during the event. (How many volunteers do you expect and how much time do you have to allot to the event?) Have judges and/or attendees vote on the best entries based on factors like originality, difficulty, and overall appearance. Ask participants to pay an entry fee or to raise money from supporters via a crowdfunding platform like GoFundMe .
5. Holiday Concert - Enlist the school choir, band, and other musicians to put on a show for the entire community. Charge a small entry fee to attend and pair it with a seasonal raffle and concession stand to boost the evening's profits.
6. New Year’s Eve Cocktail / Mocktail Party - Invite community members to a New Year’s Eve celebration that kicks the year off by doing good! Make it a black-tie event or pick a fun theme. Serve eggnog, cider, wine, and creative non-alcoholic drinks, and appetizers donated from local businesses in exchange for advertising. Ask attendees to crowdfund for entry to the event and award a prize to the top earner.
7. Parents Night Out - All parents know how difficult it can be to find time for themselves, whether it’s for a date night or time for holiday shopping. This mini holiday fundraising idea is super simple – enlist a high school club or team to donate their services, secure the gym and have parents sign up for babysitting spots and pay a fee per child at dropoff.
8. Photos With Santa - Make the yearly Santa visit more convenient for parents and more profitable for your cause by using the elementary school auditorium or gym to set up an after-school Santa photo station – and use SignUp to manage volunteers and appointments! Ask your high school theatre department to decorate the backdrop and set and ask a local costume store (or members of your community) to donate a Santa suit and elves costumes for one week. Promote your event in neighborhood email groups, at daycares and in the school newsletter. Set up a collection box and ask parents to pay whatever they can donate. Encourage pet photos too!
9. Poinsettia Sales - The bright, festive flower of the holiday season makes for a great mini fundraiser that helps boost end of year budgets – an easy way to bring in $500 to $2,000 during the holidays. Connect with a Poinsettia Fundraising company online, purchase and then sell the flowers at a profit to the people of your community.)
10. Raffle - A raffle is a terrific stand-alone fundraiser and can also be paired with any other live event fundraisers. Running your raffle is easier than ever with our partner, MemberHub ! Ask local businesses for prize donations in exchange for advertising on your website and social media pages, or choose prizes directly through MemberHub via their partner’s prize catalog. Prizes can be anything including seasonal fun like a new sled, snow gear, college or professional sports event tickets, or a family warm-up getaway at an indoor waterpark. Ask volunteers to sell raffle tickets for a set price ($1, $5 and $10 are the most common price points).
11. Super Bowl Event - Organize a viewing event of the big game – sell tickets or have attendees crowdfund for entry to the event and award a prize to the top fundraiser. Set up kid-friendly activities to make it a family-friendly event or combine this fundraiser with the Parents Night Out fundraiser above to double up on raising those much-needed dollars.
12. Ugly Sweater Party - Plan an ugly sweater party and invite attendees to enter a contest (for a small entry fee) for the ugliest sweater in which a prize is awarded to the winner. Set up a silent auction at your event – ask local businesses to donate auctionable items in exchange for sponsorship advertising on your social media pages and website, in your community or school newsletter, etc.
13. Virtual Fitness Challenge - With it being the season of New Year resolutions, it’s the perfect time to ask volunteers to step up to a personal fitness challenge – and a virtual challenge is sure to get you more participants! Select a time period, then have people set a number of miles they will walk or hike, laps they will swim, hours they will cycle, etc. Ask participants to find socially-aware corporate sponsors or to crowdfund donations from supporters who want to see them reach their goal.
14. Window Painting - Gather your artistic volunteers (think Art Club members and other creatives in your community) to paint holiday-themed murals on windows of local businesses in exchange for donations.
15. Winter Crafts Workshop - Set up an in-person and/or virtual crafting workshop (think ornament decorating, wreath making, creating snow globes, etc.) and ask attendees to pay a suggested minimum donation to partake in the crafting fun. Use SignUp to invite community members and manage participants – be sure to provide a supplies list prior to class time.
16. Winter Favorites Recipe Book - For this classic product fundraiser, ask community members to submit their favorite winter recipes and compile them into a book and e-book. (Pro Tip: For people that buy physical books, charge a bit more and/or ask your local print shop to cover the printing costs in exchange for an ad spot on a page within the cookbook.)
1. Caroling for Donations - Gather volunteers to sing holiday carols in a public venue and place donation boxes for the audience to contribute to your cause – be sure to hang signs with clear messaging about why you’re raising money. Or go house-to-house caroling with your group and collect donations as you go. For this type of caroling fundraiser, it’s a good idea to advertise prior to the event so the community is prepared.
2. Holiday Elves (Services for Donations) - Offer services in exchange for suggested donations. Think setting up Christmas trees, hanging Christmas lights and other decor (and taking it down after the holiday), wrapping gifts, Christmas tree disposal, shoveling snow, etc. Use SignUp to coordinate volunteers and donors – it's simple with our add-a-spot feature !
3. Holiday Lights Tour - Ask the whole community to get involved in this fundraiser by simply decorating their houses as usual. Use SignUp to have participants provide their address if they are interested in being on the holiday lights tour map. With Google maps, create a map of the tour to share with the community – ask for a small donation in exchange for the link of your tour.
4. Hot Cocoa Stand - As the temperatures start to drop, this mini-fundraiser is perfect for your child's next soccer game, Scout event, or club parent meeting. With a few thermoses of hot chocolate and some paper cups, plus a couple of posters to grab people's attention, this fundraiser is both easy and sweet. Don’t forget the marshmallows! (Pro Tip: Encourage parents to use their reusable mugs and travel cups when filling up so your group can save even more money on supplies.)
5. Polar Plunge - Organize a 5K walk or run that ends with a chilly plunge in the local spring, river, lake, or ocean. Challenge-seekers love events like this – and this one comes with bragging for completing the challenge for a good cause!
6. Ski-A-Thon or Tube-A-Thon - Partner with a local resort to host a race event in which participants ski as many laps as possible or make as many trips down the tubing hill as possible within a set amount of time (think 3 or 4 hours). Charge a registration fee and set up a concession stand to raise money. Crown the winners as King and Queen of the Mountain at the end of the race. (Pro Tip: MemberHub can help you easily manage any type of -athon from start to finish, whether it’s a specific-day event or a long-term challenge like the virtual fitness challenge above!)
7. Sledding or Ice-skating Event - Reach out to your local ice rink or ski slope to see if they’ll split the profit from ticket sales one weekend for people participating in your fundraiser. Advertise the event and encourage people to bring all their family and friends for a day of fun. (Pro Tip: If you’re in a warmer climate, get creative – set up a parking lot or basketball court roller rink, or organize a day of snowless sledding !)
8. Sleigh Rides or Hay Rides - Find a willing volunteer to donate their ride services or offer them at a reduced cost, then sell tickets for sleigh or hay rides. Pair it with many of the outdoor FUNdraiders for an extra exciting (and profitable) wintery day.
9. Snowball Fight - Arrange a tournament of snowball battles and ask participating teams to raise money from supporters via crowdfunding or by selling tickets to the event. (Pro Tip: MemberHub’s fundraising platform is helpful in either scenario!) Give the team that raises the most funds certain advantages during the battles, such as allowing a sidelined player to re-enter the game once per battle. If you’re in a warmer area where it doesn’t snow, think water balloon battles or move the “fight” indoors with no-sew snowballs .
10. Snowman / Snow Fort Building Contest - This one’s fairly self explanatory – host a contest of snowman or snow fort building skill. If you live in a warmer climate, use kinetic sand, Lego blocks, construction paper, cardboard boxes, or some other safe building material instead of snow (sand is not suggested due to safety concerns). To raise funds, charge a small fee or have entrants crowdfund for their entries, request a minimum donation from attendees, and sell hot chocolate or lemonade.