Fall-ing for Fundraising

Woman in a gray sweater tossing crisp fall leaves into the air.

Crisp autumn air, vibrant leaves, and pumpkin spice are some of the things that I love about fall – it’s my favorite time of the year! I will hunt newspapers and social media to track down any type of fall festival so I can wrap myself in the coziness of the season. As a nonprofit organization, it is also the perfect time for you to spook up fundraising activities, connect with your community, and raise awareness around your mission. Take some inspiration from this cornucopia of sweater-weather activities:

  • Firepit Stories - Gather the community around a warm fire, enjoying s’mores and hot cocoa, and listening to a great storyteller or a local musician.

  • Pumpkin Carving Party - Buy pumpkins in bulk (or acquire some through a friendly donor), then let the creative juices take over. Vote on the best-carved pumpkin, and add some fall-tacular face painting and goblin games to spice things up.

  • Chili Cook-Off - There’s only thing that can cut through bone-chilling cold, and that’s chili! Charge a taster’s fee and award the best chili with a wooden spoon trophy.

  • Apple Cider Stand - Cider is autumn in a cup! Set up a cinnamon-spiced cider station at local events and spread the spirit of your organization’s purpose.

  • Trunk or Treat - Parents are always looking for fun events to take their little ghouls. Host a “Trunk or Treat” in your community with awards for best costumes or decorations.

  • Bake Sale - Host a bake sale with a thrilling twist of hocus pocus concoctions.

  • Creepy Craft Activities - Attendees can be assured they’ll leave with ghastly goodies like milk carton light up ghosts, sand art, Halloween rock monsters, lolly pop ghosts, mummy mason jar luminaries, popsicle stick scary magnets and many other enchanting endeavors.

  • Rake Leaves - Gather volunteers to offer a community leaf-raking service in exchange for a suggested donation. Stuff those pumpkin bags full with green, yellow and red leaves, and rake in some fundraising revenue while you’re at it!

  • Fall Raffle or Silent Auction - Autumn items such as scarves, candles, coffee, tea, caramel apples and other sweet treats will make boo-tiful baskets that donors would love to bid on.

  • Football Tailgate Party - Kick off the start of the NFL season with burgers, hot dogs and a corn hole tournament celebrating your community’s favorite team.

Just thinking about these fall fundraising events makes me feel maple-y and plaid all over. Embrace the season, get creative, and be sure incorporate your organization’s name and mission into your fundraising.