There are hundreds of fundraiser events and awareness days in Australia these days. In 2016, there were an estimated 54,000 registered charities in Australia. This means it’s getting harder to get volunteers and donations for charity events and fundraisers. With the market as flooded as it is, it’s also harder to come up with new fundraising ideas. The key to your success is to organise something a little different, to get maximum exposure for your fundraiser.

Struggling with fundraising ideas?

Think outside the box

There are literally hundreds of different events you could organise to raise money for your charity. Examples include charity auction, gala dinner, trivia night, talent show, cake stall, fete, car boot sale, car wash and fun run. But if you really want your event to gain traction, try to come up with something unique. Here are some of our ideas of fundraising events you could try:

Dancing with the Stars

Invite local media personalities and sports people to participate in an amateur dancing competition that spectators can pay to watch.

Fundraising idea - Dancing with the stars

Op Shop Ball

Attendees must wear an outfit purchased entirely from thrift shops. A local Port Macquarie charity recently held a ‘Wedding Dress Ball’ with the tickets selling out in days. Event goers were excited to attend a truly unique and fun event!

Create a ‘gimmick’

Organise an event that lots of people could be interested to watch for its entertainment value. A recent local example in Port Macquarie was Him in Heels, where businessmen walked 500m through the town centre while wearing high-heeled shoes.

Him in Heels fundraising event idea

Sausage Sizzle

Sometimes the simple ideas are the best, especially when it comes to sausage sizzles. Who isn’t a lover of a good old sausage sizzle!? If you don’t need to raise a large amount of money, a sausage sizzle can often do the trick and is easy to organise and staff. Ask a local butcher and baker or supermarket to sponsor the meat, bread, sauce and soft drinks so that all the money you make on the day goes back into your organisation.

Sports Tournament

Tempt donors with a unique opportunity to play a sport they likely wouldn’t have the chance to enjoy anywhere else, like Quidditch, or a chance to compete against a local well-known sportsperson.

Local Artists Auction

Invite local artists to donate the auction items in return for promotion.


This one isn’t technically an event but could possibly be an add-on to another event such as a luncheon or ball. The basic principle is that the funds are split; 50% to the winner, 50% to the organisation. For example, you sell a maximum of 1,000 tickets for $20 each. All tickets are sold which means you raise $20,000. The winner receives $10,000 cash and your organisation keeps the remaining $10,000. Don’t forget to apply for a lottery permit from the appropriate governing body if required.


Getting a few sponsors on board will help you to keep your costs down. When asking for sponsors, ensure they know what’s in it for them. Businesses will be more likely to support you if they are also benefiting in some way. Before you approach sponsors, put together a one-page document detailing the benefits to sponsors. Take a copy of the sponsors benefits document to any meetings with potential sponsors.

Some additional tips to ensure the success of your fundraiser

Create a budget – Ensure all your costs are listed up front and you have a break-even point calculated to ensure the success of the fundraiser.

Keep it relevant to your organisation – Where possible, choose a theme that aligns with the values and vision of your organisation.

Plan effectively and efficiently – Allow enough time to plan and promote the event. Ideally you should be promoting the event at least 3 months out for it to be successful.

Marketing – Create an event on your Facebook page and invite all of your friends to the event. Don’t forget to ask them to share the event as well for some extra free promotion! Although Facebook can be a great place to utilise free advertising, don’t forget about traditional mediums. Print out posters and ask local cafes and businesses to display them for you. Write a media release and send it to your local newspaper, TV and radio stations and ask them to share your story to help get the word out.

Marketing icons for fundraising ideas

Ticket sales strategy – Determine how tickets will be sold. Often the venue can assist you with ticketing so make sure you ask first. Alternatively, try to use an online website where guests pay a small online booking fee but all the information is provided to you in one simple database, and it allows for guests to pay with credit card. For events requiring sales on the day, ensure you have an EFTPOS machine available. By having payment facilities available, you are more likely to capture donations from those who don’t carry cash.

The ClubGRANTS scheme might be able to help

The Westport Club’s Community Grants allow not-for-profit organisations to receive funding up to $5,000. All community organisations and groups dedicated to the welfare of our local community are invited to apply. Applications are now open for the 2018 Category 1 round of ClubGRANTS. You can read more about how ClubGRANTS help the community on our blog. Community organisations wishing to seek funding are now invited to apply online on the ClubGRANTS website.