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Fundraising Ideas for Small Businesses


January 8, 2020

As a small business owner, fundraisers are a great way to help you get your company off the ground, build your customer base, and start growing. As a small business owner, however, taking the time to sit down and brainstorm fundraising ideas is probably one of the last things you have time for at the end of entering payroll, answering a million customer questions, and making your list of things to do for tomorrow. Don’t stress over it, here are some good, simple fundraising ideas for your small business, use one or all as you please!

Organize a Bingo Night

Bingo Night

The anticipation, the adrenaline, the rush–B4?! BINGO! While the game may often be associated with retirement homes and Kindergarten, we can’t write off the sheer pleasure that accompanies a winning Bingo board. There’s just something about the genuine burst of excitement that brings out the kid in everyone.

If you forgot how fun it was, try it again for yourself. Bingo makes for a great fundraiser. Have people pay a $25 entry free, and pay $5 for additional cards. As prizes, you can accept donation baskets, or hand out coupons for the winners to use at your business. Invite people to bring their own food and drinks, provide some music along with an entertaining announcer, and bingo–you’ve got yourself a fundraiser.

Comedy Cabaret

Comedy Show

If you could argue that sharing a good laugh with friends wasn’t a fun way to spend a night, we’d be skeptical of you as a person, and we’d also suggest you find new friends. But assuming you’re a normal person, we highly doubt you’d deny that a night of comedy is a night well-spent. Laughing is everyone’s favorite thing to do (if it’s not yours, we don’t want to hear it).

So here’s a groundbreaking fundraiser idea–sell tickets to a comedy show. Local venues are always open to setting up shows as a fundraiser, and it will help you get your current customers together, as well as potential new customers. Most comedy venues will serve drinks and food, so it would be perfect if you have a large over-21 crowd. You might even be able to arrange a portion of the drink sales to go towards your fundraiser. 

Sell your branded apparel

Equinox apparel

Can you say “Two birds, one stone?” Selling your branded apparel as a fundraiser does way more than help you raise money–it also helps you raise awareness for your brand. 

It’s perfect as a quick, simple, and effective fundraising idea, especially if you are a business like a coffee shop or pizza shop, where you’re constantly in contact with your customers.  Sometimes all it takes is asking. Simply have your merchandise at the counter, and ask each customer if they’d like to include an item of apparel with their purchase to donate to your fundraiser. Not only can it raise a good amount of money, as t-shirts and other merchandise can be purchased relatively cheap in bulk, but it also works as a marketing tactic, as the people who buy your merchandise are then walking advertisements for your brand. Order and sell them straight out of your store, or set up a Spread Spirit site where your customers can go online and place orders themselves.

Family Movie Night

Outdoor Movie Night

Remember when you were a kid and the best thing to do on a Friday night was to watch a good movie? Remember when going out on a Friday night was a HUGE deal? And remember when going out on a Friday night to watch a movie was the best night ever?!!

A family movie night is a great way to bring together potential customers, particularly if your business involves children. If you don’t have an actual screen to bring, project the film onto a sheet, have people bring their own blankets and snacks, and throw the whole shebang knowing that you have made these kids’ YEAR (and that is no dramatic exaggeration).

Host a concert

Live Show

After laughter, another one of everyone’s favorite pastimes has got to be music. Music brings people together in a joyous way. Think about it–weddings, churches, camps, music festivals. People. Love. Music. Especially when it’s live and local.

Whether you personally know or are just familiar with a local band, communities love gathering to listen to some good music. Host a concert at a small, local venue and sell tickets through your business. It’s a win for everyone–the band, your guests, and your business.

Did we miss any? Let us know your fundraising ideas for small businesses in the comments!


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