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  • Writer's pictureFrances Roen

Five Non-Event Fundraising Ideas For Your Summer

Updated: May 29

As the summer sun graces us with its warmth and the world comes alive with energy, it's an opportune time to harness the spirit of the season and channel it into impactful fundraising efforts. Summer brings with it a myriad of possibilities to engage supporters, communities, and donors in unique and exciting ways—ways that don’t involve adding another fundraising event to your calendar.

Here are FIVE of our favorite non-event fundraising ideas:

Online Crowdfunding Campaign: Do you have something big happening this fall that you need to raise money for? Launch a dedicated crowdfunding campaign on platforms like GoFundMe, Kickstarter, or Indiegogo. Create a compelling story around your cause, set a fundraising goal, and share the campaign widely through social media, email, and personal outreach. Looking for inspiration? Check out our client Wildflyer and their Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for another location.

Virtual Challenges: Encourage supporters to take on virtual “summer” challenges, such as running, cycling, swimming, or walking a certain distance within a specific timeframe. Participants can collect pledges or donations from friends and family based on their performance. Use social media and online platforms to track progress and share updates.

Social Media Challenges: Create a unique and engaging social media challenge related to your cause. Perhaps there is a summer month holiday or observance you can connect it with. Participants can post videos or photos of themselves completing the challenge and encourage others to donate to support the cause. Use popular hashtags and ask participants to tag friends to spread the challenge further. Check out the social media challenges that client Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota created on their Facebook page.

Partner with a Local Restaurant: Approach local restaurants (outdoor dining, anyone?) and propose a partnership where a portion of their sales during a specific period goes toward your fundraising efforts. This could be a percentage of sales for a designated day or week or from a specific menu item. Promote the partnership through social media, flyers, and word-of-mouth. Client Joy Collaborative was able to partner with the Minnesota Twins for their fundraising campaign!

Donor Appreciation Events: Instead of hosting a fundraising event, consider organizing a smaller-scale appreciation event for your donors. Think outside the box: plan a picnic, a hike, or outdoor yoga where you gather to express gratitude for their support. It helps build stronger relationships and encourages continued giving.

Remember fundraising should feel good! If your summer schedule is too packed and overwhelming, dial things back a notch (or two!). But, if you have a team, capacity, and one of the ideas above excites you - give it a try! By capitalizing on the season's energy and incorporating summer themes into your campaigns, you can create engaging experiences that inspire people to contribute to your cause. So, let the summer sun illuminate your path and embark on a journey of successful fundraising, leaving a positive impact on the world around you.


Frances Roen is a Georgia girl at heart, and has been graciously adopted by beautiful, snowy Minnesota. She is a forty-something daughter, friend, mom, wife, and entrepreneur, and is always on the look-out for a perfectly fried piece of chicken.

Frances is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) with nearly 20 years of experience fundraising and has raised over $200M for nonprofits. She has held fundraising positions at The Bakken Museum, Augustana Care Corporation, and YouthLink and consulted with dozens of nonprofits clients across the globe. In these roles she has been responsible for all aspects of fundraising including comprehensive campaigns, major and planned gifts, annual funds, events, communications, corporate partnerships and volunteers.

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