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Let’s Get Outside: 12 Top Outdoor Fundraising Ideas

With spring and summer finally here, it’s the perfect opportunity to host an outdoor fundraising event for your organization. Take advantage of the beautiful warm weather, and bring potential donors together for a little fun in the sun. Here are 12 simple outdoor fundraising ideas to help support your organization during the warmer months, and get your community members excited about your important cause.  

1. Garage Sale

Ask your members and supporters to do a little spring cleaning, and donate the items they no longer want or need to a garage sale. You can set it up at your organization’s location, or in a neighborhood where a few (or more) members live. This is one of the outdoor fundraising ideas that give your supporters the chance to give unneeded items for donation and raises your money without a lot of upfront investment.

2. Plant Sale

Spring is the perfect time to sell plants, as it’s prime time for gardeners to start looking for flowers, veggies, herbs, and more. Talk to a local farmer who might be willing to host a plant sale and donate a portion of the proceeds to your organization. Then, make sure you’ve got lots of different offerings depending on what your local gardeners will love. A plant sale can also be a great summer fundraising kick-off event as the seasons change.

3. Cook-off

You can certainly host a BBQ, Pasta, or Pizza dinner, but why not up the ante and add a little bit of competition into the mix. Sell entry spots for local restaurants, food trucks, or home cooks who might want to compete with their special recipe, then sell tickets to local community members who will get to act as judges. 

4. Pool Party 

Summer’s the perfect time to cool off at the pool. Seek out a local pool-the YMCA, a local hotel, or friend of your organization-to use for hosting your party. Sell tickets for entry, then make sure to have lots of games and fun activities for your guests.

5. Old-Fashioned Field Day 

Along the lines of a theme party, host an old-fashioned field day from around the time the majority of your members were elementary students. Go with a 70s or 80s theme from the clothes, games, and even the snack, and beverages. Kids and their parents will love playing games like capture the flag, tug-a-war, or water balloon toss. 

6. Eating Contest

Given the popularity of eating contests all over the world, host one of your own. Whether it’s hot dogs, pies, or watermelon, your contestants could get sponsorships from community members, friends, and family-based on what they think they’ll be able to eat. 

7. Cornhole Competition

Cornhole is such a fun outdoor activity that can be enjoyed by kids and adults of all ages. You could borrow or even make your own cornhole boards and bean bags, and just charge an entry fee for players, and accept donations from the audience members.

8. Summer Concert or Outdoor Movie

Families love to enjoy an outdoor concert or movie in the summer. Your organization could connect with a local concert organizer or the township and ask if they’d be willing to make one of their events a fundraiser. Pick a family-friendly musician or movie to ensure a large crowd of attendees. 

9. Summer Adventure Scavenger Hunt

Get adventurous with a scavenger hunt. While this might take a little bit of planning, you can work with local businesses and community members to participate with families and friends by paying a team entry fee. This is a great way to get the community rallied around your cause, and help community members explore their town and meet local vendors and small businesses. 

10. Food or Drink Festival

With the popularity of food and drink festivals growing, your organization could tap into the local food and drink community to bring potential donors together for a good cause and host a fun event that your community will love. This is one of everyone’s favorite outdoor fundraising ideas!

11. Car Wash

A car wash is a classic outdoor fundraiser idea, but it’s definitely an effective one that can be a fun way to cool off on a hot day, too. You can add another level to your event, by charging extra for towel or wax service. 

12. Mowing for a Cause

Gather up your organization members with lawnmowers and host a mowing event for a cause over a weekend or even over every weekend for a month. It’s a service that community members will appreciate (and definitely need).

Learn more fundraising ideas in these related articles:

6 Easy Spring Fundraising Ideas for Schools

15 Auction Basket Theme Ideas for Every Season

Baseball Fundraising Ideas How to Organize a Hit-A-Thon

17 Fantastic Auction Basket Ideas for Your Next Fundraiser

7 Cheerleading Fundraisers Perfect for Spring and Summer

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