The Best Fundraising Events Are The Most Fun

Sure, fundraising events can be a lot of work, but that’s what makes them worthwhile. The biggest donors go to the best events. Once you’ve put your event on the map, not only will your guest list grow, but so will your organization’s exposure. Take that to the bank!

So, how do you create an amazing event to attract the big donors and influencers? To borrow a phrase from Marie Kondo, your event must “spark joy”.

Here is a list of 6 joy-sparking fundraising event ideas that draw donors across the spectrum, from art to fashion to golf to the theater and more.

1. Ye Old Winery Tour

Who doesn’t love wine, amiright?

Partner with your local winery especially one that supports your cause. Create donation levels for for personalized or white-label bottles from their special collection. You’ll also want to consider soliciting an in-kind donation from a chauffeured transportation service.

2. A Good Old Fashion Show

Partner with your local designers, models, and fashion schools. Also reach out to social enterprise organizations that support the work of women working in the textiles and design industries locally and internationally.

Find celebrity “Models” to showcase the fashions. This is also a good opportunity to reach out to local and national companies to donate items for your swag bags. People like to walk away with presents

3. Support Your Local Theater

The best fundraising events involve your local partners and sponsors. (Get the whole community involved!) And who doesn’t love the theatre, dahling?

Since many local theaters are nonprofits as well, ask if they’d be willing to partner with your organization and donate some or all of the profits from a special performance. You can then invite your entire supporter base to attend the performance, knowing they’ll not only see a great show but support your cause. If the theater has past experience working with other nonprofits, they may have specific arrangements they’d be willing to plan with you.

You can also hold a VIP reception with some of the actors/writers for your bigger donors.

4. Celebrity Golf Tournament

There’s a lot of deals made on the golf course and those deal makers are your big donors. Show them that you’re ready to tee off!

Put together a golf tournament at your local course. Ask for donations to raffle off and solicit in-kind donations for gift bags. Reach out to your local swanky golf club and see if they’ll donate a special membership for the winner. This is also a great opportunity for local sponsors.

Hold a special VIP reception with celebrity golfers in your area.

5. Art Gallery Opening

Art is universal. Anyone and everyone can enjoy it.

You can partner with a local gallery or museum to hold your event, or find a space to showcase local artists.

Recruit experts and collectors to give short talks and guided tours.

For your VIPs, a wine and cheese reception before the opening to meet some of the artists will be a great opportunity to get to know them better.

6. Take a Hike!

A community hike led by a professional, personable, and knowledgeable guide brings new and established donors together while getting everyone outdoors in a fun, rewarding way.

Find trails with historical significance or meaning for your cause. Have photo-ops with meaningful landmarks.

Create participant levels by offering t-shirts, fannie packs, visors, and more from local sponsors.

Consider hosting the hikes on off-peak times so your group has more time to explore.

For more fundraising event ideas, contact Ochstein Strategies at