Not For Profit World .com - helping non-profits raise funding and awareness.



Fundraising Overview

Annual Appeals

Direct Mail Efforts

Grant Writing

Major Donors

Planned Giving

Special Events

Ways To Increase Donations

Donation Tips

Why send thank you letters to donors?

Why do people respond to fundraising appeals?

Questions donors ask when getting direct mail

Why $25 Gifts Are Important


Marketing and  Public Relations

Board Resources

Starting A Nonprofit


Links & Discounts

Printing Companies

Full Color Printing

Remittance Envelopes

Offering Envelopes

Donation Receipts




Printing And Design Online

Links & Resources

Special Events 

Put The FUN back in FUNdraising with a special event that will motivate and entertain new and old donors alike! See our special event ideas listed below.


Most organizations host an annual event whether it be a golf outing, formal dinner/dance, duck race or fashion show. Special events provide publicity and help you identify potential supporters.

Special event ideas are listed below and here are some products available to help make the most of your event.

Special event samples (shown below).

Invitation Based Events (see special event ideas below)

Invitations mailed in advance should include:

a mailed invitation

invitation envelope

rsvp card - try a postcard and save on the envelope cost.

Special Event Samples

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Save The Date Postcard

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Invitation For Special Event

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RSVP Postcard For Special Event

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Sample Sponsorship Letter to print on letterhead and send to business leaders

Community Awareness can consist of:

Flyers - distribute at locations around your community such as on counters at local restaurants, retail stores, chamber of commerce, etc. Design a half page 8.5 x 5.5 to hand out and then use a larger design of 8.5 x 11 to have merchants hang in windows around town.

Event Materials

Brochures - every organization should have brochures at events detailing your mission and giving donors more information. Design the last inside panel as a donation return form to provide donors with further ways to give to your organization.


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General Brochure with Donation Panel

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General Brochure for Thrift Shop

Remittance Envelopes - these provide an easy way for donors to give donations. They have return address information and a convenient way to mail back to your organization with a check or pledge enclosed.


Special Event Ideas:

Dinner Dances - Put a new twist on a very old idea by trying these:

Costume ball - Pick a theme that blends with your organization and have a "ball". From movie themes to songs or even your role model (great for Big Brother/Big Sister type organizations) this gets donors dressed and ready for fun.

Ungala Gala - a night "in". Send an invitation for a very special night the donor gets to spend... at home! Be clever and send a creative invitation.

Fashion shows:

Second Hand Rose Show - use items from your organization's thrift store or combine with another local charity that has a thrift store and split the profits.

Casual Events For The Whole Family:

Walk-A-Thons / Pet Walks - start the walk and end it in the parking lot of your local newspaper and you can gain extra publicity by teaming up with them. If expenses allow, have a tent with vendors, kids activities and other street fair type events and create a full day of fun and great exposure for your organization. Don't forget to have a booth for your organization with materials to explain your mission and give donors a way to donate through brochures, remittance envelopes and business cards.


Other A-Thons: Walk, climb, dance, cut hair, read books, ride bikes, call in, ride horses, or do a host of other activities to create a unique and successful A-Thon. Take into consideration your potential donor and who would help with the event and promote it throughout your community. An easy and fun way to raise funds without a lot of expense or major planning.


Open Houses - make an event by opening your doors and offering free tours and information along with free refreshments or hot dogs and sodas and other things that fit. Try to appeal to what a prospective supporter of your organization would be interested in knowing about you.


Raffles / Silent Auctions - usually held during a dinner event these types of quick money raisers can be held virtually at any time, any where. Raffles can be coordinated through local retail locations with a photo of what is being raffled. Silent Auctions can be held at thrift stores, offices, or other facilities your organization may have and publicized so that supporters stop in and bid.


Community "Yard" Sale - If you don't have a thrift store consider holding an annual community yard sale to raise funds. Have volunteers and donors donate gently used second hand items to sell. Rent table space for individuals and other organizations for a fee such as $25-50 per 8 foot table, and they can sell their own items and keep the money. With the entire community involved you can generate tremendous traffic since everyone loves a bargain and large-scale sales are well attended. Ask your local airport, fairgrounds, banquet facilities, or other large venue to donate space for a day or provide the space at a reduced rate. If you can interest a larger venue consider teaming up with 4 or 5 other non-profits to split the profits on the rental tables and keep the sales from your own booths.

Holiday Events

Tree of Life/Ornament Sales/Lighted Displays - decorate your building, place trees in front of your building or place trees at locations around your community. Sell paper ornaments or each "light" on display in honor, memory or celebration of a special person (or pet) in your community. Indoor tree displays are easy to have paper ornaments available for sale. Simply print full color business cards with a holiday theme, punch holes in them, insert a gold or high quality yarn or string and sell to hang on the trees on display. Ornaments can easily sell for $1 - $5 depending on your community. You'll have a great holiday fundraiser with little effort!

Sell A Product


Greeting Cards / Bookmarks

Special designs are a great way for organizations to raise money. When purchasing printing in higher volume these items can be purchased for a very low investment and sold easily at double, triple or even more of their original cost. If you have a thrift store these printed materials make a wonderful addition. Community fundraisers can be done by teaming up with local merchants and retail stores (even try selling to the stores at wholesale and let them set the retail price) or team up with a local school and have the children design and sell them during the holiday season with a portion of the profits also going to the school. The more local you can make the items the better they will sell. 

Most Of All - Be Creative

The best fundraisers are those that are unique and not done by other local organizations. Tap into the creativity of your volunteers and supporters and come up with unique ideas that highlight their talents. Maybe you have supporters that are singers or have another talent and holding a local "talent" show would be the ideal fundraiser.


Not considered a fundraiser, but a must-do for your fundraising efforts, is hosting a yearly Volunteer and Donor Recognition Event.

Volunteers and your major donors are your greatest resource, yet many organizations struggle with how to properly thank them for their dedicated efforts. Host a recognition event and don't forget to keep them in the loop of all the fundraising events available that they can support. To keep costs down send a letter style invitation with envelope with all the details and have them call to RSVP to save on costs. Ask if a board member or other supporter with a unique home and property would consider hosting a Sunday afternoon event. Ask local restaurants and grocery stores to donate simple appetizers and drinks and be sure to recognize these generous donors at your event. Also collect donations of gift certificates and goodies from your community to give away during the day in door prize format. Make a fun day and your donors and volunteers will hold your organization in high regard helping to promote great publicity and moral! 


Do you have a great event that you'd like to share with other organizations?

Simply email us the details of what you did and how you did it to 

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