• ZGIVE

15 Fall Fundraising Ideas Your Donors Would Love


The fall season is definitely upon us! That means you should be making necessary preparations for your upcoming fall fundraising initiatives. Anyone working in the fundraising industry knows how crucial it is to have a plan in place for the last three months of the year. If you’re somehow stuck and uncertain about what you should do, then our quick but comprehensive list of Fall fundraising ideas will help get you started.


Make sure to grab your planner, pen, and highlighters so you can make the most out of our list of inspirational charity auction and fundraising suggestions for the fall season.


#1. Fall Harvest Dinner

Fall harvest dinners appeal to anyone who loves good food and drinks and the warm company of loved ones and new friends. That's why many organizations turn to autumn harvest dinners to raise money for their upcoming projects. In most cases, fundraising dinners feature the season's best produce. Additionally, it could include a quick auction for exclusive opportunities like meeting the esteemed chef who prepared the meals.


#2. Virtual Fall Talent Show

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused inconveniences in organizing fall talent shows. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t push through with your plans. Using digital platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok, you can still host a fantastic talent show and raise money for a cause.


Your only challenge would be scheduling your online talent show and sending out the tickets and invites to your guests and participants. Thankfully, ZGIVE partners like TicketSpice can help you organize everything with great ease.


#3. Pie Bake Off

Pie Bake Offs are a must for a lot of communities during the fall season. That’s because there are plenty of harvests that food connoisseurs and home cooks can feature in their pie recipes.


All you need is to charge a small admission fee for everyone who wants to sample the competing pies and prepare or talk to the bakers for a minimal share from their pie sales. Then, you can leave the decision-making to a group of pie enthusiasts or allow the crowd to cast their vote.


#4. Spooky Trivia

Trivia nights remain relevant and hip all around the country. You have the option to host them live in a venue that agrees to share some of their earnings with your nonprofit or perhaps through an online platform complete with sponsors and brand partnerships.


You can also sell tickets to participants and provide them with awesome tokens. To spice things up a bit, you can feature spooky trivia questions that revolve around horror or suspense films or pop-culture icons like the Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings franchises.


#5. Racing for a Cause

The autumn season is the perfect time to organize physical activities like runs, walkathons, and bike races. In fact, just recently, Run for Pie posted about their 5K Run for a Cause campaign. Essentially, they aim to raise money for Haitian schools by organizing a running course in Iowa.


The winners will get homemade apple pies while the rest of the participants can take home an apple pie pop. You can take cues from this event when hosting a race for a cause this coming fall.

#6. Pumpkin Carving Contest

No Halloween celebration is complete without a uniquely carved pumpkin. It’s a long-standing tradition that many nonprofit organizations use for their fall fundraising efforts. By organizing a pumpkin carving competition, you generate funding for your projects and bring out creativity among excited participants in your community.


#7.Halloween Best in Costume Contest

Trick or Treating with donations is a popular event that organizations like UNICEF tap into each year for money-generating initiatives. You can also take advantage of this tradition by inviting your audience to create the spookiest and most creative Halloween costume and charging a minimal fee from each attendee.


#8. Football-Themed Auction

The fall often marks the beginning of football season, especially for high school and collegiate leagues. That’s why it’s a good idea to plan a football-themed auction for your donors. You can auction off exclusive football tokens from your school or university using the ZGIVE virtual fundraising platform. Alternatively, you can tap into our turn-key READY-AUCTION for sports enthusiasts.


#9. Outdoor Movie Night

Outdoor movie nights and drive-in cinemas have recently regained their popularity. That’s why they also make a fun and charming fall fundraising event to add to your options. All you need for this event are your volunteers to collect the admission tickets and prepare and sell classic cinema snacks, a few scary movies, and an inflatable screen. You can also partner with a local movie drive-in and share the proceeds.


#10. Best Homemade Chili Fair

A Chili Cook-Off challenge also makes a tremendous money-generating activity for your upcoming nonprofit projects. That’s why we also included it in our list of fall fundraising ideas.


Essentially, you will need to sell tickets to the competing participants and the spectators. You can also invite celebrity chefs in your city to judge the winners and reach out to brand sponsors for tokens and gifts for everyone who will attend. Lastly, don't forget to include engaging booths for games and refreshments to keep everybody entertained.


#11.Happy Fall Wreath Fundraiser

Want something more laid back, especially during these challenging times? Here at ZGIVE, we offer READY-GIVING items like Fall Wreaths. For a minimum donation of $200, your donors can receive hand-crafted fall wreaths as a token of your appreciation for their support. We ship them to you at your location for donors to pick, and you get to keep a substantial portion of the donation.


#12. Beer Crawl for a Cause

Oktoberfest has been around since the 1800s. The Germans introduced it as an annual festival that later gained traction in various parts of the globe, including the USA. It has also become a staple fundraising event during the fall season. Many organizations, including nonprofits, use Beer Crawl for a Cause every October to encourage their donors to help them raise money.


#13. Social Media Challenge

Millions of people in the US turned to social media for stress relief and entertainment during this pandemic. Many have participated in viral social media challenges like #EarthHour by the World Wide Fund for Nature and the 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.


You might also find opportunities to raise money for a cause on your social media platform by creating challenges that your followers (and their families and friends) can participate in.


#14. Haunted House

If your organization hopes to appeal to the younger generation, then you might as well consider adding the Haunted House to your list of fall fundraising ideas. It’s an enjoyable and thrilling way to invite youngsters and young at heart donors to help you raise funding during Halloween.


To succeed, you must find a suitable location and prepare a budget-friendly mini horror adventure for your excited trick-or-treaters. Also, don’t forget to get the word out, so you attract as many participants as possible.


#15. Thanksgiving Raffle

Last on our roundup of fall fundraising ideas is hosting a thanksgiving raffle. It’s a sure way of attracting potential donors, especially if you provide exciting prizes like gift baskets, autumn turkey, event tickets for the family, and dinner gift certificates. ZGIVE can help you facilitate this event using our digital fundraising platform.


Ready for Your Fall Fundraising Event?

No matter what you pick from the fall fundraising ideas we shared above, we know everything will turn out amazing for you and your organization! If you need help in organizing a charity auction or figuring out how a virtual fundraising platform can help you with your cause, you can give us a call at 800-940-2392 or send us your message at questions@zgive.com.


Alternatively, you can head over to our READY-FUNDRAISERS page, where you can learn more about our different solutions for nonprofits. Learn more about ZGIVE by visiting www.zgive.com