Easy and cheap church fundraising ideas, charity fundraising ideas, or school fundraising ideas that are also successful in raising funds incorporate the following: a large enough audience, enough participants, and a service or item that other people find valuable or would purchase anyway. As a person who works for a government agency, where we have to raise money for anything that we want to do (including teambuilder events, bridal showers, baby showers, etc.), I have a lot of experience with fundraising ideas that work, and fundraising ideas that don't. Below are some great ideas for you:

  • Hold a Silent Auction: This works well for large organizations. And the reason why it is so successful is because it pairs people with items that they actually want or need! Send an email and put up posters asking people to donate used items they no longer need such as books, DVDs, decorations, clothes, etc. Perhaps a coveted parking spot, a day off, or some other service can also be added into the auction. You can run the auction two different ways. The first way is to print out a sheet with lots of lines and leave it below each product so that people can see the bids others have put on the item. The other way is to cut a hole in a shoe box or other box and have people put in bids blindly. For both ways, make sure the person puts sufficient contact information so that you can call or email them if they won. When the designated time is up, the person with the highest bid wins.
  • Food Sales: Food sales are successful because people need to eat. If you work in a large corporate building, offer to pick up people's food orders from nearby locations once a week and tack on a $2.00-$3.00 surcharge for doing so. Have people donate baked goods, or purchase items for ice-cream sundaes. Hold a pie-eating contest and have people bake pies to sell on the same day. The sky is the limit with food.
  • Movie and Popcorn: Something that is especially popular at work environments is to show a movie and offer free popcorn for a minimum donation over lunch hour. How about Office Space? Segments of Planet Earth over a period of time? You can borrow the DVD from someone on your fundraising committee. Make sure you get any movie preapproved for viewing.
  • Teach Something: Look at your fundraising committee team and see what sort of skills set they have. Perhaps someone can quilt, or how to do taxes, or has figured out how to save a lot of money at the grocery store. Maybe someone is very garden-savvy and can provide a lot of information for your local region. Leverage this by having them do a presentation. Add a donation jar on a table where people enter the room from.
  • Shop Your Way to Funds: Have as many people as you know link their grocery shopping cards, debit and credit cards to websites like eScrip, and you will receive a percentage of all purcahses made to go towards your fundraiser. There are hundreds of merchants who participate, and you can see your fundraiser take off, painlessly, using this option.