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10 Big Fundraiser Ideas for Small Groups

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Successful and far-reaching campaigns are not necessarily bound to unlimited manpower and resources. On the contrary, sometimes fundraiser ideas for small groups have the benefit of a more expedient communication, specificity in defining the goal, and quicker results. Coordinating fewer people allows for a better insight into the driving force behind your team’s engine, whilst investing your endeavors into one area or idea.

Moreover, coming together in a small group for a big cause is the perfect way to tie lasting relationships, while having some fun in the process. Below we’ve listed a few easy fundraiser ideas for small groups that tailor perfectly to a limited amount of people. Granted, small groups can translate to small budgets. However, that does not mean your cause will not cash in on the fundraising opportunities and the ensuing proceeds.

Think Big with Fundraiser Ideas for Small Groups

1. Garage Sale

We’ll start with a classic! This tried-and-true fundraising idea works in favor of both the donors and your limited manpower. First, you don’t need too many people to pull off a garage sale – two sellers should be enough.

Secondly, people are more than eager to declutter their lives for some available space. You only need to convince them all those mountains of bric-a-brac hoarded in the nooks and crannies of their garages are shifting in the direction of a good cause.

We’ll start with a classic! This tried-and-true fundraising idea works in favor of both the donors and your limited manpower. First, you don’t need too many people to pull off a garage sale – two sellers should be enough.

Secondly, people are more than eager to declutter their lives for some available space. You only needto convince them all those mountains of bric-a-brac hoarded in the nooks and crannies of their garages are shifting in the direction of a good cause. 

2. How Many Sweet Teeth in Your Community Again?

Sure, you will compete against the girl scouts troupes, known for a wicked PR and delicious chocolate chip cookies, but you have the advantage of working towards the cause of your heart. Plus, lollipops and candy are serious contenders in themselves.

In order to pull off this cool fundraising idea, know that each volunteer can work independently. Divide your team into appointed neighborhoods to cover larger areas. Make sure to pick the right location and time of day to get the best traffic, such as at school in the morning when parents drop off their kids.

Hold a mini workshop on sales techniques beforehand, if you think your group needs some tutoring. Also, order your sweets from an official fundraising supplier or purchase the candy from the local supermarket. You can improve the packaging by adding a few personal touches, like ribbon fastening or bouquets of field flowers.

3. Car Wash

This is another tried-and-true and easy fundraiser idea. In this day and age, cars are plenty. Dust and pollution come in even larger quantities, so a car wash simply cannot fail. You are offering a service that people inherently need.

So start your engines! You can direct your team in front of a school, a church, or the local supermarket. Traffic should not be a problem, but make sure you don’t get too greedy and take on more clients than your group can handle.

Remember to advertise the fundraiser event in advance. Use posters, flyers, or social media channels to let people know to whom they’re donating some of their time and money. It’s important to be clear about where the proceeds of the car wash are geared to.

4. Dog Wash

We figured to throw this easy fundraiser idea in your way while you still have those buckets, soap, and hoses ready to re-use after your successful community car wash.

If you want to turn this campaign into a ‘who let all those dogs out!’ popular community event, make sure you advertise beforehand. Furthermore, check the weather forecast and choose a sunny day when people are off work and free to walk their dogs around. Most importantly, make it a calm and appeasing environment for the animals. Otherwise, you and your team members will end up playing tags with a pack of soaking wet puppies.

5. Culinary Competition and Recipe Book Hit

Let the cook-off begin! A two in one fundraiser, this event is one the best schemes for getting maximum fun – and, of course, return on investment – for minimum effort. There’s no community on earth where the cooking shows of reality TV have not made a mark. So identify the foodies and wannabe master chefs in your community.

  • Spread the word online of a competition among the best recipes with a specific ingredient, or theme.
  • Organize the event and round up the contestants.
  • Call in a public to first donate, then taste and vote on their favorite dish.
  • Food tends to steal the scene, so don’t forget to remind people this is all for a good cause.

  • At the end, you can collect the recipes and print a cooking book. Not only will it be a testament to your community’s culinary practices and traditions, but it might end up being a hit in the bookstores.

    6. Film Festival

    Since we’ve hit an artistic track, let’s try organizing a mini film festival. You will certainly find many people passionate about filmmaking. Contestants can enter their own productions, while your team enlists the help of a local cinema or a pub to host the viewings.

    Attendees can donate any amount of money they want in order to watch and cast votes on their neighbors’ creative endeavors. Who knows, this might even turn out to be a successor to the Sundance Independent Film Festival.

    7. Raffles

    For fun and educational purposes, there’s nothing more suitable than a quiz night. You only need a few people to organize it. Don’t be scared to rely on Wikipedia for inspiration. Choose a theme and charge an entrance fee for participants.

    This way donors will get some free entertainment in return for their money.

    9. Localympics

    An easy way for a small group to pull off a widely distributed fundraiser is rallying the community around an athletic tournament. There’s nothing like a sporting event to raise some spirits. And some money in the process.

    It can be a bicycle race, baseball, bowling, a marathon, or even a potato sack race for entertainment purposes. Either one you choose, this cool fundraising idea will earn your team some charity points. This is definitely one of the fundraiser ideas for small groups you’ll want to try with your neighbors.

    10. Penny War

    These “battles of the spare change” are a great fundraising idea to engage the students in a fun, spirited competition whilst filling up the piggy bank for your cause.

    Moreover, you can easily enlist the help of a small group of parents, teachers, or students. So what’s the penny war strategy? Each class, team, or school year gets a large see-through jug. Opposite teams then have to drop in pennies and see who can fill their jar faster and with more ambition.

    However, there’s a catch. And this is where the fun begins. Any coin of a different denomination or bill counts as a vote against. The rule lends itself to a little bit of sabotaging when a rival can add a banknote to a jar to turn the scores around.

    At the end of the day, there’s nothing a few creative, simple and goal-oriented fundraiser ideas for small groups cannot achieve. Working with a few people to achieve a mission involves some useful skills, like synergy through communication and an exchange of both perspectives on life and future ideas.