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We get it, asking others for money can be stressful, awkward, or uncomfortable….but it doesn’t have to be! Each and every one of you has a unique set of skills, interests, and social circles at your fingertips that you can use to create an enjoyable fundraiser doing the things you love! Whether it’s raising the funds so you can afford to volunteer abroad or simply involving your peers in a fundraiser to go towards a cause you care about, here are seven ideas to help transform fundraising into something everyone will enjoy.

*Corporate matching
Ok, this is actually something you can do in conjunction with almost any fundraiser! Many companies will match their employees donations. Not only can you multiply your donation by involving your peers, you can double it yet again by asking your employers to match it! Ask your company, or get in touch and we can find out if your company is willing to participate. This one might not apply if you are fundraising for yourself, but if you are donating to a nonprofit corporate matching can make any donation that much more impactful.

1. Donate your birthday
Yeah this one is still, at it’s core, just asking for money. What makes this one so easy is it’s your birthday! People want to give you gifts and appreciate you on your big day, and since they are wanting to spend money on you anyway you might as well redirect it to something you care about! You could also use this model for graduations, house warmings, weddings, etc etc. You can donate any special day to make asking for money from friends and family a little easier. I planned to move to New Zealand after finishing university, and on graduation day I was gifted with a one way ticket. It was a dream come true! Trust me, the people you love will love supporting you in pursuing your passions.

2. Be a teacher for a day
Do you love to share your skills and knowledge? Host a class! If you love painting, cooking, photography, playing piano, knitting, whatever it is….teach others! Charge a small fee for a lesson and teach your friends, family, and community. People will gladly pay to learn more about something they love or are curious about, and they will know it’s going towards a good cause.

3. Wondering what to do with all of that stuff?
Have a yard sale! This one is super easy to set up. Advertise your sale on facebook, community boards or posters, and ask your friends and family to donate anything they don’t mind getting rid of. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

4. Host a concert
Do you like performing? Do you know someone who does? If you or any of your friends are musically inclined, put on a concert! It can be simple or complex depending on how much time and knowledge you have to set it up.  Ask around your community at potential venues like concert halls, coffee shops, pubs, etc (<—I don’t know much about venues to be honest). If you lack the time or resources, turn your garage or backyard into a venue! Charge a small fee for admittance and let people know where their money is going. You will have a great night while at the same time fundraising for a good cause. It won’t even feel like you are asking for money!

5. Plogging – more fun than a marathon AND you will be helping the environment!
Plogging: picking up trash while jogging. Never heard of it? Check out this video. As the man suggests, you don’t need to be a jogger to participate! You can walk, jog, run…up to you! Rather than the traditional marathon where you ask people to pledge a certain amount per mile you run, set up a course or time limit and ask people to pledge a certain amount per piece of trash you collect. Invite your friends to join and do it as a group! This is a great way to raise money and you are also saving our planet. It’s a win-win! Of course….if you happen to be one of those rare breeds who actually like running you can always go with the traditional marathon idea. ­čÖé

6. Punish yourself
Are you a coach, teacher, youth group leader, student body president at your school, boss, church pastor, etc? While this idea works exceptionally well when working with kids, you can get any group to compete against each other when the prize is “punishing” their leader! Either let everyone compete individually or break your group into teams (boys vs girls, one department against another, classroom vs classroom, etc etc). Explain your cause, set a deadline, and tell each team or individual that whoever raises the most money by the deadline gets to “punish” you. Depending on how bold you are, the punishment can range anywhere from making you wear a silly costume to throwing a pie in your face to deciding how what your new hairstyle should be! One of my old teachers in university told our class if we all passed with an “A” or higher by the end of the semester, he would get his ears pierced. This motivated us so much that everyone did in fact pass with great grades, and (surprised as he was) he followed through with his end of the deal. We loved it! Get creative, set limits to your audiences idea, and just have fun with it. You won’t need to worry too much about promoting this fundraiser since each self-motivated group will have their own ideas on how to best celebrate their potential victory!

7. Sell your crafts
Do you like to knit? Cook? Take photos, paint or draw in your down time? Always coming up with creative knickknacks? Sell them and donate the profits!

There are countless ways to raise money, so let this list serve as a brain warm up: the more you start thinking creatively about your passions and hobbies the more ideas you will come up with. Think out of the box! Share your fundraising story with us and we would love to showcase it on our blog or facebook page!