Fundraiser Ideas

Anyone can host a successful fundraiser! Here are some event ideas for all ages:

Elementary School
Middle School/High School

Do you have a great idea? Tell us about it!


Lemonade Stand
This favorite childhood summertime activity can be a great way for kids to give back! Be sure to attach Prevent Cancer Foundation signage to the table to let thirsty passersby know that their money is going to a great cause.

T-ball/Soccer/Dodgeball/Kickball games
Timeless playground games can be a fun way for kids and their families to come together for physical activity and fundraising. Head to a local park or schoolyard on a sunny weekend to face off on the field. Ask for a small donation from each player or team. Combine with a bake sale, lemonade stand, temporary tattoos, hair-braiding or other fun activities on the sidelines to increase your efforts.

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Car Wash
Another classic fundraiser that drivers simply can’t pass up. Have your friends bring buckets, sponges and soap from home or ask your local auto or hardware store to donate supplies. Bring music to create a fun environment. Schools, churches and community centers with hose access and street front property are ideal venues. This is a great opportunity to pair with a bake sale or lemonade stand so people can snack and donate while their cars get clean.

Bake Sale
Who doesn’t love cupcakes and cookies? Team up with your friends and your school’s home-ec department to bake up yummy goodies to sell during lunch and after school. Be sure to have healthy options!

Choir Concert
Gather up your school or church choir and sing your hearts out in a local park or community center. Set up donation cans and explain your group’s ties to the Prevent Cancer Foundation mission in between numbers.

Lunchtime “milk money” Drive
With your school’s permission, set donation cans at every lunch line so students can donate their change. Be sure to advertise around the school with colorful posters with the Prevent Cancer Foundation logo. Tell cafeteria staff and teachers about the fundraiser so they can encourage students to give. Invite faculty to challenge the students to see who can raise more money.

Restaurant Contributions
Many restaurants will donate a portion of proceeds to a charity if patrons eat there during a certain day or week. Larger chain restaurants often have links to these events on their websites. Use the materials in the Fundraiser Toolkit to learn how to ask smaller restaurants if they would be willing to participate. Gather up friends and family for a night out of food, fun, and fundraising.

Talent Show
Another classic event that is a crowd pleaser every time. Ask faculty or community members to be judges, or simply go by audience applause. Pair with a bake sale or silent auction to maximize your efforts.

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Raffle/Silent auction
Raffles and silent auctions are a classic fundraiser and can be even more successful when combined with a happy hour, talent show, or sporting event. In-kind donations can be solicited from local retailers, restaurants, gyms, and nationwide corporations. Network with friends and faculty to see who has useful contacts – it’s always easier to get donations from someone who knows someone! Use the resources in the Fundraiser Toolkit to work with prospect businesses.

Sporting Events
Coordinate with your university’s athletic services department to have a portion of a game’s ticket proceeds benefit the Prevent Cancer Foundation. Work with refreshment and snack stands in the school arenas to donate proceeds and set donation cans at their counters. Half-time during any game is a great time to have a spokesperson get on the loudspeaker to tell the crowd about the Foundation and how they can donate.

Fashion Show
Ask local boutiques and student designers to lend apparel and accessories. Volunteer student models are a great idea not only because their services would be free, but their friends will want to buy tickets to come see their buddies walk the runway. Charge for tickets to the event as well as refreshments before and after. Ask participating retailers to advertise for the event in storefront windows – be sure to include the Prevent Cancer Foundation logo!

Battle of the Bands
Ask your local coffee house or theater department to use an open public area or stage for a competitive concert! Recruit music groups from all over campus – independent rock bands, a capella groups, freestyle rappers – to compete for a donated prize. Proceeds from ticket sales, drinks, and snacks will really add up during this fun event!

Time & Talent Auction
If you don’t have the resources or time to collect items for a raffle, this is a fun – and lucrative – alternative. Students and faculty alike can donate their services (tutoring, doing someone’s taxes, babysitting a professor’s kids, dinner at a professor’s house, lessons from a music teacher or sports coach) to the highest bidder. This is an event that often becomes an annual occasion thanks to faculty involvement and a relaxed, fun atmosphere.

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Happy hour
Ask the owner of your favorite bar if he/she would be willing to donate a portion of all proceeds made during a 2-3 hour event. A “signature drink” (think: “The Prevent-tini”) is always a fun idea – ask the owner if all proceeds or a portion of the proceeds from that drink can go to the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

Poker tournament
If your poker skills aren’t quite up to par to participate in the Bad Beat on Cancer Texas Hold’em Tournament on Capitol Hill, host a poker night with coworkers and friends and donate the proceeds.

Drew and Michele Figdor’s annual poker tournament has raised over $300,000 for colon and ovarian cancer research.

Workplace Events
Hold a bowling tournament for co-workers and invite other branches to compete. Create an indoor putt-putt course or other interactive games in your building for fun ways to raise money. Check out our highlighted fundraisers for past successful and creative workplace events.

Wedding Donations
In lieu of wedding favors, make a donation to the Prevent Cancer Foundation. We will provide a card for each place setting that informs guests that a donation was made in their name. This is a wonderful way to show your friends and family how much you care! Check out our Wedding Donation page for more information.

Golf Tournament 
Are you a die-hard golfer or putt-putt pro? You can raise money while you hit the green by holding a golf tournament at your local range or mini-golf venue. Ask local businesses to sponsor holes and donate prizes. The annual Holden Cup Charity Golf Tournament, widely recognized as one of Washington, DC’s premier charity pro-am golf events, has raised more than $645,000 for the Prevent Cancer Foundation since 2007.

“Dress down” Day
This can easily be a popular company-wide initiative. Plan a day when all employees can pay $5.00 to wear casual clothing or blue jeans to work. This is a win-win fundraiser – your co-workers will be comfortable and the proceeds benefit the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

Birthday Donations
In lieu of balloons, flowers, and gifts, ask friends and family to donate to the Prevent Cancer Foundation for your birthday. Set up a Birthday Wish through Facebook Causes by “joining” the Prevent Cancer Foundation Cause.  This is a quick, safe, and easy way for people to donate. Don’t forget to tell them their gift is tax-deductible!

Plan a bowling night at your favorite lane and ask for donations from every entrant. Set up fun fundraising competitions, i.e. have each bowler donate 50 cents every time someone from an opposing team gets a strike, or charge $1 per gutter ball. Talk about your event to other bowlers at the lane – they may want to join in or donate!

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Neighborhood BBQ
Do you have a grill and a big back yard? Invite friends and neighbors to bring food, beverages, and a cash donation. Combine with games like balloon tosses or Minute-to-Win-It challenges for extra fun…and funds!

Minute-to-Win-It Challenges
If you’ve seen the show, you know how it goes! Charge $1.00 per entry and give contenders 60 seconds to complete silly tasks, such as stacking pennies on a Popsicle stick held between your teeth, keeping three balloons in the air, or flipping spoons into a bucket. You’ll be amazed at how much people of all ages get into the game!

Trash & Treasure sale
A fun twist on a yard sale! Invite friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers to bring their unwanted “stuff” to a large area (i.e. spacious yard, community center, parking lot, church). Group like items together for easy pricing and watch as your trash becomes another’s treasure and a generous donation to the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

A trash and treasure sale in Ordway Park, NH raised over $400.

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