Though the months of June through August are considered the “off-season” for fundraising, the warmer weather opens up countless possibilities for your upcoming event. That makes it the perfect time to gather and connect! When planning your fundraiser, it’s important to take advantage of the warm weather opportunities that the sunny season brings!
- Host a dreamy ice cream social
- Bring people together for an outdoor movie night
- Feed the community with a barbeque dinner
- Get those steps in with a walk-a-thon
- Splash around at a pool party
- Strike up some friendly competition with beach volleyball
If you want your summer fundraiser to be successful, you need to land on the perfect theme. I know that finding inspiration isn’t as easy as it may seem. Luckily, I’ve got your back!
As a professional events emcee with over 25 years of experience, I’ve hosted my fair share of fundraisers. Keep reading to get six of my favorite ideas for a summer fundraiser!
See Related: 7 Staff Retreat Ideas From A Master of Ceremonies
#1. Ice Cream Social
If you’re looking for the perfect conditions to host a fundraiser, the summer season will give you exactly what you need! With the weather warming and the sun shining, it’ll be easier than ever to host an event that will help you reach your fundraising goals.
Though summer is considered the off-season for fundraising, that doesn’t mean you can’t pull it off. After all, with the weather on your side, there’s nothing that can hold you back!
How To Bring Your SUMMER Fundraiser Ideas To Life
If you want to host a successful fundraiser, you need more than just a few great ideas under your sleeve. It’s also important that you understand the basics of what goes into a great summer fundraiser!
Luckily, I know a thing or two about great fundraisers, having hosted plenty of them myself. Follow along, and I’ll use the acronym SUMMER to let you in on the six things you should focus on when hosting a fundraiser in the warmer months.
Whether it’s for a fundraiser or a school project, proper planning and preparation are always vital. If you want your fundraiser to truly take off, you can’t skip this integral phase.
One of the most important parts of the planning phase is goal setting. It’s impossible to shoot for something if you don’t know what that “something” is!
Clearly define your fundraising goal to provide direction and motivation for your team beforehand. Whether you want to raise money or bring attention to an issue, having specific goals in mind will help you track progress and celebrate milestones along the way.
U – Utilize Outdoor Venues And Spaces
Event hosting in the summertime means that Mother Nature has finally opened up her outdoor venues. So take advantage of them!
Everyone loves to spend some time in the sun while the weather permits. And it’s a great idea to host your fundraiser in attractive outdoor locations.
From a local park to a rooftop venue, there’s no shortage of outdoor spaces that you can utilize. Outdoor settings create a relaxed and inviting atmosphere. And this is ideal for encouraging attendance and enhancing the overall experience of your fundraiser!
M – Mobilize Volunteers
You’re working hard to make this fundraiser happen. But you can’t do it alone! It will take a whole team working together to bring your vision to life.
Recruit a team of enthusiastic volunteers who are passionate about your cause. They’ll be the foundation of the fundraiser!
Be sure to assign specific roles and responsibilities to each volunteer. Don’t forget to task people with things such as event planning, marketing, registration, setup, and cleanup.
You should also regularly communicate with your volunteers to ensure everyone is on the same page. That way, nothing will fall through the cracks, and everyone will remain motivated to contribute their best efforts.
M – Maximize Your Social Media Presence
In today’s digital world, it’s important to take advantage of one of the biggest tools at your disposal. Don’t forget to utilize social media platforms to promote your fundraiser effectively!
If you are relying on attendees to make your fundraiser a success, don’t hesitate to use social media platforms to make that happen. Make sure to promote your event when possible and create new pages to maximize outreach.
To bring attention to your fundraiser online, create engaging content to capture the attention of your audience. That way, people will be intrigued from the moment they see it on their screen till the second they arrive!
E – Engage The Surrounding Community
It’s important to involve the people around you in your fundraiser. Local community members are integral to your fundraiser’s success, and it’s important to engage them!
Forge partnerships with local businesses and organizations that will help support your cause. Engaging the community will not only help you raise more funds but also create a sense of unity and support for your cause.
You can even collaborate with local businesses to tap into their own networks and get new sponsors. You can even ask for donations of items, products, or services to help propel your cause.
R – Revamp Traditional Summer Activities
One of the best parts of summer is taking part in fun outdoor activities and games. And it’s a great idea to take advantage of this at your upcoming fundraiser!
Plan engaging and refreshing activities that resonate with the summer season. That way, people will stay entertained, excited, and interested in your cause.
So, let’s get started with the first fun summer fundraiser idea that will make it all worth it.
A Great Summer Fundraising Idea You Shouldn’t Ignore
You can’t go wrong with summertime favorites. And with an ice cream social, you’ll be able to effortlessly attract anyone!
One of the best parts of these socials is that you can dress them up or down however you’d like. They’re also easy to pair with any existing idea to give it a sweet edge.
Plus, July is National Ice Cream Month (with National Ice Cream Day landing on July 16.) There’s always a good reason or two for this sweet treat!
You can pick nearly any summertime location for your upcoming ice cream fundraiser. Some fantastic places to start can include a local ice cream shop, cafe, or park.
And make sure you pick a day that will be undoubtedly sunny. It’s hard to enjoy cold treats, no matter how delectable they are, in the rain!
Don’t forget to set up a booth or station where people can learn more about your nonprofit, organization, or cause.
#2. Outdoor Movie Night
An outdoor movie is a fun, family-friendly way to get people from all over the community interested in your fundraiser. It’s easy to raise funds and garner interest for your cause if you’re able to provide simplistic yet enjoyable entertainment for community members!
Plus, this idea is pretty low-stress and low-hassle, meaning it’ll be a breeze to put together. The hardest part may just be finding the ideal movie, but you can turn to online polls to help you with that one.
Be sure to find a big enough outdoor space to show the movie and gather materials like a screen, projector, and other event necessities. Organize ticketing and mobilize volunteers to make it happen. Lastly, don’t forget to set up plenty of food and drink for guests!
If you are showing a movie in a residential area, keep in mind noise control. It’s also a good idea to take into account things like sunset times, possible inclement weather, and electricity.
#3. Barbeque Dinner
If you’re looking to draw attention to your cause, you’re best off using food to your advantage. It’s hard for anyone to resist some delicious grub!
With summer in full swing, everyone is on the hunt for some fantastic barbeque. And you can be the star of the show by selling some of the best local bbq sauce at your upcoming fundraiser!
You can even partner with local restaurants for food and equipment donations. Then, sell tickets for meals, and you can even have people pay a bit extra to compete in a cook-off!
Feel free to also take inspiration from Anthony Rizzo’s Cook-Off for Cancer. Gather local restaurants together and set them against each other to create the best BBQ! Guests can then buy tickets to indulge in some fantastically cooked food and then vote for their favorite.
Here’s a classic summer fundraising idea that is both easy to pull off and good for everyone’s health! Summer is the perfect time for everyone to get those steps in, and your fundraiser could be the motivation that the people need!
Hosting a walk-a-thon is a great route to go, but you can also host a swim- or bike-a-thon as well. That way, people with different skills can still compete.
Though raising money doesn’t have to be a requirement for participants, you can still establish rewards for those that help bring in money for the cause. For example, you can congratulate people that raise $50 with a water bottle or those who raise $100 with a T-shirt.
The sky is the limit!
#5. Pool Party
If barbeques and sunshine are what make summer, then so do pool parties!
All you need to do is put together a killer event and then charge an entry fee for guests. You can partner with a local YMCA or hotel so that you can find the perfect watery venue.
If you’re looking to host an energizing, entertaining, and uplifting party, keep in mind that it won’t be complete without an emcee. In fact, nearly any type of event, whether it be a fundraiser or otherwise, needs a speaker to ensure the show runs smoothly.
Make sure you hire a master of ceremonies that can help launch your fundraiser right. By picking the perfect speaker, you can rest easy knowing that someone skilled is skillfully representing your cause to your audience!
#6. Beach Volleyball
Sometimes, all you need is a little friendly competition to bring your fundraiser to life. With a beach volleyball tournament, you’ll be able to raise funds while letting locals truly indulge in the summer season!
Plus, everyone is bound to love a beachside event. Whether you’re nearby the ocean or merely hosting it on a local lake, this is the epitome of summer!
You can plan the event ahead of time by facilitating groups or teams online. Sell tickets as a way to bring in money, and then let the games begin!
Hosting a fundraiser is hard enough when balancing your monetary goals. But one thing you shouldn’t have to worry about is finding the right idea for your event!
With the right inspiration on hand, you’ll be able to bring your vision to life while bringing justice to your cause. Just keep these six ideas in mind, and you’ll be off to the perfect start.
Adam Christing has been called “The Tom Brady of emcees.” He has hosted more than 1,000 company meetings, special events, gala celebrations, and more. He is the author of several books and founder of CleanComedians.com. For more event tips, follow Adam Christing on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube.