For organizations such as the National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF), fundraising is a way to raise awareness and much-needed funds for initiatives that improve—and even save—thousands of lives. In other words, fundraising is serious business, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun while doing it. A creative, out-of-the-box event can bring engagement and participation to a new level.
Creative fundraisers “raise money, but they also increase awareness and excitement for the community,” says Maureen Parsons, senior manager of development at NHF. “If someone is passionate about the fundraiser they’re hosting, they’re getting other people excited in their community, which increases the overall support for the organization.”
When planning your next fundraiser, consider these ideas from Parsons to inject creativity into your event.
Incorporate Your Hobbies and Interests
It’s easy to have fun when you’re doing what you love, so why not roll some of your favorite activities into your fundraising efforts? NHF offers a way to do this through its Unite Your Way platform, which allows users to start fundraisers anytime, anywhere, and in any way they like. Unite Your Way offers ideas to turn hobbies, celebrations and endurance activities into opportunities to raise money for NHF. The platform lets you create your own fundraising page, and then keeps track of how much you’ve raised.
Need some inspiration? You could host a baseball tournament or game night for families in your community and charge a small entry fee that benefits NHF. Or, if you’re turning 40 soon, you can ask family and friends to celebrate with you by donating $40 on your birthday.
If you prefer exercise, then take advantage of NHF GO, NHF’s endurance program that, in addition to scheduled activities, allows you to coordinate your own endurance events to raise money. So, if you’re an avid runner, swimmer, climber or cycler, you could hold a fundraiser where you ask friends and family to donate money when you’ve reached a particular fitness milestone, such as running or biking a certain number of miles.
Engage Young Community Members
Children are a big part of the bleeding disorders community, so it’s important to give them entertaining fundraising experiences as well. You can do this by meeting younger members where they are: Parsons says one member did just that with video games.
“We had an individual who held a livestreamed video game tournament,” Parsons says. “It’s tapping into things they enjoy but also raising money for NHF and the bleeding disorders community.”
The person held a livestream on Twitch—which has turned into a powerful fundraising platform—and made a lump-sum donation to NHF with the money viewers sent him through the platform. The result? Parsons says the unique take on fundraising introduced NHF to a new audience.
Partner with Local Entertainers
One surefire way to get your community excited about your fundraising efforts is to put together a good show. Consider bringing entertainers together for events such as talent shows, concerts or comedy shows at a local venue. Then, you can take a portion of the proceeds and donate it to NHF.
NHF has taken advantage of this before: The organization partnered with actress and comedian Alex Borstein, who’s also a member of, and advocate for, the bleeding disorders community. While it may be difficult to find public figures such as Borstein with ties to the cause, putting on a good show with local entertainers will still generate a buzz.