12 Creative Online Fundraising Ideas for Those of us Who Don’t Use GoFundMe Campaigns

So I’ve been a part of an on-campus student organization called Colleges Against Cancer for about a year or so now, and this year I have the opportunity to be their Social Media Director. Basically, anything that touches the social media world from any of our platforms has gone through me or has been curated by me.

We always have a hard time with students not knowing how to ask for money or what to say; so, I started doing these monthly fundraising challenges/ promos giving amounts to ask for that are incorporated into our organization. There were a few months that really stumped me, and I scoured the internet and couldn’t find anything so here I am to deliver.

Before I list out each month I just want to say that these are tailored for Relay for Life events because that’s why I created them and should be tailored to your organization as well. To create similar images visit Canva.com it’s literally a miracle worker. The key is to relate the amount to something going on in your community, a holiday, or statistics in your organization. You’ll see once I list them out.

Here are my 12 monthly fundraising ideas, plus a few bonus ones to get more engagement and funds for your cause.


This one was pretty easy. I decided to do a “Hello 2018” campaign encouraging participants to ask for $20.18 to “start the new off on the right foot”. From personal experience, this worked really well, and people thought it was really cute!


This one was pretty simple too, I chose the theme as Valentine’s Days (shocker), but mixed it with a statistic I found on our national website (1.7 february challenge (1)million Americans are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in 2018) that was pretty jaw-dropping to me, and then I made it a call to action (encouraged people to donate $17). You have to make the amounts something small enough that people aren’t going to miss it.


This one did take a bit of thought, and I may change it before I release it. I couldn’t think of any way to incorporate a holiday with an amount and design it. So I decided to go with a promo to forego a coffee for one day and donate the february challenge (2)amount you would have spent on the coffee to either your personal donor page, a friend or family’s page. We have a really popular drive-through coffee shack near our campus and an average drink is $5, so it makes sense.

**The rest of the months won’t have images since our event was the first weekend in April, you’ll see the campaign we used for that first week at the end of this post, but here are some ideas I WOULD HAVE used given the chance.


Around this time a lot of organizations release newer promos, content, and looks for a “fresh look” for the new year. I would see what new things your organization is doing for the upcoming event and wrap that into a campaign about “springing forward into a new season for [insert cause].”


This would a good month to reinforce why you’re raising money for your cause. People always want to know what your connection is with what you’re trying to raise funds for. May always makes me thinking of blooming flowers and new beginnings.


For a lot of schools this is the end of the school year so putting that into the mix it would be fun to incorporate an uplifting statistic/ donation amount and say something like “Cancer is out, and summer is in! Donate [insert amount] to kick off the summer.”


I 100% would have mixed the Fourth of July into this month, and said something along the lines of “new beginnings take courage and bravery. Donate $17.76 to help us see a new beginning in finding a cure.”


I wish I could have done this, so if you use this one please email me and I’ll GLADLY donate, but I would have asked encouraged participants to reminisce on their K-12 experience and donate the amount of their favorite grade. You might even get some fun responses as to why people loved that specific grade!


Something fall-related would be the most ideal, for instance I would have said something along the lines of “Fall in love with the cause all over again, donate [insert your own amount] to help make sure [the community you’re raising funds for] feel the love of their family for the rest of their lives.”


For anything cancer-related, this is Breast Cancer Awareness Month so I would have said: “How much would you give to see everyone who has lost a loved one to breast cancer get one more hug from them?” (No joke, typing this made me tear up. Cancer breaks my heart, and I’d do anything to rid of it.)


I would use this month to encourage participants to emphasize giving of any amount for Thanksgiving would be the most ideal/ effective for your fundraising goals.


12 Days of Christmas! Tie it into donating $12 to give the gift a cure this holiday season. Make sure to keep everything small amounts near the holidays because people are usually really tight on money, but are in a giving spirit.

Bonus Round

Map Idea: I used this idea, and received near $50 donated to Relay for Life in ONE DAY. It’s so amazing and so fun! I used a map from Mapchart.net because it allows you to fill in each state with any color and you can mark them off. The idea is to say that you want to receive a donation, no matter how small, from every state! It was really fun to see people from all over donating literally just $5 and going “Tennessee’s got you!” This would be a good campaign to use during the summer months, if you’re in school, since you can give it a long period of time to get all the states filled in.

Venmo Idea: The month of our event we only have a week in the new month before our event, so I decided I’m going to post a link to the playlist that we use for the 12 hour event and people can Venmo our organization $1 for an appropriate song request, or if they really don’t like a specific song they can Venmo $3 to have it removed. I will update this post after it goes live to tell y’all how the response goes.

Pro Tip 1: The most important part is to plan these out in advance and share them like wildfire so that all participants are aware, and allow them the opportunity to get involved in the “challenges”.

Pro Tip 2: Always keep the amounts small and comfortable. People feel way more comfortable being asked to donate $12 or a witty amount rather than being asked “Hey can you donate $50? *sends donation link in a text message*. Not a good look.

I hope these help, and if you have questions please feel free to reach out! I’d love to bounce ideas around with anyone who needs it!

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