Planning an event? Get our free e-book, How to Throw a Nonprofit Fundraising Event on a Budget, and check out these event themes along with their mission-minded additions for inspiration!


Family-Friendly Fundraisers

Bowling Night

Fundraising event themes

Ask your local bowling alley to sponsor a family-fun night fundraiser.

Mission-Minded Addition: Get a sponsor to donate a fixed amount of cash to your cause every time someone bowls a strike.


BBQ Cookoff Fundraiser

Example Fundraising event themes

Ready, set, grill! Reserve a space at your local park and hold a grill master competition among local cooks.

Mission-Minded Addition: Include a picnic blanket that’s embroidered with your logo in the event registration price.


Food Truck Fundraiser

Event Registration Logo

Foodies and families can enjoy the sunshine and a variety of fares.

Mission-Minded Addition: Distribute a digital menu before the big day that’s branded around your organization. Make the first page an introduction that shows and tells who you are and what you do.


Battle of the Bands

Battle of the Bands Fundraiser

Recruit local bands to compete for the title of Best Band in Town. Not only will they provide free entertainment, they’ll boost your attendance by inviting their family, friends, and fans.

Mission-Minded Addition: Tell each band to prepare a short song about your organization. Have the winner play it live as the encore!


Craft Fair/Flea Market Fundraiser

Get Fundraising Event Sponsors

Invite supporters to treat themselves for a good cause! Get a sponsored space and charge vendors for tables and a small percentage of sales to benefit your organization.

Mission-Minded Addition: Follow the lead of the food truck fundraiser addition and create a digital vendor catalog that begins with a page all about your organization.


Fundraisers for the Millennial Crowd


Brewery Tour

Team up with local craft breweries

Millennials, craft-beer enthusiasts, and supporters looking for a laid-back outing would love to take a tour of a brewery while enjoying local beers paired with small bites.

Mission-Minded Addition: Offer to pay for custom labels and see if the brewery is willing to dedicate a special brew to your organization for the night.


Dance Party DJ Night

Fundraising Dance Party

Make a trendy DJ night in the city more meaningful by turning it into a benefit for your organization.

Mission-Minded Addition: Ask the venue to dedicate social media postings educating their followers about your organization and encouraging them to “Like” it on Facebook.


Karaoke Fundraiser

Karaoke Fundraising Theme

Give your guests time in the spotlight to belt out their favorite tunes.

Mission-Minded Addition: Comprise a panel of judges with people from your organization. Incorporate your mission into their introductions.


Bar Takeover

Fundraising Pub Crawl

Partner with a local bar. Host a party that gives a percentage of the food and drink totals to your organization.

Mission-Minded Addition: Create a cocktail menu that offers drink names that give a nod to your organization.


Art Opening

event themes

Round up artists in your community to showcase their work at an art opening fundraiser.

Mission-Minded Addition: Encourage artists to submit a piece that speaks to your mission.


Formal Fundraisers

Golden Globes Gala

Red Carpet Fundraiser Event

Throw a red-carpet affair complete with dinner, drinks, and a showstopping after-party.

Mission-Minded Addition: Show a few super-short films that showcase what your organization is all about. Present awards to the people who make your mission possible: donors, volunteers, and beneficiaries.

Wine Tasting

Winery Tour Fundraiser

If the weather’s going to be nice around the time of your event, hold a tasting at a local winery.

Mission-Minded Addition: Name pairings after elements of your organization. Use place cards with personal stories guests can read as they sample wine and cheese.


Dinner with a Top Chef

Local Chef Fundraising Event Theme

Recruit a local chef to use their culinary talents to benefit your cause.

Mission-Minded Addition: Dedicate one side of the menu to illustrating your mission.


Fashion Show

fashion show fundraising event themes

Show off the latest looks of the season with a high-energy fashion show featuring local designers’ lines.

Mission-Minded Addition:  Ask designers to donate a percentage of their sales to your organization, then invite guests to treat themselves while supporting your cause at the same time.


Casino Night

event themes

Guests will love getting done-up and trying their luck for a good cause at your casino night fundraiser.

Mission-Minded Addition: Invite guests to play for fake money that can be cashed in at the end of the night as a donation to your organization paid by sponsors.


Free Fundraising Events E-Book!

From assembling a team and choosing your theme to making the best fundraising tech investments to help you reach your goals, How to Plan a Nonprofit Fundraising Event on a Budget streamlines the many to-dos associated with throwing a hit fundraiser.

by Emily Patz

Feb 28 17
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