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Alan Swinhoe with Bike

10 Seriously Fun Fundraising Ideas

*Photo of Starlight supporter, Alan Swinhoe, who bicycled for 10 weeks across the country to raise awareness and funds for Starlight!

Looking for fun-raising ideas to help seriously ill kids? Look no further! 

Below is our Top Ten list of super fun ways to get the dough flowing for your Starlight fundraiser.  

  1. Play Ball! Turn your favorite sport into a fundraiser! From touch football, soccer, ultimate frisbee or golf- set a time and location and have friends sign up to play with a donation. Sell water and snacks to raise a few more bucks. 

  2. Dollars for Dares Come up with a challenge or dare, like dyeing your hair, wearing a costume to school, or diving into a freezing cold lake. Invite colleagues, friends, and family to support your challenge through donations. Consider incentives- for a big donation, perhaps the top donor can CHOOSE YOUR HAIR COLOR. Remember: share lots of pics to keep up the momentum. 

  3. Sell Sweets Everyone loves homemade desserts – and a bake sale. Get a few coworkers together to commit to baking a variety of goods. Post a flier in the break room of the date and time you’ll be selling them for a donation. Don’t forget the milk! Your team will love the treats and knowing that the money is going to a good cause. 

  4. Dress Down for Donations Talk to your HR team or school administration to find out if they’re open to the idea of a casual Friday (dress like movie characters, in pajamas or ugly Christmas sweaters- or maybe jeans!).  Colleagues simply donate $10 or $25 to participate.  

  5. Have a Mega Garage Sale Encourage the neighborhood to collect all their gently used clothes, home goods and collectibles and host a large yard sale at your house. To generate buzz around the event, promote it on social media or on sites like Nextdoor. Have the kids help out and set up a lemonade stand with a donation jar.  

  6. Dine Out for Donations Make dinner out with friends into a fundraiser. Sign up with a restaurant that allows fundraisers for nonprofits, including California Pizza Kitchen, Sharky’s, and Which Wich. Ask your local restaurant as well! Many of these locations will donate 15-20% of food and drink proceeds during your fundraising night. All you have to do is promote it so people show up!   

  7. Host a Trivia Night Ask your favorite restaurant or bar to host a trivia night for a cause and enlist participants to form teams in advance and raise a minimum amount for their registration fees. If you can guarantee a crowd, the venue may agree to donate a portion of the food and drink proceeds for the night. If permitted by the business, create a fun and eye-catching donation jar to leave at the bar so other patrons can make donations, too!   

  8. Compete with Foodie Friends Round up your Master Chef-wannabe friends for a culinary competition. Have people sign up as a chef or a judge and set a date for the showdown. Chefs create their best dish with a theme (favorite childhood dish, dishes made with one select ingredient, etc.), then the judges donate to taste each dish and cast their votes for a winner.   

  9. Create Custom T-shirts Use your artistic skills to raise money from selling custom-designed, one-of-a-kind shirts to your friends and co-workers. Consider tie-dye, Sharpies scribbles, or designs with stencils. Double duty: put Starlight.org on the back to raise even more awareness for our work.  

  10. Donate DIY Sales Enlist friends, co-workers or kids in your life to make friendship bracelets, paintings, framed photos, clay sculptures, flower vases made from cans -- or whatever else you can make with a little creativity! Post pics of your creations on social media and plan a pop-up sale or auction!  

So what are you waiting for? Create your personal fundraising page and get going! Would you like help getting started or want to run an idea by us?  Email us at donations.starlight.org

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