Edgy Fundraising Ideas

The Ice Bucket challenge has successfully raised awareness on the progressive neurodegenerative disease Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. However, the challenge wasn’t launched just because it can be fun seeing people dump cold water over their heads. Rather, it was meant to give the participants an idea of what a symptom of ALS is like: a numbing sensation.

If you head a non-profit organization, consider taking a cue from ALS Association’s move. As the group has proven, out-of-the-box ideas are extremely effective in generating funds. Here are some tips to try out:

Hair donation

Partner with hairstylists in your area and set up a temporary salon in your headquarters. Invite individuals in your community to have their hair cut for a small fee and allot the proceeds to your cause. This fundraising method is especially ideal for those focused on cancer awareness and research, since the locks can be donated to companies that make wigs for chemotherapy patients.

Pink flamingos

Gather a bunch of pink flamingo lawn ornaments, and have your staff members place one in each house in your community—remember to do so in stealth mode. Paint your organization’s website or phone number onto the flamingo, so when the residents come out to investigate, they’re led to more information about your cause. The increased awareness and interaction can lead to increased donations.

Online charity auction

An online auction can be just as out-of-the-box if you choose unique items for auction. For instance, instead of the usual memorabilia or novelty items, you can auction services instead. Have a staff member be a family’s personal chef or personal assistant for a day.


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