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Fundraising Tips | Fundraising Ideas

Fundraising Tips

Fundraising is a fact of life for most libraries. If you are tired of the usual book or bake sale, the following list should help you break out of your rut. All of these activities have been successful fundraisers for Friends groups or other library supporters in rural communities.

You may want to consider holding your fundraiser as part of a community event, such as a festival, fair or even the annual sidewalk sale. By being part of a larger event, you won't have to spend as much money advertising and more people usually attend a larger, community-wide event.

Remember that in addition to raising money, fundraising events also raise public awareness about the library. There may even be times when the amount of money raised is less important than increasing the visibility of the library in the community and expanding its donor base. If raising money is the most important goal, be sure you charge enough to make the event worth everyone's time, energy, and effort. If increased public awareness is the main goal, then just breaking even may be okay.

Always make sure your event does not violate any state or local ordinances. This is especially true if your event includes bingo or other games of chance, involves a raffle, or if you plan to serve alcoholic beverages.

If you have a fundraising idea or a tip to share, please e-mail us at: .

Fundraising Ideas

  • Art show and/or sale
  • Auction
  • Author luncheon, author reading, author signing
  • Babysitting clinic
  • Baseball game
  • Bed-and-breakfast tour
  • Bingo
  • Bridge tournament
  • "Bring-your-own-banana" split ice cream social
  • Candy sale
  • Car wash
  • Card party
  • Carnival
  • Catering luncheons, dinners, receptions, weddings
  • Celebrity cook-off
  • Chess tournament
  • Christmas crafts sale
  • Christmas ornament sale
  • Christmas tree sale
  • Concession stand
  • Craft show and/or sale
  • Daffodil and/or tulip sale
  • Dollhouse raffle
  • Ethnic potluck supper
  • Fishing tournament
  • Folk festival
  • Garage sale
  • Garden tour
  • Golf tournament
  • Herb and flowering plant sale
  • Historic home tour
  • Holiday bazaar
  • Holiday crafts sale
  • Holiday home tour
  • Ice cream social
  • Library bookbags, notecards, T-shirts
  • Magazine sale
  • Masquerade ball
  • Mother's Day basket raffle
  • Pancake breakfast
  • Pie social
  • Potluck supper
  • Quilt raffle
  • Recycled can drive
  • Renaissance festival
  • Road rally
  • Rodeo
  • Roller skating party
  • "Seniors" sock hop
  • Silent auction
  • Soap box derby
  • Soup supper
  • Spare change jar
  • Street fair
  • Style show
  • Talent show
  • Teddy bear picnic or tea party
  • Tractor pull
  • Trivial Pursuit night
  • White elephant sale
  • Wine tasting

    "a-thons"

  • bike-a-thon
  • bowl-a-thon
  • read-a-thon
  • run-a-thon
  • skate-a-thon
  • ski-a-thon
  • swim-a-thon
  • walk-a-thon


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