5 Fast HAM Fundraiser (Ok, Maybe 30)

We realize the biggest challenge to planning an event for Homeless Awareness Month is raising the funds.  Below are some quick ideas any size agency might consider.



Nothing gets people more excited than free gifts. Share a photo and description of a unique prize on your organization’s social media platform (perhaps a local business can donate), then give your followers step-by-step instructions on how to enter to win the item or experience for a small fee.


Photo Contest

Run a photo contest to engage attendees, build brand awareness, and connect with donors more organically. Identify a theme or subject for your contest, then invite donors to share their photos on social media with the appropriate hashtags and photo tags. Collect all entries, upload them to a central landing page, and ask your community to vote for their favorite by making a small monetary donation.


Restaurant Partnership

Set up a committee to identify potential partners, then arrange a meeting with those restaurant managers to explore your options. Determine how the proceeds will be split, and discuss if there will be an option for supporters to make a reservation ahead of the event to confirm their table.

    Checkout Fundraiser

    Checkout fundraisers are a type of cause marketing between organizations and retail businesses for mutual benefit. You simply partner with a local retailer, and then their cashiers will ask for donations when customers make a purchase.


    Email Appeals

    Email is a great tool for reaching your supporters quickly and pulling donations in through your online donation form, explaining the connection to your HAM event.


    Facebook Fundraiser

    Set up a Facebook fundraiser on behalf of your organization. The great thing about a Facebook fundraiser is that the platform has step-by-step tools and group-making features to launch your campaign. Plus, tagging, hashtags, and other sharing features make it easy for your supporters to share your fundraiser with their family and friends.


    Host a Fundraising Dinner

    Have each person bring a dish potluck style or partner with local restaurants or caterers for food for the dinner. Elevate the experience with a professional tablescape to surprise your volunteers and make the evening event more special. Depending on what time of year you are hosting the dinner, think about decorating the table and room based on a holiday or time of year. For example, you could host a Friendsgiving dinner if your event is in the Fall or a Floral Picnic if the dinner will occur during the Spring!


    Pub Crawl

    A pub crawl fundraiser is a tour of local bars and pubs where your supporters can enjoy drinks and snacks at each individual location. This can be a great way for your supporters to get to know each other and local businesses in the community.


    Restaurant Fundraising Event

    Many restaurants—even chains like Panera, Zaxby’s, and Moe’s—will host fundraising events where a percentage of the money raised will go toward your organization.


    Reverse Raffle

    For a reverse raffle, tell everyone attending your organization’s meeting or event that they are being included in a drawing for a prize. If they don’t want the prize, they’ll pay $5 or $10 to not be included in the raffle.


    When you draw a name, your supporter will have to perform some sort of embarrassing task, such as participating in a dance-off or singing in front of everyone. Allow participants to “buy back” their tickets once they see what the raffle entails, and soon you’ll have raised a solid chunk of change for your cause.



    All you have to do is partner with a mobile giving service provider like Snowball. Then, encourage donors to text a predetermined keyword, like DONATE or the name of your organization, to a specified mobile giving number. Finally, an automatic response is sent to the donor, directing them to a quick and easy online donation form.


    Costume contest

    Invite contestants to dress up in their spookiest, wackiest, and most outrageous costumes and have them collect pledges or pay an entry fee. Offer prizes for the funniest costume, best makeup, and more.


    Game show night

    Organize an evening of classic game shows or board games and have participants collect pledges or pay an entry fee. Offer prizes for the team with the highest score on each show.

    Potluck dinner

    Organize a potluck dinner and ask participants to bring a dish to share. Collect donations or charge an entry fee, with the proceeds going to your chosen charity.



    Pool together some money or find a local donor to offer a great prize. Then, sell raffle tickets to give it away. It’s a simple fundraising method that’s practiced nationwide, and no wonder—it’s easy enough that an organization of any size can pull it off.  Check local regulations!



    Tabletop gaming night

    Hold a tabletop gaming night and have participants collect pledges or pay an entry fee to play some great board games. Offer prizes for the best plays, winners of challenging games, and more.


    Trivia night

    Host a trivia night and charge an admission fee or ask people to donate to enter. Break people into teams and offer prizes for the top-performing team. Make sure some questions are specific to your cause so that everyone is educated while they’re having fun.


      Personal Challenges & Events

      Challenges like this require peer-to-peer fundraising pages that are easily shareable across multiple social media platforms, since many times these campaigns are shared and reshared with many networks.


      Scavenger Hunt

      Create a scavenger hunt where people walk, bike or drive to pre-assigned locations in your area and answer questions at each site. At each place, there are questions related to a theme such as environmental, wildlife, historical, etc.


      Candy jar guessing game

      This fundraiser is a classic. It’s fun, simple, and easy to execute. You’re going to have participants pay to guess how many pieces of candy are in a clear container. The closest to the number wins the jar, and your organization gets to keep all the donated participation fees.


      Give it up challenge

      This budget-friendly fundraising idea asks participants to give up one of the small things that they buy and don’t really need for a set time period. Instead, the money they would have spent on that guilty pleasure goes to the fundraiser.


       Online petition

      Online petitions are a great way to encourage your supporters to take action for your cause. They’re a virtual means of bringing your supporters together to work as a unit, raise awareness, and contribute to nonprofit advocacy efforts.