In today’s economy, many organizations are faced with ever-shrinking budgets. Luckily, fundraising doesn’t necessarily have to involve high amounts of upfront capital. The following are 10 cheap fundraising ideas for when money is tight. Some of them are even 100% free.

  1. 50/50 raffleThis is one of the best cheap fundraising ideas, because the only cost to the organization is a roll of raffle tickets. Sell raffle tickets to donors and split the money evenly with the winner. Positive cash flow is immediate.

  2. Services auction – Your organization’s members could offer services that are then auctioned off to raise funds, in this cheap fundraising idea. Services could include car washing, house cleaning, lawn mowing, snow shoveling, or any other tasks your members feel comfortable offering.

  3. Garage sale – Everyone has unwanted items in their garages, basements or spare bedrooms. Gather these items together and host a huge charity garage sale! The only costs are price stickers and some signage to advertise your sale, making it one of the easiest cheap fundraising ideas.

  4. Face painting – The only materials you’ll need to buy with a face painting booth are paintbrushes and face paint. Set up a booth at a school carnival or local festival, where there are lots of children who will want their faces painted.

  5. Hair feathers/extensions – Hair feathers and extensions are all the rage. Set up a booth at a local festival and charge up to $15 for each set you put in for your supporters. Feathers and extension run from approximately 30 cents up to $3.00 a piece.

  6. Nature walks – If you’re familiar with the local flora and fauna, offer a guided nature walk. In this cheap fundraising idea, the only cost involved is your time.

  7. Origami workshop – Origami, otherwise known as the Japanese art of paper folding, transforms a simple sheet of paper into something fabulous. This is a great cheap fundraising idea because your costs are next to nothing.

  8. Can recycling – No money is needed to undertake this cheap fundraising idea. Simply have members collect cans, and then deliver them to your local recycler and reap the rewards.

  9. Ask for money – Sometimes the most direct route is the best. If your organization is trying to raise funds, directly ask others for donations. Send out a fund request letter and/or e-mail to a wide variety of people. GoFundMe is a great tool for raising funds online. It’s 100% free and an excellent way to raise money from your Facebook friends or email contacts.

  10. Teddy bear picnic – Children will love this event! Charge an admission fee (teddy bears get in free, of course) and serve inexpensive small sandwiches and juice. Play games for both the human and furry attendees.

What’d we miss?  Please let us know in the comments.

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