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Ideas

Fundraisers

Easy and unique ways to fund a cause of your choice.

Charity bake sale 

A bake sale is a simple way to raise money for a good cause whilst promoting how students could themselves could get involved in volunteering.

Here are some considerations for organising the bake sale:

  • Ensure the location is at a busy part of campus. You might want to hold it in conjunction with another big event to ensure adequate footfall.
  • Recruit early. Not everyone likes to bake but almost everyone knows someone who does.
  • As well as advertising the event on social media and your website, you might want to make posters and flyers in café’s and shops near to the bake sale location.
  • Package to sell. Ask your volunteers to bring their cakes pre-packaged in pretty bags and boxes. It saves time, keeps things hygienic and makes your whole operation look more professional and appealing.
  • Establish your pricing system. Work out your prices beforehand and make sure that all your cakes are clearly labelled. Settle on price points (such as $2, $5, and $10) and ask all your bakers to package their offerings based on those prices. Alternatively, you could forget pricing altogether and instead ask your customers to donate what they think each cake is worth.
  • Make sure you give your customers every possible opportunity to hand over some extra money by having a donation jar.
  • Ask local businesses to participate. Ask around at bakeries and coffee shops in your local area to see if anyone would like to donate some stock. Also, some businesses that can afford it might offer to match the funds you raise.

Volunteering focus: Make sure to set up the stand with posters and leaflets promoting the merits of volunteering. Take the opportunity to chat to customers about volunteering as they make their purchase.

Have you run a successful charity bake sale?

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Trivia night

A volunteer themed ‘trivia night’ is a great way to fundraise and increase knowledge about student volunteering.

Here are some considerations for organising the trivia night:

  • An ideal venue might be the student bar, with plenty of tables and chairs.
  • Have a character on the microphone and create an answer sheet for the teams.
  • Promote on your website, bulletin boards, Facebook, etc.
  • Decide on the rules before you start, for example how many people you want on a team, how many points each answer is worth and who’s going to keep score.
  • Create good questions, having a mix of simple and obscure questions, in a variety of categories that include something for everybody.

Fundraising and volunteering focus:

  • Have a gold coin donation as a participation fee to raise money for a good cause.
  • Perhaps ask if the venue is willing to make a donation from the money they make at the bar.
  • Have a volunteering round, featuring questions about volunteering and charity that people may know.
  • Have volunteering posters up on display or play advertisements from the venues screens.

Have you run a successful trivia night?

Share your ideas and tips with others, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will add them to this page.


Fashion show

Although certainly a big undertaking, a fashion show would be a great way to raise money for charity and promote volunteering. It could be the big event of your NSVW!

Here are some considerations for organising the fashion show:

  • Chose a theme. Ideally, in order to promote volunteering, the theme should be something based around charity or sustainability. For example, the theme could be ‘making your own outfit’ that can then be donated to charity. Or, a focus on outfits made with sustainable materials that help preserve our environment.
  • Decide on a date early to ensure adequate planning.
  • The venue should be financially feasible, and you may want to make sure it’s a place that can attract people as they walk past, not just people who pre-planned their attendance.
  • Promote on social media, your website and with flyers and posters.
  • You may wish to contact the press. You could call local photographers, journalists, and bloggers to be at the show for publicity.
  • You could do a run through before the big event to ensure the final event has a smooth operation.
  • Consider and entrance donation fee as well as collection jars for in order to raise funds for charity.

Have you run a successful fashion show?

Share your ideas and tips with others, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will add them to this page.


Scavenger hunt

Everyone remembers the fun of childhood scavenger hunts. Even Easter egg hunts presented a good challenge, and an immediate reward. Why not try to recapture that spirit of adventure with a scavenger hunt fundraiser?

The flexibility and inclusivity of treasure hunts make them suitable for all ages and abilities. It should be challenging, but not so difficult that it takes away from the fun.

It doesn’t require a lot of preparation, for example by charging teams or individuals to participate and by getting sponsorship based on the number of clues correctly answered for example, it’s an effective way to raise donations.

Here are some considerations for running a scavenger hunt:

  • Select a theme. For example: a pirate theme, where everything on the list is something that would be found on a pirate ship, like a wooden plank or a treasure chest.
  • Split into groups. A group of people can pool ideas, and even split up to find items on a long list. It can take one person a long time, and a lot of legwork to amass everything they need to complete the list, and then it becomes work instead of fun.
  • Set a time limit. This will be determined, in part, by how many things you include on your list.
  • Provide prizes. Hunters will be more motivated to find everything on the list if they know there’s a prize waiting for them at the end.
  • Provide refreshments. After a long day of scavenging for items, your participants are going to be hungry!
  • Keep safety in mind. Don’t send anyone to any area that presents danger, such as a construction site.

Have you run a successful scavenger hunt?

Share your ideas and tips with others, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will add them to this page.


Games show night

By organising a games show night, you can create an engaging and fun way to promote volunteering.  

Here are some considerations for organising the games show night.

  • This type of event may be best held in a lecture theatre with a projector and audio.
  • Have a presenter or a couple of presenters to run the show.
  • Plan a creative show with audience engagement.
  • Examples of segments in the show include:
    • ‘Guess the Silhouette’, whereby teams from the audience view silhouettes on screen of famous people or places and have to guess what the silhouette is.
    • ‘The Price is Right’, where items are unveiled on a conveyor belt and teams have to guess to the closest dollar how much the item is sold for.
    • ‘Blind Date’ whereby members of the audience volunteer themselves to find their perfect match. Three chairs are set up to the right, with a partition set up so that the prospect is unable to see their potential date that is seated on the left. The eligible bachelor/bachelorette then will ask a series of questions before choosing their blind date.
  • Make sure there is an adequate amount of people volunteered to help run the show so that they can also participate and encourage audience participation.
  • Type in ‘Cilla Black’ to YouTube, a famous game show host, for inspiration.

Fundraising and volunteering focus:

  • Have a gold coin donation as an entrance fee to raise money for a charity that you’re passionate about.
  • Sell refreshments to raise further funds and use it as an opportunity to further discuss volunteering.
  • Use ‘advert breaks’ as a way to talk about volunteering and play short videos about volunteering to promote the merits of making a difference throughout the show.

Have you run a successful games night?

Share your ideas and tips with others, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will add them to this page.


Pop-up op shop

Having a pop-up op shop is a great way to raise money for local charities whilst promoting the benefits of volunteering and ways people can get involved.

Here are some considerations for organising the pop-up op shop:

  • Ensure you have a wide supply of items people can buy to tap into peoples varied interests. For example, outfits, homewares, books, toys for kids.
  • Gold coin donation per item.
  • Promote the event early on your website, Facebook etc, so that supporters and attendees can plan their engagement

Volunteering focus:

  • As people are walking around and buying items, chat to them about the merit of volunteering and how they could get involved.
  • Feature leaflets and flyers in the bags so that when people walk away with an item they also have a more information to take home about volunteering.
  • You might also want to have a notice board and stall set up for people to view as they browse.

Fundraising focus:

  • Chose a charity to support that you are passionate about.
  • Sell refreshments to raise further funds and to provide further time to chat about volunteering.

Have you run a successful pop-up op shop?

Share your ideas and tips with others, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will add them to this page.


Pop-up theatre

Just like volunteering, movies can bring people together, inspire, encourage empathy and focus on life's lessons.

Here are some considerations for organising a pop-up theatre:

  • Pick a theme. You may like to have a free screening of a feel good community movie, or you could choose a popular title and run a fundraiser for a worthy charity.
  • Consider a movie that will appeal to most tastes, some examples could be:
    • Recent blockbuster releases
    • Pay it forward with Kevin Spacey
    • The Soloist with Jamie Foxx
  • Ensure there is enough space and the audience can see and hear the movie comfortably. The screen needs to be seen by the people farthest away so there should be no obstacles (pillars, trees, etc.) in the line of sight. Also consider if external factors (weather, noise, etc.) will affect the viewing. Acoustics can sometimes be challenging, so it's a good idea to do a test run.
  • Pick an appealing venue that will engage your audience. If the venue is outdoors, ensure you have a contingency plan for if there is bad weather.
  • You can create excitement and intrigue by keeping the location on campus a secret until the event date when the theatre pops up.
  • Ensure adequate security, support staff and first aid resources. 

Who has done it?

  • Murdoch University
  • Queensland University of Technology

Have you organised a successful pop-up theatre?

Share your ideas and tips with others, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will add them to this page.


Book swap

Selling secondhand books can be a great community fundraiser. Collecting or exchanging books can help a local reading support group refresh their supplies.

Here are some considerations for organising a book swap:

  • Pick a theme. It could be promoting the value of giving back to the community through volunteering or it could be focused on raising funds for a specific charity.
  • Volunteering focus:
    • As people are browsing and swapping books, chat to them about the value of volunteering and how they can get involved.
    • Ensure you have a good supply and variety of books that tap into people’s interest.
    • Combine the book swap with a reading to share some general stories about volunteering. For example, anecdotes about volunteering can be found in the book 'Chicken Soup - Volunteering and Giving Back' with 101 different short stories.
  • Fundraising focus:
    • Choose a charity to support who's mission and values you align with. Select books or magazines that relate, for example, if you select the RSPCA, who provide animal care and protection services, some suitable books could be zoology, animal science, how to protect animals, etc. If you select to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, have books that depict their history and culture available.
  • Encourage the individuals who donate the books to include a personal, interesting note to the new owners. Have post-it notes available for this.
  • You could look into books that are recommended by celebrities to attract people’s attention to buy or swap.
  • Have some refreshments such as snacks or water for sale which can raise more funds and provide further time to chat about volunteering or the cause.

Who has done it?

  • Queensland University of Technology
    • QUT Big Lift Book Swap

Have you organised a successful book swap?

Share your ideas and tips with others, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will add them to this page.


Community sleep out

There's no better way to fully understand what someone is going through than to experience it for yourself. Rise to the challenge, brave the weather and see what it's like to be homeless for one night.

Here are some considerations for organising a community sleepout:

  • Safety first! Choose a spot on campus that is protected from the weather, has adequate lighting, and is free of harmful wild animals. Make sure it is suitable for students to spend the night.
  • Make sure everybody is warm enough and properly equipped with sleeping bags and other necessities.
  • Organise some food and hot beverages.
  • Encourage students to communicate with their family and friends about the event so they know where they are. Get information on students emergency contacts. 
  • Plan different ways to discuss the important issue of homelessness with the students who attend.
  • Any funds raised should go to groups working to reduce homelessness.

 Who has done it?

Have you organised a successful community sleepout?

Share your ideas and tips with others, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will add them to this page.


University lock-in

A lock-in is a party where nobody can enter or leave for a predetermined amount of time. It allows students to hang out with friends and participate in fun activities, or while conquering the world of student volunteering.

Here are some considerations for organising a successful uni lock-in:

Safety first

  • It is important to make sure the event complies with your education provider's policies and guidelines, and you are given the A-O-K to run the event.
  • Always be prepared for emergency situations.
  • Know where fire extinguishers and evacuation meeting points are located.
  • Will there be any trained medical personnel available, or on stand-by?

Fun second

  • Make sure the activities are as fun and enticing as possible so everyone wants to attend.
  • Decide on the space/building where you will run the event.
  • Pick a theme to plan your activities around (pajama party movie night etc.)
  • Eat food, discuss stories and life experiences, connect with new people and create unforgettable memories.

Have you run a successful university lock-in?

Share your ideas and tips with others, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will add them to this page.


Jail and bail

Jail and bail fundraisers can be a fun and entertaining way to raise awareness for a specific cause. Volunteers are willingly arrested for some fun themed crime (your uni might be focusing on keeping the streets clean) therefore, they could be arrested for “spreading the littering bug.” 

Usually, bail involves exchanging money. However, this time bail will be in forms of social media activities such as likes, shares and comments on the 'bail post.' When the post reaches the agreed target, the volunteer will be released.

Here are some considerations for organising a successful jail and bail:

  • Select a time, date and location where the event will be held
  • Who will be in charge of administering the event and its social media activities 
  • Select a fun theme to work around
  • Entice supporters who are willing to be arrested so they can be bailed out
  • Make sure the bail target is achievable

Have you run a successful jail and bail?

Share your ideas and tips with others, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will add them to this page.


Food bank

A food bank is a non-profit organisation that collects and distributes food (kind of acting like a pantry stocked of many delicious food that they pass over to charities, who provide meals to those in need).

Fact: Did you know, Food Bank is the largest food relief organisation in Australia, and helped to provide 63 million meals in 2016 - what an achievement!

How to help?

Food Donation Stall: One possible event idea could be running an on-campus stall where students and members of your local community donate any non-perishable food and grocery items. These can include cereals, pasta, canned fruit/vegetables, and bottled water – the sky is the limit. At the end of the week all the items collected will be passed over to your nearest Food Bank organisation who will distribute the items to charities.

For more info about your local Food Bank organisation.

Have you run a successful food bank?

Share your ideas and tips with others, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will add them to this page.