Autumn is chock full of opportunities to fundraise. With several notable awareness days and, of course, GivingTuesday—the date that’s circled on every fundraiser’s calendar—you’ve got a season ripe for giving.
Mark your calendars: the fall fundraising season officially begins in late September, builds to a climax with a “global day of kindness” on GivingTuesday, then gives way to the year-end giving season in December.
Haven’t got your fall campaign planned yet? It’s not too late to squeeze in an event or initiative that can inspire supporters from your community. Get started with these unique fall fundraising ideas below.
Spark Generosity Using These Fall Fundraising Ideas for 2023
Remember to tailor these ideas to fit your nonprofit’s mission and target audience. By offering unique and engaging fall fundraising events, you can attract more supporters and successfully raise funds for your cause.
1. Harvest Festival
Host a festive event with activities like pumpkin carving, apple picking, hayrides, and games. Charge admission fees and offer food and drinks for sale.
2. Environmental Cleanup Day
On National Public Lands Day (which falls on September 23 this year), organize a community cleanup event in a local park or natural area to raise awareness about environmental issues. Encourage participants to raise funds through sponsorships.
3. World Habitat Day Build-a-Thon
On World Habitat Day (first Monday of October), host a build-a-thon or community service event to support your organization’s affordable housing initiatives.
4. Thanksgiving Dinner Fundraiser
Host a community Thanksgiving dinner, where attendees can make a donation to attend, and the funds raised support your organization’s initiatives.
5. Dyslexia Awareness Workshop
During Dyslexia Awareness Month in October, host an educational workshop to raise awareness about dyslexia and its impact on individuals. Charge attendees a fee to attend.
6. Haunted House
Create a spooky haunted house attraction or haunted trail, charging admission for entry.
7. National Bullying Prevention Month Campaign
Launch a campaign during National Bullying Prevention Month in October to raise awareness and funds for your nonprofit’s anti-bullying programs.
8. National School Lunch Week Campaign
During National School Lunch Week in October, launch a campaign to support your nonprofit’s school meal programs and advocate for nutritious school lunches.
9. Apple Cider Sale
Sell hot apple cider at local events, farmers’ markets, or outside grocery stores, and use the proceeds for your cause.
10. Domestic Violence Awareness Workshop
Host a workshop or panel discussion during Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. Charge a fee for attendance and use the funds to support victims of domestic violence.
11. Outdoor Movie Night
Host a movie night in a park or outdoor venue, featuring classic fall films. Charge admission and offer concessions.
12. World Mental Health Day Symposium
On World Mental Health Day (October 10th), hold a mental health symposium featuring expert speakers and workshops. Charge a registration fee to attend.
13. Corn Maze Challenge
Partner with a local farm to create a challenging corn maze and charge participants an entry fee.
14. National Cybersecurity Awareness Month Seminar
Organize a seminar or webinar during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October, focusing on online safety and cybersecurity. Charge attendees a fee to participate.
15. Fall Wine & Cheese Tasting Gala
Partner with a local winery and charcuterie for a wine and cheese tasting event and charge attendees for admission.
16. National Fire Prevention Week Fundraiser
During National Fire Prevention Week in October, partner with local fire departments to host a fundraiser supporting fire safety education and prevention efforts.
17. Pumpkin Carving Contest
Host a pumpkin carving competition and charge participants an entry fee. Display the carved pumpkins for public voting and award prizes to the winners.
18. Mental Health Awareness Yoga Retreat
Organize a yoga retreat focused on mental health during Mental Illness Awareness Week in October. Encourage participants to collect donations for your nonprofit’s mental health programs.
19. Fall Farm-to-Table Dinner
Partner with local farmers and restaurants to organize a farm-to-table dinner showcasing seasonal produce. Sell tickets to the event.
20. Global Handwashing Day Fundraiser
On Global Handwashing Day (October 15th), hold a fundraising event promoting hygiene and handwashing education.
21. Fall Gardening Workshop
Organize a gardening workshop focused on fall planting and landscaping tips. Charge a fee for attendance.
22. National Diabetes Awareness Month Health Fair
Host a health fair during National Diabetes Awareness Month in November, featuring health screenings, education, and fitness activities. Charge for entry and use the proceeds to support diabetes-related programs.
23. Halloween Costume Contest
Host a Halloween costume contest for all ages and charge participants to enter the competition.
24. Breast Cancer Awareness Walk
Organize a walkathon or 5K run to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. Participants can register and fundraise for your nonprofit’s breast cancer initiatives.
25. Fall Family Scavenger Hunt
Create a fall-themed scavenger hunt for families to participate in. Charge a registration fee and offer prizes to the winning teams.
26. World Food Day Food Drive
On World Food Day (October 16th), launch a food drive to support your organization’s efforts to combat hunger and food insecurity.
Planning Your Next Fall Fundraiser
With summer vacations in the rearview mirror, fall is the perfect time to build momentum after a quiet season for charitable donations. Consider planning one or more of the following activities:
- In-person galas or events
- Awareness day activations
- Donor reengagement communications
- Impact storytelling campaigns
You can also use these months to expand giving options available to your donors. Ahead of the big winter giving season, nonprofits are discovering new ways to increase major giving and reach younger donors by accepting stock, crypto and Donor-Advised Fund (DAF) donations.