Explore these top pet business fundraising ideas to support causes in your area.

Using Your Pet Business to Fundraise: 9 Ideas to Give Back 

As the owner of a pet care business, whether that be a grooming or boarding service, you and your employees likely have a passion for the health and safety of animals. However, providing top-quality care to your customers’ pets is just a small piece of the broader animal welfare puzzle.

While some 4.1 million shelter animals are adopted annually, more than 6 million animals enter these shelters each year. These organizations, and the dogs and cats they are committed to protecting, are in constant need of supplies, funding, and volunteers.

Your business is in the perfect position to support shelters and rescues by implementing internal CSR programs, engaging the community, and spreading awareness of organizations in need. In this guide, we’ll cover some ideas that can help you get started.

1. Start a crowdfunding campaign.

A crowdfunding campaign involves collecting small donations from a wide audience, generally through social media or other online platforms. While nonprofits can organize these campaigns on their own, it’s common for individuals and organizations to crowdfund on behalf of a specific cause.

To get started, choose a nonprofit to support, create a donation page on a crowdfunding website, and share the campaign with your followers. Make sure to include information about the nonprofit, its mission, and a link to its website on your donation page.

Reach out to the nonprofit to see if there is a specific need or initiative that they need funding for. Then, highlight the specific reason you are fundraising on your donation page. For example, these scenarios might warrant a crowdfunding campaign:

  • A nearby animal shelter needs to build an additional wing to accommodate rising numbers of shelter animals.
  • A rescue group needs funding to pay for vaccinations, food, formula, and spay/neuter procedures during kitten season.
  • One of your customers can’t afford an expensive surgery procedure for their beloved pet.

You can also encourage your followers to make in-kind donations so organizations don’t have to take the time to go shopping. Create or share an online wishlist of the supplies the nonprofit needs and urge your followers to buy a blanket, bag of food, or toy for an animal in need.

2. Launch a #GivingTuesday fundraiser.

Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving that occurs each year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. It’s a recognized, highly-anticipated, and successful annual event that capitalizes on the year-end giving spirit.

If you (like most business owners) are new to nonprofit fundraising, Giving Tuesday can be a good way to dip your toes into the water since there’s already a general structure in place. Giving Tuesday campaigns allow passionate supporters to serve as ambassadors. Reach out to the nonprofit you want to support and ask them to help you create a page in support of their organization. Add a picture of your logo as the profile picture, make a donation yourself, add a brief story about why you support the cause, and share the campaign!

If you aren’t ready to create your own Giving Tuesday campaign, you can create a small marketing campaign to boost local nonprofits’ campaigns. This extra publicity will help expand the campaign’s reach and can make a big difference in revenue.

3. Start a matching gift program.

A matching gift program is typically part of a business’s larger corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts. With these programs, businesses match the contributions that their employees make to eligible organizations. Often, businesses have minimum and maximum gift size requirements and may place restrictions on the kinds of organizations they donate to.

In addition to supplying organizations with double the funding they would ordinarily receive, Re:Charity’s guide to corporate philanthropy outlines these key benefits for corporations:

  • A positive reputation in the community
  • Increased employee engagement
  • A stronger sense of community

To ensure that employees take advantage of your matching gift program, spread awareness for it. For instance, you might share a step-by-step guide for submitting a matching gift request with employees and include it in your onboarding materials, office handbook, and any communications requesting donations to a fundraiser.

4. Organize a dog walk fundraiser.

Dog walks are similar to traditional walk-a-thon fundraisers in which participants walk a certain distance for a good cause. During a dog walk, you get the furry friends involved!

To fundraise, simply charge a registration fee to participants or follow a pledge fundraising model in which participants collect pledge donations from their friends and family. You’ll need to plan a route for the dog walk, complete with starting and finish lines. Make sure to have a team of volunteers to assist you with set up and tear down as well as manning water stations (for both humans and dogs!).

To maximize revenue, you’ll need to leverage your business’s contacts, share about the event through your marketing channels, and get the community involved. Don’t forget that your customer base is a great place to start—after all, they are pet owners who would probably love to support an animal welfare organization. Using pet business software like Gingr, you can reach out to customers in your database by leveraging built-in marketing tools.

5. Create a “sponsor a pet” program for a local shelter.

In a “sponsor a pet” program, your business will encourage supporters to make a recurring monthly donation to a local shelter. This donation is meant to fill the needs of a single pet by providing food, shelter, medical procedures, and vaccinations.

First, you’ll need to work with a local shelter to secure names and pictures of animals at their shelter. For example, maybe they have a black cat named Wanda who is the mother of a litter of kittens. A donor might choose to sponsor Wanda with a monthly donation of $50, paying for her food, blankets, litter, vaccines, and medication for an eye infection. Over the months, the shelter sends updates about how Wanda is doing and eventually lets the donor know she’s been adopted.

Choosing fundraising ideas that directly benefit your local community can be highly effective. Donors will see the positive impact they are making on local organizations firsthand—and who knows, they may even be inspired to adopt!

6. Make in-kind donations to local organizations.

As we mentioned earlier, many organizations need supplies in addition to funding. Consider donating high-demand pet care items to shelters and rescues, such as:

  • Dog and cat food for a variety of ages and needs (e.g., wet food for puppies or hairball control food for cats)
  • Blankets and towels
  • Pet beds
  • Food and water bowls
  • Grooming equipment
  • Leashes and collars
  • Litter boxes, litter, and scoops
  • Toys
  • Offering free services
  • The opportunity to use your facilities for an event (e.g., holding a charity dog wash at your grooming facility)

To collect these items, consider purchasing them in bulk from a wholesale company to stretch your buying power further. If you have extra, unused items, like grooming products or equipment, consider donating these as well. To get your customers and employees involved, set up a donation box at your facility and encourage them to bring in the items local organizations need most.

7. Ask your employees for ideas.

Asking employees for fundraising ideas is an effective way to engage them in opportunities that help them feel more fulfilled and connected to the local community.

Consider using tools like employee engagement software to create surveys that ask questions like:

  • What nonprofit organizations and causes are you most passionate about?
  • What types of fundraisers would you like to see our business participate in?
  • What are some effective fundraising campaigns you’ve seen that convinced you to donate?
  • What level of involvement would you like to have in our fundraising initiatives (e.g., volunteering at events, donating, no involvement, etc.)?

When you launch fundraisers that employees are excited about, they’ll be much more likely to get involved and drive your initiatives toward success. By engaging employees directly in your charitable efforts, they’ll know that you value their input and interests.

8. Run a pet calendar sale.

When it comes to calendars, pets are one of the most popular themes. Who wouldn’t want to see an adorable animal each month?

Gather some photos of pets in your area to build a pet calendar. The pets can either be your business’s clients or adoptable animals from a local animal shelter. For example, your dog daycare might snap photos of its regulars or puppies on their first visit. To connect those who purchase the calendar with the pet, consider adding the dog’s name, their favorite treats and toys, and a short description of their background.

Print and sell your calendars online or on location at your business. Make it clear that sales will benefit a specific nonprofit organization and provide some information about the organization’s mission.

9. Donate a percentage of sales.

During a percentage fundraiser, your business pledges to donate a percentage of all sales made within a specified timeframe to a nonprofit. For example, you might donate 5% of all sales made during a three-day weekend event to a cat rescue in your town.

This is a simple way to incorporate fundraising into your business’s regular activities. Promote your percentage fundraiser ahead of time to boost foot traffic by encouraging charitably-minded customers to visit your store during the campaign.

Just because your pet business is a for-profit company doesn’t mean that you can’t invest in the community. Corporate social responsibility is on the rise, and consumers care now more than ever before that businesses commit to social good. With these fundraising ideas, build a strong reputation for your business and support animals in need at the same time.

Someone writing a sponsorship letter.

12 Types of Sponsorship Letters and How to Write Them

Well-positioned sponsorships can transform any nonprofit event into a must-attend, memorable occasion. They can also help you fund a specific need or explore meaningful partnership opportunities that can expand your mission.

However, many nonprofits struggle to find the right partners to support their goals. The first step in successfully recruiting more sponsors is to write a compelling sponsorship letter that explains your cause and why the recipient is the perfect fit to support you. 

In this guide, we’ll show you how to write inspirational letters with the help of effective templates you can use to get started! Here’s what we’ll cover:

Sponsorship Letter FAQs

What Are Sponsorship Letters?

A sponsorship letter is a fundraising request that offers the recipient an incentive in exchange for a cash donation, auction items or other gifts, an in-kind donation, or volunteer time. Sponsorship letters are typically sent to local businesses or corporations requesting that they contribute a corporate donation or in-kind gift to support your cause.

These direct requests are great options to extend your reach and start a long-term relationship with a sponsor.

Why Are Sponsorship Letters Important?

Sponsorship proposals are important because the donations they secure help fund events like charity walks, runs, rides, galas, and more, all while strengthening ties between nonprofits and businesses.

They also sow the seeds of a long-term relationship (not just short-term support, though that is a bonus). And, along with the obligatory tax receipt, donors will receive benefits from supporting your organization, such as promotional spots or a guest speaking opportunity.

In the end, a sponsorship letter has the potential to kick off or sustain a mutually beneficial relationship between you and your sponsor that results in shared publicity and mutual success.

What Should You Give Sponsors in Return for Their Support?

Donors have lots to gain from sponsoring charitable organizations. Business sponsors, in particular, can access the following benefits:

Positive Brand Image

Social responsibility can substantially impact a company’s reputation. In fact, CSR research shows that 54% of consumers consider a company’s CSR practices when making purchasing decisions. By demonstrating a commitment to goodwill, companies can show consumers that their purchases will have a positive impact.

Employee Engagement

Today’s employees want to work for companies that make an impact. Double the Donation’s employee engagement tools article explains that establishing CSR initiatives indicates that a business “cares about the same causes as its employees and wants to make the world a better place. As a result, employees will feel more empowered to continue working at a company that does more than just provide a product or service.”

In your letter, emphasize that employees will be excited to know their company supports worthwhile causes if they decide to sponsor you!

Advertising Opportunities

Your nonprofit can offer various marketing opportunities to corporate sponsors, providing them with visibility and brand exposure while supporting your mission. You can explicitly offer these marketing opportunities in exchange for sponsorships:

  • Their logo displayed prominently at events and on promotional materials
  • Sponsor-specific pages or sections on your nonprofit’s website
  • A booth at an event
  • Social media shout-outs
  • Their logo and promotional messages in your email newsletter

By offering these advertising opportunities, you can demonstrate the value of partnering with your nonprofit, helping corporate sponsors envision how they can enhance brand visibility while supporting a meaningful cause.

Click through to learn how to secure more support beyond your sponsorship letters with Fundly.

How Can You Identify Potential Sponsors?

Sponsorship letters should be highly personalized. Therefore, you need to know exactly who you’re addressing and why they’d make a great sponsor ahead of time. Here are key signs that a business would make an awesome sponsor:

  • They’ve previously supported you or given to causes similar to yours. Prioritize sending proposals to companies that have volunteered with you, attended previous events, or shown interest in your cause. Likewise, if they support similar causes, this is a great opportunity to show them how they can lend a helping hand.
  • They work in a similar or complementary sector. Companies that work in a similar sector or environment as you will have a clearer understanding of your cause and needs. For instance, a healthcare organization will understand how they can help provide aid to an at-risk homeless population.
  • They’re local. Local or hometown businesses can benefit from the promotional opportunities of sponsoring you. Not to mention, businesses like to support causes that better their surrounding communities.
  • They have a well-known CSR program. A business with a robust CSR program is already familiar with nonprofit organizations as a part of their employee engagement initiatives. Take advantage of this by prioritizing outreach to corporations like these.
  • They can supply a direct need. Alongside monetary donations, looking for sponsors who can contribute in-kind donations can also help you work toward your goals. For example, a bakery might provide in-kind donations of snacks or pastries while a hotel could provide a venue space.

Before you send out letters to every available business, narrow your prospects to see if they meet the above criteria. Then, send your letters out well ahead of your event or campaign start date to give each prospect plenty of time to respond with any questions.

How Should You Send Sponsorship Letters?

Investing in a dedicated direct mail platform will provide the easiest, most effective channel to send out your sponsorship letters to as many supporters as possible. With a direct mail platform, you can send out your letters quickly, saving you time and money.

And of course, after you secure a donation or sponsorship you should strongly consider sending a thank-you letter. One of the best and most impactful ways to show immediate gratitude would be with an eCard platform your organization could use across its fundraising and thank-yous.

Sponsorship Letter Best Practices

Of course, each sponsorship letter will vary based on your recipient and your request. However, there are a few best practices you can use to make all of your proposals compelling and to the point:

  • Personalize letters by addressing the recipient by name. Choose the right person to address the letter to by researching or calling to ask who manages corporate donations at the organization.
  • Talk to their point of view by highlighting how their organization’s values or previous charitable experience speaks to their company’s character. For example, you might say “As a small business that gives back to XYZ community initiatives, you know the importance of supporting those in need.
  • Highlight benefits that they would find important. Are they interested in getting their brand name out there? Do they want to team up with more like-minded organizations? Let them know how your organization can help them do that.
  • Have a leader at your organization write the letter, such as your president or an executive. This adds credibility to your ask and can be even more impactful if they know the small business contact personally.’
  • Give sponsors a choice to support you in a way that works best for them. Let them know you’d be grateful for a monetary sponsorship or an in-kind donation.
  • Prepare for a follow-up by including your organization’s contact information at the bottom of your letter and suggesting the contact reach out with any additional questions.

To write better sponsorship proposals, you can use templates and examples (like the ones provided below) to help structure your request and bring your organization’s fundraising narrative to life.

Click through to learn how to secure more corporate fundraising revenue with a free Fundly campaign.

12 Sponsorship Templates

To write better sponsorship proposals, you can use templates and examples (like the ones provided below) to help structure your request and bring your organization’s fundraising narrative to life.

1. For Events 7. For Auction Items
2. For Corporate Requests 8. For Requesting Monetary Donations
3. For Churches 9. For In-Kind Donations
4. For Schools 10. For Requesting Volunteers
5. For Sports Clubs 11. For Explaining Sponsorship Levels
6. For Food 12. For Acknowledgement

1. Event Sponsorship Letter

An event sponsorship letter template.

Follow these best practices when writing event sponsorship letters:

  • Highlight the event. When asking for event sponsorship, your event needs to be the focal point. Start by detailing the kind of event it is, the theme, the date, and the location. Then, dive into what you’re looking to raise and why. Once you have your reader hooked, bring up how their event sponsorship fits in and what their gift could mean for your cause.
  • Provide ample sponsorship opportunities. You’ll include a separate document with your cover letter that details your sponsorship levels. With each increase in gift level, the incentives should equally increase. If your event needs a range of sponsorship types from monetary to gifts-in-kind, make sure you are expressing the variety of opportunities to show support.
  • Get to the point. Event sponsorship proposals should be succinct. The initial cover letter should be no longer than a page and simply provide a high-level overview of what you’re looking for. Be specific and direct. Once you have someone’s interest, you can always provide supplementary information as a next step.
  • Start with your existing supporters. Make sure you reach out to past sponsors and tweak your letter template to acknowledge their prior support. If this event is new for your organization, reach out to sponsors of your other events or look to your closest supporters to see who has ties to a business that might be a good fit for sponsorship (i.e. a top donor who owns a local restaurant).

2. Corporate Sponsorship Letter

A corporate sponsorship letter example.

Follow these best practices when writing corporate sponsorship letters:

  • Know your audience. When reaching out to a corporate sponsor, you need to know and demonstrate that you know exactly who you’re contacting, their role at the company, and how they fit into your sponsorship needs. Make sure to acknowledge past gifts and drill down on exactly what your organization needs from the sponsor.
  • Mention common goals. As you ask for corporate sponsorship, be sure to highlight how support of your efforts intersects with the business’ larger philanthropic goals. Show that you both want to help your community and that everyone wins with their sponsorship of your organization, the community included.
  • Include contact information. Your corporate sponsorship letter is your opening. Most businesses will want to discuss the sponsorship over the phone, in person, or both before agreeing. Provide a range of ways to get in touch so that potential sponsors can reach you easily.
  • Attach a sponsorship level document. Interested corporate prospects will want to know exactly what their sponsorship options are. An attached sponsorship level document shows professionalism and makes the process easier for busy corporate sponsors.

3. Church Sponsorship Letter

A church sponsorship letter template.

Follow these best practices when writing church sponsorship letters:

  • Connect on a personal level. Sponsoring the financial needs of a church is a very personal decision for supporters. Your sponsorship proposal should reflect that in both its language and discussion of sponsorship incentives.
  • Be specific. Make it clear in your letter that you’re asking for a sponsorship to fulfill a specific need and not to increase general funding. Provide the date or deadline, names of those who are involved, location (if relevant), and the desired outcome.
  • Tell your story. Since donating to a church is such a personal decision, it is important that you highlight your church’s story within the letter. It can be brief, but you want to use your narrative to connect with sponsor prospects on an emotional level.
  • Thank them for considering. Show your gratitude to your potential sponsors for taking time out of their day to read your letter. You want both those who choose to sponsor and those who do not to feel acknowledged and respected by your church.

4. Sponsorship Letter for Schools, PTAs, and Students

An example of a school sponsorship letter.

Follow these best practices when writing sponsorship letters for schools, PTAs, or students:

  • Focus on the students. For any school-related fundraiser, the students are going to be the driving force behind a sponsor’s reason to donate. Your letter needs to recognize that fact by demonstrating how sponsorship will benefit the students.
  • Know what you’re asking for. Don’t just send a generic sponsorship letter. Customize the letter to highlight exactly what you’re asking of your sponsor. Do you need them to supply the drinks for a school-wide field day? What about a big-ticket item for the auction? Include exactly what you need in your school sponsorship letter.
  • Tweak your template based on your audience. For school fundraising, you’re going to have four main categories of potential sponsors: parents, alumni, faculty, and community members. Segment your outreach by category so that you can tweak your language to appeal directly to each of those groups.
  • Cast a wide net. There are few causes as universally supported as education. Use that to your advantage and send sponsorship letters to a large selection of prospects. Look to local businesses, larger corporations, and even chain businesses within your town.

5. Sponsorship Letter for Sports Clubs

A sponsorship letter template for sports clubs.

Follow these best practices when writing sponsorship letters for your sports club:

  • Brag about the team. You only have one page to explain why sponsorship of your sports club is worthwhile, so take the opportunity to share your accomplishments. Highlight your wins, but make sure you also cover your big-picture benefit to the community, such as giving teenagers a healthy way to spend time after school.
  • Feature an athlete. Pick an athlete from your organization whose experience exemplifies the core values of your club and tell their story. This shouldn’t be a lengthy section, but it will give your potential sponsors an anchor that connects them to your club.
  • Explain exactly where the funds will go. When considering sponsoring your team, local businesses will want to know what their funds will accomplish. Is the money covering travel for one athlete for the season? Will the donations go to new uniforms? Be as specific as possible.
  • Use advertising as an incentive. Sports clubs are perfectly positioned to offer advertising as a sponsorship incentive. You can place the sponsor’s sign on your scoreboard or even brand your uniforms. Then, during each game, your sponsor gets promotional benefits.

6. Sponsorship Letter for Food

An example sponsorship letter for food.

Follow these best practices when writing sponsorship letters for food:

  • Reach out strategically. Remember that you won’t need one restaurant or business to donate all the food for your event. You can increase your odds of success by dividing and conquering. You can go to one organization for the food and another for the beverages — just be sure to specify what you need in your request.
  • Be complimentary. When reaching out for donated catering, it’s important to note that flattery is crucial. Be sure to include a few compliments about the food you’re requesting within your sponsorship letter. The more personalized you can make the proposal, the better.
  • Space out requests. Unlike monetary donations, your event can only have so many food sponsors and vendors. You want to avoid a situation where you’re turning away the donations because too many restaurants want to provide catering. When you’re planning out your sponsorship requests, reach out to your first choice early enough that if it doesn’t pan out, you have time to continue the search.
  • Include an estimated headcount. Potential food sponsors will want to know the headcount for two reasons. First, they need to assess if they have the capacity to cater for the number of people you’re expecting. And second, each meal they serve is an opportunity to potentially earn a new customer, which is highly valuable.

Click here to start your Fundly campaign and keep your sponsors in the loop.

7. Sponsorship Letter for Auction Items

An example of a sponsorship letter requesting auction items.

Follow these best practices when writing sponsorship letters for auction items:

  • Talk about your last auction. Tell donors about the success of your last auction and what you raised. If this is your first auction, talk about your fundraising goal. In either case, talk about what the money will go toward.
  • Include a form. Within your mailing, you should include a separate form that donors can attach to their sent-in item. The form should include a space for their name, type of item, and contact info. Ask them to mail the item directly if it’s small or to call in if the item needs to be picked up.
  • Be specific with your request. Your auction theme needs to be included within the letter, as well as any items you’re hoping for and items you will not be accepting. Highlight examples where necessary, too. Being upfront will save everyone from a headache down the line.
  • Include an event invitation. Be inclusive and polite and extend an invitation to everyone you’re asking for a gift-in-kind from. Include details about the time and date of the auction and how the potential sponsor can get involved besides donating an auction item.

8. Sponsorship Letter for Requesting Monetary Donations

A sponsorship letter requesting monetary donations template.

Follow these best practices when writing sponsorship letters for requesting monetary donations:

  • Address the right person. Large companies might have designated corporate social responsibility (CSR) departments and managers that handle all donation requests. Smaller companies might rely on the CEO or another leader to make charitable decisions. Before you write your cover letter, make sure you know who you’re talking to.
  • Reference your past successes. Think of your cover letter as a chance to brag about your nonprofit. If you’re raising money for an annual event, use the facts and figures from last year’s event to show how effective your fundraising efforts were. If this is your first event, talk about other successful fundraising campaigns that you’ve launched.
  • Highlight mutual benefits. While many companies are philanthropic, it’s important to remember that they are businesses, and as such, they will want to know what kind of return they can expect by donating to your nonprofit. While you can outline the details of the different incentive levels in your Sponsorship Levels Document, you can broadly highlight the mutual benefits that come with a donation.
  • Offer ways to get in touch. Make sure that your potential corporate sponsor has a way to get in touch with you should they have any questions. Include all of your contact info (email address, direct phone number, mailing address) in your sponsorship proposal cover letter. Of course, with that, you have to be available! Return calls and emails promptly and answer questions as thoroughly as possible.

9. Sponsorship Letter for Requesting In-Kind Donations

An in-kind donation sponsorship letter template.

Follow these best practices when writing sponsorship letters for requesting in-kind donations:

  • Elaborate on your fundraiser. It should be clear what event or campaign you’d like recipients to sponsor. Include the date and time of the event, as well as what cause the event will support. Companies you ask will see why obtaining sponsors is critical to furthering your cause.
  • Highlight last year’s success. Illustrate your previous success so corporations can see the potential benefits of sponsoring your event. You can mention the average number of attendees, which will translate into more promotion for companies.
  • Be specific. In your letter, you should be exact about what you expect. For instance, if you want businesses to sponsor a table at your gala or the supplies for a new facility, you should address that information directly.
  • Thank sponsors in advance. Whether the company decides to sponsor your fundraiser or not, it’s good practice to thank all of your recipients in advance. It shows that you respect their time. Who knows?  The same companies that decline might change their minds next year.

10. Sponsorship Letter Requesting Volunteers

A sponsorship letter template for asking for volunteers.

Follow these best practices when writing sponsorship letters for requesting volunteers:

  • Tie the recipient to your cause. It’s important to connect with the reader right away. Speak to your recipients’ emotions with a story that explains how the funds will be used. When readers are connected to your cause, they’ll be more invested in what you have to say.
  • Explain why you need volunteers. You should not only let companies know that you need volunteers but also explain how their support will impact the outcome of the event. Let your recipients know what tasks the volunteers will complete so that companies understand what to expect.
  • Make your “ask” concrete. Just asking for volunteers is unclear, and the goal, as with any solicitation, should be to ask for exactly what you need. By providing the reader with the specifics (amount of volunteers and number of hours needed), recipients won’t have to guess.
  • Include your email and phone number. Leave your contact information in the letter so that interested sponsors can contact you to hash out the details.

11. Sponsorship Levels Document

An example of a sponsorship levels document.

When creating a sponsorship levels document, follow these best practices:

  • Be as specific as possible. It’s sometimes okay to be more general in your sponsorship proposal cover letter, but you can’t beat around the bush when it comes to your sponsorship levels document. List out a few different donation amounts ranging from a couple hundred to, potentially, tens of thousands of dollars. Then, list the benefits that come with each donation amount.
  • List out incentives for in-kind donations. Many nonprofits forget about in-kind donations when it comes to their sponsorship level documents. They only list incentives for cash donations. However, many corporate donations come in the form of goods and services. While you can’t list out every possible in-kind contribution you could receive, you can delineate examples and include the incentives that come along with donations of that type.
  • Create a hierarchy. To make it easier for your donors and your organization, it might be worthwhile to create a hierarchy of giving levels. The most common are Gold, Silver, and Bronze, but feel free to get creative with your giving hierarchy! You can make it tailored to your nonprofit as a whole or keep it on theme with your specific fundraising event.
  • Include a place for donors to indicate their giving level. Once you’ve listed out all of your giving levels, make sure that you give your donors a way to indicate how much they’d like to give. The bottom of your sponsorship levels document should include a tear-off section that collects your donor’s name, contact information, and preferred giving level.

12. Sponsorship Acknowledgement Letter

A sponsorship acknowledgement letter template.

Follow these best practices when writing sponsorship acknowledgement letters:

  • Be sincere. Your sponsorship acknowledgement letter should come from the heart. Your corporate donors can make a huge impact on your fundraising efforts, and they deserve to know just how much your nonprofit appreciates them! Show your gratitude by writing a unique letter for each corporate donor.
  • Tell them what the donation went toward. If you want to demonstrate the impact that your corporate donors had on your event (and you should!), let them know exactly what their donation went toward! While you may not be able to list out everything you were able to accomplish down to the last penny, you can give your donors a solid idea of how they contributed to your cause and mission.
  • Offer other engagement opportunities. While an acknowledgement letter is never the place to ask for another donation, you can use your sponsorship acknowledgement letter to offer your donors other ways to get involved. Maybe you have an open seat on your board. Or perhaps there’s an upcoming volunteer event you think they’d be interested in. Whatever the case, let them know about the other ways they can get involved!
  • Send the letter promptly. Don’t let too much time pass before you send out your sponsorship acknowledgement letter! You can send a quick note after you receive their response from your sponsorship levels document, but you should follow up with a detailed and well-written acknowledgement no later than a week after your event has concluded.

Additional Resources

Click through to learn how to secure more corporate fundraising revenue with a free Fundly campaign.

Woman looking at computer to decide a crowdfunding site.

Top Crowdfunding Websites to Raise Support for Any Cause

Crowdfunding is a popular fundraising strategy used to raise funds for medical expenses, artistic projects, scientific research, business startups, nonprofit organizations, and more. If you’re interested in starting one of these campaigns but you’re unsure which platform to use, you’ve come to the right place!

Here, we’ll walk through 30+ of our favorite crowdfunding websites to give you a better sense of your choices. Here’s what we’ll cover:

Best Overall Crowdfunding Website Crowdfunding Websites for Startups
Crowdfunding Websites for Individuals Crowdfunding Websites for Religious Groups
Crowdfunding Websites for Nonprofits Crowdfunding Websites for Rewards-Based Campaigns
Crowdfunding Websites for Schools Crowdfunding Websites for Creative Projects

It’s important to know what to look for when choosing which site will best meet your fundraising needs, and that can vary greatly depending on your size, cause, and operating budget.

Which Crowdfunding Site is Best?

Different crowdfunding websites vary in fundraising guidelines, platform and payment processing fees, and so on. Keep an eye out for platform-specific rules and practices when considering your options.

For example, some crowdfunding sites follow a “Keep it All” (KiA) method of fundraising, while others opt for an “All or Nothing” (AoN) approach. Essentially, organizers of KiA fundraisers receive funding regardless of whether they meet their fundraising goal, while AoN fundraisers can only collect if they reach their initial objective.

Most crowdfunding websites price their services based on a percentage of overall funds collected. However, platform and processing fees can vary depending on the site.

Additionally, certain platforms cater to more niche fundraising needs, while others cover a broad range of topics. Overall, the best crowdfunding site is one that appeals to a large number of potential fundraisers and audiences—like Fundly! With this in mind, let’s jump in!

Best Overall Crowdfunding Website

1. Fundly

The Basics

Fundly’s crowdfunding platform allows for individuals and organizations to raise money nearly any cause, project, or event. Fundly is a “Keep It All” (KiA) platform, which means that fundraisers can keep whatever donations they receive (minus a platform fee of 4.9% and a credit card processing fee of 2.9% + $.30/transaction).

Standout Features

Fundly’s crowdfunding site is incredibly easy to use and has a blog-like feel to it. Fundraisers can easily add images and videos, share personal stories on their fundraising pages, and spread the word about their campaign via email, Facebook, and Twitter. An automated fundraising thermometer shows each fundraiser’s progress, and each page can be customized with colors, logos, and even background images.

Example Campaign

Fundly is our top suggestion for crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

Fundly’s versatile and easy-to-use platform makes it a top pick for any type of crowdfunding campaign. Plus, their support team is always there to answer any questions!

Click here to start a campaign with our favorite crowdfunding website, Fundly!

Best Crowdfunding Websites for Individuals

2. MyCause

The Basics

It’s free to start a crowdfunding campaign with MyCause, an Australian-based crowdfunding platform. They offer both a flexible and a fixed crowdfunding model, and they let fundraisers choose which campaign they’d like to run. Individuals can raise money for any cause, whether it’s for personal medical expenses, adoption fees, scientific research, or anything else.

Standout Features

MyCause has a variety of social sharing options so that fundraisers and donors can easily share their crowdfunding campaign via Facebook, Twitter, email, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other platforms. This feature allows fundraisers to spread the word about their crowdfunding campaign far and wide, reaching as many people as possible.

Example Campaign

MyCause is one of our favorite crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a beautiful crowdfunding website to help raise money for any sort of personal need, MyCause is a great option. Their simple layout and easy-to-use tools make it simple for anyone to fundraise!

3. GoGetFunding

The Basics

GoGetFunding is a popular crowdfunding website dedicated to effective fundraising for personal causes. Since its inception in 2011, this platform has raised millions of dollars for all sorts of campaigns, including medical, travel, community, and charity needs.

Standout Features

Crowdfunding pages are simple to set up on GoGetFunding’s intuitive platform, with only four easy steps required before launching your fundraising page. Then, you can begin accepting donations immediately with credit and debit cards as well as through PayPal.

Example Campaign

GoGetFunding is one of our favorite crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

GoGetFunding also provides fundraisers with personal fundraising coaches to help guide them through the crowdfunding process. This can be extremely useful for those new to fundraising and experienced fundraisers seeking a basic refresher course.

4. RALLY.org

The Basics

Rally.org is one of the easiest to use fundraising platforms for individuals, groups, and charitable causes. Fundraisers without technical expertise can launch their campaigns in minutes with inspiring, high-end designs. Then, donors can start giving in no time.

Standout Features

Rally.org creates its crowdfunding pages with robust social sharing capabilities in mind to help your team share your fundraisers far and wide. Thanks to their dedicated social sharing integrations, you can invite supporters to participate via email, Facebook, Twitter, and more.

Example Campaign

Rally.org is one of our favorite crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

Rally.org offers a highly secure payment processing system for credit and debit payments. Plus, a crowdfunding page is free to set up on their site, with a 5% platform and 2.9% + 30 cents credit card fees for each donation. They also offer special rates for agencies and consultants!

5. GoFundMe

The Basics

GoFundMe is one of the biggest names in the crowdfunding space, and their online tools have helped numerous individuals and groups collect funding for a wide range of needs, including medical, emergency, memorial, education, and more.

Standout Features

This crowdfunding website allows you to manage your donations by accepting gifts, processing transactions, thanking donors, and withdrawing funds. GoFundMe’s platform also offers a streamlined giving process for donors as well as a simplified fundraising process behind the scenes.

Example Campaign

GoFundMe is one of our favorite crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

GoFundMe employs a number of special assistants called Customer Happiness Agents who assist fundraisers in maximizing their success and troubleshooting the fundraising platform. With 24/7 support available, this crowdfunding website is dedicated to providing users with speedy and efficient responses.

Best Crowdfunding Websites for Nonprofits

6. Fundly

The Basics

Fundly starts with the basics of the Fundly crowdfunding platform and adds peer-to-peer fundraising capabilities specifically crafted for nonprofits. With Fundly, organizations can set up a beautiful and brand-cohesive fundraising page in mere minutes. From there, fundraisers can use Fundly’s tools, such as social sharing options, to spread awareness and take their campaigns to the next level.

Standout Features

Fundly campaigns are meant to be highly shareable and visually appealing. Additionally, teams can set up their fundraisers as peer-to-peer campaign pages to reach an even broader audience.

Example Campaign

Fundly Pro is our favorite of the crowdfunding websites for nonprofits.

Final Thoughts

Between cost efficiency, ease-of-use, and dedicated fundraising features, Fundly is the best choice for nonprofits that are looking to start a crowdfunding campaign.

7. Double the Donation

The Basics

Double the Donation is a matching gift database that nonprofits can use to double (or even triple) their crowdfunding revenue. Using Double the Donations, supporters can look up their employers’ name to learn about their company’s matching gift program and determine their eligibility.

Standout Features

By partnering with Double the Donation, you can embed a search tool with their matching gift database into your nonprofit’s website or online giving forms. This way, you can easily encourage donors to research their eligibility and take the necessary next steps, providing your organization with additional donations at the cost of soliciting one.

Example Campaign

Double the Donation can amplify revenue collected from any crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

Although Double the Donation isn’t a dedicated crowdfunding website, it can do a lot to boost the success of any of your crowdfunding campaigns. With all of the new donors you’ll be bringing in, you’re going to want to steer them toward completing a matching gift request as soon as possible to maximize their donations!

8. Handbid

The Basics

Handbid’s crowdfunding and peer-to-peer tools help nonprofits everywhere connect to philanthropic supporters. With a user-friendly interface, you can easily set up, organize, and run your fundraiser without hassle. Plus, these tools integrate directly into their auction platform—letting you track and engage with our donors all in a single place. Existing users (those who have attended your past events and auctions) can start contributing with just a few clicks!

Standout Features

Handbid puts a unique spin on gamification. While many platforms only offer a fundraising thermometer, this forward-thinking company has developed a unique puzzle feature, giving donors a fun and interactive way to participate in your campaign. Simply select “before” and “after” photos that illustrate some aspect of your mission. Handbid then turns your “before” photo into a puzzle that donors can purchase pieces of to slowly reveal your “after” photo in real-time. They also supply traditional crowdfunding tools like leaderboards and fundraising thermometers to optimize your peer-to-peer campaigns.

Example Campaign

Handbid is one of our favorite crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for an affordable crowdfunding platform with an easy-to-use interface, Handbid is the solution for your team. This intuitive platform will handle the legwork, so you can spend less time managing your fundraisers and more time engaging your supporters.

9. Classy

The Basics

Classy is a powerful crowdfunding platform that helps nonprofits from all over the world raise meaningful funds. Its customizable, conversion-optimized campaigns can help you get the most out of your crowdfunding. In fact, they’ve helped nonprofits raise more than $5 billion dollars since 2010.

Standout Features

Classy’s mobile-optimized campaigns make it easy for supporters to give wherever they are without hassle. Its intuitive analytics and reporting allow you to track your campaign from start to finish and make needed adjustments when necessary.

Example Campaign

This is a screenshot of a Classy crowdfunding campaign.

Final Thoughts

Classy is a great choice for nonprofits interested in running large campaigns that require comprehensive solutions. Its impressive tech stack will help you scale your donor base and empower your supporters.

10. Plumfund

The Basics

Although Plumfund serves a wide range of crowdfunders, the site boasts a strong contingent of nonprofits. At any given time, Plumfund has over 2,700 campaigns running in the “charities” category. Like many of the other platforms, it’s a straightforward crowdfunding model designed to help fundraisers collect more for their causes.

Standout Features

This crowdfunding site lets campaign organizers receive offline contributions to their Plumfund 100% free of charge. That way, all of your funds are stored in a centralized location and you can easily view an accurate representation of your progress toward your goal.

Example Campaign

Plumfund is one of our favorite crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

Plumfund is a simple and straightforward crowdfunding platform that gives nonprofit fundraisers the tools they need to run a campaign. It’s a safe bet that has a strong suit in combining online and offline fundraising efforts.

11. Fundrazr

The Basics

FundRazr is a crowdfunding website that comes with ready-built social integrations, options for quickly and easily uploading images and videos, and a dedicated fundraising support team. Like with many other platforms, it also offers a feature that lets fundraisers add incentives to encourage giving.

Standout Features

Fundrazr’s crowdfunding website helps to reduce fundraising costs, turn your supporters into fundraisers, run multiple campaigns on a single website, and securely receive contributions directly into your account.

Example Campaign

Fundrazr is one of our favorite crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

Fundrazr promotes their nonprofit offering in a clear and easy-to-follow manner. Their platform lets nonprofits create a crowdfunding campaign in minutes, share the campaign via social media once it is live, and receive contributions immediately.

Best Crowdfunding Websites for Schools

12. Donate Kindly

The Basics

DonateKindly is a free online donation tool and crowdfunding website specialized for year-round campaigns that fund schools, churches, and other nonprofit organizations. To get started, add their free online donation tools to your school’s website and encourage your supporters to give and share your free fundraising pages.

Standout Features

DonateKindly stores basic information about your donors to make it easy to reach out to them for future fundraisers. They also send automated thank you messages and tax receipts to your donors for added convenience. With these features, your crowdfunding campaigns will only get more and more successful as time goes on!

Example Campaign

Donate Kindly is one of our favorite crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

DonateKindly’s features make it easy for nonprofits, schools, student initiatives, and other organizations to start free crowdfunding campaigns. Leverage their year-round free fundraising tools to raise more money and reduce fees.

13. DonorsChoose

The Basics

DonorsChoose is designed to help teachers and public schools raise money for supplies, classroom materials, and other education-related items. When a crowdfunding campaign reaches its goal, DonorsChoose sends materials directly to the school.

Standout Features

Because DonorsChoose follows a model where individuals who fundraise receive the necessary materials instead of funds, it relieves the fundraiser of the stress of shopping. To cover the costs of their unique process, this platform subtracts a $30 fee from each crowdfunding campaign.

Example Campaign

This is a screenshot of a DonorsChoose crowdfunding campaign.

Final Thoughts

DonorsChoose is a highly specific crowdfunding platform. If you’re a teacher who’s in need of school supplies, it may be the perfect fit for you.

14. StartSomeGood

The Basics

StartSomeGood bills itself as “The Crowdfunding Platform for Changemakers,” and aims to help world-changing projects succeed. In fact, their website is used exclusively for social change initiatives such as education and other nonprofit causes.

Standout Features

One of the best features offered by StartSomeGood is their Global Support Team which provides fundraisers with personalized feedback before launching their campaigns. Their advice helps ensure that every campaign is positioned to reach and surpass its goal.

Example Campaign

StartSomeGood is one of our favorite crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

StartSomeGood is a great choice for social change initiatives like schools that are in need of some extra help during setup. With their team’s personalized feedback, your organization will receive the advice it needs to make your campaign stand out from the crowd.

15. DoJiggy

The Basics

DoJiggy is an online fundraising platform with a number of revenue-generating solutions including crowdfunding, auctions and raffles, online donations, and e-commerce stores. Their crowdfunding platform allows you to create an online fundraising page, share it with supporters, and securely process donations for your cause.

Standout Features

This crowdfunding website comes equipped with a variety of useful features, and the platform has continued to expand its online functionality. Now, their crowdfunding solution can leverage live stream integrations, text-to-donate features, and more.

Example Campaign

DoJiggy is one of our favorite crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

DoJiggy is a great choice for fundraisers who are looking for a comprehensive, all-in-one virtual fundraising platform. It not only incorporates powerful crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising tools, but their software can also set your team up for success in a variety of other ways as well.

Best Crowdfunding Websites for Startups

16. Crowdfunder

The Basics

Crowdfunder is a UK-based crowdfunding website which aims to help individuals and groups connect with supporters to fund their community projects, businesses, sports teams, personal causes, and charities. Crowdfunder gives fundraisers the ability to raise money via their intuitive and simple crowdfunding site.

Standout Features

This crowdfunding website brands itself as both “people led” and “people driven.” Not only do they provide a powerful platform for effective social fundraising, they also offer fundraisers access to their comprehensive coaching and support team.

Example Campaign

Crowdfunder is one of our favorite crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

Crowdfunder is a leader in personal and team crowdfunding that has the software to truly help fundraisers get the support they need. It’s a great pick for UK-based individuals looking for an innovative and effective path to funding.

17. WeFunder

The Basics

Wefunder’s goal is to connect investors with founders and startups they believe in. As they explain on their website, “Everyone has their personal motivations for investing in startups, but ours is to support founders we believe in, pursuing a vision we care about, with a good chance of earning a return should that vision transform into reality.” If you’re looking to fund a startup business, this platform is a great place to start.

Standout Features

Wefunder is the largest business-funding portal based on dollars raised, companies funded, and network of investors. This is due to Wefunder’s focus on understanding the mindset and needs of business founders.

Example Campaign

WeFunder is one of our favorite crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

Wefunder is a great solution for startups looking to turn potential customers into owners with true connections to the business. This site also has the added bonus of being willing to do all the grunt work of fundraising, so you, the founders, can focus on what is important for your business.

18. StartEngine

The Basics

StartEngine is a leading equity crowdfunding platform with an emphasis on venture capital and angel investing. StartEngine’s equity crowdfunding platform, previously known as SeedInvest is now able to offer the option for investors to grow more startup investing access. They’ve helped more than 1,000 startups to raise over $700 million dollars since 2015.

Standout Features

This platform offers a simplified lending and crowdfunding process, pairing eager startups with willing investors to create effective and long-term partnerships. To get started, businesses complete a streamlined application with basic information about their company and finances which is then screened to determine if the business is a good fit for the platform. Upon approval, investors can start funding your business, providing you with the revenue you need to grow and thrive.

Example Campaign

An example of a campaign on StartEngine, a top crowdfunding site.

Final Thoughts

StartEngine boasts a rapidly growing network of personal investors that has recently exceeded 500,000. With the help of investors, they aim to raise $10 billion for companies by 2029.

19. Fundable

The Basics

Fundable’s slogan says it all: “Now anyone can fund your business.” In its first year, this platform generated $80+ million in funding commitments, and the crowdfunding website continues to develop today. To create a campaign, startups choose between the rewards option (funds in exchange for product sales) and the equity option (funding from accredited investors).

Standout Features

One of Fundable’s best features is that they take a hands-on approach. Their team will work with your business to help you better understand fundraising strategies, launch your crowdfunding campaign, and market your company.

Example Campaign

Fundable is one of our favorite crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

Fundable works with thousands of investors who might be the right backers for your up-and-coming business. And once you sign up, their investor database is immediately available for you to browse. It’s an online solution to the funding problem many startups face.

20. Crowdcube

The Basics

Crowdcube is all about making investing accessible, affordable, and rewarding by enabling everyday individuals to invest alongside professionals and venture capital firms. This way, startups, early, and growth-stage businesses can secure funding, and investors can gain a stake in companies they previously wouldn’t have had access to.

Standout Features

With Crowdcube, you receive access to the following features: new investment opportunities added weekly, full pitch pages and videos from startups, the ability to handpick the businesses you want to support, and the option to invest as little as 10 pounds.

Example Campaign

Crowdcube is one of our favorite crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

Crowdcube is a European equity crowdfunding site with the tools startups need to secure funding and the opportunities individual investors are looking for. Its focus is on accessible, affordable, and rewarding investments.

21. iFundWomen

The Basics

iFundWomen is a crowdfunding platform dedicated to helping female entrepreneurs fund their startups, receive coaching, and make connections. This statement on their website summarizes their overall mission: “For women who have big ideas, we’re here to make them happen.”

Standout Features

This platform knows that raising capital can be the most difficult part of the startup process. As such, they work to provide near-immediate access to funding through their online crowdfunding platform as well as small business grants from corporate partners. Not to mention, iFundWomen also offers access to one of the largest communities of female entrepreneurs who are able to learn and grow alongside one another.

Example Campaign

IFundWomen is one of our favorite crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

iFundWomen is one of the best equity crowdfunding websites for women-owned companies looking for sufficient funding to get started. By partnering with this platform, women are able to bring their business visions to life with the help of eager investors looking to fund up-and-coming businesses like theirs.

22. Seedrs

The Basics

Seedrs is an online platform that allows startup businesses to collect necessary funding via an equity crowdfunding model. This UK-based crowdfunding site has raised an approximate £1,117M for more than 1330 investment opportunities since its start in 2012.

Standout Features

Seedrs offers startup businesses and their founders the ability to grow their networks, acquire new customers, and raise critical investment funding. Then, once you complete your campaign, you can receive long-term benefits by joining the Seedrs Alumni Club, with access to exclusive partners, resources, and events!

Example Campaign

Seedrs is one of our favorite crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

A Seedrs campaign follows six easy steps to get started: submit a campaign, create a video and marketing plan, host a private launch, make your campaign public, reach 100% of your target revenue, and then collect your funds.

Best Crowdfunding Websites for Religious Groups

23. GiveSendGo

The Basics

GiveSendGo lets churches and congregations raise money for their religious organization. Whether your project is to fund a mission, pay administrative costs, or cover medical expenses, this crowdfunding platform can handle it all!

Standout Features

While other crowdfunding sites typically take between 4 and 10% of donations, GiveSendGo is 100% free. This crowdfunding website is backed by voluntary donations from supporters, so they don’t need to charge a commission from your hard-earned contributions.

Example Campaign

GiveSendGo is one of our favorite crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

GiveSendGo even gives 10% of the donations they receive to campaigns on their site. They have so much faith in the individuals and organizations that use their crowdfunding website that they support them personally!

24. We Raise

The Basics

The We Raise Foundation helps organizations and individuals raise funds for youth programs, community projects, and other mission-driven activities. These crowdfunding projects can be large or small, ranging from less than $1,000 to more than $50,000, depending on the organizer’s needs. This platform encourages fundraisers with all types of projects to raise money on their site, giving a special focus to those working to free people from violence, poverty, and inequality.

Standout Features

With We Raise, you get to keep all of the money you collect, whether you reach your intended goal or not. We Raise believes that any gift given is useful to your project, so they urge you to keep your funds and put them toward your mission. They even encourage donors to cover donation processing fees themselves so that your project takes 100% of the proceeds!

Example Campaign

We Raise is one of our favorite crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

We Raise empowers its users to share their stories because they find that donors contribute more when they connect with a crowdfunding project’s blog posts, pictures, and videos.

25. WayGiver

The Basics

WayGiver is a Christian crowdfunding website dedicated to providing individuals, churches, and ministries with the tools they need to fund religious causes and overall honor Jesus. Common examples of campaigns on this platform include for mission trips, ministry programs, sabbaticals, service projects, and more.

Standout Features

The crowdfunding process is simple with WayGiver’s intuitive design and easy-to-use platform. To get started, create a free online campaign page and promote it on social media and within your digital network. Then, gifts provided by supporters will be automatically transferred to your bank account, so you can begin funding your need as quickly as possible.

Example Campaign

WayGiver is one of our favorite crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

Because WayGiver is specific to Christian needs and ministry opportunities, this crowdfunding platform offers a fantastic way for fundraisers to connect with like-minded individuals who are eager to support their efforts.

Best Crowdfunding Websites for Rewards-Based Campaigns

26. Bonfire

The Basics

Bonfire combines classic t-shirt sales with the power of modern online fundraising to create a unique crowdfunding experience. Fundraisers can create custom t-shirts in a variety of styles and sell their products on their personal crowdfunding campaign pages. Crowdfunding campaign organizers can even set their own selling price to have full control over their fundraising potential.

Standout Features

Bonfire makes designing high-quality apparel easy for anyone, regardless of your graphic design skill level and tech expertise. You can use their t-shirt builder to create unique designs that represent your cause in mere minutes. To take it a step further, accept additional donations on top of t-shirt sales so everyone can support your cause in whichever way works for them.

Example Campaign

Bonfire is one of our favorite crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

If you want to add a unique twist to your crowdfunding campaign, try starting a Bonfire campaign. You can raise money and awareness for your cause by creating awesome-looking t-shirts for your supporters to wear for years to come.

27. ABC Fundraising

The Basics

ABC Fundraising lets individuals and organizations raise money by selling various products such as candles, popcorn, face masks, and even holiday merchandise. Creating a product fundraising campaign is free and painless because their team does all the heavy-lifting, including designing, creating, and distributing your merchandise.

Standout Features

ABC Fundraising offers a vast array of unique products to sell. Your supporters will never get tired of your fundraisers because there’s always something new to choose from! Plus, tools like their free fundraising thermometers and online storefronts can help boost your campaign and bring in more revenue and new support.

Example Campaign

ABC Fundraising is one of our favorite crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

ABC Fundraising is known for its successful fundraisers hosted by schools and churches, although organizations of all shapes and sizes are welcome to take part. Your supporters will love receiving memorable, branded merchandise while giving to a good cause.

28. Represent

The Basics

Represent offers an intuitive crowdfunding platform for designing and selling t-shirts to raise money for any cause. With a simple startup process and no upfront costs, this site saves you time and money. This rewards-based crowdfunding site has even been recognized by TIME and The Wall Street Journal for their unique and innovative platform.

Standout Features

Represent’s campaigns are remarkably user friendly. In just three steps, you can customize your products, share your fundraising page, and sell merchandise. Then you just need to wait for your products to be shipped. Represent also offers a “no inventory” model which means no financial risk to the fundraiser, along with extensive customer service to help guide users’ campaigns.

Example Campaign

Represent is one of our favorite crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

With Represent, you can track real-time sales analytics so you can see which products are the most popular and successful.

Best Crowdfunding Websites for Creative Projects

29. Kickstarter

The Basics

Kickstarter is one of the most recognizable names in crowdfunding, helping thousands of creative fundraisers earn money for projects related to the arts. Kickstarter does not allow fundraising for charity organizations, and fundraisers cannot offer monetary incentives.

Standout Features

Kickstarter’s platform is designed to help artistic entrepreneurs showcase their story and cause. Kickstarter has even put together a “Creator Handbook” to help guide fundraisers through the crowdfunding process.

Example Campaign

Kickstarter is one of our favorite crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

Kickstarter is a major power player in the creative project fundraising world for a reason—it’s run with creative thinkers and innovators in mind! Just remember that they practice the “All or Nothing” method, meaning if you don’t reach your goal, you don’t keep any of the money you’ve raised.

30. Indiegogo

The Basics

Indiegogo is a crowdfunding platform for creative individuals with great ideas. Fundraisers first create a “Coming Soon” page to promote their campaign. Once they’ve generated enough engagement around their idea, they can start raising money for it. After the project has been successfully funded, the organizer can sell their product in the Indiegogo marketplace.

Standout Features

Indiegogo offers two different crowdfunding models: flexible funding and fixed funding. The flexible model allows fundraisers to keep whatever they raise, regardless of whether they hit their goal or not. The fixed model is a bit more risky and only lets fundraisers cash out if they meet their goal by a certain deadline.

Example Campaign

Indiegogo is one of our favorite crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

Indiegogo is one of the leading crowdfunding platforms for creative projects. They also have a separate platform, Generosity, that can be used to raise money for charitable causes and events.

31. Pozible

The Basics

Pozible uses its global reach to crowdfund for various creative endeavors. From comic books and plays to art exhibits and films, Pozible helps individuals raise money for the artistic and creative projects they care about.

Standout Features

Pozible follows an “All or Nothing” crowdfunding model, which they frame as a plus for their fundraisers. Their website states that, “We believe creators know the most about what it will take to make their project a reality, and only receiving a fraction of their target amount is not going to be enough for them to be able to complete their project.” By having to set a realistic target, fundraisers only have to complete their project if they are successful in receiving sufficient financial support.

Example Campaign

Pozible is one of our favorite crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

With fundraisers in more than 100 countries, Pozible is a smart global crowdfunding platform for creative individuals. If you need help funding a creative or artistic project, look to Pozible for help!

32. Patreon

The Basics

Patreon is a unique subscription-based crowdfunding website which brands itself as “the best way for artists and creators to get sustainable income and connections.” By offering bronze, silver, and gold tiers of memberships, supporters can choose the amount they give monthly based on the perks and incentives offered at each level.

Standout Features

Patreon provides an easy-to-use platform for fundraisers of all shapes and sizes, including podcasters, musicians, visual artists, nonprofits, and local businesses. Creators can sell varying levels of membership to their top levels of supporters, who in turn receive exclusive content and behind-the-scenes insights.

Example Campaign

Patreon is one of our favorite crowdfunding websites.

Final Thoughts

Patreon’s crowdfunding model looks a bit different than that of a typical crowdfunding platform, relying on monthly membership fees to sustain creators and fund their work. This way, creators and fundraisers are able to receive a recurring stream of income, rather than one-time gifts.

Crowdfunding Websites: Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding offers numerous benefits by providing an efficient and effective way to build capital. Around $17.2 billion dollars in crowdfunding money is raised annually in North America! For startups, crowdfunding offers an opportunity to get their ideas up and running quickly without a financial ceiling.

For nonprofits, crowdfunding places your organization in the spotlight and gives it a meaningful opportunity to market your mission. Whether you plan on using it to power your capital campaigns, awareness days, or disaster relief efforts, it’s an incredibly powerful resource to boost your revenue.

How can I use crowdfunding?

There are several ways you can use crowdfunding, here a few examples:

The opportunities are endless, just be sure to add relatable stories and engaging images to capture your campaign and inspire donors to give.

What should I look for in a crowdfunding site?

Of course, your crowdfunding website needs will depend on your cause and organization. However, there are a couple of key features you should consider:

  • Donor experience. Look for a platform that makes the donation process easy with a secure payment processing system and enables repeat donations.
  • Usability. Your crowdfunding website should include intuitive design tools, tracking tools, and other easy customization options.
  • Integrations. From email to website and social media, make sure your chosen platform can easily integrate with other marketing channels to reach more supporters.
  • Engagement tools. Find a platform that enables you to easily update supporters and let them know your latest campaign news.
  • Multimedia support. Double check you can upload images, videos, and other media hassle-free to enhance your page and make it your own.

Crowdfunding Websites: Conclusion

Whether you’re in the market for a creative breakthrough or educational leg-up, crowdfunding websites can support your efforts. Start your selection process by finalizing your campaign goals, researching your budget, and comparing your options.

Consider looking into other third-party reviews to solidify your choice’s reputation, track record, and fee structure. This way, you can be sure you’ve selected the right one for your project.

For more ideas and tips to inspire your fundraising, check out these additional resources:

Click here to start your crowdfunding campaign with Fundly

The article's title, "Top Community Service Ideas [with Examples!]," beside three volunteers planting and watering trees.

145+ Community Service Ideas [with Examples!]

What Is Community Service?

Community service has many definitions, but the general gist is that it is unpaid work performed by a person or group of people to benefit others. It’s typically organized by a larger organization such as a nonprofit, and people usually perform community service in the area where they live, allowing them to give back and help their local community.

The goal of community service is to help people or places in need and it doesn’t have to be a large planned event (though it can be). For example, you could drive senior citizens to doctor’s appointments or you could pick up litter from a local park.

It’s important to note that community service is not the same as volunteering. While very similar, volunteering is completely voluntary, whereas community service is sometimes compulsory. For example, some high schools may require students to perform a certain number of hours of community service to graduate.

What Makes a Great Community Service Project?

If you’re thinking of hosting a community service project, you need to understand what makes a service idea great. Your community service project should be:

A visual depiction of the elements that make a community service idea great.

  • Relevant: For example, if your neighborhood doesn’t have any green spaces, a park litter cleanup project isn’t very relevant. However, you can make this idea relevant by asking participants to pick up trash from sidewalks and parking lots instead. If you’re organizing a community service project on behalf of an organization like a nonprofit, make sure it’s directly related to that organization’s mission.
  • Meaningful: If you want people to volunteer and participate in any activity, it should be something that they’re interested in and care about. The same is true for community service projects. Choose an idea that’s meaningful to your community members so that they’ll be excited to help out. For example, if you have several young kids in your neighborhood, you might decide to host a youth sports camp that engages them and gives their families a break.
  • Necessary: Ideally, your idea should address a real need in the community and allow participants to make a difference. There are always people, businesses, and causes that require help. For example, if the public school has been wanting to replace their old playground equipment, you could start a crowdfunding campaign and ask for donations.
  • Engaging. Not all community service projects are fun, and that’s normal—after all, helping others isn’t always easy. However, the best community service ideas are engaging and fulfill a real need, as those are the ones that people want to participate in where they can experience a sense of purpose.

Although these are the main four components of a great community service project, we can’t overlook the importance of being well-organized. If you want to host a project of your own, you need to establish a team dedicated to it and map out all the details, including when and where the project will take place. Then, you can provide this information to potential community service participants, ensuring that they know everything they need about your project upfront.

Who Can Participate in Community Service?

Almost anyone can participate in community service—after all, helping others isn’t limited to any particular group. However, when your organization considers which programs to implement, you’ll need to consider what groups of people those projects would most appeal to.

For example, a community service project where participants donate new or used baby clothes and baby supplies would probably attract families with young children. This is great if you know there are many parents in need in your community, if not then it’s time to brainstorm other opportunities.

As you read through all of our community service ideas below, keep in mind which groups of people would be most interested in them. Ask yourself, does this align with my community’s interests and does it fulfill a relevant need? The answer to that question will help you determine if that’s a good community service idea for your unique community.

Crowdfunding: The #1 Community Service Idea
General Ideas Ideas to Address Housing or Food Insecurity
Ideas to Help Schools and Kids Ideas to Reduce Crime or Improve Safety
Ideas to Help Senior Citizens Ideas to Help People with Special Needs
Ideas to Help Animals and the Environment Ideas for Community Improvement

Crowdfunding: The #1 Community Service Idea

Crowdfunding is a method of fundraising that allows individuals to raise money by reaching out and asking for donations from their friends, family, acquaintances, and broader network.

With crowdfunding, individuals and organizations can quickly set up an online donation page through a platform and secure funding for a range of causes: special projects, financial expenses, charity, events, and more.

Why Is Crowdfunding Our #1 Community Service Idea?

Crowdfunding is our top community service idea because it is quick, easy, and effective. In a matter of minutes, you can have your campaign page up and running and raising money for your cause.

Whether you want to fund a program to help the elderly or need money to build a playground, crowdfunding is a great model to get you the money you need for your community service project.

Successful crowdfunding campaigns are built around community, just like your service project is going to be.

Click through to start a free Fundly fundraiser and start accepting donations online for your cause.

General Community Service Ideas

  • Participate in a charity walk or run
  • Clean up your local park or playground
  • Volunteer at a local nonprofit
  • Plant trees, flowers, or other plants
  • Organize a clothing drive
  • Volunteer at your local library
  • Participate in a national giving or remembrance day
  • Repair broken household items or appliances for neighbors
  • Ask for charitable donations instead of birthday or Christmas gifts
  • Write and send letters to soldiers and veterans
  • Host a fundraising event and donate the money
  • Adopt a stretch of highway and clean it regularly
  • Teach classes for a skill you have
  • Babysit for local families

How to Incorporate Crowdfunding

Some community service ideas require more than hard work and dedication.

Sometimes, you need to raise money to see your community service project through to completion.

If that’s the case, you should set up a crowdfunding campaign to supplement your community service efforts. Crowdfunding campaigns are easy to set up, and you can start raising money from your friends and family members almost instantly.

All you have to do is tell your story, upload photos, and videos, and share the campaign on social media and via email. Consider expanding your campaign to include direct mail as well to truly reach the largest audience possible. By partnering with a direct mail provider like GivingMail, you can jumpstart your crowdfunding campaign through personal letters to each and every one of your supporters without any of the hassle.

It’s that simple!

Example Crowdfunding Campaign for General Community Service

This campaign is the Dalat Junior Class of 2019’s Servathon. It is designed to raise money so that the class has the funding to participate in a servathon and support the community outside their school’s walls.

Here's a successful crowdfunding campaign for a general community service idea.

This community service project was successful because they reached their $7,500 goal with time to spare. The students running the campaign were able to make that goal because they were straightforward and transparent about why they needed the funding and how it would be used.

Community Service Ideas to Help Schools and Kids

  • Hold an egg hunt for school kids
  • Start a coat drive
  • Host a book party for kids in your neighborhood
  • Help teach a child to read
  • Help walk kids home from school
  • Offer tutoring services
  • Host an after-school program
  • Take a child Christmas shopping
  • Coach a youth sports team
  • Become a field trip chaperone
  • Start up a pen pal program for kids
  • Donate baby clothes and supplies
  • Teach kids a valuable life skill
  • Teach a child how to play an instrument
  • Volunteer at a youth shelter
  • Become a teen counselor
  • Become a field trip chaperone
  • Create a summer reading program
  • Donate used books to a children’s library
  • Join a group like Big Brothers, Big Sisters
  • Knit caps or scarfs for babies or children
  • Donate stuffed animals to kids in hospitals
  • Help build a playground for disabled children
  • Do demonstrations about health and exercise at schools
  • Donate your used electronics to a school
  • Organize a safe Halloween outing for kids in your neighborhood

How to Incorporate Crowdfunding

Whether you’re trying to improve your local after-school program or want to start teaching kids a valuable life skill, you’ll likely need money to help fund your endeavors.

Many community service ideas that help children, babies, and schools are much more effective when you get your friends, family, and community members on board with your idea! 

One of the easiest ways to recruit others to help you with your community service project is to set up a crowdfunding campaign and ask people for donations.

Your crowdfunding campaign can serve as the hub of your community service project; you can use it to upload photos and videos of your progress and write updates about how your project is coming along. 

Not only will your friends and family members enjoy seeing how you’re improving the lives of kids, but they can also support your efforts with monetary donations and words of encouragement!

Example Crowdfunding Campaign for Schools and Kids

This campaign was designed to benefit the TandemED program. It’s called “Communities at the Lead of Youth Education,” and its goal is to help fund the TandemED program that “supports local communities to self-design and deliver educational content that will instill youth with purpose and motivation as they engage in learning in public schools.

Here's a great crowdfunding campaign designed around community service targeting kids and schools.

This community service project is professional, targeted, and managed to raise more than double their goal for a program that helps both kids and schools.

Community Service Ideas to Help Senior Citizens

  • Take flowers to nursing home residents
  • Offer to pick up a neighbor’s medicine
  • Help elderly neighbors with chores
  • Offer to write letters for a senior
  • Cook a meal for a senior
  • Deliver cookies or snacks to elderly neighbors
  • Decorate doors at a nursing home for the holidays
  • Organize a senior citizen “field trip”
  • Host a holiday meal at a nursing home
  • Be “Santa” to a senior
  • Do a musical performance at a nursing home
  • Organize a “Senior Prom” at a nursing home
  • Start a grocery delivery service for the elderly
  • Organize a senior garden
  • Host regular game nights at a nursing home
  • Hold a clothing or food drive for a nursing home
  • Do a “Skills Swap” with an elderly neighbor
  • Help a senior citizen with a genealogy project
  • Teach an elderly person a card game or trick
  • Make quilts or blankets for senior citizens
  • Teach an elderly neighbor computer skills
  • Honor elderly veterans on Memorial and Veterans Day
  • Help senior citizens find companion animals
  • Help a senior citizen renovate their home
  • Adopt a grandparent
  • Start a walking or exercise program for seniors

How to Incorporate Crowdfunding

There are tons of community service ideas to help senior citizens in your area. But some of them require a bit more work than others.

If you’re planning a more involved community service project to serve the elderly in your community, you should set up a crowdfunding campaign page to supplement your service efforts!

When you center your community service project around a crowdfunding campaign, you can raise money and awareness at the same time.

A crowdfunding page can help you rally others around your undertaking and keep them updated about the progress of your project.

Your friends and family members can demonstrate their support of your community service idea by making a donation or posting a comment on your crowdfunding campaign’s wall.

Example Crowdfunding Campaign for Senior Citizens

This is a crowdfunding campaign designed to raise money for a senior citizen in the West Palm Beach community. Karen, the recipient of the funds, had to undergo multiple surgeries on her leg and didn’t have the funds to cover her care.

Here's a great community service project designed to benefit a senior citizen.

Smartly, this campaign’s organizer focused on Karen’s contributions to the community and what an impact she had made when she was healthy. That technique worked and enabled the campaign to exceed its goal, raising a total of $27,640.

Community Service Ideas to Help Animals and the Environment

  • Volunteer at an animal shelter
  • Plant trees in a local park
  • Raise money for retired police dogs
  • Clean up a stretch of highway
  • Offer a dog-walking service
  • Organize a riverbed or stream cleanup
  • Organize a spay and neuter program
  • Set up and maintain a butterfly garden
  • Sponsor an animal in your city’s zoo
  • Help train service dogs
  • Host a Puppy Day at a school
  • Adopt an acre of a forest or park
  • Build birdhouses for your neighborhood
  • Host an Earth Day event
  • Host an equine skills clinic
  • Spruce up a park trail or hiking area
  • Raise money for a local animal shelter
  • Bike to work or school
  • Encourage and promote conservationism
  • Create eco-friendly policies at home, work, or school
  • Foster dogs and cats that don’t have homes
  • Make purses and jewelry out of recycled materials
  • Collect pet food and supplies for a shelter
  • Get involved in local conservation activities
  • Volunteer at a local national or state park

How to Incorporate Crowdfunding

Are you planning a community service project to help animals or the environment? Did you know that you can use crowdfunding to supplement your charitable efforts?

In fact, crowdfunding is one of the best ways to raise money for your animal-related or environmental community service idea!

First, you’ll need to set up a crowdfunding page. Most crowdfunding platforms, like GoFundMe, require that you upload a few images and write a description that outlines why you’re raising money.

Then, you can share the crowdfunding campaign with your friends and family members via social media and email. The more you share your fundraiser with others, the more likely they’ll be to donate to your community service project.

Whether you’re trying to help out a local animal shelter or want to adopt a highway, you can use crowdfunding to give your community service ideas a boost!

Example Crowdfunding Campaign for Animals

This animal-based community service project popped up after the devastation brought on by Harvey. It’s a fundraiser to raise the money necessary to transport shelter animals out of Houston and into safe shelters.

Check out this community service fundraiser for animals and the environment.

This project succeeded because it is tied into the work of an established animal rescue, and the organizer was highly detailed and specific about exactly what needed to be accomplished.Click through to start a free Fundly fundraiser and start accepting donations online for your cause.

Community Service Ideas to Address Housing or Food Insecurity

  • Collect household items for a homeless family
  • Volunteer at and donate to your local food bank
  • Volunteer with a charity like Habitat for Humanity
  • Organize a health fair that offers free checkups
  • Give grocery coupons to a local food bank
  • Host a holiday meal for those without a home
  • Create care packages with essential items
  • Host free resume workshops for homeless job seekers
  • Donate toys and school supplies to a homeless shelter
  • Create portable first aid kits for the homeless
  • Organize a coat and mitten drive
  • Donate gently used clothing and shoes
  • Donate blankets to a homeless shelter
  • Spend time at a soup kitchen

How to Incorporate Crowdfunding

If you’re organizing a community service effort to help individuals and families who are homeless or hungry, you might discover that you need some extra funds to help you pay for your project.

You can set up a crowdfunding campaign and ask for donations from your friends, family members, and people in your community! Crowdfunding is one of the quickest and easiest ways to raise money for a community service project.

Simply set up an account, upload images and videos, write a description that explains why you’re raising money, and share your page via social media and email. It’s that easy!

Example Crowdfunding Campaign to Address Housing or Food Insecurity

This crowdfunding campaign is tied into the Christmas event hosted by Swords to Plowshares. The event is a night where homeless veterans are able to come and receive a warm meal, as well as a backpack filled with gear to help them endure the cold winter months.

See how this community service project helped feed the homeless.

“Cold Nights, Warm Hearts” did a great job of including compelling images that put community and service first. Its “More Info” section was also filled with helpful information that surely inspired a number of donors to contribute to their $11,615 fundraising total.

Community Service Ideas to Reduce Crime or Improve Safety

  • Teach kids about safety and first aid
  • Volunteer as a lifeguard
  • Volunteer at or donate to a battered women or youth shelter
  • Become CPR certified
  • Volunteer at a fire station
  • Join an organization like DARE
  • Teach self-defense lessons
  • Paint over graffiti in your neighborhood
  • Host seminars about drug and alcohol use
  • Help develop safety procedures for schools
  • Volunteer to be a crossing guard at a school
  • Help teach safe driving by becoming a driver’s ed instructor
  • Become part of your neighborhood watch group
  • Start a violence protection group in your community

How to Incorporate Crowdfunding

If your community service idea is focused on reducing crime and promoting safety in your local neighborhood, you may find that you need more help to accomplish your goals.

For instance, you might want to help renovate a battered women’s shelter in your area, but you don’t have enough funds to finish the project.

Crowdfunding can help! Set up a crowdfunding campaign, tell your story, add visuals, and share it with your friends and family members to raise money and awareness for your community service project.

You can also use your crowdfunding page to keep people in the loop about your project’s progress.

Example Crowdfunding Campaign to Reduce Crime

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Police Department coordinated a fundraiser leading up to the annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” charity walk that is geared around raising awareness of and preventing sexual assault.

Check out this community service campaign to reduce crime.

The organizer of this campaign more than doubled his campaign goal by foregrounding the cause, preventing sexual assault and domestic violence, above all else.

Community Service Ideas to Help People with Special Needs

  • Host free reading sessions at the local library
  • Work with children with special needs on an art project
  • Volunteer with a local care center
  • Hold a crayon and marker drive
  • Volunteer with the Special Olympics
  • Collect school supplies for special needs classrooms
  • Volunteer with a Hippotherapy program
  • Help make sure your neighborhood is handicap accessible
  • Create materials to teach people in your community about respecting and supporting those with special needs
  • Raise money to donate to a care center in your community
  • Set up a buddy program through the special needs program at the school
  • Set up a library at the local children’s hospital

How to Incorporate Crowdfunding

If your community service idea is based around serving individuals with special needs, there’s a good chance a portion of your project will involve raising money.

For example, you might want to volunteer with the Special Olympics athletes but also need money to travel to the competitions.

Crowdfunding will help with your fundraising needs! Design a campaign around the individuals you’re serving, and emphasize exactly what the money will accomplish.

Make sure your campaign features compelling copy and visuals and is promoted heavily, and you’ll be in good shape!

Example Crowdfunding Campaign for People with Special Needs

“A Ray of Hope” is a fundraiser organized by Lee Morgan in order to fund the construction of an educational and therapy center for special needs children in Tiruvannamalai, India.

A Ray of Hope is well on its way to its massive crowdfunding community service project goal.

This project has succeeded and will continue to succeed for a number of reasons, including: updates with photos, a well-written description, customized giving levels, and a worthwhile cause at its core.

Community Service Ideas for Community Improvement

  • Get speed bumps added to residential streets
  • Pick up trash around the neighborhood
  • Assist with home painting
  • Start a community garden
  • Work with neighbors on modest home repair
  • Raise money to build a playground
  • Offer a lawn mowing service
  • Collect supplies for families who have lost their homes in fires
  • Teach a class at the community center
  • Rake leaves in the fall
  • Campaign for more bike lanes and sidewalks
  • Join your neighborhood watch group
  • Reach out to local government about lighting streets better
  • Help people clean their gutters

How to Incorporate Crowdfunding

If you’re looking to organize a community service project around bettering your neighborhood, it is likely that you’re going to need to raise money. Simply put, more community improvement projects require funding.

Crowdfunding can get you the money you need. You can leverage your online fundraising page to reach members of your community who would have otherwise never known about your project. 

For instance, you might be looking to launch a community garden in your local park. While it will eventually sustain itself, you’ll need the initial investment of funds to prepare the land and plant the seeds.

With a successful crowdfunding campaign, you can get the money you need and more.

Example Crowdfunding Campaign for Neighborhood Betterment

The “Neighbors Helping Neighbors Garden” was a simple project designed to raise $150 and build a fence around the garden.

This low-stakes campaign was all that was needed to fulfill this neighborhood's community service needs.

This campaign proves that projects don’t have to have massive goals to be considered a success. The organizer smartly created a campaign that would meet her community service needs and was able to reach her goal with just four donations.

Additional Resources

Click through to launch a Fundly fundraiser with no startup or hidden fees and collect online donations for your cause.

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