11 Perfect Spring Fundraising Ideas (With Spunk!)

Jeff Gordy

Are you looking for school or spring fundraising ideas? Check out these 30 incredible ideas!

The birds are chirping, flowers are beginning to stretch out of the soil, and the last remains of the winter cold are fading.

It’s spring! The season of rejuvenation!

It’s likely that your nonprofit needs a bit of rejuvenation, too. After all, the steady influx of donations that usually flood nonprofits during the end of the year have probably slowed. Not to mention, you surely gained plenty of new donors during year-end giving.

Spring is the perfect time in your annual giving strategy to engage your donors, old and new alike, with a fundraising campaign! 

That’s why we’re listing the 11 most profitable spring fundraising ideas that your donors will love.

Here are our top picks:

  1. Online Donation Forms
  2. Custom T-Shirt Fundraising
  3. Matching Gifts
  4. Mobile Giving
  5. Spring Fundraising Events
  6. Spring-Themed Products
  7. Donor Data Cleaning
  8. Spring Postcard Campaign
  9. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising
  10. Major Donor Garden Party
  11. Silent Auction

Now, let’s get started with the first!

Online donation forms are great spring fundraising ideas.

1. Online Donation Forms

What’s the idea?

It’s important that your website stays relevant and up-to-date so that you can keep your donors engaged. This is especially true regarding your online donation forms, because donors are more likely to give if your donation page is appealing and user-friendly.

Effective online donation forms can serve as the basis of multiple fundraising campaigns. Not only can you use it collect annual fund donations, but you can also create forms for specific spring fundraising campaigns.

On the flip side, an ineffective, confusing, or tedious donation form process can deter donors from giving in the first place! That’s why it’s important that you take the time this spring to ensure that your online giving process is smooth and streamlined and that your website is well-designed.

How can I execute it?

To evaluate your online donation forms (and your website’s overall design), ensure that it’s:

  • Branded.
  • Easy to Navigate.
  • Cause-centric.
  • Donor-centric.
  • Clear.
  • Visually appealing.

Your nonprofit’s website is the key to your online outreach. It’s not only a means of receiving donations, but it’s also a communication channel that can be used to engage your donors.

The more well-designed your website and donation forms are, the more likely your donors will be to stay on the page.

If you need inspiration, check out these top nonprofit websites or take a look at Neon’s web design services!

Mobile fundraising platforms allow your spring fundraiser to succeed on the go!

Create custom t-shirts for your next spring fundraiser.

2. Custom T-shirt Fundraising

What’s the idea?

When spring comes around, people start shedding their winter coats for weather-friendly attire. The warmer it gets, the shorter the sleeves become — which is why t-shirt fundraising is the perfect fundraiser for the season!

A t-shirt fundraiser is great for a few reasons:

  • T-shirts can be branded. A custom t-shirt is your canvas. Include your nonprofit’s name, logo, and colors on your design. Whenever your donors wear them, they’ll be advertising your nonprofit for you (for free!).
  • They’re affordable. A t-shirt is something that suits all kinds of price ranges. T-shirts can appeal to donors who normally wouldn’t give, and they’re great for supporters who can only afford to give small amounts. Donors who want to give more can also have the option to do so.
  • They’re useful. A t-shirt is something that anyone can wear, whether in their daily lives or at your next fundraising event. Whenever donors wear your t-shirt, they get an instant connection to your cause. As such, they may be more likely to donate again in the future!

How can I execute it?

To start a t-shirt fundraiser, you’ll need to find a company who can handle the shipping or distribution.

With companies like Booster, your nonprofit only pays per product sold, so you’re guaranteed to make a profit, and you won’t end up with leftover t-shirts at the end of the fundraiser.

Custom t-shirts are a perfect spring fundraising idea.

Matching gifts are great spring fundraising ideas.

3. Matching Gifts

What’s the idea?

Matching gifts are an idea that you should build into your overall fundraising strategy, but you can get started this spring to instantly raise more.

In short, matching gifts occur when a donor’s employer matches the donor’s gift to an eligible nonprofit. Gifts are often given on a 1:1 ratio, but sometimes the ratio is even higher.

The point is that a single donor’s gift can be effectively doubled.

Matching gifts are not only super beneficial to your organization (after all, you’re receiving twice as much money), but they can also increase donor retention and open the door to corporate sponsorships.

Think about it: donors who know that the impact of their gifts has been doubled are more likely to feel that they’ve made a real difference for your cause. Plus, the donors who take advantage of matching gifts can become advocates for your cause and reach out to their employers for additional support when your nonprofit needs it.

How Can I Execute It?

Though you can use matching gifts at any point, spring is the perfect opportunity to build a matching gift strategy that can benefit your nonprofit all year ‘round!

The most important aspect of matching gift fundraising is creating awareness.

Many donors will be eligible for matching gifts without realizing it. Or, they may be under the false impression that matching gifts entail a lot of tedious paperwork.

That’s why it’s important to educate your donors on the reality — and the benefits — of matching gifts!

Create a campaign to target matching gift opportunities in your nonprofit by:

  • Advertising matching gifts en mass through emails, social media, and direct mail.
  • Sending targeted matching gift appeals to donors employed with top matching gift companies.
  • Incorporating matching gift tools into your website.

These first two points are self-explanatory and can be executed with your existing communications framework.

However, you might not know what matching gift tools are or how they work. A matching gift tool is embedded in your nonprofit’s website and allows donors to perform a quick search to find out the eligibility of their donations and the process of receiving a matching gift from their employer.

Here’s an example from the ASPCA:

This ASPCA matching gift tool is a fantastic spring fundraising idea.

Mobile giving is a great spring fundraising idea.

4. Mobile Giving

What’s the idea?

Mobile giving is a fundraising strategy that utilizes mobile devices for quick, convenient donations.

If you haven’t integrated mobile giving into your overall strategy, now is the time to do so. After all, mobile giving allows donors to give whenever they want, wherever they want.

The benefits are clear, but we’ll list them out anyway:

  • Donors who prefer to pay with credit cards or who don’t carry cash have an easy way to donate.
  • Donors can give instantly. They can take action whenever they feel inspired by an ad or a live appeal at a fundraising event.
  • Donors are familiar with mobile devices. People use and trust their cell phones for all sorts of things, which can reassure donors about the legitimacy of this giving channel.

How can I execute it?

This is what mobile giving looks like in practice:

  • Mobile responsive donation pages. When a donor pulls up your online donation form, they should be able to easily fill out their payment information without having to resize the screen or zoom in or out. Clicking the “donate” button should be a breeze, or you may deter donors from giving in the first place.
  • Text-to-give campaigns. With text-to-give, donors can simply text a donation amount to your nonprofit’s unique number. Then, they’ll receive a response that asks them to input or verify their information. Donors can then confirm the donation via an email. This fast donation method is great for fundraising events, where supporters can give on the go.
  • Donor apps. Nonprofits and fundraising software providers are developing donor apps that allow supporters to give easily, whenever the fancy strikes them. With some apps, donors can scan their credit cards, which saves them the trouble of manually entering their information.

Depending on your approach, you’ll need to find the appropriate software, like Neon’s:

NeonCRM offers website design services that are a perfect spring fundraising idea.

Spring fundraising events can help your nonprofit raise more.

5. Spring Fundraising Events

What’s the idea?

As the weather warms up, your supporters will start catching spring fever, and with it, the desire to spend some time outdoors.

There are plenty of fundraising event ideas that are great for spring weather, including:

  • March Madness. Though traditionally a basketball tournament, March Madness can be adapted for pleasant outdoor weather. Beach volleyball and soccer tournaments, for example, can get everyone outside and active.
  • Car wash. With spring comes pollen, and with pollen comes a thin layer of yellow powder that seems to cover everything (at least, if you live in one of the greener, more southern states). A car wash is a great fundraiser for the spring season because plenty of people will need to rinse the pollen from their cars.
  • Spring yard sale. When spring cleaning comes around, so do the inevitable garage sales. Capitalize on this phenomenon by asking your supporters to donate their unwanted, gently-used items to your nonprofit’s yard sale instead!

How can I execute it?

No matter what type of event you choose to host, it’s important that you take the necessary steps to plan it.

Here are just a few of the considerations:

  • Where will you host the event?
  • What day and time will the event take place?
  • Who is in charge of planning? Fundraising? Event set up and clean up?
  • How will you raise money?
  • Who is your event audience?
  • What is your marketing strategy?
  • What specific cause will this event support?

As you can see with this short list, planning a spring fundraising event will take a good deal of teamwork and foresight! You can use event planning software to streamline many aspects of planning a fundraising event. To see all of Neon’s event management tools, check out their full feature set!

Neon's event management software can help you plan an event that's successful and engaging.

Spring-themed products are a great spring fundraising idea.

6. Spring-Themed Products

What’s the idea?

Product fundraisers are a great incentive for donors. After all, donors may be more eager to donate if they know they’ll receive something fun in return.

To capitalize on spring fever, your nonprofit can sell seasonal products.

Here are just a few examples of the products that you can sell:

  • Flower bulbs.
  • Seasonal fruits and veggies.
  • Easter candy.
  • Lemonade.

Of course, you can always host a more general product fundraiser, like popcorn. The key is to choose something that suits your donors’ price range and interests.

How can I execute it?

To determine your fundraising product, you can look into your donor data. Checking your donors’ average gift sizes can help you determine a price range for your products.

To start your product fundraiser, you’ll first need to find a provider for your products or buy the materials you need in bulk. For example, Urban Farmer provides all kinds of spring-themed products!

Flower bulb fundraisers are great as a spring fundraising idea.

Donor data cleaning is a great spring fundraising idea.

7. Donor Data Cleaning

What’s the idea?

When nonprofits think of fundraising ideas, they often don’t pay as much attention to all the processes behind the fundraiser.

But one of the best fundraising ideas is cleaning your donor data! Sure, it’s not a fundraiser in and of itself, but doing so sets up your nonprofit for long term success (which is the backbone of any successful fundraiser).

A little spring cleaning goes a long way!

How can I execute it?

Clean your data by:

  • Consolidating duplicate profiles.
  • Removing inactive donors (2 years is a good cut off).
  • Adjusting discrepancies in data.
  • Updating contact information.

Once your data is clean, you’ll know that your communications will be reaching your donors — which means that you won’t be wasting your time and resources on materials that your donors will never see!

Learn more with Neon’s CRM and donor database software:

Neon's donor data platform can help your spring fundraiser.

A spring postcard campaign is a great spring fundraising idea.

8. Spring Postcard Campaign

What’s the idea?

Spring is the perfect season to get in touch with your donors, and postcards are a creative way to do just that!

Nonprofit postcards are appeals or engagements sent in a postcard format, with an impactful, cause-centric image displayed on the front and more detailed information on the back. Postcards can fit a spring break theme, or they can be more general.

Either way, postcards allow you to engage donors. After all, donors who vanished following the year-end giving season may need a little prodding to get active again.

How can I execute it?

A spring postcard campaign allows you to reach your donors without asking them for more donations. All you need to do is design a postcard and invite your donors to “spring” into action by volunteering locally or by signing up for your email newsletter.

If a postcard is too large of an investment, send regular letters or emails instead.

The point is to remind donors that your nonprofit is still actively fighting for the causes that they care about, and you need them to get the job done. The more creative engagements you can send, the more likely your donors will be to read what you have to say.

StockLayouts is a good place to start if you’re looking for postcard templates:

Create postcards for a spring fundraiser!

Peer-to-peer fundraising is an effective spring fundraising idea.

9. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

What’s the idea?

One of the best ways to expand your donor network is to put the fundraising in your supporters’ hands.

Your supporters are passionate about your cause. When they speak about your nonprofit to their friends and family members, they’re doing so from a place of sincerity. These appeals can be far more effective than any marketing campaign your nonprofit creates.

That’s why peer-to-peer fundraising is so impactful; your current donors recruit new donors by telling personal stories and connecting with people organically.

How can I execute it?

You can host a peer-to-peer campaign with peer-to-peer fundraising software.

Next, you’ll need to recruit your most active supporters. Assign them fundraising goals and assist them in the creation of their personal donation pages.

Then, let them take the reigns! It’s important that your nonprofit supports your peer-to-peer campaigners without stifling their voices.

With platforms like Fundly, you can do just that!

Fundly offers a great spring fundraising platform for peer-to-peer fundraising.

A major donor garden party is a wonderful spring fundraising idea.

10. Major Donor Garden Party

What’s the idea?

While galas are great, spring weather can call for a more seasonal event.

Garden parties are the perfect way to maintain a sophisticated ambiance in a more intimate setting. Being outside can create a more casual atmosphere, which can help everyone feel more relaxed. Plus, gardens in full bloom are quite a beautiful sight!

At a major donor garden party, you can speak with your donors face-to-face. Now is the time to learn about who your donors are as people and to build stronger relationships.

Of course, you can and should ask for donations (unless you’re hosting a stewardship party!). But the major focus should be on building sustainable donor relationships that will help you fundraise more in the long-term.

How can I execute it?

Use your extended network to find a suitable venue. Reach out to your board members, your fundraising team, your volunteers — anyone with a stake in your nonprofit’s success is a viable candidate.

Leverage the connections on your team to reduce costs as much as possible. Whether you acquire corporate sponsors to offset the cost of food, or whether a major donor offers their personal garden for your use, the goal is to host an event that won’t put a dent in your fundraising dollars.

Check out events like Hats in the Garden for more inspiration!

A major donor garden party is a profitable spring fundraising idea.

Silent auctions are a perfect spring fundraising idea.

11. Silent auction

What’s the idea?

One of the most effective ways to raise money during your spring fundraiser is with a silent auction.

After all, spring is the time when donors will begin planning summer vacations or preparing for time off with their families. Your auction can capitalize on summer excitement by offering donors prize packages that they can’t resist, such as exotic travel packages, rare concert tickets, or a signed piece of sports equipment.

If these feats seem out-of-reach, fear not! Consignment auction items (like exclusive travel packages) can help you rake in bids without the financial risk. To further offset costs, team up with corporate sponsors and local businesses for in-kind donations.

You can also tie spring-themed packages together. For example, a garden gift basket could include an assortment of seeds, gardening tools, and decorations. Though these baskets aren’t likely to pull in huge bids, they can be popular with auction attendees who don’t want to pay for lavish items, which opens up your event to donors of all income levels!

Looking for auction item ideas? Check out this helpful list of ideas!

How can I execute it?

In a silent auction, items are displayed around the venue, and attendees can bid at their leisure. Your organization will either use bid sheets or mobile bidding technology.

Here’s a quick rundown of the two:

  • Bidsheets. Bidsheets are pieces of paper that are placed next to each auction item. Donors write down their bid amounts manually.
  • Mobile bidding. With mobile bidding, donors can bid right from their smartphones! Silent auction software varies, but strong platforms should provide notifications when donors are outbid, as well as comprehensive silent auction planning features.

No matter what style of bidding you choose, the key is to find items with a high appeal — think rare items or once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

And of course, you’ll need auction software like BidPal’s to pull off your event!

A silent auction is a profitable spring fundraising idea.

Now that we’ve covered these 11 perfect spring fundraising ideas, it’s time to choose the one that’s right for you!

Need more ideas? Check out Booster’s 77+ school fundraising ideas!

Raise more funds for your capital campaign with Neon!

Showing 2 comments
  • kyle johnson

    We are in the process of planning our next family fundraiser right now. It was interesting to learn that creating online donation forms can help you to create a easier way for other people to donate to your cause. I hope this article can help us to reach our goal income through an effective and efficient way.

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