Non School-Based Fundraising Ideas

Schools may be the biggest and most visible consumers on the fundraising landscape, but in reality, they are widely outnumbered by all the non-school groups and individuals who are raising funds to support themselves each year.

There are less than 10,000 schools in Australia with just under 3.9 million students. By comparison over 2.3 million people volunteer in sports every year. Then there are the 750,000 kids who attend formal daycare, the families who attend the 7,500 playgroups plus more than 50,000 registered charities in Australia. Then there are thousands of local dance and martial arts schools, art groups, Scouts and Guides, church groups, animal shelters, home schoolers and other not-for-profit groups who depend on fundraising to keep going. Many of these ideas are also suitable for individuals and families who might be raising money for school excursions, or therapies, equipment and resources.

Many school-based fundraising options simply aren’t suitable for these types of groups, who may be small, geographically disperse or without a permanent physical space.

Here are just some of the fundraising options these non-school groups have:

Fundraising Products

Tea-towels, bags and aprons: use your club logo or a picture drawn by members of your group to decorate tea-towels, aprons or bags. Perfect for celebrating a major event or anniversary.

Dress My Bear: cute stuffed bears wearing a little t-shirt that you can customize with your club logo or pictures from members. Perfect for childcare/playgroups where you can put your child’s drawing on their own bear, or for dance groups where you can design the t-shirt to looks like your costume. Learn more.

Calendars: use photographs or pictures by your members to create an annual calendar. Perfect for art groups, local wildlife/environmental groups, hobby groups. Not yet reviewed.

Zoom Kites: encourage healthy activity with fun kites. Combine with an outdoor event, perfect for Scouts/Guides and sporting groups. Learn more.

Jolly Soles: everyone needs socks. Perfect for childcare centres, charitable organisations (why not run a ‘buy a pair – donate a pair’ campaign) and sporting clubs. Learn more.

Seed Kits: a huge range of seed kits for flowers, vegetables and herbs. Perfect for eco groups, and playgroups. Learn more.

Food Drives

Cadbury Chocolate Fundraising: a staple of the fundraising landscape, Cadbury chocolate needs no more explanation. Perfect for sports groups, charities and anyone willing to door knock. Learn more.

Frozen Cookie Dough: popular yet unusual, sell flavours of frozen cookie dough in tubs. Perfect for groups with access to a physical location (for distribution) such as sporting clubs, daycares and dance/martial arts groups. Learn more.

Krispy Kreme donuts: make friends and a profit by selling boxes of these iconic donuts. Suitable for community and NFP groups. Learn more.

Heather Brae Treats: sell boxes of cookies. Perfect in the lead-up to Christmas and Mothers Day. Learn more.

Rocky Road: with a variety of flavours, these small treats are perfect for fundraising drives in the lead-up to Easter and Christmas. Learn more.

Other fundraising products and services

Producing a recipe book: perfect for community-building, having members contribute to a recipe books is a great way to raise funds and build connections. Suitable for playgroups and daycares, community groups, sporting clubs and charities. Learn more.

My School Years Journal: this sweet book is perfect for pre-school groups such as Playgroups and daycares, as it makes a great fundraiser just before kids start school. Learn more.

Badges: design special badges with your club logo or let members design their own. Perfect for all groups with access to an event (fete/market etc). Learn more.

Scratch’n’help books: you don’t even need to sell anything – ask people to scratch the card and donate the money amount showing. Perfect for all groups with access to an event (fete/market etc) or those willing to stand around in public places. Learn more.

Raffles: have a raffle organized on your behalf where the prize is an international holiday. Perfect for daycares, sporting groups and dance schools with large memberships. Not yet reviewed. Learn more.

GoFundMe: individuals, families and small groups can reach out to donors using the crowdfunding platform, with little more than their story and the kindness of strangers. Learn more.

Passive Fundraisers

Cashback fundraising: there are a number of options where members online shopping results in donations to your cause. Perfect for large groups where members might rarely interact or for groups without a physical base but a good digital community. Learn more.

Affiliate marketing: is similar to cashback fundraising, but you do all the work to create the relationships with businesses and you keep all the profit. Perfect for group where you have a website and strong online community. Learn more.


Disco Bingo: instead of using balls like traditional bingo, this fun event uses grabs of popular music from the 70s to today. Can be hosted or DIY. Perfect for all groups. Learn more.

Bogan Bingo: hosted bingo night that is not for the faint hearted. Crude and hilarious, this is perfect for all groups. Learn more.

Poker Night: another adults only event, this is perfect for sporting clubs. Learn more.

Sizzler Cheese Toast: eligible for NFP groups in certain areas, Sizzler will bring along a stall and make cheese toast for your event. Learn more.

Bunnings or Woolies Sausage Sizzle: big profits for all NFP community groups in areas where the local stores host weekend BBQs. You are required to have official NFP status with public liability insurance, but not necessarily a registered charity. Learn more.

DIY Fundraisers

Cake Stalls: whether you are hosting an open day, celebrating the launch of a new show, or have booked a stall at the local market, cake stalls are perfect for groups with plenty of members willing and able to bake a cake (those for those who can’t cook – click here). Learn more.

Garage Sales: perfect for individuals, families or groups with access to a physical space or simply book a stall at your nearest weekend swap meet. Learn more.

Car Boot Sales: requires access to a large space where cars can park such as a carpark or oval, making it perfect for sporting clubs. Learn more.

Raffles: a themed raffle hamper is always a winner, perfect for groups with a central location that everyone will see the hamper as they arrive. Learn more.

Tin-shaking: it’s old-school but simply standing with a tin and asking people to donate their spare change works for many groups under the right circumstances. Check with local legislation first.

Quiz Night: a Quiz Night can be themed to suit your group’s focus, such as sporting trivia for clubs or music trivia for choirs and music groups. Suitable for small groups who want to fundraise in their wider community. Learn more.

Author: Shannon Meyerkort

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