18 New Fundraising Ideas for 2018

It’s a new year, with new challenges and opportunities to increase fundraising goals and create memorable events.

Turn a fresh eye towards event planning with these eighteen fundraising themes for 2018.

Go on a Treasure Hunt

Treasure hunts are always popular with people of all ages, because they’re exciting and interactive. Map out a fun night of giving by providing cryptic clues that take donors around your neighborhood or venue; ultimately solving the puzzle and winning prizes. Based on the Hidden City game, this theme also offers a multitude of ways for corporate sponsors to get involved.

Wacky Runs

Hold a freestyle run where participants are encouraged to express their inner weirdness by running in costumes. Make it a theme; fairy tale, animals, teddy bears—the possibilities are unlimited! Lead runners through your city with places mapped out to dance, hop or freestyle their way pass landmarks.

Strangest Things

Take guests on a trip into the world of the hit show Stranger Things. Divide the venue into two environments; the 1980s and the world of Upside Down. Play all those great 80s tunes, decorate with neon colors and set up video games that will remind guests of an arcade. But watch out—a tunnel leads to the world of Upside Down, where anything goes!

Pamper Your Guests

Provide guests with something a treat that will leave them feeling refreshed and happy.  Pretty Pampers Beauty Essex offers great examples of successful spa day events for small groups of men and women.

Paint the Town Red

Invite artists, known and unknown, to a “paint jam” where they can show off their skills on canvases, large and small. Decorate the room as a cityscape and let your guests put their graffiti all around the room and feature art from celebrity artists in your silent auction.

Get the Blood Pumping

Getting the body moving is good for everyone, making it a great theme for your next event. Perfect for health-related organizations, you can invite trainers and instructors in to lead classes for all levels of health. Prepare a menu filled with super foods and thank your donors with a few new ideas on how they can get healthy.

Splish, Splash

Let your guests enjoy their childhood once again with a splash party. Rent out a water park or aquatics center and hire lifeguards, then plan your activities around structured and unstructured pool games. This is a great summer theme for families.

Pop Up Power

Pop up activities are becoming more and more popular and event planners have taken notice of the trend. Paint and craft parties, yoga studios, a climbing wall, food and drink tastings, and many other experiences offer guests a variety of activities to enjoy.

Shrink Down for a Big Impact

Let the beauty of nature be the backdrop to your next event by hosting an oversized garden themed program. Guests will feel as thought they’ve shrunk down to bug size in a room filled with large blooms and fresh scents.

The Amazing World of Science

Host an event that provides more insight into the all the amazing innovations and discoveries that are shaping our world of tomorrow. Set up experiments for guests and invite local experts to the event for demonstrations. This is a perfect event for families and millennials who are interested in learning about recent scientific achievements.

Food Art Installations

Art and food; the perfect combination for a night that will set your senses reeling. From small, perfectly plated dishes, to large artistic installations, your event will have your guests drooling for another opportunity to give.

Time Travel

Donors love event themes that transport them into the past, but this year take them further into history with a theme that focuses on a defining moment in history. Invite people to a fall harvest dinner that features ingredients enjoyed at the first Thanksgiving; or bring people to a country airfield for wine tasting and rides in a vintage bi-plane to celebrate the first steps into air travel.

Fire and Ice Fantasy

Creating an event around the theme of fire and ice provides ample opportunity to bring high drama to your fundraising gala. Ice sculptures and firelight (include a fire marshal in your plan) will create an amazing atmosphere and the foundation for interesting program features, including the menu. (Campfire cuisine, anyone?)

Professionally Prepared Home Cooked Meals

Offer a dinner series that invites donors to beautiful homes for a delicious meal prepared by a professional chef. This type of fundraising can be run throughout the year and carry a new theme each time. From beach picnic to traditional ethnic dishes, this series will bring back culinary fans for a second serving of fundraising.

In a Universe Far, Far Away

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel through space? Make it happen for your guests with a fun space themed event. An adult-sized inflated house is a good way to defy gravity, or book an indoor skydiving facility as your venue and let guests take off in flight.

A Trip Around the World

Go globetrotting with a Jules Verne inspired trip around the world. Prepare a program with talent and décor from a few select countries, offer photos in a faux hot air balloon or vintage car and let your guests travel to all four corners of the room in a matter of hours. Tie this theme to a project that has a specific end date by switching out the number of days to the program’s “Around the World in 80 Days” title.

Your Chance to Win

Step right up for your chance to reach your fundraising goals with a game themed night of fun! Recreate fan favorites like Wheel of Fortune or Candy Land and your guests will be lining up to see how far their luck will take them. Invite Sponsors to supply prizes at each game.

In the News Playground Play

Don’t leave the fun on the playground! Set up adult-sized, child approved playground equipment and invite your guests to let their inner child run wild. Swings, slides, and merry-go-rounds will provide a fun trip back to childhood. This is a great event theme for children’s charities.  

This year, plan an event that will make attending a must for your donors. As word spreads through your community, your fundraising goals will soar right along with it!

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