9 Unconventional and Extraordinary Fundraising Ideas to Inspire Your Supporters

September 17, 2019 Brian Isaac

Supporter-driven fundraising is becoming more and more commonplace as charities and non-profit organisations discover the statistics around traditional event fundraising.

The truth? Traditional events simply aren’t performing as well as they used to.

Traditional event fundraising participation is declining by 3% year over year globally, and organisations are incorporating additional avenues to raise much-needed funds.

One of these avenues is DIY Fundraising. DIY Fundraising caters to the fact that supporters in 2019 are motivated, self-driven, and want to support your cause in a way they choose themselves.

Because the fundraiser gets to create their own fundraising activity, DIY fundraising campaigns are always unique, empowering, and sometimes even extraordinary!

One of the best parts about this type of fundraising is that, due to the extra motivation of DIY fundraisers, it generates an average of 2.5x the donations and donation revenue of traditional event fundraising.

This winter is a perfect time to encourage supporters to raise: here’s why

As the season changes into winter, it’s an excellent time to get outside and try something new.

School holidays are coming up again, and many school-goers will end up with extra time on their hands. Why not give them a way to support a cause they care about outside of the annual running events?

In addition to starting a DIY program, it’s especially important that your community has a place to find inspiration. Keep in mind that you can find supporter story highlights on our Wonderwall!

Let’s first look at four unusual and inspiring fundraising campaigns your supporters can use to spark their own creativity.

Unconventional Fundraising Ideas for 2019

“I occasionally have rather quirky ideas…this was definitely one of them!”
-Ben O’Brien, Everydayhero fundraiser

Supporter-driven fundraising campaigns can range from the simple to the extraordinary, and everywhere in between. Check out how these fundraisers have tapped into their unique skills and creativity to support the organisations they’re passionate about.

Sylvia Jeffreys’ TODAY Show Karaoke Challenge

In 2018, Sylvia Jeffreys challenged herself and her supporters to raise $10,000 for Youngcare, helping high-needs young people acquire suitable housing. She reached her goal soon after she began, and went on to perform the 80’s classic “Total Eclipse of the Heart” live in front of a national TODAY Show audience!

Sylvia wowed the crowd with her charitable singing of the Bonnie Tyler classic

Mykey inspired others through his fruit-themed hairstyles

Mykey O’Halloran is a testament to how all of us can lend a helping hand (or head) in many different ways.

After losing his cousin Meaghan to addiction in 2008, Mykey continued her legacy of giving by starting an Everydayhero page in support of children’s charity Make-A-Wish. Through his fruity fundraiser, he took donor requests and changed his hairstyle according to his supporters’ votes.

Mykey and his multi-coloured hairstyles! Which one’s your favourite? We like the strawberry.

“Wax for a Wish” – a ripper of a campaign

Ian Azzopardi is one brave bloke. After a winning streak at his Office Olympics, he was nominated by his colleagues to wax his legs in support of Make-A-Wish!

After completing the challenge, Ian stated that his pain is “nothing” compared to the pain some kids have to go through, and is excited to see how the funds raised by his sacrifice will help grant life-changing wishes to kids across Australia.

One word: ouch. Good on you, Ian!

Denise 10x’d her goal through her knitting skills

To celebrate her milestone 60th birthday, Denise Pratt wanted to make a real difference. She aimed to raise $600 to support childbirth injury treatment and midwife training in Ethiopia.

Denise lovingly made crafts including paper mache chickens, tea cosies, knitted bunnies, childrens’ socks, and other goods, attracting many more donors than she expected.

To her surprise, Denise ended up raising over $6,500 through events and charity auctions: 10 times more than she expected!

Denise’s handcrafted creations brightened up her recipients lives and her funds raised for charity.

Amazing things can happen when you give your fundraisers unlimited creativity. You’ll raise more, boost supporter loyalty, and increase your brand awareness, attracting more attention to your cause.

From skydiving at age 70 to visiting all Australian mainland states in a single day, read on to learn about six fundraisers that took their campaign goals to the next level.

Extraordinary Fundraising Ideas for 2019: Stories from Everydayhero Members

These next few examples aren’t easy to set up, nor can they be completed by everyone. But what they are is much more. They’re a testament to the commitment, pride, and pure passion these individuals have to the organisations they care about.

Read on to see how far some are willing to go.

70-year-old Georgina’s epic skydive for charity

Georgina isn’t an ordinary grandmother. For her 70th birthday, she and her grandson Jake took to the skies to raise money for kidney transplant research through Everydayhero.

Supporting Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), Georgina committed to skydiving from a plane and reached half of her fundraising goal in only a few days. Her story and skydive was nothing short of incredible!

Georgina preparing for her legendary skydive for charity.

Thousands raised at Isobar’s fun and quirky art exhibition

Melbourne’s Isobar is a creative agency that is no stranger to giving back. As part of their efforts, the brand holds an annual art exhibition to donate to a special charity.

The Smith Family was a natural choice, as the charity is committed to the future of children through first-class education.

Isobar created works with a connecting theme of “time,” gathering original artwork made by the agency’s various departments. The pieces ranged from the fantastic to the edible, also symbolising the variety of ways it’s possible to give back to people in need.

“Hopefully, our art exhibition shows others that there is more than one way to make a difference, and that by using our own strengths we can help disadvantaged children work towards a better future.”

Isobar used their talent to fundraise for The Smith Family in a creative way.

Squash-playing duo set world record for longest game ever

Most people take 140,000 steps over an entire fortnight, if they’re active.

James & Brett Meyer took 140,000 steps in a single weekend.

In 2008, the duo initially set the world record for longest squash game, raising funds for a close family friend Michael, who was only 13 years old and struggling with Osteosarcoma.

The two had raised over $25,000 in Michael’s honour, presenting the funds to him proudly, but were floored by his humility. Michael said he didn’t need the funds, but to instead donate them to Child Cancer Foundation of New Zealand.

Soon after, Michael sadly passed away. But Brett and James hadn’t lost sight of their original mission.

Since Michael’s passing, their world record had been broken six times.

So in 2018, dedicated to Michael’s memory and incredibly giving spirit, the two attempted to set the NEW world record, playing for a total of 36 hours and two minutes.

Challenge completed…they did it!

Brett and James used Everydayhero to raise funds for their cause. Just look at that celebration!

Antarctica residents take on a virtual South Pole expedition

What’s more unconventional than living in Antarctica?

To keep moving and give themselves a goal through the dark days and cold nights of the Antarctic winter, the eight members of Team Mawson took their residency one step further when they decided to “virtually” walk the distance from the edge of the continent to the South Pole: 2,500 kilometers in only 31 days.

Along for the journey came four other teams, raising funds for a variety of charities in the process…an incredible feat all around.

The crew on their virtual trek to the South Pole.

The teams had their own trackable map to record their travelling and fundraising progress.

Ben jets off on an Australia-wide airport pub crawl

Ben O’Brien has a big heart and an even bigger vision. On the day of his 40th birthday, he became the first person ever to have a beer in each mainland Australian state in a single day.

However, he sought to complete this mission with more than just beer in mind. In honour of his close friends who had dealt with tragic losses from miscarriage and stillbirth, Ben chose to raise funds in support of Pregnancy Loss Australia.

Throughout his tour, Ben posted updates on his personal blog, while also creating a buzz on social media and in the news. All in all, Ben raised $7,620 (and eight pints of beer), smashing his original target of $4,000 while celebrating his love of Australia at the same time.

What a feat! Do you think you could ever visit all Australian mainland states in one day?!

The things you do for others remain your legacy

These fundraisers aren’t only doing good for the charities they supported. They are leaving behind a legacy that will impact others far into the future.

Want to empower your supporters to do the same? View our DIY Essentials Package to step up your fundraising game.

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