20 creative fundraising ideas to help you make an impact

Are you looking for a creative and unique way to raise funds for your favourite charity? Then look no further! We’ve compiled a list of 20 creative fundraising ideas to help you reach your goals.

These activities are a great way to raise money, bring people together and have fun. From bake sales to trivia nights and everything in between, there’s something to suit everyone’s interests and skill sets.

Ready to make a difference? Let’s get started!

Fundraising for a LiveDifferent Build

At LiveDifferent, we believe that everyone can make an impact, no matter how big or small.

Fundraising for a LiveDifferent Build may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. You’ll be able to point people to your own personal fundraising page and when they donate $20 or more to your Build, we’ll be able to issue them a tax receipt. This means donors will be able to claim up to 100% of their donation on their tax return. This is a nice perk to mention when asking friends and family for support.

The sooner you start fundraising the better. It’s important to set goals to make sure you meet the fundraising requirements in time for your Build. So before you start, be sure to ask yourself:

  • How much money needs to be raised?
  • When do I need to raise it by?
  • What resources do I have available?
  • What kind of fundraiser will my community support?
  • How much money will I realistically raise with each fundraiser?

These questions will help you plan and focus your efforts. With LiveDifferent, you have the freedom to choose how you raise funds: you can create your own unique fundraiser or use one of our pre-made templates, such as Fund-a-Flight, Fund-a-Project or Fund-a-Vacation.

Whatever your goal is, we can help you get there.

20 creative fundraisers

These creative fundraising ideas will help you rally your community to support your cause.

The more people who know about your fundraiser, the more successful you’ll be, so be sure to use social media, email, flyers and even local newspapers, radio and television to help spread the word. And whatever fundraiser you choose, highlight that all proceeds go towards a charity—this will encourage even more people to come!

Ready to make your Build a reality? Here are some of our volunteers’ favourite ways to fundraise:

Yard sale

Declutter your home and make some cash at the same time. Go through your house and find anything you no longer want or need, ask your friends and neighbours to do the same, and set up a sale in your yard. You’ll be surprised at how much you can raise from second-hand items!

Bake sale

If you’re handy in the kitchen, now’s your time to get creative and whip up all sorts of delicious treats, from cakes, cupcakes and cookies, to pies and pastries. Plus, it’s a great way to get the community involved, as people can donate their baking skills and time to make something special. You could even take this to the next level and sell a community cookbook. Not only is it a great way to raise money, but it’s also an opportunity to bring people together and share a little sweetness.

Lori Nitah and Shirley Christiansen baked a few pies for their trip.

Craft sale

Are you crafty? You can sell handmade items such as jewelry, cards, paintings, knitwear and more, or you can even showcase products from local artisans. With a craft sale, you can also set up activities like face painting, balloon animals and other fun activities to make the event more entertaining.


Enjoy delicious food with friends and family at a good old-fashioned BBQ! You can make an entire day of it with lawn games, water fights and maybe a hot dog eating contest or two.

You can also partner with a local business for an even bigger impact—they can match donations or donate food and drinks to support the event (your local Boston Pizza might be a good place to start!). They’ll get brand exposure and you’ll be able to amplify your fundraising efforts; it’s a win-win.

Shave a head

Is there someone your school would love to see without any hair? This fundraiser has the potential to raise a large amount in a short period of time. You can ask your friends to donate an amount for each inch of hair your volunteers are willing to shave off, or shave someone’s entire head by reaching a fundraising goal (maybe even their eyebrows!).

Car wash

Get your friends on board and set up a car wash at your local gas station (with the manager’s approval of course). Create big signs and have volunteers on the street directing people your way. You could have a set price or request donations. With the right planning and a little bit of elbow grease, a car wash can be a great way to make a difference!

Raffles and 50-50 draws

Find or make something of value and sell tickets for that item. It might be an autographed picture of someone famous, season tickets, gift cards or even a weekend getaway! You might even be able to get things donated to the raffle from local businesses.

To make it simple, sell tickets for a 50-50 draw letting everyone know 50% of the money raised goes to the name pulled in the draw, and 50% goes towards your fundraising goal. Remember to check if you are required to obtain a license to host a raffle.

Barb Moore Crowson’s horseshoe art.


A “marathon” style fundraiser is a great way to have fun and raise money. To get started, decide on an activity such as a walk-a-thon, dance-a-thon or read-a-thon, and set a goal for the amount of money you would like to raise. Invite friends, family, and community members to join in the fun, and have participants collect pledges based on the number of miles walked, hours danced, pages read, etc.


Bring people together for some friendly competition! Whether it’s a three-on-three basketball tournament, a mini-golf tournament or even a video game tournament, there’s something to appeal to everyone. If you want to take it a step further, reach out to your school’s athletic department to see if any upcoming tournaments are looking for a cause to donate their proceeds.

Sell a kilometre

People can help fund your trip by purchasing kilometres. To do this, calculate the cost of the entire trip to your destination. Then divide this cost by the number of kilometres you will be travelling. This will tell you the cost per kilometre. People can then choose to fund as many kilometres as they like at that cost.

You can also keep track of your fundraising progress with a map of your round-trip route. As you raise money, mark off the distance covered by the sponsors. FYI: Toronto to Sosua, DR, is approximately 3,200 km; and Toronto to Vicente Guerrero, MX, is approximately 4,200 km.

Bottle drive

Ask your family, friends and neighbours to donate their used bottles and cans for redemption. You can even have a friendly competition to see who can bring in the most recyclables. A bottle drive is an easy and effective way to raise money—it’s also environmentally friendly!

Paint night

Bring people together to create something beautiful. Invite a local artist to lead the painting session to make the night even more memorable. You can also provide snacks and drinks while you create your unique masterpieces. No experience necessary—all you need is a brush and a sense of adventure!

Trivia night

Put your smarts to the test and compete with friends and family in a series of rounds of trivia. Create a variety of trivia categories, such as pop culture, current events, sports and music—bonus points If you include some trivia about the place you’re travelling to for your build. You can also offer food, drinks and even prizes for the top teams.

Silent auction

Guests can bid on items of their choice and the highest bidder will take home the prize. You can offer a variety of items like gift baskets, gift certificates, experiences or custom artwork. You can even get local businesses to donate products for a tax receipt equal to the goods donated. Jazz it up as much as you like: Have food for sale, a band and even a multi-media Builds presentation.

Benefit concert

Do you know a band that would be willing to donate their time and talent for a free concert? Or a theatre troupe that is ready to take the stage for a memorable musical performance? Find a local venue to host the concert and put on a fun event for your friends, family and community. Be sure to select a venue that is licensed for this type of event.

Tyler Leighton and friends worked tirelessly to bring together the Music of the Night benefit concert. Photo Credit: Kayla Gordon

Fine dining

Invite friends and family to come together for a delicious meal. You can offer a variety of options for dinner, from a potluck-style dinner to a more formal sit-down dinner. To make it easy, you can provide a suggested donation amount for guests to contribute.

You can also make it extra special by researching local foods from the area you’ll be travelling to for your Build and including them in the meal. This is great as a way to give more information to your guests about what you are doing as well!

Community work

Offer to do odd jobs around town. Think gardening, pet sitting, babysitting, housework, car repairs or even carpentry; whatever people need doing that suits your skill set. You can advertise online or post flyers around your community; the fee would be whatever people would like to pay.

Local businesses and community groups

This is a great way to find corporate or community sponsorship opportunities in your area! Many local businesses and community groups are willing to support charitable efforts and may be interested in partnering with you. You can also leverage their networks to spread the word about your Build.

City and school council

Tap into the resources of your city and school! Oftentimes, local town councils have a stockpile of grant money available to support fundraisers such as this and may be able to offer sponsorship. School councils also host a ton of events throughout the year and may be willing to donate some of their proceeds. Connect with your local council members to see if this is an option.

Birthday or holiday fundraiser

Celebrate your special day by giving back! On an occasion when you would normally receive presents from friends and family, let all the gift-givers know that you would appreciate a donation to your trip instead. This is a great way to show everyone that it’s better to give than receive!

Learn more

No matter what type of fundraiser you choose, the most important thing is to have fun and be creative! With a little bit of planning, you can come up with a successful fundraiser that will help you reach your goals.

Now that you’ve gotten some great ideas for your upcoming fundraiser, it’s time to get started. Set a goal, create a plan and start reaching out to friends and family to help you make it happen. With the right attitude and a bit of hard work, you’ll be well on your way to making the world a better place, one fundraiser at a time!

Download our “20 Creative Fundraising Ideas” PDF

Author: Gina Alward

Date: July 10th, 2023

Q&A with Board Member Paige Derksen

We’re shining a well-deserved spotlight on the incredible individuals on LiveDifferent’s board of directors!

Each person plays a pivotal role in guiding LiveDifferent’s vision, strategy and impact, fueling our mission to create positive change in the world. Their unwavering dedication, expertise and boundless compassion have been instrumental in transforming countless lives and communities. 

Prepare to be uplifted as we uncover untold stories, wisdom gained and the passion that drives this team to make a difference.

Meet Paige Derksen

Paige is the newest member of the LiveDifferent team and a dedicated realtor residing and working in Winnipeg. With a heart for community involvement, Paige’s journey with LiveDifferent began around ten years ago when her aunt, uncle, and cousins – who were already engaged with the organization – shared their experiences of participating in various Builds. Inspired by their stories, Paige and her immediate family started attending LiveDifferent galas and providing financial support from the inception of the event.

Driven by a personal desire to contribute on a deeper level, Paige took the initiative to involve her work team at Marcia Bergen Group in supporting the Freedom Village. Every year, a portion of their commissions from each transaction goes towards ensuring the safety and well-being of a girl living in the village. Given her profession as a realtor, Paige recognizes the importance of secure housing and finds it fulfilling to give back to the community in this manner.

Q: What inspired you to join the LiveDifferent Board of Directors? 

A: I was motivated to join the board at LiveDifferent because I wanted to give back uniquely, beyond just money. I planned to invest my time and energy to make a real impact and help improve the lives of others. By actively engaging with the organization, I aim to use my skills and dedication to make a meaningful difference and support its mission.

Q: What is your favourite thing about being a board member?

A: Since joining the board, I’ve loved two things: making new connections and getting an inside look at how the organization really works. It’s given me a better understanding of how I can help out and encourage others to give back too. I’m excited to explore more ways to support the cause and inspire a culture of giving.

Q: If you could pick one project or initiative that you are most proud of, what would it be and why? 

A: One achievement that fills me with pride is the Freedom Village in Haiti. Witnessing its growth and development since my initial involvement with LiveDifferent has been truly remarkable. 

It is incredibly exciting to see the village open its doors, and even more so to have the opportunity to support a girl, providing her with a safe living environment and access to education. I am thrilled and deeply excited to watch the girls in the Freedom Village heal, recover and grow. Their safety and well-being are of paramount importance, and knowing that they can now live in a secure environment fills my heart with joy. 

The Marcia Bergen Group, the team I am part of, is excited to be partnering with LiveDifferent and eagerly anticipates the incredible work that lies ahead at the Freedom Village. We are committed to witnessing the positive impact and transformation that will shape the lives of these girls in the future.

Q: How has your experience with LiveDifferent changed you as a person?

A: My experience with LiveDifferent has enhanced my empathy, compassion and commitment to making a positive impact. I have gained a broader perspective, developed resilience and deepened my sense of purpose. Overall, LiveDifferent has transformed me into a more socially conscious and proactive individual dedicated to creating positive change by living differently every day. 

Q: What advice would you give to someone considering getting involved with LiveDifferent? 

A: Just do it! Even if you think your contributions won’t make a difference, know that they will. Every bit helps and it doesn’t always have to be financial, it can be your time and energy – but everything helps! 

Learn more

We are immensely grateful to the extraordinary individuals like Paige who make up our board of directors. We are privileged to have such an exceptional group who wholeheartedly believe in our vision and generously share their time, skills and resources to ensure our success.

Don’t miss out on the chance to connect with the incredible minds behind the scenes. Learn more about our team and get inspired to create change alongside them.

Together, we can make a real and lasting impact!

Author: Gina Alward

Date: July 24th, 2023