5 Unique Ways Rotarians Can Increase Their Fundraising This Year


The best fundraising ideas get both donors and volunteers excited about participating. The greater the excitement, the more successful your fundraising will be. Rotarians can increase their fundraising this year by focusing on ideas that are out of the ordinary, humorous or unexpected—in other words different and original.

A unique and creative fundraising approach also sets your Rotary club apart from the crowd–giving your program a greater chance of being noticed by both the media and the community.

Discover 5 unique ways Rotarians can increase their fundraising this year.

The Viral Challenge

girl in operation warm coatRemember the Ice Bucket Challenge? Four summers ago, friends challenged other friends to dump bucket of ice water over their heads and make a donation to ALS. The charity received $115 million, and the funds helped scientists discover a new ALS gene!

The challenge worked because it was different, and the ridiculous nature of the challenge inspired people to watch and create their own videos.

There is no magic solution to making a social media campaign go viral. Consider taking a local community angle – what is unique about your town or city? What is a topic or theme that your community will get behind and support because it has local flare?  Operation Warm was founded near Kennett Square, PA – the mushroom capital of the world.  Can you say baby bella mushroom eating challenge?

Facebook Fundraising

Creating events and fundraisers on Facebook is free, although most Rotary clubs don’t take advantage of this growing source of donations. No fees are collected by Facebook, so your program gets 100% of anything donated through your Facebook page. The Operation Warm Partner Portal, available to our Rotary club coat partners, offers a guide to Facebook fundraising (as well as other fundraising resources). Haven’t signed-up to start your Rotary Operation Warm service project? Learn more here.

Give Back Partnership

Forming a partnership with a local or national business is a great strategy for Rotary clubs because of the supportive networks that come with being a Rotarian. The business enjoys doing good and some additional publicity. Single or multiple partnerships can help program fundraising in several different ways and can be customized for the program, the community and even the business.

Some basic ideas include hosting an event or matching individual donations to encourage more donors.

Here is a how Cold AF helped Operation Warm fundraise to help children in Minneapolis in a very creative and unique way.

Party Hearty

Ed Gallagher and his wife Karin-Susan Breitlauch of the West End Rotary club know how to party. In fact, it is through a very unique, slightly over-the-top Halloween party that they raised several thousand dollars annually for their Operation Warm coat program.  Here is how desperate times led to a brilliant fundraiser.


Combining something everyone wants (or needs) to do can be a very successful way to fundraise. Not only does it raise money, but it also can create close social bonds within the group of participants.

One example is a “buck-a-pound” fundraiser. For every pound a participant loses they donate $1. For each pound gained, they donate $5. For extra fun and funds, continue the challenge through several weeks. Encourage everyone to share photos, inspiration and more through social media.

Interested in starting an Operation Warm community service project with your club?

Learn More

Related Articles

How Employee Volunteer Programs are Changing in 2020

How will socially responsible business leaders move forward in 2020 with plans to give back? Smart companies know that the way forward in business is through corporate social responsibility and…

Read More

25 Messages to Say Thanks to Frontline Workers

What do you say to thank a frontline worker, to lift their spirits or let them know that you value their support? Uplifting messages can go a long way to…

Read More

Stay Connected