Creative Virtual Fundraising Ideas
The purpose of this list is to provide virtual fundraising ideas to Rotary clubs, including fundraising projects that can be safely conducted during COVID-19. The list will be updated as new ideas emerge. Many of the ideas are general and clubs can learn more details and see examples of actual fundraisers by searching for the idea online. In some cases, we have included links to specific examples or provided contact information for more details.
Creative Virtual Fundraising Ideas/Examples:
  1. Online Silent Auctions
  2. Take-Out Meal Event: Delivery of meals to homes to benefit a cause (food made by Rotarians or partnering with local restaurants)
  3. Virtual Raffles (check your state laws to determine if online raffles are allowed in your area)
  4. Virtual “Big-Name” Speaker; sell tickets to attend.
  5. Virtual Wine Fest (RC of Des Moines & Normandy Park)
  6. Virtual Wine or Beer Tasting/Education event
  7. You’ve Been Flocked:  Purchase pink plastic lawn flamingos and sell “You’ve Been Flocked” gifts where someone pays to have a home or business flocked by the flamingos. Volunteers place the flamingos in the front lawn of the home or business during the night along with a You’ve Been Flocked sign, then collect the flamingos later.
  8. Flag Subscription: Residents purchase annual subscription for a US flag (or other flag) to be placed on their lawn on scheduled dates throughout the year, such as July 4, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, etc. Could do the same with Pride flags for Pride week. Club buys the flags and poles and members place the flags as scheduled. Clubs store the flags in between use.
  9. Virtual Duck Race  Example:
  10. Red Ball Race: Similar to duck race but with balls. Contact Rotarian Becky Smith for additional information.
  11. Virtual Art Show: Contact Rotarian Howard Cohen for more info
  12. Raffle a Custom Dream Shed: Shed assembled and customized by Rotarians at winner’s location of choice.
  13. Virtual Paul Harris Pool: Create a virtual board with at least 50 squares and sell each square for $20, with the money raised going to the TRF Annual Fund in the winner’s name. Winner gets a PHF. Sell 100 squares to total $2000. Contact Rotarian Linda Bauer for more info.
  14. Home-Based Projects: Rotarians do home-based projects to raise money for club, such as bicycle repair, sewing or crafting items, etc.
  15. Virtual Concert
  16. Virtual Talent Show (people charged to enter)
  17. Virtual Karaoke
  18. Virtual Trivia Contest
  19. 4H Animal Raffle: Purchase a 4H animal, arrange for a butcher to cut and package, and raffle off the frozen meat, perhaps with a donated freezer.
  20. Meal Delivery: Rotarians cook up a BBQ dinner, Valentine's Day meal or treats, or a local specialty, then deliver the meal to the buyer's front doorstep.  Solicit food donations from local vendors. Or arrange with local restaurant or caterer to make meals.
  21. Virtual Cat or Dog Show
  22. Online Video Contest
  23. Piggy Banks for Polio: Each member decorates a piggy bank or envelopes and put money into it each week during a designated time for donations, then pool the money to donate to PolioPlus
  24. Virtual Boardgame Tournament
  25. Virtual Costume or Ugly Sweater Contest
  26. Virtual Pumpkin Carving Contest
  27. Pay it Forward Auction: People bid on items that get donated to front line workers, such as meals and hotel stays. Money goes to Rotary clubs.
  28. Virtual Banquets/Dinners/Brunches (sell virtual tables and have meals delivered to attendees’ homes)
  29. Hybrid Events such as Galas: Emcee and some presenters and/or entertainment and/or live auction are streamed live from a venue while people attend and bid/donate online.
  30. Virtual Casino Night (check local laws)
  31. Virtual Bingo:  Example
  32. Fall Flower Bulb or Spring Basket Sales: Connect with a local nursery to establish a supply source (delivered by local Rotarians)
  33. Blue Ewe/Red Ram (or other animal) Run/Raffle: Contact Rotarian Becky Smith for additional information

From Meghan McCarthy, Coordinator Rotary's $200 Million Challenge--


Consider these ideas for creative fundraisers that have proven successful for clubs and districts:


· Purple Pinkie Project: Millions of children in endemic countries know that a freshly painted purple pinkie means freedom from Polio. When local community members make a $1.00 contribution to PolioPlus, Rotary volunteers mark their pinkies with the same gentian violet used around the world on NIDs (National Immunization Days). The purple pinkie is a personal symbol of helping one child become free from Polio forever. For more information, visit the following website:


· Celebrate a Big Day: Rather than exchanging gifts for a special occasion, request that friends and family make a contribution to Rotary's US$200 Million Challenge.


· Raffles Big and Small: Raffle off a car, a seven-night cruise or four tickets to a local event such as a basketball game or a concert. Clubs can have a weekly raffle for local restaurants or area businesses.


· Skip a Meal: At your Rotary Club meeting, opt to skip the meal and donate the cost to Rotary's US$200 Million Challenge.


· Host Rotary Night: Arrange with your local ball clubs and host a Rotary Night at the ball game. Both major and minor league teams have pitched in to help Rotary "strike out Polio". Auction off throwing out the first pitch. Set up a booth in the ball park with information on Rotary and Rotary's US$200 Million Challenge.


· Organize a walk-a-thon, bike-a-thon or skate-a-thon: Find Rotarians, Rotarian Fellowships, athletic groups or other community members who want to participate and ask them to solicit pledges for miles or kilometers walked, pedaled or skated.


· E-bay auction: Ask Rotarians, friends and family to clean their attics and basements of items (clothing, jewelry, furniture, housewares in good condition) they wish to give away. Collect the items and list them for auction on E-bay. Enlist the help of techno-savvy Rotaract and Interact clubs to take electronic photos of the items and post them on-line.


· Plan a Special Event: dinner, golf tournament, festival, picnic, wine tasting, Valentine's Day dance, silent auction, sports competition are just a few suggestions that could draw participation from Rotarians and other members of the community.


· Create a special item for sale: CDs, cookbooks, ties, teddy bears, and mugs are only some of the items that have been sold to raise funds for PolioPlus.


· White elephant gift auction: after the holidays, ask club members to donate "white elephant" gifts that they do not want or need. Auction these items off at a club or district meeting to raise money for Polio!


· Pennies for Polio: a great way to involve non-Rotarians in the district. Rotarians and their friends and families place coin-collection cans or boxes in local businesses, schools, and homes. All proceeds are combined and donated to Rotary's $US200 Million Challenge.


· Movie Night: Work with local cinemas to organize a movie night where the proceeds (or part of the proceeds) from admission are donated to Polio.  Publicize the event in the paper, on the radio and in all Rotary Clubs in the area and encourage family members, friends and non-Rotarians to attend.


· Million Dollar Dinner: Arrange to have a dinner with a Rotary Senior Leader, local celebrity, or District Governor. Invite guests who are able to make a significant gift to Rotary's US$200 Million Challenge.


· Fireside Chat: A local Rotarian invites other members from the District to his or her home for an update on Polio eradication and an opportunity to discuss making a major gift. This event may be hosted by a Rotary officer or a Major Donor.


· Organize a Rotary Run for Polio Eradication: Solicit corporate sponsorship to cover the costs and raise funds by charging a registration fee for runners.  Consider having team or age-category competitions.


* Sell Purple Crocus: Arrange with a local provider to sell Purple Crocus bulbs to plant on World Polio Day - and see things bloom in the spring!