Since I spend most of my day asking people to fundraise for Team LUNGevity or our Breathe Deep Events, I figured I should do it myself too! So here are a few tips that I’ve found and/or tried!


Ask: The easiest way to raise money is to ask your friends, neighbors, relatives and anyone you
know to make a donation to LUNGevity and support your race. For more information to spread the word check out our website!

Ask 10:  To raise a quick $100 ask 10 of your friends to donate just $10 each.

Auction or Raffle: Ask family and friends to donate items to hold an auction or do a 50/50 raffle.
Auction off the boss — have the boss or department head as your assistant for the day at work.


Bake Sale: A bake sale is a great way to raise money for your cause! Ask local bakeries for in-kind donations or see if family and friends will bake and donate their goods to you to sell. This is also a fantastic way to talk about LUNGevity and the event!

Bake Sale Angelina Lawhon
Angelina Lawhon sold Gourmet Popcorn and had a 50/50 raffle

BD Northshore Cookies
Cookies sold at Breathe Deep North Shore

Brown Bag Lunch Week: Ask co-workers to brown bag their lunches for a week and donate the money they would have spent eating out!

Boss for a Day: Allow co-workers to bid on being the boss for a day!

Birthday: In lieu of gifts this year, ask family and friends to donate to your cause for your birthday.


Car Wash: Get your friends together and have a car wash now that the weather is getting nicer! Also, be prepared and have some LUNGevity literature handy for people to look at while their car is being cleaned.

Collect Change: Spare change adds up! Put a jar in your house for a month and empty all of your spare change. Ask family, friends and co-workers to do the same.

Cocktail Party: Throw a ‘donate to LUNGevity” cocktail party with your friends and family. Or see if a local restaurant or bar could do a giveback night!

Corporate Sponsor: Talk to corporate sponsors and see if they will support you. Offer to wear their logo on your shirt!


Dance for a Cure: Hold a dance party at a local school and have students donate to your cause.

Deliver Flyers: Print out flyers to deliver around your neighborhood. Many coffee shops, dry cleaners and gyms will let you post them up on their community boards.

Dog Walk: Volunteer to dog walk for a donation. You’ll raise money for LUNGevity AND get to hang out with adorable pups!

Dress Down Days: Talk to your HR to find out if you can have co-workers donate money to dress down for the day.

Donation Jar: Some businesses will allow you to put donation jars for change if you ask. Or, keep a jar on your desk at work and ask family and friends to do the same — change adds up quickly!

Donate to your Page: Before asking others to support you, donate to your own page! It’s important for others to see that you are also invested.


Email: Send an email from your participant center to family and friends.

Email Signature: Add a link to your personal page or blog to your email signature.

Enlist your Friends: Ask each of your friends to tell 10 of their friends about your fundraising efforts.

Employer Matching Gifts: Matching gifts are such a great way to double your donation, yet many overlook this tool. To learn more about matching gifts, see Workplace Giving on LUNGevity’s website.


Follow up on your Asks: Your friends and family want to help! They may have forgotten though after your initial ask. Send out an email or letter to those you asked but haven’t donated yet.

Fifty/Fifty Raffle: Sell raffle tickets, winner gets half and the other half goes to the great cause!

Face to Face: Don’t forget the value of a face to face conversation. Tell you family and friends when you see them what LUNGevity means to you and ask for their support.

Favors: When someone asks a favor of you, do it in exchange for a small donation to your cause.

Facebook: Post your Personal Page on Facebook and ask your friends to spread the word.

Flyers: Print up a team or individual flyer to put up in coffee shops or to pass around.

Facts: It’s important to know your facts! Check out

Form a Team: For those also running the marathon, think of your friends and family as your team and ask them to reach out to their networks. Those who are participating in walks and runs can become team captains! Check out our website to register for one of LUNGevity’s Breathe Deep walks and runs and become a team captain.


Garage Sale: A garage sale is an excellent way to do a little spring/summer cleaning, raise money for LUNGevity and spread the word! If you plan on having a garage sale in your area and would like to pass out literature on LUNGevity and lung cancer, you can contact our office at 312-407-6100.

Game Night: Host a trivia or game night! You can charge a suggested donation to get in and allow people to ‘pay’ for a free answer each round!

Guest Bartender: Guest bartending has become a very popular fundraising option! Contact a local restaurant or bar to see if a percent of tips can go towards your fundraising and recruit your friends to go!

Give Back Nights: Community give backs nights are a great way to benefit your cause and a local business. Talk to businesses in your area to see if they will donate a percentage (typically 5-10%) of their proceeds a certain day to your cause. Many of these programs can be found online on their websites! See the picture to the right from Breathe Deep North Shore community support day with Whole Foods! BD Northshore Whole Foods

Get Online: Take advantage of your personal page and customize it on why you are fundraising. The easier you make it for people to donate, the more likely they are to do it!

Goals: Set a goal on your personal page to strive for and tell your friends and family about it! They will want to help you reach it.

Give Something Up: Give up your next manicure or movie out and donate the money you would have spent to your cause!


Hometown Press: Local newspapers, radio stations and online event calendars are often free and easy to post on. Consider advertising your event or page this way!

Host an Event: Benefactor events are a great way to get people to learn more about LUNGevity and to donate to your walk. It’s also a great way to recruit team members or encourage people to form their own team.

Hair Salons: Talk to local hair salons to see if they will donate $2 (or a set amount or percent) per cut for a certain day.


Incentives for Donors: If you are running the marathon like me, offer sponsors a spot on your race t-shirt for their logo. Or, if you are working with an event on a team, talk to your coordinator to see if donations of a certain amount can be given a raffle entry!

Identify and Thank Donors: Make sure to know who your donors are and to thank them! After your race or event is over, follow up with them and let them know how you did.


Jump Rope Contest: Hope a Jump Rope for a cause contest and charge a suggested donation.

Jewelry: Have kids make jewelery and sell it for a low price or suggested donation.


Know Your Stuff: It’s important to tell people why your cause is important to you, but also to know the facts. People want to know where their 2013 LUNGevity Fact Sheet_R3_Page_1donations are going and what they will be used for. Look here for more information on LUNGevity.

Karaoke Night: Host a karaoke night at your house or check out a local bar to see if you can do it there for suggested donations.

Keep Track: Keep track of who you are reaching out to and don’t be afraid to follow up with those who haven’t responded to you. Often an email gets lost in their inbox so don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and tell them about your cause!


Letters: Send old-fashioned hand written letters to family and friends to let them know why you are raising money and to ask for their support. Don’t forget to follow up with a thank you and update them on your progress!

Lawn Service: Summer is here! Offer to mow lawns in your neighborhood for a suggested donation! Bonus: advertisement for your lawn service is also advertisement for your cause!

Local Support: Reach out into your community and ask for their support. Think about all of the activities you do day to day: going to the dry cleaners, intramural sports, etc. Talk to these people about your cause and ask them to donate.

Link Your Personal Page: Put a link to your personal page in your emails, facebook, twitter and other social media to reach more people.

Lunch: Pack your lunch and bring it to work instead of eating out. Donate the money you would have spent back to your cause!

Learn from Others: Take a look at what other people are doing and don’t be afraid to do it too! See some of the resources at the bottom of this page for more ideas.


Make Copies of this List: Print off this list of fundraising ideas and pass it out to your family and friends. Ask if each of them can pick one thing from the list to help you fundraise.

Mile Donations: If you are running a race as your event, ask friends and family to donate a dollar per mile, it adds up quickly!

Matching Gifts: Matching gifts are an amazing way to double your donation and unfortunately many people don’t know or don’t utilize their companies matching gift program. To find out more about matching gifts, click HERE.

Movie Night: Have your friends over or talk to your local park district to see if you can hold a movie night outdoors! Ask for suggested Fall Benefit Movie Nightdonations as an admission fee. Also, this would be a great time to hold other fundraisers such as a split the pot or bake sale. Take a look to the right at a movie night held last year for Fall Benefit.

Memorial Donations: Ask those who are donating to make their gifts in memory of a loved one and you can display their names on your t-shirt, sign or website.

Mission Statement: Know LUNGevity’s Mission Statement and be able to explain why you are fundraising and where donors money is going. To learn more about LUNGevity Foundation click HERE.


Negativity Jar: Keep a jar in your home and/or work and charge everyone $1 for cursing or negative language. Not only is this a great way to raise money, it’s also a way to reflect on your outlook and attitude.

Note Cards: Decorate note cards and sell them! At Breathe Deep Northshore, one of the girls on Olivia’s Crew made and sold tribute cards and they were a hit! BD Northshore tribute cards

Network: Tell everyone what you are raising money for and why! You never know who you will run into and if lung cancer has impacted them. You might find yourself with another donation or teammate!


Odd Jobs: Mow lawns, walk your neighbors job or host a car wash. All of these ‘jobs’ allow you to raise money and educate the community about your cause.

Open House: Host an open house one afternoon. Invite neighbors, hold a 50/50 raffle!

Online: Take advantage of your fundraising page and personalize it. Share your story and why your cause is so important to you.


Poker Night: Host a poker night! Proceeds go to your cause and everyone has a great time!

Payroll Deductions: Talk to your employer and see if you can set a certain amount per paycheck or per month that goes automatically to your cause. If you don’t see that money, you won’t even miss it! Ask your friends and family to do the same — even if it’s just for a small period of time. For more information on workplace giving see LUNGevity’s website.

Pizza party: Talk to a local pizza parlor and see if they will donate a percentage of their sales from a certain day or week and host a pizza party!

Pancake Breakfast: Pancake breakfasts have been around for so long for a reason: they work! The community loves to eat and this is something you can host at a very low cost. Add in a 50/50 raffle to make money too!

Post Online: Take advantage of all your social media outlets. Post your personal page on Twitter, Facebook and even Pinterest! Add a link to your page in your email and ask your friends to forward.

Potluck: Host a potluck lunch or dinner. Charge a participation fee or have food contests where judges pay to vote for their favorite dish.

Parking Space Auction: If only a select few have a parking spot at your office or school, auction it off for a day or a week.

Pack Your Own Lunch: Encourage your office or friends and family to pack their lunch for a week and bring it to work. Ask them to donate the money they would have spend eating out. Who knows, maybe you’ll start them on a new habit! DFW Cake

Pick a Goal: Pick a goal and don’t be afraid to shoot high! When family and friends see that you are close, they will want to help you reach it.

Phone: Don’t forget to pick up the phone and ask!


Quiz Night: Talk to a local bar to see if they will host a trivia night! Or host one yourself. Consider charging a fee like $10 for a free answer per round!


Raffles: Consider doing a 50/50 raffle or having family, friends or local businesses donate items for a raffle or auction. Or get creative with it and auction off a parking spot for the day or a date auction!

Restaurant Days: Talk to local restaurants to see if they will host a community giveback day. Ask that they donate a percentage of the proceeds from a certain day or host a fundraiser at the restaurant and ask people to donate.

Research: Do research on your community and find people and businesses who might want to support you. Talk to local oncology offices, your gym, doctor, etc. You never know who will be interested unless you ask!

Royal Flush: Call up your card-playing friends and have them over for a poker or game night!


Self Donation: No one will donate to you, if you won’t even donate to your self! Make a donation and get your fundraising started!

Social Networking: Use social media to reach out to friends that you may not have phone numbers or email addresses for. You might be surprised how many are willing to donate.

Share!: Share your tips with others! If you find a fundraising method that works, spread the word!

Sports Tournaments: Talk to your local gym or community center and organize a sports tournament. Charge teams a suggested donation and hold a raffle or bake sale for those watching.

Starbucks Sacrifice: Challenge co workers to bring in coffee from home or make it in the office for a week. Have them donate the money they would have spent on their Starbucks or morning coffee to your cause.

Swear Jar: Have your family, friends or co workers put a dollar into the swear jar anytime they slip up.

Spelling Bee: Hold a spelling bee! Charge an entry fee and hold a raffle for those watching!

Start Asking Early: Start asking early and keep a list of everyone you have talked to. Follow up again closer to your event with anyone who has yet to respond to you. Make sure to thank everyone and let them know of your progress!

Spaghetti Dinner: Who doesn’t love pasta? Get the community together and host a spaghetti dinner!

Spread the Word: Talk to local media, put it on your facebook, tell people in the checkout lane at the store! You never know who has been touched and you may find someone who wants to donate, will join or team or who may benefit from some of LUNGevity’s resources.

Support Others: Listen to others tell you about causes important to them. They will likely reciprocate.


Team Spirit Day: Have each employee donate a set amount to wear their favorite teams apparel to work.

Tell Your Story: This is on the list several times, but it’s important! Update your personal page and let people know what you are raising money for this cause. Knowing that it is important to you will give people more motivation to want to donate or join your Donate to stop lung cancer todayteam.

Talent Show: Host a talent show and charge an entrance fee for participants and a suggested donation for the audience.

Trivia Night: Host your own trivia night and charge teams and entrance fee. Or talk to a local bar to see if their trivia night can benefit your cause.

T-Shirt: Sell space on your t-shirt. Ask for bigger donations from companies or even friends and family to get their name on your race day shirt.


Use your Connections: Take a week and write down everywhere that you go: grocery store, gym, post office, etc. Then think about who you know or see often at each of these places. Reach out to them next time you are running errands and see if they or their company will donate, join your team or even sponsor the event. You never know until you ask!

Used Book & DVD Sale: Clean out your house (and encourage your friends and family to) and sell all of your used items to donate to your cause!


Vacation Day Drawing: Get your boss to auction off a paid vacation day to the highest bidder.

Vendors: Talk to local vendors to see if they will donate items for a raffle or a percentage of their sales.

VIP Parking Spot: Have someone auction off their parking spot for a day or week.

Voicemail: Update your voicemail to include a message about your fundraising.

Vacation Babysitting: Offer to babysit or pet sit for a donation to your charity when families in the neighborhood go out of town.


Wedding Favors: If you are getting married soon, consider making a donation in lieu of wedding favors in honor of your guests. Or, make a donation in honor of a friend or family member who is getting married.

Weed: Offer to weed in your neighborhood for a suggested donation.

Wristbands: Sell wristbands for your organization for $1 or a suggested donation. If you are interested in selling LUNGevity wristbands for your event, let us know and we can send to you!

Wages: Talk to your employer and have a percent or set amount of your wages donated straight to your organization and encourage your co-workers to do the same. To learn more about employee and workplace giving, check out our website!


Are there even any real words that begin with X?


Yard Sales: It’s amazing how many things you accumulate over the years! Take a day to clean out your home and have a yard sale! Put out some literature to spread the word out to the community.

Yoga: Talk to a local yoga studio or instructor to see if they will donate a portion of their proceeds for a certain day.


Zumba-thon: These are real, and they are fun! Talk to a local zumba teacher or gym to see if someone will teach a class for free –registration fees will go towards your cause!

More Fun Top Tips That Work!

  • Ask for a specific amount amount on your social media page: “I just ran 15 miles, can you donate $15?” – tip courtesy of Team LUNGevity’s Samantha Guelda
  • Don’t just ask for a donation, ask them to attend! Investing their time in your cause or event will help them to see where their money is going and why it is important to you.
  • Fundraising has no deadline! Don’t stop asking for donations the minute your event is over. Take pictures, show people how much effort you put into it and send an event wrap up letter to motivate people to donate.
  • Take advantage of special dates! Do you have a birthday coming up? Ask people to donate and spread the word to 10 more people in lieu of a gift.
  • The power of 10: Ask 10 people to donate $10 each — you just raised $100!

Other Great Resources:

360 Event Fundraising

Train Like a Mother

50 Fundraising Ideas



4 thoughts on “Fundraising

  1. The 12 Months of Fundraising | eatbreatherun

  2. Breathe, Drink & Fundraise | eatbreatherun

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