Remember that time the Starship Foundation had those adorable doggos collecting donations on Auckland streets? They raised a stack of cash while spreading good vibes! Creative fundraising like that is a reminder that success isn’t just about the dosh, but the difference you make. If your usual sausage sizzles and raffles are feeling a bit stale, it’s time to level up with our 150 fundraising ideas perfect for any New Zealand cause.

Online Fundraising and Crowdfunding

  • Crowdfunding Power: Choose a NZ-friendly platform like PledgeMe or Givealittle. Set a clear goal and tell a compelling story.
  • Online Merch Shop: Design some sweet-as merch (t-shirts, tote bags, stickers) with your cause’s logo or a catchy slogan.
  • Social Media Savvy: Use trending challenges (remember the ice bucket challenge?), livestream events, and create shareable content.
  • Step Challenge: Participants aim for a daily or weekly step target (use fitness trackers or phone apps).
  • Distance Challenge: Choose a distance relevant to your cause, and have people walk, run, cycle, or even swim the equivalent within a set timeframe.
  • “Up the Mountain” Challenge: Track elevation gained (hiking, stairs at home, etc.) with the goal mirroring a famous NZ peak.
  • Virtual Dance-a-thon: Livestream a fun dance class, encourage participation and donations.
  • Learn Something New Challenge: Participants pick a skill (language, juggling, baking), track their progress, and share updates.
  • Photo-a-Day Challenge: Linked to a theme aligning with your cause, with the best entries showcased at the end.
  • Virtual Talent Show: Have people record short performances, with viewers voting by donation.
  • Online Craft Market: Supporters make items at home and sell them through a dedicated webpage, with proceeds benefiting the cause.
  • Virtual Scavenger Hunt: Participants seek out items or complete tasks on a digital list. Great for team-building!
  • Ultimate Trivia Showdown: Host a live trivia night online, charge per team for entry.
  • “Dress Up, Donate” Challenge: Pick a wacky theme, have folks post photos, donations to participate.
  • Online Game Tournament: Partner with gamers for a tournament with an entry fee going to your charity.
  • Virtual Book Club: Pick a book related to your cause, host online discussions, donations for ‘entry’.
  • Online ‘How-To’ Workshops: Got a skilled volunteer? They can teach a class (gardening, DIY, etc.) via Zoom, with a fee for the class.
  • Sponsored Silence: People get sponsored to stay silent for a set time – great for schools or workplaces.
  • Gaming for Good: Partner with a local streamer to do a charity stream on Twitch.
  • Social Media Contests: “Best pet photo”, “funniest quarantine moment” – small entry donation, viewers vote by liking.
  • Virtual Auction: Source donated services (personal training sessions, homemade meal delivery) as well as items.
  • “Sponsor a…” Campaign: Tie donations to something specific within your cause (sponsor a tree planted, a meal provided, etc.).
  • Livestream Challenges: Supporters suggest challenges if you reach donation goals. Keep it lighthearted!
  • Virtual ‘Escape Room’: Design online puzzles and clues, charge teams to participate.
  • ‘Ask Me Anything’ Livestream: Find a volunteer with expertise (local history, gardening, etc.) to do a Q&A session for donations.
  • Virtual ‘Pet Parade’: People pay to enter their pet’s photo, categories like “Best Dressed,” viewers vote by donation.
  • ‘Online Auction of Experiences’: Bid on virtual lessons, chats with experts, etc., instead of just physical items.
  • ‘Skill Share Raffle’: Offer donated skills (haircut, tech advice) as raffle prizes, promote this heavily online.

Tip: Reaching a Wider Audience

The beauty of online fundraising is you’re no longer limited to your local area. Kiwis all over the country, and even those with connections to NZ overseas, can get involved. Make it easy to donate and share your campaign far and wide!

Simple and No-Cost Fundraisers

fundraising ideas new Zealand

  • Classic Donation Boxes: Place these in partnering businesses, at your own location (if you have one), and during events.
  • Social Media Power: Regular posts asking for donations, sharing impact stories, ‘share to donate’ campaigns.
  • Raffles with Donated Prizes: Approach local businesses for donations (gift baskets, experiences, vouchers). Sell tickets online and in-person.
  • Text-to-Donate Campaigns: Many charities partner with services allowing people to donate small amounts instantly by text.
  • Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Pages: Supporters set up personal fundraising pages linked to your main campaign.
  • Used Book/Clothing Sale: Simple to collect donations and organize – perfect for schools and community groups. Set a low price point for quick sales.

  • School Fundraising: Host a dress-down day or lunchtime activity, with a small fee going to your cause.

  • Birthday Fundraisers: Encourage supporters to ask for donations to your cause instead of gifts for their birthday. Many social media platforms have this feature built-in.

  • Skill Sharing: Offer free tutoring sessions, basic computer lessons, etc., with suggested donations welcomed.
  • “Dog Walk for a Cause”: Partner with a local shelter and offer dog walking by donation.
  • Upcycled Goods Sale: Encourage donations of gently used items, then host a sale with an upcycling/sustainability angle.
  • A-thon Events: Read-a-thon, sing-a-thon… great for schools or groups with specific talents.
  • ‘Guess the Number’ Jars: Fill a jar with lollies, coins, whatever! Charge folks to guess how many, the winner gets the jar.
  • Guess the Baby Photo’ Fundraiser: Staff, supporters, or local celebs donate baby pics – folks guess who’s who for a fee.
  • ‘Upcycle and Auction’ Challenge: People turn donated junk into treasures, then auction them online.
  • ‘Paperclip Challenge’: Start with one paperclip and challenge supporters to trade up until they have something valuable to auction off.

Tip: Amplifying the Impact

  • Make it Eye-Catching: Use bright colors, clear messaging, and images on donation boxes and online appeals.
  • The Power of Storytelling: Don’t just ask for money, share how donations make a difference on social media. Use videos and beneficiary testimonials whenever possible.
  • Raffle Excitement: Promote raffle prizes heavily beforehand to boost ticket sales. Offer early-bird discounts or bonus entries.
  • Ease of Giving: Make sure donation methods (text, online, in-person) are super easy and clearly explained.
  • Share the Love: Encourage sharing the fundraising event pages and social media posts to widen your supporter network.

Food and Fun Fundraisers Events

fundraising ideas nz v2

  • The Great Kiwi Bake Sale: A classic for a reason! Encourage themed bakes and get everyone involved.
  • Themed Dinners: Host a hangi, a “Taste of the Pacific” night, or a fancy dress dinner party.
  • Quiz Nights: Always a good time! Partner with a local pub or host your own, with entry fees going to your cause.
  • Auctions: Source donated goods and services, and get those bidding paddles raised – silent auctions work well too.
  • Fun Runs or Walks: Get the community active and outdoors. Charge a registration fee and seek sponsorships.
  • Pavlova Decorating Challenge: Charge per entry, judge the best and most creative pav creations.
  • Chipotle Fundraisers: Partner with Chipotle for an easy fundraiser! Customers mention your cause at checkout, and you receive a percentage of sales.
  • Community Cook-off: Chili competition, pie bake-off, etc. People pay to enter dishes, others pay to taste and vote.
  • “Taste of…” Event: Partner with local eateries to have them provide sample-sized portions, ticket sales benefit your cause.
  • Outdoor Movie Night: Charge admission, sell popcorn and snacks, perfect for summer evenings.
  • Pancake Breakfast Bonanza: Community halls or schools are perfect for this, keep things simple and get volunteers flippin’.
  • International Food Festival: If your community’s diverse, ask folks to share dishes from their culture. Taste tickets for sale!
  • Sports Day Challenge: Old-school fun! Egg and spoon races, sack races, charge per event – great for whānau involvement.
  • ‘Haunted House’ (or maze): Turn a volunteer’s garage or a community space into a spooky fundraiser if the timing’s right.
  • Battle of the Bands’: If your town has a music scene, charge for entry and showcase local bands.
  • Community Talent Show: Open to all ages! Charge per act and have audience voting by donation.
  • ‘Make Your Own Pizza’ Night’: Partner with a pizzeria to supply bases, people pay to add toppings – fun for all ages.
  • ‘Field Day’ for Adults: Relive your childhood with egg-and-spoon races, sack races etc. for a hilarious fundraiser.
  • ‘Pie Eating Contest’: A messy classic, charge for entry. Bonus points for unusual pie flavours.
  • ‘Sports Trivia Night’: Get your local pub onboard, test those sports brains, and charge per team.
  • ‘Wear Your Onesie’ Day: For schools or workplaces, fun themed day for a small donation.
  • ‘Karaoke for a Cause’: Find a venue with a karaoke machine, belt out those tunes, and laugh your way to donations
  • ‘Mocktail Mix-Off’: Like a cocktail contest, but with fun non-alcoholic drinks, perfect for all ages.

Tip: Building Community

Events like these aren’t just about the money – they bring folks together, create a buzz around your cause, and attract potential new supporters and volunteers.

Let me know if you’d like variations or more specific ideas within these categories!

Fundraising with Local New Zealand Businesses

    • Percentage-of-Sales Nights: Team up with a local eatery! They donate a portion of the day’s takings to your cause.
    • Cross-Promotions: Partner with businesses offering complementary services. Share each other’s flyers, offer discounts to each other’s customers.
    • Skill/Service Exchanges: Got a volunteer with mad tech skills? See if they can help a business in exchange for promotion or a donation.
    • Corporate Sponsorships: Approach larger businesses to sponsor an event, program, or even specific items for your cause.
    • Shop windows: Ask stores to display posters or info about your cause.
    • “Round Up” Campaigns: Partner with a shop so customers can round up their purchases with the extra going to you.
    • Gift Card Bonanza: Collect gift cards from local businesses, then raffle them off in bundles.
    • “Business Battle” : Lighthearted competition between businesses to see who can raise the most for you in a set time.
    • Local Celeb Partnership: Auction off a coffee date, lesson, or even just a social media shoutout from a local personality.
    • Support Local’ Gift Hampers: Collaborate with businesses to create local-themed hampers to be auctioned or raffled.
    • ‘Celebrity’ Window Displays: Businesses create themed displays, people pay to vote on their favourite.
    • Workplace Challenge Month: Encourage workplaces to compete in fundraising with fun challenges, and a big prize up for grabs. A fun idea would be to host themed dress-up days with a small donation per participant.
    • Business Skills Workshop: Professionals donate their time to lead useful workshops (tax tips, social media for business) with fees going to your cause.
    • ‘Lunch and Learn’ Series: Partner with local eateries – people pay for a meal and get a short talk on a relevant topic.
    • Charity Dog Wash: Team up with a groomer or pet store, charge per dog wash!
    • Local Celeb Auction: Get donations of time/skills from well-known locals (coffee date, signed book, etc).
    • ‘Mystery Box’ Challenge: Businesses create themed boxes (foodie, pamper, etc.). People buy without knowing what’s inside!
    • ‘Live Music Lunch Breaks’: Partner with a café, have local musicians play short sets, donations encouraged.
    • ‘Round Up for Charity’: Ask stores if customers can round up their purchases, with the extra going to your cause.
    • ‘Spin-the-Wheel’ Discounts: Businesses offer discounts based on a spin-the-wheel game, attracting customers for a good cause.

Tip: The Sweet Spot of Partnership

It’s not just about the money! Good partnerships offer businesses a way to boost their own community image and customer loyalty. Highlight how you’ll help them reach a caring audience while they help you hit your fundraising goals.

Unique and Out-of-the-Box Ideas

  • Themed Flash Mob: Learn a simple dance routine, gather your crew, and surprise shoppers in a public space. Collect donations and hand out info on your cause.
  • Fancy Dress Car Wash: Bust out the superhero costumes or retro gear, crank the tunes, and make washing cars a hilarious fundraiser.
  • Sponsored Dares: Have a volunteer shave their head, eat a weird food combo, or get a silly tattoo – all if you hit donation targets! Livestream for extra impact.
  • “Jailbreak” Fundraiser: Pay to have ‘well-known’ community members ‘locked up’ – they have to raise their ‘bail’ to get out.
  • Gumboot Toss Competition: A classic Kiwi activity turned fundraiser! Charge per toss and award prizes for the furthest throw.
  • Pet Show with a Twist: Dress-up, funniest trick, or ‘looks most like their owner’ categories.
  • Giant Board Game Tournament: Human-sized chess anyone? Great for schools or community groups.
  • Blindfolded Taste Challenge: Can people guess mystery foods? Donations to enter, extra laughs guaranteed.
  • Movie Quote Quiz: Focus on classic Kiwi films (think Goodbye Pork Pie, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, etc.).
  • Sheep Shearing Competition: If you’re in a rural area, this could be a big draw. Charge spectators and have fun side competitions.
  • “Reverse Raffle”: Sell a limited number of tickets, the last ticket holder standing wins a big prize.
  • Talent Time-Capsule: Bury submissions (poems, photos, etc.), to be dug up years later as a fundraiser and historical snapshot.
  • Mystery Box Sale: Source donated items, wrap them, and sell the mystery boxes.
  • Paper Airplane Contest: Charge per entry, prize for farthest flight – great for open spaces.
  • ‘Bad Joke’ Contest: People submit terrible jokes – you charge for entries and have folks vote (by donation) for the worst one.
  • Pop-Up Plant Sale: Source donated seedlings/cuttings, run a plant sale with a focus on natives or edibles.
  • ‘Worst Movie’ Night: Screen a hilariously bad film, with themed snacks and dress-up encouraged. Charge for entry.
  • Sponsored ‘Head Shave’/Dye: Supporters donate for volunteers to get a radical hair makeover livestream it!
  • ‘Awkward Family Photo’ Competition: Dig out those cringeworthy gems, charge for submissions and voting.
  • ‘Blind Date with a Book’: Wrap donated books in brown paper with clues, sell them as surprise reads.

Tip: Embrace the Silly

The more out-there the idea, the better! A bit of good-natured silliness makes your fundraiser stand out and encourages folks to loosen those purse strings for a good cause.


Time to Get Fundraising!

Whether you’re a grassroots community group or a nationwide organization, this list proves that fresh and effective fundraising is within your reach. There are ideas here to suit everyone, from those needing zero setup all the way to big and bold events. Remember, it’s not just about the money – enthusiasm is contagious! Have fun with these ideas, adapt them to your needs, and watch your fundraising efforts in New Zealand soar.

Let’s Make a Difference, Together

Know someone else organising a sausage sizzle or raffle? Share this blog post to spread the fundraising love! The more creative we get with our causes, the stronger our communities become. Kia kaha, New Zealand!

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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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