Fund Raising Ideas

There are a variety of fund-raising ideas available for further investigation. Select the one you'd like to read about from the drop-down box and you'll see what's available. A contact person is listed with his/her e-mail address for each idea.

For information on how this list was assembled and how you can get your club's success story added, see the notes at the end.


Multi-Sport Challenge

Kiwanis Club of Te Awamutu, New Zealand

The Te Awamutu Kiwanis do all of the marshaling and much of the time keeping on the course which consists of the following: 30km bike ride to a dormant volcano, a 40km bike ride to a reservoir, a 30km water ski on the reservoir, a 10km run to another village, a 16km kayak paddle down the Waikato river to "The Narrows," and a 20km bike ride back to Te Awamutu. (WHEW!)

Members in your club: 31.

Members participating: About 55 (including partners and older children).

Net amount earned: 1996 net = US$3,120; 1997 net = US$2,770.

Up-front money required: About US$8,450 in non-variable costs but our financial risk was partially offset by committed grants from the major sponsor to the amount of US$4,485.

Risk if project not successful: Financial risk as above. There is some liability risk should there be an accident but we try to minimize this by getting signed financial disclaimers from competitors (and by not holding the event in a litigious country).


Peanut Sale

Kiwanis Club of West Monroe, Louisiana

Don't overlook the obvious. This year our club held its first ever Peanut Day, using the guidelines, suggestions, and product supplied by Kiwanis Peanut Day, Inc. at (888) 768-8386 or visit their website at

Basically, you stand on a street corner with canisters and ask for donations from people driving by and give them a small package of roasted peanuts as a way of saying thank you for their donation. We were hoping for a net profit of $500 and were thrilled at the end to count the proceeds and learn we had collected $3,650 in a day and a half.

Members in your club: 30

Members participating: 25

Up front money required: None, Kiwanis Peanut Day, Inc. will bill you 30 days after your scheduled event.

Risk if project not successful: The cost of peanuts and other supplies, our total cost was $500 and we were able to get local businesses to offset these costs.


Annual Raffle

Kiwanis Club of Lakewood, Colorado

Members and local merchants donate a variety of good merchandise, gift certificates, cash, etc. The top prize is always a trip. United Airlines allows charitable organizations to set up accounts into which people can transfer their frequent flier miles. We recruit a major hotel chain to donate a week's lodging in Hawaii (any other popular vacation destination would work just as well). We print up a donation form on which the relevant information about the prize, its value, how and where to claim it, the donor's signature, etc. We normally collect at least 60 or more prizes; this year we had 120! We sell the raffle tickets for $5 each. The raffle tickets list the donors, starting with the most valuable prize. On the back of the raffle tickets, we list all of the service projects of the club, so that people know where their money is going.

Members in your club: 52.

Members participating: 52.

Net amount earned: Just over $11,000 net this year.

Up-front money required: Minimal. All of the prizes are donated; only expense is for printing the donor forms and the actual raffle tickets.

Risk if project not successful: top prize. If you can't get enough frequent flier miles or the hotel accommodations donated, that money has to come out of the money raised and could result in a loss. We've never experienced a loss, because we've always either locked in the top prize ahead of time or sold way more raffle tickets than are needed to turn a profit.


Christmas Tree Sale

Kiwanis Club of East Bridgewater, Mass.

Christmas tree and wreath sale.

Members in your club: 71.

Members participating: 71.

Net amount earned: $10,000.

Up-front money required: Nil. Supplier doesn't charge for trees and wreaths until after club sells enough to pay in full.

Risk if project not successful: Limited to cost of trees and wreaths if none was sold.


Motorcycle Raffle

Kiwanis Club of East Bridgewater, Mass.

Harley Davidson motorcycle raffle (350 tickets sold @ $100 each)

Members in your club: 71.

Members participating: 50.

Net amount earned: $13,000.

Up-front money required: $18,000 (cost of motorcycle).

Risk if project not successful: Cost of motorcycle and printing if no tickets were sold at all.


Haunted House

1. Kiwanis Club of Hubbard, Ohio

The club bought the house on a land contract in 1976 and the contract was co-signed by 3 club members. If for some reason the club did not make its once a year payment, the co-signers would have been obligated to cover the shortage. Thankfully that never occurred. The contract was for ten years, unless paid off sooner, and if was paid in nine years ($40,000). Over the 21 years we have grossed over $350,000, with a large profit some years and other years when the profit was smaller because of various renovations and special effects for the house.

Members in your club: 33.

Members participating: 33.

Net amount earned: $8,000 to $25,000.

Up-front money required: None. Necessary supplies are on account with vendors.

Risk if project not successful: None other than supplies for this year.

Note: Success breeds success. When we started the project we were the only Haunted House in the area, last year we had seven competitors, four of them for-profit businesses.

2. Kiwanis Club of the Bavarian Village, Leavenworth, Wash.

We found a warehouse not in use where we could stay set up for two long weekends (4 days each).

Members in your club: 17.

Members participating: 17.

Net amount earned: $4,000.

Up-front money required: None.

Risk if project not successful: Supplies


Sunday Luncheon

Kiwanis Club of Wake Forest, N.C.

Four times a year, we cook and serve a Sunday buffet luncheon to the community for $6.00 a plate. This is done at a local school cafeteria that is closed on Sunday.

Members in your club: 40.

Members participating: 40 + Key Club.

Net amount earned: $1,200 per occurrence.

Up-front money required: Supplies

Risk if project not successful: Supplies only.


Tricycle Race

Kiwanis Club of Akins, S.C.

Tricycle race down main street. They have bought 10 "Big Wheel" tricycles for the 3-6 year olds, and 10 for the 7-10 year olds. They limit each race to 10, and often have several heats. To race, a child needs a sponsor. Individual sponsors pay $20, and business sponsors pay $40. The sponsor's name is put on the back of the child in the race. Each race also has a corporate sponsor who pays $100 ("The Honest Bank is sponsoring the 3 year old race"). At the end of each race, there is a trophy for the winner, and nice ribbons for 2nd and 3rd places (every child gets a participation ribbon). The mayor personally presents the awards and ribbons, and the place is full of parents with cameras. Great PR for Kiwanis.

Members in your club: 58.

Members participating: 40.

Net amount earned: $6,000.

Up-front money required: Cost of 20 tricycles.

Risk if project not successful: Initial cost of 20 tricycles.


Golf Tournament

Kiwanis Club of Greensboro-Nat Greene, Greensboro, N.C.

Annual golf tourney at a putt-putt course. Club members recruit teams of four, at a cost of $100 per team. Each person plays 27 holes, and it is a "shotgun" start. They use a course that has 3 or 4 18 hole courses and usually have 60-80 teams. They have different divisions of teams, such as CPAs, Legal, Medical, Bankers, Finance/insurance, General Commercial (4-6 groups). Each team is split up so that you play with people you may not know and make new friends. There is a rain date. The course charges a reduced rate($1 per person). The event starts at 6:30 p.m. on a week night, and is over by 7:45 with a pizza party after. They get a big buffet at a local pizza place, and everyone comes for the food and awards. There is an award per division, and a grand champion. Circle K members assist.

They also have corporate hole sponsors ($25 per hole), a hole in one contest on certain holes, with the $1 per try split 50:50 between everyone who got a hole in one on that hole. They actually make about $150/hole doing this. They also let you guess your team score for $4 per team. It is such fun that they have people calling about it.

Members in your club: 100.

Members participating: 60.

Net amount earned: $3,500 to $5,000.

Up-front money required: Prizes and supplies unless donated.

Risk if project not successful: Virtually none.


Show Ticket Sale

The Two Divisions in Raleigh, N.C.

The two divisions is Raleigh, NC buy out the house one night in December for a local production of Dickens' Christmas Carol, a seasonal favorite here. Tickets are then sold at increased prices due to popularity of show.

Members in your club: Unknown -- involves two entire Divisions.

Members participating: Involves two Divisions.

Net amount earned: $10,000 to $13,000

Up-front money required: $30,000 which is payable after the event.

Risk if project not successful: $30,000 if no tickets at all were sold.


Car Raffle

Kiwanis Club of Tri-Cities Industry, Richland, Wash.

Car raffle. One Kiwanian simply donated $15,000 to jump start the project and the money was used to buy a car which we raffled off. Kiwanians were given tickets to sell but most of our members just hate to do that and, in general, they'll take the tickets and then return them unsold at a later date. A few will buy some or all of the tickets themselves. So we set up a booth in a nearby covered mall, parked the car nearby, and assigned Kiwanians to sit in the booth and sell tickets.

Members in your club: 47.

Members participating: 47 in club plus two other clubs in same vicinity.

Net amount earned: Netted $93,000 and there's a shiny brass plaque with our clubs' names on it in the lobby of the Cancer Center.

Up-front money required: None. Car was donated.

Risk if project not successful: $18,000 for car.


Event Parking

Kiwanis Club of Tri-Cities Industry, Richland, Wash.

Selling car access to parking at county fair.

Members in your club: 47.

Members participating: 20.

Net amount earned: More than $2,000.

Up-front money required: None.

Risk if project not successful: None.


Duck Race

Rotary Clubs in TriCities Area, Wash.

Short description of the project: They (the Rotarians) sell little rubber ducks for $5 each year, year after year. Ducks are dumped into the Columbia River and the first 50 or so crossing the finish line win prizes. They promote like crazy in the press, buy TV advertising time, post signs in all their members businesses and even sing goofy duck songs at their meetings. And we Kiwanians envy them.

Members in the club: Approximately 400.

Members participating: Approximately 200.

Net amount earned: $125,000 per YEAR!!!

Up-front money required: A per-duck fee is paid to the franchiser and advertising costs.

Risk if project not successful: Cost of the prizes.


Pie and Ice Cream Sale

Kiwanis Club of Richland, Wash.

Sold pie and ice cream at a community arts festival and got lucky: it was hot as blazes.

Members in your club: 120

Members participating: 20

Net amount earned: $2,500.

Up-front money required: Pie and ice cream.

Risk if project not successful: Pie and ice cream (not too much risk -- we Kiwanians can eat the unsold stock!)


Fishing Derby

Kiwanis Club of the Bavarian Village, Leavenworth, Wash.

Fishing derby, which took place for the first time this spring. We had all prizes donated, except the grand prize, which we got for cost (a boat motor).

Members in your club: 17.

Members participating: 17.

Net amount earned: $500.

Up-front money required: Cost of boat motor for grand prize.

Risk if project not successful: Cost of boat motor.


Yard Sale

Kiwanis Club of the Bavarian Village, Leavenworth, Wash.

One-day yard sale with donated items.

Members in your club: 17.

Members participating: 6+

Net amount earned: $600.

Up-front money required: None.

Risk if project not successful: None.


Art Raffle

Kiwanis Club of Forbidden Plateau, Comox, B.C., Canada

Purchased a print of a local artist's work and sold tickets to win the print at $2 each. Goal was 400 tickets sold.

Members in your club: 20.

Members participating: 20.

Net amount earned: $500

Up-front money required: $300 for print and printing

Risk if project not successful: $300 for print and printing.


Golf Ball Rumble

Kiwanis Club of Forbidden Plateau, Comox, B.C., Canada

"Golf Ball Rumble," which is a modified golf ball drop (see the Olympia club's project below) where 2,000 golf balls are obtained, tickets are sold at $5, and the ticket number is placed on a golf ball. When the day comes, the balls will be loaded on a dump truck, taken to the top of a small hill and released. The first ball to pass the finish line will win the $3,000 prize, leaving the club with $7,000 profit.

Members in your club: 20.

Members participating: 20.

Net amount earned: $7,000.

Up-front money required: Ticket printing and golf balls, if not donated.

Risk if project not successful: Printing of tickets and covering the $3,000 prize.


Golf Ball Drop

Kiwanis Club of Olympia, Wash.

We sold $5 tickets to a golf ball drop. 1st prize $1,500, 2nd prize $750, 3rd prize $250. Numbered balls were dropped from a helicopter onto the fairway of a golf driving range where a "hole" and flag were installed. Need to ensure spectators are well separated from drop area. Three judges determined the winners. We hired a local helicopter service for the drop. Other expenses were the Gambling Commission permit, and printing of the tickets. We needed to sell 573 tickets to cover our expenses. We sold 1120 tickets.

Tickets are relatively easy to sell if public can identify with the use of the net proceeds.

Members in your club: 101.

Members participating: 30.

Net amount earned: $2,500.

Up-front money required: Tickets, license.

Risk if project not successful: Tickets, license and $2,500 if no tickets were sold.



Kiwanis Club of Greeley, Colorado

Members in your club: 137.

Members participating: 35.

Net amount earned: $13,000 after 15 months of holding Bingo.

Up-front money required: About $2,000 for supplies and guarantee of door money. This gets paid back to the service fund as soon as the proceeds equal that amount. Afterward, the required funds are kept in the Bingo account.

Risk if project not successful: About $2,000 if Bingo payouts and pull tab winners were to exceed the take. $2,000 would be unlikely, because we have never failed to earn at least $200 after paying rent. We have made $2,000 on some nights.


Talent Show

Kiwanis Club of Greeley, Colorado

"Stars of Tomorrow" talent show for youth. We rent the large concert hall here in Greeley and put on a professional talent show of six performers each from elementary, junior high and high school. Funds are raised by all club members obtaining donations from individuals and businesses, for which they receive a listing, under the appropriate column, according the amount donated. The winners in each age group receive a cash award from $100 to $250, and the best of show receives a $500 scholarship, payable upon receipt of a bill from the college. The winner from each Division goes to the District Stars Show held in April or early May. We gross about $19,000, but expenses for rental, ads and prized run about $3,000.

Members in your club: 137.

Net amount earned: $16,000.

Up-front money required: None. We are billed for the concert hall and the prizes are not given until day of show.

Risk if project not successful: None, since we receive enough to cover the hall and tickets from club members themselves.


Coupon Sale

Kiwanis Club of Greeley, Colorado

The three largest supermarket chains here (Safeway, King Soopers and Albertsons) all offer grocery coupons for sales by non profits. Coupons, which are like gift certificates and can be used as if they were cash (and one receives cash back if the purchase is less than the coupons presented). The coupons are purchased for 5 percent less than face value. For example, a $20 coupon sells for $20, but the club has only paid $19. Coupons are for sale at club meetings.

Members in your club: 137

Members participating: 5 or fewer consistently. Our problem is educating our members as to the value of the project. If only 25 members purchased $100 in coupons each and every week, we'd make over $6,000 per year free and clear.

Net amount earned: $1,200 per year at the present time.

Up-front money required: Substantial, since the best discount is for purchases of $15,000 in coupons at a time.

Risk if project not successful: None, since the chains would buy back the coupons for what was paid for the coupons were we to terminate the project.


Roof Sitting

Kiwanis Club of Cheyenne, WY

One crazy Kiwanian needed to agree to camp out on a roof. Pledge sheets can be made up and circulated in the community. Pledges are made either in the form of a total sum donation, or a pledge for each day the Kiwanian camps out. I was on the roof of a local building for 5 days and 4 nights. Be sure to bring lots of sunscreen and water. The key is to make a spectacle of yourself and hound the local media about covering your project. The only responsibility to the other Kiwanians in your club is to tell EVERYONE they can why you are on the roof.

Members in your club: More than 400.

Members participating: 1

Net profit: $5,200

Up front money required: NONE

Risk if project not successful: 1 tired and sunburned Kiwanian who will not want to see the top side of a building for a long time! Have fun!


Celebrity Roast

Kiwanis Club of Seneca Falls, NY

Contact: Martin Toombs

Since the mid-70s, our club has had fund raising events which involve talking a widely known person into being the subject of a "roast." We have found we can't do this every year. Sometimes we have roasted club members, but the most important factor is the person's willingness to be the butt of some jokes. The "victim" also gets an opportunity to respond in kind. It's VERY important that a good tone be set for the evening -- no dirty jokes, no hurting cracks. We've roasted judges, politicians, a college president and businessmen and business women, with varying profits ranging up to $3,200; a state Senator (a former victim himself) would be upset if we didn't ask him to be the MC each time. Some profit comes from selling dinner tickets, but most comes from selling ads in the evening's program book.

Members in your club: 55.

Members participating: 30-35.

Net profit: $2,500-$3,200.

Up front money required: Ticket printing, etc.

Risk if project not successful: Public embarrassment. I think it would be impossible to lose money.


Flag Service

Kiwanis Club of Lubbock, Texas

About seven years ago we developed a program called Project American Flag and we think it is the ultimate fund raising program. Basically, it is a service we provide to selected neighborhoods, a service of putting out the American Flag in the front yards of our subscribers on six national holidays a year. Since we started this program we have been raising over $30,000 each and every year. Actually, we could be raising much more, but after our first year we gave approximately 200 of our subscribers to our sister club here in Lubbock, and now they too are raising over $30,000 each year.

Members in your club: 50.

Members participating: 50.

Net profit: $30,000.

Further information available (toll free) by calling (888)806-FLAG.


About this list

The original submissions for this page were compiled from contributions from participants in the Kiwanis listserv as assembled by Bill Crews of the Kiwanis Club of Greeley, Colorado, in July 1997. Additional ideas have been submitted by visitors to this page.

If you want to add your club's success story to this listing, please e-mail me. Supply the same information as given above, and an e-mail address for further information, if possible.