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6 Creative Fundraising Incentives to Motivate Your Participants

group of volunteers putting their hands together in motivation

Let’s face it—traditional fundraising methods can take ample time and effort, whether you’re asking for donations, selling goods door-to-door, or planning events. Not to mention, you need active, engaged participants who are willing to put in the work for your fundraiser to be a success. 

Additionally, you need to fairly compensate participants for their time—without dipping too much into what you’re earning for your fundraiser. So, how do you offer fundraising rewards that motivate members to start and continue the work? 

Join us as we explore six creative ways to reward and incentivize your supporters.

The Cup-of-Coffee Gift Card

coffee espresso brewing at a shop

It’s not always about the big trophy; small gifts can serve as expressions of gratitude and reminders to stay engaged. As an early fundraising prize incentive or thank-you gift, consider $5 gift cards to:

Exclusive Access Events

group of people celebrating at a winery

When you’re brainstorming fundraising incentive ideas at a grand prize level, include a category for local points of interest that could offer a behind-the-scenes tour not generally available to the public. How this idea pans out will ultimately depend on how many connections your planning crew has, as well as what your community offers. 

For adults, an exclusive tour or event could be ideal for a fundraising team, family, or winner plus one, for experiences such as:

  • Chocolaterie tour and tasting
  • Theater or media studio tour, meet-and-greet, and event viewing
  • Distillery, brewery, or winery tour and tasting
  • Sports team stadium tour, meet-and-greet, and game viewing
  • Upscale restaurant chef’s table dinner and/or cooking lesson

Similarly, you could look at entertainment parks, candy makers, children’s theaters, museums, or concerts to craft a top prize for younger participants.

Model Kits

group of kids working on legos together

Whether using plastic or laser-cut metal, wood, or paper, we’re in the heyday of model kits designed for all ages. Complex kits are excellent mid- to high-level fundraising prizes for schools whether the recipient is young or young at heart. Kits also offer educational value, as well as screen-free fun time. 

Prices start at about $40 for:

  • Wooden puzzle and model kits from brands like Rokr and UGEARS
  • 3D metal model kits such as Metal Earth
  • Architectural model building kits
  • Lego kits, from Star Wars to the Tranquil Garden (complete with koi and cherry trees!)
Travel Kits

If you’re fundraising for a sports team or other program that often travels for games or competitions, consider practical travel kits as a useful incentive. At a low-price level, you could put together: 

  • A mini cooler 
  • A few shelf-stable snacks and beverages
  • Printouts of suggested packing lists, car games, and weird trivia 
  • Gift cards for gas stations like Shell, 76, or Kwik Trip
  • Gift cards for or popular hotel chains like Marriott and Hampton

If you have more funding or can gather more donations, you can transform travel kits into even larger prizes that contain items such as: 

  • A larger, refrigerated car cooler
  • Reserved parking at a field or event center
  • Travel duffles
  • Toiletry kits
  • Travel entertainment packs with coloring, games, etc.
A Night to Remember

couple enjoying movie night experience at a theater

Another enticing incentive is to plan an exciting night out for top fundraisers. Depending on area attractions and seasonality, these incentives for fundraisers could be something like:

  • A horse-drawn carriage ride and a fancy picnic
  • A limo tour of holiday lights with hot chocolate and cookies
  • A classic dinner and movie night
  • A gift basket for family nights or date nights that could include snacks or cooking ingredients, sparkling beverages or wine, games, restaurant gift cards, or travel gift cards

Want to include some funny fundraising incentives? As long as you enlist individuals who are comfortable in their roles and being the focus of attention, you can offer rewards that provide a laugh when participants reach certain goals, like: 

  • A pie in the face to the coach
  • The principal wears a clown nose all day
  • A group leader sings a silly song over the intercom or at a gathering
  • The music director dresses wears the mascot costume for the day

Consider combining these rewards with weird and unusual fundraising ideas. Then, trigger these incentives when your fundraiser reaches certain goals, or offer these as options to choose from when a leading team or individual reaches a certain goal.

Use RaiseRight to Fundraise and Incentivize

Did you know? There’s a better way to fundraise and reap the rewards simultaneously. Gift card fundraising through RaiseRight is the most convenient way to earn money for your program—without any intensive planning. 

Here’s how RaiseRight works:

  1. Enroll your organization for free, and get approved within 2-3 business days.
  2. Shop gift cards from hundreds of popular brands you know and love, with each brand contributing a percentage back to your cause.
  3. Invite organization members, friends, and family to join your program and earn even more through everyday purchases.

You and your program participants already buy gas, groceries, clothing, or meals regularly. So why not use gift cards to pay for those purchases and earn money for your cause at the same time? With RaiseRight’s ease of use, many families can raise upwards of $1,000 annually—without spending an extra penny.

Learn how RaiseRight works