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9 No-Sweat Passive Fundraising Ideas That Work

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Whether you’re coordinating a fundraiser for your local soccer team or curious about raising revenue as a non-profit organization, the current fundraising forecast is looking up: Recent research projects charitable giving to increase by 4.2% in 2024, with individual and corporate donations making up a total of 68.9% of philanthropic efforts. 

Generating support and revenue through low-effort actions is a simple way to leverage this year’s fundraising trends and strategies and impact the causes you care about.

Looking for passive fundraising ideas for your next campaign? No sweat—below, we’ll walk you through nine easy and effective ways to raise money that really work. 

1. Gift card fundraising

Gift card fundraising is the most effortless way to raise funds for your cause. With RaiseRight, it’s collaborative and convenient, too. Here’s why: 

  • Easy effort – All your participants need to do is buy gift cards, choosing from hundreds of popular brands they already shop from, including Amazon and Walmart. With every gift card purchase, your campaign instantly earns up to 20% back! 

  • Automatic earnings – Earnings come directly from the brand, so you don’t have to knock on your neighbor’s door asking for money or take time out of your busy schedule to plan fundraising parties or events.

  • Community support You can ask as many participants as possible to join your fundraising program. Leverage support from colleagues and community members with a simple invite. 

fundraise smarter, not harder with RaiseRight

Managing a RaiseRight program doesn't require much time—no more than a couple of hours per week. And, it integrates well into your daily, weekly, or monthly to-do list. 

You can choose your level of involvement, whether minimal or extensive. Just take a look at these insights about the personal experience of RaiseRight coordinators*:

  • 50% of coordinators manage their RaiseRight fundraiser just once a week for up to 2 hours

  • Of those who manage their RaiseRight program weekly, 50% don’t spend more than 2 hours per week

  • Of those who manage their RaiseRight program daily, 70% don’t spend more than 2 hours per day

*Based on survey data from December 2023

2. Corporate gift matching 

Want more bang for your fundraising buck? Consider corporate gift matching. With this type of fundraising, corporations match donations made by employees or campaign participants. 

Each corporation’s giving program is unique to its core values. To double down on your impact, seek out companies and corporations that share an affinity for your cause. 

3. Local business partnerships 

When raising money for a community cause or nonprofit, enhance your efforts by partnering with local businesses.

Even if businesses can’t make or match a donation, they can offer a donation-in-kind of their goods or services to make a difference. For instance, if you’re hosting a bake sale, ask your local baker to provide a plate or two of a new treat they’re testing for their menu. 

4. Restaurant partnerships 

Imagine turning a regular dinner date or family outing into a donation. By partnering with local establishments or chains for restaurant night fundraising, you can set a date and time for you and your supporters to do just that.

Most restaurants contribute anywhere from 10–30% of proceeds to your fundraiser. Some restaurants might even be willing to work with you on a recurring basis, minimizing the effort on your part for an effective passive fundraising idea. Simply send invites to your friends, family, co-workers, and community members, or promote your restaurant night on social media.

5. Incentive-based fundraising 

According to former CEOs and current nonprofit planners on Quora, incentive-based giving is a powerful tool for passive fundraising for nonprofits and start-ups. 

With this strategy, you can ask supporters to make a small donation to participate in a raffle or bingo night, for example. In exchange for their support, they’ll receive prizes and perks.

However, knowing what motivates your target audience is key to this campaign’s success. Take a poll to pinpoint what supporters want to win and ensure your offerings don’t outweigh your earnings. In the meantime, here are a few ideas to entice supporters:

  • Concert tickets
  • Gift baskets
  • Movie tickets 
  • Cash prize draw
6. Merchandise storefront 

Selling branded merchandise through an online storefront is a clever strategy to diversify donor contributions and raise money for your cause with minimal effort. For most supporters, wearing branded merchandise extends their commitment to their community

Several online services offer quick and low-cost logo printing on anything from stickers to koozies. Here are a few suggestions:

  • T-shirts
  • Tote bags
  • Sweatshirts 
  • Socks

A bonus? When supporters wear or carry merchandise that displays your logo, they automatically boost curiosity and community awareness for your organization.

7. Giving societies 

With this type of fundraising, your donors and supporters can opt into groups or clubs with corresponding benefits based on their annual giving level—think free admissions to events, facility tours, or first looks at new products or services as perks for their participation. 

Building mutually beneficial relationships with donors can foster lifetime loyalty to your cause.

8. Affiliate programs 

Affiliate programs are a buzz in the marketing world, but they work wonders for fundraisers, too. When you partner with participating brands, your campaign earns a commission on every purchase your supporters make. 

Affiliate programs continuously add dollars to your ongoing fundraising efforts so you can earn year-round and in between fundraisers.

9. Mobile fundraising 

When asked about 2024’s biggest fundraising trends, experienced fundraisers in Canada cited younger generations as a critical demographic in giving, with mobile fundraising as their primary method for making a difference. And the numbers back it up: In the last three years, giving from mobile devices has increased by 28%. Here’s how to harness the trend:

Giving on the go is easy with RaiseRight’s mobile fundraising app. Your supporters can instantly buy eGift cards while checking out, paying the dinner bill, or shopping online at home. 

RaiseRight: The best always-on, passive fundraising idea

Passive fundraising is an effective way to generate continual support for your cause with little effort. Partnering with local businesses, organizing community events, and offering incentives for participation are just a few low-impact actions that can drive meaningful results.

But with so many options and avenues for fundraising, how do you choose which is right for you? 

Make donating appealing and simple through gift card fundraising with RaiseRight. With hundreds of brands to choose from, supporters can easily use RaiseRight gift cards to purchase expenses already in their budget, like groceries, gas, travel, or clothing.

Unlike other passive fundraisers, RaiseRight fits seamlessly into anyone’s lifestyle, no matter their shopping habits. Plus, you can earn year-round with no limits or caps.

Ready to get started?

effortless year-round fundraising with RaiseRight