The Most Successful Type of Fundraiser: Ranking the Top-performing Strategies

Choose the type you think is the most successful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 17, 2024 07:56
Are you ready to be a part of the ultimate fundraising face-off? Welcome to StrawPoll's exciting ranking of the most successful types of fundraisers! We've gathered the top contenders from across the globe, ranging from charity marathons to bake sales, and everything in between. Now it's your turn to cast your vote and help us determine the ultimate fundraising champion. Don't see your favorite fundraiser on the list? Fear not! You can suggest a missing option and rally support for your cause. So, what are you waiting for? Dive into the thrilling world of philanthropy, explore diverse fundraising strategies, and make your voice heard in our quest for the top fundraiser. Your vote matters – let the ranking begin!

What Is the Most Successful Type of Fundraiser?

  1. 1

    Online Crowdfunding

    Brian Meece
    Online crowdfunding is one of the most successful types of fundraising in recent years. It allows individuals or organizations to raise funds from a large number of people via the internet. It's popular because it is easy to set up, and the reach is worldwide.
    Online crowdfunding is a type of fundraising where individuals raise money for a project or cause through an online platform. It enables people from all over the world to contribute small amounts of money towards a common goal, creating a collective effort to support a specific initiative. This method of fundraising has gained popularity due to its accessibility, convenience, and ability to reach a large number of potential donors.
    • Platform: Various online platforms such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe
    • Global Reach: Allows individuals from around the world to participate and contribute
    • Low Barriers: Anyone can create a crowdfunding campaign, regardless of their background or location
    • Multiple Funding Options: Offers different ways to contribute, such as one-time donations, recurring payments, or purchasing rewards
    • Flexible Goal Setting: Campaign creators can set varying funding goals based on the needs of their project
  2. 2

    Charity Auctions

    Charity auctions are another successful type of fundraising. They appeal to people's competitive nature, and the proceeds go to a good cause. Online auctions have become increasingly popular in recent years.
    Charity Auctions is a popular type of fundraiser where valuable items or experiences are put up for bid, with the proceeds going to a charitable organization or cause. Participants can place bids on the items of their choice, and the highest bidder at the end of the auction wins the item. This fundraising method has proven to be highly successful in raising significant funds for charitable purposes.
    • Engagement: High participant engagement
    • Potential funds raised: Significant amounts of money can be raised
    • Exclusivity: Offering unique and valuable items/experiences
    • Social connection: Brings people together for a common cause
    • Excitement: Thrill of competitive bidding
  3. 3
    Walkathons are a great way to raise funds for charity. Participants can collect pledges from friends, family, and colleagues to walk a certain distance. The event also raises awareness of the cause and encourages people to get active.
    Walkathons are a type of fundraising event where participants gather to walk a predetermined distance to raise money for a specific cause or charity. The concept involves individuals or teams collecting donations from supporters who pledge to sponsor them based on the distance they will walk. Walkathons typically emphasize the importance of physical activity and community involvement, making them a unique and engaging way to raise funds.
    • Average distance: 5-10 kilometers
    • Duration: Usually half a day or a full day event
    • Participation: Individuals or teams can participate
    • Pledge-based fundraising: Participants collect donations based on distance walked
    • Event format: Participants walk on a designated route or track
  4. 4
    Raffles are a simple but effective way to raise funds. People buy tickets for a chance to win a prize, and the proceeds go to a good cause. Raffles can be held at events or online.
    Raffles is a type of fundraiser that involves selling tickets for a chance to win a prize. It is a popular and successful fundraising method used by organizations and individuals to raise money for various causes or events. The concept of raffles dates back centuries, with origins in lotteries and games of chance.
    • Ticket sales: Tickets are sold to participants who have a chance to win a prize.
    • Prize selection: A desirable prize is chosen to motivate ticket sales and attract participants.
    • Ticket price: Tickets are usually sold at a fixed price, typically affordable for a wide range of participants.
    • Ticket quantity: Multiple tickets can be purchased by a single participant to increase their chances of winning.
    • Drawing process: The winning ticket is randomly selected from the pool of sold tickets.
  5. 5
    Bake sales are a classic fundraising activity. They are easy to organize and can be held anywhere. People love homemade treats, so they are usually a big hit.
    A bake sale is a type of fundraiser where individuals sell homemade baked goods to raise money for a particular cause or organization. It is a popular and widely recognized form of fundraising that is often organized by schools, churches, community groups, and other non-profit organizations. The main idea behind a bake sale is to sell a variety of delicious baked goods, such as cookies, cakes, muffins, pies, and bread, to raise funds.
    • Low cost: Bake sales generally require minimal upfront costs, as the baked goods are often donated or made by volunteers.
    • Easy to organize: Compared to other types of fundraisers, bake sales are relatively easy to organize, requiring less planning and logistics.
    • Flexible: Bake sales can be organized in various locations, such as schools, workplaces, community centers, or outdoor events.
    • Community involvement: Bake sales provide an opportunity for community members to contribute by baking goods or purchasing them.
    • Wide range of treats: Bake sales offer a diverse selection of homemade treats, catering to different preferences and dietary restrictions.
  6. 6
    Benefit concerts are a great way to raise funds for charity. Musicians and performers donate their time and talent, and the proceeds go to a good cause. Benefit concerts can be held in large venues or online.
    Benefit Concerts are fundraising events that involve live music performances to raise funds for a specific cause, organization, or individual in need. They are typically held in concert venues, theaters, or outdoor arenas and attract a large audience of music enthusiasts and supporters of the cause. The concerts feature various bands, musicians, and artists who volunteer their performances to support the cause. The revenue generated from ticket sales, sponsorships, and donations goes directly towards the benefiting cause. Benefit Concerts not only raise funds but also create awareness and bring people together through the power of music.
    • Target Audience: Music enthusiasts and supporters of the cause
    • Venue: Concert venues, theaters, or outdoor arenas
    • Performers: Various bands, musicians, and artists
    • Volunteer-based: Performers volunteer their performances
    • Revenue Sources: Ticket sales, sponsorships, and donations
  7. 7
    Charity runs are similar to walkathons, but they are more competitive. Participants compete to run a certain distance, and they collect pledges from friends and family. Charity runs are a great way to raise funds and promote fitness.
    Charity Runs are fundraising events typically organized as running races or marathons, where participants raise funds by gathering sponsorships for completing the race. This popular type of fundraiser combines fitness and philanthropy, motivating individuals to support a cause they care about while engaging in physical activity.
    • Inclusive Participation: Charity Runs welcome participants of all fitness levels, making it accessible to a wide range of individuals.
    • Fundraising Component: Participants raise funds by collecting sponsorships from family, friends, colleagues, and their community.
    • Event Distance Options: Charity Runs often offer different race distances, allowing participants to choose based on their fitness level and preference.
    • Event Registration Fee: Participants typically pay a registration fee, which covers the cost of organizing the event and provides a starting point for fundraising.
    • Beneficiary Selection: Charity Runs support a wide variety of causes, allowing participants to select the organization or cause they want to support.
  8. 8

    Charity Galas

    Charity Galas International
    Charity galas are formal events where people come together to support a cause. They typically include dinner, entertainment, and a silent auction. Charity galas are a great way to raise funds and bring people together.
    Charity Galas are elaborate fundraising events typically held in upscale venues to benefit nonprofits or charitable organizations. They combine entertainment, formal dining, and silent auctions to raise funds for a specific cause or a range of charitable initiatives.
    • Event Type: Fundraising Gala
    • Venue: Upscale location or banquet halls
    • Purpose: Raising funds for nonprofits or charitable organizations
    • Entertainment: Live music, performances, and guest speakers
    • Dining: Formal dinner or buffet-style
  9. 9
    Corporate matching is a program where companies match their employees' donations to charity. This is a great way to encourage giving and double the impact of donations.
    Corporate Matching is a fundraising strategy where companies or employers contribute an equal or proportional amount to the donations made by their employees to a specific cause or nonprofit organization. This type of fundraiser is designed to encourage employees to donate more by effectively doubling or multiplying the impact of their contribution through corporate support.
    • Increased Impact: Corporate Matching allows employees to have a greater impact on the causes they care about, as their donations are matched or multiplied by their employers.
    • Higher Donation Amounts: With Corporate Matching, employees are motivated to donate larger amounts, knowing that their contribution will be matched by their company.
    • Employee Engagement: This type of fundraiser promotes employee engagement and participation in charitable activities, as they feel their efforts are supported and valued by their employer.
    • Positive Public Image: Companies that offer Corporate Matching programs often enjoy a positive public image, demonstrating their commitment to corporate social responsibility and community impact.
    • Tax Benefits: Donations made through Corporate Matching programs can be tax-deductible, both for employees and employers.
  10. 10

    Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

    Kimbia (now GiveGab)
    Peer-to-peer fundraising is a program where individuals raise funds from their friends, family, and colleagues. They create personal fundraising pages and share them on social media. This is a great way to reach a large audience and raise funds for charity.
    Peer-to-Peer Fundraising is a type of fundraising where individuals leverage their personal networks to raise funds for a particular cause or organization. It involves encouraging supporters to create their own fundraising pages and reach out to their friends, family, and peers to solicit donations.
    • Platform Type: Online fundraising platform
    • Social Sharing: Ability to share fundraising pages on social media platforms
    • Campaign Tracking: Ability to track individual fundraising progress and overall campaign success
    • Donation Processing: Secure online donation processing and tracking
    • Fundraiser Management: Ability for campaign organizers to manage and communicate with individual fundraisers

Missing your favorite type?


Ranking factors for successful type

  1. Cost-effectiveness
    The amount of money raised versus the amount of money spent on organizing and running the fundraiser.
  2. Engagement
    How engaged and invested the participants and donors are in the fundraiser.
  3. Reach
    The number of people that the fundraiser is able to reach and attract.
  4. Long-term sustainability
    Whether the fundraiser has the potential to become an ongoing tradition or be repeated in future years.
  5. Impact
    The impact of the fundraiser and how it benefits the cause it is supporting.
  6. Creativity
    How unique, creative, and engaging the fundraiser is in terms of activities, events, and marketing.
  7. Volunteer involvement
    The level of support and involvement from volunteers in organizing and running the fundraiser.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most successful type of fundraiser. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or type is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 216 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each type once every 24 hours. The rank of each type is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most successful type of fundraiser

Fundraising is an essential aspect of many organizations and charities. It is a way to gather financial support for a specific cause or project. The success of a fundraiser depends on several factors, including the type of fundraiser, the target audience, and the communication strategy. Over the years, different types of fundraisers have emerged, such as crowdfunding, auctions, charity walks, and bake sales. Each fundraising type has its benefits and drawbacks, and the success of a fundraiser depends on choosing the most appropriate one for your organization. In this article, we will discuss the most successful type of fundraiser and provide you with insights on how to choose the right one for your cause.

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