Creative (and effective) winter fundraising ideas

As the winter chill sets in, there’s a warm opportunity for communities to come together. Fundraising during the colder months doesn’t need to be a dreary endeavor. In fact, it’s the perfect time to engage community members and generate much-needed funds for your cause. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore innovative and effective winter fundraising ideas perfect for the beginning of the year.

10 winter fundraising ideas

Ice Skating Gala

Host an ice skating event at a local rink, complete with winter-themed snacks and music.

How it works

Admission fees are the primary revenue source. Enhance the event by offering skate rentals, winter-themed snacks, and hot beverages for sale. Consider organizing a fun ice skating show or competition as part of the event to attract more attendees.

Planning tips

Partner with a local ice rink and negotiate a revenue-sharing model for skate rentals. Secure vendors for food and beverages, and arrange for a DJ or playlist for festive music. Promote heavily on social media and local community boards.

Snowman Building Contest

Organize a community-wide snowman building competition with various entry categories.

How it works

Charge a registration fee for participants and a small entry fee for spectators. Offer prizes for categories like ‘Most Creative Snowman’ or ‘Best Snow Family’ and have judges select the winners.

Planning tips

Secure a spacious public area and ensure you have permissions. Reach out to local notable figures to judge the contest and ask local businesses to donate the prizes. Set up food and beverage stalls to cater to the audience and participants and drive more funds. Promote the event in local schools, community centers, and through social media.

Pro Tip:

Try to get public figures from the community to serve as judges to help further promote the event.

Winter Wonderland Walkathon

Create a scenic walking route adorned with winter decorations and lights for a sponsored walkathon.

How it works

Participants gather pledges based on the distance they walk or simplify the process and set a general entry fee. Set up stations offering warm drinks and snacks along the way.

Planning tips

Design a scenic route and ensure it’s safe and accessible. Contact local businesses for sponsorships and/or donations for food and beverage stations. Organize volunteer sign-ups to help with all aspects of the walk. This will include setup, registration and check-in, route guides, refreshment distribution, and cleanup.

Winter Photo Safari

Create a winter-themed scavenger hunt where participants take photos of specific scenes or items throughout the community.

How it works

Participants register, pay a fee, and submit photos to win prizes. Extend this up to a weekend or week to maximize participation. Offer prizes for the most creative, humorous, or artistic photos.

Planning tips

Create a diverse list of photo objectives that encourage exploration of local landmarks or hidden gems. Provide clear instructions and guidelines for submissions. Promote the event through local photography clubs and social media. 

Snow Shoveling Service

Offer snow shoveling services in the community for donations.

How it works

Organize teams to shovel snow for community members in exchange for donations. People can sign-up for regular service whenever there is a large snowfall. This is a win-win for neighbors who can’t shovel on their own.

Planning tips

Organize a roster of volunteers and assign them to specific neighborhoods. Promote the service through flyers, community groups, and local online forums.

Cook-off Challenge

Organize a cooking competition where local chefs or amateur cooks can showcase their culinary skills.

How it works

Participants pay a registration fee, and attendees purchase tickets to taste and vote for their favorite dishes. Consider themes like ‘Best Comfort Food’ or ‘Innovative Desserts’.

Planning tips

Choose a theme like “Winter Warmers” or “Holiday Baking”. Secure a venue like a community hall or school cafeteria. Reach out to local food bloggers or chefs to be judges for the ‘Grand Champion Award’. Use social media for promotion and to attract participants and attendees.

Cheesy pun alert!!

If hosting the cook-off in February, you can capitalize on the big game by calling it the ‘Soup-er Bowl’

Outdoor Winter Photo Booth

Set up a winter-themed photo booth with a beautiful snowy backdrop and fun props.

How it works

Charge for photo sessions and send the pictures digitally to participants. You can also post on social media (with their approval) to help drive engagement for your fundraising efforts.

Planning tips

Set up a scenic booth with fun props. Partner with local photographers who might offer discounted rates for a charitable cause. This usually pairs best with an existing community event. With approval from the other event, you could set up at a hockey or basketball game, a community fair, or school concert. 

Indoor Snowball Fight

Create a fun and safe ‘snowball’ fight experience using soft, plush snowballs. This will be a hit with kids.

How it works

Charge for entry and set up different play zones for various age groups.

Planning tips

Rent a community hall or gymnasium and ensure safety measures are in place. Create plush ‘snowballs’ that can be used and reused for multiple ‘fights’. Establish other areas for other winter crafts and activities. Market the event as a family-friendly activity through local schools and family centers.

Hockey Skills Competition

Host a hockey skills competition with events like fastest skater, accuracy shooting, and goalie challenges.

How it works

Participants pay an entry fee to play and spectators can pay to watch the contests. Consider having a 50/50 raffle or silent auction for hockey memorabilia.

Planning tips

Coordinate with local hockey teams or rinks for access to facilities. Reach out to local sports stores for sponsorships or prize donations. Promote through local sports clubs and schools.

Olympics-Themed Competition

Host a mini winter Olympics event with various winter-themed games and activities.

How it works

Charge a registration fee for individual participants and teams. They can compete in events like snowball throwing, sledding races, or a winter-themed obstacle course.

Planning tips

Design a series of fun and safe winter games. Consider partnering with local businesses for prizes. Promote the event as a team-building opportunity for companies and community groups.

Making your winter fundraising ideas a reality with Cheddar Up

Effortless event registrations and ticketing

Planning a large event can seem intimidating, but with Cheddar Up it’s easy as 1-2-3. Picture the cook-off challenge:

  1. Organizers can effortlessly set up a registration page with customizable ticketing options.

2. Cooking participants can submit required information and waivers and securely pay registration fees — all in one transaction.

3. And don’t forget the spectators — they can purchase a ticket online or on the day of the event.

Simplify concessions and merchandise sales with point of sale

Concession stands and merchandise sales are vital to many fundraisers, contributing significantly to the overall funds raised. Cheddar Up’s point-of-sale system shines here. Imagine the snowman building contest — it wouldn’t be complete without a hot chocolate stand. With Cheddar Up, each sale is recorded and payment is processed securely — all from a mobile device or tablet.

Volunteer Sign-Ups Made Easy

Behind every successful fundraiser lies a team of dedicated volunteers. Cheddar Up simplifies the volunteer sign-up process. For example, in a winter walkathon, organizers can create a sign-up page detailing various roles and shifts needed. Volunteers can easily choose their preferred slot and tasks, ensuring an organized and well-distributed workload.

Efficient Collection of Sponsorship Donations

Securing sponsorship donations can be a formidable task for any fundraiser. Whether you’re creating corporate sponsorship levels or asking businesses for general donations, Cheddar Up enables easy online contributions. This convenience encourages greater participation from the community, enhancing the fundraising potential.

Embracing the winter season for fundraising can be both exciting and rewarding. Whether it’s capitalizing on New Year’s resolutions, celebrating love and warmth in February, or welcoming the onset of spring, there are numerous ways to engage your community and support your cause. With Cheddar Up, the hassle of managing these events is significantly reduced. This lets you focus on what truly matters — bringing people together and making a difference.

Have your own winter fundraising ideas?

Ready to transform these frosty months into a season of heartwarming and successful fundraising? Start planning with Cheddar Up today and watch your winter fundraising ideas come to life with ease and efficiency.

Collect for FREE

Whether you’re collecting dues and fees, fundraising, managing an event, creating a sign up, or selling something online or in-person, you can do it with a Cheddar Up collection.

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