10 sustainable fundraising ideas for schools, charities and individuals

When it comes to raising funds for a school or charity, there are many wonderful fundraising ideas to help you achieve your goals. But unfortunately, not all fundraising suggestions are environmentally friendly. Some create excess waste, contain plastic or offer gimmick prizes that may end up in landfill. If you’re interested in raising funds without impacting the planet, here are 15 sustainable fundraising ideas to help you achieve your goals while teaching others about environmental conservation and social consciousness.

10 sustainable fundraising ideas

Clothes swap or sale 

Did you know the average person has nearly $300 of clothes in their wardrobe they’ve never worn? A clothing swap or sale is a great sustainable fundraising initiative that gets unworn clothing out of wardrobes and into other people’s hands while raising funds for your charitable cause. It also helps to divert these clothes from entering landfill.

To host a clothing sale, simply ask people to donate unwanted clothing and then create an event to sell all donated items at a set price, e.g. $5 per item.

How to host a clothes swap:

  1. Charge each participant an entry fee to join the swap. The amount you charge will depend on what you offer. For example, $10 is fine to join the swap, but you could charge $20 or more if you offer beverages and appetisers.
  2. Each participant brings clothing they’re happy to swap and receive a token for each item of clothing. You can be specific about the quality of clothing they must bring to keep it fair.
  3. Hang all donated clothes on racks in a room and provide a change room.
  4. Participants can then spend their tokens on ‘new’ items of clothing.

10 Sustainable fundraising ideas for schools, charities and individuals

Sell Gifts of Seeds

Growing seeds benefits the environment and gardening is a great way to stay healthy at any age, so why not encourage people to grow flowers and herbs by selling seeds? 

A Sow ‘n Grow fundraiser gives you the opportunity to sell Sow ‘n Sow’s signature product, a Gift of Seeds, to raise funds for your cause or project. A Gift of Seeds cleverly combines a greeting card with a packet of seeds to form a gift to grow. Each pack is made in Australia from 100% recycled materials and includes a packet of seeds, a tearaway plant label for marking where seeds have been planted and an envelope for gifting or mailing purposes.

You can purchase and sell or pre-sell a range of Gift of Seeds within your local community and network, so there’s no risk involved! 

Gifts of Seeds are great products to sell all year round to friends and family, place on administration counters or sell at special fundraising events such as fetes and fairs, gift stalls or other fundraising affairs.

This fundraiser meets sustainability requirements as a Gift of Seeds is completely plastic-free and 100 per cent recyclable or compostable.  

The minimum order quantity is 25 packs which cost $100 and can return a profit of $125. The more Gift of Seeds sold, the more money individuals and organisations can raise with each pack generating $5 profit. 

Sell 25 = $125 profit

Sell 50 = $250 profit

Sell 100 = $500 profit

Sell 150 = $750 profit

Sell 200 = $1000 profit

Sell 300 = $1500 profit

A range of display stands and promotional materials are also available to help you promote your fundraiser. For more information or to host a Sow ‘n Grow fundraiser, click here.

10 Sustainable fundraising ideas for schools, charities and individuals

Plant sale

A plant sale is easy to organise and a great way to raise money, but it requires a few months of planning before the big event. Start planning your plant sale fundraiser by sourcing plants from people you know or getting them onboard to take cuttings, grow seeds or dig up and repot plants they no longer want. Once you have a large collection of plants, create a fundraising event to sell them.

Green fun run 

A fun run is a wonderful sustainable fundraising event that all ages and abilities can participate in. All you need to do is pick a date and location and request permission to use the location if needed. Then plan the course and set your fundraising goals. To inspire people to raise funds, offer a number of sustainable prizes they can win for raising a certain amount of money. Check out these sustainable prize options.

Collect bottles and cans

Did you know you can earn money from recycling bottles and cans? Create a collection drive and ask your family and friends to collect bottles and cans to be recycled and exchanged for cash. This fundraiser is great to run all year long. Increase participation throughout the year by hosting regular street clean-ups where participants safely walk around the streets and pick up littered cans and bottles. 

Rummage sale

Have you heard of the old saying, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure? A rummage sale is a great way to keep unwanted items out of landfill by giving other people a chance to buy them. It’s also an easy and very profitable fundraising event to organise. Simply ask participants to scour their homes and donate good quality unwanted items. Then price all of the items and run your rummage sale event.

10 Sustainable fundraising ideas for schools, charities and individuals

Second-hand book sale

A second-hand book sale is a great way to raise funds while keeping books circulating rather than sitting on people’s bookshelves. This sustainable fundraising idea is simple to set up and easy to run. Simply ask your family, friends and community members for book donations, set a price for each book, and set a day to sell them. Promote the event within your local community beforehand to raise awareness of your event and boss sales on the day.

Bake sale

Bake sales can be a profitable fundraiser as little or no actual capital is required. They’re also great social events; volunteers love to get together to bake items to donate, and participants enjoy mingling and socialising at the event.

Simply ask your friends and family to donate homemade baked goods for you to sell. Set up an event, hand out sign-up sheets and allocate each volunteer to a specific baked item to avoid ending up with the same cakes.

Create beautiful custom designed promotional seed packets for your next event