20 sustainable fundraising ideas for schools, charities and individuals

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, discover 20 sustainable fundraising ideas below to help you achieve your goals while teaching others about environmental conservation and social consciousness.

20 sustainable fundraising ideas

In today’s world, it has become increasingly important for schools, charities and organisations to host sustainable fundraisers. With environmental issues gaining more attention, aligning fundraising efforts with sustainable practices is crucial.

Sustainable fundraisers have numerous benefits, including minimising waste generation, reducing carbon footprint, and promoting responsible resource usage. They also attract environmentally conscious donors, sponsors, and supporters who appreciate and value sustainable initiatives.

But most importantly, sustainable fundraisers provide educational opportunities that raise awareness about environmental challenges and encourage individuals to adopt eco-friendly behaviors, creating a positive and long-lasting impact.

There are many alternative options available for raising funds without producing additional waste, such as selling seeds and second-hand books or collecting empty bottles and coins. Discover 20 sustainable fundraising ideas below to inspire your next sustainable fundraising event.

Sow ‘n Sow Gift of Seeds Fundraiser

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 tear-away plant label and an envelope for gifting or mailing purposes.

You can purchase and sell or pre-sell a range of Gift of Seeds, so there’s no risk involved! Each pack generates $5 profit. The minimum order quantity is 25 packs which cost $100 and can return a profit of $125.

Recommended by Child Mags, Brisbane Kids, Eco Voice and Newy with Kids.

Fun Run Fundraiser

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.

The Turtle Tribe Bamboo Toothbrush Fundraiser

Addressing plastic pollution is a crucial environmental concern, and The Turtle Tribe offers a simple solution to educate and empower your community while raising funds simultaneously.

Introducing The Turtle Tribe’s Bamboo Toothbrushes, a healthy and eco-friendly alternative to traditional fundraising items like chocolates.

By selling Bamboo Toothbrushes for $2.50 each, you can not only raise funds but also educate your community about the detrimental effects of plastic pollution. Switching to bamboo toothbrushes is a simple step towards reducing plastic waste. With every sale, 50% of the proceeds will directly support your cause.

Bottles and Cans Fundraiser

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.

Boo Collective Bamboo Products Fundraiser

Searching for a fundraiser that will captivate parents with young children? Look no further than the Boo Collective Give Back fundraiser. Boo Collective offers a range of sustainable everyday products for families at budget-friendly prices, making sustainable living a breeze.

From bamboo toothbrushes and cups to straws and suction dinner sets, Boo Collective provides a variety of eco-friendly options. You can organise this fundraiser by using an order form, where 40% of the total sales will be returned to your cause. Alternatively, you can share a unique online code with your family and friends, and for every order placed using that code, you will receive 25% of the total value towards your cause.

Rummage Sale Fundraiser

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.

Onya Sustainable Products Fundraiser

Onya Fundraising presents an excellent chance for your community to rally behind your cause while acquiring environmentally friendly, top-notch products that actively combat single-use plastic.

By facilitating the purchase of Onya’s sustainable and practical items like reusable produce bags, tote bags, coffee cups, and more, you can make a significant impact. Whether you prefer to fundraise via an online code, a market stall, or direct orders, the options are flexible. Each product sold will generate a net margin of 40%, allowing you to retain 40 cents for every dollar spent on Onya products.

Clothing Sale Fundraiser

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.

Bamboo Towel Fundraiser

Generate funds for your school or charity by offering rolls of Good Change Store Bamboo Towels.

Say goodbye to single-use paper towels and synthetic cloth rolls and embrace this eco-friendly alternative. These bamboo towels are highly absorbent, allowing for multiple uses before requiring washing, with a lifespan of up to 85 uses.

The best part? Good Change Bamboo Towels are 100% compostable, making them an ideal choice for environmentally conscious homes. With every pack sold, $2 will directly benefit your school or charity, making this fundraising opportunity even more impactful.

Second-hand Book Sale Fundraiser

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.

Bee Wrappy Beeswax Food Wraps Fundraiser

Say goodbye to plastic cling-wrap and support a worthy cause by organising a Bee Wrappy fundraiser. Bee Wrappy beeswax wraps offer a sustainable alternative to single-use plastic and traditional cling-wrap. These wraps can be used to wrap sandwiches, cover bowls, or keep food fresh in the refrigerator. Crafted with care in the beautiful Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Bee Wrappy beeswax wraps are made from 100% natural ingredients.

Running this fundraiser comes with no upfront costs, making it accessible to everyone. For every pack of Beeswax Wraps sold, your school will generate $11 in funds. Not only will you be promoting eco-friendly practices, but you’ll also be supporting a local business and contributing to your school’s financial goals.

Bake Sale Fundraiser

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.

Zero Co Cleaning Products Fundraiser

Gather your community and inspire them to reduce the use of toxic chemicals in their homes and the waste of plastic bottles with a Zero Co fundraiser.

Just like the milk man re-imagined. Zero Co deliver incredible personal-care and home-cleaning products direct to your door (minus all the single use plastic). Simply refill your bottles and return the packs to be used again.

Grab a starter pack or top up on products you already have and raise up to $40 profit per sale. Plus, for every $10 you raise Zero Co take 1KG of plastic out of the ocean on your school’s behalf.

Eco-cloth Fundraiser

Make a positive impact on your school or charity while also contributing to the preservation of our planet through the sale of Good Change Store Eco Cloths.

These high-quality cloths, designed in New Zealand and manufactured in Germany using wood pulp and cotton, have a long-standing reputation in Scandinavia. They are renowned for being lint and streak-free, and can be effortlessly washed in the dishwasher, ensuring convenience. What sets them apart is their composition, free from harmful microplastics that pose a threat to our valuable waterways.

For every pack sold, $2 will directly benefit your school or charity, enabling you to support a worthwhile cause while embracing eco-friendly practices.

Plant Sale Fundraiser

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.

Alternatively, host a Fifteen Trees Fundraiser and sell trees in the form of swap cards. Actual trees or plants are not distributed. Trees cost $5.00 ($4.00 towards the trees and $1.00 back to the school). Once the campaign is over, Fifteen Trees organises the trees to be planted.

EcoStore Soap Fundraiser

Ditch the traditional candy fundraisers and make a positive impact on your community while promoting personal and environmental well-being with Ecostore’s Good Soap for a Good Cause. Whether you’re a school, club, group, or early childhood center, Ecostore are here to support your noble cause.

Good Soap for a Good Cause offers Ecostore’s beloved bar soaps as a fantastic fundraising option. It operates just like a traditional candy fundraiser but with a healthy twist. Each bar soap is priced at $2.50, and for every soap you sell, you raise $1 in funds. The soaps are conveniently packaged in handy carry cases, making it easy for you to start selling right away.

Mobile Phone Fundraiser

Did you know there are more than 23 million unused mobile phones lying idle in desk drawers and cupboards across Australia?

Fight the war on waste and raise funds by gathering these unused phones and selling them through Mobile Monster. The process is straightforward: you collect pre-owned mobile phones, asses their value on Mobile Monster’s website and send them to Mobile Monster. In return, your school or charity will receive monetary compensation for each device received.

Ecosilk Tote Bag Fundraiser

Ecosilk Bags are the perfect fit for your fundraising efforts. Not only are they vibrant, attractive, and well-crafted, but they are also highly practical. With the single-use plastic bag ban in full effect, the demand for reusable tote bags has skyrocketed, making Ecosilk Bags a valuable accessory for anyone on the go.

Choose to purchase and sell Ecosilk Bags at markets, fetes, and gift stalls or pre-sell them individually, so there’s no risk involved. By accessing wholesale pricing, you receive a healthy profit margin for each bag sold, making it easier to reach your fundraising goals.

Terracycle Recycling Fundraiser

With TerraCycle, you can easily raise funds for your school by recycling hard-to-recycle waste that is not typically accepted in regular curbside recycling bins. The more waste you send in, the more money you can generate!

By participating in TerraCycle’s recycling programs, you can earn rewards points for each shipment of hard-to-recycle items. These points can be redeemed as monetary donations for your school. The process is simple: sign up for their free recycling programs, set up a recycling station at your school, encourage your school community to bring the accepted items, and then mail the collected waste to TerraCycle for free.

Not only will your school benefit financially, but students will also learn about the importance of recycling. It’s a win-win situation where your school raises funds effortlessly while promoting environmental awareness.

Spare Change Fundraiser

Turn your spare change into a powerful force for change! Host a spare change fundraiser and make a big impact with small coins.

It’s as simple as collecting those spare coins that often end up forgotten in pockets, wallets, and couch cushions and dropping them into designated collection boxes or containers at your workplace, school, or community centre.

Even foreign money leftover from overseas trips can be collected and exchanged to increase the impact!

Gifts to Grow

Embedded and inspired by nature, Sow ’n Sow believe in purposeful gifting that doesn’t cost the planet.

From a small seed of an idea, Sow ’n Sow was dreamt up by founder Michelle Brady combining her love of gardening and flair for design in 2010.


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