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Charity Events

7 spook-tacular Halloween fundraising ideas for nonprofits.

August 7, 2023

Halloween themed fundraisers to BOOst donations.

You know what they say, scaring is caring! Okay, so that’s not exactly what they say… But, that doesn’t change the fact that, when it comes to Halloween, there are plenty of scary-fun ways to fundraise for your nonprofit.

Still not convinced that Halloween is a great excuse to host a fundraiser? That’s where we come in. We’re here with our list of 7+ scary-good Halloween fundraising ideas to give donors of all ages a Halloween fundraising event to remember.

Okay, let’s get to scaring! (Oh, and we’ve ranked them from minimum to maximum effort, just in case.)

1. Ghost story night Halloween fundraiser.

You can approach this one in a few different ways: kid-friendly, adult-only, make it an original storytelling contest, etc. Whatever you decide, this is a great way to raise some funds while entertaining donors. (You can even whip up some Halloween themed swag or snacks to sell. Candy corn popcorn anyone?)

2. Halloween movie night fundraiser.

The list of great Halloween movies is pretty long—which makes hosting a Halloween movie night a pretty great idea. Make it a dusk ‘til dawn affair, or a multi-night outdoor event (we hear cemeteries are super welcoming this time of year). At the screening(s), you can provide popcorn, non-alcoholic drinks, and trick-or-treat bags for participants to purchase for additional donation opportunities.

3. Take your donors on a ghost-hunting tour.

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, why not host a ghost hunting tour or haunted history tour in your town or city. You can ask for voluntary contributions to support your nonprofit’s cause and then take your donors on an eerie walk around town while you tell them all about the spooky and weird histories of the houses and the people who used to live in them. (And, if you’re not the story-telling type, ask around! You might be surprised by how many people have a scary story to tell.)

4. Host a Halloween bake sale and contest to raise money for your nonprofit.

No tricks, just treats! Host a Halloween-themed bake sale, or turn it into a friendly competition by hosting a contest. Invite volunteers to create homemade Halloween treats to sell at your bake sale. Donors (and everyone, really) will love enjoying something sweet while checking out all the creative ways people have decorated their baked goods.

5. Your nonprofit could host a costume contest!

Almost everyone likes to dress up for Halloween. Why not turn it into a way to raise money for your cause? You can even host your own unique spin on the usual costume contest by asking participants to make their costumes at home, or follow a theme of your choice. It’s the perfect opportunity for donors in your network to come out and show off their costume creations, while money raised from ticket and voting ballot sales goes to your nonprofit’s mission.

Plus, you can ensure you’ll attract a crowd by hosting it in a local park and encouraging businesses to set up trick-or-treating booths.

For some extra inspiration, check out ‘WEEN DREAM’s costume fundraising campaign! ‘WEEN DREAM helps provide free Halloween costumes to children in need.

6. Set up a Halloween candy grams fundraiser.

If you thought candy grams were only for Valentine’s day, well, think again! Selling Halloween candy grams is a creative way for your nonprofit to fundraise during the Halloween season. (Yes. Halloween is a season now.)

All you have to do is:

  1. Make or buy your candy grams. (Remember to include a piece of candy!)
  2. Set your price.
  3. Let people know where they can buy them.
  4. Deliver them!

7. Host a zombie fun-run to raise money for your nonprofit.

The typical 5K walk/run fundraising event has met its match! In the spirit of Halloween, mix things up with a zombie run! Recruit some avid runners within your organization to dress up as zombies and run with your participants on race day. Your guests will love the thrill of taking part in a real-life zombie chase while supporting a good cause!

Make a day out of it, by encouraging participants to come as zombies too! They can even donate a little extra for a chance to win best (or worst) costume on the day of the run.

BONUS: A zombie makeup booth is a scary-good Halloween fundraiser.

Set up a booth where makeup artists can transform participants and spectators into zombies, monsters, or other creepy creatures for a small donation.

You can set this up at a fall fair, your zombie fun-run, anywhere!

Okay, shameless plug time: Zeffy offers free online ticketing for your next Halloween fundraiser.

Need an online ticketing platform for your Halloween fundraiser? Zeffy is so good, it’s almost scary! With Zeffy’s free online ticketing system, you can create event registration forms, generate tickets, and manage your event for free. No platform fees. No transaction fees. No fees ever.

A few other articles that are full of fundraising tips and ideas for your nonprofit:

You’ll FALL for these 8 fundraising ideas for nonprofits.

How to organize a fundraising event for a nonprofit organization.

Ready, set, how to organize a 5K charity walk or run.

How to throw successful fundraising events with professional event planner Ally R. Potel.

Webinar - Event planning Q&A with Ally R. Potel from FlyBerry Events.

Webinar - Maximizing your event fundraising with Zeffy.