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August 9, 2022

Ready to Take Action? 9+ Ideas for Your Next Fundraising Event

Now that we’re able to meet in person again, why not use this opportunity to gather for the greater good of your community? Consider reaching out to your personal network, and encourage everyone to work together to pay it forward.

To help get you started, we’ve compiled a list of 9+ fundraising initiatives that could be the start of a community tradition. Take action by leading an Action Team!

The good news is that Serenia Life Financial helps members launch their fundraiser through our Action Team benefit. How? By providing $150 in seed money – plus a $100 donation to the registered Canadian charity they are supporting. (That’s a total value of $250!)

Wait, what exactly is seed money?

Raising money can sometimes cost money. That’s why we provide our members with funds to help get their fundraising event off the ground. With a little bit of leadership and a lot of community collaboration, the seed money we provide can snowball into something much bigger.

The way we see it, our members ”plant” their seed money and watch it grow by raising community engagement – and a lot more funds – towards a cause they care about.  It’s a powerful and inspiring thing!

Illustration of money being watered and growing into a money tree

Below are some fun ways to foster connection and give back

1.Organize a food and cash drive

How does it work?

Food Banks Canada is always in need of food and financial donations. Organize a community food drive in your area with several drop-off locations for contributors to bring dried goods and cash. From supplying locals with dietary staples to providing funds that can be used for programs that help end the cycle of poverty, the food and funds you raise will most definitely make an impact. Before you start, contact your local food bank for tips and resources. (More info)

How will the seed money help?

Consider using the seed money to create signs advertising your food drive and to purchase prizes for top fundraisers. Prizes are a great motivator when it comes to asking for donations.

2. Hold a street sale

How does it work?

Declutter your living space and organize a street sale in your neighbourhood with all proceeds going to Homeless Connect Toronto. Remember, your trash is someone else’s treasure! Funds you raise can be used to grant a wish by purchasing the most needed items for the homeless. Feel better knowing you’re doing something to help. (More info)

How will the seed money help?

Seed money can be used to purchase coffee, milk, cream, or other beverages or snacks that may help draw a crowd to your event. If you want to attract families, consider offering face painting, temporary tattoos, or freezies. The kids will have a hard time resisting and parents will love doing something fun and wholesome.

3.Host a community house concert and/or used instrument drive

How does it work?

For the past 20 years, ArtsCan Circle has been opening pathways for northern-based Indigenous youth to have access to instruments and to collaborate with different artists. You can raise money for this charity by hosting a community concert in a public space or in your own home. Hire a local musician to perform a concert and sell tickets to the show for $20 per person. To raise cash quickly, have a ”50-50 raffle” with 50% of the cash being awarded as a prize. You can even ask your guests to donate used instruments that are in good condition and Arts Can Circle will ship them to northern communities. (More info)

How will the seed money help?

The seed money can be used for part of your payment to the musicians, or you can use it to make posters or to ship instruments to ArtsCan Circle. If you can get 20-30 people together for your event, you can potentially raise several thousand dollars. Contact ArtsCan for tips and resources.

4. Spearhead a clothing drive and exercise class for women in need

How does it work?

Dress for Success Canada Foundation supports and empowers women on their journey to economic independence. Encourage your friends, family, and peers to cull their closets and bring their gently used professional attire to a park where you’ll offer an exercise class at a sliding scale fee. Encourage participants to reach out to their networks, and invite them to attend your fundraiser. Let them know that this organization provides help with the job search, a support system to help women retain their jobs, and leadership development. Know that your fundraiser will make a significant impact in these women’s lives and will also boost your positive feelings, especially if you read the success stories found on their website. (More info)

How will the seed money help?

You can use your seed money to help cover the cost of hiring an instructor for your exercise class or for fuel for carting clothes to a drop-off centre. Either way, know that your clothes and money will go a long way in changing women’s lives.

5. Choose a birthday gift of giving

How does it work?

No matter your age, choose your next birthday party to ask guests to gift you a brand new kid’s toy or art kit. Have fun revealing the toys at the gathering, and then pack them up and donate them to hospitalized children at Children’s Health Foundation. It’s a fun way to revisit your childhood while helping children experiencing hardship. Do it again the following year or pass the torch on to another friend. If there are young children in your family, ask them if they would be willing to donate some of their birthday toys. (More info)

How will the seed money help?

While there doesn’t appear to be any upfront expenses for this fundraising initiative, consider using the seed money to purchase a delicacy or indulgent dessert or drink for all to share. Let a brand new toy be your guest’s ticket to your evening of culinary adventure. Or send them home with a grown-up ”loot bag” containing a gift card, gourmet goodies, and a thank you note.

6. Participate in an annual run or walk for charity

How does it work?

TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon is an excellent way to get thousands of people to run or walk, in support of their charity of choice. It’s a powerful experience to know that thousands are walking at the same time with the common goal of giving. Is there an organization that has helped you or a loved one through a hard time? If so, pay it forward by selecting this organization as your registered charity when you sign up for the marathon. Better yet, form an Action Team and invite family, friends, and colleagues to join you. (More info)

How will the seed money help?

Consider using the seed money to customize an arm band, water bottle, or coffee mug advertising your team’s name and sell it to your personal and professional circles to raise additional funds.

7. Kickstart a community clean-up day

How does it work?

Join the Royal Botanical Gardens in their ”Taking Action and Tackling Litter” campaign by helping to clean their nature sanctuaries of the remnants and waste that trickle in from the urban life that surrounds the sanctuaries. Encourage your clean-up crew, and community members that can’t make it to the clean-up event, to support you by making a financial donation to your Action Team. Learn to be better stewards of the land while benefitting from the positive effects that come with spending time in nature. (More info)

How will the seed money help?

Keep your fellow volunteers hydrated and nourished by using your seed money to provide water and nutritional snacks. (Encourage everyone to bring a refillable water bottle.) Perhaps you can reward the person who collects the most waste with a gift certificate to an eco-conscious store or restaurant.

8. Organize a home decorating and renovation materials drive

How does it work?

Organize the home reno drive, and use your backyard to house the materials until your ready to bring them to the Habitat ReStore program at Habitat for Humanity. These items can be sold in their retail chains with all proceeds supporting the construction of new Habitat for Humanity homes. Inspire your network to take part by making a financial donation to your Action Team, and don’t be shy about reaching out to renovation stores, construction companies, or contractors to ask for a material or monetary donation for your fundraiser. You can also encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to shop in the Habitat Re(tail)Stores and remind them that by doing so, they’re decreasing our collective carbon footprint by reusing items that would otherwise have gone to waste.

How will the seed money help?

It’s possible that some of your donors may not have a vehicle in which to transport their items. Reach out to your network and ask for volunteer drivers. If you come up empty-handed, consider using your seed money to fund the transport of larger items to the donation centre. Or you can always offer a gift certificate for gas or a home renovation store as a reward for the largest donation.

9. Host a baked goods contest and sale at the new annual Fur & Feathers Adoption Festival

How does it work?

Take advantage of the collective love of baked goods and animals to raise money for wildlife conservation efforts. Encourage bakers to design their mouth-watering wares with our furry and feathered friends in mind, and offer a prize for the top winner. Proceeds from the bake sale can be donated to Wildlife Rescue Association of BC which offers adoption as a tangible way to help one of thousands of animals in need of immediate assistance. Funds are used to provide enriching foods, expert care, and health monitoring. An adoption also includes a certificate, species information, and a charitable tax receipt. (More info)

How will the seed money help?

Consider using your seed money to make posters and offer a prize to the baker with the best animal-inspired decorations. Prizes are a great motivator when it comes to getting people involved. On that note, you can also sell tickets for a 50-50 raffle which should considerably increase the amount of funds you raise.

BONUS! Challenge the children in your life to fundraise in the nostalgic ways of your childhood

How does it work?

Cultivate thoughtfulness and generosity in your kids by having them do something kind for others. Encourage them to start a fundraising initiative like an old-fashioned lemonade stand, cookie sale, book sale, or even have them sell their original artistic masterpieces. Don’t forget to take pictures! All funds can be used to support a charity of their choice such as Orange Shirt Day, Pink Shirt Day, or an animal rescue organization like SPCA Nova Scotia. Lemonade stands are golden opportunities to document your child’s fleeting childhood!

How will the seed money help?

Encourage kids to use some of the seed money to buy supplies for their hand-made attention-grabbing signs or to buy a small gift to provide as a bonus for each item they sell. For instance, young customers can be given a Pokémon card as a thank you gift.


Older kids can contribute to the betterment of society while being in a healthy environment by volunteering at their local YMCA. These service hours can be used toward the community service hours which they’ll need to graduate and to apply for a Serenia Life Financial post-secondary scholarship.)

Feeling inspired to do some good… in-person? Great! Get started with $150 in seed money – an awesome benefit for generous Serenia Life Financial members like you. Take action with the Action Teams benefit today!

Hot tip! Try using the word ”annual” in the name of your event. It’s a simple yet effective technique to establish a new tradition. Plus, the seed funding is available to Serenia Life members once a year – another great reason to make it an annual thing!

This blog post is for informational purposes only. Serenia Life Financial does not endorse or assume responsibility for the information provided on third-party websites, including the ones listed above. Serenia Life Financial strongly encourages all applicants to do their own due diligence when selecting an organization for their Action Team benefit.

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