Melanie has a BS in physical science and is in grad school for analytics and modeling. She also runs a YouTube channel: The Curious Coder.
Finding breast cancer fundraising ideas is no easy task, but using this list of ten fundraiser ideas, you can get started in raising money for your favorite breast cancer charity.
You may believe that large charities receive more than enough money to keep their efforts up, but this is simply not true.
If you're already involved in a charitable organization that supports breast cancer research, care, or awareness, you know that these organizations use their money to help the hundreds upon hundreds of women living with breast cancer.
Because of the massive expenses of these charities and a large number of women in need, there is always a need for money.
Luckily, there are many breast cancer fundraising ideas that even just one person can do!
Idea #1 - Marathons for Breast Cancer
There are tons of marathons and walks all over the US in numerous cities. Each person who takes part either raises money and then donates this money to the charity on race day or pays an upfront, flat amount to take part. These marathons are a great way to meet new friends and have fun doing something for an important cause.
These events occur several times a year, and different charities are in charge of these events. Those who love to take part in these types of events can support many charities and be active in fighting breast cancer year round.
Breast Cancer Marathons
Idea #2 - Host a Party
Hosting a party is the perfect way to raise money and have fun. There are a variety of ways to do this and creativity is the key.
Whether you wish to have a door charge where guests pay a flat fee to get into the party or have activities such as raffles, or even selling products, there are a large number of ways a party can raise money for breast cancer.
Give your party a fun theme like "everything pink" theme where pink foods such as cupcakes and punch are served, and pink clothing is worn. Another idea is to have someone come and speak on breast cancer prevention or talk about a specific breast cancer charity. The party can be thrown in the privacy of your own home, or you can rent out space. The sky's the limit!
Idea #3 - Throw a Formal Benefit/Gala
Throwing a formal benefit or a gala is similar to hosting a party but is on a much larger (and often pricier scale.) However, with a benefit, the fundraising potential is much more significant. When throwing a gala for a charity, it's crucial to enlist the help of others in the area. By doing this, costs can be cut because a friend may know someone who can donate or discount their services for the benefit.
A well thought out plan is essential for such an event, and some details must be ironed out before the event. Essential details include where the benefit will take place, what kind of costs will be involved, who is responsible for which task, which charity will receive the proceeds, any catering that will be required, etc.
Idea #4 - Have a Garage Sale
Having a garage sale is a great way to get rid of things you no longer need and raise money for a breast cancer charity. Even if you can only donate a small part of the proceeds to a particular charity, every little bit helps.
A great way to show your support for your favorite charity is to have a sign at your garage sale saying that X% of the proceeds will go to X charity.
By getting your neighbors and friends involved, everyone can pitch in to host one huge garage sale that will not only draw a large number of buyers but a significant amount of money.
It's essential to advertise your garage sale in the newspaper and on signs ahead of time so more people know about your garage sale and the charity you are involved with.
Idea #5 - Accept Donations in Return for Services
A great way to have a lot of fun while raising money for a breast cancer charity is to offer you and your friends', family's, and colleagues' services in return for donations.
A car wash is a popular example of this as many people host car washes for a variety of charities.
If you don't wish to host a car wash, there are some other things that can be done to earn money for a charity such as mowing lawns.
You can make it so that customers pay a flat fee for your services (such as $5 for a car wash) or you can let them donate any amount they wish.
You can also invite any number of people to donate their time to help earn money for the charity. This is a great way to meet new people and for everyone to feel like a part of the community.
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Idea #6 - Write a Newspaper Article
Those who have excellent skills in writing can write an editorial for the newspaper. Whether you talk about your own battle with breast cancer or just bring awareness to the issue, having a newspaper article published is a great way to raise money for charity.
Be sure to bring your point to life and paint a real picture about breast cancer, but don't forget to talk about how your charity helps and talk about the strength and hope that is behind every breast cancer survivor.
Make readers feel as if they can help (they can) by donating money or their efforts to a breast cancer charity—because your article proves that even just one person can help.
You'll want to contact your newspaper to see if you can get your writing published as an article instead of as an opinion. By doing so, you will gain more exposure for the cause. If the newspaper rejects the idea, then you may want to go ahead and submit it as an opinion. (It was worth the shot.)
After writing your article, proofread it yourself and then ask a friend to take a look at it so it'll be fine-tuned before you submit it.
Idea #7 - Set Up a Table or Booth
Setting up a table in front of a store or even at the county fair is a great way to not only raise money but to gain exposure for a particular charity. By bringing material for passersby to read and taking donations for a breast cancer charity, you can make a large impact. Try bringing friends who also wish to be involved and put on your best smiles and talk with those who pass by.
Dressing in pink is another great way to make an impact, but perhaps the most important thing is to be armed with information not only about your favorite charity but breast cancer, in general. Many people who come up to your table may have questions and by giving an informed answer, you may be helping someone and may even bring in a donation.
Get some interesting facts about the risks of breast cancer, the survival rate, and what your charity does—whether your charity's job is to inform the public about prevention, help those who already have breast cancer, or to raise money for research. Having the right information will be tied very closely to your success, but also don't forget to smile and have fun!
Idea #8 - Silent Auctions
One of the most popular breast cancer fundraising ideas is to host or help out at a silent auction. Most silent auctions are held at events such as festivals. You can help out by managing the auction, donating something to be auctioned, or getting local businesses to give.
One excellent point that you can use in getting a business to donate an item to a silent auction (besides the great cause) is to let them know that people at the event will see that their company has given something. It's a way for a business to advertise in return for donating.
A silent auction is a great way for local businesses to donate to a cause and for patrons to shop around for a great item that they would like to bid on. The more items available at a silent auction, the more money that can be generated. Also, don't forget to have signs around to show patrons that the money goes to a great cause.
Idea #9 - Bake Sales & More
A fun, hands-on way to earn money for a charity is to hold a bake sale. By getting together a group of friends or coworkers and making cookies, cupcakes, and brownies and then selling them, a lot of money can be earned. Also, this is a fun way to support your cause! If bake sales aren't your thing, you can sell trees for buyers to plant, T-shirts, or any number of things.
This type of fundraiser is perhaps one of the most fun and likely the most successful too as those who donate get to bring something home to show that they've helped. This can be held in front of a store, at the mall, a park, or even at a festival given that you get proper permission first. Be sure to be ready to put on your best sales skills and have fun!
Idea #10 - Have a Raffle
A raffle can rake in a lot of money for a charitable cause. There are many places where this could be done, whether it's at a concert, a bowling alley, or event at a college event. However, don't forget to find out what the local laws are on raffles and be sure to have the proper permits as well as permission from the management at the venue where the raffle will be held. That being said, raffles can sometimes generate thousands of dollars.
There are two main types of raffles: a 50/50 raffle where 50% of the money goes to charity and a raffle where you give away an item such as a car. A 50/50 raffle is the least risky as you don't have to worry about raising enough money to cover the cost of the vehicle, but raffling off a car is likely to generate more money. Another thing you can do is have several high-ticket items such as video game systems and televisions and have multiple winners. This increases the chance that any one person may win a prize and thus more people may be apt to purchase a raffle ticket.
These are just a few of the many breast cancer fundraising ideas that are out there. When doing something for your favorite charity, it's essential to have information about breast cancer AND the charity you support so you can answer any questions that someone may have. You may not only receive a donation from this person, but they may want to help you out, thus increasing the amount of money that can be raised. Not just that, but you may also be changing a life.
Remember, raising money for a charity isn't only about the lives that the charity touches, but the lives you touch. And don't forget to have fun! Also, if you have a great fundraising idea, feel free to comment below. Your input is always welcome!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2010 Melanie Palen
Marcia Frey on July 07, 2017:
I belong to a motorcycle organization that has a poker run every year called the pink "ribbon ride. Proceeds benefit breast cancer research. A group of ladies are decorating bras to somehow raffle off for the gentlemen to wear during the motorcycle poker run. I need some ideas on how to "raffle" these off. They will be on display at a weekly outdoor event for 5 weeks leading up to the poker run.
Thoughts on how to raise money for the pretty pink ribbon bras??
Paula Atwell from Cleveland, OH on October 03, 2014:
Great ideas. I haven't done a fundraiser but I have bought from people who do. Bravo!
Alice Yandle on March 18, 2014:
We raffled off a car, big mistake, we barely raised enough to pay for the car. Unless you have a big group I wouldn't raffle off a car. Thank goodness we had a dealership that sold us a car at a deeply discount. 25 ladies in our group. Also if you do raffle off a car, make the raffle in two months not 1 that gives you 60-61 days to sale tickets instead of 30. I have had wine baskets, porcelain doll dressing in Pink, and other baskets.
Ana Maria Orantes from Miami Florida on February 22, 2014:
Miss melanie you are wondergful. I like your ideas on how to make money to help a good cause. God bless you. Thank you. You did an excellent article.
jen on October 29, 2013:
a local salon is offering pink hair extensions for a donation to breast cancer research..i am getting tomorrow!!!
Barry Rutherford from Queensland Australia on October 08, 2013:
Great enjoed reading this! we have many Pink events in Australia too !
JR Krishna from India on October 06, 2013:
Excellent ideas. Breast cancer is troublesome and the treatment is costly. It is a very noble thought to have funds raised for helping people suffering from cancer
Maree Michael Martin from Northwest Washington on an Island on October 01, 2013:
This is a wonderful list of ideas to help stamp out breast cancer. It really helps to know every little bit we do does count. I haven't physically participated in a long time. Yet, your ideas are so inspiring, I am going to try a silent auction.
AvrilLover on February 19, 2013:
thanks a lot this was helpful I am trying to put together a fund raiser at my school for our office secretary who died of breast cancer I miss her. :(
KCWurmser on February 04, 2013:
My (soon-to-be) husband and I have recently started FOOTPRINTS4MARGIE. It is a dedication to his mother who passed away in 2004 due to a very harsh battle of breast cancer.. But not just her, all women and families who were forced to endure the same torture.. All of these ideas are great! I can't wait to try them.. Thank you all! I think I'm going to combine a lot of these ides and open a booth at the flea market. God Bless!
Shawntrell on October 18, 2012:
I have an Idea for a design that I want to market for sales raising awareness for breast canceer, does anyone know with whom I would need to speek to present this design idea?
Johnny c on September 25, 2012:
Thanks for reminding viewers that even though the cost cost to fight cancer can be high sometimes just thinking of the simple fundraisers can go a long way.
jc on September 01, 2012:
my sister tried to do a fundraiser for me, dx in 2010 then lost my job a the biggest insurance company in the same year. so I lost my insurance and my job then 2 months later the same year hubby got laid off. I am still be collected on. It ruined my credit and my husbands and I still haven't beat the disease. My sis sold tickets and set up a craft show, but we only raised about $200 and the building cost $75 so she was so upset. I would love ideas... I am still unemployed, I've went to interviews, but our town is so small I think they only called me to come to an interview so they could see how I looked. Breast cancer has taken over my entire body. The surgery, treatments and meds. I don't think I will ever get a job!!! I don't want them to put a lien on my house!!! They've already ruined our credit, I mean we had almost 800 credit scores. I am so upset!!!
Melanie Palen (author) from Midwest, USA on July 10, 2012:
Alanna, that's a really cool idea! October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so if you're looking for a specific time to hold an event, that's a great time! Comment back and let me know how your fundraising went!
Alanna on July 10, 2012:
Hi. I'll be asking my school if we can use the performing arts center to have a big talent show to try to raise money. I'll also be doing a garage sale, a bake sale, and a run with some of my friends in town. Hope we can raise some money for the cause. Sad to hear how so many died.
Alex on May 10, 2012:
any advice on what to put online for a fundraiser? A couple of my friends and I are doing the "race for the cure" on may 26th, this is my first run and a couple of my friends first as well; We are trying to get ideas on how to fix up the page that "komen" made for our team for the fundraising?
shar on April 28, 2012:
I'm just now seeing your note. I hope things are better. If not then please say so and I will try to give you some ideas
sirifly on March 16, 2012:
Awesome ideas - a friend recently raised a huge amount of money for breast cancer by doing a sponsored skydive. As she was pretty timid and a skydive is a pretty big deal, loads of people were interested in the cause!
FloraBreenRobison on February 14, 2012:
Once the money is raised, I donate to Terry Fox Foundation as there are no CEOs with big paychecks. This happens in most charities, but since Terry's family runs it, all the money goes to research.
katey on January 18, 2012:
Hi me and my friend are making a fundraiser for the children at Texas Children hospital and we need some ideas to help raise money thank you to whoever helps!!!
Michelle on January 06, 2012:
My friend/co-worker is a breast cancer survivor, however now she has stage 4 stomach cancer. She is out of paid disability time at work and comes to work every day sick. Its so sad to see someone coming to work nauseous, throwing up, cold, and in pain. I can't just sit back and do nothing. I want to start a fundraiser for her, perhaps a chinese auction, a casino night, or something. Every which way I go I hit a wall. I would love to have companies donate items but I think they will only donate if you have a fed tax id. Also I think I need a permit to use a VFW or hall and have a charity event. I don't know how much time this will all take or where to even start. I just need a guideline on how to get this ball rolling. Please help.