One of the most common questions raised by clubs before COVID 19 “Do you know of any good fundraising ideas?” and the frequency of the question has only grown since then with many traditional fundraisers like Burger Flips, Pancake Breakfasts and in person events being no longer being possible until the pandemic eases. Scroll down for some ideas.
NOTE: For more information on the featured fund raisers contact the listed clubs.
Some general tips on fund raising:
  • Keep it simple
  • Make it fun
  • It’s easier to raise money for a specific project or cause than the general term often used by clubs that says “Rotary Causes”
  • If the funding is going to another organisation ensure you develop a good relationship with them so you may lever value from the partnership in terms of sharing mailing lists and expertise
  • Promote the event/activity at every opportunity
  • Consider partnering with other clubs to share costs and increase the reach. If you have a Rotaract or Interact Club, what better than to partner with them and use their creative energies to help re-imagine an old or tired event
  • If you are running a draw or lottery ensure you have the appropriate licence and that you complete all the necessary post event returns
  • Think creatively on how you take an old idea and re-imagine it in the virtual world
If you would like to share a fundraising idea, we would be delighted hear from you. Simply complete the attached Google Form and it will automatically complete the spreadsheet and added to this page. Google Form Link:
Stay at Home Gala
A number of clubs have carried our successful virtual galas. For example:
East Coast Kitchen Party (ECKP). The ECKP is an initiative of the Clubs in London Ontario. It is normally an in-person event. In 2020 due to COVID 19 it couldn't happen so it was decided to try a Stay at Home Gala Event via Zoom Webinar. The musicians, dancers, and comedians were already lined up so each one became a panelist on Zoom and they did their performances from their own homes.
In simple terms, it's a bit like a Telethon. 
Southampton partnered with the London Clubs and our Passport Club to live stream the event to our Communities. In total 18 clubs participated and overall the event in excess of $60,000 Cdn and had 812 homes online and it is estimated that is at least 1600 people viewed all or part of the show. In Southampton, the event netted around $10,500. Tickets were free with the option to donate at various levels. This was deliberate to permit people who are hurting in our community to enjoy a free show.
Sylvia Sheard the co-host of the Southampton event said we had 4 objectives:
1) Engage the people of our community and give them a fun FREE activity to participate in
2) Give back to our Restaurants by suggesting they did Themed Takeout Meals for the event. This was very successful with a number of the Restaurants selling out in advance of the day.
3) Invest back in our community by buying gift vouchers for local businesses that we then gave away as Door prizes or should I say Zoom prizes. (We spent or say invested in 1000 dollars of vouchers) We did not actively seek sponsorship from our small business community or items for the auction)
4) Raised money for our causes. We deliberately chose causes that are well known and in our community and that have seen a substantial fall in funding as a result of the current uncertain time, (the Hospital Foundation and our local Hospice)
The event ticketing/donation platform and the website was provided through a third party vendor called Trellis. The Show was then transmitted using Zoom webinar and live streamed on Facebook Live. It is also possible to live stream via You Tube. A small online auction was also included as part of the event.
The event was managed using software provided by Trellis.  There other are “Third Party” event organisers that may be considered. For example, ACCELEVENTS. See their Ultimate Guide to organising virtual event.
Here's a Link to the Southampton ECKP Page.
Grand Bend were the first club to try a virtual event with their Stay at Home Gala. Thornbury Clarksburg did one entitled "Hope in the Valley".
Northern Bruce Peninsula and the Sarnia Club have done a virtual Pancake Breakfast, so there are many virtual options….just use your imaginations and talk with other clubs on how they did it….you will be surprised how easy it is…!
Early experience of virtual events is that they are less costly and easier to stage and have been well received in the COVID 19 era.
Challenges to replace group in person events
"Beat COVID-19 Challenge" A number of clubs have held challenge events to replace in person runs, walks and marathons. Individuals and Teams This was a replacement for the Rotary Huron Shore Run, a joint project between Port Elgin and Southampton Rotary Clubs.
See Facebook posts to give you an idea of what people did.
Highlanders Rotaract from Markdale
This was really fun and they are an example to Rotarians on what is possible..! The Rotaractors challenged each other to the raise the most funds for the local Hospice. The one who raised the least had to sing a song as a forfeit. Scroll through this fun group page to see the crazy things they did to encourage donations. It was a social media driven campaign and was featured on TV and raised over 23,000 dollars.
Both electronic ticketing or traditional stub style tickets are still popular. St Thomas Railway City, Stratford Festival City, and Petrolia offer various forms of a
“Dinner of the Month Restaurant Voucher Draw”. The vouchers are purchased by the club so this helps the business and typically a draw is made every month. Some clubs do it only in the winter months and have 6 draws.
Whisky, Wine or Beer Tasting Evenings
Tastings are popular events that are traditionally in person events but with a little creativity can be accomplished virtually online.
Here’s a proprietary company that offers a bundled service. For Beer, Wine or Whisky Tasting
However, with a little effort you can create your own event, source the beverage of choice, perhaps pair the wine etc. with a meal choice, design a ticketed event and share through video conferencing. For example Zoom.
You will find a great guide on how to host a Whisky Tasting from The Rotary Fellowship “Whiskey DRAM” – Whiskey Drinking Rotarians And Members.
Online Auctions
Many clubs have successfully organised Online Auctions using local TV Stations and or using online Software.
In May 2020, the Rotary Club of Port Elgin organised a Consignment Auction “Sunday FunDay”, to support local business during COVID 19.  The club returned 50 cents on the dollar back to the local business donor, any surplus going to the Rotary Club. The virtual Auction was streamed LIVE on Facebook Live and a local TV Channel. The event netted over $20,000 to help bridge the club’s funding gap caused by cancellation of their normal in person fundraising activities. A Win Win for the Club and local business in this time of need. Further information is available from Randy Bird at the Rotary Club of Port Elgin.
Some examples of auction software sites: . London, Grand Bend, Southampton and Thornbury Clarksburg have successfully used the Trellis Auction Software. The London one was part of a Golf Tournament and the others used it as part of a Virtual Gala.
Quiz or Trivia Nights
In person Quiz or Trivia Nights have been a regular fundraising and social activity for clubs. Recently the Satellite Club of London and the Rotary Club of Wiarton have held successful virtual Trivia Evenings using Zoom. Each Team is pre-registered. Question Rounds are delivered in a Plenary session and then clubs are allocated to a Team Breakout Room to deliberate on their answers. The London club uses Google Forms to collect the answers and the Wiarton Club provide a “Techie” (typically a younger person like an Interactor or former Youth Exchange Student) to each Team to assist with the Technology and collate the answers.
Drive Through Fish Fry/BBQ Fund Raiser
Burger Flips, Fish Fries are being reimagined into drive through activities. Typically, the meals are pre-ordered and paid online. It needs careful health and traffic management considerations. More information available from the Rotary Club of Watford.  
Note: Care needs to be taken in planning and locating these types of activities to avoid competing with local businesses, many of which are struggling in these uncertain COVID 19 times.
Event Brite
Event Brite the third party ticketing and event registration company provides a list of 100 Fundraising Ideas....some of these could be re-imagined into Virtual events
District 6330 Club Fund Raising Ideas Survey
In February 2020 we reached out to all clubs for ideas and received many responses….see the Google Spreadsheet link below for details of 30 great fund Raising Programs.
If you have an idea not already listed, we would be thrilled if you would complete the Google Form listed at the top of the page.