Fun & Festive Fall Fundraising Ideas - GroupRaise

Fun & Festive Fall Fundraising Ideas

Posted by Katie Tincello

The seasons are changing and it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming festivities and holidays. Fundraising is for all year round, and fall provides some great events and holidays that you can use to create fun and seasonal fall fundraising ideas.


There’s lots to like about fall: pumpkin spice lattes, the leaves changing colour, and of course, all those fun festivals like Halloween and Thanksgiving.


Hosting a fall fundraiser event can be a lot of fun if you choose to take advantage of the time of year. There are plenty of great fundraising ideas for fall based around Halloween and Thanksgiving that you can use to host a fantastic festive fundraiser.


Organize a pumpkin carving competition to put your creative skills to work, or get the costumes out for a sponsored ‘Turkey Trot’. Why not bring people together to enjoy delicious, warming, home cooked food with a potluck in National Chilli Month or for Thanksgiving? There is so much choice!


To help you choose the perfect fall fundraiser event for this time of year we’ve put together some of the top fall fundraising ideas for schools, individuals, and groups, together with information about cost, level of organization required, and any advantages or disadvantages.


Fundraising ideas for fall

The fundraising ideas for fall are endless. There are so many options for groups and individuals that are easy to organize and good fun for everyone. From cosy cook-offs and pot-luck dinners, to fantasy football competitions and pumpkin carving, you’ll be spoilt for choice for which fall fundraising ideas to choose from.


Potluck dinner

Did you know that October is National Chili Month? Host a pot-luck dinner with your group to raise funds for your cause, or perhaps make it a cook-off where the best homemade Chili wins!


A potluck dinner is one of the best fall fundraiser ideas and brings people together to enjoy delicious, warming, home-cooked food, all for a good cause. Ask for a donation for people attending and enjoy a night of food, friends, and fun.


Potluck dinners hold no extra cost to organize. All you need is a location to host the event, perhaps at a club meet or one member’s home, and a little forward planning to publicise your event.


The only disadvantage to a potluck dinner is having a lot of washing up to do afterwards and potentially some leftover food (but we’re sure you can handle that one!).


Couple cooking dinner in home kitchen. Potluck fall fundraising idea

Photo by Jimmy Dean on Unsplash


Fantasy Football fundraiser 

Fall is the height of football season so why not take advantage of this and organize a fantasy football league to raise for your cause? Online fantasy football sites allow you to set up registration pages for teams or individuals and it’s easy to request a donation for those taking part.


A fantasy football league might not appeal to all, but it’s a great option for sports teams or groups of friends and football fans. They are also very simple to set up and don’t come with any extra cost.


Use an online fantasy football site and publicise your fundraiser to your group, team, or community. Make sure to offer a prize for the winner to attract more interest and participants.


American football teams facing off at the line. Fantasy Football fundraiser

Photo by Jed Owen on Unsplash


Restaurant Fundraiser 

A restaurant fundraiser is one of the easiest fall fundraiser ideas to organize and is perfect for the back-to-school season. Give parents a night off cooking or treat the kids to an afternoon cafe stop!


There are so many restaurants where you can hold a fundraiser meal for your group, club, or team. Most restaurants now also offer takeout, drive thru, or curb-side pick up alongside dine-in options.


Choose a restaurant and a date for your event and a percentage of all sales will be donated back to your cause on that day.

A restaurant fundraiser couldn’t be easier to organize and comes at no extra cost to what you would normally spend on a meal out. The only difficulty is having to choose one restaurant from all the options!


Brunch table with eggs, coffee, waffles, fruit bowls and bacon. Restaurant Fall Fundraiser idea

Photo by Davey Gravy on Unsplash


Movie Night

There is something exciting about watching a movie under the stars, and the start of fall when the nights are still quite mild is the perfect time to host a cosy movie night fundraiser.


A movie night fundraiser requires a little more planning than other fall fundraising ideas, but can also be one of the more profitable fundraisers if done right.


You will need to find a good location and perhaps get in contact with the local council to help you organize your event. There are even various companies who provide movie night services and have all the equipment you need to bring your movie fundraiser to life.


A movie night is one of the best fall fundraising ideas for church groups, communities, and clubs or sports teams. Publicise your event, sell entry tickets to raise funds, and even sell popcorn or movie snacks on the day for an extra profit!


Nature walk or run

Get outside and enjoy the changing season with one of the more active fall fundraising ideas. Host a sponsored walk or run for your group, or challenge yourself and set up a donation page for friends and family to support you.


With the changing seasons, the weather can be a little unpredictable, so make sure to plan ahead if you are organizing a longer activity like a hike.


A sponsored walk or run is a great way to keep people active as the seasons start to change and can be a really simple and effective fundraiser. Be sure to take advantage of online fundraising resources such as Go Fund Me or Just Giving pages to make it easier for people to donate, and you will be raising in no time!


Two parents walking in the rain and with child inbetween them. Child has bright red raincoat on and everyone is holding hands. Walking along mountainous road

Photo by Alberto Casetta on Unsplash


Fall fundraising ideas for schools

There are some great fall fundraising ideas that are suitable for kids, easy to organize, and fun to take part in. Here are some of the best fall fundraising ideas for schools.


Scarecrow decorating

Scarecrow decorating is great for older kids and one of the more creative fall fundraising ideas for high schools. Ask each class to produce a scarecrow that will then be judged against the others.


Kids can bring in clothing and decorations from home to help create their scarecrow, and everyone can donate a small amount to take part. Alternatively, you could collect funds at the voting stage with everyone using a dollar bill to cast their vote for their favourite scarecrow.


All you need is a place to showcase the scarecrows – and a lot of hay!


Two scarecrows wearing white shirts and hats. Scarecrow decorating fall fundraising idea

Photo by Zuzana Kacerová on Unsplash


Scavenger Hunt

Get the kids outside with this active fall fundraiser idea. Organize a scavenger hunt in the school grounds or local area to get kids outside and exploring. You could even make it a fall-themed fundraiser by incorporating one of the season’s festivals, such as Halloween or Thanksgiving.


Create a trail with clues that kids have to work out to take them to the next place. For a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt it could be spooky, or for Thanksgiving throw in some history lessons along the way.


Kids can join to make small teams and each team pays a participation fee. There should be a prize for the winning team and the runner up too.


A scavenger hunt takes a little bit of organizing to set up and make a trail and clues, but it is a very low-cost fall fundraising idea that can be a great fun for kids and raises a good amount of funds.


Restaurant fundraiser 

A restaurant fundraiser is the perfect way to treat the kids after the back-to-school adjustment! Set up a fundraiser for your school and encourage parents to take their kids out for some food, or order in one night.


With GroupRaise, there are thousands of local restaurants to choose from to host a fundraiser meal with dine-in and take-out options. Select a restaurant and a date and a percentage of all orders made on that day with your event code will be donated back to your cause.

Fall festival fundraising ideas

With so many festivals during this season, the fall festival fundraising ideas are endless! Here are just a few of the best ideas.


Halloween fundraising ideas

From pumpkin carving to apple bobbing and costume contests, there are so many fall-themed fundraising ideas centred around Halloween you can do.


Hold a Pumpkin Carving Contest with your group on National Pumpkin Day, October 26th. Charge an entry fee and award the winner a prize. Or perhaps organize a Halloween costume party where you also give out a prize for the best dressed!


A great Halloween tradition is organizing a bonfire. Bring together friends, family, and group members for a Halloween bonfire and provide themed food such as toffee apples or marshmallows for toasting and making s’mores.


A bonfire event is a great fall festival fundraising idea suitable for all ages and groups. It works particularly well for church groups or groups with younger children where parents can come too and still enjoy the event.


Six pumpkins of all different sizes carved for Halloween. A fall-themed fundraising idea

Photo by natary t on Unsplash


Thanksgiving fundraisers

For your Thanksgiving fall fundraiser you could host a potluck dinner with your group or community and ask for a donation to raise funds. It’s a great way to bring together club members, friends, and family for good food and a good cause.


To continue in the food theme, you could partner with a local restaurant to host a Thanksgiving dinner with GroupRaise if you don’t want to cook yourself. 

A favourite Thanksgiving activity is the ‘Turkey Trot’, and you could easily turn this into a fundraiser, whether you are fundraising as a group or an individual. Bring your group together to run the Turkey Trot and ask friends and family to sponsor you. Work up an appetite for the Thanksgiving feast, extra points if you don a Thanksgiving-themed costume while doing the event!


Thanksgiving fundraiser idea. Table full of thanksgiving food including a glazed ham, cranberry sauce, peacan pie, pumpkin pie, gravy, mac and cheese and vegetables

Photo by Jed Owen on Unsplash



The best part about fall is all the festivals and the chance to celebrate the changing seasons. A fall fundraiser should take advantage of these events, bringing people together to enjoy a fun fall-themed activity, or simply spend time with friends and family.


These are just some of the best fall fundraising ideas you could choose from to host your fall fundraiser, and there are so many more great options to explore. If you’re still looking for ideas, be sure to check out the GroupRaise blog for further inspiration.


So what are you waiting for? Grab your best turkey costume and get fundraising in style for your cause!


While you’re here, don’t forget to check out the local restaurants near you where you can host your fall fundraiser event.