Have you ever heard the expression “it takes a village to raise a child”? The same goes for non-profit and NGOs. Organizing unique and effective events is one way to engage with the community, raise funds, and create awareness about the cause. But I’m sure you want to produce events that are not only unique and effective, but also leave an impression on your audience right? We’ve got you covered with 12 innovative event ideas for non-profit and NGOs!
12 Innovative Event Ideas for Non-Profit and NGOs
- Virtual Fundraising Event: With the rise of virtual events, why not organize a virtual fundraising event for your organization? You can host a virtual concert, auction, or even a cooking class to engage with your audience and raise funds for your cause.
The High Museum Wine Auction is the biggest fundraiser for The High Museum, which is the best art museum in the southeastern United States. And the online event brought in $400,000!
- Community Art Project: Bring your community together through a collaborative art project. Whether it’s a mural or a sculpture, this event will not only beautify your community but also create a sense of unity and pride.
ArtiParc is a fundraising art show put on by ARTipolo Group and The PARC Foundation. It has 77 beautiful paintings and sculptures on display. This event was meant to help new artists and young people who don’t have much.
- Advocacy Day: Organize an advocacy day where your organization can bring attention to a specific cause or issue. You can hold a rally, march, or even a letter-writing campaign to your local government officials.
One example is the California Pharmacists Association and the United Nurses Associations of California, Union of Health Care Professionals’ annual Virtual Advocacy Day. The goal of Virtual Advocacy Day was to give people ideas and information about laws and rules in California that affect the pharmacy profession and health care.
- Cultural Festival: Celebrates diversity and cultural exchange by organizing a cultural festival. You can showcase music, dance, food, and art from different cultures to promote understanding and appreciation.
The Filipino American Community of Colorado holds the Annual Philippine Festival as a way to raise money for their programs. They are a group of volunteers who are dedicated to helping their FACC members and the Denver Metro area.
- Volunteer Appreciation Day: Thank your volunteers for their hard work and dedication by organizing a volunteer appreciation day. You can host a picnic or a special event to show your gratitude and build a strong relationship with your volunteers.
One organization that celebrates International Volunteers Day to recognize and thank all of its volunteers is Habitat for Humanity.
- Green Initiative: Organize an event that promotes sustainability and green living. You can host a workshop, a tree-planting event, or even a community cleanup day to raise awareness and encourage eco-friendly habits.
The ABS-CBN Foundation’s Save La Mesa Watershed and Ecopark campaign is a great example of this. The goal of this campaign is to protect wildlife.
- Collaborative Networking Event: Partner with other organizations to host a networking event that connects people and resources. You can bring together professionals, entrepreneurs, and activists to exchange ideas and create meaningful connections.
Social Enterprise Alliance (SEA). Summit has been the cornerstone event for learning, cooperating, and developing a social entrepreneurship movement through collective inspiration and action. Last year they held a virtual summit which talked about Business As Unusual.
- Wellness Event: Organize a wellness event that promotes physical and mental health. You can offer yoga classes, meditation sessions, or even a fun run to promote healthy habits and well-being.
The American Cancer Society’s “Relay for Life” event brings communities together to raise funds for cancer research while also encouraging physical exercise and wellness.
- Social Media Challenge: Launch a social media challenge that engages your audience and promotes your cause. You can encourage people to share their stories or participate in a fun challenge that supports your organization’s mission.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge became viral, raising millions of dollars for research.
- Humanitarian Expedition: Organize a humanitarian expedition that combines adventure with social impact. You can travel to a remote area to provide aid, education, or healthcare to people in need.
Operation Smile is one of the largest volunteer-based nonprofit organizations with over 6,000 medical volunteers from around the world. Operation Smile is committed to giving patients long-term health by being there to provide them with additional surgeries, dental care, mental health services, speech therapy, and other essential cleft treatments.
11. Photo Contest: Hold a photo contest to get people talking, raise awareness, and make natural connections with potential funders. To hold a contest, think of a topic, then ask supporters to post images on Instagram with the designated hashtags and photo tags. Gather the entries, post them in one place, and let the community decide which one is the best by donating to the page.
In honor of its 80th anniversary, the United Way of Greater Waterbury held an 80s Photo Contest. Participants were to donate 5$ to register.
12. Speed Dating: Single and ready to mingle? Host a speed-dating fundraising event to break the ice between singles in your community and make it easy for people who want to meet new, like-minded people with a shared interest in helping others to connect.
Charge a registration fee to anyone interested in participating and auction off fun dates throughout the night. Get volunteers to provide live music or serve drinks to keep the energy going until the final couple leaves.
The Divas Curing Teen Violence in New Orleans, Louisiana, held a Speed Dating event to raise money for the YOUTHanasia Foundation Inc, allowing participants to mingle for a good cause. The registration fee was $20 per person.
Nonprofit and NGOs need to organize events in order to reach their goals and make a positive difference. By using these 12 innovative event ideas, you can make events that are interesting and have an impact on your audience and help you reach your goal.
Don’t forget to plan ahead, set clear goals, and include your volunteers and partners in the planning process.
Let’s get started and start planning events that make a difference!