14 November Fundraising Ideas: Tailor-Made for Success

Fundraising ideas for november

November is a month known for chilly weather, family gatherings, and anticipation of the holiday season. But for nonprofits and other organizations, it’s a crucial time to raise funds. That said, November fundraising can be a mixed bag. The competition is fierce, donor fatigue sets in after October fundraising campaigns, and the distractions of the impending holidays are on the horizon. How can your organization effectively cut through the noise and inspire your supporters to donate generously? This is the puzzle that we aim to solve.

This comprehensive guide will provide you with 14 unique, creative, and easy November fundraising ideas that will not only help you meet your financial goals but also engage your donors in a meaningful and memorable way. We’ll guide you through each idea, suggesting implementation strategies, ways to maximize revenue, and additional points to consider. Also, because no fundraising campaign is without hurdles, we’ll explore some common challenges that can crop up during November fundraising and how to navigate them successfully.

Let’s get started, shall we? Here’s to your best November fundraising campaign yet!

14 November Fundraising Ideas: Tailor-Made for Success

1. Gratitude Gala

November is the month of Thanksgiving, a time when people express gratitude for what they have. Capitalize on this theme with a ‘Gratitude Gala’ fundraising event. This could be a formal dinner, an online benefit concert, or even a virtual gathering where people can share stories and celebrate their community’s achievements.

To execute this, start by selecting a suitable platform – a physical venue or a virtual meeting tool like Zoom, depending on the prevailing circumstances and your organization’s preferences. Then, line up speakers or performers who can add value to the event, making it appealing for attendees.

To maximize revenue, sell tickets for entry, and consider different tiers of pricing. This could include VIP access to special performances or exclusive networking opportunities. Additionally, you can host a silent auction during the event with donated items from local businesses. Don’t forget to give a shout-out to the businesses during the gala to encourage their continued support.

Reading novels for fundraising in November

2. November Novel Reading Marathon

A novel reading marathon is a unique fundraising idea specific to November, tying into National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Participants can pledge to read a certain number of books or pages in November and collect pledges from friends, family, and supporters for every book or page read.

To kick this off, you’ll need a platform where participants can register, update their progress, and collect donations. A dedicated website or a campaign on a crowdfunding platform would work well. Be sure to promote the marathon across your social media channels and email newsletters to get as many participants as possible.

You don’t just want to keep the concept simple. Make it more attractive and revenue-generating by offering incentives to those who read the most books or raise the most money. These could be donated prizes from local businesses or digital badges that participants can display on their social media profiles. Another revenue stream could come from selling books as part of the campaign – partner with a local bookstore or an online retailer to earn a portion of each sale.

This November fundraising idea is perfectly suitable for charity clubs in schools.

3. “Thanks-for-Giving” Donation Match

Taking a spin on the spirit of Thanksgiving, organize a “Thanks-for-Giving” campaign, where all donations made in November are matched by a corporate sponsor or a generous donor. The concept of donation matching is simple but powerful; it encourages individuals to donate by promising to double the impact of their contribution.

Start by reaching out to local businesses or long-term supporters of your organization and ask them to match the donations made within a specific timeframe. Make sure you have a secure donation platform on your website and promote the campaign via email, social media, and direct mail.

To maximize revenue, create a sense of urgency around the campaign. This could mean having a tight deadline or sharing regular updates on how close you are to reaching your goal. This will encourage more donations and keep the momentum going throughout the campaign.

A ‘Thanks-for-Giving’ donation matching campaign is an excellent way to get the most out of a fundraiser – particularly beneficial for small schools in need of funds. But with more competition in the Q4 holiday season, you’ll need to plan for it well in advance.

Related: Best ideas for fundraising in September | Ultimate fundraising ideas for every season

4. Holiday Shopping Kickoff

Many people start their holiday shopping in November. Why not make their shopping spree more meaningful by hosting a Holiday Shopping Kickoff event? You can sell handcrafted products, branded merchandise, or items donated by local businesses.

Organize a physical event at a local venue or create an online store. The key to success here is promoting the event well in advance and creating attractive, high-quality products. Highlight the fact that all purchases support a good cause.

To maximize revenue, aside from selling products, you can also offer gift-wrapping services for an additional fee. Partner with local businesses for in-kind donations for a raffle or a silent auction during the event.

This event will only be a success if you plan it in the first half of November – before people buy Christmas presents from Christmas markets and stalls for their loved ones. To beat the competition that comes from the convenience of online shopping, turn the event into a vibrant fundraising fete that they look forward to. Pair the holiday shopping kickoff with charity choir events or other fun and exciting celebrations.

Baking fundraiser for November

5. The Great November Bake-off

Capitalizing on the warm, comfort-food-driven sentiments of the season, The Great November Bake-off can be a unique fundraising idea. Invite supporters to participate in a baking contest where they submit their favorite Thanksgiving-themed desserts. This event can take place in a community center, school, or even online where participants submit photos and recipes of their creations.

To implement this, you’ll need a sign-up system for participants and a panel of judges to choose the winners. Make sure to clearly communicate the guidelines and judging criteria. If this event is held in-person, ensure that there are proper food handling and safety measures in place.

Sell moderately-priced entry tickets to the participants and audience for maximum profit. You could also host a bake sale during the event where attendees can buy delicious entries. Additionally, partner with local businesses that can sponsor the event or donate baking-related prizes, giving them exposure while enhancing your fundraising.

6. Virtual Gratitude Yoga Retreat

November, with its emphasis on gratitude and wellness, provides the perfect backdrop for a Virtual Gratitude Yoga Retreat. Invite participants to join a day of online yoga classes, mindfulness workshops, and gratitude exercises. This unique event promotes well-being, and gratitude, and raises funds for your cause.

To execute this, collaborate with yoga instructors and mindfulness coaches willing to donate their time. Use a platform like Zoom to host the event and offer different sessions throughout the day. This way, participants from various time zones can join.

Offer various levels of participation – basic access could include the yoga sessions, while premium access could include additional workshops or one-on-one sessions with the instructors. Reach out to health and wellness businesses for sponsorships, offering them advertising opportunities during the event in return.

7. Fall Color Fun Run

The beauty of November’s fall colors provides a perfect setting for a themed Fun Run. A Fall Fun Run differentiates itself from regular charity runs by capitalizing on the unique aspects of November. The event can showcase stunning fall landscapes as part of the running route, incorporate elements of Thanksgiving by encouraging participants to share their gratitude and celebrate the harvest season with booths offering seasonal foods like apple cider and pumpkin pies.

To kick this off, you’ll need a registration system, race bibs or numbers, and a defined route for an in-person run. For a virtual run, participants can track their own distances using apps like Strava or Fitbit. Encourage participants to dress in fall colors to enhance the seasonal theme.

To boost revenue generation from this November fundraiser, sell race merchandise such as T-shirts and water bottles. Find a sponsor for the event who can cover some costs and offer prizes for various categories, such as best costume or fastest time.

8. Gratitude Webinar Series

November, marked by Thanksgiving, is a perfect time to embrace and express gratitude. Host a Gratitude Webinar Series that features speakers discussing the power of gratitude, its impact on mental health, and ways to cultivate it in daily life. Invite psychologists, life coaches, or even members of your community with inspiring stories to share their insights and experiences.

For implementation, choose a reliable webinar platform that allows for a smooth experience for both your speakers and attendees. Plan your series over multiple days or weeks of November, ensuring each webinar session brings fresh perspectives.

November is also a perfect time to host Gratitude-based webinars on self-development as many people plan a lifestyle reset ahead of the new year and are looking for ideas.

To boost your fundraising, record the webinars and sell them as a bundle for those who might have missed the live sessions. You could also create a ‘Gratitude eBook’ compiling insights from your webinars and sell it as a standalone product or as part of a package with the webinar recordings.

9. Thanksgiving Recipe Book Sale

Thanksgiving is synonymous with mouth-watering meals and family recipes passed down through generations. Compile these culinary treasures into a Thanksgiving Recipe Book and sell it to raise funds. This unique fundraiser not only leverages the season but also the personal stories and heritage of your supporters.

Even though this is technically a November fundraiser, you’ll have to start requesting recipe submissions at least a couple of months in advance. Once you’ve collected a range of recipes, compile them into a professionally designed e-book or printed book. Make sure it’s ready for sale in the first week of November allowing people enough time to prepare and plan for their Thanksgiving Dinners.

Start teasing about the awesome recipes contained in the book from the last week of October. Offer sales on multiple platforms – both online and offline. If you want to entice buyers to spend a bit more on the book, create a deluxe edition that includes additional features such as cooking tips or food pairing suggestions for an extra charge.

Movember - An excellent November fundraiser

10. “Movember” Challenge

Movember” is a globally recognized fundraising initiative that takes place every November. It originally started to raise awareness for men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s mental health. Participants, known as “Mo Bros” and “Mo Sistas,” start the month clean-shaven and then grow and groom their mustaches throughout the month, soliciting donations from friends, family, and coworkers.

A fun and engaging November-specific fundraising idea is to host a Movember-inspired campaign. As the month begins, rally your community and encourage participants to make a unique commitment – growing a mustache.

Participants should then reach out to their networks to raise funds, either through flat donations or pledges per day they maintain their mustache. The entire process should become a communal journey, with participants sharing their progress and experiences on social media, tagging your organization, and using a specific campaign hashtag. This not only helps keep the enthusiasm alive but also generates awareness about your cause and the fundraising campaign.

As November draws to a close, host a virtual celebration. This event should serve as a platform for participants to showcase their mustaches, narrate their stories, and revel in the collective effort that went into fundraising. The celebration should include recognizing participants with prizes in various categories such as “Best Mustache” or “Most Funds Raised”.

11. November Trivia Night

In November, when the weather starts to get colder and people spend more time indoors, a Trivia Night could be an excellent way to entertain and engage your community. Include questions about significant historical events that took place in November, famous personalities born or passed away in this month, or iconic moments in pop culture that happened in November of yesteryear.

Choose a reliable online platform that can handle virtual trivia games, or host an in-person event if local regulations permit. You can charge a registration fee for teams or individuals to participate. To make it more exciting, consider prizes for the top scorers, like a special mention on your organization’s website or social media channels.

This idea gives you the chance to educate participants about the significance of November while offering them an evening of fun and friendly competition. It can also raise significant funds depending on the number of participants and the entry fee.

12. “Warm Hearts, Warm Homes”

As November ushers in colder weather, a “Warm Hearts, Warm Homes” campaign could resonate with many supporters. This fundraiser could involve selling items that create cozy, warm homes such as blankets, candles, and coffee or cocoa mixes. The twist here is to include a note with each purchase about how the buyer’s generosity is ‘warming the heart’ of someone benefiting from the fundraiser.

To implement this, source the ‘warm’ items to sell. If possible, collaborate with local artisans or businesses. Set up an online store on your website, or use a platform like Etsy or Shopify.

Offer different bundles or packages of items to make the items on sale appeal to people with varying needs and budgets. Additionally, don’t forget to market your campaign on your social media channels, emails, and website, emphasizing the dual benefit of cozy items for the buyer and funds for those you serve.

13. “Surrender for November”

As the final leaves fall and we tuck into the end of the year, November ushers in a reflective mood and a season of giving. In this spirit, we present the “Surrender for November” Challenge: an opportunity for your supporters to transform their everyday luxuries into meaningful contributions.

Ask your supporters to surrender a small indulgence for the entire month – be it the morning latte, the tantalizing takeout, or the nightly Netflix binge. The funds they save become their donation – a powerful testament to the impact of collective sacrifice.

Craft an engaging campaign page on your website or a user-friendly crowdfunding platform where your supporters can document their pledges. Will they swap their coffee shop visits for home-brewed cups, or trade a month of streaming for nights of board games and books? Let them share their pledge with pride.

And don’t forget the power of camaraderie in sacrifice. Encourage participants to share their journey on social media, inspiring others with their daily acts of surrender. Watching friends forego their luxuries for a cause will ignite a chain reaction of generosity.

Keep the momentum high with regular updates on your campaign’s journey. Shine a spotlight on your participants, expressing your gratitude and fostering a sense of community. The badges of honor or social media shout-outs are not just incentives; they are badges of a shared commitment, echoing the essence of the season.

14. November Art Auction

Tap into the creative skills of your community with a November Art Auction. This event could feature donated artwork from local artists or themed creations from supporters of all ages and skill levels. You could tie it into November-specific themes, like autumn landscapes, or let the artists choose their own inspiration.

If you host this online, create a section on your website or use a third-party auction site to display the artwork and conduct the bidding. Highlight the artists and their stories alongside their work to create a deeper connection between the bidders and the pieces.

Not only should market it as an auction but to further boost donations, you could also sell tickets to the event or offer a ‘Buy Now’ price for those who don’t wish to bid. Partner with local art stores or galleries that might be willing to sponsor the event or donate materials for the artists.

November Fundraising: Challenges and Ways to Overcome

In this section, we will delve into the specific challenges often faced during November fundraising and provide actionable strategies to overcome them. Understanding these hurdles is vital to planning successful fundraising campaigns.

1. Competing with Holiday Shopping

With November kicking off the holiday shopping season, particularly with events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, charities must vie for the attention of potential donors. Instead of seeing this as a negative, leverage the shopping frenzy by creating partnerships with local businesses for cause marketing or initiating shopping-based fundraising campaigns as discussed in the ideas above.

But remember to start planning in advance to make the most of the end-of-the-year giving season. Preparation and advance planning are non-negotiable.

2. Donor Fatigue

By November, donors may begin to feel the strain from contributing to numerous causes throughout the year. Combat this challenge by putting extra emphasis on demonstrating the impact of their donations.

Share success stories and testimonials, and create personalized thank-you messages to make donors feel valued and motivated to contribute.

Another way to overcome this challenge is through a type of fundraising event that sets a tradition – it could be in the form of a small town fundraiser gala, a charity concert, or a local festival. But it should be a highly appealing event that people look forward to for the entire year – one in which they participate regardless of how often they have contributed to charity during the previous months.

3. Overlooked in Favor of December

November fundraising can often be overshadowed by the multitude of December events and end-of-year appeals. To overcome this, consider integrating your November fundraising as part of an end-of-year giving series or use it to build momentum for your December activities. Make sure to highlight why November giving is critical and how it contributes to your year-end goals.

Also help your donors understand the importance of not waiting until December to make their charity contributions.

4. Less Outdoor Opportunities

As the weather gets colder in many places during November, opportunities for outdoor fundraising events decrease.

This could limit your options for event-based fundraisers. In response, get creative with indoor and virtual events. Engage your supporters with online challenges, webinars, or virtual tours that they can participate in from the comfort of their homes.

Remember that the success of virtual events requires extensive community-building. You should be in touch with people throughout the year over email and other online forms of communication for them to feel connected enough to participate in your endeavors virtually. Likewise, the quality of the virtual event should be such that adds immense value to the participant. A

Final Thoughts on Fundraising in November

The month of November, rich with seasonal changes, the spirit of gratitude, and the anticipation of the holiday season, presents unique opportunities for creative and effective fundraising. Despite the challenges, with thoughtful planning and a strong understanding of your donors’ mindset during this time, November can be a remarkable month for fundraising.

Remember, successful fundraising is not just about asking for donations; it’s about engaging donors, telling a compelling story, and creating meaningful experiences. The 14 November fundraising ideas in this article are designed to do just that, using November’s unique elements to create a connection between the donors and your cause.

Best of luck with your November fundraising.

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