Do What You Want

Summer Fundraiser Ideas: 9 Ways To Make A Difference For Kids With Cancer

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
July 3, 2019

School is out, pools are open, and grills are fired up. Whether you want to make the most of the warm weather or you’re just looking for a way to get the kids involved, make this summer count by raising money to fund research that helps kids with cancer. Here are nine ideas to get you started.

1. Sports Challenge: Take advantage of the summer weather and organize an outdoor tournament with a suggested donation for entering. Take it to the sand for a game of beach volleyball or the park for some of our Summertime favorites like soccer, football, even frisbee golf.

2. Have A Ball. (An Actual Ball.) Or formal party, or dress-up event. While “Do What You Want” can mean a variety of things, some fundraisers aim for a themed party to raise money. For example, the Ever After Ball is taking place in August in Southern California – but no matter where you are, if you want to plan a dressy event, the sky’s the limit.

Pro Tip – Sponsors love this sort of event, and consider selling tables with sponsorships, or giving a company a mention in the event program in exchange for providing the venue or the beverages.

3. Car Wash: Whether in your driveway, at a local car dealership, or in front of your school, a car wash is an easy way to bring your community together for a good cause. Plus, who could say no to a car wash when it’s funding childhood cancer research? Get supplies donated, post flyers and ask for a minimum donation with each wash.

Pro Tip While people are waiting, be sure to have refreshments nearby along with palm brochures to learn more about grants in the area

4. Pool Party: Celebrate the end of the school year with a poolside fundraiser. Hold a diving or best cannonball contest and ask a local Honored Kid to be the judge. Don’t forget the sunblock and make sure to have a lifeguard on duty!

5. Summer Field Day: Recreate a classic outing that both adults and kids will love. Include a three-legged race, water balloon toss, corn hole competition and tug-of-war.  Register your DWYW to keep track of participants and support kids with cancer. Everyone will be a winner!

Pro TipChallenge participants to create teams and see who can raise the most before the fundraiser. Bonus points if they add a 70’s or 80’s costume theme or have the best name.

6. Game Night: Host a trivia tournament, or good old fashioned game night fundraiser with your Scrabble boards, poker chips, or Bunco. Ask players for a minimum donation to partake in the fun! See what this mom does in honor of her son Alan.

7. Odd Jobs: From mowing lawns, organizing garage sales to planting flowers, offer your time and services in exchange for a donation to St. Baldrick’s. Ask donors to refer you to their friends, family and neighbors. The more jobs you get, the more money raised for lifesaving research!

Pro Tip- Ask for contact information for thank you notes afterwards. Be sure to send the notes with updates on how much was raised and attach a picture of an honored kid in the area. Need a postcard or St. Baldrick’s Ambassador card? Reach out to

8. Cook-Off:Host a barbeque to benefit your taste buds and your fundraising goal. Ask local BBQ aficionados to put their skills to the test and make a difference for kids with cancer. Sell tickets for attendees to sample their best dish and choose their favorite. Incorporate a hot wing eating competition or watermelon eating contest to cool down afterwards.

9. Sunset Movie: Offer pre-fundraiser tickets and invite friends over for a movie under the stars. Setup a projector to view a classic or newer release. Don’t forget to add special touches from the show such as décor or cuisine.

Pro Tip- Connect with local businesses in your area to see if they will sponsor the evening or contribute discounts for dinner afterwards. In exchange you can display their business cards or logo near the concession stand or before the movie starts.

You don’t have to be a lifeguard to save kids’ lives. This summer, start a fundraiser for childhood cancer research.

Start a fundraiser

Get more fundraiser ideas on the St. Baldrick’s blog: