20 Sweet Valentine's Fundraising Ideas
Valentine’s Day is a season of love and acts of kindness, which makes it a great time to hold a fundraiser. Just remember, the key with all fundraising is to start early and plan ahead — so, finish planning in January and start promoting before February begins.
Dance, Run and Jump for Love
- Hold a Sweetheart Dance - Hold a sweetheart dance at a local retirement home and invite preschool- or elementary-age kids to be the seniors’ dates. Recruit a business to sponsor the event, with proceeds benefitting an organization that helps low-income seniors.
- Plan a Daddy-Daughter Dance - Host a father-daughter dance and all profits from ticket sales can benefit your nonprofit or school. This can be a dress up event or a casual dance where you have someone teaching fun dance moves. You can also have photos taken for an extra fee and a photo booth to raise additional funds. Genius Tip: Try these 15 father-daughter dance themes for your event.
- Make it a Sadie Hawkins Event - Host a Valentine’s dance at your high school or middle school and ticket sales can help go toward new uniforms, technology upgrades, upgraded courtyard seating and more. Note: The above photo options also can apply here.
- Have a Heart - Host a relay race or a 5K for a health-related nonprofit or school. Entry fees will benefit the nonprofit. Design long-sleeve shirts (in red or pink) that will get everyone excited to get out in potentially chilly weather. Genius Tip: Use SignUpGenius to register participants and track entries.
- Jump for Joy - The same idea can be applied to the classic jump-a-thon where students obtain pledges for the number of times they can consecutively jump rope or how long they can jump rope.
Coordinate a Valentine's raffle with a sign up. SAMPLE
Sweets and Sweet Nothings
- Have a Tea Party - Organize a Valentine’s Day tea either at your headquarters or at a local restaurant or hotel. Make it a special dress-up event where ticket sales benefit your organization. This can be geared toward children of all ages, but for younger kids, they can buy an additional ticket to bring their doll or teddy bear. Have tea and cookies available for the dolls and teddy bears to make it extra special!
- Sell Gift Baskets - Make and sell unique Valentine’s “date” gift baskets with items couples can enjoy on Valentine’s Day together — wine and cheese; specialty coffee and chocolates; popcorn, candy and movie tickets; or a heart-shaped cake pan with the ingredients needed to bake together.
- Sell Custom Valentine’s Cards - Have a talented group member hand letter Valentine’s cards on cardstock or small canvases and sell them as a fundraiser.
- Make Chocolates - Offer a chocolate-making class, and sell tickets to attend. You can partner with a local culinary school, cooking store or high-end restaurant. See if anyone will donate part of their time or offer the class at a reduced cost. It never hurts to ask.
- Host a Wine Pairing - Partner with a local restaurant, club or hotel to host a wine pairing on an “off” night near Valentine’s Day. Create unique wine and cheese offerings as well as specialty desserts and other food. Sell tickets to attend. Genius Tip: Use SignUpGenius to gather RSVPs and sell tickets in one place.
- Drink Coffee - Work with your local coffee shop to create a Valentine’s-themed drink like a “sweetheart mocha” or a “heartwarming hot chocolate” for the month of February, and a percentage of the profits can benefit your organization.
- Sell Baked Goods - Partner with your local bakery to make a special Valentine’s cookie and/or cupcake to sell. The bakery can sell it in the store with a percentage of the profits benefiting your nonprofit — or you can sell them at another venue. Offer pre-orders for larger orders to bring in more funds!
- Write Encouraging Notes - Partner with a local paper company (search Etsy if you need ideas about who to contact) to create a unique Valentine’s Day card highlighting your nonprofit and how it serves/loves people well.
Help your team raise money with a Valentine's bake sale sign up. SAMPLE
School Ideas Easy as 1-2-3 (Baby, You and Me)
- Love to Read - Host a book drive for a local elementary school or children’s nonprofit with this theme. You can also ask students to recruit “sponsors” who will donate a certain amount of money for every book they read in the two-week period leading up to Valentine’s Day.
- Sell Valentine’s Prints - For an art class project, ask students to draw images based on a theme such as “A Heart for (Your City)” or “Be Kind.” Pick a number to scan as high-resolution images and partner with a local gift or Etsy shop to sell them, earning a portion of the proceeds.
- Plan Acts of Kindness - As an act of kindness, have teenagers volunteer to babysit on Valentine’s night and donate the money to a nonprofit. Another idea: If it’s snowy, shovel driveways for a donation. This works well for church youth groups or clubs at high schools. Genius Tip: Browse this list of 100 random acts of kindness for more inspiration.
- Surprise a Secret Valentine - Middle schools and high schools can offer a Valentine’s Day secret gift exchange and donate the money to a local nonprofit or use it for a pressing school need. Students buy candy from the front office that is delivered to lockers or homeroom for a friend or sweetheart.
- Up and Away - Elementary schools can sell balloons (heart shaped is an extra bonus!) with a love note attached. Parents can buy them for their kids (or kids can buy for their friends) and they will be delivered at school.
- Send a Singing Telegram - Another classic throwback is the singing telegram, which is a great school choir or a cappella group fundraiser. People can pay to have a singing telegram delivered on location. The choir director or fine arts director can create a sign up sheet to organize requests and consolidate locations.
- Sell Flowers - Finally, there are always flowers. While it might seem cliché to sell flowers, they’re still a beautiful surprise to show love and affection. Instead of selling roses at your school, change it up and sell tulips or other blossom assortments. Find a local flower shop to sell them to you at a low cost, or you can buy tulips in bulk from a wholesaler or a membership club like Sam’s Club or Costco.
With these fundraising ideas, you’ll have a great starting point to raise money for your cause. It’s a sweet way to start the year!
Andrea Johnson is a native Texan now living in Charlotte, N.C., with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys running, photography and good chocolate.