Fundraising Ideas

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

We want to share some of the great fundraising ideas that we receive from our sponsors. If you have an idea that you want to share, click here to send it to us.

Annual golf outings

The Rotary Club of Pine Hill Sunrise in Pine Hill, NJ, uses their annual golf outings to raise money for their dictionary project!

Bakesale and pancake breakfast

South Greenville Grange #225 from Neenah, WI, will attempt to raise funds through a bakesale, and if that is not enough, they will use the proceeds from a pancake breakfast sale as well.

Paying extra for club lunches

Members of the Rotary Club of Ironbound in Newark, NJ, simply pay extra for their lunches to cover the cost of their program. What a simple yet effective idea!


The Rotary Club of Blue Ash Montgomery in Cincinnati, OH, funds its project with members' donations and a Simplified Grant from Rotary District 6670.

York Elks Lodge # 2788 in York, ME, funds its project with a Gratitude Grant from the Elks National Foundation.

Donors participate in distribution

The Rotary Club of American Fork, UT, solicits donations from businesses in the community. The donors are then invited to come to the schools with the Rotarians to participate in the distribution and talk with the children.

Everyone sponsors a box

The members of the library committee at First Community Village retirement community in Columbus, OH, each sponsor a box of dictionaries for the fifth graders at their chosen school.

Parking cars

The Rotary Club of Hope, Arkansas, raises money for its dictionary project by parking cars at the local Watermelon Festival.  

In Connecticut, the Rotary Club of New Haven, along with LAZ Parking Corporation, provides parking for the St. Patrick's Day parade, with proceeds going to the New Haven dictionary project.

Volunteer hours

The Jackson, TN, Council of AT&T Pioneers earned money for its project by keeping the gate at the Jackson Kennel Club dog show.

The Kiwanis Club of Ypsilanti, MI,  ushers for Eastern Michigan University events.

Fixing bikes

Members of the Rotary Club of South River East Brunswick, NJ, take old bikes and fix them up.

Dictionary Night downtown

The Rotary Club of Bartow, FL, is planning a Rotary Dictionary Night in downtown Bartow on a Tuesday, usually a relatively slow night. Rotary will promote all participating merchants in its advertising for the special shopping night, and the merchants will donate 10% of their proceeds from that evening to the Rotary dictionary project.


Burns Grange in Byron, MI, holds a Goulash Dinner and Jamboree at the Grange Hall.

Lancaster Elks Lodge # 1625 in California hosts "Monday Noodle Nights" at the Lodge. Guests can choose from two kinds of pasta. Funds raised at these dinners provide dictionaries for over 5,000 Antelope Valley third graders each year.

The Rotary Club of New Brunswick, NJ, held a Murder Mystery Dinner. The meal was catered with donations from local restaurants, and guests got to compete to solve a "murder" that took place at the dinner, using clues revealed throughout the evening.

Grapefruit sales

The Rotary Club of Lambertville-New Hope sold grapefruit at holiday time. The citrus fruit surely were popular in the winter in New Jersey and Pennsylvania!

Adult spelling bee

The Rotary Club of St. Bernard, LA, held an adult spelling bee for corporate sponsors.

Quiz bowl

The Rotary Club of Richmond, IN, has a Quiz Bowl fundraiser.

The Early County Literacy Task Force in Blakely, GA, has an annual Trivia Bee fundraiser.

Dinner dance

The Rotary Club of Steel Valley, PA, hosts a Big Band Dinner Dance to raise funds for its projects.

Baseball tickets

The Rotary Club of Forsyth Sunrise in Forsyth, IL, sells tickets to Cubs-Cardinals games, and Cardinals Care sends them a percentage of the ticket money.

Concession stands

Bridport Grange # 303, from Bridport, VT,  raises funds by selling food at a local auction barn.

The Fremont-Warm Springs Sunrise Rotary Club in California sells Tri-Tip Sandwiches at the local Festival of the Arts.

Members of Hopewell Grange in Mercer County, Ohio, make homemade noodles, which they sell at the Mercer County Fair. In order to provide each Mercer County third grader with a dictionary each year, they make and sell 275 to 300 lbs. of noodles, and use about 175 dozen eggs!

The Kiwanis Club of Norcross, GA, prepared and sold lunches outside their local Kroger grocery store to raise funds for dictionaries.

The Rotary Club of Robinson, IL, makes Walking Tacos (Taco in a Bag).

The Rotary Club of Sharpsburg-Aspinwall in PA, raises money for the dictionaries by selling funnel cakes and hot dogs during the Sharpsburg Guyasuta Days festival.

Refreshments at rest stops

McIntosh Grange of Spokane Valley, WA, accepts donations at local rest stop areas for serving cookies and coffee.


Central Grange # 1650 in Pennsylvania bakes shoofly pies twice a year to raise funds for its projects--about 2,500 pies a year!

Souvenir sales

The Kiwanis Club of Mattawan, MI,  sells caricature maps of Mattawan and peanut brittle.


The Greeley, CO, Republican Women auction off pies donated by elected officials.

To help raise funds for their projects, a member of the Rotary Club of Robinson, IL, makes furniture, which they sell to the highest bidder.


Pioneer Grange in Topton, PA, has Bingo fundraisers.

Raffles and drawings

Springfield Elks Lodge # 409 in Springfield, MO, held a drawing for a television.

The Rotary Club of Eastland, TX, has a computer raffle.

Springfield Elks Lodge # 51 in Springfield, OH, raffles off two all-expense-paid trips to whatever bowl game the Ohio State Buckeyes qualify for that year.

The Ukiah, CA, Elks Lodge # 1728 sold a beautiful donated quilt, the proceeds from which funded their dictionary project.

Rummage sale

One of the fundraisers for the Lynden Lions Club in Whatcom County, WA, is an annual rummage sale.


The Rotary Club of Central Lakes in rural Minnesota sells roses for its primary fundraiser.

Rotary Club of Fergus Falls Noon also sold roses by the dozen and noted, "The timing was important; they were delivered during hunting season, so some spouses took advantage of that!"

Fashion show

The Fremont-Warm Springs Sunrise Rotary Club in California hosts a fashion show fundraiser.

Pass the "hat"

The Soledad Rotary Club, from District 5230 in California, writes:  "Our wonderful Soledad Rotarians each personally help pay for the dictionaries. We have a can labeled 'Dictionary Project.' At each meeting once a week we pass the can around, and each Rotarian puts what they can afford into the can. Sometimes even guests want to donate. It is usually $1, sometimes $5, sometimes more, whatever they feel comfortable with. By one year, we have enough to pay for all of our 5 schools' 3rd grade dictionaries. It actually amounts to a little over 400 dictionaries. We have done this every year, and I am so proud of our Rotarians for the great job they have done."

Cooking competition

The Pilot Club of Chatham County, GA, holds a Chili Cook-Off fundraiser.

Outdoor events

The Rotary Club of Cape Coral, FL, raises funds for its dictionary project with a Cardboard Boat Regatta.

The Kiwanis Club of Grand Ledge, MI,  has a Rubber Duck Race.
The Duck Derby is also a favorite in Greenville, SC, where the Rotary Club of Greenville Evening puts 10,000 yellow ducks in the Reedy River. Donors pay to adopt a numbered duck, and winners receive a prize.

The Tucson, AZ, Downtown Lions Club hosts a rodeo.

It is not necessary to have mild weather to host an event--the Morrisville Rotary Club in Vermont has a Polar Bear Splash in the local lake at the end of January and receives pledges for the participants.

West Thornton Grange # 253, in Thornton, NH, hosts a "Sugar on Snow" party each Spring during maple season.

The Rotary Club of  Stafford, VA, is hosting a "Wings and Wheels Festival and Air Show." It will include arts and food vendors, interactive vehicle and motorcycle displays, and in-air performances by local pilots. The air show is free to the public, and Rotary will host a fundraising raffle.


The Rotary Club of DeLand, FL, has a Bowling for Literacy event.

The Merrillville, IN, Breakfast and Noon Kiwanis Clubs host a bowling for dictionaries fundraiser. Participants can come for bowling and dinner, or for dinner only.


The Cayuga Lake Junior Grange in Cayuga, NY, recycles bottles and cans and uses the proceeds for its dictionary project.

The Prairie Queen Kiwanis Club in Sheldon, IA, raises funds by recycling paper and inkjet cartridges.

The Green Valley Lions Club in AZ has a large program to recycle paper.

Flag program

Richardson Central Rotary Club of Richardson, TX, writes, "We raised the money through a community service project which we call the Richardson Central Rotary Club Flag Program. We sell subscriptions to our flag program and place flags in the front yard of the subscribers on 5 holidays each year."

Fun runs

The Kiwanis Club of Monticello, FL, holds an annual 5K run.

The Wilmington West Rotary in NC has an annual "Gallop for the Gravy" 5K road race on Thanksgiving morning. Over 300 runners participate.

Tribute gifts

This is how the Bexar County, TX, Republican Business Women fund their project: "At the club meetings a person can "buy" a dictionary for whatever price we decide to charge in "honor of" or "in memory of". We will put the appropriate bookplate in the dictionary and keep the dictionary to distribute at the school. A letter will be given to the purchaser of the dictionary to give or send to the appropriate person."

Mock election

The Rotary Club of Danvers, MA, is holding a mock election to choose Danvers' first Honorary Mayor. Each vote costs $5, which goes to support the Rotary Club's service projects. Voting can be done online on a special website or at several locations in town. Their slogan? "Vote early, and often!"

Football programs

The Houston County Lions Club in Tennessee Ridge, TN, sells programs at the High School football games, and ads to go into the programs.

Las Vegas night

The Rotary Club of Saipan holds an annual Las Vegas Night fundraiser. They sell tickets which guests use to play Texas Hold'em, Blackjack, roulette, Bingo and craps. The night also includes a raffle and door prizes.


Dennis Bayley walked 1,000 miles on a treadmill inclined at 10 degrees to collect pledges for dictionaries. Sufficient funds were collected to allow the Port Perry (Canada) Rotary Club to donate dictionaries to all grade 4 pupils in 9 schools for last year and this coming school year, as well as 100 dictionaries to be donated to 100 1st Nations students in Northern Ontario.

Wine tasting

The Rotary Club of DeLand, FL, has a wine-tasting event called A Toast to Literacy. 

Pink flamingos and a "purple potty"

The Santa Clarita, CA, Elks Lodge sends this idea:  I have found a new way to raise funds for the Dictionary's in its formative stages right now, and I have received overwhelming support for's the "Purple Potty"....yes, taking a bright purple toilet to Lodge members' front yards, with a sign and pink flamingos!
It will cost $10 to have it removed, $20 if you want it removed and select a new recipient for the Purple Potty....or $30 to also purchase Lawn it won't come back for at least one year.....everyone I've shown this to, just starts laughing and loves we are going to do it....all the monies to purchase more and more dictionaries for third graders! We love your program.

Flash mob

The Kiwanis Club of Flagler Sunrise, FL, held a Flash Mob event in May 2011 at a local shopping venue. The event was open to the public, and cost to participate in the Flash Mob was $10.

Radio Day

Rotary Radio Day in Liberty, TX, involves Rotarians running the local radio station for a day. Money is raised by selling advertising spots.