Fundraising Ideas

Fundraising for a Lurie Children’s isn’t just about raising money; it’s about making a profound and lasting difference in the lives of young patients and their families. It’s about being a force for good in the world, a beacon of hope amid challenging times for our kids and their families. So, if you’re wondering why you should fundraise for Lurie Children’s, remember that your efforts have the power to heal, to inspire, and to create a brighter future for generations to come. Join us in this remarkable journey of compassion and change lives, one donation at a time.

Do you feel inspired to start your own fundraiser? Check out some of our top fundraising ideas for families, kids, work or school!


Fundraising Ideas for Schools and Colleges

Bake sale

A classic fundraising idea! Host a bake-off, cake/treat walk or sweet treat raffle.

Dance marathon

Challenge your school to host dance marathon to raise money for Lurie Children’s! Learn more about hosting your own dance marathon.

Spelling bee

Spelling bees are fun and educational for students! Sell tickets to fundraise for Lurie Children’s.

Coin drive

Designate a week or a month for students to bring in coins for Lurie Children’s! Challenge each classroom with a donation goal.

Field day

Host a school field day and challenge each classroom with a fundraising goal.

Art show

Host an art show for students to show off their talents! Sell tickets for donations to Lurie Children’s.


Virtual Fundraising Ideas

Virtual auction

Collect donated items and host a virtual auction so donors can make bids online.

T-shirt sales

Design a unique t-shirt and sell them to friends and family! Donate the proceeds to Lurie Children’s.

Virtual game night

Host a virtual game night so friends and family from across the country to get together! Charge an entry fee and designate an additional amount for the winning or losing team to donate to Lurie Children’s!

Virtual cooking class

Gather your friends on Zoom for a virtual cooking class! Charge a fee for friends to join and teach them to make your favorite food or that dessert people are always asking for the recipe for!

Online gaming fundraiser

Video games can bring people together from all over the world to support a worthy cause. Create a fundraising page that you can share with viewers during a Twitch or YouTube event. Promote your stream and encourage friends, family, and fellow gamers to tune in to support your efforts. Check out our Extra Life program for more information about gaming fundraisers!


Easy Fundraising Ideas

Donate your birthday

Set up an online donation page and ask friends and family to make a gift to Lurie Children’s instead of giving physical gifts!

Movie night

Get an outdoor projector or set up a movie party area inside and host a neighborhood movie night! Charge an admission fee and sell popcorn, candy and drinks and donate the proceeds to Lurie Children’s.

Pet pageant

Invite your friends, family or neighbors to dress up their pets! Have participants create online fundraising pages and encourage friends and family to vote by donating.

Crowdfunding campaign

Is there something you think would change the future for the kids at Lurie Children’s? Work with our team to come up with a specific fundraising idea and then create an online fundraising page for family and friends to donate and help make your dream a reality!


Fundraising Ideas for Kids

Lemonade stands

Encourage kids to set up lemonade stands in their neighborhoods, parks, or at local events. They can donate the proceeds to Lurie Children’s. It’s a great way to introduce them to business basics and the concept of giving back.

Garage/Yard sales

Have kids go through their toys and clothes and make a “giveaway” pile of things they no longer play with or need. Host a garage/yard sale and let them take charge of pricing items and handling transactions. Donate the money raised to Lurie Children’s.

Art and craft auction

Kids are naturally creative, so organizing an art and craft auction can be a fantastic fundraising idea. Encourage them to create artwork or craft items to auction off, with all the funds raised going Lurie Children’s. Set up an online fundraising page so friends and family can purchase items online by making a donation.

Charity birthday party

Are you overwhelmed by the thought of bringing home more toys after an upcoming birthday? Encourage children to request donations to Lurie Children’s in lieu of birthday presents. This helps them understand the concept of giving on special occasions.


Summer Fundraising Ideas

Host a lemonade stand

Set up a table outside and sell refreshing lemonade to the community. You can host multiple stands throughout the summer and include popsicles at an additional fee.

Car wash

As summer sports leagues begin, opportunities for team building are endless. Having a car wash is a fun and easy way to get the team together and raise money for programs at Lurie Children’s. You can charge additional fees for services like vacuuming, tire cleaning, and window washing.

Fourth of July backyard BBQ

While friends and family gather for block parties and BBQs, use this day as an opportunity to support our patients. You can host a BBQ and provide food, drinks, or snacks in exchange for donations.

Community Cook-off

Hosting a cook-off is a fun way to enjoy food while raising money. The whole community can be involved. Select a theme (e.g., pasta, brisket, chili, or pastries) and anyone participating will pay an entry fee.


Fall Fundraising Ideas

Host a haunted house

Hosting a haunted house is a fun way to get friends, family, and neighbors together. You can charge an entrance fee or place a sign in your yard with a QR code linked to your personal fundraising page.

Pumpkin carving/decorating contest

Fun for all ages! Host a fall-themed party where guests can purchase a pumpkin to carve or decorate. Lay out all of the pumpkins on a table and participants can choose their favorites. Ask for donations from friends and families who attend or charge a fee to vote!

Football tailgate

Root for your favorite team while fundraising for the patients at Lurie Children’s! Play football squares with your friends or host a BBQ. Donate back the suggested donation to play the game or attend the BBQ!

Yard work

As the leaves start to fall, offer leaf cleanup to your neighborhood. Ask for donations in exchange for your work or set a price for your service.

Halloween costume contest

No tricks just treat! Host a Halloween costume contest and charge per participant. Get everyone involved by voting for the best costumes! The top three winners will receive a treat.


Fitness/Athletic Fundraising Ideas

Apple watch or Strava challenge

Get donors involved from all over the world with a virtual fitness challenge. Invite people to hit a daily step goal, complete a running challenge, tackle an indoor cycling course, or enjoy an independent hike. Participants can track their exercise using an Apple Watch or the Strava app, then submit their results to see how they stack up on the leaderboard. Ask donors to sponsor miles or have an entry fee to compete in the challenge!

Jump rope competition

Invite your whole neighborhood to join in on a day of fun! For a registration fee, contestants can participate in competitions organized by age, style of jump or creative use of a jump rope in a workout.

Obstacle course

Set up an obstacle course at a local park or in your yard or neighborhood. Charge an entry fee to participate in the obstacle course and give the person to complete it in the shortest time a prize!

5K or another race

Are you thinking about competing in a 5K or other upcoming race? Run for the kids at Lurie Children’s! Set up an online fundraising page and make your miles matter by having donors sponsor each mile of your run for our patients.


Fundraising Ideas for Companies

Coffee break

Take a break from work with a cup of coffee. Set a date, spread the word and when the day arrives bring a coffee cart around to your team. Charge fees for coffee, tea and pastries and donate the proceeds to Lurie Children’s. Add a QR code to your online fundraising page so anyone can donate additional funds.

Golf day

If you and your colleagues love a round of golf, organize a golf day and turn it into a fundraiser for Lurie Children’s! Our team can help you organize a charity golf outing that is fun for your team and life changing for our patients.

Gain an hour, give an hour

When the clocks turn back during daylight savings time in autumn, ask everyone to donate one hour’s pay to Lurie Children’s.

Office olympics

Who will take the gold in synchronized chair swivel or paper airplane building? There’s plenty of fun by hosting an Office Olympics competition. Set up an online fundraising page for each team or department and give extra points to the highest fundraising team.

Marathon Runner

National Awareness Month & Day Fundraisers

National awareness holidays and national health observances are special days, weeks, or months dedicated to raising awareness about important health topics. Observances like Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Sickle Cell Awareness Month help amplify stories and rally support for the kids who need it the most.

Awareness months, weeks and days help bring a greater understanding of illnesses and issues that affect children. Awareness days and observances are a great time to fundraise, spread the word or reach out to friends or family members who are facing a diagnosis or illness.

Browse our full list of upcoming health awareness and observances to find inspiration for your next fundraiser!

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