Fundraising Ideas

Get inspired by these fun fundraising ideas!


Walk, run, skip, spin, ski, skate, swim rollerblade, dance, yoga… you get the idea! Use your favourite sport or activity to collect donations and pledges.

Birthday Fund: 

Celebrating your birthday during COVID-19? Ask family and friends to donate to a charity in your honour, rather than give gifts.

Chores For Change: 

You can raise money just like Ryan did! Offer to do some chores around your house in exchange for spare change from your parents. Vacuum, do the dishes, clean your room…you name it!

Create Greeting Cards: 

What better time to keep in touch, and remind the people you care about that you are thinking about them? Design and create your own unique greeting cards, and sell them online.

Lawn Maintenance: 

Post flyers, or ask a neighbour, local store, community park, or your parents if you can garden, shovel snow, pick weeds, cut grass or rake leaves in exchange for a donation. This is also a great excuse to get outside!

Item Count: 

Fill a jar with candy, coins, nails, screws or any other item and have people pay to guess how many it took to fill it! If the jar isn’t filled with something yummy (like candy) to win – be sure to have a prize to help entice people to play. To do this virtually, post the picture to your social media profile.

Ice Cream Socials:

Bring different flavours to school (don’t forget lots of fun toppings!) and charge per bowl during lunch hour!

Theme Parties:

Make your next get-together one to remember by choosing a theme and asking a donation to attend. 80’s rocker, favourite muppet character, famous athlete – the possibilities are endless!


Organize a spelling, geography, math, chemistry or other specialized subject bee. Create a list of words or equations of increasing difficulty and collect donations from participants and spectators.

Merchandise Sales: 

Create t-shirts, buttons, wrist bands, patches, calendars, recipe books, hats or other merchandise with your fundraising message and sell them at a competitive price. To keep a safe distance, sell these online, rather than in person, and remind buyers to sanitize whatever items they purchase from you!

Out With The Old… 

Do you have one habit that you want to live without? Wish you ate less chocolate, or spent less time on your phone? Try giving it up, and ask family and friends to sponsor you for as long as you can go without it!

And In With The New! 

Or, on the flip side, pledge to take up a good habit or do a good deed, and get family and friends to sponsor you for every day that you do it! You could drink more water, eat more vegetables, go to bed earlier, do your homework every day…whatever you can think of!


Challenge yourself to read a book a week (or, if you’re REALLY ambitious, a day), and get friends and family to sponsor you!

Used-Items Sale:

Collect unwanted and gently used toys, books, exercise equipment, clothes, furniture and other items from friends and family to sell at school or in the community. Advertise your sale with posters, through community papers and online!

Virtual Talent Night: 

Gather a group of friends for an online talent show, and charge a fee to “attend.” Ask people with a special talent to participate in the event, or reach out to local performers in your area!

Virtual Trivia Night: 

Come up with some questions, get a group of people together, form teams, and charge a small fee to attend your virtual trivia night. Provide the winning team with a small prize!

Other Sales: 

There are so many things you can sell – just get creative! Make cupcakes, cookies, bread or other baked goods, sell plants, fruits or vegetables from your garden or local nurseries, design t-shirts, jewelry, candles, soaps or art! To keep a safe distance, sell these online, rather than in person, and remind buyers to sanitize their products when they bring them home.

Sports Tournaments:

Pick a sport you love to play (basketball, hockey, tennis, volleyball, baseball, bowling, etc) and organize a tournament through your school or in your community. Collect a prize for the winning team – and be sure to share your event with the local papers!

Comedy Night: 

Gather a group of friends for a night of laughs, and charge a fee to attend. To keep a safe distance, do this online, rather than in person.


Sell tickets for prizes or a portion of the funds collected from ticket sales!


Collect donations of goods or services to be sold at competitive prices. The highest bidder on any item wins.


Whether it’s your school band, dance class or choir, a group of friends or local talent – donate your time by performing a benefit concert! Collect admission, let loose and have fun! This can also be done online.

Holiday Gift-Wrapping:

Charge a fee to wrap others’ holiday gifts for them!

Who’s That Baby?:

Collect old baby photos from classmates (or, even better, your teachers and principal), post them, and have people pay to guess who’s who! A prize for the person who guesses the most correctly.

More Great Ideas:

    1. Dress Down at Work or School – talk to your supervisor, boss or teacher to organize a dress-down day each week or month. For a donation, give the option for participants to dress casually for the day!
    2. Bag Groceries – Ask your local grocer whether they’d allow you to help customers bag/box groceries in exchange for a donation.
    3. Bingo – Host a bingo night at home, school or at your local hall!
    4. Games Night – Organize a board games or video games night. Invite individuals or teams to participate for a donation.
    5. Petting Zoo – Do you have a lot of pets or live near a farm? Organize a petting-zoo for local kids and families!
    6. Scavenger Hunt or Amazing Race – Create a route, clues and a list of items, tasks or games for participants to collect. Individuals or teams can join for a fee – with the winning team receiving a prize!
    7. Dance – Create the ultimate i-Pod dance list or hire a DJ or band, sell tickets, organize a few games and dance the night away!
    8. Art Sale – Contact local artists (painters, crafters, photographers, etc.) to donate some of their work to be displayed and sold to the public.
    9. Cake-Decorating Contest – See who can create the most amazing cake! Charge a fee to participate with prizes for the best designs.
    10. Karaoke – Rent or borrow a karaoke machine at your school or a local restaurant or pub. Sell tickets or charge admission and warm up those vocal chords!
    11. Pet Care – Offer to walk the dogs on your street in the evening or on weekends, bathe them or take them to the park for a small fee.

How to Spread the Word!

Here are some tips for to help share why you’re passionate about clean water with everyone!

    1. Create an Event for your fundraiser on Facebook, or post about it in your status.
    2. Make a Video and share with friends and family, or online. Share on your YouTube page.
    3. Talk to Friends and Family about what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it.
    4. Take Photos of the Work You’re Doing and share it on social media. Don’t forget to use #RyansWell
    5. Make Posters to put up around your school.
    6. Start a Ryan’s Well Club at your school.
    7. Reach Out to your local newspaper, radio station, etc., to share why you’re passionate about clean water.

Happy Fundraising!

 If you are interested in hosting an event or fundraising initiative please refer to our 3rd Party Fundraising Policy.

3rd Party Fundraiser Testimonial

“It was over a decade ago when I first heard Ryan’s story while in elementary school. As children, it was eye-opening to learn about the need for clean water, and to see Ryan, someone our own age, have such a strong passion to drive change was inspiring. This message never left me over the years as I pursued my own passion in the health field. Safe water and better health go hand-in-hand in improving lives and empowering communities. After many years since my first classroom fundraiser, I wanted to get reinvolved with the Foundation through what I felt was a fun way to gather friends to each play a role in helping end the global water crisis that still affects our world today. And thus, that was how the Annual Beach Volleyball Tournament for Ryan’s Well began in Ottawa! As Ryan always says, ‘A community of ordinary people can do extraordinary things!’”

Wendy Zhang, 3rd Party Fundraiser