Ten Best Fundraising Themes for Nonprofit Organizations

|7 min read Fundraising Event

If your nonprofit is looking for a fundraising event theme, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve narrowed down the best fundraising themes for nonprofit organizations so that all you have to do pick your theme and start planning your next event. As you read through these themes, think of ways that you can pair them with different charity event fundraising ideas. Keep in mind that the right theme can transform your fundraiser and make promoting your nonprofit event easier than even, ultimately helping you reach your donation goals. 

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Our list of the top fundraiser themes for charity events

Whether you’re planning a year-end giving gala or a small scale charity event, browse through these fundraising event themes to see which one works best for your nonprofit.

1. Black-tie

A black-tie theme is always a classic—and that’s for a reason. One thing to consider with this theme is that your potential donors may already have the appropriate wardrobe in their closets. With less money and time devoted to determining what to wear, you may be able to encourage supporters to give more to your cause on the night of your fundraiser. Depending on your target audience, this simple luxurious theme could be just right. The expected attire for a black-tie event would be for your guests to wear tuxedos or gowns.

2. Casino Royale

James Bond: Casino Royale is a popular theme because it’s elegant and has an air of sophistication. The advantage of going with a theme like Casino Royale is that you can incorporate casino games into your fundraising event. If you set up a blackjack table, craps, poker, and roulette, you’ll surely have a big turnout for your event. 

As far as attire, men can wear tuxedos or high-quality suits while ladies can wear anything from a cocktail dress to a gown. If you’re trying to think of great gala themes, Casino Royale is one we recommend considering. 

3. Around the world

People love to travel—why not bring the experience of new places to them? If the venue where your event is taking place has multiple rooms, decorate each with traditional decorations from different locations and cultures. To take the theme even further, you could include informative placards about the different items and cultures you showcase. If your nonprofit benefits a particular part of the world, this could be a great way to give your guests an up-close look at your cause—you could even have food from different countries and cultures your nonprofit benefits. As far as having charity fundraiser themes that double as conversation starters, you can’t do better than an “around the world” theme.

4. Under the sea

If your nonprofit’s mission is at all environmentally based, fundraising theme ideas could take a more natural approach. For example, if your nonprofit works to figh climate change, you could choose an under the sea theme to bring awareness to your cause. The decoration options for an under the sea themed event are endless. From a nautical boat theme with beachy decor, to images of ocean animals, your guests will absolutely be pleased with this theme.

Guests to your event would have no trouble dressing the part for an under the sea party. Depending on how specific you make your theme, anything from mermaid-like sequined dresses to boat captain hats and cable knit sweaters would fit the bill.

5. A color party

One common fundraising gala theme is to have a monochrome color party. Not only is this incredibly simple for your guests, but you can tie in your nonprofit’s branding as well. For example, if your company logo is red with white lettering, your gala or event could have an all-red dress code. This is a great way to create a subconscious unity among event-goers, as everyone will be dressed similarly no matter what they’re wearing. Plus, this theme can be as casual or as fancy as necessary.

6. The Roaring Twenties

The Roaring Twenties represent a time of economic prosperity in the United States and parts of Europe. With that in mind, this would be a great fundraising theme idea for a charity event where you intend on bringing in donations from guests. 

If you would like to get specific with attire, you could classify your theme as The Great Gatsby inspired. The 1920s is a period defined by women in flapper dresses and cloche hats while men wore three-piece suits and fedoras. Your guests will certainly have fun dressing up for a Roaring Twenties themed event. 

7. The sky is the limit

As a nonprofit, your goal is always to shoot for the stars to bring attention and action to your cause. This is why a space theme would be perfect for your next charity event. Decorate your venue with planetary solar systems and lighting resembling intergalactic designs and your guests will be inspired to back your cause.

The sky truly is the limit in regard to what guests can wear to a space-themed event. There will likely be no shortage of metallic colors or sequined dresses on the dance floor if you decide to go with a space theme. 

8. Play-it-forward

The play on words is no mistake—encourage your event participants to pay-it-forward to your nonprofit with a play-it-forward theme. The beauty of a play-it-forward theme is that you can host an event centered around games, or you can let music take center stage. 

If you choose to go with a game night approach, set up fun games for your guests to play while you educate and inform them about your cause. If a music theme is more appropriate for your nonprofit, perhaps a live musician or band would be a fitting addition to your night. Attire for each event could be entirely up to your nonprofit’s preference.

9. Seasons of giving

The four seasons of the year are a natural inspiration that all of your supporters can find joy in. For this theme, organize your event space to represent the four seasons of the year: winter, spring, summer, and fall. To keep things simple for your guests, you can ask them to dress for their favorite season—it may help to indicate that parkas may be a bit warm for the evening. 

10. Alice in Wonderland

If you want to encourage the guests of your event to use their creativity, an Alice in Wonderland theme is just right. With psychedelic colors and patterns, you can organize the Mad Hatter Tea Party of your dreams. With a theme like this, your supporters won’t be able to forget your nonprofit’s event—and leaving a lasting impression on your guests is sure to boost post-event engagement for your nonprofit, driving donations to your cause.

For attire, you can encourage attendees to dress as their favorite Alice in Wonderland character, or you can simply ask people to wear bright colors mixed with interesting whimsical patterns.

Organize your next charity fundraiser with GoFundMe Charity

We hope these fundraising gala theme ideas help your organization plan the perfect event for your nonprofit. As you plan your next fundraising event, create an online fundraiser through GoFundMe Charity so that donors have a place to make contributions to your cause before, during, and after your event. With no subscription fees or contracts, GoFundMe offers the ability to sell tickets to your next event as well as free integrations with CRM tools that your nonprofit may already be using. Sign up and start planning your next fundraising event today. 

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About Kaley Aposporos

My passion is creating content that will ultimately make the world a better and more connected place. I’m driven to live a life full of stories worth sharing and hope to make an impact by staying curious and present.