Breast Cancer Fundraising Ideas That Really Work

Updated on February 17, 2018
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Melanie was a chemistry student at Purdue Northwest with an interest in organic chemistry and computational research in protein folding.

Breast Cancer Fundraising Ideas That Really Work
Breast Cancer Fundraising Ideas That Really Work

Finding great breast cancer fundraising ideas is no easy task, but using this list of 10 amazing fundraiser ideas, you can get started in raising money for your favorite breast cancer charity.

You may believe that large charities receive more than enough money to keep their efforts up, but this is simply not true.

If you're already involved in a charitable organization that supports breast cancer research, care, or awareness, you know that these organizations use their money to help the hundreds upon hundreds of women living with breast cancer.

Because of the massive expenses of these charities and a large number of women in need, there is always a need for money.

Luckily, there are many breast cancer fundraising ideas that even just one person can do!

A runner in the London Marathon spreads breast cancer awareness
A runner in the London Marathon spreads breast cancer awareness | Source

Idea #1 - Marathons for Breast Cancer

There are tons of marathons and walks all over the US in numerous cities. Each person who takes part either raises money and then donates this money to the charity on race day or pays an upfront, flat amount to take part. These marathons are a great way to meet new friends and have fun doing something for an important cause.

These events occur several times a year and different charities are in charge of these events. Those who love to take part in these types of events can support a number of charities and be active in fighting breast cancer year round.

Mammo-grahams will help you out while REALLY getting the message across!
Mammo-grahams will help you out while REALLY getting the message across!

Idea #2 - Host a Party

Hosting a party is the perfect way to raise money and have fun. There are a variety of ways to do this and creativity is the key.

Whether you wish to have a door charge where guests pay a flat fee to get into the party or have activities such as raffles, or even selling products, there are a large number of ways a party can raise money for breast cancer.

Give your party a fun theme like "everything pink" theme where pink foods such as cupcakes and punch are served and pink clothing is worn. Another idea is to have someone come and speak on breast cancer prevention or talk about a specific breast cancer charity. The party can be thrown in the privacy of your own home or you can rent out space. The sky's the limit!

Attaching a placard to pink ribbons can get a message out
Attaching a placard to pink ribbons can get a message out

Idea #3 - Throw a Formal Benefit/Gala

Throwing a formal benefit or a gala is similar to hosting a party but is on a much larger (and often pricier scale.) However, with a benefit, the fundraising potential is much larger. When throwing a gala for a charity, it's important to enlist the help of others in the area. By doing this, costs can be cut because a friend may know someone who can donate or discount their services for the benefit.

A well thought out plan is essential for such an event and there are a number of details that must be ironed out before the date of the event. Important details include where the benefit will take place, what kind of costs will be involved in the benefit, who is responsible for which task, which charity will receive the proceeds, any catering that will be required, etc.

Pink raffle tickets (these are great for door prizes) at a breast cancer fundraising event
Pink raffle tickets (these are great for door prizes) at a breast cancer fundraising event

Idea #4 - Have a Garage Sale

Having a garage sale is a great way to get rid of things you no longer need and raise money for a breast cancer charity. Even if you can only donate a small part of the proceed to a particular charity, every little bit helps.

A great way to show your support for your favorite charity is to have a sign at your garage sale saying that X% of the proceeds will go to X charity.

By getting your neighbors and friends involved, everyone can pitch in to host one huge garage sale that will not only draw a large number of buyers but a large amount of money.

It's important to advertise your garage sale in the newspaper and on signs ahead of time so more people know about your garage sale and the charity you are involved with.

Pink white chocolate popcorn for movie night or a bake sale
Pink white chocolate popcorn for movie night or a bake sale

Idea #5 - Accept Donations in Return for Services

A great way to have a lot of fun while raising money for a breast cancer charity is to offer you and your friends', family's, and colleagues' services in return for donations.

A car wash is a popular example of this as many people host car washes for a variety of charities.

If you don't wish to host a car wash, there are a number of other things that can be done to earn money for a charity such as mowing lawns.

You can make it so customers pay a flat fee for your services (such as $5 for a car wash) or you can let them donate any amount they wish.

You can also invite any number of people to donate their time to help earn money for the charity. This is a great way to meet new people and for everyone to feel like a part of the community.

Dipped pretzels are easy-to-make and delicious bake sale items
Dipped pretzels are easy-to-make and delicious bake sale items

Idea #6 - Write a Newspaper Article

Those who have good skills in writing (or are on the shyer side) can write an editorial to be put in the newspaper. Whether you talk about your own battle with breast cancer or just bring awareness to the issue, having a newspaper article published is a great way to raise money for charity.

Be sure to bring your point to life and paint a real picture about breast cancer, but don't forget to talk about how your charity helps and talk about the strength and hope that is behind every breast cancer survivor.

Make readers feel as if they can really help (they can) by donating money or their efforts to a breast cancer charity—because your article proves that even just one person can help.

You'll want to contact your newspaper to see if you can get your writing published as an article instead of as an opinion. By doing so, you will gain more exposure for the cause. If the newspaper rejects the idea, then you may want to go ahead and submit it as an opinion. (It was worth the shot.)

After writing your article, proofread it yourself and then ask a friend to take a look at it so it'll be fine-tuned before you submit it.

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Rice Krispy treats dipped in chocolate.
Rice Krispy treats dipped in chocolate.

Idea #7 - Set Up a Table or Booth

Setting up a table in front of a store or even at the county fair is a great way to not only raise money but to gain exposure for a particular charity. By bringing material for passersby to read and taking donations for a breast cancer charity, a large impact can be made. Try bringing friends who also wish to be involved and put on your best smiles and talk with those who pass by.

Dressing in pink is another great way to make an impact, but perhaps the most important thing is to be armed with information not only about your favorite charity but about breast cancer in general. Many people who come up to your table may have questions and by giving an informed answer, you may be helping someone and may even bring in a donation.

Get some interesting facts about the risks of breast cancer, the survival rate, and what your charity does—whether your charity's job is to inform the public about prevention, help those who already have breast cancer, or to raise money for research. Having the right information will be tied very closely to your success, but also don't forget to smile and have fun!

A pink wreath that can be sold in a silent auction or craft fair
A pink wreath that can be sold in a silent auction or craft fair
Designer cookies can earn a lot in a silent auction or bake sale
Designer cookies can earn a lot in a silent auction or bake sale

Idea #8 - Silent Auctions

One of the most popular breast cancer fundraising ideas is to host or help out at a silent auction. Most silent auctions are held at large events such as festivals. You can help out by managing the auction, donating something to be auctioned, or getting local businesses to donate.

One nice point that you can use in getting a business to donate an item to a silent auction (besides the great cause) is to let them know that people at the event will know the business has donated something. It's a way for a business to advertise in return for donating.

A silent auction is a great way for local businesses to donate to a cause and for patrons to shop around for a great item they would like to bid on. The more items available at a silent auction, the more money that can be generated. Also, don't forget to have signs around in order to show patrons that the money goes to a great cause.

Pink macaroons = perfect for a bake sale
Pink macaroons = perfect for a bake sale

Idea #9 - Bake Sales & More

A fun, hands-on way to earn money for a charity is to hold a bake sale. By getting together a group of friends or coworkers and making cookies, cupcakes, and brownies and then selling them, a lot of money can be earned. Also, this is a fun way to support your cause! If bake sales aren't your thing, you can sell trees for buyers to plant, T-shirts, or any number of things.

This type of fundraiser is perhaps one of the most fun and likely the most successful too as those who donate get to bring something home to show that they've helped. This can be held in front of a store, at the mall, a park, or even at a festival given that you get proper permission first. Be sure to be ready to put on your best sales skills and have fun!

Carnation sundae, with a cherry on top, of course!
Carnation sundae, with a cherry on top, of course!

Idea #10 - Have a Raffle

A raffle can really rake in a lot of money for a charitable cause. There are a number of places where this could be done, whether it's at a concert, a bowling alley, or event at a college event. However, don't forget to find out what the local laws are on raffles and be sure to have the proper permits as well as permission from the management at the venue where the raffle will be held. That being said, raffles can generate sometimes thousands of dollars.

There are two main types of raffles: a 50/50 raffle where 50% of the money goes to charity and a raffle where you give away an item such as a car. A 50/50 raffle is the least risky as you don't have to worry about raising enough money to cover the cost of the car, but raffling off a car is likely to generate more money. Another thing you can do is have several nice items such as video game systems and televisions and have multiple winners. This increases the chance that any one person may win a prize and thus more people may be apt to purchase a raffle ticket.

Fundraising & awareness events can even be held during Christmastime
Fundraising & awareness events can even be held during Christmastime

These are just a few of the many breast cancer fundraising ideas that are out there. When doing something for your favorite charity, it's important to be armed with information about breast cancer AND the charity you support so you can answer any questions that someone may have. You may not only receive a donation from this person, but they may want to help you out, thus increasing the amount of money that can be raised. Not only that, but you may be changing a life.

Remember, raising money for a charity isn't only about the lives that the charity touches, but the lives you touch. And don't forget to have fun! Also, if you have a great fundraising idea, feel free to comment below. Your input is always welcome!

Fact: Although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,470 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer each year.
Fact: Although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,470 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer each year.

Questions & Answers

    © 2010 Melanie Shebel


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      • profile image

        Marcia Frey 9 months ago

        I belong to a motorcycle organization that has a poker run every year called the pink "ribbon ride. Proceeds benefit breast cancer research. A group of ladies are decorating bras to somehow raffle off for the gentlemen to wear during the motorcycle poker run. I need some ideas on how to "raffle" these off. They will be on display at a weekly outdoor event for 5 weeks leading up to the poker run.

        Thoughts on how to raise money for the pretty pink ribbon bras??


      • Paula Atwell profile image

        Paula Atwell 3 years ago from Cleveland, OH

        Great ideas. I haven't done a fundraiser but I have bought from people who do. Bravo!

      • profile image

        Alice Yandle 4 years ago

        We raffled off a car, big mistake, we barely raised enough to pay for the car. Unless you have a big group I wouldn't raffle off a car. Thank goodness we had a dealership that sold us a car at a deeply discount. 25 ladies in our group. Also if you do raffle off a car, make the raffle in two months not 1 that gives you 60-61 days to sale tickets instead of 30. I have had wine baskets, porcelain doll dressing in Pink, and other baskets.

      • erorantes profile image

        Ana Maria Orantes 4 years ago from Miami Florida

        Miss melanie you are wondergful. I like your ideas on how to make money to help a good cause. God bless you. Thank you. You did an excellent article.

      • profile image

        jen 4 years ago

        a local salon is offering pink hair extensions for a donation to breast cancer research..i am getting tomorrow!!!

      • barryrutherford profile image

        Barry Rutherford 4 years ago from Queensland Australia

        Great enjoed reading this! we have many Pink events in Australia too !

      • thumbi7 profile image

        JR Krishna 4 years ago from India

        Excellent ideas. Breast cancer is troublesome and the treatment is costly. It is a very noble thought to have funds raised for helping people suffering from cancer

      • Ruby H Rose profile image

        Maree Michael Martin 4 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

        This is a wonderful list of ideas to help stamp out breast cancer. It really helps to know every little bit we do does count. I haven't physically participated in a long time. Yet, your ideas are so inspiring, I am going to try a silent auction.

      • profile image

        AvrilLover 5 years ago

        thanks a lot this was helpful I am trying to put together a fund raiser at my school for our office secretary who died of breast cancer I miss her. :(

      • profile image

        KCWurmser 5 years ago

        My (soon-to-be) husband and I have recently started FOOTPRINTS4MARGIE. It is a dedication to his mother who passed away in 2004 due to a very harsh battle of breast cancer.. But not just her, all women and families who were forced to endure the same torture.. All of these ideas are great! I can't wait to try them.. Thank you all! I think I'm going to combine a lot of these ides and open a booth at the flea market. God Bless!

      • profile image

        Shawntrell 5 years ago

        I have an Idea for a design that I want to market for sales raising awareness for breast canceer, does anyone know with whom I would need to speek to present this design idea?

      • profile image

        Johnny c 5 years ago

        Thanks for reminding viewers that even though the cost cost to fight cancer can be high sometimes just thinking of the simple fundraisers can go a long way.

      • profile image

        jc 5 years ago

        my sister tried to do a fundraiser for me, dx in 2010 then lost my job a the biggest insurance company in the same year. so I lost my insurance and my job then 2 months later the same year hubby got laid off. I am still be collected on. It ruined my credit and my husbands and I still haven't beat the disease. My sis sold tickets and set up a craft show, but we only raised about $200 and the building cost $75 so she was so upset. I would love ideas... I am still unemployed, I've went to interviews, but our town is so small I think they only called me to come to an interview so they could see how I looked. Breast cancer has taken over my entire body. The surgery, treatments and meds. I don't think I will ever get a job!!! I don't want them to put a lien on my house!!! They've already ruined our credit, I mean we had almost 800 credit scores. I am so upset!!!

      • melbel profile image

        Melanie Shebel 5 years ago from Midwest USA

        Alanna, that's a really cool idea! October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so if you're looking for a specific time to hold an event, that's a great time! Comment back and let me know how your fundraising went!

      • profile image

        Alanna 5 years ago

        Hi. I'll be asking my school if we can use the performing arts center to have a big talent show to try to raise money. I'll also be doing a garage sale, a bake sale, and a run with some of my friends in town. Hope we can raise some money for the cause. Sad to hear how so many died.

      • profile image

        Alex 5 years ago

        any advice on what to put online for a fundraiser? A couple of my friends and I are doing the "race for the cure" on may 26th, this is my first run and a couple of my friends first as well; We are trying to get ideas on how to fix up the page that "komen" made for our team for the fundraising?

      • profile image

        shar 5 years ago


        I'm just now seeing your note. I hope things are better. If not then please say so and I will try to give you some ideas

      • sirifly profile image

        sirifly 6 years ago

        Awesome ideas - a friend recently raised a huge amount of money for breast cancer by doing a sponsored skydive. As she was pretty timid and a skydive is a pretty big deal, loads of people were interested in the cause!

      • FloraBreenRobison profile image

        FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

        Once the money is raised, I donate to Terry Fox Foundation as there are no CEOs with big paychecks. This happens in most charities, but since Terry's family runs it, all the money goes to research.

      • profile image

        katey 6 years ago

        Hi me and my friend are making a fundraiser for the children at Texas Children hospital and we need some ideas to help raise money thank you to whoever helps!!!

      • profile image

        Michelle 6 years ago

        My friend/co-worker is a breast cancer survivor, however now she has stage 4 stomach cancer. She is out of paid disability time at work and comes to work every day sick. Its so sad to see someone coming to work nauseous, throwing up, cold, and in pain. I can't just sit back and do nothing. I want to start a fundraiser for her, perhaps a chinese auction, a casino night, or something. Every which way I go I hit a wall. I would love to have companies donate items but I think they will only donate if you have a fed tax id. Also I think I need a permit to use a VFW or hall and have a charity event. I don't know how much time this will all take or where to even start. I just need a guideline on how to get this ball rolling. Please help.

      • Kris Heeter profile image

        Kris Heeter 6 years ago from Indiana

        Excellent ideas and suggestions! My jazzercise group has done a silent auction in the past to support a local breast cancer awareness event. Many donated items they made or if they owned business, a gift certificate. It's always fun to watch them try to out bid each other!

      • profile image

        darieann st. germaine 6 years ago

        we r trying to hold a raffle sale to fundraise for a cure for breast cancer at a mall. also in memory of my mother i used to take donations from friends and family every christmas to buy my mom a wig. they cost from $200 - $400. i never saw my mom's eyes light up so bright and b so happy to receive her gift of money towards a wig as she could not afford one on her own. how do i get permission from mall and do i need a permit n how much will it cost?

      • profile image

        Christina 6 years ago

        my mom just got finished with chemo radiation and removing both breasts and 13 lymph nodes and in turn was left with thousands of dollars in bills. today we found out she's going to be laid off at the end of 2011. we don't even have money to buy food or pay bills now and I don't know how we're gonna survive anymore. we have no house and a car that still needs paying off. im only 16 and make $100 a week when im lucky. I'm going to try ur ideas but as a minor I can't host anything. I don't know what to do anymore..any help?

      • profile image

        ashley 6 years ago

        Hi I am very young but very aware about breast cancer I want to do anything to help out but I don't know how should I start by going to my school and getting help from my teacher

      • profile image

        mellhuskers 6 years ago

        My grandmother has breast cancer and is struggling with medical bills and such. I had a bake sale a few weekends ago, I raised $562. I thought it was a good turn out. Two weekends from now we are having a soup supper and raffle drawing for her again. I need some more ideas though?

      • profile image

        Amber 6 years ago

        My mom has just been diagnosed with breast cancer today and she cant afford health insurance. I am trying to think of ways to raise money for her surgery to remove both breasts, her chemo and other treatments. I was thinking maybe of bake sale at my children's daycare center but if they say no is there any other ideas?

      • carolinemoon profile image

        carolinemoon 6 years ago

        Great suggestions and insights here. Thanks.

      • peterhark69 profile image

        peterhark69 6 years ago from Canada

        Really great idea and information. I know that people who lives in a smaller town who usually know their neighbors and most people in town don't have much of a problem when it comes to fundraising because they usually help each other. But for bigger states, these ideas you shared will really work and help raise some money.

      • profile image

        56scott 6 years ago

        I have purchased $100 worth of breast cancer awareness items from a dollar store and am selling them at anywhere from 100 to 400 percent profit with all frofit going to breast cancer research. Everything from magnets to pins and keychains can be found cheap with a great profit margin.

      • jacqui2011 profile image

        jacqui2011 6 years ago from Norfolk, UK

        Some great ideas in your hub. My gran, mum, 2 aunts and 2 cousins all had breast cancer. This year I intend to do the Walk for Life to help raise money for breast cancer. Thanks for the wonderful suggestions.

      • profile image

        Amber Gillogly 7 years ago

        This is our 2nd year volunteering for the Walk for The Cure. The spirit of the volunteers and all the survivors is very healing and extremely helpful in recovering for all involved.

      • melbel profile image

        Melanie Shebel 7 years ago from Midwest USA

        It is fantastic that you're getting involved. I am so sorry to hear about your cousin. :(

        Thank you so much for getting in on the fight against breast cancer.

      • LeisaNunn profile image

        LeisaNunn 7 years ago from Vancouver Washington

        Great Ideas!! I am doing a relay for life in august dedicated to my cousin Jenny who died of breast cancer last year. awesome article!!!

      • melbel profile image

        Melanie Shebel 7 years ago from Midwest USA

        I can help you come up with ideas, what kinds of things do you want to do for your friend - be a support system? raise awareness? raise money for her treatment?

      • profile image

        Mayuri Pathak 7 years ago

        I would like to help someone with breast cancer with any help she needs. So I need some idea how to do what to do?