15 Mother’s Day Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits

The Keela Team • Apr 19, 2022

Moms can really do it all! And as Mother’s Day approaches, it’s a great time to remember that one of the ways we can thank our moms is by helping to make a positive impact on the world. Mother’s Day is the perfect time to give your nonprofit organization’s supporters the opportunity to thank their mothers and donate to an important cause at the same time. 

After all, most people are already primed to get their wallets out for mom, with Americans spending more than $28 billion to celebrate the special occasion in 2021. Even a tiny slice of that total would greatly impact nonprofits and charitable organizations.

Mother’s Day is also a prime time for giving, with donors giving more in April and May than any other time of the year except for the Giving Tuesday/December holiday fundraising season. All of this makes running a Mother’s Day fundraiser a safe bet, and all you need are your usual fundraising strategies combined with a great idea.

When is Mother’s Day in 2024?

This year, Mother’s Day in North America falls on May 12, 2024. It is a day set aside to honor motherhood and recognize maternal bonds and the role of mothers within our society.

Feeling stumped on Mother’s Day fundraising ideas? We got you covered! Below, we have compiled a list of 15 mother’s day (and spring) fundraising ideas to say thank you to moms while giving back to charitable organizations.

Let’s get started!

15 Mother’s Day (and Spring) Fundraising Ideas

1. Sell Flowers

There isn’t a more classic option for a Mother’s Day gift than flowers. Whether it’s carnations or Rafflesia Keithii, the ephemeral beauty of flowers is a springtime favorite for beating back the winter blues. Americans spent more than $2.6 billion on flowers for moms in 2021, so we can be pretty sure that bright colors and baby’s breath are going to capture the attention of your potential donors.

Partnering with a local florist is a good place to start, or set aside some capital to purchase flowers wholesale, set up a booth somewhere visible (like your local farmer’s market or in front of the hardware store), and let passersby know that a purchase for mom is also a donation to an important mission. Be clear on your signage about which organization is benefitting from donations and how much of each purchase is going to your organization.

Online Alternative: Many flower shops already have online purchasing available, so there are options for your fundraising strategy when looking to partner with a local flower shop to promote your fundraiser and collect donations online.

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2. Plan a Bake Sale 

Moms aren’t immune to the allure of sugar, butter, and chocolate, so let’s use this to your advantage. Plan a bake sale at a local school, community center, or other public space, and have your team and volunteers bake delicious treats for moms all over town. Kids and spouses can buy a cookie or a whole pan of maple blondies for Mother’s Day dessert.

Want to get moms involved? As part of your bake sale, host a cake-baking competition with prizes and raffle off the cakes at the end. As with all food-related events, be sure to follow food safety guidelines.

Online Alternative: You’re not going to sell individual cookies or slices of pie online, but why not have your cake competition as an online fundraiser on social media? Winning raffle tickets get a cake for mom, your organization benefits, and if you keep the number of cake entries low, you’ll only have a few deliveries to make at the end.

3. Host an Arts and Crafts Event

While moms love the stuff as much as the rest of us, we also suspect that what they want is something handmade and to spend time with their families. In that spirit, consider hosting a Mother’s Day arts and crafts day. 

Find a location (libraries are great!), pick some crafts (Mother’s Day cards are a great place to start), gather supplies, and invite families to bring the matriarch. Since this should be a relatively inexpensive event to host, you can either sell tickets at the door or make the event by donation.

Online Alternative: Instead of gathering a bunch of sneezers in an enclosed space, put together Mother’s Day arts and crafts boxes, promote them online, and ensure they get delivered before the big day.

4. Do a Raffle Draw

There are moms who love nothing more than the delicious rush of winning. Capitalize on their competitive edge by hosting a Mother’s Day raffle. Solicit prize donations from volunteers, local businesses, restaurants, etc., and sell tickets in your community. Winning moms will savor the taste of victory and a gift certificate for a nice meal.

If you get a bunch of smaller donated prizes, consider bundling them as gift baskets to boost value.

Online Alternative: Use social media to promote and sell tickets, and be sure to take great photos of the prizes to motivate supporters. Raffles are also an excellent opportunity to use peer-to-peer fundraising strategies to spread the word beyond your community.

Peer to peer diagram

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5. Host a High Tea Party

There’s something about leaves steeped in hot water that float some moms’ boats. It’s probably a combination of caffeine and having an excuse to dress up nice. For Mother’s Day, go ahead and host a high tea befitting the Queen or Angela Lansbury. 

Rent a space or partner with a local restaurant, sort out tea, scones, doilies, and whatever else a fancy tea party requires. Since this is a formal event, sell tickets in advance, and don’t be afraid to up the price a little more than you usually would.

You can also up the ante with a silent auction during your event. Ask for prize donations from local businesses and volunteers. But be sure it’s a silent auction. No one wants to hear a guy yelling 150 words per minute while trying to choke down a crumpet.

Online Alternative: You could create Mother’s Day high tea gift boxes and sell them through your website. Try to get a local bakery and a tea shop on board to help with supplies and packaging. Be sure to track your donor engagement as orders come in. 

6. Organize a Dinner Party for Moms

Not every mom cooks, but those who do will surely appreciate not having to dig that 30 lbs cast iron pan out of the cupboard on Mother’s Day. Like our high tea fundraiser idea, work with a local restaurant to put on a brunch, lunch, or dinner for moms and their families. Be sure to provide entertainment and information about your cause.

Before you get too far into planning, make sure you’ve worked out the financials with your partner restaurant. If they are donating partial proceeds, it should be easy to plan. If they want you to cover food costs, you better get your spreadsheet out so you know exactly how many tickets you need to sell to break even.

Online Alternative: Instead of partnering with a sit-down restaurant, look for a collaborator specializing in delivering food or meal kits. Moms love going out for dinner, but they also love staying in their stretchy pants all day and watching Succession while eating a meal they didn’t cook.

7. Create Mother’s Day Cards

A heartfelt card is a classic option for moms who still like to get something in the mail. Work with a local artist (bonus if you have one on staff) to create original artwork for cards to send to mom. Cards are relatively inexpensive to produce, so most of the sale price will go straight into your organization’s pockets.

This idea will also subtly spread the word about your cause if you include your web address and possibly a brief mission statement on the back.

Online Alternative: There are many e-card services available, and some moms just don’t want any more paper to put in the recycling.

8. Share Heartwarming Stories About Moms in Your Community

If you’re looking to increase your social media followers rather than raising a ton of dough on Mother’s Day, invite your supporters to submit and share stories about moms in your community. Moms benefit from public recognition of their efforts, your organization benefits from a more extensive network, increased exposure, and user-generated content for use at a later date.

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9. Partner and Contribute to Nonprofits Supporting Mothers

This is the purest one, which perhaps makes it the perfect gift. Give donors and supporters the opportunity to contribute to an existing nonprofit, campaign, or program that focuses on supporting mothers. There are many moms and kids in need, so find a way to align your mission with moms on Mother’s Day, then build a peer-to-peer campaign around it. Donating on behalf of a mom shows her just how important her love and support have been.

Above all else, do your best to avoid making it look like you’re exploiting Mother’s Day for your organization’s profit. Try to make your messaging sincere; get staffers, volunteers, and donors who are mothers to be a part of your planning; and let everyone involved know that their Mother’s Day gift has contributed to an even more significant positive impact.

10. Host a Wine and Paint Night

Hosting a wine and paint night is a fun and unique way to raise funds and engage participants in an interactive way. And who doesn’t love a little vino in a garden with some good pals, a blank canvas, and a paintbrush? But you don’t need a garden oasis to execute this fundraising idea. 

If you don’t have access to an outdoor space, a wine and paint night can be held online via Zoom with a live instructor facilitating the event. This is a great way to reach a wider audience and build an online community around interactive and creative events. You can even schedule breaks to give participants time for interaction and maybe host another fundraising initiative, like a raffle with a prize being a private painting lesson to help raise more funds. 

11. Plan a Running, or Fitness, Event 

Fitness events are a tried and true way to raise money for your charitable organization. They are a great example of successful peer-to-peer fundraising initiatives and bring together community members to support an important cause while pushing each other to become a healthier version of themselves. Win/win!

Just look at the support shown to running events such as the Boston Marathon, New York City Marathon, or the CIBC Run For The Cure.

Many running events rely on peer-to-peer fundraising, and fortunately, the list you’re currently reading has many great ideas for in-person, virtual, or hybrid events that can engage participants! You can even use fitness apps like Strava to get donors globally to participate in a virtual fitness challenge. 

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12. Host a Mother’s Day Concert 

Nothing connects people together more than music, and there are many talented musicians worldwide who love sharing their talents with their community. Help support local musicians and raise money for a good cause by hosting an in-person or virtual concert event. You can sell tickets and organize other fundraising initiatives, such as a 50/50 draw or a raffle during the concert to keep attendees engaged. 

13. Organize an Art Auction

Show off the talent of the artists in your community with an art auction! It’s even better if these artists are also mothers. You can encourage the artists to donate a piece to your fundraising event and help promote their work.

Art lovers love art not just for the piece itself but the story the piece tells and the history behind it.  You can share the backstory behind each piece or have the artist present their work themselves live or through a pre-recorded video. This is a great fundraising idea that can be implemented in a live or virtual setting. 

hands holding up dollar signs

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14. Run a Photo Contest

Another fun mother’s day fundraiser idea is to host a photo contest. Your nonprofit can engage and spotlight amazing photographers in your community in a photo contest. You can identify multiple themes for entries into the contest and invite donors to share their pictures on social networking platforms, like Instagram, with a specially curated hashtag and photo tag to track entries. 

Consider using a  Mother’s Day photography theme to highlight the strength and beauty of motherhood in a photo series

Once you have collected the entries, you can upload them to an events page and ask your supporters to make monetary donations as votes for their favorite photograph. You can even up the ante by gifting a printed and framed version of the photograph to the highest donation amount. 

15. Have a Garage Sale

Have a storage space in your house bursting at the seams? Maybe it’s time to host a garage sale and get to know your neighbors better at the same time! Garage sales are a great way to bring awareness and raise funds for your organization. You can also bring in other fundraising ideas, such as setting up a kid’s lemonade stand, selling baked goods, or getting a local musician to play music while people shop!

This is a great way to bring the community together and promote sustainability by having people shop secondhand while raising money for a good cause. 

Online Alternative: Start a Garage Sale event page on Instagram or Facebook to sell items and give live updates on the in-person garage sale. You can also utilize platforms such as Etsy or eBay to sell items.  

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Use any of the 15 creative, interactive mother’s day fundraising ideas listed in this article to honor and show appreciation for the immense contributions of mothers in your nonprofit’s community while also raising funds to do more good.

About the author:

Taylor Palmer, Marketing Coordinator at KIT

Taylor has always believed that knowledge is power, and the pen (or, in this case, keyboard) is the sword. Philanthropy and human rights are at the core of her ethos. When she is not engaged in friendly debate, you can find Taylor training in the boxing ring, snowboarding on the mountains, or running on Vancouver’s seawall.