Family-Friendly Fundraising: 5 Hybrid Event Ideas

By Brad Dowhaniuk, Guest Author

Whether your organization works directly with children or not, there are many benefits to hosting family-friendly fundraising events, especially when you can make them hybrid or virtual. 

The benefit of hosting family-friendly events that can be participated in from home is that you can start the process of building relationships with new supporters from a young age. It cultivates the next generation of charitable citizens, ensuring these values are carried on far beyond the generations that donate to your organization right now.

Luckily, there are plenty of family-friendly fundraising events for your organization to choose from. If you’re ready to host your own virtual or hybrid family fundraiser, let’s dive into our top five family-friendly ideas. 


1. Walk-a-Thon

Planning a walk-a-thon fundraiser is easy for your nonprofit, and walk-a-thons are accessible for participants from all walks of life.

Participants gather pledged donations (those promised for a later date) that correspond to a certain distance walked at your event, such as $5 for every half mile walked. At the event, you encourage participants to go the distance and watch their donations rise! 

To host this event, you simply:

  • Create an overall pledge campaign page.

  • Encourage participants to create their own pages in conjunction with it to collect pledges.

  • Plan a walk-a-thon event! All you need is a time, date, and space to walk in.

You can easily make this a hybrid peer-to-peer fundraising event by having families complete the walk-a-thon in their own neighborhoods while checking-in online and posting progress updates in a dedicated Facebook group. 


2. Trivia Night

Organize families into teams and host a family-friendly trivia night. Charge a small donation fee for entry in the competition and allow participants to show off their trivia savvy for an hour or so.

Depending on your organization’s particular mission, pepper in educational questions pertaining to it. If you’re representing a school, for example, include questions from your students’ curriculum. Further, make your trivia night family-inclusive by including trivia for all generations, from historical facts for parents to Disney tidbits for the younger audience.

Consider bolstering donations by incorporating a raffle element, such as raffling off an ultimate trivia night kit. Include trivia cards, family-friendly snacks, and score-keeping materials.

If you’re looking to make this virtual or hybrid, consider livestreaming the trivia event. A livestream with a platform like Zoom where users “buzz in” by raising their hand is always an option, but you can also consider using social media to livestream through Facebook or Instagram Live.


4. Game Night

Bring families together for a fun, brain-teasing game night. This can be done in person or in a hybrid or virtual format. 

Prior to the in-person fundraiser, gather donated board games. Try to collect games spanning age ranges and difficulty levels, from education-based (such as Cranium games) to just-for-fun (such as Chutes and Ladders). Then, host your fundraiser in a large event space and spread the board games out around the room.

Charge a small donation fee for admission and sell snacks and refreshments. Just as with trivia, consider incorporating raffle fundraising with an ultimate game night gift box.

If you’re choosing to go hybrid, you can play games where families compete, like Bingo or Boggle. Another option is to play a fully virtual game through online game platforms. You can even play some games through Zoom!


5. Karaoke Night/Talent Show

Host a karaoke or talent show night for local families to show off their skills.

Allow families to perform together or as separate performers, collecting donations for each performance sign-up. Make sure all talents performed or karaoke songs chosen are family-friendly, and that audience members understand it’s an atmosphere of support and celebrating talents— not judging skills.

For a hybrid event, you could livestream in-person performances for the audience to watch from home. To make it fully virtual, have participants film themselves at home and have the audience watch them all together through livestreaming. 

Regardless of what kind of family-friendly fundraiser you choose, make sure you have the necessary tech to make it accessible,inclusive, and fun for all of your supporters! 


Brad Dowhaniuk is the co-founder of 99Pledges, which provides schools and teams with an easy-to-use, web-based fundraising solution to manage and drive success in Fun Runs, jog-a-thons, baseball hit-a-thons, and much more. 

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