16 Fundraising Ideas for Cancer That Work

15 Fundraising Ideas for Cancer That Work
Raise money for cancer treatment.
Raise money for cancer awareness.
Raise money for cancer research.
Raise money with crowdfunding.

Matching Gifts

The Best Fundraising Idea For Cancer Organizations

  • What Are Matching Gifts?

    Many companies have philanthropic programs in place to support causes their employees care about. The most common type of CSR program is matching gifts. With these programs, companies will match employees’ donations to eligible nonprofits. By tapping into these programs, your cancer-focused organization can double or triple the value of donations from individual supporters.

  • Why Are They Great?

    Matching gifts provide a powerful incentive for donors. When individuals know that their contributions will be matched by their employers, they’re often motivated to give more generously. In fact, 1 in 3 donors will give a larger gift if they know matching will be applied.

  • How can I begin?

    One of the biggest challenges you’ll face is a lack of awareness. Educate your donors about matching gifts, and make it easy for them to research their eligibility by adding our matching gift search tool to your donation page. Our matching gift database is the most comprehensive resource for companies’ matching gift programs and can provide your donors with relevant guidelines and forms for their employers’ CSR programs.

    Auto-submission simplifies the eligibility confirmation and form completion process even further. Donors can provide their corporate email address when donating, and if eligible, our tools will automatically submit a request to their employer for them.

Do More In The Fight Against Cancer By Tapping Into Corporate Giving.


The Most Innovative Fundraising Idea for Cancer Treatment, Prevention, Research, and Awareness

  • What are eCards?

    eCards are electronic greeting cards you can send your supporters through email, text, and social media. Like physical cards, you can customize every detail of an eCard by adding a unique message and design. Some organizations even add animations to make their eCards all the more memorable.

  • Why is it great?

    eCard fundraisers encourage your supporters to get the rest of their personal networks involved. For an eCard fundraiser, create a number of set eCards supporters can choose from or let them design their own eCards using a template. Then, they can buy these eCards to send to friends and family, spreading awareness of your cause and letting them know a donation was made in their name.

  • How can I begin?

    Partner with an eCard platform designed for nonprofits. Our favorite, eCardWidget, has both a free and paid plan, allowing nonprofits to experiment and see if eCard fundraisers are right for them before committing. Plus, it comes with templates and design tools, so nonprofits without a graphic designer on staff can still make professional eCards to share with supporters.

T-Shirt Fundraising

The Most Popular Fundraising Idea for Cancer Treatment, Prevention, Research, and Awareness

  • What is t-shirt fundraising?

    T-shirt fundraising combines crowdfunding with a t-shirt element. You simply create a design that encompasses your cause and share the campaign page where supporters can place their orders far and wide. This makes it easy to drive awareness for your cause while raising a decent amount for your cause, whether you want to fund cancer research or cover personal medical costs.

  • Why is it great?

    T-shirt fundraising offers the dual benefit of spreading awareness and raising money for your specific cause. With control over your t-shirt’s design, you can create apparel that communicates your cause and that buyers will be proud to wear.

  • How can I begin?

    Using a t-shirt fundraising platform like Bonfire, you can create a design that includes your specific cancer ribbon or some other representation of the cause, so anytime someone wears the shirt, you’ll spread awareness. Bonfire doesn’t charge any upfront fees and will handle the backend processes, including shipping orders directly to buyers. That way, all you have to do is create your design, promote the opportunity, and receive your payout when the campaign wraps up.

The Most Cost-Effective Fundraising Idea for Cancer Causes


The Most Cost-Effective Fundraising Idea for Cancer Treatment, Prevention, Research, and Awareness

  • What is crowdfunding?

    Crowdfunding is a fundraising method that helps individuals raise money for any cause, such as cancer treatment, through an online donation page.

  • Why is it great?

    Crowdfunding is a top fundraising option for cancer treatment because it is cost-effective and easy to get started. You can set up an individual crowdfunding campaign for personal cancer-related causes or raise money for a nonprofit that serves the cancer community.

  • How can I begin?

    First, you’ll want to pick a crowdfunding platform. There are plenty that have successfully helped raise funding for cancer treatment and research. Then, to begin your campaign, you simply set a fundraising goal, create your crowdfunding page, and promote your campaign. It’s that easy.

Promoting Fundraisers for Cancer Causes

The foundation of any great campaign is a solid fundraising idea. From there, it’s all about how you market that great idea!

As you brainstorm marketing ideas, keep these platforms in mind:

Click to start advertising your fundraising idea for cancer on Google.

  • Paid Advertising

    Especially if you have a limited budget, paid advertising can seem out of reach. Have no fear! Google is here to save the day with its Google Ad Grants program.

    Through the program, Google supplies qualifying nonprofits with $10,000 in ad credits to spend on Google Ads. That means you can boost your campaign page within Google search results for relevant keywords people are searching.

    Know that the program coordinators limit who’s eligible. For example, individuals, hospitals, and healthcare organizations aren’t eligible, but charitable arms or foundations associated with healthcare organizations are. A Google Grants manager can help confirm your eligibility, fill out your application, and create ads that promote your fundraiser.

  • Social Media

    Harness the power of social sharing by promoting your fundraising idea for cancer on social media.

    The digital space opens your cause up to a world of supporters. There are plenty of platforms you can leverage to generate support, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.

    Share your campaign page and regularly post updates on progress. You’ll find that some of the most inspiring posts include pictures and firsthand stories about your cause. If you successfully inspire your followers, they might share your posts with their networks, potentially multiplying your reach!

  • Community Outreach

    You’re not limited to the digital space when advertising your fundraising idea for cancer. In fact, generating support within your community can be incredibly powerful as people band together to reach your goal.

    There’s plenty you can do to reach your local community. For example, you might post flyers on bulletin boards, share ads in your local publications, or go door-to-door to inform people about your cause.

Does your organization want to promote its fundraiser for cancer on Google?

Other Great Fundraising Ideas for Cancer Causes

Luminaria Ceremony

Luminaria cereomonies are a way to honor those who have lost their battles with cancer while raising money for those still fighting to beat it and prevent it.

You can raise money by selling luminaria kits and scheduling a time and a place to hold the ceremony.

During the event, individuals can decorate paper lantern bags with the names of loved ones who have battled or are battling cancer. Then, all at once, everyone lights their lanterns and you have speeches and a moment of silence in honor of the fight against cancer.

Charity Concert

Charity concerts can be big money makers, but they’re a bit higher maintenance than some of the other fundraising ideas on this list.

To be successful, you’ll need a venue, performers, promotions, concessions, proper equipment, and decorations. The less you spend on those essentials, the more you’ll make for every ticket sold.

Know you’re audience and plan your event accordingly. Make sure to keep the focus on the beneficiaries of your event, those fighting cancer and those who have survived it.


Get some exercise and raise money all at once! Walkathons are a fundraising staple, especially for cancer-related nonprofits and causes, such as the Breast Cancer Walk.

Usually organized by a specific community or organization, walkathons ask participants to secure donation pledges based on the distance they’re able to walk.

Pledges will be the driving force of the fundraiser, but make sure that your walkathon offers items for sale such as concessions and commemorative t-shirts.

Discover how matching gifts can help fund your effort to find a cure.

Restaurant Partnership

Many local and national restaurants are open to partnering with charities for fundraising nights. You can work with a major chain, like Panera Bread, or talk to local joints.

Typically, the way restaurant partnerships work is straight forward. Restaurants will host a night in your honor, where a portion of all sales are donated to your cause.

If the cancer you’re raising money for has a dedicated month, try to organize the partnership to coincide with that month. Then, post signs about the month, the fundraiser, and the cause throughout the restaurant.

Checkout Charity

Have you ever had someone ask if you’d like to add $1 to your bill to donate to XYZ cause? That’s checkout charity, and it’s a great way to raise money.

Find a local shop or restaurant that would be willing to collect checkout donations on your behalf or even just let you set up a donation jar near the register.

Donors already have their wallets out and usually don’t mind sparing a dollar or two. Add incentive by letting the donors sign their name to a contributor wall with more info about your cause that benefits cancer treatment.

Yoga Classes

See if you can find a local yoga instructor and studio that would be willing to partner with you to raise money for cancer research and awareness. If you can’t secure a studio, you can host at home.

To raise money, see if the instructor and studio will split the proceeds or donate them all to your cause. You should also place collection jars around the class to encourage additional giving.

Yoga is a great cancer fundraiser because it encourages healthy mind, body, and soul and can be highly restorative. Make sure to promote and get a large group to participate!

Coffee Bean Sales

Everyone needs a morning pick-me-up, right? Who doesn’t love a good cup of joe? Give your donors a caffeine rush by selling premium coffee beans branded to your cause.

You can work with a roaster or coffee shop to secure discounted coffee beans and then go out into the community to sell the beans. You want quality coffee at an affordable price. 

Decide if you’ll be selling the beans in person, online, or both, and then map out your sales plan. If you can, work with an artist to create a label that foregrounds your cancer-related cause and maybe even ask a survivor if they’d be willing to let you tell their story on the package.

A Virtual Campaign

In the digital age, virtual campaigns are a powerful way to reach supporters. They eliminate physical barriers, allowing people to come together in the fight against cancer no matter where they are in the world.

Create an engaging online campaign, such as “30 Days of Giving” or “Cancer Awareness Month Challenge.” During your campaign, share daily stories, facts, and calls to action on social media to encourage donations.

Be sure to link to your donation page, so readers will know exactly how to show support when they feel inspired.

Recipe Book Sales

Selling recipe books is a great fundraising idea because it’s affordable to set up and allows you to ask for donations in exchange for a provided product. It’s even better if your recipes are catered toward clean, healthy eating for cancer patients and survivors.

Put together a cook book with the best recipes that you and your supporters have. Then, sell the book within your community. 

Depending on your budget, you can either have the book professionally bound or you can do a digital version of the book for free on the computer. Its appearance is less important than the quality of the recipes!

Sell Merchandise

If you’re trying to raise money for cancer treatment or research, why not sell merchandise? By designing custom t-shirts or bracelets,  you’re not only raising money but also raising awareness.

You’ll have to decide if you want to create your own merchandise or work with a fundraising company to print your design on apparel, water bottles, etc. 

This cancer fundraising idea is the perfect way to remember a loved one and share their story. Design your merchandise using a motivational quote or image to inspire others to support your cause.

Have a Hospital Breakfast

If you know of someone who was hospitalize, then  you know that small gestures of kindness make a huge difference in someone’s experience. Bring some happiness to the patients by hosting a hospital breakfast.

For this fundraiser to work, you’ll need to partner with the hospital to see if you can host the breakfast in their cafeteria. Invite members of the community to participate and let them know why you’re raising money.

Charge admission and set up a donations table to accept additional gifts.

Organize a Tree Planting Event

With a tree planting fundraiser, people are able to plant trees dedicated to those fighting cancer, and you can raise money for research or treatment. Plus, this event is environmentally friendly and has a lasting impression on participants.

For the event, sell saplings and encourage attendees to plant them in their backyards. Spend some time talking about the reasons why you’re raising money.

Make sure to set up a table where guests can make an additional contribution or sell concessions to raise additional money for the event.

Successful Cancer Fundraising Campaigns

Prayers for Piper

The family of a young girl fighting Burkitts Lymphoma started this fundraiser to cover her medical costs and supplies, as well as provide general support. Thanks to donations from over 115 donors, the campaign far exceeded its $8,000 goal and still has time to raise much more. Check it out here!

Rose Curth Cancer Foundation

So far, the Rose Curth Cancer Foundation has raised over an astonishing $113,000. In honor of Rose Curth, who passed away from brain cancer, the Foundation was created to give money to the families and victims of cancer. It’s a great cause and a well-run campaign. Check it out here!

Partner With Corporations For A Cancer-Free World. Unlock The Power Of Corporate Giving.

Top Resources to Help You Fundraise

117+ Fundraising Ideas for all Causes

This comprehensive resource contains over 200 fundraising ideas.

Still looking for more fundraising ideas and inspiration? Good thing we’ve compiled a diverse list of over 100 fundraising ideas to help you! You’ll select a fundraiser in no time!

Crowdfunding: The Beginner’s Guide

This crowdfunding guide will help you plan your campaign if you choose crowdfunding as your fundraising idea.

Crowdfunding is one of our top fundraising ideas. If you’re interested in pursuing it but not sure where to start, this guide will give you all the necessary background.

Donation Requests: 45+ Companies That Donate

Check out what companies will fulfill your donation requests.

Have you requested donations from companies? There are many businesses in your community that might be open to donating. This guide shows you where to look!