Let’s face it: basket fundraising can be a challenge. You have to come up with creative ideas, put them all in a basket, and then sell the baskets—all while making sure that you raise more money than you spend.
Let’s look at 10 brilliant ideas for fundraiser baskets that will help you meet or exceed your goals. Fundraiser baskets are lots of fun, but they can seem like an afterthought when planning other aspects of your fundraiser.
Potential donors need to know what’s in the basket before deciding whether to buy it from you or another seller.
10 Ideas for Fundraiser Baskets to Raise More Money:
- Mix and match your most popular items
- Offer highly desirable items that are hard to find
- Add something unexpected to make your baskets stand out
- Include seasonal or themed items that people might not expect to see in a fundraiser basket
- Offer a variety of food and other consumable items
- Surprise and delight with small luxuries
- Make a positive impact with care-based products.
- Include a few bestselling staples
- Use seasonal items
- Foods that are associated with teams, colleges, or regions
- Cultural baskets
- Final Thoughts
Mix and match your most popular items
Planning your baskets based on what you have on hand rather than on what will sell best for you can save you a lot of stress. Focus on your bestsellers, and plan your baskets around them.
If you have a popular item that you can only get one of, consider putting it in every basket. People who want that item might be willing to pay more for it. On the other hand, if you have several items that are popular and easy to get, consider mixing them up.
People like variety and baskets with a little bit of everything work well for many types of customers.
Offer highly desirable items that are hard to find
If you have a few items that are high quality, hard to find, or both, put them in every basket that you make.
Examples could include a hand-made scarf, an heirloom toy, or a keepsake book that people can’t easily find elsewhere. Be sure that these items fit the theme of your fundraiser, though.
Don’t put a hand-made scarf in a basket that’s themed around Space if the person who made it made it out of yarn.
Add something unexpected to make your baskets stand out
Put a small gift card or voucher in each basket. Offer a free appetizer or dessert at a local restaurant, a free oil change, or a coupon for $5 off a purchase at a favorite store. Consider including a gift card for every basket.
That way, you can give every buyer something. You can also add something “eclectic” that doesn’t really fit any category.
For example, tack a “fortune cookie” inside each basket. It doesn’t cost you anything and can add an interesting surprise to each basket.
Include seasonal or themed items that people might not expect to see in a fundraiser basket
During the holidays, baskets themed around Christmas and Hanukkah are pretty standard. Consider other seasonal themes, though, such as Halloween and autumn. Consider themed baskets, too.
When we had a “Star Wars” fundraiser, we sold themed baskets full of “Star Wars” items. That was a huge hit with fans of the franchise.
Offer a variety of food and other consumable items
Consider putting a few consumable items in each basket. Remember, though, that a basket full of food items is something that donors should eat and share with others rather than keep.
Toppings, sauces, and spices are great items to include. You can also consider other items usually used to prepare or serve food, such as a kitchen timer.
Surprise and delight with small luxuries
A basket filled with items such as hand lotion, a scented candle, a bath bomb, or a travel-size item such as shampoo or conditioner can be a delight to find in your basket. Be careful, though, not to go overboard.
You don’t want to put so many items in a basket that you have to charge a lot more for it just to break even.
Make a positive impact with care-based products.
Consider including care-based items in your baskets. For example, baskets themed around children might contain sunscreen, a child-safe first aid kit, or a child-sized hat for them to wear while playing outdoors at a fundraiser event.
Baskets themed around pets might include pet toys. Baskets themed around parents and grandparents might include hand sanitizer, cough drops, and a few other care-based items that are helpful for people to have around.
Include a few bestselling staples
If you have a few items that sell well at all your fundraisers, put them in every basket. We’ve found that some items sell better at certain times of the year than they do at others.
For example, baskets themed around Christmas don’t necessarily sell more candy canes than baskets themed around Halloween. At times like this, baskets full of staples like candy canes, hot chocolate, and coffee can be a huge help.
Use seasonal items
Items such as oranges, apples, pears, and other fall fruit are great to include in baskets themed around the fall.
Other good items to consider at this time of year include toffee, roasted nuts, and baked goods. For spring baskets, consider tulips, daffodils, and other spring flowers.
Foods that are associated with teams, colleges, or regions
Let’s say you’re selling chicken baskets. You can sell chicken baskets filled with chicken wings, baked/fried chicken tenders or nuggets, and a variety of sauces or sides.
For example, Buffalo-style flavored wings with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks; honey barbecue fried wings with ranch dressing and celery sticks; garlic and herb roasted wings over rice pilaf with green beans and sour cream (a true New Orleans favorite). Offer a mix of sauces so that everyone can pick their favorite flavor to dip the wings in!
Relating your fundraising to popular culture and holidays is another way to engage customers and put more money in your group’s coffers.
- Italian food baskets/baskets
- Mexican food baskets
- Southern cuisine baskets
- Chinese New Year fruit packages
- Rainbow cookie packages for gay rights issues.
These different events and cultures are used for fundraising because the food is inexpensive and easy to package, making it affordable to buy, easy to wrap and ship, easy to store on freezer shelves, and affordable for the customer.
As you can see from this list, there are many different ways to come up with the items for your baskets. You should, however, make sure that your baskets have a mix of items that are likely to appeal to most people and to people with special interests. That way, you can be sure that your baskets will interest everyone.