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Can You Top These 15 Creative Xerces Fundraiser Ideas?

By Melissa Manuel and Kailee Slusser on 2. February 2023
Melissa Manuel and Kailee Slusser

As it turns out, growing a beard can indeed support invertebrate conservation. 

We’re facing big issues like biodiversity loss and climate change. But everyone can create change! Small actions can add up to make a big difference. With peer-to-peer fundraisers supporting the Xerces Society, you can raise funds to help us tackle important invertebrate issues and raise awareness for all the little creatures that run the world. And with a healthy dose of innovation, you can have fun doing it! Monarchs, bumble bees, mussels, and all invertebrates will thank you.


Two individuals plant seedlings into the ground
Even planting native habitat can become a clever fundraiser that doubly supports invertebrates. (Photo: Anna Victoria.) 


Fundraiser ideas 

Fundraisers are perfect for events and special occasions. Any event could become a fundraiser. Birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays are all on the table for celebrating invertebrates at the same time. 

And if there is no special occasion coming up? You can invent one. How about bowling for bumble bees, a marathon race for monarch butterflies, or a party for pollinators? How creative can you get with your fundraiser? Use our ideas as inspiration and let your imagination shine. 

  1. Grow and give: Grow a beard for bees or a mustache for mussels. Keep growing for as many days as dollars donated. 
  2. Lemonade stand to lend a hand: Serve fruity drinks and information about the pollinators that make them possible.
  3. Sing like cicadas: Host a karaoke event and collect donations as tips. 
  4. Hype up native habitat: Plant a native seedling for every $5 or $10 donated. Your local pollinators will thank you!
  5. The garden circuit: Organize tours of beautiful private gardens around town. Invite guests to search for invertebrates on the grounds and point out any native plants that you recognize. 
  6. Livestream for the little guys: Stream on social media for 30 days straight, sharing all about why the "little things that run the world" deserve our love. 
  7. Scavenger hunt: Host an invertebrate-themed scavenger or treasure hunt. Collect entry donations or let each team raise funds for a competitive advantage ($100 for an extra hint, perhaps?). There are apps out there to facilitate the game. 
  8. Butterfly bake sale: Organize a bake sale where pollinators helped make at least one identified ingredient in each cookie, cake, or pie. Inspire folks to give back to the bugs. 
  9. Blackout for fireflies: Host a night-time outing where guests agree to keep lights out all night in support of nocturnal wildlife like fireflies (who need darkness to communicate with their own light). “Charge” guests each time they generate light, and enjoy the stars. 
  10. Game night for gastropods: Collect donations for game night participation — casino, board, or video style.
  11. Weevil walk-a-thon: Walk or hike a certain distance for each dollar donated. Invite folks to walk with you (and start their own fundraisers)! 
  12. Grasshopping garage sale: Organize a set of garage sales where a portion of proceeds support invertebrates. At each location, encourage folks to “hop” on over to the next sale. 
  13. Bowling for bumblebees: Host a bowling tournament for a buzz. 
  14. Marathon for monarchs: Ask for sponsors to support both your lengthy marathon and our monarchs’ long-distance migration.
  15. Party for pollinators: Sometimes all people need to inspire them is a good old-fashioned party! Host a party for pollinators with multiple opportunities for guests to donate. 


Professionally decorated butterfly sugar cookies that resemble monarch and swallowtail butterflies
A butterfly bake sale has endless potential! (Photo: Annie, Flickr.) 


How it works

  1. Register your fundraiser online: By registering your fundraiser, you will provide some basic information such as the fundraising time period (we suggest 2-3 weeks). You will also set a fundraising goal amount, with the option to kick off your fundraiser with a donation of your own. After filling out this simple registration form, you can then customize your personal fundraising page to highlight all of the special features that make your event unique.
  2. Share your fundraiser:  In order to help promote your fundraising event, you can use our email and social media templates to share online. This will make it easy for you to start raising awareness quickly and efficiently from within your personal fundraising dashboard. You get a unique URL for your fundraiser so you can share it through any other external channel you want to use, like texting or even printed flyers.
  3. Celebrate: You are an invaluable hero to invertebrates everywhere! The funds you raise will help us conserve these species. You’ll be able to track donations to your fundraiser on a visual fundraising thermometer, which shows the progress toward your fundraising goal. Donors to your fundraiser will automatically receive a thank you receipt when they provide a valid email address. 

Start your fundraiser today



If you have any questions about your fundraiser, we are here to support you along the way! Please feel free to call 503-468-6602 or email [email protected] with any questions. Thank you for being on our team!



Kailee joined Xerces from Ohio in the summer of 2022, after several years working in marketing and communications for small businesses, nonprofits, and a university. She holds degrees in visual communications management and graphic design, while her other strengths include interactive user experience and audience research.

Kailee was drawn to Xerces because her dream job has always been to amplify environmental and wildlife protection through her creative skills. Her role includes work on the website, social media channels, and various designs.

Melissa joined Xerces in 2022 as the Donor Engagement Specialist, working with the Membership team. She is a "retired" young farmer with over a decade of expertise in urban farming, agroforestry, garden design and education. Before joining Xerces, she worked as a horticulturist at Leach Botanical Garden. Melissa holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Portland State University and has worked with a number of environmental non-profit groups throughout her career.

Your Support Makes a Difference!

Xerces’ conservation work is powered by our donors. Your tax-deductible donation will help us to protect the life that sustains us.