Charity work doesn’t have to be a bore! Here are a few summer fundraiser ideas that mostly involve what we wanna be doing all summer anyway: soaking up some sun, hanging by the pool, eating ice cream, and watching summer concerts. Plus, we've got ways you can get free funding to get your summer fundraisers going!
Photo: Jay-Z performs at Carnegie Hall to benefit his Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation and the United Way of NYC. (Getty Images)
Who says you can’t party and do charity work at the same time?! Host a party, and accept charitable donations at the door. You can throw a summer concert for charity, a la Jay-Z's gig for the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation and United Way of NYC, and get some of your hometown stars to perform. Or if you happen to have a summer birthday, be like Bieber and ask your friends to donate a few bucks to your favorite cause rather than getting you that Cucumber Melon Bath & Body Works gift set that’s just gonna sit in the cabinet beneath your bathroom sink forever anyway. Cucumbers and melons are for eating, not for smelling like.
+ Strip Down & Get Wet
Photo: Zac Efron surfs to benefit Oakley's Surf to Ride in California. (Getty Images)
Remember Undie Run, aka the sexiest charity on Earth?! Switch it up, and host a pool party at your place or at a neighborhood swimming pool. Or, like Zac Efron, you can head to the beach. Ask attendees to wear clothing they want to donate to charity, then have ‘em strip down to their swimsuits and put their clothing in collection bins at the door. After the party, donate all of the clothes you collect to a local homeless shelter.
+ Ice Cream & Cashola
Photo: Katy Perry. And ice cream. That is all. (Getty Images)
Nothing’s better in the hot sun than a cold ice cream cone -- just ask Katy Perry! See if a local ice cream shop (or any restaurant, really) will host a cashola day for your favorite charity. “Cashola” is when a business donates a set portion of its day’s sales to a good cause. Invite everyone you know to eat at the restaurant on that day. It’s a great way to get your whole community involved.
+ Walk, Run, Ride
Photo: Nick Jonas and Keri Hilson prepare to walk at AIDS Walk NY. (Getty Images)
There are tons of outdoor charity races going on throughout the year, but they’re so much more fun when the weather is nice! Last month, Keri Hilson and Nick Jonas joined thousands at AIDS Walk New York to raise money for NYC charities fighting the epidemic. Kelly Clarkson is a fan of the March for Babies -- a walk that helps keep mothers and newborns healthy. Stay on the lookout for charity walks, runs, or bike rides in your area!
+ Use Your Imagination
Like we said: charity work doesn’t have to be boring! From block parties, to pool parties, to ice cream parties, there are so many fun and unique ways to raise money for a good cause. Get together with your friends and design an event around what you like to do. A tennis tournament, a bake sale, a Justin Bieber lookalike contest, whatever!
Now, for the FREE MONEY part. If you need funding to host an event, DoSomething.org gives out $500 seed grants every week to help you "plant" a new initiative you have in mind. Or if you don't have an idea in mind, check out the GOODmaker which offers money for the best ideas to solve particular issues.
Get A Summer Jobless Grant
Learn how to apply for one of DoSomething.org's summer jobless grants. They're giving away $25,000 in all!
Apply for a Seed Grant
Have a creative idea for the greater good that you'd like to put into action? Apply for a Do Something grant to help get it off the ground.