Fundraising news, ideas and inspiration for professional charity fundraisers

12 Valentine’s Day fundraising ideas

12 Valentine’s Day fundraising ideas

With love in the air, it’s not surprising plenty of charity fundraisers use Valentine’s Day as a hook to engage with donors. See? Even our fundraising language reflects the language of love – engagement, relationship fundraising, reciprocity, and so on.

So, here are some of this year’s fundraising ideas with campaigns focusing on 14 February.

1. Donate Your Heartbreak

Donate Your Heartbreak

There is no end to the unusual things that you can donate to charity. This Valentine’s Day you can “donate your heartbreak”, via, the US online charity shop that benefits over 60 charities.

For the second year running, its ‘Donate Your Heartbreak‘ campaign invites people to dig out unwanted gifts from ex-partners and donate the items via their website or the ThriftSnap app to raise money for their favourite charity.

Donations already made include a Men’s Tiffany “Metropolis” Ring (size 9) for $139.99; a pearl necklace with a silver and garnet heart pendant for $125; and a pair of classic vintage Chanel earrings for $125.

Lynn Zises, Co-Founder,, said:

“Last year, thousands of dollars in jewellery were donated through, and benefitted numerous charities.

“Since most charities are not equipped to sell items for cash, like the engagement ring one woman wanted to donate to the ASPCA, provides the perfect solution”.

Donors are also invited to post their heartbreak stories when donating their items.


2. National Funding Scheme runs Valentine’s Day giving competition

DONATE Valentine's Day competition

The National Funding Scheme, which runs the DONATE online giving platform, is running a Valentine’s Day giving promotion.


3. Say it with Charity Flowers

Roses from Charity Flowers

Buy roses and others flowers from Charity Flowers and 15% is donated to charity.

Don’t buy your bunch of roses from a garage forecourt at the last minute. Try buying them from Charity Flowers. Provided by Guernsey Flowers Ltd, the flowers are delivered for free, and 15% of the retail price is donated to a charity of your choice.

Want your charity to benefit? Charity Flowers are still inviting charities to be listed on the site as a beneficiary, at no charge of course.


4. Cupid’s Undie Run

In 38 cities in the USA, thousands of runners will don their “bedroom  best’ to take part in Cupid’s Undie Run, a one mile or so run, over the Valentine’s Day weekend. They will all be raising money for The Children’s Tumor Foundation. “Put the hilarity in charity” urge the organisers.


5. Everydayhero runs #ilovebeCAUSE Valentine’s Day competition

#ilovebeCAUSE - everydayhero's Valentine's Day campaign

Blackbaud’s Everydayhero fundraising platform is offering £2,500 in prizes to the charities that receive the most social media ‘love’ from their supporters in the run-up to Valentine’s Day. Supporters simply have to post a picture of themselves to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, showing you holding a poster that reads ‘I love [charity name] beCAUSE [reason why you love them]‘.

The #ilovebeCAUSE campaign closes at midnight on 15 February 2015.


6. Date Your Donors

Date Your Donors - by Jonah Halper

Date Your Donors – by Jonah Halper

This one isn’t a fundraising campaign, but its title and subject means it deserves a place in this list.

Jonah Halper is about to publish a book entitled Date Your Donors, which seems particularly appropriate at this time of year. Halper founded the NextGen:Charity conference and then went on to run CharityRadio. He is now MD of Altruicity.


7. Donate your mate at The Love Auction

The Love Auction

Given up on Tinder or dating sites? Pop along to The Love Auction tonight at The Queen of Hoxton in London, which is raising funds for Marie Curie.

You take an eligible single friend with you. When you enter the auction trading floor, you’ll be entered into The Love Auction where you’ll be able to bid for luxury dating experiences as well as auctioning your lovely friend(s) off.


8. Valentine’s Day Chocolate Box Auction

Chocs for Chance

(l-r) Paul.A.Young, Fred Sirieix, former Galvin’s chance apprentice Kamal Manhas and Eric Lanlard.

Valentine’s Day and chocolate are inextricable these days, so plenty of fundraising activities involve the sweet stuff.

Fifty eight top chefs, bakers food writers have donated their skills to run ‘Chocs for chance‘, a chocolate box auction to raise funds for support into-work programme Galvin’s Chance to help disadvantaged young people.

Fred Sirieix, General Manager of the Michelin-starred restaurant Galvin at Windows, persuaded leading names including Michel Roux Jr, Raymond Blanc OBE and Jamie Oliver, to donate their time and skills to create bespoke chocolate boxes for some lucky people on Valentine’s Day.

Valrhona, the French chocolate company, donated ingredients, which many of the chefs have used in their creations.

The online auction ran from 26 January to 5 February and raised over £7,000.

The campaign was one of many fundraising initiatives supported by the Hilton in the Community Foundation.


9. The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s #npvalentine returns

Chronicle of Philanthropy's #npvalentine campaign 2015

The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s #npvalentine campaign 2015

US nonprofit sector publication The Chronicle of Philanthropy (which we read extensively in the early days of setting up UK Fundraising) is running its #npvalentine campaign again.

It is inviting charity sector staff on Friday 13 February to use Twitter and Facebook to “share the love” for the nonprofit world amongst their colleagues and donors.

“Drop a line to your colleagues and peers and tag your submission with #npvalentine to give them the love and recognition they deserve”.

Perhaps this is a way you could thank your colleagues, volunteers or donors?


10. I Love a Bit of Variety

Barbara Windsor supports Variety, the children's charity

I Love a Bit of Variety. Actress Barbara Windsor supports Variety, the children’s charity with a Valetine’s t-shirt

The love heart is all over the place at this time of year, and Variety, the Children’s Charity are making the most of it with a new T-shirt campaign, fronted by former ‘Carry On’ actress Barbara Windsor.

The ‘I Love A Bit of Variety’ t-shirts are now on sale for £12 (including post and packaging) from the charity’s website.  It comes in a range of styles and sizes.

Sales will raise funds to support thousands of sick, disabled and disadvantaged children across the UK who are supported by Variety.

The t-shirt has also been modelled by a host of celebrities who are supporting the campaign. These include Leigh Francis aka Keith Lemon, Kimberley Walsh, Warren Brown, Kate Thornton, Warwick Davis, Aldo Zilli, Gaby Roslin, Michelle Collins, Hugo Speer, Jon Culshaw, Larry Lamb, and many more.

Barbara Windsor was presented with the Variety ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award at the charity’s 2010 Showbiz Awards, and has been a Celebrity Ambassador of the charity for more than 30 years.


11. Name a cockroach after your ex

Seal It With A Hiss - The Bronx Zoo Valentine's Day fundraising campaign

The Bronx Zoo’s Seal It With A Hiss adds humour and a dash of closure to Valentine’s Day fundraising.

How do you channel your ire against your ex partner to benefit a charity? The Bronx Zoo in New York might have the solution.

Since 2011 its Seal It With A Hiss campaign invites you to name one of its Madagascar hissing cockroaches after you ex lover or partner. It costs just $10 to let the memory linger.

Thank you to Bernard Ross at The Management Centre for sharing this inventive idea.


12. Snap and share an #EverlastingKiss

Valentine’s Day is just 24 hours long, but Ladbrokes Bingo’s fundraising campaign continues for the rest of February to maximise income.

Its #EverlastingKiss campaign encourages the public to take a picture of themselves in a “smoochy selfie” and tweet it to Ladbrokes Bingo using the hashtag #EverlastingKiss. For every tweet received until the end of February Ladbrokes Bingo will donate £1 to The British Heart Foundation.

All the photos will be collated on Ladbrokes Bingo’s website to create “a never ending chain of kisses”, showing lots of faces beside each other, all seeming to kiss the stranger placed next to them.



• Last year around Valentine’s Day Fundraising Yoda urged us to show some Donor Love.




Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Research massive growth in giving.

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