10 Tasteful & Fun Valentine's Day Fundraiser Ideas For Nonprofits

James Martin
10 Tasteful & Fun Valentine's Day Fundraiser Ideas For Nonprofits

Whether you consider Valentine’s day a celebration of romance and love, or a thinly-veiled excuse to spend money, there’s no question that it generates funds for those who can play the game. As a non-profit, it’s possible to take full advantage of the holiday and get ahead of the competition; adding value to the gifts people want to purchase by backing them up with a good cause. 

We’ve got ten ways for you to do this coming right up, but for a little incentive, let’s take a look at why a valentine fundraiser could help your organization

Leveraging Generosity with a Valentine’s Day Fundraiser 

Valentine’s Day spending reached around $23.9 billion in the US in 2022. That’s just over 2.5% of total holiday spending for the year. This may look like a small figure, but it represents over nine days of holiday spending if spread out evenly over the year, and a great opportunity for nonprofits to take advantage of.

Holidays like this are the perfect chance to lean into a giving spirit and generate support without even having to ask. The trick is to take part in events and actions that people were going to do anyway. Nonprofits get to ride on the wave of corporate marketing that makes Valentine’s day so popular and turn what has become a basic festival of consumerism into something that actually matters.

This is a time when you don’t need to push for gifts as they’ll already be part of the game plan. All you need to do is position yourself in the right way to facilitate them. Aligning your nonprofit with the holiday times can significantly reduce the amount of resources you’ll need to put into your fundraising, all while spreading more kindness and encouraging generosity. 

It’s also one of the least competitive times of the year to campaign. While Christmas and New Year are saturated with good causes, Valentine’s Day has yet to be fully exploited by resourceful nonprofits. Yet, there are so many ways to benefit from it! 

Nonprofits can sell Valentine's day products, host themed events, show up at existing events, or leverage the holiday’s theme on their social media to lead up to a donation drive. And the impacts don’t have to stop there. Valentine’s day cards can be an imaginative way to say thanks to your long-standing and recurring donors, too, boosting your donor retention and having lasting effects on the donor's lifetime value. 

There are so many ways to achieve this, so let’s take a look at some of them. 

Ten Valentine’s Day Fundraising Ideas

Most Valentine’s Day fundraiser ideas are going to work if you lean into a common theme of the holiday. Think hearts, swans, chocolates, flowers, and so on. In fact, it doesn’t take much to convert anything into a Valentine’s Day theme with just a bit of red and some hearts. This trick has been used to great effect by retailers since the 9th Century, so it’s only right that nonprofits start joining in. 

To get you inspired, here are ten Valentine’s Day fundraising ideas:

1. The Versatility of Flowers

Think of flowers as an emotional currency. They can be a greeting, an apology, a token of love, or a gift in themselves, depending on the context. Flowers mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people, and this makes them versatile icons for a fundraising campaign. 

Red poppies are often a remembrance of World War 1, carnations are a symbol of love, and roses are a classic gesture of romance and courage. Flowers can cover almost every cause a nonprofit can support, so they’re perfect as the first suggestion on our list. 

If you can partner with a local florist, you’re in for a treat on Valentine’s Day. You might be able to customize some cards to go with each purchase, promote the florist to your supporters, and negotiate a percentage of the revenue as a donation. 

You could also sell your own if you have the means. Pick a style that matches your cause and promote your Valentine’s Day flower sale to draw people toward your project for their holiday purchases. There’s nothing more applicable to this holiday than a gift of flowers, and you can add value to that gift by making it a more considerate option than a last-minute gas station purchase.

2. Love Theme

Most nonprofits are going to have emotional appeal to their supporters. Whether it’s for children, animals, the injured, or any under-represented demographics, the thing that keeps people donating is love. 

A full campaign that focuses on the value of love can lead donors up to the day itself, gradually increasing anticipation and culminating in a day of gifts. Whether you’re selling items to raise funds or driving simply for donations as a gift for a loved one, running a love-themed campaign should be a part of your arsenal. 

To get started, devise a Valentine’s Day fundraiser timeline. Tailor the content on your social media to alert people to the drive itself and cast a wide net to get as many eyes on you as possible. As the day draws near, start with more engaging content, such as posts about the significance of love in well-being, and the original meaning of Valentine’s Day. 

Before the day, start intensifying your push towards buying or donating, and promote your product. It’s important to have something physical that donors can take with them to give to their loved ones, so consider printing special cards for this purpose. 

Finally, release them in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day and market them on all channels. Donations are increasingly a form of Valentine’s day gift for those who are less materialistic and who value gestures over items, so be sure to focus on this segment of your donor list! 

3. Theme your Social Media

As mentioned, a splash of color and a few relevant graphics, and your branding can instantly be converted into a holiday theme. Changing the theme throughout the year is also a great way of keeping your channels up-to-date. 

In preparation for the big day, start recording special messages and composing stories for your social media. Go into everything and make sure the content is recent and relevant, and all your contact details are up to date. Design a new landing page, and start using trending hashtags to get your message out there and promote your Valentine’s day fundraiser.

This is something that can help you with or without an ongoing drive, as it’ll be a good way to refresh your presence online and reach new supporters. Think of it as an engaging way to raise awareness, and to gather all the increased donations that come with it. 

This is also a chance to address issues that your beneficiaries might be facing. For example, if you’re running a mental health project, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to discuss the epidemic of loneliness that is causing so much harm. If you’re supporting animals, draw attention to abandonment and the dangers of giving a living animal as a gift. 

4. Dance event

For an event you can host yourself, a classic dance night offers people a chance to unwind in a romantic fashion that ties neatly into this holiday’s traditions. This is a very low-budget option that can be padded out with extras in accordance with your budget, and there may be convenient ways to find a venue if you’re working for a school or a community organization. 

Get your volunteers involved, and plan what else you might be able to run at the event, such as raffles or competitions. Offer tickets as a gift to loved ones, and consider getting people to bring in food and drinks for attendees, like homemade cookies or chocolates.

5. Chocolate Sale

Chocolates are another item that goes hand-in-hand with flowers on Valentine’s Day. You can turn a tired cliché into a semi-ironic fundraising tool by making and selling heart-shaped confectionery for a good cause. 

Again, get volunteers involved and fill as many boxes with holiday treats as you can. You can sell them online, or send your teams out to promote and sell them on your behalf. This is a great example of reaching people where they are and getting your share of the holiday spending without having to ask. 

Chocolate sales represented $2.5 billion of the holiday sales in 2021, so if you can get out there in time with a well-planned approach, you should have no problem reaching your targets. If you can’t make them, buy them, and add on a little as a donation. 

6. Valentine’s Day Cards

For a cheap and easy way to get Valentine’s Day funds, don’t forget this old classic. Valentine’s Day cards are the last of the ‘Big Three’ of traditions after flowers and chocolates, so there will be a wide market for them. Whether you mix them into your other products or focus on them alone, cards can be a good way to bring in your volunteers and reach your supporters on a personal level. 

There are two ways to approach this: either sell blank card sets or make your own. If you have the resources, a valentine’s day card with stories from your supporters might be particularly touching. If you don’t, you can design and print some branded cards, or buy some blank sets for your customers to fill out. 

Both options have some benefits, but it’s worth considering hand-made cards more, as they’re something that people rarely receive, and are generally going to be a more popular option. 

7. Host a Virtual Valentine’s Day 

If you would like to focus on those who can’t leave the house or have nobody to share the day with, a Virtual celebration might be the perfect solution. Sell tickets to a virtual meetup, where attendees can send each other messages or gifts online.  

This can be managed entirely from within your social media, or make use of more specialized platforms such as Zoom, in which you can host theme-relevant games and entertainment. 

As always, be sure to present short stories and video messages, and make use of this idea as a tool of engagement among your supporters. 

8. Secret Valentine

If you’ve heard of secret Santa, then you know what this is. A secret valentine is best for nonprofits with a communal supporter base, such as a school or a hospital, but they can be tailored to just about any group if they’re planned right. 

For those with more scattered supporters, a secret valentine can be set up online, too. Gifts can be shared between supporters, or donated to beneficiaries, in the case where it’s appropriate. Supporters pay to sign up and then are allocated the name of another member or a beneficiary. Then, they’re responsible for donating a gift (of the value you set, e.g., $5) to that person anonymously.

This idea can be combined with chocolate, flowers, and Valentine’s Day Card sales, if you’re having them, and will bring people closer together while generating funds for your organization and spreading random acts of kindness.

9. Valentine’s Day Raffle

There’s almost nothing more familiar to a fundraiser than a raffle, and Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be any excuse to break with tradition. If you’re hosting an event, this is the perfect time to diversify your funding sources, but if you’re not, it works as a stand-alone, too. 

Raffles can be held remotely or in person, and as with everything else on this list, should be promoted and organized by leaning heavily on your social media presence. Raffle tickets can be bought as holiday gifts for loved ones, offering them a chance to win something special on the day. 

10. Heart Health Run

If you’ve been thinking of hosting a sporting event such as a 5k park run to gather funds, Valentine’s Day might be the perfect time to do it. This is the holiday of hearts, and while it’s most relevant to health-focused nonprofits, the fact that it ties so well into the holiday makes it suitable for everything else, too. 

Encourage couples to team up and run together, and to wear costumes, too. Funds can be generated in several ways on top of the subscription fees, as an event like this can be a good way to outsource some of your fundraising to your supporters with sponsorships.

Consider selling branded items at the event too, so you can spread more awareness among the audience, and promote and sell your tickets online before the event. 

How to Put Together a Valentine Fundraiser: Best Practices

Now you’ve got some ideas, it’s worth going over a few tips to make them count. The best way to leverage this holiday and make the most of your work is to remember some key basics:

Use the marketing that’s already in place

We covered this a little in point 3, but it’s worth expanding upon. Valentine’s Day is a huge revenue generator for large corporations, and as such, they’ve put in more or less all the work for you when it comes to marketing and exposure. 

Making good use of your social media is the key to jumping on the hype train that other, wealthier organizations have set into motion. Look at the current trends and follow them. Whether they’re hashtags, products, or local stories. Keep your finger on the pulse of the movement and try to fit into it where you can. 

Theme your follow-Up

Follow-up is a key component in extending the duration of your legacy donors’ attention and converting first-time donors into long-term ones. You should obviously have a follow-up policy in place, but by tweaking it a little to match the holiday theme, you’ll be able to impart a little more momentum. 

Valentine’s Day is about appreciation and gratitude, so it should be a simple matter to tie your follow-up content to the holiday, using it as an opportunity to promote any drives you’ve got planned for the day, and thanking those who supported you after the fact. 

Make your donors your valentines, and send them a friendly note to show that they matter to you. 

Start engaging early

Perhaps most importantly, it’s important not to rush your approach to this. A hasty fundraiser could do more harm than good if it’s poorly organized or comes across as forced. Plan well in advance, and promote your Valentine’s Day fundraiser strategically and early. 

Rally Corp can help with this. With a mobile messaging platform, you can streamline sign-up, communication, promotion, and follow-up all in one place, and all using a medium that your supporters are familiar with. 


Whatever your choice for a Valentine’s fundraiser, it’s an easy way to join the wave of engagement and enthusiasm generated by retail companies and gather your share of the billions of holiday spending that goes on at its peak. 

If you make it all about giving and kindness, you’re already halfway there. Add on some hearts and flowers and you’ve covered most of the bases. Just be sure to organize early, and continue the theme into your follow-up.