Fundraising Ideas for Volunteer Fire Departments

Volunteer fire departments are often in need of operational funds to keep protecting local area citizens from the dangers of fire. Although some of their equipment is granted to them, the day to day needs such as food, shelter, utilities still need to be covered. Some small rural areas do not have the budgets to support such a system and the need for fundraisers happens from time to time.

Car Wash

Host a car wash. You work out a deal for a location, preferably with high car traffic, to host your own event. You provide a service of cleaning a car while the car owner makes a donation to your cause. Establish the car wash so that the cars a have a constant flow of direction to pull in and then pull out. You may want to set up several stations to wash more than one car at a time. Place several people on the street with big signs pointing to your car cash. Have one or two people who handle the cash donations.

Bake Sale

Have the local ladies auxiliary committee or wives and girlfriends bake a wide variety of cookies, cakes, pies, breads and desserts. Establish a location and set up a booth to sell the goods to raise money for the fire department. Place the items based on their categories so people can pick and choose what they want must easier to keep the flow of foot traffic moving through the lines. Also set up a donation bucket for those who may want to add something extra to the event. You can contact local radio and television outlets to announce the fundraising event. Have a few firemen attend the bake sale to take photos, sign autographs and give interviews.

Fill the Boot

The Fill the Boot campaign is a popular way to raise money. Firefighters choose to stand at certain main intersections with a fireman’s boot for people to drop their donations. The public gets a chance to come face to face with the very people who are protecting their homes and businesses from the dangers of fire. Firemen often hand out stickers of fire helmets to the children while collecting the donations. The event can last over the weekends in a month, or a specified period of time. The busy the car and truck traffic is, the more likely the donations will be higher.


Plan a barbeque. You can sell plate dinners with beef or chicken, salads and vegetables for $5 or $10 a plate. Find a location to place the grill and have signs posted all over the town. Ask the local newspaper if they will run a free ad for the event. Have plenty of volunteers working and create an assembly line to feed the people quickly. Try to have a fire truck on site to let the kids see what it is like to be a firefighter. Offer to sell other items like beverages, desserts, and even t-shirts for the event.

Bachelor Auction

Maybe there are some single ladies willing to donate to the cause to have a date night with a local firefighter. These brave souls will put themselves up for bids in hopes of raising funds for the local department. An emcee will announce each volunteer fireman and what the opening bid is. The fireman states what type of date they will go on and the bidding begins. The person with the highest placed bid wins the date.

Firefighter Calendar

Have members of the fire department pose for photos to be used in a calendar. Each fireman will pose in a theme specific for that month. The calendar can be as creative and tasteful so it will sell well. Since the calendar is for charity, you can ask that the services for cutting the calendar together be donated, which cuts down on the costs and increases the opportunity to do more with the funds raised. Set up a booth at any city wide event, or ask stores around town to sell the calendars for your fire department.

Fundraising HQ

Fundraising Ideas