Immune to Cancer: The CRI Blog




10 Fun Fall Fundraising Ideas for Cancer Research

As we bid farewell to the summer we want to thank our amazing fundraisers, whose hard work and contributions have allowed Cancer Research Institute (CRI) to award a new series of grants to researchers across the globe. These grants help to fund work like that of Dr. Dan Huh, who along with his team have created a complex model of the human eye, which is essential for tackling the hurdles of ocular cancer research; or the work of Dr. Yvonne Chen, who is developing stronger and smarter T-cells to kill cancer cells and mitigate harsh side effects. All of this work would not be possible without our fundraisers and supporters.

There is still more work to be done, research to be funded, and cancer patients to be cured. Find ways you and your friends and family can get involved to fight cancer.

Take a Hike

November 17 is National Take a Hike day and the perfect time to organize a hiking fundraiser. Organize an adventure and ask participants to register ahead of time. Provide goodie bags, travel guides, and event T-shirts as incentives for all those who registered. If you would rather hike alone, ask friends and family to sponsor you; for every donation they make, you’ll add a certain number of miles to your trek.

Female Friends Hiking

Yard Clean-up

It’s called “Fall” for a reason! As those leaves change color and decorate the ground, gather some friends to create a clean-up squad. Many people in your neighborhood are busy preparing for the school year and holidays. You can help knock this task off their to-do list while supporting a great cause. Getting a high school involved helps bring in volunteers and get the word out!

Chili Cook-off

Every family has that great chili recipe. Now is the time to see who’s got the very best. Bring together your community for this ultimate chili cook-off. Take it up to the next level and see how family recipes fare against that of a restaurant. Gathering volunteers to judge the competition should be easy. Offer prizes and other games to make it a complete event!

Haunted House

Haunted houses are great fun for the Halloween season. Ask your neighbors for props or make new Halloween decorations with some imagination! This fundraiser is great because you’re not limited to a certain date. Operate for a weekend, a week, or even a month based on your resources. Charge donations for admission and get scary.

Couple scared in Haunted House

Autumn Basket Auction

Create different baskets centered on the best parts of the season: a Halloween basket with candy corn and spider webs, a Thanksgiving cornucopia with the best of the harvest, a gift basket for the holidays, or a spa basket to recover from all this basket-making. These decorative baskets can include food, gifts, or other creative items.

Get the word out that these baskets will be up for auction benefitting the one cause to cure all cancers. At the event, your guests will have a limited amount of time to write their offers for the baskets they want. When the time is up, whoever offered the most gets to purchase the basket for their stated price. To really drive up donations, have guests write their offers on the same sheet for each basket. This can start bidding wars and ensure each basket brings in as much money as possible for cancer immunotherapy research.

Pumpkin Smash

Everyone needs some form of stress relief, and what better way than with a Pumpkin Smash Fundraiser? Offer charge per admission, per smash, or per pumpkin. The setup is easy—all you really need are a lot of pumpkins and trash bags to avoid the mess. You can charge a dollar a smash and $5 to destroy your own pumpkin. Take it a step further and offer an option to drop the pumpkins from a safe height as well. For those more interested in keeping their pumpkins instead of smashing them, you can also provide a carving station with a more family-friendly feel.


Schedule a friendly bowl-a-thon for when it gets to be a bit too chilly outside. Teams of bowlers raise money to participate, either in-person or online using Cancer Research Institute’s fundraising platform. Work with your local bowling alley to get a discount on the event and ask local businesses to donate small prizes to be given to the largest fundraiser and highest scoring bowler.

Friends Bowling

Halloween Costume Contest

What’s the best part about Halloween? Costumes! Host a costume contest and require a donation to participate. To up the ante, invite non-costumed attendees to pay to vote for best costume. Create multiple award categories: scariest, funniest, most original, most elaborate—there doesn’t have to be just one winner! With this type of fundraiser you can let your imagination run wild.

Pumpkin Run

The pumpkin run celebrates everything that’s great about Fall and you can host your own local version. The typical run is 3.1 miles, preferably holding a pumpkin. Ask people to register for a fee and use a portion of the fee as donations. Map out a route and set up a finish-line party. Everything should be fall festive with apple cider and spiced treats to greet the runners at the finish line. 

Football Tailgate

Does your community have a high school, college, or even a professional football team? Host the tailgate of the year. Grill hotdogs and hamburgers, bust out your cornhole sets, and don your most festive team gear. Attendees will gladly pay an entry fee to enjoy your football-themed hospitality! There will be some people who can’t make it to the event but would like to contribute, so set up a fundraiser on our website.

Start a fundraiser 

We hope you’re suitably inspired to raise money for cancer immunotherapy research. With your support, we can fund more breakthrough research and more cures for all kinds of cancer, and ultimately, we can create a future immune to cancer.

Football Tailgate Party


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