Membership Drive Ideas for Autumn and Winter

Taryn Hefner
3 min readOct 26, 2021


At Join It, we’re based in Seattle, so fall weather is in full swing here. As a result, we’ve been thinking about some of our favorite seasonal activities and how to turn them into membership drives so you can hit your membership goals! Here’s what we came up with.

Autumn Fundraising Ideas

Chili Cook-Off

As the weather cools, everyone is happy to tuck into a good soup or stew! With that in mind, having a chili cook-off can be a fun way to get everyone together and cook up some healthy competition. Make sure there’s a vegetarian or vegan option for those that like the choice.

Pumpkin Carving Contest

Let your members — and potential new members — show off their creativity with a pumpkin carving contest! Consider making an adults competition and a kids competition, where each group can vote for the best pumpkin in their group. You can either allow stencils or insist on freehand designing, create a theme for participants to stick to, or just let everyone’s imaginations run wild.

Turkey Trot

For events in November, Turkey Trots are a great way to get people moving and enjoy a weekend run! For your first-place winner, consider buying a turkey and awarding it as a prize. Include the kids by organizing a fun run at the same time.

Pie Eating Contest

You provide the pies, and your members will provide the enthusiasm. Pie eating contests are fun but messy, so consider holding your event outside if the weather allows! Pair up with a local bakery for a little partnership at the same time.

Winter Fundraising Ideas

Hot Chocolate Bar

Set up at local high school or college football games, corn mazes, or pumpkin patches and help people stay warm! Hot water, hot chocolate mix, and an assortment of toppings will let your prospective members have a little fun with their favorite hot winter drink. Some favorite toppings include whipped cream, crushed graham crackers, mini marshmallows (or jumbo marshmallows, if you want to make a statement), chocolate or caramel sauce, and candy canes! Include some hot cider and cinnamon for your lactose-intolerant members, too!

Gingerbread House Competition

Get out your frosting, gummy candies, and architectural knowledge! As with the pumpkin carving contest, separate your contests into adults and kids, and allow for public voting for the best gingerbread house.

Santa Run

Take your Turkey Trot and make it Christmassy! While we don’t typically recommend events with religious ties, Santa Runs can be a fun way to get your runners to dress up as Saint Nick and kiddos to put on some elf ears! Combine it with the hot chocolate bar, and you’ve got a winner of a winter event.

Clothing and Toy Drive

Give back to the community with a clothing and toy drive, with a special emphasis on winter clothing and toys for older kids! So many fundraisers see toys fit for toddlers and younger kids that the older tweens and teens are often left out. Check in with your local shelter or foster system, or even your local schools, for the best age range to focus on.

Wrapping Up

Seasonal fundraisers and membership drives are a wonderful way to ensure you hit your membership goals before the end of the year. Roll up your sleeves, enjoy your events, and let us know what your favorites were!

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Taryn Hefner

Marketing Manager at Big fan of snacks. Like, in general.