Our dept has sold Christmas trees a few years. One thing we did was sell bags of mutch around Spring.
We have rented our hall for differnet things like art or antiques auctions to make a percentage off the sell.
We have also sold tickets for events like entertainment shows.
Some of the other depts in our county have done custom car shows and frozen food sells where the people select what they want delivered and the food company will deliver to their house.
We have a monthly Fish Fry that paid for the bulk of what we have. There's been suggestions of putting in an ice machine (like in front of convenience stores). I went to another department's Bingo Night and Chili Dinner (small operation, but it did very well!). Cater to your area. What do people in your area like to do (are you going to have a tractor pull or a turkey shoot in the suburbs)? Participate in a community event (fall festivals, Founder's Day, etc.) to get the word out and possibly start a fundraiser that you could run on your own or at any time.
Ask your Highway Department, School Teachers and Police Departments what fund raisers they use. Whatever methods they use they tend to be successful since you don't ever see them doing cow plop bingo, spaghetti dinners or 'fill the dump truck'.
Or........you could just go to your town government and tell them they have to fully fund their OWN fire department. Of course, that means that you lose you 'social club' status but hey...you're in it to save lives and property, right?
Simple, It's called a fire tax. Guaranteed income Get out of the fundraising / begging business, and concentrate more on the training and running calls business.