The best way to make a fundraiser lively and successful is to make it fun, which is exactly what fundraising games do. Making them a part of your fundraising strategy can lead to multiple streams of revenue for your fundraiser’s coffers.
But which carnival games for fundraisers work best? It’s really a matter of what you think your guests will like. That’s why it’s good to set up many different games to appeal to as many people as possible.
The list of best fundraising games starts with providing guests a host of choices to have fun.
Carnival Games and Rides
Everyone has experience purchasing tickets to use them on rides and games at carnivals. That’s the setup you want to emulate. The trick here is finding a group of exciting carnival games for fundraisers that will appeal to every age and interest. Fortunately, you have many great carnival game choices. There are a number of options to explore in this area:
- Hiring a company to provide the games for you.
- Doing your own research online and finding some fun ideas to craft at home. Lots of Victorian carnival games, for example, are super easy to source and fund.
- Collating a list of volunteers to help run the rides to raise more money.
Interesting Carnival Food
Speaking of carnivals, this is another sure way to create a method of raising money for your fundraiser. In addition to carnival games, you can also rent carnival food options such as cotton candy, Snow Cones, and popcorn machines. Everyone gets hungry, so raising money through food purchases is a smart way to go, especially with something as cost-effective as carnival food.
Dunk tanks never lose their appeal, because it’s simply too much fun to try and give someone a cold, wet trip into the tank. People can buy tickets to take a shot at throwing the ball, hitting the target and sending the person into the tank into the water. Simple but effective! It’s right up there with the kissing booth in terms of longstanding popularity.
The Banned Word Game
Before the start of your fundraiser, select a word or words that , if anyone says them, they must put money into a jar. Make it a word that is almost impossible to not say at a fundraising party. Set up for this couldn’t be easier: one or two decorated jars and a list of banned words posted where everyone can see them.
An Old-Fashioned Bake Sale
A bake sale is a time-honored way to raise money for a charity, and selling baked goods is a staple of fairs and carnivals. To motivate the bakers in your area, create a contest and appoint a panel of judges to determine who brings the best baked good (you may want to limit it to cakes or pies). All the baked goods are then sold off to raise money for your cause, with the winner fetching the highest price, of course.
Racing For Charity
The idea here is to have people pay an entry fee to get into a race, with all the proceeds going to your fundraiser. The winner of the race can collect a prize (you’ll want to look into getting prizes donated – or maybe give away some of the tasty stuff from the bake sale). What to race? Well, you have plenty of choices, including obstacle courses, Zorb tracks and Wipeout (which is less a race than a “last man standing game,” but the concept still works).
Have a Quiz Show
This also features a competition. Set up a quiz contest where each round features questions in different categories. Everyone gets a point for a correct answer with the winning individual (or team) with the most points after all the rounds are done. Tickets sales to play would raise the bulk of the money. You can also give players the chance to give a bit more to your cause by giving them one chance per round to pay to either ask someone in the crowd or call someone for help with an answer.
Dance offs are something that all ages can get involved with. Create the ultimate dance off by categorizing it into stages of genre, talent, and intention. Have people sponsor their favorite to win, use the price of ticket sales as a donation channel, and encourage people to submit to the cause throughout the event. There are lots of styles of dancing charity functions to pick from, including:
- Ballroom formal events.
- Disco dancing for all ages where ticket sales are the primary donation channel.
- An amateur professional show where people can purchase tickets to watch and donate as the evening goes on.
- Dancing until you drop to raise the most money. Use pledge strategies and see how long people can dance for!
- A timed event where attendees must dance for a set amount of time and ask for sponsorship to be paid if they complete the challenge.
All of these are good fun and entertaining, and they provide plenty of opportunity for fundraising. Advertising the occasion will be easy thanks to social media tools and don’t forget to ask local businesses if they’d like to be a sponsor too!
Everyone loves talent shows. It is an opportunity for anyone to step onto the stage and show what makes them unique. So, not only will you guarantee a high subscription of volunteers wanting to showcase their special talents, but there will be a peak audience interest as well. You can generate donations through ticket sales or ask people to contribute towards their top pick act in the voting rounds. Thankfully, it doesn’t take much to organize either when you break it down strategically.
- Find a venue. Local community centers, church halls, and even school stages are the perfect places for these types of occasions. The cost will be low, and there will be lots of space for guest capacity.
- Put some posts out on social media to find the talent. Have audition rounds but be flexible! This is for charity after all, so it is only fair to give those who want to have a go a shot on the stage. The aim of the day is to have fun and raise money for the cause, not to find the next Hollywood icon.
- Create a short list for the event after the auditions and aim for as much variety as the pool allows. Try to get a range of dance acts, singing, magic tricks, comedy, and other performance acts such as juggling or theater. Any age should be allowed to put their name forward for consideration as an audience loves to see a varied demographic.
- Host the show over a few nights to allow for vote counting. Make the final choice about who ‘wins’ at the final show and make sure audience participation is a key theme.
Murder Mystery Games
Murder mystery evenings are a niche fundraising idea that is bound to attract a lot of interest from potential donators. To make this cost-effective (the donations exceed the set-up cost), consider sponsoring a selection of smaller events. Hosts then carry out their own menu and themed evening and guests can contribute to the charity as they wish. These are the traditional way of throwing a murder mystery and leave the donation channel fairly open. The second option is to put on a murder mystery play style evening where guests pay for tickets and participate by solving clues as the game proceeds. Both of these options are great for fundraising and are highly entertaining too!
Using fundraising games makes charity events much more fun and gets everyone’s competitive juices flowing. Whether you are doing it for a school, charity or church, using carnival games and beyond for fundraisers helps make your guests happier and your fundraising coffers fuller.