Planning an effective fundraiser is an important project for any church. Only a handful of churches typically have enough money to easily handle all their initiatives – for most, successfully raising money through a church fundraising carnival is key to maintaining a vibrant church.
The reasons can be many. Staffing and supplies for an excellent children’s program is important. So is paying for outreach programs to stay active in your local community, particularly in the areas of helping those in need (an important role of churches in every town in the nation).
So, what kind of fundraiser is best for a church? There are many time-tested approaches, including bake sales before and after church services, car washes (typically run by the church youth group), and of course, offerings made during services.
Another idea is also one tested by time: a church fundraising carnival. Thanks to entertainment rental companies such as Air Fun Games of Tampa Bay. planning, organizing and holding a carnival is easier than ever.
Steps to Plan a Church Fundraiser
While every fundraiser is different in the details, there are certain steps that organizers of most church fundraisers should take to prepare. They include the following.
Define the goal of the church fundraising carnival. Set a goal for how much money you hope to raise and how that money will be allocated for spending. Base the size of the fundraiser on the amount of money you need to raise.
Build a fundraiser team. Delegation is key when it comes to a successful fundraiser. Organizer should appoint a volunteer to lead every important aspect of the fundraiser, including overseeing food, entertainment, parking, and marketing.
Pick a time and location. Pick a date that will allow the maximum number of people to attend your church fundraiser. You’ll also want a location that can safely contain the number of people you expect to attend. Have a backup location in case things don’t work out with the weather.
Choose a church carnival fundraiser theme. If it’s fall, think about a harvest theme. If it’s spring, think about a luau. Many plan a carnival fundraiser built around the culture of one country, offering decorations and food from that culture. You also can choose an important date for your faith, such as around Easter or Christmas.
Apply for permits. Most cities and counties require proper permitting to hold a carnival. Check with them to see exactly what kind of permits are required, such as those needed to sell food or offer rides and inflatables.
Evaluate insurance needs. It’s important to ensure that the church fundraising carnival is properly insured. If the carnival is held with another institution, such as a local school or public park, they might already have some type of insurance in place. This is an area where it helps to consult with party planning professionals to determine what you might need.
Establish a budget. By the time you’ve gone through the planning phase, you have a good idea of the necessary costs for the fundraiser. Create a budget that details those costs and will serve as a guide for making spending decisions as you move forward with buying and renting items for the church fundraiser.
Fund staff for the carnival. For churches, volunteers will handle many of the tasks associated with the fundraiser. However, you might need to hire caterers or other personnel.
Provide entertainment. As you will see when you read below, you can rent almost every type of entertainment you need for a successful church fundraising event, from midway games to thrill rides.
Make a map of carnival grounds. If you throw a big fundraising carnival, provide everyone (especially the kids) with a map so they can find every activity they want to try.
Manage money. Develop a straightforward system for handling money made during the fundraiser and put someone in charge who is good with keeping track of dollars and cents, especially accounting for where they come and where they are spent. The fewer hands you have on the money, the less chance of miscounting or mislaying cash.
Consult with professionals. Party entertainment professionals have years of experience in planning and managing every type of event, including church carnival fundraisers. They can help you make decisions on the size, entertainment options and other important aspects of your carnival.
Church carnival fundraiser planners must also consider the best method for raising money. Choices include:
- Selling carnival-related merchandise, such as T-shirts.
- Selling food items such as baked goods.
- An auction of items donated by church members, such as sporting game tickets or restaurant vouchers.
A popular method for making money at a church fundraising carnival is to follow the example of fairs and carnivals by selling tickets that can be turned in to purchase food, play games and enter rides and other attractions.
The advantage is that money is received upfront. It also cuts down on the number of places you have to plan to have cash transactions. Instead, you will just need one tent – preferable near the entrance in an easily accessible area – where cash purchases are made to buy tickets.
Carnival Games and Attractions
This is where AirFun Games and other inflatable party rental companies come into play. They can provide carnival games just like what you’d see on the midway at the state fair. These days there are more choices than ever before.
For the little kids there are activities such as:
- Water balloon toss
- Ring toss
- Hit the cans (with a ball, of course)
- Bounce house
Fundraising Carnival Entertainment for Older Kids and Adults
This is where inflatables can really increase the fun. No matter what goes on at your carnival, these attractions are going to be the main focus. Here are a few examples of inflatables and other carnival entertainment options offered by AirFun Games.
- Dunk tank
- Pick a Pop
- Tunnel and slide combinations
- Bounce house and slide combinations
- Bounce houses of many themes, from castles and pirates to monster trucks, Spider-Man and SpongeBob Squarepants
- Mechanical bull ride
- Rock wall climbing
- Obstacle courses
Food Choices for Your Carnival
Food is going to be key for the little ones, and most adults and older kids aren’t going to pass it by, either. In addition to whatever food members of your congregation might want to provide, there are choices like the following from rental companies:
- Popcorn machine
- Cotton candy machine
- Snow cone machine
- Tropical drink machine
Have Fun While Raising Funds
No matter what specific kinds of entertainment you choose, it’s important to encourage a sense of community among church members as you oversee and work on your carnival. This is an idea that is relatively easy because of party rental companies but will still require work on your part. Just remember that this is a good cause and that the money raised will be important for accomplishing your church’s important goals.