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Planning a Fundraising Carnival for Your Church

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 fundraiser 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 numerous companies that have been created – such as Air Fun Games of Tampa Bay – planning, organizing and holding a carnival is easier than ever.

Basic Considerations for a Church Fundraising Carnival

Learn How to Plan a Church Fundraising CarnivaBefore moving forward with renting inflatables and asking the more accomplished bakers in your congregation to get to work, it’s important to think about some basic concepts on carnivals. Here are a few questions you need to answer.

What’s the location? This may be the most important decision. The type of carnival you hold – and certainly the size of the carnival – will depend largely on where you hold it. Decide how small or big you want the event to be, and also make sure you have access to a large, flat piece of land.

How to delegate the work? Having one person run everything is the pathway to trouble. Pick a committee to over the event and then have them appoint people to oversee specific parts of the event, such as food, entertainment and money.

What method is the best to raise money? Since raising money is obviously the goal of this event – although having fun and fostering a sense of church community are also big pluses – deciding how to raise money is important. 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.

Using Carnival Tickets for Fundraising

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 providing 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:

  • Face-painting
  • 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:

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.

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Tyrobia TurnerJanuary 30, 2017 at 9:39 amReply

Interested in having a Church Carnival. Please contact me.

bEVERLY MARTINMarch 18, 2019 at 4:04 pmReply


AirFun GamesMarch 26, 2019 at 1:14 pmReply

Hello. We’ll be in touch shortly to discuss your fundraising needs & carnival rental options.

Patricia WhiteMay 4, 2019 at 11:05 pmReply

I would like to have a carnival for my church in the fall of next year; something to do a week or two before kids go back to school. I am very new at fund raising, but we need to raise a large sum of money in a manner that I would like to do on a yearly basis. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated as, for the most part, we are all green when it comes to raising sums over $1000.00, and I would like to hit at least the $10k mark.

Martin FisherMay 9, 2019 at 11:43 pmReply

We would like to have a charity fundraising carnival, please contact me

sofiaFebruary 18, 2021 at 5:35 amReply

This is the best blog I have ever seen for a fundraising carnival for your church