Put the Fun in Fundraising: 4 Creative Event Ideas

By: Judi Robinovitz | Last Updated: October 28, 2014

Happy Dog - Score At The TopFrom candles and candy to gift wrap, raffle tickets and coupon books, you've sold anything and everything to raise money for your school, clubs and sports teams. Though your group needs the money, your family and friends are getting a little tired of buying whatever you have to peddle this month. Instead of selling the same old things again, here are some creative fundraising events to host to help raise money for everything from field trips to new uniforms.

Chili Cook-Off

Invite your classmates and their parents to participate in this tasty competition for the best bowl of chili. This filling fall treat makes the perfect focus for a cooking competition because there are so many ways to create the perfect bowl of chili.

From using exotic meats like elk and buffalo to meat-free vegetarian options and ranging in taste from mildly spiced to my-mouth-may-be-on-fire spicy and everything in between—you're only limited by your imagination when it comes to creating the perfect bowl of chili.

Sell tickets to the event, which provide entry and a taste of the various chili concoctions. Invite a few local chefs or a culinary celebrity to serve as the ruling panel to judge the results and select the winner.

Be sure to have a variety of baked sweet treats available for sale as well. Guests will want something sweet after trying all of that spicy chili. With a captive audience, you'll be sure to sell more than you would at a typical bake sale, so you can raise even more money for your cause. It's no secret, Texans know their chili, and The Houston Chronicle put together a helpful guide for organizing a chili cook-off fundraiser.


Set up a projector and display your game-a-thon gameplay on the wall or large canvases. Everyone will have fun, from the football team playing Madden 15 on Xbox One or the marching band members competing to see who can beat the latest Call of Duty in the least amount of time—hosting a game-a-thon fundraiser is an effective way to raise money. Even better, it's a good excuse to get your parents off your back about the amount of time you spend gaming, because now it's for a good cause.

Require a minimum amount of money donated in order to participate. If you're group is using a specific game, create unique fundraising goal to motivate donors to contribute even more. For instance, if the game is beat in under a certain number of hours, donations must be doubled.

Encourage members in your fundraising group to bring their own consoles to the event. If you're hosting a large scale event consider purchasing some items so everyone has the opportunity to play. Walmart has all of the Xbox One accessories you will need for your event, including games, headsets and controllers.

Superhero Softball

While charity softball games are hardly unique, with a creative spin on this classic fundraiser, you can draw much more interest and raise more money for your cause. For instance, if your sports team needs new uniforms, host a softball game in which you and your teammates dress as superheroes and villains.

Family and friends will be entertained watching The Incredible Hulk at bat and the Riddler covering first base.

Puppy Pageant

Show off your dog's best tricks by hosting a puppy pageant. Have dogs compete in categories like best trick, best costume and best in show. Participants will enjoy and excuse to show off their pup and dress up their pets in a silly costume. Charge admission to the show and and have local businesses donate prizes for a silent auction to run during the show.

For prizes, have local dog groomers donate free services to the winner. Have a local pet supply shop donate merchandise or gift cards for another prize package. Cesar Millan offers a variety of ways to fundraise with your pooch on his website.

Topics: Educational Consulting


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