Fund raising activities for an event
April 17, 2010 4:20 AM   Subscribe

Can you come up with some activities for a charity fund raising event?

I'm in the last year of my event management course* and I’m looking for activities to run during a three hour cocktail party. The activities (I want to have three) need to be approximately 20 minutes long, have minimal costs in terms of equipment or props (this is a charity fund raising event) and be enticing enough to get the attendees away from the drinking and canapes to donate a dollar coin. They will have the opportunity to win donated prizes (some worth up to $250). Demographic: 20-60 years old, mixed gender, hoping for around 100 people.

The charity is for terminally ill children (Make-A-Wish). Activities that tie in with this as a theme would be super great.

A Trivial Pursuit session has been suggested. There are some space constraints so nothing too physical (e.g. balls being thrown around) please.

*I’m posting this for my daughter because of time constraints on posting ability but I’ve gifted her an account as tellurianette so that she can post clarifications if needed.
posted by tellurian to Grab Bag (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
How about having a silent auction for some of those donated prizes?
posted by DrGail at 6:02 AM on April 17, 2010

This doesn't fit into the "twenty minute" restriction, but a good fundraiser is to sell a special drink with a "cute" name -- like the Wish-Fulfillment Cosmo, although I'm sure you can do MUCH better than that with a little thought! -- and sell those for $5 or even $10. (i.e., well above the normal drink price/or for an actual price if the drinks are free.) Buying the drink gets you the souvenier glass (you can price these for about $1.25), possibly refills (or charge $2 for refills once they have the glass), and an entry into the raffle for the biggest prize, or a "liquor cabinet" prize (several top-shelf liquors), or a 50/50 money drawing based on the proceeds of the drink sales, or something like that.

It helps do decorate the glasses in some flashy way (I was at a fundraiser where they literally put little LED flashers on the stems of the glasses, but trailing ribbon would work too) so they're very noticeable, and have those drinks buttled/carried and sold by walking waiters, while all other drinks are at the bar.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:04 AM on April 17, 2010

I've been at fundraisers where particularly worthy items (in nostalgia and sentimental value) have been submitted to all-pay auctions. It gets ugly, happy, and profitable.

ie. Who'll bid on this signed Benny Elias 1989 Balmain jersey, if you'll lose the bid and pay anyway? To my surprise, lots of people.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 6:36 AM on April 17, 2010

I was at a fundraiser recently where they sold specially decorated cupcakes in fancy boxes for $5 each. You could have tren decorated in various themes that have to do with wishes that have been fulfilled through the program or something similar.
posted by tamitang at 6:52 AM on April 17, 2010

I went to a hockey game recently at which there was a charity event where you bought pucks for $1 and at one of the breaks, they put a huge target in the middle of the rink and everyone could throw their puck at the target. The person who got closest won some kind of prize. But the whole crowd was cheering and watching during the five minute window of opportunity.

So... What if you set up some kind of theme-appropriate wishing well or fountain (or just a nicely decorated paper target) and had a limited time where attendees can throw their dollar coins (or some other item they buy and can write their names on) at a target? After 20 minutes, you locate the person who got closest and they win something. In fact, you could have multiple targets for different prizes. People might get really into it and try multiple times in that 20 minute window.

A similar idea (if you have a long hallway you can block off) is to let people buy pieces of paper and make paper airplanes-- the one that goes farthest wins. Since it's a children's charity, simple childish games should go over well.
posted by parkerjackson at 3:28 PM on April 17, 2010

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