Fundraising doesn't have to be a dreaded chore. In fact, fundraising can be a genuinely fun and rewarding experience for everyone involved, from organisers to donors. Fundraising at festivals, where soliciting money can be an especially daunting task, should engage the crowd while raising interest in the target cause and keeping the atmosphere lively and entertaining.
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Food and Drink
Keep costs down and profits high with inexpensive food-and-drink fundraisers. Set up an all-you-can-eat potato bar (with plenty of toppings) at the festival. Charge a flat rate of £3 per person. Or, host a chilli cook-off or a sweet tea- or beer-brewing competition. Charge £16 for each entry. You could also solicit cake donations from the community or local businesses and sell them by the slice at the festival. For wine enthusiasts, a wine tasting (ask every local wine merchant to donate a bottle) can be a big draw. Charge £6 per person.
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Games and Contests
Set up picnic tables at the festival and host a board game tournament. Host an adult spelling bee or freestyle rapping competition. Charge each team or individual an entrance fee and ask a local business to donate a prize for the winner. You could also set up classic carnival games throughout the festival, such as a ring toss or darts, and charge 60p for each entry. Or, set up a "game show" in an open area and challenge the crowd to test their trivia knowledge. Charge an entry fee of £6 per team.
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You can auction off just about anything anywhere, making auctions an excellent fundraising choice. If you want to stay traditional, solicit donated items from local businesses and have a silent auction at the festival. If you want to get creative, you could ask community members to offer a service to be auctioned. An accountant, for example, could offer two hours of free tax advice and preparation. Even a stay-at-home mom could offer a week of maid services or cooking lessons.
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You could always host an ordinary garage or junk sale at your festival, but there are plenty of ways to make this classic more interesting. Solicit community donations of old prom dresses and tuxedos, then sell them at the festival (afterward, you can host and sell tickets to a themed dance party). Or, solicit general donations, then create gift baskets from the donations and sell those at the festival. You can also ask local artists to donate one piece of artwork to the festival or gather crafts from the local elementary school and sell those.