Games + Fundraising: Are Your Donors Ready to Play?
Who doesn’t love a great game?! Fundraising games are not only fun to play, they’re fun to watch. They can also be quite lucrative. And when you incorporate your org’s mission into the game, you’re not only raising money, you’re raising awareness. Win. Win!
Here are some fun games with twists. We’ve included some ways to make them mission-specific. Maybe you and your team can come up with other ways to remind your guests why they’re at the event!
99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall
This game is modeled after the classic wine wall – but with a more informal twist. You’ll need – you guessed it – 99 bottles of high-end craft brew from local breweries in a variety of bottle sizes. Like the wine wall, wrap the bottles so folks don’t know what they’re getting. Only please, just say NO to cheap varieties – leave the budget beers out of this game! Procure premium, unique, speciality brews, as this game really appeals to your beer aficionados. Make sure to communicate that these are only high quality brewskis! Next, attach a mystery gift card to each bottle, ranging in value. Adding a gift card allows you to charge more per pull – and upgrade your game to a ‘Premium Beer Wall.’ Before you know it, you’ll have raised additional revenue without the headache of reinventing the wheel.
Nope, the drink is not involved (is it just us, or is punch ALWAYS too sweet?). This game lets your guests safely blow off a little steam by punching through a ‘wall.’ Set it up by cutting holes in a giant piece of cardboard. Place plastic cups behind the holes – glue them in place – and cover them with crepe paper. Each plastic cup contains an envelope with a restaurant gift certificate or a gift card for services (yoga, Pilates, massage, spa treatments, whatever you’re able to procure!). Guests then pay a set price to punch through the wall and snag their gift certificate. Include a variety of values and make sure your guests know there are some pretty awesome prizes available for just one punch! More excitement = more fun. Finally, brand the wall with your unique theme or mission – punch out cancer, punch out childhood hunger, punch out Alzheimer’s, you get the idea. Now who’s not going to cheer you on for “punching out” a dreaded disease or condition? This game is a real crowd-pleaser!
We love traditional raffles and the Rapid Raffle is especially fun! It’s fast-paced, exciting, and an overall great way to “warm up” your guests – get them in the giving mood with a little excitement at the top of the live event. How it works: Before check-in, attach raffle tickets to each guest’s bid card or event packet. Attach as few as one; as many as four. Write corresponding bid numbers on those tickets and the cost to enter the raffle – $25 is standard. (Again, this all happens before check-in — never at registration!) Your auctioneer invites guests to drop their raffle tickets into collection baskets, making sure they understand that each time they do, they’re giving $25 for a chance to win the grand prize. This prize should be something fabulous, so people are more likely to impulsively hand over several raffle tickets! Volunteers race around the room collecting all the tickets – it’s a good idea to use your high-energy, uber-enthusiastic volunteers for this role. Once your guests are done dropping tickets, the collectors bring them all to the stage, combine them, and your auctioneer picks a winner on the spot, presenting them with the grand prize. The element of chance appeals to the gamblers in the room, and the fast pace adds excitement – a beautiful thing to have at the very top of your live program!
Bid Frenzy + Speed Paddle
A Bid Frenzy is another effective way of drumming up excitement at the beginning of your live program. Furthermore, it’s a terrific way to unload something that isn’t valuable enough to stand alone as a live auction item. It’s pretty simple: Your auctioneer sells a handful of premium gift cards or lower-value packages in rapid succession, to the first bidder they see raise their bid cardat the price displayed on a PowerPoint slide. That’s pretty much it! You’ll definitely need PowerPoint slides detailing the rules and one for each item you’re selling, including details and prices. We love doing this at the top of the live program, but it’s also an effective way to re-energize the crowd during a transition – for example, right after your special appeal, before resuming the live auction.