Election Day Fundraising

Election Day Fundraising

There are not many polling booths around Australia where you won’t find a sausage sizzle on election day. In fact, they have become somewhat of an institution with some people (and it’s possible I may be talking about myself here) choosing where they will vote based on what’s on offer!

Our fabulous fundraising community shared some great ideas on Facebook after we posted a question from a reader. (You can see the whole thread here.) So we thought we’d share some of their ideas, plus a few of our own about how you can maximise your election day fundraising profits:

  • Location – polling booths can often separate entry and exit points. Make sure you’re visible from both, have adequate signage at the entry/ exit or think about setting up a second serving station.
  • Customer Service – If you’ve got a busy polling booth, people will often be reluctant to give up their position in the queue to come and buy from you, so why not go to them! Take orders and cash from people waiting in line and deliver their order back to them.
  • Presentation – making your stall or stalls look inviting can be the difference between people visiting or walking by. You don’t need a stylist, just some bunting, balloons, a nice tablecloth and a smile! Approach local businesses to see if they can supply balloons which you can give to kids. Balloons are kid magnets and they will more than likely drag their parents over to your stall to get one.
  • Signage – let people know who you are and what you are fundraising for. Encourage kids/staff/players/coaches to wear uniforms.
  • Donation tin – Not everyone will want to buy but they may still want to donate. Have one (or more) tins available for donations of spare change. You might even get some change from your buyers too!
  • Advertise – EVERYWHERE!!! school newsletters, social media, local newspaper, community noticeboards and there are even websites for listing election day sausage sizzles. If you are a school with a big noticeboard – shout it loud in the week or two leading up to election day. I know if I saw a sign that said ‘Egg and Bacon Rolls here on Election Day’, I would be counting down the days and driving well out of my way to vote at your booth 😉

Of course, the sausage sizzle is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to election day fundraising.


If you’re holding a sausage sizzle on election day, register it at this website.

Here are some more….

Imagine a BBQ with not just a plain old sausage on bread, but bacon and egg rolls! Yes, bread rolls! And not just the el-cheapo bread or bread rolls from the local supermarket but proper bakery quality rolls.*wipes drool from corner of mouth* These can be a big drawcard, especially for the early morning voters, tradies and those on their way to work can vote and grab brekky on the run. Approach your local bakery to see if they can sponsor you or provide cheaper good

Aside from the variety on the BBQ, there are some great add-ons that you can include:

Cake sale – always a good money earner and here are a couple of our own tips to increase sales:

  • Package some cupcakes individually – not everyone wants half a dozen.
  • Head down to your local supermarket and pick up a few slabs of lamingtons from the bakery. Sell them individually for $2 or pre-pack them and sell 3 for $5. You’ll make a healthy profit on those!
  • Make up small lolly bags – parents won’t want their kids hyped up from a big hit of sugar, but putting 4 or 5 lollies in a bag and selling them for $1 each should keep everyone happy.
  • Home made jams and preserves taste great and can sell well too.

Coffee cart or coffee van & other drinks – sales of drinks can be dependent on the weather with soft drinks and water selling really well on warmer days. Coffee can be a great addition for colder weather and rainy days and will always sell well in the morning. We even had a suggestion of selling soup which could work with a winter election, especially if you have access to a number of slow cookers and a power source.

Raffles – If you already happen to be running a raffle, election day presents a huge opportunity to increase sales of raffle tickets but keep in mind that there are rules around raffles so it’s very important to make sure that you are clear on the legalities in your state. Small raffles are usually free of strict regulations, though.

Stalls – If you have space why not turn election day into a mini-market. Run a second-hand stall and/or book stall. Bring in outside stallholders and invite local businesses and community groups to come along and set up stalls as well, maybe even hire a jumping castle to keep the kids occupied, depending on the space you have available to you.

Happy Fundraising!

Mandy Weidmann aka the Fundraising Whisperer

Originally published 18 May, 2016

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