Fundraising with Balloons

Fundraising with Balloons may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking fundraising, but they can be an inexpensive and easy way to inject some fun (and certainly some colour) into your next fundraiser. From fetes to trivia nights and awards dinners, balloons are versatile enough to adapt to a range of events.   Here are a few ideas to start fundraising with balloons:

The Great Balloon Pop

This can work well when you have have donated vouchers that you’re just not sure what to do with.  Alternatively if you have a sponsor that has donated a high value item (eg. expensive jewellery or electricals goods like a TV, computer, ipads etc, you can have one major prize and a few consolation prizes.

To get started you’ll need enough balloons to cater for the size of your audience (as many as you think you can sell) and helium to fill them. Make a list of all the prizes that you have and write them on a piece of paper that can be slipped into each balloon before it’s inflated.  Winning slips could say “congratulations, you have won …” and the remaining balloons will have a slip that says “better luck next time” or “sorry, but thanks for your support” or something similar.

Depending on the value of your prize or prizes, you can sell your balloons for anything from $5 up to $50 each or even higher if you have one major prize and your audience will pay that amount. Once all the balloons are sold, have everyone pop them at the same time and find your winners.  Create an atmosphere of excitement by counting down before everyone “pops”.

Talk to balloon suppliers about sponsoring your event by donating all the balloons, string and the helium to ensure that your profits are maximised.  Custom-printed balloons are an effective way to add colour and promote your event. A major sponsor will be happy to pay for this simple and popular promotion bearing your event details on one side and the sponsor’s details on the other. And children happily act as walking advertisements, holding onto their helium-filled freebie while promoting your event and your sponsor. But make sure you have a team on hand for the inflation process.  It could take a while!

Of course, this doesn’t have to always be done on a grand scale.  Simplify it and use the same concept for a dress down day/school disco/end of year fun activity for students.  Prizes could include a $10 or $5 tuckshop vouchers, chocolate bars, bag of lollies/chips or getting away from food, books, itunes vouchers, products from Smiggle or Typo (kids LOVE stationery!).  But make sure they clean up the mess afterwards! Oh, and you might want to skip the helium for the kids.

Fete Stall

Having a fete? You can use balloons as a side show alley stall. Sort your prizes into 3 categories.  1 for cheapest prizes and 3 for the best ones.  Inflate and number the balloons and pin them to a backing board.  Mark your throwing line and use darts to pop them.  3 darts for $5 and of course not every balloon has to be a winner.

balloon dart game

Guess how many?

Another great idea for fundraising with balloons at a fete.

Engage a car yard or rental car company as your sponsor and have them bring one of their cars to your event.  Alternatively, you could try banks, real estate agents or loan centres for sponsorship. Fill the car to capacity with inflated balloons and punters can pay to guess how many balloons fit into the car.  Correct or closest guess wins the prize.  This is a great branding opportunity for your sponsor and with some great salesmanship, you could even get them to donate a prize – maybe even a car!  Great for fetes where your sponsor will get enormous exposure for their brand.

balloons in car

Balloon race or relay

These are fun game for trivia nights or fetes and you make your money by charging an entry fee.  For trivia night setting, the winning team gets bonus points and in the fete setting, you can have a winners’ prize. For fetes, advertise the time the race will be run and allow as many teams as you have room for.

Your relay team can consist of 4 or more people.  Line up the team and place a chair at the front of the line.  Give each person an inflated balloon (or if you want to make it more challenging, have them inflate the balloon as part of the game).  They are then required to run to a marked line and back with the balloon between their legs without dropping it.  If they drop it, they must put it back between their legs before continuing or if you want to be nasty, start again.  Once they return to the line they must pop the balloon by sitting on it on the chair before their next team member can run.  First team to have all balloons popped is the winner.  I guarantee you’ll have lots of laughs with this one!

This Blows

Step up the challenge with this fundraising with balloons idea.  This is a Minute to Win It game that is a fantastic filler for a trivia night or a team building game for a welcome back bbq or a team challenge for a fete etc.  To do This Blows you will need a balloon for each team member and a number of plastic cups. Each person takes it in turns to blow up the balloon and use the air escaping from the balloon to knock the cups off the table.  When they have all been knocked off the table they tag in the next person. It is quite a bit harder than it sounds but lots of fun!

Fundraising with balloons is definitely a great way to bring some colour and fun to your next fundraiser!

Originally published 15 March, 2015

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