Halloween Fundraising Ideas

Spooktacular Halloween Fundraising Ideas

Have you thought about organising an event for Halloween this year? Now is the time to get your plans underway and we’ve got a few ‘tricks’ up our sleeve to inspire a scarily good time! Halloween, like so many other special events, offers lots of opportunities for fundraising.

In a previous tip we’ve talked about starting the tradition of a Halloween Disco and while disco’s are a great fundraiser any time of the year, Halloween is a pretty legit reason for a bit of fun and fancy dress! So here are some other ideas for you:

Movie night – If the weather is being kind, October is a great time of year for an outdoor movie. If not, indoor can be just as fun AND you can have decorations too! But you will need to make your movie choice child friendly – G or PG (suggestions: Casper, Monster House, Scared Shrekless, Hotel Transylvania, even The Nightmare before Christmas). Charge an entry fee and sell popcorn/hot dogs/drinks/glow sticks and if your venue allows you could charge extra for a ‘gold class’ upgrades to bean bags or comfy chairs with blankets, pillows and maybe even a personal waiter.

Fancy dress competition – It’s Halloween so there WILL be dressing up! You can run this as a side attraction to any event that you’re having – $2 entry fee and a Halloween themed prize for the winner.

Spooky bake sale – Ask your volunteers to bake some scary treats to sell. This is an option that can be incorporated into a bigger event or run on its own.

Monster mash party – This could be a disco or a mini fair with Halloween themed game stalls and we’ve got a whole lot of ideas for games and stalls:

  • apple bobbing
  • Guess how many maggots / eyeballs (replacing your typical lollie jar with maggots, eyeballs or some other scary substitute)
  • Mummy wrap  – using toilet paper to create the best looking mummy
  • pin the wart/hat on the witch (alternatives could be, pin the teeth on the vampire or pin the ‘boo’ on the ghost)
  • Witch’s hat ring toss – use ordinary rings or charge extra for using glow rings
  • Pumpkin bean bag toss – paint a pumpkin on a large piece of cardboard and cut holes for the eyes and mouth. The aim is to get the bean bags through the holes (an alternative could be throwing a spider through the hole in the middle of a web)
  • Water squirt – paint some plastic cups orange and white and decorate them as pumpkins and ghosts. Stack them up and have punters try to knock them down with a water gun
  • Guess the weight of the pumpkin – 50c, $1 or even $2 a guess and closest guess wins a prize.

Raffles – With Halloween themed prizes (of course!)

Halloween bingo – same concept as your typical bingo but with Halloween symbols instead of numbers

Pumpkin bowling – for a twist on 10 pin bowling replace your bowling ball with a nicely rounded pumpkin and your pins can be as simple or decorative as you like. Think soft drink bottles filled with cotton balls and eyes drawn on them to make ‘ghost pins’

Halloween treasure hunt – race to see who can find all the spooky items on your list first

Pumpkin sales – If you live in an area where Halloween celebrations are popular, team up with a wholesaler to supply you with pumpkins at a good price, mark them up and on-sell them to your community. Given the time and resources, you could even sell design stencils (search for ‘printable pumpkin stencils’ on Pinterest) or even pre-carved pumpkins (for a whole lot more!)

Balloon battle – I speak from personal experience when I say this game is really fun! Tie a balloon to everyone’s ankle with a string. Stomp on as many balloons as you can while trying to stop yours being popped. The last man standing is the winner. To Halloween theme it, buy orange and white balloon and with a permanent marker turn them into ghosts and pumpkins.

Pumpkin carving or decorating competition – Make sure you have a great prize and charge an entry fee per pumpkin. You can have different age catergories and even open it up beyond your school or group to the wider community.

Guess the name of the witches cat – have a list of 50 (or more) names with one of these names pre-selected as ‘the’ name. Sell each for $1 or $2 and announce the winner at the end of your event

Now, that’s all fun and games for the kids, but ‘what about the adults?’ I hear you say.

We haven’t forgotten about the big kids! 😉

Halloween charades – using scary movie/book titles only (maybe not so much a fundraiser, but still a fun game!)

Hire a fortune teller/tarot card reader/palm reader – This could be another side event option with a fee per reading. Also, having a bar can’t hurt your fundraising either!

Witch hockey tournament – A simplified version of hockey with a witch’s broom instead of a hockey stick and a small ball disguised as a pumpkin. Teams get together and dress as witches or other Halloween ‘characters’ and pay an entry fee to participate. This becomes a knockout event until you have a winner and you can run a few side attractions at the same time to boost your revenue.

Pumpkin smashing – Anyone in need of stress relief? I think this would be as fun as it sounds! You will need a big tarp or piece of plastic or have it in an area that won’t be bothered by pumpkin guts. Charge a fee per pumpkin smash and supply your punter with either a sledge hammer, baseball bat or cricket bat and let them go for it.

Zombie walk-a-thon – Adults version of a sponsored walk-a-thon

Last but certainly not least – if your school or group don’t get into the Halloween thing, maybe your neighbours do. If (even some of) your neighbourhood likes to partake in a bit of trick or treating, drop a balloon and ribbon into your surrounding letterboxes. Attach a note explaining that it’s well understood that not every house may want to join in, but if you would, inflate this balloon and tie it to your front fence/letterbox so that families know whose houses they can visit.

Happy fundraising!


Author of the Practical Fundraising Handbook for School and Club Volunteers (preview and buy it here)

Originally published 25 August, 2016

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