Fundraising with Mystery Boxes

Fundraising with mystery boxes is an alternative fundraiser for schools and clubs that are looking for different and easy fundraising ideas.

Mystery Boxes work in exactly the same way as a regular auction, silent auction or raffle. People make bids and the highest amount wins the item or simply wins as a raffle prize. However, what makes Mystery Boxes more exciting, is that people don’t know what they’re bidding on.

You may have just one or two Mystery Boxes on offer during your auction, or every item may be packaged into a box – but either way, the excitement and fun comes from not knowing what you are spending your money on.

Some guidelines for Mystery Boxes include:

  • You may choose to advertise what some of the prizes are, but people won’t know exactly which prize is which.
  • Mystery Boxes are most effective when they are all packaged identically.
  • Decide whether you will allow people to shake or rattle the boxes.
  • Decide whether all boxes have a prize or if you will be putting ‘consolation’ messages in some of the boxes. Some could contain ‘thank you for your contribution to the Merrymeadow Primary School Natureplay fund’. If you decide to have non-winner boxes, make sure you include a token (scratch’n’win or chocolate or free ice-cream voucher). Also make sure you advertise this before the event to manage people’s expectations.
  • Decide if you want the winners to open the box in front of the event, if so, don’t forget to allow extra time for this when planning the event timeline.
  • The most important consideration is to be sensitive to your audience and how much they would be willing to spend money on an unknown item. This will vary on the event type, who you are expecting to attend and how much they will have already spent on the night.

Author: Shannon Meyerkort

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