Top 5 Wackiest & Unique Ideas for FUNdraising
Fundraising always has the same basic goal – raise as much money as possible and keep costs low, but don’t rely on the same old same old to get you through. Some of the best fundraising goals have been achieved by the most unique ideas, leading people to scratch their heads and ask themselves “who would have thought?!”. Obviously, the road less travelled often involves a risk, but there are some wacky ideas that actually do draw a crowd and work. Here are 5 tried, tested and reliable wacky ideas:
1. Golden Egg Hunt
It’s a simple idea but on a huge scale, which makes this stand out from the ordinary golden egg hunt. This is an ideal fundraiser to host on the school oval or in the local park, just make sure you check with the local authorities to see if you need any approvals. Spread the word about the hunt and build anticipation and excitement to get a crowd to come along. If the timing works, tie it in with a school fete or similar and market it as the finale event. Here are the how-to basics:
- Charge a small fee (around $5.00) to participate in the search for a prize-winning golden egg
- Try to get the prize donated to save on costs, ask around your community to see what people are willing to offer
- Buy eggs – lots of eggs! Search online to buy in bulk plastic eggs in an array of colours
- Paint just one egg gold– the elusive winning egg
- Get the crowd together and blow the whistle to get the hunt started!
You may be able to purchase eggs in a colour which represents your charity; just do some research online to see what is available.
2. Charity Abseiling
This is an increasingly popular fundraiser among corporate groups – for those who are brave enough to take on the challenge. There are a number of professional organisations that will host this event for you – definitely required when taking on a risky challenge. With professionals taking care of all the safety on the day you just need to organize the lead up to the challenge. Here are some must do’s:
- Decide on a meaningful location / building / monument and make sure it is suitable
- Get participants to create their own profile on social media and individually campaign for support and donations
- Get your whole organization involved – if they’re not brave enough to abseil they can host sausage sizzles etc on the day to raise extra funds and draw a crowd
Ultimately do your research to make sure all your participants feel comfortable with the group you partner with to make the big event a success.
3. Helicopter Drop & Pin on Map Competition
Another different idea which has proved to be a crowd pleaser promoting generosity is a “helicopter drop” or a “pin on map” competition. Very simply:
- People pay a donation to guess the winning location
- If funds permit, hire a helicopter (always try for a charitable price) to “drop” a weighted flag as the crowd watches anxiously
- Or the cheaper version is to have one person hide the object somewhere and write down the location in an envelope prior to taking donations
- Mark out and number squares on the oval or field and draw up a replica map for people to place their guessing pins on the map.
- The helicopter then “drops” or blow the whistle and send the search party to find the winning location of the prize.
4. Helicopter Nearest the Pin Ball
In keeping with the helicopter theme, here is another crowd pleaser – especially for the right target audience.
- Sell numbered golf balls for $50 a piece if you can get it
- Get a helicopter to drop the balls over a putting green or school oval if available
- The ball nearest the pin wins and the person who bought that ball wins a prize – usually a cash prize
Marcus Oldham College holds this unique fundraising idea annually
5. Dog Show
In the right demographic a Dog Show proves to be an extremely popular (and sometimes bizarre) fundraiser. Anyone with a dog (or any other pet you deem appropriate) pays a donation to compete for the Best in Show prize. Sounds simple but it sure will bring out some interesting characters around your community! Running costs for the event are pretty minimal as you can have your dog spectacular at the local park and as many people as possible can enter. Prizes might range from blue ribbons, vouchers or trophies depending on how much you want to outlay, but most important is to encourage participation of as many paw loving people as possible. Think of creative competitions to get people involved – Best in Show, Best Dressed, Best Tricks etc. The ideas are endless, just get some open minded volunteers to be the judges and help out on the day. This is definitely a good way to draw a crowd and spread the word about your fundraising initiative.
Once you start to think creatively and come up with your own wacky & unique “fun-draising” initiative the possibilities are endless. Just make sure you’re also applying the practical steps in fundraising to make it worth your while!
Originally published July 13, 2014
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