The leaves are changing, the air is chilly and you can’t escape the smell of bonfire no matter where you go—it must be fall! With a new season upon us, we present you with seven wallet-friendly fall fundraiser ideas that will help you meet your #GivingTuesday goals and get you into the spirit of the most charitable (and the spookiest) season of the year!
1. Tailgate party
If you live in a football state or college town like we do (go Huskers!) a tailgate could be your most successful fundraising event of the year. People can pay for finger food and beer, and you can charge extra to enter a cornhole/bags tournament or hold a raffle. Get creative and raise money while cheering on your favorite team!
2. Thanksgiving dinner
Nothing brings people together like food, especially when that food is turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes. Partner with a local restaurant or hire volunteers to cook their favorite Thanksgiving dish in large quantities. Have your guests pay a donation at the door as their ticket to the feast, serve it up buffet or family-style, enjoy some good conversation and then take a long, turkey-induced nap.
3. Pumpkin carving contest
Host a pumpkin carving competition with donations as the entry fee. You can provide pumpkins or say the event is BYOP (bring your own pumpkin, of course). Your only other expense will be tarps for people to carve on and the carving kits, which you can get for as little as four dollars at the store. Be sure to provide a fun prize for the winner!
4. Cider bar
Set up a cider stand and raise money by selling everyone’s favorite fall beverage. Serve it hot or cold and provide add-ins like cinnamon, orange zest and caramel. And, if you get the proper permits, you can also turn your booth into a craft cider tasting for your 21-and-over supporters.
5. Football tournament
A flag (or two-touch) football tournament is a great, cheap way to get active and raise money in the fall—all you need is a field and a football. Charge teams an entry fee and provide refreshments and snacks after. Plus, because people are going to bring friends, this is the perfect opportunity to network and acquire new donors. Depending on when the tournament is, you can host a lunch or dinner event with the participants.
6. Apple orchard/Pumpkin patch partnership
Reach out to your town’s apple orchard or pumpkin patch to see if they’ll partner with you. It’s a win-win: you receive a portion of the ticket proceeds, and they get free publicity when you market the event to your constituents. People will be even more inclined to visit these fun fall destinations if they know it’s for a greater cause!
7. Haunted house
You can decide how all-out you want to go for this one; a state-of-the-art haunted house, although coo, would probably break the bank. But you can do it on the cheap, too— simply market your event as a family-friendly one. For little kids and parents looking for a fun, festive way to get out of the house, all you’ll need is eerie lighting and music, a few dummies and some fake blood. You can combine this with other events, too—set up your apple cider bar near the exit and host a carving contest afterward!
With these festive fall ideas, you’ll be sure to have the most successful end-of-year fundraising season yet!