Benefit Ideas to Raise Money for Scholarships

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Fundraising to raise money for scholarships can be fun if you allow enough time and get the right people to lend a hand in planning the event. Tried and true ideas like bake sales and dance-a-thons can be spruced up with contemporary touches like cafes and Shout Outs. You may get lucky and find a celebrity who would be willing to perform to benefit a scholarship fund.

Grab Bag Fundraiser

  • Get a committee together to solicit gifts to use for grab bags at a fundraiser for a scholarship fund. The donations can range from valuable treasures like jewelry to funny gag gifts. Local businesses can donate haircuts, greeting cards and manicures. The idea is to set a price for the grab bags. Participants pay the set price and then select their grab bag gift without touching it, hoping to get something of value. The grab bag is then opened in view of the other fundraiser participants. Everyone will be interested to see what they got -- anything from golf balls to watches and "bobby prizes" like an empty fish bowl or rubber ducky. Watching their reaction as people open up their prize is part of the fun.

Bake Sale Café

  • The traditional bake sale can be spruced up to include activities that are a lot of fun and raise money for the scholarship. The key is to get the pies, cakes, cookies, soft drinks, paper goods and everything else donated by members of the community, local bakeries and supermarkets. Schedule the event around Thanksgiving or another holiday when people are likely to buy baked goods to serve at home.

    Set up a café, and invite participants to socialize while buying individual portions to be eaten at the event. You can increase the profit by holding a pie eating contest. This event within the event can bring in entry fees and sponsorships for those who wish to participate. If you have a few brave volunteers, you might consider a pie-throwing contest using pies on paper plates for safety. Another idea to bring in the "dough" is to display a particularly attractive cake and raffle it off.

Shout Out Dance-a-Thon

  • Another traditional fundraiser that is an effective way to raise money for a scholarship is the dance-a-thon. It's a good idea to stage this event early in the year when students and volunteers are fresh and enthusiastic. Spend some time researching live bands and DJs. Sometimes you can attend a showcase and hear several bands and DJs at the same time.

    Profits can be made from ticket sales, sponsorships and concessions that sell snacks and soft drinks. In addition, you can raffle off an attractive prize that has been well-publicized ahead of time. Desirable raffle prizes for students are electronics such as MP3 players. To earn extra money for the scholarship, sell Shout Outs for a dollar apiece. These are messages read by the DJ or band member to the participants between songs. To get the ball rolling, hand out a few to teachers ahead of time to give to students of their choice. A Shout Out can go something like, "Here is a Shout Out from Megan to all her tennis team buddies."

Celebrity Performance

  • It might be easier than you think to find a celebrity to perform at or attend a fundraising event for a scholarship. The celebrity may have a special interest in your cause, or he may simply want to do something positive in the community and reap the resulting press recognition. You may have to ask a few celebrities before you find someone who is willing and available. Local bands and comics are sometimes interested in having the opportunity to perform, and local television personalities may be eager to meet their audience and promote good will while raising money for a good cause.

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