How to Host a Carnival Fundraiser

Things You'll Need

  • Volunteers

  • Donated materials and goods

Carnivals are a fun way to raise money.

The key to a successful fundraiser is soliciting materials and time from local businesses and community residents in order to keep overhead costs low. Ask for volunteers to help in the planning stages, during the event and with clean-up. Send flyers to area businesses asking for items to use at the carnival or to auction or raffle off. Connect with an organization of local activists or civic-minded individuals to ask for help, resources and ideas.

Seek Donations: Time, Materials and the Location

Step 1

Ask volunteers to build a small stage for performers, game booths or back-drops for photo shoots.

Ask a local school, church or library. They may donate a space or charge a minimal fee.

Step 2

Advertise locally for volunteers.

Step 3

Ask businesses for leftover materials for craft projects or to donate the cost of renting a "bouncy house" or to sponsor another activity.

Step 4

Solicit items for pot luck food or contact a local restaurant to provide a spaghetti dinner.

Step 5

Work closely with members of the organization raising funds

Arts and Crafts Station

Step 1

Arts and crafts are an entertaining way for carnival-goers to create their own souvenirs of the event.

Set up an arts and crafts station with projects for kids and adults of all ages.

Step 2

Ask for volunteers from a local high school arts class to guide carnival-goers through different projects and solicit materials from local businesses and neighborhood residents.

Step 3

Look for materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill and lower the carbon footprint of the event.

Cake Walk and Bake Sale

Step 1

Ask members of your organization to donate baked goods to be sold at the carnival.

Sell baked goods, snacks and beverages.

Step 2

Organize a cake or cupcake walk.

Step 3

Charge for each entry.

Games

Step 1

Carnival games are easy to set up and fun to play.

Arrange a carnival boardwalk complete with carnival games like ring toss, balloon darts, beanbag toss, bowling and three-legged races,.

Step 2

Sell tickets for the games at a reasonable price and offer inexpensive prizes bought in bulk or donated.

Step 3

Consider other games like bobbing for apples, croquet or mini-golf

Self-Expression & Entertainment

Step 1

Allow guests to express themselves through body art.

Ask for volunteers from a local beauty school or art school to facilitate this activity.

Step 2

Set up a tent wherein guests can adorn their cheeks, bedazzle their nails or temporarily ink their limbs.

Step 3

Tap into the social consciousness of local performers.

Ask local clowns, jugglers, musicians, poets, comedians, theatre troupes, dancers, mimes, balloon artists and other talented performers to donate their time for a good cause.

Raise Funds

Step 1

Conduct a raffle, silent auction or task a volunteer with hosting a live auction.

Solicit businesses and artisans for items.

Step 2

Raffle off a donated prize.

Step 3

Conduct a silent auction or host a live auction.

Fun Photo Back Drops & Costumes

Step 1

Capture the memories on film.

Set-up a photo shoot and charge a small fee for the finished product.

Step 2

Create painted cardboard cut-outs for guests to pose with.

Step 3

Alternatively, set-up a background and add costumes for carnival-goers to wear.