“How do I keep fundraising during the winter?”
If you are involved with a fundraising project, charity, or non-profit organization and live in an area where the weather dips into cold temperatures, then you’ve likely pondered this question. Without access to courses for golf tournaments, lush fields for soccer shoot-outs, and open water for fishing derbies, how can you raise funds for your cause?
Fear not–– We’re here to share some inspiration on how to fundraise this winter.
1) Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser
A warm spaghetti dinner is a great way to entice a local crowd this holiday season. By setting an agreeable price per plate and offering local businesses the opportunity to sponsor the event and have their logo showcased at the fundraiser, you’ll be able to turn a great profit for your cause. And who knows, maybe you’ll garner some additional donations along the way!
Planning an event like this with BirdEase enables you to easily set prices for dinner and sponsor sign-ups and allow people to register and pay completely online. From there, you’ll have an auto-generated report of everyone who signed up and paid, so you’ll know exactly how many place settings you need to accommodate your turnout.
Some considerations when coordinating a spaghetti dinner fundraising event are the location, how many people you’ll be able to accommodate, possible dietary restrictions, how you’ll provide the flatware and food, and how much money you’ll need to raise to turn a profit (which will help you set your registration prices).
Aside from raising money for your cause, hosting a spaghetti dinner will benefit the community and improve your image and name recognition within the local area.
Consider promoting this event in the local paper, online on social media, through flyers around the area, and even on the local radio station, if you have one in mind.
When brainstorming ideas to raise money in the winter, a warm spaghetti dinner is a fantastic way to get hungry people in the door, talking, networking, and contributing to your cause and the community.
2) Comedy Night or Live Concert Fundraiser
When the weather outside is frightful, warm auditoriums and music halls are so delightful!
Another great idea to raise money for your cause this winter is to hold a comedy night, live concert, or any other show you can think of. Whether it’s a local comedian, a well-known musician, or even a choir from a local school, putting together a good show is a great way to bring in people to contribute to your cause and enjoy an evening with you and your organization.
Some things to consider when planning a fundraising event of this nature are deciding on a catchy, memorable event name, selecting an appropriate venue, and setting ticket prices that allow you to turn a profit after everything has been booked and paid for.
Don’t forget to provide options for food and beverage, too!
Promotion ideas for this kind of event include social media posts, news coverage, paid advertisements (if budget allows), and flyers. You’ll want to try to fill as many seats as possible to create a bustling, lively environment and fundraise as much as possible.
With BirdEase, you’re able to sell tickets and add-ons (perhaps VIP passes to meet the performer, specific seats, etc.) as well as sponsorship opportunities. You can offer a lot of value by featuring sponsors and supporters in not only promotional event materials, but on your BirdEase website that your registrants will use to sign up, and will return to for additional information.
3) Ice Fishing Derby
Just because the weather is cold outside doesn’t mean that you can’t host a fun, successful outdoor event! Family-friendly functions like ice fishing derbies are a great way to get a large group of people outdoors and excited about some friendly competition during the cold months.
Planning an ice fishing derby requires a few specific steps. Aside from setting a particular day (or days, if you’re planning a weekend event) and time, you’ll want to select a location and get any permits you need to host an event there. After having this solidified, you can move on to setting up rules, regulations, and pricing for entry to the tournament.
If you’re looking for a way to share rules and regulations and make sign-up easily accessible for your event, try BirdEase’s all-in-one software. Equipped with a user-friendly website, a full registrant management system, and a handy notification center to keep your registrants up-to-date with changes, it will make the planning, coordinating, and management process a breeze. You can even assign registrants to certain areas, if you so choose!
You’ll also want to ensure that you’re publicizing your event well. For an ice fishing derby to be engaging and enjoyable, your registrants need some competition. Make sure you’re sharing the event to social media, inviting friends, family, and other connections, putting flyers around relevant areas, and even purchasing paid advertisements, if budget allows.
Ice fishing derbies present a great opportunity for sponsors, as well. Make sure to offer sponsorship packages as well as standard registration options on your website. Offer a great value and consider making signage for the derby with your supporters’ logos. This is a fantastic way to bring in extra revenue.
You may also want to consider holding an auction or raffle at your derby. Whether you’re purchasing prizes or receiving them as donations, you have a great opportunity to make some extra funds. Oh, and did we mention that BirdEase comes with a built-in auction system? Pretty convenient, if we say so ourselves.
4) Polar Plunge Fundraiser
If you’re looking for a way to raise money while embracing the freezing cold, a Polar Plunge or Polar Bear Plunge might be the way to go!
The main preparation in hosting a polar plunge fundraiser is finding a suitable location. The optimal venue for this kind of event is a small body of water that freezes over that you’ll be able to cut a hole into. You’ll also want to make sure that there is plenty of room for the rest of the event set-up, including space for police and EMS vehicles to keep the participants safe, tents for refreshments and sponsors, and room for your attendees to mingle.
Speaking of refreshments, you’ll want to ensure that you’re offering your participants plenty of amenities at the event. You’ll want to consider having blankets, warming areas, seating, food, beverage, and even a music set-up for everyone to enjoy after the plunge.
Another important consideration is overall safety. Aside from having emergency responders on site, as mentioned previously, you’ll want to make sure that all of your plunge participants are signing waivers before participating.
BirdEase is a great way to coordinate, share, and take registrations and donations for your winter event. With our all-in-one software, you’ll be able to take pledges for participants and outright donations all in one easy to use site.
You can also offer some great sponsorship opportunities, set prices, and access your sponsors’ information all in one dashboard! Just make sure that you’re using all available methods––such as social media, flyers, personal invites, and advertisements––to reach out to potential donors, registrants, and sponsors.
Are you ready to take the plunge into your winter event?
5) Gingerbread House Competition
Ring in the holiday season with some family-friendly competition that all ages will enjoy. A gingerbread house competition will be a blast for your community, and a great way to raise money for your cause.
Start by finding a suitable venue for your anticipated turnout for the event, and make a plan to provide the tables, chairs, tools, and tasty building and decorating materials that your registrants will need. From there you’ll need to decide on competition rules such as time limits, age groups, and whether you’d like to accept entries from home, or just in-person at the event.
When setting the date for your event, you’ll need to ensure that you’re announcing it early, as the holiday season is a busy time for many. Choose a date and time that you find convenient for not only your organization or business, but one that will be conducive to as many people in your area as possible. The more people that attend the event, the more money you’ll raise, the more fun your registrants will have, and the more guests that will be invited along to participate.
When you set your admission prices, remember the cost of the gingerbread and decorating materials as well as the venue and accommodations offered at the event. Though you want to make ticket prices as reasonable as possible to bring in registrants to your event, you need to also make sure that you’re not losing money at the end of it. While exposure and community engagement are valuable assets on their own, the goal of a fundraising event is to raise money for your cause!
Sell tickets and take donations for your gingerbread house competition with BirdEase. As well as having a fully-automated report system to keep track of everyone signing up, you’ll also have a user-friendly website built in to share event details, and even post pictures and announce the winner after the event is over!
Piece of cake––er… gingerbread––right?
6) Christmas Tree & Wreath Fundraiser
Let’s make fundraising as easy as one, two, tree! 🌲
Selling Christmas trees and wreaths this holiday season is a great way to raise money. By purchasing wholesale trees from a local farm and selling them to your community, you stand to gain a healthy profit, as long as you’re doing it right!
After purchasing your trees and establishing a date, time, and location to sell them, you’ll need to make sure that you’re publicizing the fundraiser. Send out emails to contacts, spread the word through social media, hang flyers in local churches and businesses (responsibly, of course), and let people know in person.
Some great examples of where to sell your wreaths and trees include popular shopping areas, churches, schools, frequented streets, and on the corner of popular intersections. Just remember to always be safe and ask for permission.
As well as selling wreaths and trees, another great opportunity to gather more funds is to sell coffee, hot cocoa, snacks, and baked goods on site. Also make sure that you’re offering a way to receive more outright donations. ‘Tis the season of giving, after all!
If you’re looking for even more fundraising opportunities at your tree and wreath sale, consider asking for sponsors for your event. You can make banners and even sponsor certain sections of your sale (think “Balsam Fir Sponsor,” or other fun package options like this). You may also want to consider offering pre-order options for certain types and sizes of tree, and wreaths as well.
Advocate for your fundraiser, share information, take pre-order sales and sponsors, and send out email blasts using BirdEase event management software.
Embrace the holiday season with your next fundraiser!
7) Indoor Cornhole Charity Tournament
Get everyone inside and warm while remaining active in the cold winter months. Running a cornhole tournament is a great idea to fundraise for your event in an interactive, movement-encouraging way!
After obtaining your venue (a local gymnasium would be a great option), cornhole equipment, and any refreshments you plan to offer, utilize BirdEase’s handy built-in tee sheet generator. Where golf tournament coordinators would use this feature to assign golfers to courses and tees, you’ll be able to assign your attendees to specific areas so everyone knows where they’ll be starting. It’s an efficient, organized way to get your bracket started!
Make sure that you’re making your event known in your area to ensure that you’re getting enough sign-ups to run a fun, successful event. Invite friends, family, and other personal connections to the tournament and encourage them to in turn invite others. Other great ways to spread the word include social media posts, flyers in popular places in the community, and sending out a newsletter or email blast to your organization’s pre-existing contacts. Use your resources!
If this idea entices you, but you’re not completely sold on setting up a cornhole tournament, consider some other variations of this idea. Maybe Pickleball, Badminton, or even a Basketball Shootout would make for a better activity at your event. Pick something attainable, relatable, and relevant to your community, and you’ll be a shoe-in for a fantastic fundraiser.
8) Bake Sale Fundraiser
A bake sale is a great way to raise money for your organization or particular cause, especially during the colder holiday season. Be mindful of local codes, allergen precautions, and overall standards for this event, though. Certain areas have their own set of food safety codes, and it’s always important to remain cognizant of potential allergy issues.
Aside from these initial considerations, the key to hosting a successful bake sale fundraiser is to make it widely known and convenient to visit. You’ll need to publicize the event through strategically-placed flyers, social media, personal invites, emails and newsletters, and any other appropriate outreach opportunities you have available. In certain instances, it may be a good idea to have a radio show or even a local TV station advertise the event, depending on the size of your event.
If you’re looking for a way to create a website, take donations, and even offer pre-orders, use BirdEase. This all-in-one platform will allow you to create a functional, easily accessible site for your patrons while allowing you to take online payments, keep in contact with attendees of the event, and much more.
Presentation is another important piece in planning a successful bake sale fundraiser. You’ll need tables, table cloths, settings, and displays to showcase all that you’re offering. On this note, a decision must be made on if––and how many––volunteers will be needed at your event. For big fundraisers with many tables and lots of decorations to set up, volunteers will be invaluable to the process.
Sourcing the baked goods is a key player in coordinating an event of this nature, so make sure you have a plan in place. Whether you’re baking everything yourself, asking a local school or group, obtaining donations from local vendors and businesses, or a mix of these things, choosing your source will influence the timeline, selling point, and other various details of your event.
In addition to your cupcakes, marshmallow treats, sugar cookies, brownies, and fudge, think over some other things you can sell as well. Consider hot cocoa, coffee, and more to bring in additional revenue for the chilly winter months.
9) Art Show Fundraiser
An art show is a fundraising idea that is inclusive and engaging for attendees of all ages. This is an exceptional idea for organizations like schools, art clubs, and other groups involved with the arts.
Considerations for this kind of fundraising event include choosing a suitable venue, finding displays for the art, sourcing meaningful artwork, and deciding what you’ll charge for and how much you’ll charge for it.
Requiring tickets for admission is a good place to start when planning how you’ll raise money at your event. Use BirdEase to sell tickets online, take online payments, run a silent auction, and take outright donations to your cause online.
When you’re advertising this event, you’ll need to ensure you’re being intentional regarding what your marketing materials look like. Because this is an art show, there is an inherent expectation that your advertising sets the tone for the art that will be featured at the exhibit. So, be sure that everything from your flyers to your social media posts are sending a positive message, showing viewers exactly what they have to look forward to in attending your event.
While you can choose to hold the art show as a standalone event, you may also choose to establish other methods of fundraising. Consider ideas like a silent auction, a raffle, food and beverage offerings, and other opportunities of this nature.
10) Casino Night & Game Night Fundraisers
Casino nights and game nights are a fun, interactive, and timeless way to fundraise for your cause and bring the community together. Whether you plan a tournament-style format or a more casual one, there are limitless options on how you’d like your event to go.
After choosing your format (casino night vs. game night; board games vs. video games; tournament vs. casual, and so on), you’ll need to choose a suitable venue. After this, it’s all about providing the amenities and means to play the games you’re looking to offer. Volunteers will likely be a must-have for your event of this nature, so make sure you’re reaching out to contacts and publicizing your event early.
Social media, flyers, mailed invites, and paid advertising on local stations (if you have the means) are great ways to spread the word about your event. You can also use BirdEase to create a website for the event, take registrations, accept online donations, send out updates and news to attendees, and even auction or raffle off some prizes if you’re interested in raising funds this way.
During cold winter months, getting a group inside to connect and play games together is a great idea. Make sure to offer donations on-site at the event, and plan ahead to make the most of the opportunity you have in bringing your community together.