Guest Bartending Fundraising Ideas

by Eric Ervin

People flock to bars to drink, socialize and sometimes eat. Play off the bar scene crowd with guest bartending fundraiser ideas for your organization. Get people who are well-known in your community, or even throughout the world, to serve as guest bartenders. However, be sure that you follow laws that relate to what age groups may serve alcohol.

Bartender Competition

Organize a competition between the guest bartenders and the house bartenders. The bartenders compete in a variety of categories, including fastest drink mixer, best original drink and best bartender tricks. To raise money, charge bar patrons an admission fee to see the competition. To raise more money for your charity, charge the bartenders who want to compete in the competition a registration fee. Give the winning bartender a cash award and a trophy.

Celebrity Guest Bartender

Recruit celebrity bartenders to serve guests at the bar. If you cannot get A-list stars to serve as celebrity bartenders, then ask local celebrities such as radio disc jockeys, television news reporters and local professional athletes to participate. To help create more buzz for the celebrity guest bartenders, create a signature drink that is inspired by each one. Raise money through this guest bartending fundraising idea by getting sponsors and selling the signature drinks.

Sales Percentages

Make an arrangement with the bar's management for your organization to take home a percentage of the total sales that each guest bartender raised. Request percentages from the entire night of operations or from a specific time frame of two hours or more. If possible, take advantage of a bar's busy weekend crowd. To increase sales, feature specials on everything that is served at the bar, including beer and mixed drinks.

Costume Contest

Create a guest bartender costume contest. Each guest bartender has to create an original costume. Bar patrons vote for the bartender who they think has the most creative costume by purchasing a drink from him. Encourage bar patrons to tip the guest bartenders generously, as their money is going to charity. The guest bartender with the most votes and who has raised the most money wins the contest.

About the Author

Eric Ervin has more than 10 years of experience as a print journalist, having worked at newspapers and magazines in Alabama, Texas and Georgia. His work has been published in the "Houston Press," "Houston Chronicle" and "Mobile Press Register." Ervin received a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of South Alabama.

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