Ideas for a Fall Fundraiser Theme

by Caroline Baldwin

Among many other factors, when planning a fundraiser you have to consider the ideal time of year to have it. Calendars can get busy in the spring and summer, so your event will compete with vacations and other events. Fall-themed fundraisers offer cooler weather for outdoor events; plus, more families will be around since school is beginning again. Plan a clever fall-themed event that will attract the crowds and help you meet your fundraising goal.

Outdoor Movie

Summer temperatures often cause people to stay indoors to avoid the heat. When the temperature starts to drop to a comfortable temperature in the fall evenings, host an outdoor movie fundraiser. You can theme the event as a “family night” or a “date night” movie under the stars, depending on the type of film you select. The movie can be shown in a park or on an athletic field on a large inflatable screen and a digital projector. The moviegoers bring chairs and blankets to sit on to watch the movie while they snack on items from your organization’s “snack bar.” Operational costs are relatively low for a movie event, and funds from the ticket sales and the food proceeds go to your organization.

Fall Festival

Plan a large festival to celebrate the fall season. Sell tickets to your event and offer a variety of activities and food for crowds of all ages. People can get into the spirit of autumn by buying a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch or an apple pie at the bake sale. Maximize your profits by purchasing the pumpkins in bulk from a local farmer so your costs are low and ask for volunteers to donate baked goods for the sale. Sell tickets to a corn maze at which both children and adults have to strategically find their way out of the maze. If your event venue has enough space, mark squares in a fenced area for a game of “Cow Pie Bingo.” Sell squares for $5; set a cow loose inside the area; and the square with the cow pie is the winner. The winner receives a percentage of the game sales.

Zombie Fun Run

Hold a Zombie Fun Run in October to raise money for your organization: Runners and walkers will have fun dodging zombies along the course. Each runner has two flags, similar to a flag football belt, that the zombies are trying to capture. Once the race participant’s flag has been taken, she has to either pay a fee to continue in the race or stay in the zombie lair for a designated time before she can rejoin the race. Both zombies and runners pay an entry fee to participate. You can give awards such as “best costume” and “goriest” to pass out to the zombies along with the race winners at the closing ceremonies.

Seasonal Sales

Fall is the time to prepare for winter and the holidays, so have your group sell seasonal items in the fall that people can use in the upcoming months. Holiday flowers and greenery such as poinsettias and evergreen wreaths can be sold in the months leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Alternatively, sell wrapping paper and gift-bag in the early fall so the buyers will have plenty of time to receive their goods and start wrapping gifts.

About the Author

Caroline Baldwin, a corporate communications director located in South Carolina, began writing in 1998. Her work has been published in publications across the United States and Canada including Rolling Stone, Boating Life, Waterski and Wakeboarding magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies from The College of Charleston.

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