Pub Fundraising Ideas

by Lisa F. Wilson

Spending an afternoon or evening at your local bar or pub socializing, having fun and relaxing with a few drinks while raising money at the same time is a great way to help a charity or cause. However, before you plan your event, there are practical things you need to consider and steps you need to take to make sure your event is a success.

Considerations

First, you need to get the approval and cooperation of the bar owner. Most bar owners will welcome having their establishment filled with people and the reward of having their name associated with a worthy cause. But if they are understaffed because they didn't know about it ahead of time or if it is a charity they do not want their bar or pub associated with, you run the risk of your event failing or being cancelled altogether. Next you need to check with the municipality where the bar or pub is located in regard to the laws governing the types of events you can hold and what permits, if any, are needed. Many townships regulate the activities that can take place within a drinking establishment. For example, you might think selling raffle tickets or running a 50/50 is a harmless way to raise extra funds, but if you have not checked the township's gaming laws, you can find yourself hit with a hefty fine. You cannot forget your responsibility to ensure that the people participating in your event do not break the drinking and driving laws. Do not assume that everyone knows his limits and will not over-indulge. Arranging for transportation or designated drivers ahead of time will prevent problems or possible tragedies from occurring. Knowing that they will not have to worry about getting home will help your guests relax and can even act as an enticement for participation. Remember, whenever you mix alcohol with fundraising "better safe than sorry" has to be your motto.

Events in a Bar or Pub

Once you have all the preliminary planning finished, your next step is to decide what kind of event you will hold. If you have a limited budget, the easiest type of event would be one that uses the leisure games such as darts, pool or shuffle board that the bar or pub already has installed. You can set up a tournament by having participants pay an entry fee, or you can ask players and teams to obtain pledges. Putting an imaginative spin on the contest. An opposite hand dart tournament, for instance, where the players must throw their darts with their non-dominant hand, can add to the challenge and make your event stand out. Just make sure that no one is standing or sitting too close to the dartboard. A themed quiz competition is a bit more involved, but it can entice a wider array of participants. For example, holding a 1980s TV and music quiz night and costume contest. You can hire a company that runs quiz games, or you can save yourself some money and develop the quizzes yourself. Just be sure to choose someone who can be an entertaining emcee. As with a tournament, participants would pay an entrance fee for the quiz, the costume contest or both.

Events outside the Bar or Pub

You do not have to restrict yourself to holding your event within the bar itself in order to capitalize on a local establishment's popularity. Having a golf tournament, walk-a-thon or charity barbecue sponsored by a bar or pub can also be both fun and rewarding. The key element is to do something unusual that will make your event stand out from the crowd. Instead of holding a typical golf outing, for instance, try a nine-hole tournament where the golfers can only use four different clubs, a longest drive contest modeled after Major League Baseball's home run derby or a tournament billed as a "battle of the sexes," where each foursome is comprised of two men facing off against two women.

About the Author

Lisa Wilson has a diverse background that includes starting and running a construction company, working as a business consultant, and three years as the development director for a Catholic high school. She has freelanced for 10 years and has been published in "Irish America," "Woodcraft" and various trade journals and newspapers.