The question I am asked most often when it comes to putting on a benefit fundraiser is, “When should we have it? Is there a better day? A better time?” If you were to ask five different people who have put on benefits in the past, you would probably get five different answers which would really confuse you, right?
For my money, and to make the most money, I am partial to Saturday nights from 5-10pm. Before I give you the pluses of a Saturday night, let me give you the negatives of other nights. There are some who think Friday night would be a great time for a benefit. Their rationale is that people have had a hard week at work, they’re thrilled it’s finally Friday (TGIF!), and they’re ready to party and spend. The drawback to Friday is that most of your guests are probably still at work at 5pm when your event begins and even if they want to attend your fundraiser, they first have to make the drive home, freshen up and change out of the clothes they’ve lived in all day. Some may even need to grab a bite to eat before they leave knowing there is a long night ahead. Thus, they may not arrive until 6:30 or 7. The long night ahead creates another issue. These folks have been up since 6am and off to work by 7. Will they really be in the mood to party and bid until 10?
Sunday presents a different set of challenges. True, you would not have to rush around as you did on Friday and perhaps you could even bring the kids. But partying, spending and drinking until 10 is out of the question for most people. Monday morning is just around the corner and it’s not only a work day, but for 9 months out of the year it’s a school day as well.
Which brings me to Saturday. Mom and Dad have had a leisurely day of perhaps grocery shopping, catching up on housework and doing some yardwork. At about 3 in the afternoon, Mom can begin to get ready for the benefit with a shower or bath and have all the time in the world to put on makeup and party clothes – all with the help of a wine in hand! There is no rush and your guests are in a mood to reward themselves after working around the house all day. They can come early, spend lots, stay late and then sleep late!
What about Sunday morning church service, you ask. Most people will rationalize skipping service after having done such a good deed the night before!
Bingo fundraising events have been around for decades. That’s because people love to play bingo and charities can earn several thousand dollars in just one evening of bingo. Many nonprofit organizations, clubs and schools have annual basket bingo events. There are some organizations whose basket bingo fundraisers have become so popular and lucrative that they hold basket bingos two and three times a year.
While your organization can earn as much as $5,000 for an evening of basket bingo, it does take quite a lot work and preparation behind the scenes to put on one of these fundraisers.
So what is a basket bingo fundraiser?
Basket Bingo is like regular bingo except that the prizes are all baskets. Most often the baskets are Longaberger baskets. The baskets are filled with products such as Longaberger accessories, gift certificates, candles, scrapbooking supplies, beauty products, gourmet foods, etc. Each filled basket can be worth several hundred dollars. This is a big draw for your fundraiser.
The typical basket bingo fundraiser lasts from three to four hours. Holding them on a Saturday afternoon or evening are good times.
The elements of a typical Basket Bingo Fundraiser are:
Admission tickets are usually sold for $20.00 at the door or $18.00 in advance. For this price each participant receives a book of Bingo sheets good for 20 games of Bingo. You an sell extra game books for $5.00 each. Some people will buy extra sheets to increase the odds of winning in each bingo game. You can also have a couple of special bingo games that people pay extra for. You should aim to sell between 100 and 200 admission tickets. If you sell 125 tickets for $20.00 a piece that will bring in $2,500. By holding raffles and selling food during the event you can bring in more money for your organization.
In addition to prizes for each bingo game, you can also hold a raffle of a special prize. You can presell the raffle tickets and sell more during the event for an amount such as $1.00 or $5.00 per ticket. To maximize your earnings you should advertise the prize and presell tickets. Do not require that the winner be present during the drawing. The raffle prize doesn’t have to be a basket but should be a nice prize with a high dollar value. Longaberger wrought iron tables and accessories are good for raffle prizes.
Raffles for monetary prizes. 50/50 raffles are also a good way to raise more money during a basket bingo fundraiser. With a 50/50 raffle, tickets are usually sold for $1.00. At the end of the raffle one ticket is drawn and the winner receives fifty percent of the total amount raised by the sale of the tickets. The other fifty percent of the pot is kept by your organization.
You can also have door prizes that you hold drawings for during the event. Give everyone who purchases a ticket to the event one raffle ticket for each prize. The door prizes are usually small items.
Food and Refreshments
Snack Bars and Concessions. Since the event will last for three to four hours you should have refreshments available for purchase. At some basket bingo events a buffet luncheon is served that attendees pay extra for. You can raise more money by having food donated. You may want to provide one free drink to everyone who purchased a ticket. Bake sales are also good earners during bingo fundraisers.
Professional Bingo Caller and Bingo supplies
A professional bingo caller is recommended because it takes a person with experience and bingo equipment to run a night of bingo. You will also need a master of ceremonies to be in charge of making announcements and keeping the activities moving.
The Prize Baskets
You will need to have a unique gift basket as a prize for each game of bingo. Longaberger baskets are good to use because they are collectible. There are a lot Longaberger basket collectors who might not otherwise be bingo players but will come to your event for a chance at winning a basket. Many Longaberger baskets are also created with a purpose so filling them with items based on a theme is easy. In order to make money on your fundraiser the baskets and prizes should be donated. YOu can contact a local Longaberger sales representative who can sell you the baskets and give you advice on how to fill them. Raising the money to buy the baskets, or getting them donated, and filling them will take time and money. If your organization is a school you can assign each class a basket theme and ask the families of the students to send in items to fill the baskets.
Realistically it will take a couple of months of work in order to hold a basket bingo fundraiser. You first need to decide if you will be able to assemble of team of volunteers willing and able to do it. After you have assembled your team then you have to get the word out that you need donations of baskets, money, and prizes. You also need to select the venue and date for the fundraiser. Then you will be well on your way to a successful basket bingo fundraiser.
At present, the concept of themed fundraising is gradually gaining ground among the non-profit organizations. A lot of such bodies and other charity organizations choose a particular theme for holding the fundraiser in order to keep their audience engaged. If you are planning to organize any fundraiser event shortly, you can try out holding the engaging Bunco game as your fundraising theme. Organizing a themed fundraising in present times is the most popular and rewarding way to raise funds for any cause. In this article, we are going to discuss how to make your next themed fundraiser a successful attempt.
A Fundraising Goal
Before you start looking for a theme, you must learn to set up a realistic fundraising goal. Also, think of the amount, which you want to raise through your fundraising campaign. It will help you decide how many people you will invite for your event. Considering all these can help you decide the entry fee as well.
When deciding the number of entries, be sure to keep it divisible by 12, as each regular Bunco game includes 12 players. In case, you have 48 players, you have to organize four separate games. It also helps you raise funds in an effective way. If you want to raise $1200, ask your 48 players to register by paying $25 as an entry fee.
You need to make enough efforts to keep your guests engaged. Make sure that you give your guests enough opportunity to enjoy themselves and make them feel that they are donating for a good cause. You must provide your guests plenty of information about the cause for which you are raising money. To make your fundraising even more interesting, you can add some different events to the Bunco game. You can get numbered chairs for your guests and thus, offer them an opportunity to pick up a number out of a jar when they first arrive.
You can even include a silent auction in your fundraising event to earn even more money. You can ask the local businesses to provide you with gift cards, services, and items for the auction. You can even get in touch with the large retailers, who are interested in donating for non-profit fundraisers. If possible, you can also include a 50/50 raffle. Organizing a raffle is always an excellent choice as it offers your guests many opportunities to win some money.
Keep in mind that Bunco is a fun and entertaining game that can help you keep your audience engaged and, at the same time, raise adequate funds.