Halloween is quickly turning from a spooky candy-eating celebration into an occasion to host extravagant and creative costume parties. A quickly growing segment of Halloween parties involve fundraisers, put on by community centers, home haunters who charge admission for charity, and even churches! Since people’s purse-strings loosen up in the fall (leading up to ‘Black Friday’, the traditional start of the Christmas season and when retailers actually start to make a profit), it’s the perfect time to host a fundraising event at Halloween.
If you have an organization that is in need of raising some money, what should you do? Here are a few suggestions of how you can turn your Halloween party into an entertaining fundraising event:
Trunk or Treat
Instead of having kids walk through the busy streets of the neighborhood, why not have your event in a closed off parking lot? Have a group of parents volunteer to decorate their cars for the event and have the candy and goodies in the trunk of their cars. The kids would then be set free to wander from car to car getting goodies from the parents at each car. To raise money for this event, ask each parent for a $5 or $10 donation to enter their car in the event and register it for the scariest car in show contest. Another money-generating idea would be to sell hotdogs, hamburgers, snacks and soda at the event.
Murder Mystery Night
Find an old building or rent a hall for the weekend and set up the place for an interactive murder mystery game. Bring together a cast of volunteers that are going to play the parts of the show for your guests to try to solve. Invite the general public to purchase tickets to get into the event. Raise money from ticket sales and possibly by selling a dinner as part of the game.
As the game goes on, guests are eliminated as an unsuspecting part of the show. By the end of the night someone has to figure out who the mastermind in the cast is to win the cash prize (a small portion of money raised from ticket sales).
The Monster’s Ball
Invite the general public to attend a dance party at a local venue. Have them come as their favorite classic or more contemporary monster costume. Hire a local band to play cover songs throughout the event and have a small catering arrangement available to provide some refreshments for your monster attendees. You can make money from advanced ticket sales and 50/50 raffles during the event. Silent auctions have also proven to be a great source of revenue from this type of event.
These are just a few creative ideas to use for your fundraiser. If your participants are having at good time at this event, chances are good they will be inspired to donate a little more money to your organization or cause – and they will be sure to come again the next year, as well as passing the info on to their friends!
Be sure to advertise the event at least a few weeks in advance, send fun and creative invitations to your family, friends and supporters, and provide a fair amount of time to get people registered and prepared for the event.
Halloween is not just for ghosts, candy and kids – you can transform this spookiest of evenings into a hauntingly entertaining Halloween fundraiser!
Chris Molnar is a writer and web designer, and edits Halloweenalliance.com, a large website celebrating over ten years publishing spooky stories, Halloween party guides, do-it-yourself haunting techniques and the building of inspiring Halloween decorations. Chris is an avid Halloween haunter and participates in a yearly home haunting display, which last year involved eight fully-decorated scenes within a maze and an 18 foot high haunted facade. The haunt and party also helped drive donations to a local food bank.