The measure of success at your fundraising event is the profit you make. But how can you push it a little bit further? Providing refreshments and running a raffle are a given, but why not play one of these games during the break, too?
Decide which activity best suits the event you are running and the audience attending. Prior to the event, remind attendees to bring some extra cash along so they can join in.
1. Joke competition
‘One idea we are going to run at our next event is a joke competition. You explain how the competition works at the beginning of the night, hand out paper, and people pay £1 per joke to enter, writing their joke down before submitting it. You then review them all, pick out the best three, and read those out to the audience (or get the shortlisted entrants to tell their own joke!). The audience vote which one will be crowned the winner. They did it at a comedy club I went to and it worked brilliantly.’ Samantha Searle, PTA member, St George’s Primary School, Kent
2. Heads or tails
‘People pay £1 to play. Once they have paid, they stand up so we know who is playing. The quizmaster then flips a coin, at which point, participants either choose heads – where they need to make bunny ears – or tails, where they make a tail with their hands. Whoever gets it wrong, sits down. Keep playing until there’s one person left standing – they win half the cash and your charity keeps the other half. When we advertise the event, we always say that there will be a raffle and heads and tails on the night so people bring money with them. It usually adds an extra £30 or so to our takings.’ Caren Shortall, treasurer, Friends of Milwards School, Harlow
3. Spaghetti tower
Use as an icebreaker during a social evening. Each table pays a set fee to receive a spaghetti construction kit – a small bunch of uncooked spaghetti and a metre of Sellotape. Teams have five minutes to build the highest, free-standing spaghetti tower, and the tallest tower wins! Award the winning team a bottle of bubbly as a prize. You’ll be surprised at how competitive this can get.
4. Roll a £1
‘Roll a £1 is a good game for events where you have lots of competitive attendees and alcohol! Buy bottles of something alcoholic, or ask for donations. Put the bottle on the floor and ask people to roll a £1 coin towards it from a marked line about five metres away. The coin that’s closest (without hitting the bottle) at the end wins it. People who’ve had a few to drink sometimes keep trying to win even if they spend more than it costs to buy the bottle! So play the game when people have already had a few drinks.’ Jackie Turner, chair, Friends of Rushwick School, Worcester
5. Table quiz
Run a picture quiz, themed to suit your event and audience, printing 9-12 famous faces, cartoon characters or film locations onto A4 paper. Ask people to pay £1 to enter, and ask them to write their name and the answers. Collect the sheets after the interval – the winner can receive a prize (preferably donated) or a percentage of takings. Alternatively use anagrams – search the internet for examples to make your life easier! Don’t make the quiz too easy!
6. Lucky cards
‘We run a game called lucky cards. We sell playing cards at half-time for £1 each. People can buy as many as they like, then everyone stands up and someone with a duplicate set of cards and starts calling out the card names. The last person standing wins half the money made from selling the cards. If we sell more than one pack, there might be joint winners and then we’d split the prize money.’ Jane Love
7. Picture quiz
Make a picture that incorporates elements of school life such as core values, house names, and the names of staff members. Some will be easy to represent graphically while others may be more tenuous. Challenge participants to find as many school-related words as possible and award a small prize to the team or individual that guesses the most.
8. £50 note serial number game
Put a £50 note into a sealed envelope prior to the event. During the interval, sell numbers 00-99 at £1 per number. Issue players with numbered tickets corresponding to the number(s) they chose, and use a pre-printed grid to mark off the numbers as they are sold. The person who correctly guesses the last two digits of the serial number on the note wins it, and the PTA raises £50 with very little effort.
- What interval games do you play that yield a great profit? Email the PTA+ team at firstname.lastname@example.org
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