When I was in primary school, Halloween was hands down my absolute favorite time of year. Don’t get me wrong – it still is – though nowadays I look forward to it because I get to wear a cape or gorilla suit without people thinking I’m nuts.
Getting back to my story – Halloween was my favorite time of the year because my school would hold THE BEST fundraiser every year: The Penny Carnival. It would be held on the day of Halloween, and the entire school (teachers included!) would arrived in costume. It went like this: each teacher in the school would host their own carnival game in their classroom. Students would go door to door to play the carnival games of their choice, and were required to pay up a certain number of pennies per game – some cost 5, some 10 – it varied. If you won the game, you’d get to pick some candy or snacks out of their goody bowl – and every teacher had something different! Some even had cool pencils (Hello, Smencils!), erasers or stickers – and when you’re a kid, that’s like hitting the jackpot. It was an afternoon-long event, and at the end of it all, everyone would assemble in the gymnasium for a spooky storytelling (courtesy of the school principal) while the teachers counted the money raised.
Fast-forward 20 years later and I still remember this fundraiser like it was yesterday. It’s rare that you’ll hear someone describe a fundraiser as memorable – especially kids – but who can blame them? Most fundraisers involve getting children to pedal products they don’t care for. The Penny Carnival is exceptional since the kids have fun playing games, they get something in return, and they have a sense of independence going door to door within the safety of their school.
As a side note, my Penny Carnival experience was about 20 years ago, so I would recommend making it a Nickel or Dime Carnival since… well… inflation. Not to mention, everyone has lots of change sitting around that they’re eager to get rid of. This fundraiser can be adapted for a community center or offices as well – people of all ages like games and prizes. Think outside the box!
So what are you waiting for? Start planning that Carnival! Have questions? Feel free to get in touch with us on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/fundraisingdotcom or give us a call at 1.800.443.5353. We love talking shop!