Prize Ideas

Motivate Students and Increase Participation

Remember the following fundraising formula: Communication + Motivation = Participation = Donation

The formula is simple, but it’s proven to increase proceeds by as much as 30% or more.

Usually, most school groups will make participating in the event mandatory, but participation in the fundraising campaign is optional.

Competition for prizes is guaranteed to increase participation in your campaign. And there are plenty of opportunities for rounding up prizes.

Schools can host weekly drawings every Friday for the student who brings in the largest amount of donations and for all students who bring in at least 30% of their goal.

Also, when finding or purchasing prizes, consider a group of high end prizes to be awarded to the top 5 or 6 money raisers.

Here are some prize ideas to consider!

  • Free Prize Ideas – There are several prizes that are practically free that will motivate school students to participate in your fundraising campaign
    • o Principal for a Day
    • o Line-leader for a week
    • o Extra Recess for a classroom
    • o Get out of Homework Free – can be played anytime a student wants out of a homework assignment can be handed out at the classroom level or individual student level.
    • o Classroom gets first for lunch for a week or other lunch privileges.
  • Free food coupons (enough for all participants) – food coupons generate business for local restaurants and fast food establishments. You will find free cookies, ice cream, kid’s meals or buy one get one free entrées.

Food coupons are great for filling goody bags.

  • Hotel Stays and Pool Parties – Many hotels will donate a free night or even a pool party for up to 12 children.     These are great prizes.   When seeking hotel stays, look at larger cities as far away as 100 miles away.
  • Limo Rides and Lunches – Limo Companies aren’t very busy during lunch – making it easy to get a great deal or free limo ride for your participants.     Weekly contest ideas: The participant that raises the most money per week may win the limo ride and students that raise at least 30% of their goal may enter a drawing for the limo ride.     One Limo will seat 6 or 8 school children so choose two winners per week during your campaign.
  • Sporting Events – Whether its baseball, basketball or football, many cities have pro or semi-pro teams that have plenty of tickets available for charitable organizations.   Be sure that your game tickets are for a game that will be played after you’ve hosted your fundraiser.

Take it to the next level and ask for a pass for ball boy/girl, bat boy/girl or sideline tickets.

  • Amusement Parks, Museums and Zoos -Attractions are always popular for adults and children. Be sure to ask for enough tickets for the whole family or multiple sets.

These tickets cost nothing to provide to your group and will generate revenue for the parks with food and gift sales.

  • Gift Cards – Many national chains may provide gift cards for as much as $100 or more. The cards can be given away as prizes, or used to purchase fun electronics equipment like Flip Video cameras, MP3 players or iPod docking stations.
  • Distressed / Dated Merchandise – Items that are outdated or being replaced by newer models are usually held back for the clearance table.

Check with store managers to see if they have clearance products that might be of interest to your participants and ask if they will help you with your fundraising event with free or heavily discounted merchandise.

  • Food / Water / Sport Drinks – Make arrangements to pick up food items just days before the event.  Work with local supermarkets to see if they will donate bottled water and fresh fruit. Be sure to schedule a pick up time to ensure fresh produce.
  • Goody Bags – There are a ton of little things that can be used to fill goody bags for school age children. Erasers, key chains squeeze balls and free food coupons are but a few of the options you can find.
  • Miscellaneous – Many corporations have tradeshow giveaways in abundance; ask about these when following up with a phone call.