What are Fundraising Games?
Fundraising games are games played at benefit events to help raise money for your cause. While raffles top the list of auction games, these entertaining activities can range from immersive experiences to classic games of chance.
Games for fundraising events can be played on their own or as part of another event such as a paddle raise, silent auction, or live auction. The goal is to entertain and engage guests while raising more funds.
⚠️ Note: Be sure to familiarize yourself with the rules that govern fundraising games. Check your state/province's raffle licensing laws and your organization's bylaws before running your event.
Why Play Fundraising Games?
💸 Raise More Funds
Every dollar you raise counts. Fundraising games are fun, quick, and easy opportunities to boost giving and raise more. The low price point lets anyone participate and you capture far more donations than your paddle raise, silent, or live auctions alone.
🎉 Boost Excitement
Games of chance boost excitement and raise the adrenaline in the room. That’s why many fundraising games are played alongside auctions or to energize the crowd before bidding! Guests are also more likely to donate if they might win something in the process.
🤝 Engage New Donors
Benefit events are about more than just revenue. They’re also a crucial opportunity to find and nurture new donors. Fundraising games let you collect contact info from participants in a friendly, low-stakes way. After the event, you have a list of potential new supporters to contact!
Best Games for Fundraising Events
The list of games for fundraising events is endless, so we've narrowed it down to 13 proven winners. Browse our easy-to-read categories to find the perfect ideas for your benefit event.
Gala Fundraising Games
In this gala favorite, guests buy a glass of champagne for a chance to win a diamond! To play, attach a small bag to the stem of each glass and place a cubic zirconia inside. Only one bag will include the real diamond. Throughout the night, guests can have their gems "appraised" by an on-site jeweler. This adds an immersive element to the game and highlights the jeweler who donated the item.
Pricing: Price your game at $25 - $100 a glass based on the diamond's value and the cost of the champagne.
Variations: This game can also be played with jewelry such as a diamond ring or earrings.
This game is so popular that it's nearly synonymous with benefit events. Donors purchase tickets before or at your event for their chance to win one of the listed prizes. Prizes should be drawn live at the end of your event to encourage donors to stay throughout.
Pricing: Prices vary based on your fundraising goals and prizes. Use this free raffle ticket calculator to pinpoint your target price.
Variations: This flexible fundraising game can be played at any fundraiser, from galas to bake sales. Tweak prices and prizes to fit your event.
Wine Wall or Wine Pull
This auction game gives donors the chance to walk away with an expensive bottle of wine. To play, wrap up a collection of wines or arrange them so guests can't see the label. Mix in a few premium vintages, then let participants pay to pick a bottle! Even if donors don't win big, they still get to take home their chosen wine.
Pricing: Price at $20 - $25 for one pull. Wines can range in value from $8 to $100, but most should be around $15. The more donated bottles the better!
Variation: Try a ring toss at less formal events. Participants who toss their ring on a wine bottle neck take home that bottle as a prize.
Capture the thrill of Christmas Day in one quick and easy game. To play, wrap your prizes in identical gift boxes and sell each box for a set price. Participants pay to pick a box and win what's inside! Prizes can range from gift certificates to electronics to plane tickets. Be sure to share the prize value and even tease some of the items to grab donor attention.
Pricing: $25 - $100 depending on the prizes.
Variations: You might choose to leave some boxes empty if bigger prizes are at stake. Include a small consolation prize in empty boxes and a note thanking the guest for their generous donation.
Golden Ticket Raffle
In this variation of the classic raffle, guests have a chance to win auction travel packages for the price of just one ticket. The key to this game is to promote and sell tickets pre-event to maximize donor excitement and participation. Print tickets on gold paper or with gold foil to play up the prestige.
Pricing: Price tickets from $50 - $100 for such an extraordinary prize. Sell tickets in advance to make sure you cover your prize cost.
📚 Fundraising Resource
- Discover our free Golden Ticket raffle guide and learn how to raise $10,000 in one evening!
Quick and Easy Fundraising Games
Balloon pop is a fun and easy game for adults or kids! Simply place a numbered ticket/slip of paper inside helium balloons. Participants pay to pop a balloon and claim the mystery prize on their ticket. This is a great way to monetize smaller donations so they don't crowd your silent auction table.
Pricing: Price balloon pops at $5 - $25, depending on the prize value. Prizes can range from a free drink to a $100 gift certificate.
Variations: Sell 100 balloons at $10 each. One contains $100, two $50, and a few more contain $20 or $10. Leave the rest empty to raise $700+.
Selling multiples at your live auction is a quick and free way to turn your winning bid into a goldmine! Start with an appealing consignment prize like a luxury villa escape. When the bidding frenzy reaches the desired amount, offer to sell the trip to any of your bidders at that set price. You've just turned one sale into two, three, or even more!
Pricing: Participation in the live auction is free.
Note: Consignment items are crucial for this game as you must be able to sell your prize unlimited times.
Heads or Tails
This coin toss game gets donors up and into the action before your live auction or main event. Participants start by standing up and signalling their bets by placing a hand on their head or "tail". The emcee flips the coin, and the losing side must sit down. The coin toss continues like this until one player remains to claim the prize!
Pricing: $5, $10, or $15 based on the prize value. Use light-up wristbands or other wearable items as "tickets" to generate interest in other guests.
Last Paddle Up
Your paddle raise is a key element of your fundraiser. Gamify it to raise even more with "last paddle up". In this fundraising game, the auctioneer or emcee calls out pledge amounts. The final paddle still raised at the end of the appeal wins a luxury travel experience.
The catch? Pledges are cumulative, so each dollar amount is added to the last. This game works best at the end of your appeal to wring out those last big donations.
Pricing: No cost to enter. Those who don't win the final prize still donate the total amount pledged.
Low-Cost Fundraising Games
One of the easiest raffle ideas, this fundraising game generates its own prize! To play, simply sell as many tickets as possible, then draw a single winner. The winner takes home half the ticket earnings, while your nonprofit keeps the other half.
Pricing: Price your 50/50 raffles at $1 - $10 per ticket. Sell bundles to encourage more sales (e.g. 1 ticket for $1 or 12 tickets for $10).
This take on the classic fund-a-need features a board of donation squares in rising increments. The game is complete when each space on the board is claimed. To play, set your wishboard in a high-traffic area and have a volunteer collect donations and check off spaces. The game works best with a specific goal, like buying new school supplies for your local elementary.
Pricing: Anywhere from $1 - $200 in increments. The highest amount should be realistic for a single donation and the lowest accessible to anyone.
Variations: Create a fundraising tree. Each leaf is a different dollar amount and guests try to complete the canopy.
Buy It Now Boards
Buy It Now boards are a clever way to sell off donated gift cards and services and leave guests feeling like they've snagged a bargain. Arrange your items in an attractive display that fits your benefit event theme. Prizes and prices should be displayed clearly. A volunteer collects payment/bid numbers and removes the items to create urgency.
Pricing: Price donated gift cards at face value. Price donated services such as dental care, massages, gym memberships, etc. at 30-50% off.
The Green Line
Get your silent auction going with "the green line" or "lucky line". To play, set your item's starting bid and minimum bid increment. Then underline a specific bid amount in green. Whoever bids on that lucky line gets entered into an additional prize draw! This tactic encourages donors to skip straight to the higher bid.
Pricing: Determine your green line by how much profit you want on each item. If your prize is valued at $50 and you want to raise $100, set your green line bid at $150.
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