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Tips & best practices

8 Ways to Make Your Next Fundraising Event Kid-tested, Parent-approved!

August 9, 2022

Make your next fundraising event fun for the whole family.

As grown-ups, sometimes the idea of making our nonprofit fundraising events kid-friendly can leave us scratching our heads. But creating a fun and engaging atmosphere for the youngest guests at your next fundraiser doesn’t have to be difficult. Let’s take a look at some ideas you can include in your next event to make it fun and memorable for the whole family!

1. Face painting!

Animals, cartoons, superheroes – the possibilities are endless! The kids at your event will love to pretend to be one of their favorite characters while their parents participate in the fundraiser. You can designate a couple of your more artistic volunteers to set up a face painting station at the event and take turns painting faces. You will want to be sure that you have enough supplies on hand that paint brushes can be properly washed and disinfected between uses. Don’t forget to select paint types that are non-toxic and safe for sensitive skin.

2. A treasure hunt.

Keep the kiddos occupied for hours with an organized scavenger hunt! If you have a lot of outdoor space available to you at your event, hide objects around the property, and create a treasure hunt story or treasure map that will lead the little ones on an adventure to find the hidden items. For added fun, you can give a prize to whoever finds the greatest number of items.

3. Story time. 

A fun, alternative way to approach story time is to create an interactive storytelling experience.  Find a fill-in-the-blank story online, bring a Mad Libs game, or even create your own story. Once you’re with your group, ask the kids for words you can use to fill in the empty spaces. When you have all of the words you need, read the story aloud. The kids will love hearing the one-of-a-kind story that they helped write!

4. Inflatables. (Obviously.)

Everyone needs to release a bit of energy sometimes, and kids are definitely no exception. By renting an inflatable bouncy house, slide, or obstacle course, you can create an environment that is both active and fun. You will want to make sure that the inflatables are carefully monitored and rules regarding maximum use, height, and weight restrictions are being respected. You want kids to have fun, but to do so safely and under plenty of supervision!

5. Food trucks.

It’s a pretty well-known fact that kids go crazy for ice cream trucks. But how about an alternative that engages local businesses, and provides yummy treats for the whole family? For your next family fundraising event, partner with local restaurants or food trucks. Ask them to come to your event to sell meals, snacks, and desserts to your guests. You may even be able to convince some of them to donate a portion of their proceeds to your cause!

6. A photo booth!

The vintage photograph aesthetic is back and more popular than ever. This means that you can make your next event kid-friendly while taking advantage of the vintage instant print camera trend and create your own photo booth. You will need to provide a background – which can be blank or have your event’s branding on it, an instant  print camera, and props, such as hats, glasses, costume jewlery, and more for guests to take silly pictures together. If your budget allows, you could even rent a photo booth for the day of your event. In either case, your youngest guests will love to play dress-up and share their printed photos with their friends!

7. A make-a-mess craft station.

Another way to keep your youngest guests entertained at your next fundraising event is to set up a craft station. There are a few different ways to approach this. First, you could set up a self-serve craft station with different supplies, such as colourful paper, markers, glitter, and so much more. Kids will love to let their imaginations run wild and create unique artwork to take home with them. Another option is to lead a craft workshop. You can provide the craft supplies needed for the project, and ask a volunteer to lead guests as they tie-dye t-shirts, build a birdhouse, and more!

8. Kid-friendly performers.

Kids love to be entertained by performers like musicians, jugglers, magicians, and so many others. Chances are, you have local performers in your area who would be happy to come to your event and provide entertainment for your younger guests. You may even be able to convince them to donate their time and talent during your fundraising event as a way to support your cause!

For more inspiration, check out these fundraising ideas for Schools or these 95 things to sell for school fundraiser.

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