Bingo fundraising events have been around for decades. That’s because people love to play bingo and charities can earn several thousand dollars in just one evening of bingo. Many nonprofit organizations, clubs and schools have annual basket bingo events. There are some organizations whose basket bingo fundraisers have become so popular and lucrative that they hold basket bingo’s two and three times a year.
While your organization can earn as much as $5,000 for an evening of basket bingo, it does take quite a lot work and preparation behind the scenes to put on one of these fundraisers.
So what is a basket bingo fundraiser?
Basket Bingo is like regular bingo except that the prizes are all baskets. Most often the baskets are Longaberger baskets. The baskets are filled with products such as Longaberger accessories, gift certificates, candles, scrapbooking supplies, beauty products, gourmet foods, etc. Each filled basket can be worth several hundred dollars. This is a big draw for your fundraiser.
The typical basket bingo fundraiser lasts from three to four hours. Holding them on a Saturday afternoon or evening are good times.
The elements of a typical Basket Bingo Fundraiser are:
Admission tickets are usually sold for $20.00 at the door or $18.00 in advance. For this price each participant receives a book of Bingo sheets good for 20 games of Bingo. You an sell extra game books for $5.00 each. Some people will buy extra sheets to increase the odds of winning in each bingo game. You can also have a couple of special bingo games that people pay extra for. You should aim to sell between 100 and 200 admission tickets. If you sell 125 tickets for $20.00 a piece that will bring in $2,500. By holding raffles and selling food during the event you can bring in more money for your organization.
In addition to prizes for each bingo game, you can also hold a raffle of a special prize. You can pre-sell the raffle tickets and sell more during the event for an amount such as $1.00 or $5.00 per ticket. To maximize your earnings you should advertise the prize and presell tickets. Do not require that the winner be present during the drawing. The raffle prize doesn’t have to be a basket but should be a nice prize with a high dollar value. Longaberger wrought iron tables and accessories are good for raffle prizes.
Raffles for monetary prizes. 50/50 raffles are also a good way to raise more money during a basket bingo fundraiser. With a 50/50 raffle, tickets are usually sold for $1.00. At the end of the raffle one ticket is drawn and the winner receives fifty percent of the total amount raised by the sale of the tickets. The other fifty percent of the pot is kept by your organization.
You can also have door prizes that you hold drawings for during the event. Give everyone who purchases a ticket to the event one raffle ticket for each prize. The door prizes are usually small items.
Food and Refreshments
Snack Bars and Concessions. Since the event will last for three to four hours you should have refreshments available for purchase. At some basket bingo events a buffet luncheon is served that attendees pay extra for. You can raise more money by having food donated. You may want to provide one free drink to everyone who purchased a ticket. Bake sales are also good earners during bingo fundraisers.
Professional Bingo Caller and Bingo supplies
A professional bingo caller is recommended because it takes a person with experience and bingo equipment to run a night of bingo. You will also need a master of ceremonies to be in charge of making announcements and keeping the activities moving.
The Prize Baskets
You will need to have a unique gift basket as a prize for each game of bingo. Longaberger baskets are good to use because they are collectible. There are a lot Longaberger basket collectors who might not otherwise be bingo players but will come to your event for a chance at winning a basket. Many Longaberger baskets are also created with a purpose so filling them with items based on a theme is easy. In order to make money on your fundraiser the baskets and prizes should be donated. YOu can contact a local Longaberger sales representative who can sell you the baskets and give you advice on how to fill them. Raising the money to buy the baskets, or getting them donated, and filling them will take time and money. If your organization is a school you can assign each class a basket theme and ask the families of the students to send in items to fill the baskets.
Realistically it will take a couple of months of work in order to hold a basket bingo fundraiser. You first need to decide if you will be able to assemble of team of volunteers willing and able to do it. After you have assembled your team then you have to get the word out that you need donations of baskets, money, and prizes. You also need to select the venue and date for the fundraiser. Then you will be well on your way to a successful basket bingo fundraiser.
Article by Amy Passmore of DIYFundraising.com.
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