When you plan a carnival fundraiser, it’s easy to get lost in the details and miss the big steps everyone should take. Having a quick checklist of fundraiser carnival planning steps can save you both time and money.
12 Steps to Plan a Carnival Fundraiser
Skipping any of them can lessen the chance of success. It’s a large endeavor, but easier to manage if you build a great team and take everything one step at the time.
Step 1: Define the Goal of the Carnival Fundraiser. Decide how much you intend to raise and how many people you need to attract to reach that goal.
Step 2: Build your fundraiser carnival team. From the outset, you want to build a team rather than do everything yourself. Assign people you trust to areas such as food, parking, providing entertainment and marketing.
Step 3: Decide where and when to have your carnival fundraiser. Pick the right time to draw the maximum number of people. You’ll want a location that can handle the maximum number of people you expect. Also, have a backup plan in case things don’t work out with the weather.
Step 4: Choose a carnival fundraiser theme. If it’s Fall, think about a harvest or Halloween theme. If it’s spring, think about luau. Many build a carnival fundraiser around the culture of one country, offering decorations and food from that culture.
Step 5: Apply for permits. Most cities and counties require permitting to hold a carnival. Check with them to see exactly what kind of permits are required, such as those needed to sell food or offer rides and inflatables.
Step 6: Evaluate your insurance needs. What type of event insurance do you need for your fundraising carnival? If the carnival is held with a school, the school might have some type of insurance. Consult with party planning professionals to determine what you might need.
Step 7: Establish a budget. At this point, you will know many of the necessary costs. Get a budget down that you can stick to and that will provide guidance for your decisions on what to buy and rent for the carnival.
Step 8: Fund staff for the carnival. You will want to make sure you have enough people to serve food, operate the gates, run the game booths, take tickets, etc.
Step 9: Provide entertainment. These days, you can rent almost every type of ride you need for a carnival, from midway-type games to thrill rides and inflatables.
Step 10: Make a map of carnival grounds. If you throw a big fundraising carnival, provide everyone (especially the kids) with a map so they can find every activity they want to try.
Step 11: Manage the money. Make sure to have a simple system for handling money that does not involve that many people. The fewer hands you have on the money, the less chance of miscounting or mislaying cash (or theft).
Step 12: Consult with professionals. Party professionals can help guide you through making big decisions on the size, entertainment options and other important aspects of your carnival.
Fundraising Carnival Success
Carnivals are a great way to raise money for a good cause. Keep these steps in mind as you move forward with your plan. They’ll keep you on the right track for success with your fundraising carnival.