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Halloween might be the new best time to throw a fundraiser.  It has become so popular that it only falls behind Christmas for the most celebrated US holiday. 171 million people partook in some sort of Halloween festivity in 2016, spending more than 8 billion dollars! Here are a few ideas for your nonprofit or school to take advantage of the increased spending and celebration wrapped around pumpkin day. (Click here for more Halloween spending trends.)


halloween fundraiser for schools and nonprofits

1. Trick or Treat Facebook Auction

Put a spin on your typical silent auction with an online Facebook auction designed especially for Halloween! While parents are sitting around waiting for trick or treaters to come to their door they can bid on yummy treats more suited to their tastes. Try wine donations, coupons for popular pastry stores, and artisan cheeses.

Facebook works great for silent auctions – all you need to do is establish a coordinator and post auction items on your organization’s page with minimum bid amounts. Set a time for the auction – either on Halloween or during your community’s trick or treat evening. Then send emails, tweets, and messages that the auction will be live for bids on that date during that time. All they do is send a Facebook message to the item they are interested in, with their maximum bid.  When the auction closes, the coordinator sends messages or emails to the winners!

>> A tip is to have multiples of the same item (6 bottles of the same wine donated from your local vineyard, 3 Godiva gift baskets, etc.) so that you have multiple winners for each item. Send out a “second chance” post for any leftover items as well.

For more info on auctions, search for “auctions” in Faccebook’s Help section.)

2. Costume Contest

The best part of Halloween is dressing up. If your school is already promoting a costume day, you can turn that day into a fundraiser easily in one of the following ways:

  • Promote a costume contest for teachers and parents, in the fashion of a 50/50 raffle. Adults enter for a chance to win best costume from a student vote and win half of the entrance fees as a prize.
  • Create different categories for students (scariest costume, silliest costume, most like a character costume, etc.). Find a sponsor to offer prizes for each category, or engage a local foundation to offer scholarships, and charge an entrance fee for students to enter the contest.

Also read: How to Run a Reverse Raffle Fundraiser

3. How Many Candy Corn in the Jar?

Try a simple guessing fundraiser – fill a huge jar with candy corn (or any other candy or fun Halloween item like eyeball bouncy balls or plastic spiders). Place it in the cafeteria, your nonprofit reception area, or other well-visited site.  Charge a dollar per guess of how many items are in the jar. Ask patrons to record their email and phone with their name on their guess sheet. The closest guesser wins! Your prize can be half the entrance fees, the jar itself, or a fun prize donated by a local store.

4. Pumpkin Fundraisers

There are so many options for fundraisers to throw with our favorite orange fruit, including pumpkin picking, jack-o-lantern contests, and pumpkin painting contests. These are all great ideas for kids and families, especially if you can contract a local donation from a farm or supermarket. More about pumpkin fundraisers!

5. Healthy Treats Baking Contest

For a spin on a traditional baking contest, ask students, your nonprofit’s volunteers, or your entire community, to enter a baking contest for the best Halloween healthy treat. Create criteria like no sugar, all-natural ingredients, and locally sourced butter, fruit, and grains. The prizes can be donated by local health food stores or patrons to your cause. Judges should rate the foods based on health value, Halloween spirit, and of course, taste! You can engage a judging panel or ask for taster votes at a bigger event or festival for your nonprofit. (More ideas for a modern bake sale fundraiser.)

Also read: Fundraising Idea: Organizing a Raffle Fundraiser

6. Halloween Dinner for Two Raffle

Halloween is one of the biggest date nights of the year. Raffle off a romantic scary dinner for two, complete with haunted house entrances and spooky movie passes to take advantage! Give your raffle ample time and marketing push on your social media and other outlets to make the most of the event.

Need more ideas? Click over to our 100+ Fundraising Ideas!


Whether small scale or the event of the year, make sure your nonprofit or school is taking advantage of one of the most popular holidays of the year – Halloween!



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