A game show event modeled after one of the popular game shows is perfect for a fundraising event! For a fun and successful evening that raises lots of funds, select a game show that has been popular and can easily be recreated. The game should also allow several people to participate.
To raise money, sell tickets to your event that allow people to participate, have raffles, or have individuals raise money before the event. To maximize your profits, consider also selling food, t-shirts, having a silent auction etc. (Also read 100 Fundraising Ideas)
To draw lots of people, offer attractive prizes, door prizes, loser prizes, and fun penalties for wrong answers. Prizes can be solicited from local businesses in return for advertisement alongside the event.
1. Name That Tune Fundraiser
If your fundraiser event will be attended by people of all ages, “Name That Tune” would be a good choice. Gather music CDs or use an iPod, tablet or smart phone loaded with songs and follow the instructions below, and you’ll be ready for an evening of fun for everyone.
You will need:
- A CD Player, iPod, tablet or smart phone
- A variety of songs from different artists and eras (digital or CD)
- Prizes (You might be able to get various businesses to donate)
- Microphone (optional for the host)
- Choose a theme: The best theme for the music might be the type of music most of the audience would be familiar with. It could be old time rock and roll, music of well-known theater shows, country music or recent popular music.
- Plan for the length of time you will dedicate to the game show. Most likely, 20 to 30 songs would be enough. For a short period of time, you could try “Top 10 Name That Tune”. Select some of the most popular songs of all time.
Evening of the event:
- Divide the audience into at least two teams. A number of teams may add to the fun and excitement of the evening.
- Play just a few seconds of each song at a time.
- The first team to call out or raise their hands will get a chance to answer. If their answer is incorrect, move on to other teams.
- Each team that gives a correct answer would get one point. Assign someone to tally the points of the teams. At the end of the game, the team with the most points wins.
- Give prizes to the winners. You might have a first, second and third prize. The prizes can either be donated by businesses before the evening or just small, inexpensive ones.
(Note: This type of fundraising event may trigger public performance copyright issues. Read here for more info.)
2. Jeopardy Fundraiser
Jeopardy has won the most daytime Emmy Awards of TV game shows and is one of the highest-rated syndicated shows throughout the country. Game show fans and trivia buffs are cult-like fans of the show. How about a Jeopardy game for your next fundraiser?
In Jeopardy, contestants are given a selection of clues in particular categories, and they must answer the clues in the form of a question. The game has two rounds, and there are 30 answers provided for each round. Following the two rounds is one final Jeopardy clue.
Each game round is divided into 6 categories with 5 questions for each category. The questions for each category are progressively harder than the question before. The contestant receives more points for the harder questions.
Don’t assume the audience contestants know the game rules of Jeopardy. Make it clear to them that you will provide answers to questions. Their job is to come up with the question.
Create Categories and Questions
You will need 12 categories for one full Jeopardy game. There should be 5 questions in each category. Each question of a category should be related to the category topic and progressively more difficult. Create a final Jeopardy question. Write down all the questions and answers or use a word processor on your computer to record the questions and answers.
Create Large Jeopardy Display
Make a large display of categories and amounts to win. You can find free Jeopardy templates at Tim’s Printables online. You can use these to model the game displays needed.
Another approach could be to use overhead transparencies. The printable templates can be printed on the transparencies. Correct questions and answers can also be printed on transparencies.
You can also find a Jeopardy game for kids online. This can be used to demonstrate playing the game.
Questions for the game can be found at the following online sites:
New York Times Clue of the Day
3. Wheel of Fortune Fundraiser
In 1975, the Wheel of Fortune Game Show created by Merv Griffin premiered on American television. The show was fashioned after the Hangman game. In this game, contestants solve word puzzles and a spinning carnival wheel determines the cash winnings and prizes the contestants win.
The Wheel of Fortune has been one of the most popular television game shows for 42 years. Surely, your next fundraiser will be a great success by incorporating this game!
Creating the Wheel of Fortune Game
First of all, you will need Wheel of Fortune word puzzles to solve. Amazon offers Wheel of Fortune word puzzles.
These can be copied onto transparencies to display the puzzles onto a screen with an overhead projector.
You will also need a Wheel of Fortune wheel.
- If you’re really ambitious, WikiHow has detailed online instructions for making a wheel with wood.
- The Playtivities online site includes detailed instructions to make a wheel with cardboard.
- Amazon offers a variety of prize wheels.
All three of the above television games have been entertaining TV viewers since the 1970’s and 80’s. With some effort, these games can be created by you for your next fundraiser. They have survived the test of time in popularity, and are games people attending your fundraiser will be most familiar with. Get started now, and be prepared for an evening of fun!