Food will never go out of style. People always want nibbles at an event and food can be a way to celebrate the cultural and social sphere of your community. You can use food to bring people together, create an atmosphere where supporters can mingle over snacks and drinks, and raise money.
Below we’ve got 11 food fundraiser ideas that will do just that for your NPO!
Although activities, entertainment, and speeches are important parts of the event, the dinner ranks high on the priority checklist. If you offer good food at your galas, your organization will be known for this and your events can become renowned food affairs.
Almost on the other end of the scale is a community potluck. Unlike a gala dinner, this is a more casual, almost patchwork-style meal. Community members and volunteers bring dishes to add to the event. This becomes a diverse meal that can represent the mix of people and backgrounds in your community.
To raise funds, those who do not bring a dish can buy a meal ticket. You can also put together a recipe booklet of the different dishes and sell it to attendees.
Few can resist a good breakfast. Think pancakes, bacon, sausages, eggs, the works! Whether hosted in the morning or as a breakfast for lunch or supper affair, you’re sure to get healthy support for breakfast foods events.
Beyond the traditional breakfast, your menu options can also include pastries, coffees, teas, fruit and trail mixes, and more.
Who can resist a little friendly competition as well as a chance to show off their cooking skills? We know we couldn’t.
There are many ways you could run a cook-off and various methods to gather funds from the event. For example, you could have a barbeque or chili cook-off and sell admission tickets to the contest. Attendees can also pay to taste each entry dish or buy a general ticket to taste all dishes.
Cook-offs can have a theme like Asian-style cooking or street food based on a cuisine type rather than a kind of food. Get creative with this food fundraiser idea and adapt it to your community and its favorite cuisines.
Another food fundraiser concept that can pump the adrenaline for participants is an eating contest. Decide on a food that participants can compete in eating like hotdogs, burgers, pizza, ice cream, etc. You can also hold drinking contests like milkshake drinking or, for adults, beer chugging.
Collect funds from entry tickets and audience admission fees. People can also place friendly bets on who they think might win and stand to win their own prize if they bet correctly.
Muffins, cakes, pastries, cupcakes… Bake sales are a well-loved food fundraising idea. You can set up a table at your local park, at community sports events, school days, and more. Or you can run them much like a food market with stalls for different sellers or local cafes and bakeries.
Baked goods markets are just one type of food market you could host. You could also host farmer’s markets, inviting local food manufacturers and farmers to sell their produce. This is a fantastic idea if you live in an agricultural community as you can run the market often (i.e.: every two weeks).
Stalls can sell fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs, canned or jarred products like jams and honey, and more. They can also sell foods and snacks made from their harvests. Paired with live music and children’s games, this can be a wholesome family day out that many will spend money to attend and set up a stall at.
Food truck markets can be an exciting food fundraiser idea for your organization. And they don’t require too much organization – or cooking! – from your team. All you have to do is organize an outdoor venue, like a parking lot or park, by getting a permit. Then, you just find at least six different food trucks, that serve varying cuisines, to attend. That’s about it!
Add a speaker playing music for the crowd, a few seating areas, and some fairy lights for ambiance if your event is happening in the evening. And voila!
This is a great idea for NPOs like sports clubs or schools as you can arrange it to complement your other events that will already be happening.
Collaborate with local restaurants for a one-night or weekend community dine-out. Your job is to hype up the event and bring as many people to the restaurant/s on the agreed upon day/s. This can get more business for the restaurant than usual. You can then get a percentage of the event’s profits in exchange for your efforts.
Another partnership you can make is with a local cooking school or local chef. Ask them to host a cooking class for charity. You can split the proceeds or have all proceeds go to your charity organization.
Many people would love an opportunity to elevate their culinary skills, especially with the help of a professional. Schedule this as a once-a-month event that can draw interest to the cooking school’s causes or the local chef’s restaurant.
It might not really be a food but everybody loves a good glass of wine and many food fundraiser ideas capitalize on this.
Host a wine pull where guests pick a random bottle for a flat fee. Have wine pairings with meals or charcuterie boards. Or, run a wine-tasting contest where people must guess the varietals or notes. Combine these and other activities for a grape-filled wine extravaganza!
Whether you have a vast team or just a handful of people and a small budget, you can find something for your organization on this list. And many of these are ideas that you can turn into local traditions by hosting them once or twice monthly or seasonally.
So, get into foodie fundraising today for events that can bring regular revenue into your nonprofit organization.