15 Charity Event Ideas That Are Fun for the Whole Family

family excited


With summer coming to an end and school just around the corner, now is a great time to consider family-friendly charity event ideas. From movie nights to cook-offs to karaoke nights, there is a world of possibilities for families to enjoy while raising money. Keep reading to discover these and other fundraising event ideas that can help you raise awareness and funds while connecting with your community.


1. Create a Scavenger Hunt

You can localize scavenger hunts to a nearby park, or across an entire town. It doesn’t cost much to set up clues and place them strategically. Families can sign up and pay a fee to participate and even solicit additional donations from sponsors if desired. If you want to engage an even wider audience, consider hosting an online scavenger hunt or hybrid event.


2. Plan a Family Field Day

Brainstorm a list of events such as a three-legged race, potato sack race, family vs family tug of war, water balloon catch, obstacle courses, and more. You can break people into teams, let them choose their teams, have groups compete as a family, or even pit parents against their children. A small fee to participate or for each event can help raise funds, as can concessions, raffles, or sponsorships.


3. Hold a Costume Contest

Kids love costumes and rarely get enough chances to show them off. Consider holding a costume contest, complete with prizes and different entry brackets (kids vs adults, or princesses vs superheroes, for example). You can choose to make the event themed (Dungeons and Dragons, anyone?) or completely open!


costume contest


4. Host a Craft Party

Crafts are a great way to express creativity and engage families and children. Encourage participants to bring supplies, ask for donations, or clear out that collection of fabric swatches in their closets. You can raise money by charging fees, selling concessions, or even auctioning off participants’ creations at the end.


5. Host a Cook-off

Everybody loves to eat, so why not make it fun and fruitful? You can base the event on a particular dish–chili, ribs, or mac-and-cheese–or make it completely open. Baked goods are also an option. You can charge admission and sell beverages and side dishes to raise additional funds as well. 


6. Create a Kids vs. Parents Trivia Night

Make your own trivia questions or purchase a few premade trivia game card sets. Make sure there are plenty of kid-friendly questions that parents might not know the answer to, such as, “Who is PewDiePie?” And then throw a bone to the parents with questions like, “Who sang the 90’s hit song “Smells Like Teen Spirit”?”


7. Host a Family Game Night

Games offer an excellent opportunity for families to connect (or engage in fun conflict) with each other. You can pit family against family, or leave it wide open for anyone to participate. You can choose specific games (such as family Clue night) or let everyone bring their favorite games from home to participate. Charging a small entry fee along with selling concessions can raise additional funds. Consider contacting local businesses to donate prizes as well.


8. Hold a Lock-in

Families love visiting places like the local library or recreation center during regular business hours. But you can up the fun even more by locking them in overnight. These places take on a new mystique during off-hours that can be a lot of fun. Lock families in the library overnight. Have them bring snacks, sleeping bags, and flashlights to explore the stacks and find some great stories in the dark. Accept donations for participating, or have participants raise funds from sponsors


9. Host a Family-Friendly Concert

Invite local musicians to share their music with families at an outdoor event to end the summer. Concessions, swag, admissions fees, and donation boxes can bring in the funds while the band or bands bring in the fun. 


family  concert


10. Host a Movie Night

Movie nights work great as well and can be held at local community centers, schools, or even outdoors, weather permitting. Choose something kid-friendly that parents might also enjoy and invite participants to bring blankets and pillows. Selling popcorn and soda is a great way to bring in additional funds as well. 


11. Plan a Carnival

If done right, carnivals can be relatively inexpensive to put on and yield a great turnout. If you know someone with farm animals, consider including a petting zoo. Lots of simple games like ring toss or fishing for prizes can be a hit. And if you have a local community member such as a school principal or even the mayor willing to climb into a dunk tank, your organization can make a bank at $1 a toss. 


family at carnival


12. Hold a Talent Show

Many kids and adults alike love to show off their talents. And if it’s for a good cause, all the better. Invite participants to enter for a nominal fee, and accept donations from spectators. Contact local businesses for prizes and let the audience vote on winners. 


13. Plan a Karaoke Night

Perhaps for those who are less talented, a karaoke night might beat a talent show. Who doesn’t love to sing to their favorite songs? It’s even more fun if families sing together, or if children have the opportunity to mock their parents’ rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody.


14. Hold an Active Families Challenge or Competition

Raise funds by encouraging families to stay active. Create an active families challenge by either making a list of activities or even a Bingo card with things such as going on a 2+ mile hike, swimming in the local lake, or having a family dance party. Participating families can pay a nominal fee to participate or help raise additional funds by obtaining sponsors and filming their exploits.



15. Host a Pancake Breakfast

It’s difficult to find a family that doesn’t agree that pancakes are the ultimate breakfast food. A pancake breakfast is a great way to bring people together and raise awareness. Pancakes are also fairly inexpensive and easy to make. You can even beef up a pancake breakfast with additional food items, entertainment, or a visit from a local celebrity.


Where to Take These Charity Event Ideas Next

If you want your next fundraising event to go off without a hitch, it helps to have the right tools on board. In this modern era, that means adopting the right fundraising software to help power your charity events, increase engagement, and even process payments. FrontStream is an all-in-one digital fundraising platform for managing, planning, processing, and promoting events. Best of all, it’s intuitive, secure, and scalable. Talk to us today to learn more.

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