The Charity Hunt Guide for Successful Fundraising

The Charity Hunt Guide for Successful Fundraising

Imagine a fundraising event that combines the thrill of a treasure hunting with the spirit of giving. These types of events are always amazing community builders and can really bring everyone, and their families together. And the best part is these types of events work for almost every single type of charity. Plus they’re fun and if you use some of our entirely unique ideas below, very profitable fundraisers to hold.

Charity hunts are exciting fundraising events that break away from the boring old traditional methods many nonprofits are using today. This makes them ideal for gathering all types of individuals to your events, from families looking for a fun day out to individuals passionate about supporting either your cause or their community as a whole. And with so many different types of people coming to your events, they’re also great ways to spread awareness to your cause and nonprofit while building personal one on one relationships with your guests.

Whether they are charity scavenger hunts, charity treasure hunts, or a spin on the hunting aspect, the amount of ways to make these activities unique and special are only limited by your imagination as you’ll soon see. And since they really are so engaging and active, everyone can get involved in a fun way and play a part, whether it’s planning, setting up, or volunteering on the day of your event.

So we strongly advise you to read our entire article as we’ve included some fun spins on these events that will make them much more unique than the usual information you read on the internet. Plus we’ve added some bonus material on how to manage these types of events more effectively, and most importantly, how to make them as profitable as possible for your nonprofit.

Planning Your Charity Hunt: A Comprehensive Guide

These types of events may seem like they have a lot of moving parts and a bit complicated, but they’re really no harder to plan and run than most other event fundraising  ideas. But of course there are some things that you’ll need to be sure to plan if you want your event to be successful and with the least amount of stress, so we’ll go over each aspect you need to be aware of to guide you.

The very first thing you need to decide is, what you want to achieve with your charity hunts? Are you aiming to raise a specific amount of money? Increase awareness for your cause? Engage a certain number of participants? Or a combination of all of these things. Knowing beforehand what you’re actually looking to achieve will make the planning process a lot clearer and easy to lay out. Plus you’ll have a solid starting point to gauge how successful the event was once it’s over so you can refine your plans for the next one.

Once your goals are set, you need to come up with a theme. A well-chosen theme can make your hunt much more exciting and memorable. Consider themes that resonate with your cause, support base or are simply fun and engaging for everyone. For instance, if your nonprofit is an animal charity, a pet-themed treasure hunt would be fitting, possibly at a dog friendly park. Think about your audience and what would appeal to them by looking at your donor and volunteer base.

The next important aspect of your event is its location. In the example above, a dog friendly park or outdoor space would be perfect for that event. But perhaps you need a building, or a large parking lot, whatever is going to fit your overall needs will need to be considered as you’ll need to rent the space and have adequate parking areas for all the attendees. It should also be a place where everyone can get to as easily as possible. Don’t make the mistake of thinking people will drive two hours out of their way for your event. They most likely won’t! Also, be sure and check if you need any special permits to hold your event at the chosen venue. Parks, community centers, and schools often make great places to hold charity hunts.

The next step is going to rely a lot on what type of event you’ll be doing, or from what angle you plan to go with for the hunt itself. When planning the actual hunt you’re going to need to know what people will be hunting for, and where they will be hunting. Perhaps you want to hold a scavenger hunt that includes multiple places in your community. That means they’ll need a clear map of the area and your spots. They’ll also need to know what their task is at each spot, or what they need to do to move on. Just be sure all activities are safe and suitable for your audience.

This will all be regulated by clear rules of the game. Define who can participate (age groups, team sizes, etc.), establish behavior expectations to ensure everyone has a positive experience, and provide instructions on staying safe during the hunt. Participant engagement is key to the success of your hunt. One thing you can do here is to create a map and rules sheet to hand out to all the participants. If you do, make sure to have your organization’s logo and some information on your cause, mission and how to give, effectively making your handouts marketing material as well.

Once you have a handle on everything thus far, it’s time to start planning how you’ll promote the event. If no one knows about it, no one will show up. So this is a very important step as effective promotion is crucial to attract both participants and sponsors. This means you should be using every marketing channel at your disposal. Channels such as social media, email marketing, and local media are all effective ways to get the word out. Create event pages, share updates, engage with your audience, send newsletters and reminders to your email list, and reach out to local newspapers, radio stations, and even community churches and boards.

Hooking up with sponsors can also help with financial support or prizes, making your event more fun to be a part of. Start by approaching local businesses and explain the benefits of supporting your cause, and offer sponsorship packages with varying levels of exposure and benefits for each sponsor.

On the day of the event, you’ll need to be sure everything runs smoothly by arriving early to set up the venue and ensure all your materials are in place. Having a team of volunteers to help out with registration, guiding the participants, and managing any challenges is going to help you immensely. Pre-assignning tasks to your team can help make sure you have everything covered, and each person clearly knows their responsibilities. You can even hype up your participants by keeping them informed and excited with regular updates, offer prizes for completing tasks, fastest times, or most funds raised, and encourage participants to share their experiences on social media in real time to boost engagement and visibility.

TIP: Take a lot of pictures you can share on social media immediately and with the people in the pictures later so they have a positive association every time they see their picture of their exciting and eventful day!

Once your event is over, you still have some work to do. And it helps if you plan out how you’re going to follow up with participants, volunteers and sponsors before hand. It’s even better if you’re using a nonprofit software solution like PayBee so you can have all your personalized thank you notes to participants, volunteers, and sponsors, communicating the success of the event and how the funds raised will be used all ready to go out automatically on the morning after the event. You can also ask everyone involved to give their personal feedback on the event so you can further tweak your future ones to be even more fun and profitable.

Planning a charity fundraising hunt does require a bit of time and effort, but with careful planning and execution, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience for everyone and even a great team builder for your staff and volunteers. Just follow our guide and you'll be well on your way to organizing a successful hunt that raises funds and awareness for your cause. Happy hunting!

Creative Themes for Charity Fundraising Hunts

The beauty of charity hunts is you can create a hunt using any theme you can dream up. The more exciting the theme, the more people you’ll have involved which of course equates to more money raised for your cause. But just to give you some ideas to work with, we’ve included a list of some terrific charity hunting ideas to get your imagination going. Use them as they are, or combine them to create something new. The choice is yours.

The Bargain Basement Scavenger Challenge 

Don’t let the name fol you, just because it says bargain that doesn’t mean cheap. And we’ve never seen anyone write about this sort of fundraiser before and we feel it is quite unique and very powerful. This one will take a longer planning time as there are two parts, but it’s woth the work as this is a super exciting way to get people really involved, and create a lot of donations for your charity!

The idea here is two fold. The first part of the event is securing people that would be willing to pledge a small sum to your charity, between $20 and $100 USD is a great amount. These people can be anyone involved in your charity already, or anyone who wants to get involved. Once you have your set number of people, you give them one week to spend their pledged donation on anything they want to either make or buy to be sold at auction later.

The second part of the event will be a public charity gala or auction event where you’ll auction off all the participants entries after the one week. The exciting part is this becomes a competition as each contestant who has made purchases or made something will compete against everyone else to see whose goods bring in the most money at auction! So even though your event is really a week long challenge, there is only one real day that everyone needs to be present.

And you can continue promoting the auction the entire week, even sharing people’s finds if they decide not to keep them secret. And everyone will be buying or making different items, so your actual auction should appeal to all sorts of people, and they’ve been hearing all about the items and event for a whole week. What a build up!

And just to give you a few ideas to share with your competitors, think second hand stores, flea markets, garage sales, even using platforms like eBay to find the best bargains for the lowest prices in order to make the most for your organization. Or making gift baskets, art, or whatever they think will sell the best and win the competition.

You’d be surprised how much people like to bargain shop or find something worth a lot more than they paid. People actually enjoy this stuff. And people are competitive. This basically means you’re asking people to do what they enjoy while benefiting greatly from what they’re passionate about. What could be a more win-win?

Now it helps to include some great prizes for your contestants. It would be great if you could get a sponsor to offer something like a 3 day cruise or a full spa day for the top performers. After all, winning should mean more than just bragging rights.

Don’t forget that a platform like PayBee can handle offline auctions, and make an offline auction online in order to get the most attendees as possible, greatly improving your chances of bringing in some serious donation money. Plus we can help you plan, manage and even follow up after your event. Just try our demo to see all we can do for your nonprofit. It doesn’t cost anything and it’s hassle free!

Historical Quest

This could be a great idea for something like a local history museum, heritage foundations or historical preservation organizations. Participants are taken on a journey through time, visiting historical landmarks and solving puzzles related to the area's history. This theme is often a hit because it combines education with adventure, attracting history buffs and families alike.

The key to its success is the careful selection of interesting and educational landmarks, coupled with engaging storytelling that brings history to life. If you're using maps for these, one thing you can do is to ask each participant to include an interesting fact on each place they visit, then ask them which place they liked the most at the end.

Superhero Challenge

Another innovative idea is the "Superhero Challenge," where participants dress up as their favorite superheroes and embark on a mission to save the day. This theme is especially popular with families and children, as it adds an element of fantasy and excitement. Themed challenges can include physical activities like obstacle courses, mental puzzles, and acts of kindness that mirror the traits of superheroes.

One charity that supports children’s hospitals used this theme to great effect, not only raising substantial funds but also providing a day of joy and empowerment for the young participants.

Great Scavenger Mystery Detective

The "Great Scavenger Mystery Detective" theme is perfect for those who love a good puzzle. Inspired by detective novels and crime shows, participants take on the role of sleuths, solving a series of clues to uncover a mystery. This theme works well because it taps into people's natural curiosity and love for problem-solving. A nonprofit focused on crime prevention and safety could use this theme, incorporating real-life crime-solving techniques and partnering with local law enforcement to create an authentic and thrilling experience.

Leveraging Technology to Successfully Fundraise During Your Hunt

Using technology in your charity scavenger hunts or treasure hunts can significantly enhance the experience for not only you and your team, but even for the participants. Using digital tools and apps like PayBee and other fundraising platforms not only makes the process smoother but also helps boost engagement and fundraising goals.

Utilizing Digital Tools and Apps

The right digital tools and apps can streamline the planning, execution, and management of your charity hunt. These technologies offer various functionalities that help you engage participants, track progress, and even manage event logistics efficiently. For example, using a full suite software like Paybee you and your team can keep track of all your notes, communicate to your team, assign tasks and keep records of donations and agreements with venues and service providers all from one easily accessible dashboard.

Mobile Apps for Engagement

Mobile apps are a game-changer for charity hunts, especially since more and more people access everything right from their smartphones or tablets. Using apps you’re able to provide real-time updates, interactive maps for your hunts, and instantly communicate with your participants if you need to. For example, certain apps can display the scavenger hunt map, list the challenges that need to be completed, and allow participants to check off items as they find them. This not only keeps participants engaged but also makes the hunt more interactive and fun. You can even have a live leaderboard so everyone in the competition knows where they stand every second of their quest.

Live Tracking and Updates

Live tracking is another valuable feature offered by technology. With GPS-enabled apps, you can monitor the location of your participants in real-time, always making sure they’re safe and on course, and providing instant updates on their progress. This feature can also help create a competitive atmosphere, as participants can see how they rank and where they are compared to others. PayBee’s solutions include features that allow real-time tracking and updates, which can be excellent for keeping participants engaged and informed throughout your event.

Enhancing Fundraising with Technology

Technology also plays a major role in enhancing fundraising efforts during your charity hunt. Tools that offer a seamless donation process that can be accessed anytime during the event can be an easy way to receive more donations. Participants can use their mobile devices to donate directly through the app, making it easier for them to contribute to your cause. Additionally, integrating social media sharing options can boost the visibility of your event in real time and encourage more people to participate and donate as well.

Leveraging technology in charity hunts can transform your event from a simple scavenger hunt into an engaging, interactive, and highly effective fundraising activity. And the best part is most of this technology is low cost and easy to use by both your team and your supporters. By using digital online platforms solutions and apps, you can improve participant engagement, streamline your event management, and even enhance your fundraising efforts all from one dashboard. Platforms like PayBee offer the perfect solution for nonprofits looking to integrate technology seamlessly into their events. Just try our demo and see how we can help you today.

Q&A: Leveraging Charity Hunts for Fundraising

  1. How can charity hunts benefit a nonprofit organization? Charity hunts can raise funds, increase awareness for their cause, and engage a diverse group of participants which can greatly expand their support base and increase the amount of potential donors. They offer a fun, community-building experience that can attract families, individuals passionate about the cause, and new supporters and they can work for any type of nonprofit organization.
  2. What themes work well for charity hunts? Themes that resonate with your cause or are universally appealing can make the event more exciting. Examples include "Eco Adventure" for environmental nonprofits, "Historical Quest" for history-focused organizations, and "Superhero Challenge" for children’s charities.
  3. How do I select a location for a charity hunt? This will have a lot to do with what type of hunt you’re doing. But your location needs to be easily accessible and close by, safe, and appropriate for your theme and participants. You can consider using parks, community centers, churches or schools. Always be sure there’s adequate parking for the participants and your team and check if special permits are required for your chosen location.

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Bill Allen

Bill Allen is an expat that has been travelling the world for the past 25 years. He received his MA in writing in New York too long ago to remember, but has been writing on all sorts of subjects far varied publications ever since. When he isn't writing he enjoys meditating and working on his own website, UpscaleDrinks.com. Feel free to connect with him any time.

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