Fundraising can be challenging at times. Yet, there’s a game that can bring people together to have fun while generating significant funds for nonprofits: Bingo! So, if your nonprofit is wondering how to organize a fun, memorable, and lucrative event, keep reading to learn more about bingo fundraisers.
A Bingo fundraiser is an event run by a nonprofit organization where participants play bingo for a chance to win prizes while raising money for a cause. It leverages the excitement of the game to engage attendees and drive donations.
Bingo is universally loved for many reasons. It’s simple, requires almost no skill, and can be enjoyed by all age groups. The thrill of nearing a win and shouting “Bingo!” coupled with the spirit of supporting a cause, makes bingo fundraisers a top choice for many charitable groups.
Kickstart a successful bingo night with a solid plan. Follow these five simple steps to ensure your bingo fundraiser is both enjoyable and profitable.
- Set Clear Fundraising Goals: Determine how much you aim to raise and decide on the number of participants you’ll cater to. This will help you determine how much to charge for bingo cards.
- Choose a Venue: Whether you’re hosting it in a community center, school gymnasium, or virtually, ensure it’s accessible.
- Get Your Supplies: Source or create bingo cards, markers, a bingo cage with balls, and a microphone for the announcer. Find enticing bingo prize ideas to motivate participation. Consider selling drinks and refreshments to raise more.
- Decide on Ticket Pricing: Consider how much to charge for bingo fundraiser tickets, keeping your target audience and fundraising goals in mind. Bingo nights are generally casual events with an accessible price point.
- Recruit Bingo Players: Now that you have everything lined up, it’s time to get the word out. Bingo is a fun game for friends and family to play together, so sharing on social media is a great way to spread the word.
Elevate your bingo night from basic to brilliant! Consider these tips to add a touch of fun and boost engagement.
- Introduce Thematic Rounds: Think of themed game ideas like “Summer Beach Bingo” or “Halloween Spooktacular Bingo.”
- Find Engaging Announcers: A lively announcer can make or break the event.
- Play Music: Between rounds, keep the energy up with some catchy tunes or other entertainment.
- Interactive Breaks: Host raffles and quizzes between bingo rounds to keep the audience engaged.
Raise your bingo game with these inventive twists. Here’s how to ensure a memorable and successful event.
- Special Cards: Offer golden bingo cards at a premium, which might have better prize odds.
- Door Prizes: Everyone loves unexpected winnings, so keep some of your prizes for door prizes and raffles.
- Food and Drinks: A little snack can go a long way. Consider selling or including refreshments to keep people around and raise more.
- Sponsorships: Local businesses can sponsor prizes, cards, or rounds, offering them publicity in return.
Why not incorporate some popular themes to make your bingo night a hit? Here are a few examples:
- Holiday Bingo: Christmas, Easter, or Valentine’s themed cards and prizes work well.
- Retro Bingo: Dive into the ’70s, ’80s, or ’90s with appropriate music and décor.
- Movie Night Bingo: Replace numbers with famous movie quotes or character names.
Prizes can be the game-changer of a successful bingo fundraiser. Check out some of these popular rewards to get your participants excited about bingo night.
- Gift Baskets: Gift baskets are a great way to combine smaller prizes. Theme them around holidays, hobbies, or local products.
- Gift Certificates or Vouchers: Think spa days, movie tickets, or a dinner at a local restaurant. Businesses make in-kind donations to help your cause and bring new people through their doors.
- DIY Kits: Baking, crafting, or gardening kits can be a hit with many audiences.
- Customized Merchandise: Branded T-shirts, mugs, and hats will excite supporters and allow them to promote your cause to the world.
- Cash: Many groups offer cash bingo prizes to draw in a crowd.
For more ideas, take a look at our 30+ Best Prize Ideas and How to Get Them Donated.
Creating an effective fundraising bingo card or board is crucial to your event’s success. There are two types of bingo cards. One is a 5×5 grid for 75-ball Bingo, largely played in the U.S. The other uses a 9×3 grid for U.K. style Housie or 90-ball Bingo.
Here’s a simple outline to help your nonprofit design a bingo card:
- Size: A standard bingo card (used by US charities) has five rows and five columns of numbers.
- Free Space: The center square is typically a ‘free’ space, and you can place your organization’s logo here.
- Theme: If your fundraiser has a theme, incorporate related visuals or colors.
- Numbers or Phrases: Traditional bingo cards have numbers, but themed events might replace them with related phrases or images.
- Back: Utilize the back of the card for event details or shout-outs to sponsors.
Download a Free Fundraising Bingo Board Template
Click on and image below to open the Google Doc. Then click File->Download to make a copy then edit as necessary.
Bingo fundraisers are more than just a game night. They’re an experience, a community gathering, and a successful fundraising method rolled into one. Plan, theme, and execute your bingo fundraiser enthusiasm, and you’re sure to host a memorable and profitable event.