Eating Al Fresco with a Picnic Fundraiser

When it comes to good school fundraising ideas that will keep kids entertained, some people struggle to find a winning idea. As always, the best fundraising ideas for schools are the ones that keep things simple, can take up the whole day, and don’t run on a tight schedule. What about a picnic school fundraiser?

Picnic

The typical picnic is a bit of an impromptu event as it is. All you really need is a good basket of goodies, a willing picnic partner, and a scenic spot to spread out your meal.

Well, picnic fundraisers for a school charity event are just as easy to organize, and also a great way for parents and kids—pre-school to high school—to enjoy a social afternoon and raise money for their chosen charity organization.

The great thing about a picnic is that it can take place almost anywhere. Indoors, at a school gym or church recreational room, or outside in a garden, park, or school playground are all suitable locations to picnic. The idea is to spread your blanket and share some goodies and you can really do that anywhere you like.

But keep in mind that if you are planning an outdoor affair, you may want to have a backup indoor location in case of poor weather.

How to get the picnic basket rolling:

Creative Invitations

Spend some time on the invites to make them tempting. You can use crate paper for cut and paste, or for larger groups, you can get crafty with some graphic elements on your computer. If this is an open event, you can also post signs with the picnic date, details, and time using the same creative ideas.

Picnic Fee

Decide on a fixed entrance fee for admittance to your picnic. A fixed donation maybe be $5 per family, or the donation of a non-perishable food item for the food bank.

Picnic Fare Donations

If your group is a close community—for example a pre-school class or a school team—you can ask parents to donate items potluck-style. Post a sign-up sheet so parents can offer to bring mom’s famous deviled eggs, or dad’s famous sausage rolls. This will encourage a wide variety of foods so that you don’t end up with ten tuna casseroles and no desserts.

Set A Theme

Ideal picnic themes include “Father and Son” or “Mom and Daughter,” or how about a Teddy bear picnic? Just remember, you want to draw the most participants out as possible, so ensure your theme doesn’t limit your picnic audience. For instance, a “Father and Son” picnic is great for the boys on the football team, but if you have a mixed audience it may exclude girls and their moms.

Picnic essentials:

  • Name tags
  • Extra rugs or beach blankets to sit on
  • Picnic music or perhaps a live band
  • Plastic utensils or ask everyone to bring their own
  • Tarps in case it rains or ask everyone to bring an umbrella
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray

A school fundraising picnic that has potential to turn into an annual event could include a variety of the following kid-friendly, fun activities:

Scavenger Hunt

This is a simple game to organize. Provide hunters with a list of things that can be found in the area (for example, flowers, feathers, shells, rocks, etc.). Everyone gets a copy and away they hunt! The winner will be the pair, team, or individual who finds all the items on the list first.

Hot Potato

This game is a real HOT item. Kids and parents can sit in a circle and pass a potato as music plays. As participants continue to pass the item around the circle to the person next to them, the organizer will turn off the music. Whoever is left holding the potato is disqualified. The last person left in the circle wins.

Balloon Toss

Get children or parents and kids to stand opposite each other in pairs at equal distances apart. Each pair tosses a water balloon back and forth, after each throw they take a step back to make things more interesting. As they continue throwing, balloons will break and soak one partner. The winning pair will be the driest and the one with a full, unbroken water balloon.

Egg-and-spoon Race

This is a hilarious event for the parents and kids—especially when paired together. You can even tie their legs together to make it more of a challenge. Each pair gets an egg to balance on a spoon. The race is arranged around a course, and the first pair with the egg still balanced at the finish line wins.

Tug of War

This is a great team event! For instance, team girls vs. boys, the football vs. the basketball team, or teachers vs. the students…and heave ho!

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