Revving Up For a Fundraising Car Show

When the weather warms, driveways are filled with soapy buckets and chamois as car buffs get their motors running to hit the road for spring.

Car lovers have one thing in common – they love to congregate and show off their prized vehicles. That's why a fundraising car show event is the perfect way to get your community mingling outside.

Even if you can't find enough folks with classic cars, there are people in your community who are proud of their lowered trucks, decked out Honda Civics, and mud-loving Jeeps. Others will just come out to admire the cars, and some might even be willing to bring out their old jalopies if you have a fun category to recognize oldies but goodies on wheels.

There is no doubt that a car show does one important thing. It brings a community together to support a cause. And it offers multiple opportunities to raise money at one event.

Here are our tips for a successful car show fundraiser:

Cater To Your Community

A car show doesn't necessarily need to be focused on classic cars or muscle cars. Instead, customize your event to satisfy your community. A car show should be fun for the whole family. If your neighbors aren't into classic mustangs, then dedicate the day to luxury automobiles such as BMWs, Mercedes, and Range Rovers.

If your crowd is into hogs, then invite the bikers to bring out their Harley Davidson and Honda Goldwing bikes. If your community is eco-friendly, give your event the green stamp and invite people to bring out their scooters, Smart Cars, and bicycles.

Vrrrrroom Venue

A fancy location isn't as important as is a location with a lot of visibility and space. For instance, look to your community's fairgrounds, outdoor stadiums, sports fields, or church parking lots if they afford the room and centrality.

Your venue must have the space to accommodate a large crowd, all the show cars, accessible bathrooms, as well as space for exhibitors and vendors.

Set The Theme

Regardless of whether the theme is classic cars, luxury autos, roaring motorcycles, eco-friendly modes of transport, or country trucks, music will help set the theme for the event. Play some Willie Nelson for your pickup truck lovers, some Elvis Presley for your '50s and '60s convertible aficionados, and some Lynyrd Skynyrd for your hog lovers.

Dress The Part

Get your crowd in the mood by asking your volunteers to dress in period clothing to add some nostalgia to the event. It can be as easy as leather jackets and white t-shirts for a '50s theme, cowboy hats for a monster truck theme, or suits and sunglasses for a luxury car theme.

Remember, you are giving your visitors a trip down memory lane in many instances, so dressing the part can go a long way in creating an authentic feeling.

Food Vendors

A roaring motor sure works up a healthy appetite. Selling snacks is a great way to make some extra money at your car show. If you don't have the manpower to supply your own vendors, make room for external vendors to rent space either for a donation, or a percentage of their sales.

Ticket Sales

The best way to make money at your car show straight out of the gate is through ticket sales:

  • Sell admission tickets
  • Take extra donations at the door
  • Host a 50/50 draw
  • Host a raffle for car cleaning supplies, a free car wash, or even a free car
  • Charge a fee per parking space
  • Offer paid space for swap meet and food vendors

Don't forget about sponsors

Another great way to make some extra cash for your charity is through sponsors, or local companies that will pay for the opportunity to market their services at your event. For instance:

  • Ask a local mechanic or garage to give a workshop on car maintenance, and charge a small fee to attend
  • Ask a local sports team or school to set up and run a car wash throughout the day
  • A local hot dog vendor or coffee shop might be able to set up shop and give your charity a percentage of their sales
  • A local bar might be willing to provide a licensed area where patrons can enjoy a cold one


  1. kenny Maziya says:

    Our orphanage has been invited to fundraise at a car show. We look for ways to fundraise.

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