Tis the Season to Scream for Ice Cream!

You know you can’t resist ice cream on a hot summer’s day. While neither can the average North American. That’s why Ice Cream Social fundraisers are so popular with youth groups, as school and daycare fundraisers, and to raise funds for sports teams.

Kids with Ice Cream

The Ice Cream Social is for any organization with a large base of children in their midst; the very same as the Bake Sale is for organizations with large amounts of senior citizens in theirs—the money!

Just like the Bake Sale, the Ice Cream Social is dual purpose. Yes, it does raise money for your cause, but it also is an ideal way for parents to get involved to get to out and mingle with the other parents in their child’s sports team or youth group.

As you can imagine, throwing an Ice Cream Social is pretty straightforward. You certainly require ice cream, but you will also need to keep in mind the following tips for making your event cool enough to beat the fundraising heat!

Timing is Everything, Even When it Comes to Cones

Ice Cream Socials, or any event involving the organization of parents and kids, will typically work best on a weekend. Why?

Because families have free time over the weekend, whereas during the week they are rushing to and from school, trying to get dinner ready on time and arranging transportation to and from one activity or another.

On a Saturday afternoon, it will be not only easier to find an empty venue to use for your fundraiser (try a school or church), it will also be easier to get the parents and kids out to your fundraiser if they don’t have to contend with work, rushed dinners and team practices.

Location, Location, Location…

I realize your youth group is not the next thing in trendy dining, however if your group doesn't have a building or location to use, you will need to locate a very giving citizen to help.

Before you hit the streets to knock on the doors of your friendly neighborhood small businesses, give the location of your fundraiser some thought.

The most ideal place for an event of this kind would be an ice cream shop or restaurant with a lot of cooler space, but how on earth are you going to convince Ivan’s Ice Cream Palace to open their doors to your fundraiser?

First, pen down a list of possible locations, and then approach them with your idea. Make sure to stress what a great publicity opportunity that this is for their business.

Call the newspaper and local radio station to cover your event—and their sure to get a plug! Also remind them how important the funds raised will be to your organization.

Get the Scope

Sure, you can pay for all of the needed materials and ice cream for your social out of your organization’s funds, but why do that when there are so many gracious sponsors willing to help?

Many local businesses—such as an ice cream store—will be willing to sponsor your event by donating ice cream and cones if you agree to either market their business or split the profits.

For example, Ivan’s Ice Cream Palace might agree to donate all of the ice cream and cones towards your event, if you agree to split the profits 50/50. So for every $2 cone sold, you each get $1.

On the other hand, Ivan may be feeling really gracious and offer up a 2 hour window where all sales go towards your fundraiser—if you agree to use napkins with the store name.

Either way it’s a win-win situation for both parties.

What You’ll Need for an Ice Cream Social

Next up is making sure you have all of the supplies for your fundraising event. Draw up an itemized list with the following:

  • Ice cream cones
  • Recyclable paper or plastic bowls and spoons
  • Ice cream (stick with the basic favorites—strawberry, vanilla and chocolate) or another alternative is to rent a soft serve ice cream machine
  • Napkins
  • Fun toppings—such as mini chocolate cups, chocolate syrup, sprinkles, gummy bears and bananas
  • Chocolate syrup

Most Importantly—Volunteers!

Be sure to advertise your Ice Cream Social, not only with the public you want in attendance, but also with the parents of your group so they can help out during the event. Give one month notice at least, and remind them again 1 week prior to the event in order to ensure that you have enough volunteers.

The best way to enlist volunteers is by sending home a flyer with the kids, putting it on your organization’s website, or putting it in the monthly parent newsletter. Once you have your volunteers, contact them by phone to ensure their attendance.

Scream about Ice Cream!

Lastly, the key to the success of your Ice Cream Social is getting the word out. Contact the local media—newspaper, radio and television—to enlist their help in spreading the word.


  1. Tracey says:

    Who takes on the insurance liability of serving a perishable ice cream product, the fundraiser organizer or the shop that sells the ice cream to the organizer during the event?

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