Are you familiar with the term parking lot fair?
It’s every fundraiser’s best friend: the carnival held in your own parking lot. If a business, church, fire station, or nonprofit is trying to raise awareness or extra funds, they typically turn to a fundraising idea.
Parking lot fairs are a great way to raise money using carnival-style gimmicks. Best of all, you don’t have to pay for the space.
While you’ll need to check with the local police about what you can do in your space, you should be able to set up whatever you’d like to create a fair in your own parking lot. You can fill it with activities, food, music, and prizes.
Your parking lot fair should have a few key features.
Have a raffle
Raffles are an excellent way to raise money, especially if you can get some of the prizes donated. If you don’t spend a lot on the prizes, you’ll make a good profit on all the tickets sold. You can choose your own raffle ticket price, but lower prices encourage parents to let the kids get in on the raffle, too. Make sure your prizes are enjoyable, and if possible, raffle off expensive items. Everyone will want to get in a chance to win a TV, and plenty of parents will want prizes such as gift cards, and other items they’d really use and need in everyday life.
The fun of any fair is the activities, so make sure your event is full of fun things to do. Most kid’s activities can be created cheaply, such as a mini bowling game, a rubber duck race, and a cake walk. Of course, you can’t skip two of the most important fair items, bounce house rentals, arcade game rentals, and dunk tank rentals. Kids will beg to go into the bounce house over and over, and they’ll be lining up for the dunk tank the whole time your fair is running.
Have fun food
It won’t be a fair without food. People go to big fairs for the the deep-fried everything and chance to try novelty foods. Look into hiring a vendor or two. You can grill up your own hamburgers and hot dogs, make your own novelty popcorn, and even your own cotton candy and snow cones. The more variety you provide, the more intriguing your fair posters will seem.
Have live music
If you’re gearing your fair at families and kids only, this one won’t be as much of a concern. If you want to draw in all demographics, however, and keep parents entertained while their kids play games, then you should consider hiring a band. Keep the band in a special tent where adult beverages are served to appeal to adults who want to get away from the noise of the kids. If you can pull in both adults with kids and adults without, more will visit your parking lot fair.
Creating a parking lot fair is a lot like designing any fundraiser. You need to stick to your budget and stick to your theme. A parking lot fair, however, is cheap and enjoyable, and you could consider one for your next event.