How to Organize a Bowling Fundraiser

by Sofi Soloman

Bowling fundraisers are a popular method for raising money for a cause. Planning, coordination and follow-up are important features of a successful fundraiser, in addition to a committed team of volunteers and supporters. Angela Johnson, community outreach director for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network states that bowling fundraisers have a high rate of success because they involve the whole family. Since bowling is an activity for beginners to professionals, it's easy to divide participants into teams according to skill level for an enjoyable friendly competition.

Recruit participants to collect pledges from friends, family and neighbors. Participants will bowl at the event and receive a predetermined amount of money for each point they score. Designate bonus points for strikes and spares.

Reserve the bowling lanes three to six months before the date of the event. If there is a fee to reserve lanes, wait until you have enough committed supporters to recoup the cost of the deposit in case the turnout is less than expected.

Create a website or webpage to promote the event. You'll increase exposure and you'll also save money on printed materials while promoting your event.

Send a press release to local newspapers, radio stations and television stations three to four weeks before the date of the fundraiser. Community newsletters are also a good resource for publicizing the event.

Send emails to announce your event to potential supporters and participants. Compile the list from friends and people that supported previous events.

Cater snacks and drinks for the bowlers. Offer traditional bowling snacks such as French fries and nachos but also include some healthy snacks like raw vegetables with dip. Save on costs by checking with local restaurants that may be willing to sponsor the event.

Award prizes to participants during the event to add fun and to create more interest. Include prizes for the most strikes, the most gutterballs and the most improved bowler. T-shirts, gift cards and movie passes can be donated by local organizations. In exchange for donations, offer advertising space in your group's newsletter or other printed material. You can also offer promotion on your website or webpage.

Follow up after the event to make sure all pledges are collected and accounted for all of the participants.

Tips

  • Maintain good financial records for tax purposes and provide receipts for contributors. Consult with an accountant or tax attorney for information about tax laws or access free information online provided by the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Send a thank you note to volunteers and supporters after the event. Include a photo of the event for those who contributed in some way but were unable to attend. The small token of gratitude gives the donor a tangible way to enjoy the event and may result in more support for your next fundraiser.

About the Author

Sofi Soloman has worked as a professional writer since 2002 when she co-founded the publication, "T.E.E.N. Volunteer News." In 2007, she published "Culture Exchange: Living Abroad in Latin America." She is currently studying for a Bachelor of Arts degree in intercultural communications at State University New York.

Photo Credits

  • bowling position image by Geoffroy LEME from Fotolia.com