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Using Trivia for Fundraisers

Using Trivia for Fundraisers

If, like myself, you have been playing Trivia for some time then chances are you will have attended a charity fundraising event.  Indeed, you may also have hosted such an event which is a lot trickier than it may seems. However, with bags of experience I can hopefully provide you with a few basic tips to ensure effective use of Trivia for fundraisers.


First and foremost let us understand one thing. A Trivia fundraiser event is not your normal trivia occasions. Chances are it’s a one off, with much bigger venues and many more teams involved. It requires extra preparation and planning there is no doubt. You cannot effectively put together a trivia fundraising event in a matter of minutes. It needs weeks if not months of preparation. One major difference is you may be doing the event unpaid and therefore you are working for a good cause and I have found in the past this to be very inspiring and creative which has led to be spending much more time on a typical fundraiser trivia event than on a usual trivia night.


The planning begins with looking at a number of things. What technology is available? Can you play music? Will you have a screen etc etc? All this needs to be considered well in advance so you can start to put together the all important trivia questions. Then you need to consider the charity itself and the nature of the fundraising. Make sure questions are appropriate and you know what the cause is.

I don’t want to pressure you at all but if you are running a charity fund raising night then the people are relying on you to raise money and ensure people have a good time. The more people enjoy themselves the more people will donate. Provide extra events, prizes and quizzes and you will see the donations flock in. Provide boredom and the players will keep their money in the pockets and head home as soon as the event finishes.


One step to start considering early is getting prizes from local businesses. Go back to my previous post on how to get prizes for your trivia events and follow the steps mentioned but this time you have the whole charity aspect behind you. I won’t repeat the steps (see previous post) but simply head into local firms and get appropriate and fun prizes for your players. The venue you are hosting at may also be able to provide bottles of wine, spa vouchers or tokens of some sort. Get plenty of prizes!


Then comes to tricky part in devising the trivia. This event is likely to be unlike any trivia you have written before. These aren’t people who are trivia veterans, they maybe aren’t people you attend trivia often and perhaps the appeal is not the trivia but the fund raising element. Remember that….you need to think outside the box. The questions need to be funny, topical, clever or interesting. Trivia questions about chemical elements, capital cities and world leaders may not go down as well here as questions on TV shows, local news and entertainment. Focus your quiz far and wide.


The variety needs to be there as well. This is one type of quiz where you cannot really rely on knowledge of the locals to get you through as chances are you don’t know who is going to turn up. You need to make sure your questions are spread in terms of generational gaps….doing a music round? Then make sure every decade is covered. Including a picture round? Then have questions that granny can answer and others that a school kid may be able to. Variety is key as you don’t want to fatally misjudge an audience and end up presenting 50’s Trivia to a room of students!


Variety needs to come in the rounds as well and there needs to be a good structure. Use anything available, don’t just have the players sitting writing answers as you read out questions…use dingbats, picture clues, anagrams…anything you can to spice up the trivia night. I tend to take the approach of a 20 question picture round, 10 questions on general knowledge, Music Round, 10 questions on general knowledge, Anagrams, 10 questions on general knowledge and a final round of questions. Adds some nice variety and means there is always something to do.


In terms of the prizes, try and make sure everyone wins. Yes give a decent prize to the winner but also have on the spot prizes for people who can guess nearest the mark. Get people on stage and if they get a question…they get a prize. Run jackpots…$1 a ticket…..and  then give out prizes. The more money you raise the better for the charity and the more satisfaction you will have gave the players.


Trivia nights for fundraisers can be tricky but remember to make them  fun, varied and prize filled and you will succeed in your aims.

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