Fundraiser Socials: How-To Guide, Planning Tips & Ideas

Raise More Money & Build Community with Socials

In every crowd, there are people who love to throw parties and events, and there are people who just love to have a good time. Harnessing these party fanatics has turned into a well-loved fundraising program called Fundraiser Socials – fun events that provide a great opportunity to build community AND raise money for your school, church, or group. 

From a Wine & Cheese Party to Holiday Cookie Decorating, to Pool and Cigars or Lunch with the Principal, socials can be any kind of fun gathering you have a community member willing to host. Read on for a simple how-to guide, planning tips, and party theme ideas to kickstart your season of socials!

Fundraiser Social How To Guide, Planning Tips and Ideas

How to Host a Fundraiser Social 

Follow these simple steps to plan your socials:

  1. Decide on your fundraising goals for the quarter, semester, or year.


  1. Ask for volunteers to join your Fundraiser Socials Leadership Committee and have the committee solicit party ideas from the group’s membership. Choose the social events that you think will be most appealing to your member – some smaller gatherings and some larger, some just for kids, some for families, and others adults-only.


  1. Find people who are willing to sponsor or host the social gatherings – this could be a family, a group of families, or a local business owner that’s highly involved in the community.


  1. Determine a reasonable amount to charge for people to attend each event – the typical ticket price range for socials is from $15 to $75 per person. Also determine if the host will be reimbursed for any expenses based on the size and type of social. As examples:


Two families hosting a “Holiday Cookie Decorating Social” for 20 kids may decide to donate all the materials and use the school cafeteria or a person’s home for the event. The ticket price could be on the lower side, say $15 each. 

Another group of families might host an “Ax Throwing and Pitchers Party” for 45 adults at a local brew-pub, getting the venue donated and paying for drink tickets for each person. The ticket price might be higher (say $40 each) to help pay for drink tickets while still making the fundraiser profitable. 


  1. Create a SignUp to collect the ticket money for each social (and to limit how many people can sign up for each event) – it’s easy with our Money Collection feature . Then set up separate SignUps, if needed, for volunteers to support the larger social events.


  1. Publicize and promote your socials at popular activities and events where the majority of your members are likely to attend — like the school carnival, back-to-school night, Friday night football games, group meetings, etc. 


  1. Post links to your socials SignUps on your website, in weekly packets and newsletters, on social media, and print QR code posters for high-traffic areas such as the office and drop-off line.


  1. Have a great time at the parties!


 Socials are awesome because they build community, enhance friendships, and raise lots of money.

Our Spring Garden Wine and Cheese Party for 50 adults at $50 per person raised $2,500 for our school!  

- Laura G., Eanes Elementary PTO Member, TX

Fundraiser Social Planning Tips 

  • Be mindful in scheduling your socials to avoid having overlapping dates, parties on religious holidays, or at times when people are likely to be out of town.


  • Divide and conquer! Ask Leadership Committee members to take the lead on gathering information, recruiting socials hosts, making marketing materials, community outreach, etc.

  • Tap into the resources of your membership and community, as well as free online resources, to cut down on costs. Offer recognition to those who support you.

    • Does someone in your group own a bowling alley, an open field for a bonfire social, or another activity place?

    • Is there a generous benefactor in your community who would be willing to underwrite an event or offer a prime location?

    • Is there a pit master in the crowd ready to barbecue for a crowd?

    • Are there entertainers in your circle of resources that are willing to volunteer their time and services?

    • Are there local businesses interested in donating promotional items and event prizes in exchange for publicity?

    • Use Canva  to make free or low-cost designs needed to advertise your fundraising socials – invitations, flyers, social posts, and more that you can share digitally or print.


  • Event expenses are usually tax-deductible, but if some hosts can’t cover material costs, just deduct them from the funds paid by partygoers.

Fundraiser Social SignUp

Theme Ideas for Fundraiser Socials 

Check out these fun theme ideas that are sure to attract whoever your target audience is – families, sports fanatics, wine lovers, foodies, and more!

  • Wine and Cheese Party

  • Margarita Dinner Party

  • Family Game Day or Night        

  • Art Gallery Tour and Appetizers

  • Bunko Party

  • Mardi Gras Costume Party

  • Holiday Cookie Decorating

  • Ax-Throwing and Pitchers

  • Tennis Lessons and Lunch

  • Family (Roller or Ice) Skating Party

  • 70s Fondue Fête

  • Backyard Washer Tournament

  • Crawfish Boil

  • Pool and Cigars

  • Taste of Spain: Tapas and Sangria Party

  • 90’s Grunge Party

  • Lunch with the Principal

  • Family Golf Outing & Picnic

  • House Concert and Dessert 

  • Ornament Exchange and Brunch

  • Beyoncé Forever Dress Up Dance Party

  • Seder Dinner

  • 'Fun on the Lawn Games' Kids Party

  • Oscars Party

  • Super Bowl Party with the Coach

  • Tamale Making Party

  • Texas Hold’em Poker

  • Backyard Cookout (with line dancing, of course) 

  • Bowling with the Teachers

  • Bingo and Beer

With a full year of socials on the calendar, participants and families who attend your events get to know each other, building community spirit and commitment to your organization. You’ve developed an important new fundraising stream and your group now has a great excuse to party all year!


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