Looking to spice things up at your next event? Games are a great way to raise additional funds, entertain, and keep guests engaged through participation. Raffles and wine pulls are familiar, but we’ve broken down a few more to help jog new ideas.

Guests must buy-in to participate, and then everyone stands before an announcer or auctioneer, who calls the first coin toss. Guests place hands on head to represent “heads” or backside to represent “tails”. Those who predicted the toss correctly remain standing and those who did not sit down. The game continues with guests changing their prediction and the announcer tossing the coin until only one person is left standing. That person is the winner!

Also known as a wine grab or cork pull, guests can purchase a ticket to select a pre-wrapped bottle of wine, which is displayed on a table with all the solicited bottles. It’s best to collect mostly $15 to $25 bottles with a few more expensive ones mixed in. Guests randomly select a bottle to take home in the hopes it may be worth more than the amount of the ticket. Wine shopping for a good cause!

Similar to a wine pull, there are pre-wrapped gifts chosen by your community, such as gift certificates, small electronics, apparel, etc. Guests pay a preset amount for each box and enjoy the surprise of discovering a fun gift inside.

Also known as a wishing tree or giving tree, the wish list allows guests to make donations at various levels or branches. Organizations and schools use this visual to raise funds for a specific cause. It’s a way for guests to see exactly what the money is going toward, especially if this is visually displayed on the tree. Giving trees can be physical displays or digital on GiveSmart’s platform.

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Not for the faint of heart, and probably best for outdoor events, a balloon pop involves placing a number in each balloon and allowing guests to pop their balloons. Guests pay to participate, pop the balloon, then find the prize or gift corresponding to their number. Prizes can be collected immediately or at checkout.

Another game for wine lovers! Guests purchase a ticket for a chance to toss a ring around a wine bottle. If they make it then the wine is their prize. A variation includes selling different levels of tickets for closer distances to the bottles or for multiple toss opportunities.

Organizations sell tickets on their GiveSmart site, from a bidding assistant with an iPad at the event, or at a designated table at the event. Guests place their tickets in a bowl or container before the drawing later in the evening.

Tickets can also be sold leading up to and at the event, but no physical ticket stubs are distributed. The winner is selected digitally from a randomizer.

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Also known as a tricky tray, penny sale, or basket raffle, each item is its own raffle, usually with a jar in front of each prize. This format grants guests the opportunity to select the raffle item they care to enter a drawing for, as opposed to a first, second, and third place raffle drawing. Guests can purchase as many raffle tickets as they’d like to increase their chances.

The last ticket drawn is the winner instead of the first ticket pulled. Some variations on the reverse raffle include smaller prizes along the way, or being able to buy back in.

High-priced tickets are sold, and the raffle winner selects their favorite live auction item.

On-sale raffle tickets are sold leading up to your event. The winner automatically wins a live auction item of his/her/their choice.

50/50 RAFFLE
Guests purchase tickets and the cash prize is split between the raffle winner and the organization itself.

The winner of the raffle drawing gets a wheelbarrow full of whatever you’d like to gift the winner! The most common wheelbarrow of cheer is full of alcohol.

Also known as baggo, bags, bean bag toss, and sack toss. This is a game that involves 4 bean bags that you toss across a distance and try to score in hole cut into a wooden board. This game is played with two teams of two. If the bean bag goes through the hole it’s three points, if it lands on the edge of the hole it’s two points, if it lands on the board it’s one point. The team to reach 21 points first wins.

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Before adding one of these fun components to your event, be sure to check with your legal and tax advisors. Gambling regulations vary from state to state.

Kelsey Woodworth

Kelsey Woodworth is the Content Marketing Manager for GiveSmart and an Auburn University graduate. Her finger is on the pulse daily for innovations in fundraising, community building, donor relations, and event trends. Kelsey lives in New York City.
Kelsey Woodworth