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Getting Started

What Is A Dunk Tank Fundraiser?

Did your teacher assign too much homework? Maybe your coach made practice run long? What if there was a way to get back at them while donating money to a great cause?

Dunk tanks are an amazing way to turn some traditional slapstick fun into a money-making opportunity! In this activity, have your students nominate teachers, coaches, and other faculty to sit in a dunk tank perched above 4-5 feet of water. Based on the buy-in amount, students will have certain opportunities to try and submerge the dunkee by throwing balls at a target. If they hit the target, the volunteer will fall into the tank of water with no warning! It’s certain to win plenty of laughs and dollars for your fundraising efforts.

Preparing Your Dunk Tank Fundraiser

This fundraiser idea isn’t your typical bake sale or shoe drive! Let’s go through what you need to know before starting your dunk tank fundraiser.

  • Figure out your fundraising goals ahead of time

A fundraising best practice is to determine your goals ahead of time. These metrics can be the total amount of money you want to raise, your desired participation rate, the overall satisfaction rate or popularity of the fundraiser, and more. Once you clearly outline these goals, you’ll have an easier time gauging the fundraiser’s success.

  • See who wants to be dunked the most

Poll your student body and see which volunteers they want to see dunked the most. Then, determine the top vote-earners and notify them that they’ll be in the tank. Finally, verify the location and create a schedule for the dunk day. This way, your volunteers and the students will know exactly where and when to attend the event. 

  • Find a reputable dunk tank vendor

It’s unlikely that you have a spare dunk tank lying around your house or school! Therefore, you should contract with a reputable party supply company for the tank itself. Talk with the vendor to make sure your space can accommodate a dunk tank. Ensure that the tank follows all safety guidelines, and test it out without a human inside first if you need to. 

  • Make sure your volunteers are prepared

No matter what fundraiser you’re running, you must make sure that your volunteers feel safe and valued. For the dunk tank activity, this is especially true. There is a physical element involved that requires in-depth communications with the dunkees. You need to disclose to your volunteers that they’ll be fully submerged in a tank of water if they get dunked. Take no for an answer if they don’t want to participate, as everyone has different comfort levels in water. 

Also, have towels, warm clothing, and medical personnel on standby. Dunk tanks are very safe when administered correctly, but in these instances, it’s always better to over-prepare. 

  • Consider what else you want to offer at the event

Want to spruce your dunk tank fundraiser up a bit? If you have some extra money in your fundraising budget and want to use it, now’s the time. Consider hiring some food trucks and selling meal tickets to students, or maybe book some musical guests. Pull out all the stops to draw out a huge crowd!

How Do I Make Money?

Need some advice for monetizing a dunk tank fundraiser? Here are some tips for collecting donations at the event.

  • Create participation tiers

A great way to operate a dunk tank fundraiser is by offering participation tiers. You can structure it any way you like, but here’s one example: 

  • Tier 1: Three throws/chances to dunk
  • Tier 2: Seven throws/chances to dunk
  • Tier 3: Walk up and push the button (guaranteed dunk)

You’re more likely to get donations with the tiered approach. This way, more students will get a chance to participate, even if they can’t afford the upper tiers. Plus, the tiered approach has a lot of flexibility, so you can tailor your guidelines however best fits your organization’s needs. 

  • Collect money for votes

Another way to profit off the event is to monetize the voting process. A common way to do it is to charge $1 for 1 vote and $2 for 3 votes. Students want to be part of the decision-making process, so this is a great way to involve them while also collecting donations. 

  • Make the event free

I know it sounds paradoxical, but when the big event rolls around, don’t charge for an admission ticket. Allow anyone to come to view the dunking for free, but charge for the opportunity to dunk the volunteers. This formula is ideal for pay-to-play events because when the bystanders see how much fun donors are having, they’ll be more likely to pay to join in as well. Even if they’re unable to participate this time around, allowing them to see firsthand what they missed will motivate participation in the future. So, have a cashier ready at the event. You’re probably going to need them!

If you’re nervous about trying out a dunk tank fundraiser, don’t be. Your fundraiser is sure to be a splashing success for years to come!