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Game Night Fundraiser FAQs

How do I set up tournament-style play?

When people sign up for your game night, have brackets available where they can put their names in a first-round slot for the game of their choice. Two participants will go head-to-head for one round or a certain amount of time, depending on the game. The winners of each match-up will then play each other until one champion is decided, and that person gets a prize!

While a tournament can bring a fun competitive dynamic to your game night, a free-for-all event can be just as enjoyable if bracket logistics become complicated or if your participants want to play a larger variety of games throughout the night.

What games should I have available?

For a tournament-style game night, you’ll want to choose games that are familiar to many people so that you can save time explaining the rules and that work well for two players. Some of the best board and card games for tournaments include:

  • Jenga
  • Connect Four
  • Gin Rummy
  • Scrabble (if you have enough time)

If you’re going with video games for your tournament, these are good options:

  • Mario Kart
  • Super Smash Bros
  • FIFA
  • Guitar Hero

For a free-for-all game night, you can offer any number of popular games or allow participants to bring their own, as long as someone is willing to explain the rules of each one to first-time players.

For a video game night, how should I get gaming equipment?

If your game night is a one-time event, start by asking local rec centers if they have any game systems and controllers that you can borrow. You can also ask around within your organization or request that participants bring equipment, although you’ll need to be specific about what version of each system you want to make sure you have compatible games.

If you’re planning to host recurring video game nights and you have space in your budget, you may want to invest in a few game systems for your organization. Research online to see if you can find used equipment in good condition at a reduced price.

What other supplies do I need?

The most important thing you’ll need for a game night is a large room where you can set up tables, chairs, and video game equipment if needed. Since your event will probably last a few hours, you’ll want to provide some snacks and beverages for participants.

For a tournament-style game night, you’ll also need prizes for the winners. Gift cards or gift baskets appeal to many people, and you can ask local businesses if they’d consider donating these kinds of prizes in exchange for shout-outs on your event marketing materials.

How do I raise funds at my game night?

The easiest fundraising strategy to use for a game night is to charge each participant a small admission fee that covers playing time and food. You can also set up a donation box at the event to encourage more contributions, possibly near the snack table.

How do I make my game night into a virtual event?

If you want to take your event online, have all your participants gather on video chat at the designated time, and share a link to a sign-up form to see who wants to play what game. Then, you can direct participants to breakout rooms to start their games. The best games to use for virtual events are online multiplayer video games like Fortnite Battle Royale or mobile versions of board games like Scrabble or Pictionary. You’ll collect donations from your virtual game night using your organization’s website or social media.

5 Steps for Organizing a Game Night Fundraiser

No matter what event format you choose, you can get started with your game night fundraiser in five easy steps:

  1. Find an event spaceeither a large room with tables and chairs or a video chat link.
  2. Choose which games to play or have participants bring their own.
  3. Spread the word to participants using your organization’s website, social media, emails, and flyers.
  4. Collect donations by charging a small admission fee, setting up a donation box at an in-person event, and/or sharing the link to your donation webpage at a virtual event.
  5. Set up the room or test your video chat link in advance.

Organizations That Host Game Night Fundraisers

Since a game night fundraiser is so versatile and works for all ages, many types of organizations can host one, including:

  • Clubs and community organizations
  • Schools
  • Churches
  • Nonprofits