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8 Steps for Hosting an Ice Cream Flavor Contest Fundraiser

Hosting an ice cream flavor contest isn’t all fun and games. You’ll want to make sure the contest is organized so the kids know what to do. Follow these eight steps for a successful ice cream flavor contest:

1. Find an ice cream shop to partner with.

Perhaps the most important step in planning your ice cream flavor contest is finding an ice cream shop that can make your students’ ice cream dreams a reality. If possible, find a local shop so you can support their business while they help you fundraise.

You’ll want to make sure the ice cream shop you’re partnering with understands that they must gather the ingredients needed for the winning flavor, create it, sell it, and donate a portion of the proceeds to your school. It’s a good idea to discuss the exact percentage you’re looking for them to contribute so that you’re on the same page.

Lastly, decide upon a time frame for which the ice cream shop will sell the winning flavor. Knowing how long they’ll be offering the flavor will allow the ice cream shop to prepare by getting enough ingredients.

2. Decide how students will submit and vote on their ideas.

Before you get students involved with the contest, it’s important to figure out how exactly they’ll submit and vote on their ice cream flavor ideas. You could create a virtual form to fill out or have students write out their flavor ideas on a piece of paper. For larger class sizes or school-wide fundraisers, it’s probably best to do a virtual option for easier organization. 

If you’re having students fill out a virtual form for their flavors and votes, make sure that the creator of each flavor is anonymous so that students vote for the flavor they truly like the best.

3. Explain the contest to the students.

Tell your students about the ice cream flavor contest. You’ll want to explain how they can submit and vote on their flavor ideas so they know exactly what to do.

Most importantly, get them excited about the fundraiser! This is a unique and fun opportunity for kids to show their creativity.

4. Collect ice cream flavor ideas.

Next, have students submit their ice cream flavor ideas. If you’re collecting physical submissions, make sure to have a dedicated place to keep them. For virtual submissions, create a spreadsheet with all of the ideas so you can keep track of them.

5. Let students vote for their favorite flavor.

Let the voting begin! Again, make sure the creator of each idea stays anonymous. That way, students will select their flavor of choice based on the flavor alone rather than picking the ones their friends thought of. Set a deadline so students know how much time they have to vote.

6. Tally the votes.

Figure out the winning flavor by counting the votes. If you’re using a spreadsheet to keep track of votes, this should be fairly easy. 

7. Announce the winner to the students and the ice cream shop.

It’s time to announce the winner! Make the announcement fun by celebrating with an ice cream social afterward.

It’s also important to tell the ice cream shop the winning flavor so that they have time to purchase the necessary ingredients and organize any marketing materials.

8. Go try the winning ice cream flavor!

Organize a field trip to go and try the winning ice cream flavor! You’ll also want to advertise the fundraiser to the rest of the community to get their support. It would be helpful to create fliers and send out email newsletters about the contest. Additionally, have the ice cream shop post on their social media to rally support for the new flavor and your cause.

Best Host Organizations for an Ice Cream Flavor Contest Fundraiser

So far, we’ve been talking about ice cream flavor contests in the context of a school. However, there are other organizations that could host a successful ice cream flavor contest. Take a look at the best host organizations for this type of fundraiser:

  • Schools. Kids will love using their creativity to help raise money for their school.
  • Children’s hospitals. Bring a little light to the lives of patients by letting them imagine their dream ice cream flavor. If some patients can’t leave the hospital, have the ice cream shop pack some pints of the winning flavor for the kids to try.
  • Sports teams. Have players on your team design their own flavors and celebrate the end of the season with the winning flavor.
  • Animal shelters. Put a fun twist on this fundraiser by having your volunteers and supporters design a pet-friendly ice cream flavor. Then, pet owners can bring their pets to test out the winning flavor and contribute to your cause.
  • Nonprofits in general. Who said kids are the only ones allowed to have fun? Have your employees come up with their ideal ice cream flavor and organize a company outing to go try it.

Other Ice Cream Fundraising Ideas

Ice cream flavor contests aren’t the only ice cream fundraisers out there! Check out these other fun ice cream fundraising ideas:

  • Ice cream social. Have parents volunteer to donate ice cream and toppings for an ice cream social. You can charge each kid to make an ice cream sundae and donate the profits to your school.
  • Scoop night. See if a local ice cream shop will let teachers come in and scoop ice cream for the community for the night. Invite students and their families to come and see their favorite teachers serving up their favorite flavors. For other types of nonprofits, you can also host a scoop night with your employees as the scoopers.
  • Proceeds night. Like a restaurant fundraiser, some ice cream shops will let customers mention your organization at checkout and donate a percentage of sales to your cause.
  • Ice cream truck fundraiser. An ice cream truck fundraiser works just like a proceeds night but with an ice cream truck! Have the truck park in your organization’s parking lot and join in on the fun.