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How to Raise Funds with a Spelling Bee

Since a spelling bee is a contest, you may be wondering how you can raise funds with such an event. Some of the ways you can do so include:

  • Competitor entrance fee. Request that supporters pay an entrance fee to participate in the spelling bee. You can put some of this money towards the prize money for the winner. The rest of the funds will be used to further your nonprofit’s cause.
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising. Instead of asking competitors to pay an entrance fee, add an element of peer-to-peer fundraising by asking them to instead help fundraise on your behalf. Help them set up fundraising pages and goals that they must meet to compete in your spelling bee.
  • Spectator tickets. You can charge event spectators a small fee to watch the event. Encourage supporters to attend and cheer on their friends to ensure that you have a good turnout.

Aside from incorporating these three fundraising strategies, you can also have donation boxes at the venue. During opportune moments, you can remind your audience of these donation boxes and ask that they consider making a gift to your organization.

5 Steps to Organizing a Spelling Bee

Hosting any nonprofit event can be complicated, and spelling bees are no exception. Here are the steps to organizing a spelling bee:

1. Decide on the scope of the event.

Ask yourself: how many people would you like to attend the event? Approximately how long do you think it would take? How many competitors will you allow? Use this information to help determine what type of venue you should book and on what day. For example, if you’re planning a large event for your school, you might want to book a venue for a whole Saturday so students won’t have to skip class to attend.

2. Determine who you’ll allow to compete.

While most spelling bees are targeted towards schoolchildren, you can also host a spelling bee for adults or even a team spelling bee. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could even create different divisions for your spelling bee, where you’ll match competitors with others within their age range.

3. Establish the rules.

To ensure a fair and fun competition, make it clear what the event’s rules are. For example, you need to let your competitors know in advance what words they may be asked to spell. To do that, you could tell them that only words in the Merriam-Webster dictionary may show up during the spelling bee.

Spelling bee rules most commonly look like this:

  • The pronouncer will read out the word, use it in a sentence, and then read the word again.
  • The speller will then spell the word.
  • The judges will determine whether the word is spelled correctly.
  • If it was spelled correctly, the speller remains in the competition.
  • If it was spelled incorrectly, the speller will be eliminated from the competition.
  • When there are only two spellers left, if one misspells a word, then the other must spell it correctly to win.

Other important details you’ll want to establish will include how much time a speller has to spell the word, if they’re allowed to start over, and if they’re allowed to change the way they spelled the word.

4. Decide on prizes.

Common prizes for spelling bees include:

  • Certificates
  • Medals
  • Trophies

5. Host the event.

On the day of your spelling bee, you’ll want to get to the venue bright and early to set up. After that, you’ll just need to focus on hosting a smooth, fun event for your competitors and attendees!

Which Organizations Should Host a Spelling Bee?

While spelling bees are a versatile event that can be hosted by nonprofit organizations of all types and sizes, these types of nonprofits would benefit the most from hosting a spelling bee:

  • Schools
  • Educational institutions
  • Churches and religious groups