Putting together a chili cook off fundraiser is simple and you can definitely raise a lot of money. Here are some ideas to help you raise more money with your event. First, add some extra events to make your chili competition draw an even larger crowd.
You can spice up your chili cook off fundraiser with a hottest chile pepper eating contest, adding a dessert competition, a craft beer competition, or even a funny beauty pageant starring the men for a change.
Because people will be standing around waiting for the taste testing to begin, you should have some live music to entertain them. You can add a tailgating area, a classic car show or even another charity event. A “Hot To Trot” fun run/walk is a popular option for a lot of chili cook-offs.
Your aim is to try to make it the ultimate chili event for your area by attracting as many people as possible. Think about inviting a local radio station to broadcast live from the contest area, which could also be a good substitute for live music.
Keep your prices reasonable and make sure everything is family friendly. A good price range on tickets is $10 for advance tickets, $15 at the event, and $25 per chili cook off competing teams. Specify on your event flyer what benefits the ticket delivers. For example, ticket holders get to sample ten different chilis and vote for the blue ribbon winner.
Get some celebrity judges – the local radio station folks are a good bet as are TV anchors and weather forecasters – and add in a popular vote category. Be sure to feature some top prizes for the winners. Cash is always good, but you can also get creative with gift certificates for craft beers or dinner at a local restaurant.
Besides providing a variety of activities and amusements, you also want to have a lot of fundraising activities. Silent auctions and live auctions are always big revenue producers, but think outside the box with some creative idea as well. Add a best costume contest with a chili theme. Add a big flea market or garage sale area where people can pay for a table to sell whatever they want.
As always with any type of fundraising event, focus on getting lots of media coverage in advance and fully leverage all the social media platforms as well.
Next time your group is looking for a fun fundraising event, bring the heat with a chili cook off fundraiser!