Event & School Fundraising Ideas

When it comes to fundraising for special events and schools, the number one goal is to have a high profit margin. We’ve done the math for you and can report that concession foods bring in an average of 70%–80% profits, making it an ideal way to raise money. You don’t have to be an expert to see this kind of a return. Here at Gold Medal, we’re available to give you fundraiser tips from themes to concession choices and more. From training your volunteer staff to choosing the right size popcorn machine, you can browse our site for school fundraising ideas and so much more.


How to Take Your Fundraising to the Next Level

Concession Stand Fundraising Ideas to Get Customers Excited

If you operate a concession stand fundraiser for a school, church, or other organization, you’ll want to make sure you’re optimizing it to make the most profits you can. Simply selling the same menu items in the same way at each event won’t keep customers coming back as much as you’d like. Give them lots of reasons to visit your stand and make purchases to help your cause – here are several new concession stand ideas you can try!

1. Introduce a twist on an old favorite.

Everyone loves fair food, but people can get tired of ordering the same things. With some simple changes, you can create new menu items that customers will love. Turn funnel cakes into easy finger foods with Funnel Fingers™; upsell nachos and hot dogs by adding chili or other exciting toppings. You can even mix ice cream with Sno-Kones® to make a surprisingly sweet treat.

2. Start (pre)packing.

When your stand experiences a rush, the last thing you want is for customers to be waiting in a long line while their food gets prepared. Take advantage of slower times to package products in advance. Many concession foods work well when bagged ahead of time, especially popcorn and cotton candy. You can even purchase pre-packaged items like caramel corn, pretzels, and nachos. These grab-and-go food items make the busy times go more smoothly and keep lines moving.

3. Shake it up.

A little variety goes a long way! Surprise your customers by updating popcorn options. Signature Shakes make it easy to go big on flavor. With 23 flavor mixes, you’ll always have something new to offer. Pop in batches and sell a special flavor on a rotating basis, or create a self-service bar where customers can customize their own flavors and try interesting combinations.

4. Add some attitude.

If you sell Shave Ice or Sno-Kones, it’s simple to double your flavor offering and add some punch to your menu. Your regular sweet ices become pucker-inducing servings with just one shot of Sour Attitude®. It’s perfect for customers who want a sour twist on a hot day, and you can pair it with any sweet syrup.

5. Make flavor pop.

Popcorn doesn’t have to be a savory snack. Branch out from butter flavor with GlazePop®. Simply add the mix to your kettle with your corn and oil, and you’ll be producing gourmet popcorn in no time. Start with popular caramel corn or a color that represents your organization and expand from there.

6. Get more attention with visuals and samples.

Using high-quality images of appetizing foods on your menu, place posters and flyers not only at your concession stand, but also in other locations around your event. Plant the seed to get your customers interested in your food before they even arrive in front of you. Then, once they’re nearby and smelling the delicious aromas coming from your stand, have free samples on hand. Bite-sized samples can be just enough to whet customers’ appetites and draw them in for the sale. Choose items that will attract the most attention like fudge or flavored popcorn.

7. Focus on presentation.

Think about how you can improve the perceived value of your products. One way could be to add a jumbo size to your menu. You sell more and also get a walking advertisement, as other event attendees see your customers’ purchases. Introducing a souvenir cup with free or discounted refills can boost sales, and you can also encourage combo purchases by using food trays that pair drinks with popcorn and candy.

8. Cash in on beverages.

Refreshing drinks go perfectly with concession foods, so make sure plenty of them are on your menu. In addition to soft drinks and bottled water, Lemon Shake-Ups are a fresh favorite, and depending on your booth set-up, think about adding slush machines. A variety of flavors are available or make your own, such as apple cider or adult beverages like margaritas.

When you have your new fundraising ideas ready, don’t forget to plan properly for the event itself. Find helpful information for each step of the way with this suggested calendar.