Quiz or bingo nights are a great fundraiser for schools, community groups and sporting clubs. However the ticket price often just covers the costs of renting a space, hiring chairs and tables, paying for equipment and prizes and other incidentals. That’s why it is also a good idea to have a number of easy trivia night games that you can play between rounds to raise extra money.
Limit the number of games you have over the course of the evening, you want them fast-moving and fun as well as making money. Keep at least one break between rounds free from games, this allows everyone to go to the toilet, chat with friends, make a quick phone-call or peruse the silent auction (if you have one).
Buy a double roll or book of raffle tickets where one ticket can be kept by the purchaser and the other is thrown into the bucket. There is no need to write names/phone numbers on the tickets because everyone will be present – just remind people to keep their tickets safe.
Sell as many tickets as you can during your event ($1 or $2 per ticket).
Before it is time to draw the winning ticket, count the money and put half of it in an envelope (or bag!) as the prize and the other half is kept by the fundraiser. Draw the winning ticket – they win half the money (hence the name 50/50).
Variations: keep 50% for the fundraiser, allocate 30% for the first prize and 20% for the second prize.
1 minute Treasure Hunt
Best done in small groups, this is a lots of fun for trivia tables to compete against each other between rounds.
Tables must pay an entry fee to play ($2 or $5 per table). They are given a pre-printed sheet with the items listed on it. Everyone must keep their sheet face-down until it is time to start.
Groups are given one minute to find a list of random objects that people may have on them or in their bags. The group with the most items wins.
Items you can include on the treasure hunt include: $50 or $100 note, red lipstick, screwdriver, library card, safety pin, a receipt between $20- $50, a passport, tweezers, bottle opener, a coloured key, a USB stick, a photo of a pet, an unbanked cheque, hand sanitiser, a calculator, a roll of lollies or throaties etc.
Variations: if you have a sponsor for your trivia night, give bonus points to anyone who can produce a receipt or loyalty card for that business (if applicable).
Variations: allocate points per item, such a 1 point per mobile phone, 10 points per $100 note, 1 point per biro, 10 points for a nappy or pair of undies etc and the table with the most points win.
Each table gets a sheet of vouchers for ‘Cheats’, (four or six or however many you want). The cheats should get more expensive the more each table buys. The first cheat might cost $5 for the answer, and up to $50 for the 6th. The table simply tears a voucher off, writes the question they need the answer for, together with the price of the cheat and takes it to the Cheats Table.
Someone would need to be allocated to provide cheats throughout the night – The Cheat Master- (the same people who are on the marking table would be fine, as the cheats must be requested during the round). The Cheat Master collects the payment, and writes the correct answer on the voucher.
As people enter the quiz night they can buy raffle tickets ($1 or $2 each). Tickets must be bought early in the night before the trivia rounds start.
During the evening, tickets are drawn – but the tickets drawn first are the losing tickets. The last ticket left is the winner.
If there are a large number of tickets sold, pull them out in batches of ten or more so it moves quickly. If you have a screen on the night – display the losing tickets that have been drawn throughout the night if you don’t want to disrupt the evening by calling out lots of numbers.
Everyone is given a free raffle ticket, but the prize is so horrendous or embarrassing no one would want it, so when a ‘winning’ ticket is drawn, the person must pay not to win it. Another ticket is drawn, and they pay not to win it, and so on until someone finally accepts the prize or you choose to stop drawing ‘winners’. Check out my article for some suggestions of truly awful prizes to offer.
Heads and Tails
Everyone who wants to play throws a gold coin in the bucket as someone walks around collecting payments. Players stand where they are.
For each turn, they can choose to put both hands on their head, both hands on their bottom or one hand on each. The Quiz Master throws two coins, and whoever has made the correct call remains standing. Everyone else sits. This continues until you have a winner.
Variation: people can work in pairs, putting their hands on each other’s bottom/head (make this optional). Pairs work in combination, and win/lose together.
You need a bit of space for this – both for the game itself as well as the crowd to stand around and watch. The prize goes toward the back of the space – a bottle of wine is perfect – and players take turns sliding a $1 or $2 coin towards the prize from a distance. The closest coin wins the prize.
Sit Down If
Everyone who wants to play throws a gold coin in the bucket as someone walks around collecting payments, and then they stand at their table.
The Quiz Master starts reading a series of statements – and if the statement applies to you, you are out of the game and must sit down. The last person standing is the winner.
Statements could be: ‘Sit down if you rode a bike to the event tonight’
‘Sit down if you have ever eaten a snail or grasshopper.
‘Sit down if you have never visited Bali.’
‘Sit down if you have a motorbike licence.’
‘Sit down if you have never broken a bone.’
When writing the statements (and there are plenty of examples on the internet) be mindful of the order you read them out. You don’t want the entire group sitting down after only the first or second questions.
These are optional pre-printed sheets that are handed out between rounds, and that tables can elect to play for a small donation. They would require a separate prize or bonus points that would be added to the table’s tally.
There are plenty of ideas freely available on the internet, but popular options include matching the country with the flags, matching the country with the capital city, business logos or catch-phrases, identifying the song from a phrase, famous landmarks (name them and the country they are in), first lines of books, famous faces etc.
Make sure you have a penalty for any table caught using their mobile phone to find answers, such as $20-$50 on-the-spot-fine. You can supply a box or bag in the centre of each table and everyone must put their phones in there during the evening. People will still hear it ring if the babysitter calls, but they are otherwise banned during the evening.
Individuals purchase a sheet of paper for $1-$5 and use it to design a paper plane over the course of the night. Then the planes are tested and the one that flies the furthest or lands closest to a designated target wins.
Variation: supply each group with construction materials such a paper rolls, straws or popsticks and some stickytape. They must build a tower (tallest wins) or platform (strongest wins).
Each table can ‘purchase’ some apples and a peeler – the personn who finishes the night with the longest intact apple peel is the winner.
Variation – can also be done with zucchini, potatoes or oranges.
Fundraising with Balloons
Check out my article with two unique fundraising games using balloons here.
You might also find this article helpful: Tips for Running a Quiz Night
What is your favourite game to play at quiz nights?