This is a fun fundraising idea, particularly in support of a homeless shelter or food bank.  It is a great way to stock the shelves of a food bank very quickly.

Organize your supporters into teams and give them a list of food items they must collect in order to complete the scavenger hunt.  They can knock on doors in the community and visit stores to collect the items on the list.  You can decide whether or not they can purchase items.  You could say, for instance, that they can spend only $5 on food items, which would allow them to buy only the food items that are nearly impossible to find (so teams don’t get discouraged when they’re not able to complete the scavenger hunt because they can’t find someone to donate a particularly rare item).  Teams that find all of the items on the list without having to spend money could be awarded extra points when determining the scavenger hunt winner.

You can even have each participant bring three cans of food as a “fee” for participating in the food bank scavenger hunt.

Make sure to get a story in the local newspaper ahead of time to ensure community members are aware that the scavenger hunt will take place (teams can even carry a copy of this article with them to prove to skeptical potential donors that the scavenger hunt is legitimate).

Note: This event has the potential to really spread the word about your organization in a community.  You can even have teams deliver a pamphlet of information about your organization’s mission (make sure that the pamphlet offers crystal clear ways that someone can help your organization) to every person, store owner and group with which they interact.  Additionally, you can train participants about how to interact with members of the public (i.e. what to say) ahead of time, so that your message gets across clearly.  Also, to make sure store owners and other people are not bothered by requests for cans and other foodstuffs from multiple groups, you can prepare paper signs ahead of time that teams can distribute to those with whom they interact.  These would be signs that people can elect to put on their home or business door to inform other teams that that location has already been visited.  It could be a rule that a house, store, etc. cannot be visited again if it has a sign on its door.

This fundraising event can be modified to suit other causes: For instance, you could have a “Go Green” scavenger hunt in which groups carry with them 100 energy efficient light bulbs and go door-to-door trying to get people to switch their incandescent bulbs to energy efficient bulbs for a small per light bulb fee.  The possibilities are endless.

Check out the video below to see the kind of excitement a food bank scavenger hunt can generate (skip forward to 0:40):

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One Response to How to Easily Plan a Food Bank Scavenger Hunt

  1. [...] thought about how a community scavenger hunt could stock your shelves? Have participants hunt for foods from a list of most-needed items for your [...]

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