Creative Ways To Form Treasure Hunt Teams

(This article is a continuation of our Adventure Treasure Hunts 101 -
The FREE Course
series. To start from the beginning, click HERE.)

Throughout the 15+ years of designing themed treasure hunts/scavenger hunts professionally, some of the most successful and exciting events planned were for fundraising efforts. With low overhead costs and the ability to generate a lot of excitement for a fresh, new type of event, themed treasure hunts are proving to be more and more successful in raising money for private and public organizations, large and small.

There are a number of different creative and exciting ways to raise money by planning a themed treasure hunt. This article will attempt to 'whet your appetite' as to the numerous ways funds can be raised and excitement generated for your next fundraising event by creating a treasure hunt.

The treasure hunt itself can vary greatly in both size and budget. Some treasure hunts I've produced have been for crowds in the hundreds paying small entrant fees - all attempting to be the first to complete the treasure hunt for a prize donated by a local merchant. Others have been considerably more sophisticated, as in the case of a California Department of Mental Health function held a few years ago. Bids were sold to a more affluent crowd and a Quest for the Holy Grail adventure was held on the grounds of a very large and wealthy estate. The flexibility exists to ensure that every group fundraiser can be successful, no matter the size, age or affluence of the participants.

The following is a collection of ideas to show the various and numerous ways to raise money easily and creatively by planning a fantastic themed treasure hunt adventure:

· Begin by planning on selling tickets to participate in the event. Ticket prices can vary depending on the demographics of your participants. For example, if your are planning an event involving high school aged students, you'd probably fair better at selling hundreds of tickets at a cheaper price. However, if you were planning an event for a more mature and sophisticated crowd, you might want to sell tickets at a much higher price, making available only a set number of tickets for purchase to ensure higher odds at winning the grand prize for the participants (especially if a prize is given for the winning team.)

· Great prizes can be offered. Many groups have been very successful at arranging for prizes to be donated by local merchants. Sometimes a large prize was donated, such as a television set. At other times, a small basket of several smaller gifts has been offered from donating merchants ($15 gift certificates, etc.) Prizes can also come in the form of services provided by the organization planning the treasure hunt. For example, a prom committee raising funds for their dance could give out free Prom bids to the first five finishing teams. Another idea for a prize is to have the top placing teams being refunded their entry fee - or even getting a percentage of the total proceeds taken in by the event.

· Here are a few tricks to get prizes donated for your treasure hunt:
o Offer the vendor's location as one of the stop's at the treasure hunt (free advertising)
o Offer to photocopy a small advertisement on the back of a map or clue to your hunt
o Allow the vendor (depending on the type of business they are in) to set up a booth or something thereof at the final destination to the treasure hunt.
o Put the sponsor's advertisement on the ticket the participants buy to the treasure hunt

· As a way to enhance your treasure hunt theme, find out if a local costume shop will donate one or some of the needed costumes

· Curtailing the above, if there are any other props or set pieces that would enhance your treasure hunt theme, find out if there are any vendors who would donate them in exchange for a form of advertising.

· Capitalize on your treasure hunt theme. Is your theme based on Pirates of the Caribbean? Why not have a small pirate port themed area at the beginning/end of the hunt and sell spaces to vendors where themed items and food can be sold? The same would work for a mini Renaissance Faire or an Egyptian marketplace. Depending on your treasure hunt theme, you could really plan a spectacular bazaar that could rival the hunt itself for excitement!

· Print up a mini story or background piece about the theme and storyline of your adventure treasure hunt and distribute them to the participants before they begin. It will generate a lot of enthusiasm when your participants get consumed with the story.

· Once the treasure hunt event is proven a success, it could easily be turned into an annual event, as it did with several of my clients. Teams from the year before's treasure hunt often reassembled in later hunts to try once more to win the prize. A continuing plaque or trophy could be displayed with the current and all past year's treasure hunt winners.

Perhaps the greatest part about planning a themed treasure hunt adventure for your next fundraiser, besides all the excitement it will generate, is the fact that it has a potentially very high chance of having very little overhead costs. Aside from some photocopies and footwork, few other expenses need to be expended - now that is music to a fundraiser's ears!

Plan something new and exciting that everyone will remember in future years! Plan a treasure of a fundraiser!

Want to make the treasure hunt process even easier? Consider our treasure hunt puzzles collections! They contain individual puzzles that were designed to be INSERTED to a treasure hunt you are creating - mini activities to give your adventurers something more than just reading rhyming clues! With dozens of themes to choose from, we've done what we can to make the treasure hunt planning process as easy as possible without sacrificing creativity! Click HERE to see our adventure themes!