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