people holding bowling balls

by Daniel Alvasd, Unsplash

Bowling fundraisers are a great way to raise money for a cause while having a fun and engaging event. However, with so many fundraisers happening all the time, it can be challenging to come up with unique and creative ideas to make your event stand out. 

Bowling fundraisers have multi-generational appeal: it’s relatively easy for people of all ages and (most) abilities to take part. Plus, you can make a bowling fundraiser adults only with specialty cocktails, or family friendly with hot dogs and pizza. You can customize your event to appeal to bowling leagues and pro bowlers or to casual bowlers and kids. It’s easy to create a theme to suit your cause and your audience’s needs. 

In this article, we will discuss some creative and fun bowling fundraiser ideas that will help you attract more participants and raise more funds.

Themed Bowling Tournament

bowling balls on rack

by Marc Mueller, Unsplash

One way to make your bowling fundraiser more exciting is by incorporating a theme into your tournament. This could be anything from a decade theme, where participants dress up in clothing from a specific era, to a sports team theme, where teams dress up in their favorite team’s jerseys. You can also have a costume contest and award prizes for the best-dressed team. This will not only make the event more fun but also encourage participants to be more engaged and competitive.

See if you can get a donor to donate a certain amount of money for every strike your players make. If players know that they can earn your cause another $50 or $100 every time they knock all the pins down, they’ll be even more motivated. 

If your local alley has a league or maybe even professional bowlers, consider making a special effort to work with them on a charity bowling tournament. They can be valuable partners as they bowl a lot anyway: odds are they will be happy to do so to raise funds for a good cause.

Celebrity Bowling

Another way to attract more participants and raise more funds is by hosting a celebrity bowling event. Reach out to local celebrities, such as athletes, musicians, or politicians, and invite them to participate in your fundraiser. You can charge a higher entry fee for teams that want to bowl with a celebrity, and the proceeds can go towards your cause. This will not only bring in more funds but also create buzz and excitement around your event.

Bowling Bingo

bowling ball hitting pins

by Michelle McEwen, Unsplash

Put a twist on the traditional game of bingo by incorporating bowling into it. Create bingo cards with different bowling terms, such as “strike,” “spare,” or “gutter ball.” As participants bowl, they can mark off the terms on their bingo cards. The first person to get bingo wins a prize. This is a fun and interactive way to keep participants engaged and entertained throughout the event.

Silent Auction

A silent auction is a great way to raise additional funds at your bowling fundraiser. Reach out to local businesses and ask for donations of products or services that can be auctioned off. You can also have a 50/50 raffle, where half of the proceeds go towards your cause and the other half goes to the winner. This will not only bring in more funds but also provide an opportunity for local businesses to support your cause and gain exposure. If space is a premium at the bowling alley, host your auction online and let people bid from their phones between turns.

Glow-in-the-Dark Bowling

person bowling under black lights

by Emil Widlund, Unsplash

Add a fun and unique twist to your bowling fundraiser by hosting a glow-in-the-dark bowling event (sometimes called cosmic bowling, some alleys even specialize in this fun environment). Turn off the lights and use blacklights, glow sticks, and neon decorations to create a fun and vibrant atmosphere. You can also have participants wear glow-in-the-dark clothing or accessories to add to the experience (perfect time to make a fundraiser t-shirt that will light up under a black light). This will not only make your event more memorable but also attract a younger crowd.

Bowl a Perfect (Fundraising) Game

By incorporating these creative and fun ideas into your bowling fundraiser, you can make it stand out and attract more participants and funds.

Don’t forget to work with your host alley to see if you can also raise money on concessions or catered food.

Remember to promote your event through email, social media, local newspapers, and word of mouth to reach a wider audience.  With these ideas, your bowling fundraiser is sure to be a success!