Six Week Fundraising Event Challenge: Movie Night

You CAN host a profitable fundraising event in JUST 6 weeks. Here's how!

Ok, guys. This event is so perfect for this time of year. It’s indoor, it’s community oriented, and it’s a lot of fun! For the last few years we have held a movie night at our elementary school and it has been so well received. In fact, I am currently organizing one right now, so I thought I would put together a 6 Week Fundraising Challenge for it, and challenge you to raise some fun… and funds with me! We promise that in 6 short weeks you will have successfully raised funds for your cause, if you follow our plan.

One of the things we love to do at our school, which I think is one of the reasons that the event is so well attended, is let the kids pick the movie. As a committee we select 3 movies and let the kids vote ahead of time on which one they want to see. We use a simple Google Doc form to do the voting. I love it because we are able to not only ask for an RSVP and let the kids vote on a movie, but we can actually include movie trailers right there on the webpage! Super cool and hip, just ask the kids.

One of my favorite things about Movie Nights is that they can be done on a real shoestring budget. Here’s how to get it done!

The Basics (what you need): 

  • Movie Screen and Projector
  • Sound System
  • Space for Guests to Sit
  • Snacks for Concessions Stand

If you have a higher budget to work with, you could consider renting a Movie Event Experience from a company that provides this service. Packages generally include the screen, projector, sound system, blue-ray and/or dvd player,  a crew to work the technical aspects of the event, and insurance. They may even throw in the popcorn for an additional fee! Going this route will be easier, but you’ll probably end up paying for it in the long run. If you have a space that is already setup for screening films on a projector like a school theater, cafeteria, or church hall, take advantage of that and use what you have.

When it comes  to raising funds you can basically manage that in 2 ways. Your first option is to either charge a flat fee at the door or sell tickets ahead of time (find our why selling tickets in advance is such a great idea), and then include all snacks and beverages. We like to offer pizza, popcorn, juice and water.

QUICK TIP! We’ve partnered with {affiliate link} to make online ticketing a breeze. Sell tickets, manage events and collect payments with ease. Check it out today!

Your other option is to let people come for free and sell snacks concession style. Snacks and drinks such as candy, nachos, hot dogs, soda, and juice are excellent options. Be sure to price your snacks fair and guests will likely stop by more than once.


The 6 Week Fundraising Event Challenge: Movie Night. Pull together asuccessful fundraising event in just 6 weeks!

Tips for a successful Movie Night:

  • Have a donation jar at check-in.
  • Add a raffle to increase profits, just remember to get a license from your state/county/town if needed!
  • Make sure everyone knows this event is helping a cause. Advertise it on your flyers, social media, and have someone briefly speak about your cause at the event.
  • Promote sponsors by having a pre- and post-movie credit roll with all their names.
  • Try to get what you can donated or at a discount. This includes the venue, food items, paper goods, printing of flyers and/or posters, and even your entertainment.
  • Ask your community to help! Take a poll of what movie they would like to see screened. Make it family friendly and not gender specific to attract the largest audience. Or, if a sequel is coming out soon, play the original to capitalize on that building excitement.
  • Securing larger sponsors means more money is going to your cause instead of paying for your costs.
  • If you are planning on hosting a lot of these events it might be worth it for you to purchase your movie playing supplies, even if the supplies seem costly.
Media and Marketing at Ultimate Donations
Jaime is the conceptual mastermind behind, a website that helps nonprofits find and request product donations for fundraising events. When she is not helping nonprofit events to reach their fullest potential, she's spending time with her two adorable girls, volunteering within her local community, and sneaking leftover Halloween candy when no one is looking.