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Fundraising Idea of the Month: Hoops

by Doug Nash

Hoops is a very very simple, easy, versatile fund-raiser and you need no special equipment. The basic idea is to lay out prizes on a table or on the ground, people win by throwing a hoop over a prize. The prizes can be as simple as a bottle of drink to a voucher for a more substantial prize like a dinner for two. The hoop must completely surrounded to win the prize the prize.

Of course the more donated prizes you can get the more profitable you will be. To assist you in raising donations, offer to post a banner with the name of the major donor or with a list of all donors where you hold hoops. For prizes too large to be "hooped", attached a readable note to a small pole that can be "hooped". You may want to consider having a few mystery prizes where people take a gamble on what the prize may be. This adds another touch of excitement to the fund-raiser. When collecting donated prizes try to approach a variety of donors so that you have the widest offering of prizes possible, this way you will appeal to a wider group of possible players.

Poles can be small pieces of wooden doweling on a base or stuck into the ground. The hoops can be made of nearly anything like cutting out the inside of ice cream lids or a circle of thin rope starched to be firm enough to hold itís shape.

The distance the competitors throw the hoop is up to you. You may want different distances for different ages or sizes. The more desirable prizes are place at the back and the less expensive or more numerous prizes at the front. Alternatively you can have only poles to be hooped. However the poles are colour coded to relate to a group of prizes to chose from. The prizes can be displayed on shelves or groups of prizes displayed around the playing area that are easy to be reached and presented to winners.

This event can be run at shopping centres, markets, sports events, car parks, anywhere you have room to set up and have a steady flow of passer-by's who can be enticed to play. At a dollar a throw or two dollars for three throws it is at a price where if the prizes are appealing and well displayed you should be able to attract enough players to make it worth your while.


    About the Author: Doug Nash lives in Logan City in Queensland, Australia. He has graciously consented to share a fundraising idea with us every month. Although many of the ideas aren't new, each of them has a unique flair that comes from being developed and refined half a world away from ours. Visit his web site at for more fundraising ideas.

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