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Fun Foodie Fundraising Ideas

Some food-focused ways to raise money for your charity event

A great opportunity for mixing & mingling, food-focussed events are truly a scrumptious way to sauce sponsors for your chosen charity

Anyone who’s anyone loves to eat: whether you’re a passionate foodie or have a plain Jane diet, food is a fundamental function in life, and a socially driven practice at that. Though there are many ways to fundraise for a good cause, is there really anything better than scoffing your face for charity? A great opportunity for mixing and mingling, food-focussed events are truly a scrumptious way to sauce sponsors for your chosen charity.

From curry contests to elegant evening suppers, there’s a fun foodie fundraiser idea to cater to everyone’s tastes. To give you a little food for thought on how to sustain your appetite for generous donations, we’ve pulled together some positively palatable fundraising ideas. Read on to find out the best ways to bring home the bacon for your chosen charity event…

1. Bring on the buffet

What Brit doesn’t like a buffet? From cold cuts and pork pies to quiches and cakes, a buffet is a staple in British culture, and we don’t see that changing any time soon. Hosting a ‘bring your own bit’ buffet can be a memorable way to raise money, so why not harness that community spirit and host one in your local area?

Bring life to a heralded foodie tradition - one that sees people coming together to enjoy each other’s food - without piling a costly burden on the organiser. Simply ask guests to bring a dish to the buffet and charge a fee for those who’d like to chow down for charity, as well as a participation fee for those who supply the food. This type of fundraising idea makes for a diverse and potentially universal spread - especially if people from a variety of cultures attend. Be it a banoffee pie, tasty tacos or a fancy filo french pastry, any contribution will help you reach your fundraising goal!

For inspiration check out the 46 Buffet recipes guide produced by BBC Good Food.

To conjure up some extra cash, you could compile all of the recipes to make a community cookbook. Your donation jar will be looking buff by the time your buffet is over.

2. Cook up a curry

Are you partial to a curry and a pint at your local Indian restaurant? Have you also been stressing about how to fundraise for your favourite charity? Take a deep breath and relax - all you have to do is keep calm and curry on. That’s right, it’s time to turn that taste for spice and saag into some serious sponsors, by hosting a curry cook-off!

Soon, sadly, summer will be over and people will be more than keen to fill their bellies with korma and keema naan. A curry cook-off, not only reels in the donations, but it’s also a wonderful way to socialise and share recipes with your local community. Simply charge a fee for entering the competition. We suggest that you also charge an admission cost for watching and, most importantly, eating the entries!

For inspiration watch Madhur Jaffrey’s classic video on how to make the perfect Rogan Josh.

Source: Rogon Josh Part 1 - Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cookery - BBC Food

If the event space you’ve chosen allows it, why not ask the curry cookers to prepare their entries live in front of the audience? A live curry cook-off, filled with delicious smells and sensory stimulation, is sure to spice up your sponsors.

3. Suggest a sandwich sale

Are you a sucker for a saucy sub? Does the combination of fluffy bread, flavourful condiments and a delicious filling call to your food cravings? If so, why not host your own sub sandwich sale for sponsors?

Sniff out some high volume events nearby, and pitch up your sub sandwich stand beside them stand for maximum sales. Pre-make a wide variety of tasty sandwiches - think tasty turkey, cold Italian cuts, cheesy meatballs and mozzarella and pesto, to name a few! Bring some butter and some buns and you’re good to go.

Why not make things fun by having customers dress their own subs with toppings of their choice? From picking pickles to sprinkling spring onion, we suggest you have a wide variety of condiments and add-ons to choose from. Come on, ask your community to munch for money and set up a sub sandwich stand that Joey Tribiani would be proud of.

4. Have fun with food trucks

Ever fancied hitting the open road with your favourite food by your side? Do you work well under pressure and have a flair for all things food? Well, why not try opening your own food truck for the fundraising day, inviting other food trucks along and donating the money you make to your chosen charity?

Get your hands on a parking permit, find a local car park and ask some other food truck fanatics to attend for a small fee. To encourage excitement around the day, try and invite several other food trucks to attend in order to offer a wide variety of cuisines for everyone to enjoy. If your event is a success, you could open it up to the public every month and create a constant source of sponsors!

Whether you go for some lip-smacking Lebanese or a little mouth-watering Mexican, we assure you that using food trucks to fundraise is a delicious way to raise cash for your cause.

5. Call for a cooking class

Is your signature dish beans on toast? Do you succumb to too many takeaways? If that sounds like you, then it’s time to learn a few lessons and cook up a storm for sponsors, with a cooking class! What’s better than learning a new skill and eating tasty food, all whilst raising money for your chosen charity?

Call for a local chef to donate a little of their time towards your charity, by offering their teaching skills for your cooking class. All you have to do is sell the tickets for a generous donation and watch the interest fly in. At the end of your class, once attendees have finished their masterpieces, you could host a little dinner party for the cooking students to enjoy the food they’ve prepared! Trust us, by the end of the evening, not only will your tastebuds be tickled, but you’ll be feeling like Head Chef.

6. Dine out for donations

Who doesn’t like dining out and being treated to a slap-up meal? If you’re into all things fancy food, then this fundraiser idea is for you. If you love to indulge and are surround by willing restaurants, why not dine out for donations? Sounds dreamy, right?

Restaurants are so often open to collaborating in exchange for free business, marketing and promotions - so this could be your opportunity to promote local businesses by catering to your needs and theirs! Simply contact your favourite local restaurant and ask them to host a dinner event; a percentage of the profit they make can go towards your charity. Create a buzz by promoting your event across social media platforms and spread the word! One thing we know for sure is that beating those fundraising targets certainly isn’t off the menu.

So there you have it, our favourite foolproof fundraising ideas for foodies - all dine and dusted!

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