Planning a fundraiser for the Wisconsin Dental Association Foundation can be fun for you and your friends or co-workers. Below are a few ideas to get you started, but don’t stop there! Be creative and plan an event that you and your friends will enjoy. Remember, if you are planning to host any event at your workplace, be sure to get the necessary permission(s) from your employer before you begin planning.

Component parties/outings

Does your local dental society host a holiday party? Consider charging an extra $5 or $10 per person to attend and donate the funds raised in excess of expenses to the WDA Foundation. Host a silent or live auction during the event with the revenue earned from the auction earmarked for the WDA Foundation. If your society hosts a golf outing you could host a hole-in-one or closest to the hole contest by selecting one (or more) holes and charge participants to enter the contest. The funds raised could benefit the foundation. Another golf outing option is the sale of mulligans.

Balloon pop

This idea can easily be incorporated into holiday parties. Solicit many small prizes such as low cost gift certificates ($1 – $5 in value), candy bars, bags of chips or pretzels, etc. and a few larger prizes such as sports tickets, higher-amount gift cards, fine dining gift cards, etc. Write the name of one prize item on a small piece of paper and insert it in a balloon. One prize per balloon. Participants can purchase as many balloons as you allow for a set price each. Once purchased, they pop the balloon to find out their prize.


Plan a run or walk instead of a traditional party. You could provide t-shirts for participants and/or host a party or barbeque following the event. Event registration fees in excess of expenses can be your donation.

Bake sales/food sales

Bake/food sales can stand alone or be combined with another event. Baked goods, hot dogs and popcorn are popular items to sell. Ethnic food days are also a great option. For a more unusual spin, you can invite friends or colleagues to bring in food in a particular category (chili or desserts are good options) and host a competition. Allow those who purchase foods to vote for their favorite. You can award the top vote-getter with a ribbon, small trophy, cookbook or a gift of inexpensive cooking gadgets.

Sports day/night

Plan a tailgate party at a local sporting event and charge a fee to participate. Revenue over and above expenses can be donated to the WDA Foundation. It’s a way to enjoy time with friends and family and raise money for a good cause. Or skip the sporting event and host a tailgate-style party at your office or business during lunch.


There is an endless array of marathons to consider. A few ideas are:

  • Walk-a-thon, Jog-a-thon, Bike-a-thon, Skate-a-thon: Start at your office’s parking lot and follow a route around the community. Participants collect pledges for the number of miles walked, jogged, biked or skated.
  • Bowl-a-thon: Participants secure pledges for the number of pins they can knock down.
  • Dance-a-thon: Participants secure pledges for the number of hours they can dance.

Other ideas to consider

  • Spare change jars – keep the jar at your office for a week, a month, a year or as a permanent fixture.
  • Penny wars
  • Fashion show
  • Karaoke contest
  • Car washes
  • Talent shows
  • Garage sales
  • Used book/CD fair

The ideas are endless…just use your imagination!