Trivia game nights have become very popular in the past few years. And no wonder! Trivia offers a great opportunity to socialize and show off your knowledge. It’s also a stimulating activity for your brain that will keep you on your toes. Naturally, many organizations have begun including trivia nights in their lists of events.
Maybe you’ve been to a trivia night with your colleagues, that was organized as a team building activity? Or perhaps you’ve even attended a fundraiser trivia night yourself? Either way, you’re here for a reason. We will tell you everything you need to know about hosting a great trivia night fundraiser!
What Is a Trivia Night Fundraiser?
A trivia night fundraiser is not that different from any other fundraising event. If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking to raise some money for a cause that you believe in, or maybe you were tasked with organizing a fundraiser for someone else. Either way, you might’ve settled on a trivia night already or you’re considering it. We hope we can make the decision-making process a little easier for you by outlining everything you need.
A trivia night is profitable for everyone involved in one way or another. The pub will make money on food and beverages, the organizer of the game will make money on selling tickets, and the attendees will have a fun night with friends. If you’ve been on any side of this transaction, you’ll know a trivia night is always a good idea.
It can be just as useful when you’re trying to raise money for a cause. Unlike the simple nature of asking people for donations, hosting a trivia night boils down to providing a service for money. It’s not that different from any normal transaction. Of course, you can ask people for donations too, but more on that later.
The reason a trivia night might be just the thing for you is because of its low cost. You can invest very little and still raise lots of money. You don’t really need any special skills or training, a team of employees, or expensive equipment. All you need is a venue and some questions. On top of that, if your first event is successful, you can repeat it again and again while you still have momentum. It is an innovative way to raise money, and one not many organizations in your town have probably tried yet.
How Do You Host a Trivia Night Fundraiser?
Attend a trivia night
If you’ve never been to a trivia night before, you should definitely attend one or two if you can. That will help you get a better idea of what a trivia night looks like and what you, as the host and organizer, can do to make it the best trivia night fundraiser your guests will ever attend.
You need to know how the whole thing works first before attempting to run your own.
Determine the format of your trivia night fundraiser
Beginning the preparation process, start by determining the format of your trivia night. Decide now how many rounds you want to have and how many questions each round will contain. Perhaps you will want to add an audio or video round? Consider adding a final “Jeopardy” question to give the losing teams the opportunity to get a few extra points.
Usually a trivia night will have around 7 rounds with 10 questions each. In this case the game will take up to 3 hours.
Settle on a theme
Think about the theme of your trivia night and the categories you can break the theme into. If your theme is Christmas, for example, then you can talk about Christmas traditions in one category, discuss Christmas music in another, and tackle Christmas terminology in the third.
Themes can be tricky. If you’re out of ideas, visit this page and get inspired by 13 creative themes that we’ve compiled.
Prepare your questions
It’s best to keep the quiz running for up to 3 hours maximum. Any more than that and people will start getting tired. This timeframe usually allows for 7 categories with 10 questions in each. You can always increase or decrease the number of questions or categories and adjust them to your needs. Scroll all the way down to the last section to get some tips on finding good questions for your fundraiser.
Pick the venue
If you have the theme and the questions, it’s time to pick the venue! Consider the amount of guests that will be attending and whether or not the venue has a sound system and a screen. Since it’s a fundraiser, you’re likely going to want to spend as little money as possible. Therefore, focus on finding a venue that will let you do the event for free. You will probably need around 3 hours for the trivia game, and some time before and after to set up and clean up.
You need to advertise the event well in order to ensure you have a good turnout. If you can bring a hungry and thirsty crowd, more pub owners will be likely to let you use their venue for free. However, if the turnout is very big, it’s best to invest in a bigger space, like a conference room. Figure out the approximate number of attendees before you settle on a venue.
You should utilize everything the venue you’ve chosen has to offer. For starters, if there is a big screen or a projector, you can have a picture or video round. Same goes for speakers; you can use those to make an audio round — a whole round consisting of audio or video recordings.
Make a list of things you will need
Once you’ve worked out the venue, you should make a list of things you will need to bring. That may include HDMI cables, speakers, paper, pictures for picture round, and so on. Arrive at the venue ahead of time to make sure everything is in place and to test your setup. If you have some extra time, practice going through the questions at the venue.
And don’t forget to plan and pick out some prizes!
Promote your trivia night fundraiser
This is arguably the most important part of the preparation process. After all, how would people even find out about event if you don’t promote it? There are several smart tools you can use to advertise your trivia night. If you’re working with a tight budget, you might want to focus on the cheaper/free advertising options.
For starters, you can use social media. Design a poster or record a promotional video and share it via Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, and so on. The main benefit of social media is the cost-efficiency. If you already have a good following, you can post about the upcoming event from your profile and you won’t need to invest in social media ads. However, ads can be quite helpful too! You can customize them and determine how long you want them to run for and who your target audience is.
If you have a website, you should definitely share the news on it as well. Running a website usually comes with having an email list, which you can utilize for promotion too. Write out a newsletter and send it out!
Print ads can be effective too, and you don’t have to break the bank. Print some posters and leave them around the neighborhood of the venue. Be sure to include the address of the pub, the time that the event will begin, and your contact information. You can include your email address, website, social media accounts, or even a phone number. This will definitely draw some attention to your fundraiser and you might even get some last minute attendees! Don’t forget to specify that early registration is required to secure a spot at the event.
Word of mouth is one of the most effective advertisement and PR tools to date. Tell all your friends and family members about the fundraiser you’re organizing, and ask them to come and invite their friends too. Don’t forget about word of mouse; if your friends can share your event from their social media accounts, you are guaranteed a bigger reach.
Finally, if you have the funds for it, you can opt for paid ads on other media outlets. Radio, newspapers, magazines, and websites are all great options. This is one way to ensure your event gets the attention it deserves. Unfortunately, this tactic is the most expensive on the list, but it could also be the most effective!
Ask people for donations
You can implement a metaphorical (or physical) donation box in your event. Invite guests to donate by explaining the cause that you’re raising money for, sharing how much you’ve raised so far and how much more you’re looking to raise, and allowing people to make donations quickly and easily. You can also write all of it out on your promotional poster and social media.
Where to Get Questions for Your Fundraiser?
When looking for ways to gather questions for your fundraiser, you need to evaluate whether you and your team have the time to put the questions together on your own. Remember that a trivia night is a lengthy event that can last up to 3 hours. If you’re not confident in your ability to come up with such a large volume of questions, then you should consider hiring someone else or buying pre-made question packs.
Prepare the questions yourself
If you find that you do have time to spare and you are an intelligent person that likes to learn, then you’re up to the challenge! Get on the internet and start writing questions down.
The first step in the process is choosing the categories. That can be difficult and slow you down right from the beginning. At this stage, don’t overthink it! Ask your friends and family what kind of questions they’d like to see. You can also check the categories on Wikipedia. If you think science is a good category, maybe you can narrow it down to something more specific, like biology or physics.
Hopefully, you have your categories and now you can start writing the questions! It may seem like an easy task at first, but crafting an interesting question is not that simple. It’s important to keep it entertaining. Try to avoid simple questions and one-liners. Instead of writing “What is the second largest city in Russia?” you can try “Which major city in Russia also served as the capital of the Russian Empire between 1712 and 1918 after its founding in 1703?” The answer doesn’t change, but the second question is a more interesting one!
If this is your first ever trivia night and you don’t have any experience with timing the rounds, you might want to add an extra round of questions just in case the rounds go by too quickly. You should also add a tie-breaking question. The tie-breaker cannot be too specific, as that could give one team an unfair advantage. Try to think of a question that neither team will know the exact answer to, such as “What was the diameter of the world’s largest pizza?” Attending a few trivia nights as a guest can help you be a better host at your trivia night fundraiser.
Finally, make sure everyone can play! If all the questions are expert-level difficult, only a small number of guests will actually have fun answering them. Throw in some easier questions to get the crowd going, and some harder ones to keep it interesting. If the crowd you’re working with is not made up of trivia enthusiasts, try to keep the questions on the easier side.
Buy the questions online
If you think coming up with your own questions is a waste of money, you can simply buy a pack of questions online! Usually, a pack of around 7 rounds of 10 questions will cost you approximately $20. That won’t break the bank and it will guarantee a good variety of questions. Moreover, you won’t have to spend your time doing research and you’ll have a guarantee of 100% accurate answers.
Hire a freelancer to write the questions
There is another way of acquiring trivia questions that is generally more expensive, but higher-quality. You can hire a freelancer to write the questions for you. There is usually no need for that, as most freelancers would charge more than the amount you’d pay for a pack of questions online. However, you can use this method if the questions you’re looking for are on a very niche subject and you are unable to acquire them otherwise.
Break a Leg!
Organizing a trivia night fundraiser can be tough, but you got it in the bag! Explore our website further for some inspiration regarding categories and themes, and be sure to prepare everything in advance. Happy fundraising!
For even more ideas about running a trivia night, be sure to check out our comprehensive checklist.