How to Throw the Ultimate Tailgate Football Fundraiser

Finding the right fundraiser for your organization can be a bit of a struggle. Car washes, bake sales, and candy bar sales yield low fundraising profits and don’t get people excited the way they should be when getting involved with your organization. When you’re planning your next fundraiser - whether it’s for a homecoming dance, charitable donation, or your football team’s booster’s club - you need to think big, which is why the Smokehouse Grill is here to break down how to plan the ultimate tailgate football fundraiser. Helping you plan everything from ticket sales to picking a caterer and liquor packages, we’re sure you’ll be ready to raise the necessary funds with this fun, community-centric fundraiser.

How a Tailgate Football Fundraiser Works

We Bring the Food and Liquor Packages, They Bring the Funds

Family Tailgating

The idea behind a tailgate football fundraiser is to sell tickets for a catered tailgate before a big game or event. This is a great way of raising money as a school or booster’s club that gets the community involved while supporting your organization.

Community members purchase tickets (marked up $5-10 above what the caterer charges) in advance to attend your tailgate. The ticket gets each person admittance to the tailgate, unlimited food, drinks from the liquor packages of your choice, and the opportunity the celebrate before the big game. 

Because of the scalability and family-friendly nature of a tailgate football fundraiser, this type of fundraiser is great for:

  • High School Organizations
  • Church and Youth Groups
  • Football Boosters Clubs
  • Charitable Groups

With 100 tickets sold, your organization can raise anywhere from $500-1000, but the scalability of the event makes it a great choice for raising large sums of money at once.

The Benefits of Throwing a Tailgate Football Fundraiser

Why is a Tailgate Football Fundraiser a Good Choice?

football team
Source: ocregister

This is the type of fundraiser that sells itself in more ways than one. With easy ticket sales and delicious food on the line, a tailgate football fundraiser is a perfect way to raise money for your organization. Need more convincing? Here’s some more reasons why a catered tailgate is the perfect way to reach your fundraising goals:

  • Increases Community Involvement: Choosing to host your fundraiser before a big game for your local sports team is a great way to get the community to come out for a fun event. Your community will bond over great food and the excitement over the upcoming game. Additionally, word of mouth about your fundraiser is bound to increase ticket sales.
  • No Additional Costs: When choosing a tailgate football fundraiser, your ticket sales cover nearly all of your costs. With no need to rent a space for your event and a caterer that supplies plates and utensils, you’ll be able to focus on additional ways to get funds while ensuring you’re maximizing your fundraising abilities through ticket sales.
  • Appropriate for All Ages: This type of fundraiser is perfect for kids and adults! Tailgate food from a BBQ caterer pleases the masses, and adding liquor packages for appropriate events sweetens the deal for adults looking to have fun at the game.
  • Easy Setup and Cleanup: If you hire a caterer for your event, they take care of the vast majority of setup and cleanup. This means you’ll be able to focus on staying organized and have fun yourself.

Ironing Out the Details for Your Tailgate Football Fundraiser

Things to Keep in Mind Including Menu, Liquor Packages, and Games

tailgate party fundraiser maryland delaware
Source: godrakebulldogs

The first thing you’ll want to do when planning your tailgate football fundraiser is talking to a caterer about your needs. A BBQ caterer like Smokehouse Grill will work with you to plan the right menu, talk about pricing and special group rates, and even figure out your options of liquor packages. Whether you’re thinking about offering a cash bar, drink tickets, or an open bar option, Smokehouse Grill can help craft a plan for your tailgate football fundraiser.

Once you’ve spoken to the caterer, find the location for your event. While a parking lot is ideal for a pre-game tailgate, you may take up valuable parking that people need. Instead, find a grassy field near the field that is easy to access. Ensure that you have access to proper trash and recycling receptacles. Once your location is picked, start selling tickets during the games leading up to your tailgate, at lunch, and to your friends and family.

As ticket sales continue, start organizing activities for your tailgate. Most people will be happy to join in on some food and camaraderie, but adding ladder golf and cornhole to your tailgate can provide the fun tailgate feel that you want. You can either ask your organization members for the games or reach out to community donors to supply entertainment for your event (or even the funds so you can rent a moonbounce or other activity for kids).

On the day of your event, you’re sure to have a great turnout for your event and raise the necessary funds for your upcoming event.


Want to get started with throwing the tailgate football fundraiser for your upcoming event? Get in touch with the Smokehouse Grill to learn about our menu, liquor packages, and special group rates for your fundraiser.