How To Create The Ultimate Mystery Box Fundraiser

How To Create The Ultimate Mystery Box Fundraiser

Fundraising is about much more than just raising money. It’s about creating unforgettable experiences that engage supporters and leave a lasting impact. And on that note: welcome to the exciting world of mystery box fundraising! In today’s article we’re putting a spotlight on this fun and unique fundraising idea, which is rapidly growing in popularity. Keep reading to find out why mystery box fundraisers work so well, and discover how you can create your own mystery box event in our step by step guide.

What is a mystery box fundraiser?

Firstly, let us explain exactly how a mystery box fundraiser works.

Simply put, a mystery box fundraiser is where participants purchase a box that contains a surprise item (or various items). The contents of the box are unknown to the buyer until they receive and open it, hence the term “mystery box.” 

The idea is to create an element of surprise and excitement for the participants – making it more attractive to potential donors.

To enter a mystery box fundraiser, individuals are usually required to pay a fixed amount of money, which typically ranges from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars, depending on the value of the items inside the box. The prizes that are included in the mystery box can vary greatly, ranging from lower value items such as a retro sweet hamper, to high-value items such as electronics, gift cards, or even vacations.

Of course, to encourage people to part with their hard-earned money, most mystery box fundraisers are centered around a theme, which gives the participant at least some indication that they’ll actually enjoy what’s in the box – but more on themes later. Remember: the success of a mystery box fundraiser is not just about the items inside the box. It’s also about the perceived value of the box compared to the price paid, and the overall execution of the event.

How popular are mystery box fundraisers?

Mystery box fundraisers have quickly become one of the most popular fundraising activities for organizations and causes of all sizes. The unique and exciting nature of mystery boxes creates a sense of anticipation and surprise for participants, making them an ideal fundraising tool.

At Givergy, we’ve seen firsthand the incredible success that can be achieved through a well-executed mystery box fundraiser. Our clients have reported that their mystery box events have been among their most successful fundraising activities to date, generating impressive funds while providing a super fun and memorable experience.

The popularity of mystery box fundraisers has been further fueled by the growth of online marketplaces, which offer an easy and convenient way to purchase and distribute mystery boxes. Through these online marketplaces, organizations can reach a wider audience and generate more funds through their mystery box fundraisers than ever before.

How can I organize a mystery box fundraiser?

Sold on the idea of the mystery box, but need some inspiration on where to start and how to create your own epic fundraising event? We’ve got you covered! Read our step by step guide below and kick-start your mystery box fundraiser today.

Step 1: Set your goals

The first step in creating a successful mystery box fundraiser is to set your goals. Determine how much you want to raise and who your target audience is, as this will impact the rest of your decisions.

Step 2. Choose your theme

Once you have your goals in mind, it’s time to choose a theme!

There are so many themes you can choose for your mystery box fundraiser, depending on your audience and the type of items you have available. Here are some popular themes to consider:

  • Seasonal: Create mystery boxes that are tailored to a specific season, such as a winter-themed box with cozy items like hot cocoa mix, fuzzy socks, and a holiday candle.
  • Beauty and wellness: Fill your boxes with beauty and wellness products like face masks, essential oils, and yoga accessories for a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.
  • Food and drink: Offer mystery boxes filled with gourmet snacks, craft beers, or artisanal cheeses for foodies and beverage enthusiasts.
  • Hobby-specific: Create boxes tailored to specific hobbies like gardening, hiking, golf or crafting, filled with items that enthusiasts will love.
  • Entertainment: Offer mystery boxes filled with entertainment-themed items like movie tickets, popcorn, or gaming accessories like a new controller or headset.
  • Celebrity or TV show: one for the superfans! You could theme your box around a specific celebrity, musician or even favorite TV show. Items could include back-stage passes, a video message from the celebrity or cast, or even items from the set. 
  • Travel-themed: Create a mystery box with items related to travel, such as a travel pillow, luggage tag, and passport holder, for those with wanderlust.
  • Self-care: We could all do with a bit more self care in our lives right? Offer a box filled with self-care items like candles, bath bombs, and relaxation tools for those looking to pamper themselves.

Remember to be creative and have fun with your theme. And always ensure that the items you include are high-quality and desirable to your audience.

Step 3: Decide the box details

Now you have a theme, it’s time to decide the finer details of your fundraiser. This includes the number of boxes you will sell, the price per box, and how the boxes will be distributed.

Step 4: Secure your items

The success of your mystery box fundraiser will depend on the quality and appeal of the items you include in the boxes. Reach out to local businesses and ask for donations or consider purchasing items at a wholesale price. Givergy can also help you source consignment items to include in your mystery box with a wide range of artwork, sports memorabilia, and even travel packages or unique experiences. These items are less likely to fit inside of a box, but if you include them as vouchers or tickets, they’re sure to bring about just as much excitement! 

Step 5: Create your marketing plan

To generate interest and excitement for your fundraiser, you’ll need to create a marketing plan. Use social media, email newsletters, and other channels to promote your mystery boxes and create a buzz around your fundraiser.

Step 6: Prepare your boxes

Once you have your items and your marketing plan in place, it’s time to prepare your boxes. Make sure to carefully package each item and create a system for ensuring that each box is filled with the correct items, so that they reach your participants safely.

Step 7: Distribute your boxes

The final step is to distribute your boxes. You can sell them online, at events, or through other channels. Be sure to clearly communicate the details of your fundraiser and the value of your mystery boxes to potential buyers.

Start your mystery box fundraiser today

A mystery box fundraiser is an innovative way to encourage participation and engagement from your supporters. With the element of surprise and the chance to receive a valuable prize, your supporters will be excited to take part and make a contribution to your organization. Plus, the unique and interactive nature of the fundraiser makes it a great way to build community and create a buzz around your cause.

Chloe Colquitt

Chloe Colquitt

Campaign Success Manager

Chloe is a Givergy Client Success Manager based in New York, looking after our North America events on the East Coast. Chloe, who was previously based in our UK office until 2021, has the in-depth experience and knowledge of how to best use the Givergy system to exceed her clients’ fundraising targets, with a high focus on the Fund-A-Need portion. Chloe’s passion for delivering fundraising events led her to create her own fundraising event with a team to raise funds for a university partner charity in the UK. This has given her a first-hand experience to understand the challenges some of our clients face and how much time and energy is required to create a successful event.