Heat Up Your Fundraising with a Workplace Chili Cook-Off

Heat Up Your Fundraising with a Workplace Chili Cook-Off

Heat Up Your Fundraising with a Workplace Chili Cook-Off

A few weeks ago, my husband's squadron hosted their annual Chili Cook-Off. Our chili cook-off is simply an excuse for a fun get-together.  But, a lunchtime chili cook-off contest is also a popular way to brew up some extra fundraising money for your organization. Follow these simple tips and your fundraiser will be easy as banging a pot.

Find Your Cooks
Make a sign-up sheet for people to participate in the cook-off.  If you are going to invite the public or other organizations to attend, consider recruiting local politicians and business leaders to make a pot of their favorite chili.

Find Your Judges
If you are keeping your contest within your workplace, simply draw names out of a hat to pick impartial judges.  If you are hosting a more public event, ask well-known community leaders to lend a hand, or actually tongue, to your event. 

What to Judge
Determine the award categories such as hottest, best tasting, best consistency, and best aroma.  You can also try spicing things up a bit by adding some creative categories like  most bizarre tasting, best cook’s costume, best named chili, etc.   (To help save the judges’ taste buds, consider limiting the categories to five!)  Have the judges arrive prior to the luncheon starting so they can do the taste testing before guests arrive then post signs in front of each chili pot so guests know who the judges deemed as the winners.

What to Award
You can award small cash prizes, certificates, company products etc.  Or, if it is a public contest, consider asking businesses to donate more substantial prizes and trophies. 

How to Set Up
Set up a Lifetime 4-Foot Folding Table and chair at the door of your event to use as your cashier stand.  Next, line up Lifetime 6-Foot Adjustable Height Tables end-to-end set at the tallest countertop height to use as your chili buffet line.

Depending on the size of your room and number of you guests you are expecting, set up Lifetime tables and chairs throughout the room for guests to eat. For easy workplace contests, line up your Lifetime picnic tables or Lifetime 6-Foot banquet tables from your break room to make a cafeteria style dining area.  To give a classier feel to your cook-off, use Lifetime 5-Foot Round tables with colorful tablecloths.

What to Serve
In addition to the award-winning batches of chili, consider offering a drink and desert to make a complete meal.  Don’t forget to have popular chili toppings available such as beans, rice, corn bread, tortillas, saltine crackers, cheddar cheese, onion, garlic, hot sauce, and sour cream.

What to Charge
If it is a workplace fundraiser, establish a set price for people to attend the cook-off luncheon such as $5.00.  However, if you are opening the event to the public, you may find that you will raise a lot more money if you simply ask for donations.

Chili cook-offs should be fun and easy. And, if all goes well, it may just turn into an annual lunchtime competition.   This year’s winner can be next year’s head judge.  No matter whether you make your cook-off fundraiser a big or small event, it’s bound to be one hot time!

Jan

Jan

Name- Jan

What I do for a living- First and foremost, I'm a doting mommy of a second grader and a 4-year-old, and a proud wife of a USAF F-16 fighter pilot!  In my pre-children life, I was the Communications Manager for Lifetime Products.  But, once you're a Lifetime fan, you're hooked!  So, after a few years of hiatus, I'm now a WAHM and am happily back on board at Lifetime as a freelance PR Consultant.  In addition to blogging for Lifetime, you can follow and chat with me on Lifetime's Twitter account @Lifetime365 and on the Lifetime Products Facebook page!

Topics I blog about- How I use Lifetime products in my everyday life at home, for kids parties and community activities, as well as inspiring stories... and GIVEAWAYS!  :)

My favorite products from Lifetime- 4x2 Table, 30” Personal Table, Chair, Youth Kayak, and Wheelbarrow.  Although, our Shed and Yard Cart are pretty close favorites, too!

Read all posts by Jan

Comments

Fundraising Steve

2/11/2011 2:04:34 PM

Brilliant! Who doesn't love chili? I will suggest this to our Chamber director for a spring or fall fundraiser.

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