Send People To The Clinker For Cash

If you’re looking for something different for your next fundraiser and you have an Old western or Great Gatsby theme, consider the idea of putting people into “The Clinker” (for fun!) to raise funds.

While this is intended to be fun and tied into specific themes, use caution and be sensitive as not to offend or closely relate to any realistic scenarios.

How Does it Work?

Find a person or persons who are willing to be sent to The Clinker at your event. Remember to ask them ahead of time—you don’t want to take anyone (or their dates) by surprise! Make it funny and specific to the person you’re trying to put in The Clinker. For a principal, you can say, “Wanted for Extending the School Year for Snow Days,” or something else fictitious. Run the wording by the person to make sure they are okay with it.

Fort Rucker jails leaders to help Soldiers

Early in the event, make a big production of putting the person or group in The Clinker. Try to take your audience by surprise. You can have them appear before a” judge,” who will set bail for a funny offense tied to your theme. The people go off to The Clinker and your guests have to free them.

If you’re looking for something different for your next fundraiser and you have an Old West or Great Gatsby theme, consider the idea of putting people into “The Clinker” (for fun!) to raise funds.

Place your structure in the middle of all the action; perhaps near the bar at a gala, or near the entrance at a carnival so everyone can see. Creating a makeshift witness stand and jailhouse can be done fairly easily by using cardboard, PVC pipes, or wood to construct the bars.

There is generally a small table with an attendant. People pay a fee—$10, $20, $50, or an amount fitting your event—to “post bail.” When the tally reaches the designated threshold, the person is released when bail is met.

Consider having a poster with the traditional “fundraising thermometer,” and update it as you reach your goal. Be sure to make announcements throughout the evening, and create fanfare when the person goes to The Clinker.

Variations And Other Names

As an option, you can choose to give perks when certain goals are met. For example, when you meet goals: at $100, the person gets a chair; at $250, the person can have a bottled water; at $500, a glass of wine; at $750, they can have a meal, and so on. Just make it fun and non-offensive. And remember to set an instant single donation “get out of The Clinker” amount, to encourage guests to make a large donation to free a certain person.
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Additionally, this concept could raise money to put someone in The Clinker.

Ruth’s Advice

Note: Many states have specific rules that govern auction games. Make sure to check your state’s raffle licensing laws as well as your organization’s bylaws. Also, check on alcohol sales rules and permits, as well as firearms, if those will be available at your event or in the auction.
  • Arrest only willing and participating volunteers.
  • Put a WANTED poster next to the bar or other areas where you will have lots of traffic, like your silent auction area. You can make the posters fun, using an Old West theme, or a 1920s gangster theme.
  • Consider who you want to go in The Clinker, and who will play the role of the judge. Think about costumes, too, and budget those in or ask a business to donate them.

Some Personal Insight from Ruth

A good way for the person or people in The Clinker to earn his/her/their bail is through social media. Create a donation page specifically for them to solicit donations through social media channels. It would be ideal to have a comedic videotape of the staged arrest happening and then this could be used to distribute out for bail money. The staged comedy will also draw attention for your in-room guests to be entertained and start posting bail.

Another idea is that the arrest can be done on a single or group basis. Schools have placed mock “Clinkers” on campus and arrested a group of students and made it a contest as well, to see who could raise bail first. There are several variations of this revenue enhancer!

This article is part of our 26 Proven Revenue Enhancers for Your Fundraiser eBook available as a free download. If you looking for new revenue enhancing ideas and how to incorporate them into your event—this easy-to-use lookbook is for you.

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