Halloween Fundraising: Pumpkin Chucking Fundraiser

Pumpkin Chucking Fundraiser
Pumpkin Chucking Fundraiser

Halloween fundraising.  There are some great ideas for it.  It’s just such a fun, playful holiday.  And what could be more fun than smashing all of the left over pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns after Halloween?  Pumpkin chucking was a big thing a few years ago, I even remember watching the tournaments on TV.  So why not hold your own pumpkin chucking fundraiser?  The day, or weekend after Halloween would be a perfect time.  Get rid of the jack-o-lantern and extra pumpkins before they start to rot.

There are lots of ways you could set up a pumpkin chucking fundraiser, from the simple to the really complex.  Depending on the means, and volunteers your nonprofit organization can round up.

Simple pumpkin chucking fundraiser (pumpkin smashing fundraiser)

Pumpkin chucking sling shot
Pumpkin chucking sling shot

A very simple approach to it, but still a lot of fun, would be just to have a stage or platform that the participants can throw their pumpkins from.  You could even have prizes for the ones who throw the farthest.  Guests could bring their own pumpkins or carved jack o’lanterns to throw, and pay an entry fee (donation to the organization).

Kiddie carnival games, with pumpkin or Halloween themes, could be set up.  Refreshment stands, even a Chinese auction.  Could all be taking place at the same time to maximize your fundraising efforts.  And to provide a little entertainment for all age groups.

More complex pumpkin chucking fundraiser

Pumpkin chucking catapult
Pumpkin chucking catapult

If you ever watched the “professional pumpkin chucking contests on television, then you know they had all kinds of complex machines to chuck their pumpkins.  From cannon type pumpkin chuckers to catapult or trebuchet style, to huge sling shots.

So call in your volunteer engineers, mechanics, handyman and set them to work on building you a pumpkin chucker.  As simple or complex as they want to go.  There are a ton of resources for this online.

Or ask around and see if there are any pumpkin chuckers already built in your area, that the owners might bring, and operate for you.  If you find more than one, turn it into a competition.

Tiny (jack-be-littles) pumpkin chucking fundraiser

If you can find a lot of the tiny little pumpkins, we always called them jack-be-littles, have a mini pumpkin chucking contest.  Everyone builds simple small machines to chuck the tiny pumpkins.  The concept is the same but on a smaller scale.

Things you’ll need for a Pumpkin chucking fundraiser

Pumpkin chucking cannon
Pumpkin chucking cannon

A place to have it.   A field would be a good place to hold a pumpkin chucking fundraiser.  The size of field you will need will depend on what type of pumpkin chucking you plan to do.  Tiny pumpkins and chuckers could be done in a large parking lot.  Throwing the pumpkins wouldn’t need that great of an area either.  But large professional pumpkin chuckers need lots and lots of room.

As always, check with your insurance agent to make sure you have the necessary coverage and release of liability waivers.  You’ll also want to check with the local city, borough or township where the pumpkin chucking will be taking place.  It’s always good to stay in the local government’s good graces.

Pumpkins.  Lots and lots of pumpkins.  You can even have your guests and participants bring pumpkins.  That’s why just after Halloween is a great time to hold this fundraiser.  Even already carved jack-o-lanterns can be smashed.  It’s better than letting the sit on your porch and rot and mold.  (Or in our case be eaten by the dogs.  They love pumpkins, and our jack-o-lanterns are always in danger.)

Volunteers…  An always much-needed resource!

Tables, basket donations, etc.  It all depends on what all you plan to have at your pumpkin chucking fundraiser.

Remember, the sky – or the number of volunteers – is the limit.  Make a day of it and have fun!

header image: By Kevin D. Hartnell – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, 



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