Bingo Fundraising: Why Bingo is the Go-To Choice for Local Fundraisers

One of the most popular ways that nonprofit and other charitable organizations raise money is through bingo. Many churches, schools, and youth organizations such as drum and bugle corps, for example, find that bingo is their top fundraising activity. Here are some of the reasons why bingo can be top fundraising for your organization.

  • Bingo Games are Fairly Inexpensive to Set up

When you get right down to it, the things needed to hold a bingo game is a large room, a lot of tables and chairs, a bingo caller and bingo supplies. There are businesses that specialize in these types of supplies, or sometimes they can be found in party stores. You may even be able to rent or even borrow permanent bingo cards from another church or organization.

  • You can Get Entire Families Involved 

Bingo Night is a great way for the team members and their families to get involved. They can help with collecting admission fees, selling bingo cards or bingo sheets and packets, and helping to run the concession stand and with the cleanup. Being a part of bingo fundraising activities can create a feeling of being invested in the success of the group and activities, particularly if there is a goal in mind. 

  • Bingo is Good Clean Fun for All Ages

Almost everyone learns how to play bingo from a very early age. Bingo is a game that can bring both focus and the high energy of excitement when someone wins. Typically a bingo session lasts anywhere from 3 -5 hours so it can easily fill up an afternoon or evening.

  • A Great Bingo Caller can also Draw People to Your Fundraiser

When choosing your bingo caller, it’s a good idea to choose a caller who has a fair amount of experience or you may be fortunate enough to be able to bring in someone who would bring in more players for the event. Some bingo games for charity will bring in one or more celebrity callers to encourage more attendance and raise the level of excitement.

  • Bingo Games can be Hungry Work!

Almost every bingo game, whether held in a temporary or permanent bingo hall, will have a concession stand as well. Some concession foods served at bingo games have reached almost cult status. Homemade favorites such as carrot cake, barbecued pork sandwiches and angel food cake slathered with a generous helping of either fresh strawberries or blueberries can bring in their fair share of funds as well. 

  • Bingo Prizes can be Anything

While most bingo fundraisers will give away cash jackpots, bingo games can offer anything as a prize. Prize offerings can include highly desirable, big-ticket items such as televisions, trips, or service packages from businesses donating them to the charity. These businesses get a tax write off and are able to engage with the community and help them to get to know other products and services offered. Sometimes prizes can be pure fun, too. Even prizes that seem to be a bit of a white elephant can be highly desirable when it’s presented in a fun manner. 

Bingo has long been respected as the perfect way for organizations within local communities to raise operating funds. Some think that having an online bingo fundraiser would also increase the number of options for groups and charities to raise money. Bingomania has hosted charity bingo games in our local community in Antigua. Of course, we believe online bingo and charity fundraising would be a natural fit. We would love to also be able to hold online bingo games as a way to raise funds for important charities that our members also support. 

Bringing the Bingo Concession Stand Home

There are about as many different reasons as to why someone frequents their local bingo parlor as there are players. Believe it or not, one of the reasons why many go out to the bingo hall is the food. It’s more than just frozen pizza, hotdogs, burgers, and soft pretzels. Some bingo halls boast some pretty wonderful fare for players to enjoy. Along with homemade Made-Rites and nachos dripping with cheddar cheese sauce are dessert treats such as fudge with ice cream and angel food cake smothered with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. 

Even if you are playing most of the time, there is absolutely no reason why you can’t bring those concession stand favorites home. You can recreate some of these special dishes at home and have the joy of being in the place you are most comfortable. Find out some ideas for some super easy and delicious snack foods.

  • Maid-Rite Sandwiches

In the American Midwest, many consider the loose meat sandwich commonly known as the Maid-Rite to be standard bingo hall concession stand fare. Every bingo hall, from non-profits such as the city’s Catholic Churches and Emerald Knights Drum and Bugle Corps to the Meskwaki Casino, located a short drive away, serves Maid-Rite sandwiches in that part of the country. This simple sandwich gets its name from the Maid-Rite Restaurant established in 1926 in Marion, Iowa. Unlike the sloppy joe, the beef that makes up this tasty concession treat is slow-cooked to perfection in a slow cooker or Crock-Pot.

  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1.2 cup beef or chicken stock
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire or steak sauce

Add approximately 3-4 pounds of uncooked, lean ground beef.

Place in a crock pot and set the temperature on high for approximately 1 hour. Break apart chunks of beef during cooking until it reaches a fine, uniform texture. Switch temperature to low and continue to cook for an additional 2-3 hours or until most of the liquid has been cooked off. Stir occasionally. Serve on hamburger buns and embellish with cheese, ketchup, mustard, pickles, and onions to suit your taste. 

  • Fabulous Funnel Cakes

Another tasty concession treats to enjoy while playing online bingo at home are funnel cakes. These tasty treats originally created by the Amish are the perfect snack not only at state fairs, carnivals and fundraisers, but are considered the perfect snack by many bingo players as well. The recipe is one of those that have been published over and over again with some slight variations. 

Here is a basic funnel cake recipe for you to try at home. This particular recipe will yield approximately 8 funnel cakes.

  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 1 cup water 
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1/4 cup sugar 
  • 3 tsp. baking powder 
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 
  • Vegetable Oil or Vegetable Shortening melted to fry funnel cakes

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine milk, water and vanilla with a wire whisk.

In a deep cast-iron skillet, Dutch oven, an electric skillet or fryer, heat the oil to 375°. Using your finger, cover the spout of a funnel. Pour or ladle approximately ½ cup of the batter into the funnel. Let the funnel drain into the pan with hot oil, moving it in a spiral or lattice pattern until all of the batters is released into the oil. 

Fry for 2-3 minutes until the cake is golden brown. Remove from the oil and let the cakes drain on paper toweling or a brown paper bag. Dust with confectioner’s sugar, cinnamon and sugar, honey, maple syrup or other favorite topping and enjoy!

  • Nachos

Nachos are probably one of the easiest yet most popular foods at the bingo parlor. You can make them with just corn or flour tortilla chips and cheese sauce or go for a half dozen elements added on top for an easy meal.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spread corn chips or tortilla chips over a baking sheet and place in the oven to warm them. After about 3-5 minutes add shredded cheese. Let warm until the cheese is soft and just at the melting point. Remove from the oven, top with ground beef, sour cream, guacamole, black olives, jalapeno peppers or any other topping you like.

Try whipping up one of these before your next big round of online bingo play. Just don’t get your touchscreen or mouse too greasy!

Celebrities & Bingo - Who is Your Favorite?


Almost everyone is exposed to the fun of playing bingo at an early age. It would stand to reason that even people most would consider household names have also come to love the game as well.

Here is a list of some of the world’s most famous celebrities who love to play bingo. Many of these people with household names not only play for their own enjoyment but also at fundraising events in order to help others.  

1. Catherine Zeta-Jones

While growing up in Wales, Catherine Zeta-Jones developed a real love for bingo. She was so enamored of the game that she even crafted her own set of bingo balls and bingo cards. This is a tradition she has carried on even after moving to the United States. During the holidays, she and her husband Michael Douglas will entertain the family using custom-made bingo games

2. Robbie Williams

This iconic British actor is such an avid fan of bingo that he has made it his mission to host scores of celebrity bingo games for charities such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Caring for Babies with AIDS, Habitat for Humanity, and the American Cancer Society. Williams and his celebrity friends have been known to not only call bingo at public venues but also host these games in their own luxurious homes for good causes.

3. Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II & HRH, Prince William

It is fairly well known that her Majesty enjoys playing a good game of bingo at home with family. Family gatherings held at Buckingham Palace and Balmoral during the holidays and birthdays are especially enjoyable for the royal family.  Some online bingo sites even helped to celebrate the Queen’s recent 90th birthday with special bingo games to mark the occasion. 

During his time in the military, Prince William was known to frequent a bingo hall located near Sandhurst where he was stationed at the time.

4. Courtney Cox, Paris Hilton & Ricki Lake

These three gal-pals have been known to hang out and to enjoy a rousing game of bingo at the bingo hall

5. Russell Crowe

It seems hard to imagine this mega-star being a bingo enthusiast. However, not only does he still enjoy the odd bingo game on occasion, before rising to stardom, he used to be a regular bingo caller as well as a player in his native country of Australia. 

6. Kate Moss

Growing up in England, Kate Moss seems to have gotten a taste for playing bingo.  She’s traded her time hanging out in rock and roll clubs to regularly playing bingo at home with the kids

7. Bono

At one time, this legendary frontman for the band U2 used to own a stake in Mr. Pussey’s Café in Dublin, Ireland. The café would do double duty as a bingo hall in the off-hours. Some of the celebrities that Bono would entertain would include supermodels Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington. 

8. Sharon Osbourne

This rockin’ lady not only loves the game of bingo, but she is also considered somewhat of an expert. Sharon loves playing bingo so much she even created her own online bingo site at one point. 

Of course, this is just a partial list of all of the famous folks who love to bingo. Can you think of others?  Who are your favorite famous bingo players? Let us know below in the comments!


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