How To Fundraise
At a Charity Race Night

Time to "gee up" your charity fundraising!

Wondering how to fundraise for your school, church, sports team or favourite good causes? A charity race night is a tried and tested winner and a lot of fun.

The basic idea

Don't worry you don't have to book the local racecourse!

The races are on a DVD which you project onto a large screen at your church hall or social club.

A search for "charity race night"in Google will turn up a host of companies falling over themselves to supply you with everything you need to organise a successful race night fundraiser.

Some of these companies put on large scale corporate events but there are also lots of options for smaller-scale, easy fundraisers and those who want to do as much as possible themselves. By shopping around the cost is not prohibitive.

Companies will also offer all manner of tickets, racecards and betting slips and many will hire you racecourse scenery to give your event a professional pzazz. Some will also supply a master of ceremonies / commentator should you need one.

If you want to go the DIY route you can also buy all you need online. Check out the links at the bottom of the page.

Make an evening of it

The more swish and professional you can make your evening the better it will run and the more money you will make.

Race nights work well around a simple charity dinner or buffet. If appropriate a bar also helps to create the party mood.

People's generosity is always much increased when well lubricated!

Don't forget to have all your other fundraisers on the go such as raffles and tombolas.

How to fundraise at your charity racenight


Advertise your race night well in advance and sell tickets. Try to cover your costs on the tickets but don't forget that you will also be making money during the evening.

The companies supplying you should be able to give you a reasonable estimate on takings, so do your sums.

A good fun night out with friends and a meal thrown in is worth paying a bit for.


All the races can be sponsored in advance and named after the sponsor.

So for example, you could have

The Flowered Up Handicap
Sponsored by our local florists Get Flowered Up.

Alternatively how about

The Rhona Mills (you dont look a day over 21) Birthday Celebration Derby!
Sponsored by all your mates in the office.

Sponsors can provide gifts or cash as prizes for the winning owners or for you to add to your evening's takings.


Another one to be arranged in advance. Let people pay to be the owner of the horses in certain races. Prizes and bragging rights to the winning owners! Great for inter-office rivalries. Or imagine the fun of going home and saying

"Darling I've just bought you a share in a racehorse!".

Master of Ceremonies

This is one of those fundraising events that needs a great Master of Ceremonies. Finding the right person (someone with the gift of the gab, who knows how to fundraise) for this role can really help your evening along and bring in extra cash.

You can also dress up the rest of your volunteers as racegoers, jockeys, bookmakers etc. Anything that adds to the fun of the evening has got to be welcome


Although you are betting on real races (ones that were run and filmed long ago) no-one knows anything about the horses or their likely chances.

To keep things simple and legal most race nights use a simple totaliser system for the betting.

The company you use will explain it to you but it involves no real odds just a simple sum whereby winning bets receive an agreed share (usually 50%) of the total take which is then split between the winning punters. This also guarantees that you cannot lose.

For example

Selling tickets @ £1.00 each, a total of 80 tickets for a race have been sold = £80.00

Divide this amount in two:- 50% payout = £40, 50% to your charity =£40

If a horse called Sweet Charity Anne wins and 10 tickets have been sold, The £40 winner's pot is divided by 10 =£4.00 for each winning ticket.

If a horse called Good Cause Henry wins and 4 tickets have been sold, £40 divided by 4 = £10 for each winning ticket.

Some organisations prefer to sell fake money or counters for the betting side of things with teams competing for the honour of coming out on top at the end of evening.


Knowing how to fundraise properly is all about thinking outside the box. There are all sorts of little extra ideas for a charity race night that will add to the success of the evening and could bring in some extra cash.

Best dressed race-goer or couple is a good one.

How about selling strawberries and cream.

Another common trick is for people to write their names on the back of all their losing tickets and put them in a draw for a big prize at the end of the night.

So there you are you've got a great evening lined up and you know how to fundraise to the max!

They're Under Starters Orders ............And They're Off!

Race night DVDs, books and tickets can all be bought on Amazon. Check out what's available UK -   USA -

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