#FundFriday: Pumpkin Carving Contest

A creative and spooky way to fundraise


This fundraising idea capitalizes on one of the most popular fall activities: pumpkin carving. By hosting your own pumpkin-carving contest, you can help your community get into the Halloween spirit and raise money for your summit! We call that a win-win.


Panel of Judges: Collect a small fee for individuals to enter their pumpkin masterpiece into the contest and choose a panel of judges to select either one winner or the top three. The winners get bragging rights and maybe even some prizes!

$1 Votes: Skip the entrance fee and have everyone there judge the pumpkins by placing $1 in a jar next to their favorite.

Carve & Go: Give people the option to simply stop by your table, make a donation, carve a pumpkin, and take it home. They may not be able to stick around for the contest, so giving them this option is a good idea since you'll still get a donation.


Scope it Out

First, you'll need a location. You'll want somewhere public with a lot of foot traffic so scope out places like malls, shopping centers, community parks, your church, or your school (remember to get permission to use the space - practice your sales skills!).

Contest Time

When it's set-up time, make sure you have at least two large tables you can use. One of the tables will be for carving, and the other will be the display table. Also be sure to have these supplies with you:

  • Pumpkins!

  • Pumpkin carving tools

  • Paper and tape for drawing a design and using it as a stencil

  • Decorations to add to the pumpkins (like markers, pom-poms, glitter glue, ribbon, string, etc.)

  • A few big spoons to scoop out the pumpkin pulp

  • A trash can for the pulp

  • Jars to collect donations

Make it Count

Print out copies of this sponsor flyer so you can pass it out to people who stop by. It's always a good idea to have something tangible for them to leave with. It will also act as a good reminder for them in case they want to donate more in the coming months!


Are you a superstar fundraiser? Email your ideas to info@ambassadorleaders.com. You could be featured in our Toolkit!


By Kathy Mellstrom

Kathy is the Program Director and Co-Founder of Ambassador Leaders and has been involved with the program for over 10 years. As a mom of three children, she is personally invested in helping students realize their true potential.