Who doesn’t love a good mystery? A murder mystery is a unique fundraiser that will allow every member of your group to participate while bringing in lot of people from the community to support your organization and have a great time doing it.
While there is some investment required, you will make all of your money back in this one night event. All you have to do is host a murder. Murder mystery parties are popular for all ages, so why not use this popular event as a way to raise money for your group?
The murder mystery can be geared toward any age group, from children to adults. Scripts can be purchased online or, if you have a lot of creativity in your group, you can write your own script.
You’ll need a venue in which to host your murder mystery. The options for a venue are endless, and depend largely on what you plan to charge for admittance. Some groups have held a similar fundraiser and charged $100 or more. They held the event in a hotel ballroom, and a wonderful dinner, catered by the hotel, was included.
Other groups have charged far less per ticket and held the event in a church fellowship hall or local Moose lodge and served pizza, chicken or heavy appetizers. You know your audience, so just be sure to be realistic when setting ticket prices and choosing a venue.
You’ll want to send press releases to local media well in advance of your event. The uniqueness of this event makes a perfect news story, and if the local paper runs a story prior to the event, you’re sure to have increased ticket sales as a result. Also, it’s a good way to the name of your group in the public eye.
You will need to set aside rehearsal time with the group members who are participating. Think of the event as an interactive play. The actors in the play will actually mill around with the people who purchased tickets. They will answer questions, offer clues while also trying to throw people off the scent of the “real killer”.
When guests begin to arrive, they should be shown into the event room and told to mingle with other guests. You may make it obvious which people are actors (by having them wear costumes) or you may choose to have the players mix in seamlessly with the guests. Once most of the guests have arrived, it’s time for murder.
There are a couple of ways to carry out this part of the fundraiser. One is to have the murder be carried out in the room where the guests are located. The lights should flicker out, and when they come back on, the body will be in the room. While the lights are out, you can have sound effects, such as a gunshot or a scream, to add to the drama. Another option is to have someone playing a police officer enter the room and inform the crowd that there has been a murder.
Either of these options will work equally well. The back story and clues are the backbone of this event more so than the actual murder.
After the murder, guests will spend time mingling with the actors, trying to extract clues and figure out whodunit. If a sit down dinner is being served, continue to offer clues during the meal, perhaps having the waitress share clues with the guests as she serves them.
At the end of the night, the guests will answer some questions such as who did it? And why did they do it? Offer prizes for the best answers.
Because several different scripts are available for murder mystery dinners, you could hold this event on an annual basis without having to repeat the exact same performance.
What you’ll need:
- A murder mystery script – you can purchase one or write it yourself
- A venue – the options are limitless, and depend on the price of your tickets
- Prizes – they could be token prizes or more substantial. Talk to local vendors and merchants to see if they would be willing to donate items to the fundraiser
- Food – Whether a fancy sit down dinner, or heavy appetizers, you will want to serve food during the event
A murder mystery fundraiser is sure to be remembered by all who participate!