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The Jail Fundraiser

Eric Gallagher


The Jail Fundraiser is one of those fundraisers that does far more than raising money.  It's a ton a fun, draws in the entire parish community, and it doesn't ever really get old. 

To start, this fundraiser only really works if it's part of a larger parish event like a parish bazaar.  

Brief Explanation

Set up a space designated as "the jail" where people will be able to sit when they are arrested.  It should be able to hold roughly 10-12 people comfortably.  People will pay you to have someone else arrested for a set amount of time.  You will issue the warrant and the arrested individual will have three options; 1) serve their time, 2) pay to not be arrested, or 3) counter-arrest (post bail and have the person who arrested them be arrested instead).  

It's really that simple!  Here's our list of tips:

  • Borrow a large kennel or something to make the jail even more real
  • Purchase or borrow police outfits, handcuffs, etc. to make the experience even more real.
  • Ensure there are little information signs all over that explain the process
  • Put a limit on how many times an individual can be arrested.
  • Offer something fun to do in the jail (reading, facts about prisons, etc.)
  • To keep track of finances well, have an adult manage the jail and the log, require warrants for arrest, etc. 

Documentation Needed

Arrest Warrant - should include the name of the person arrested, who arrested them, cost, and the three options for the arrested person.

Jail Log - keeps track of finances, arrests, etc.   

I'll be putting together a package of resources very soon to make available in the Marketplace.  Stay posted!





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