Top tips for organising a brilliant charity quiz

Charity quiz expert Alan shares his top tips for putting on a brilliant fundraiser

how to organise a charity quiz

The nights are drawing in, and evenings are getting colder, and darker. That means autumn and winter - the perfect seasons to run indoor fundraising events for the British Lung Foundation, like a quiz night! 

But if you've never run a quiz, the idea of putting one on can be daunting. But fear not! You only need two things: fun questions, and organisation! And the good news is that help is available for both of these things.

How to organise a great quiz

Preparation is key, and most of the organisation can be done in advance. Here are my top tips for putting on a great charity quiz. 

1. Advertise your quiz and get people to attend

  • Spread the word
    You're raising money, so the more the merrier. Talk to your club or organisation, and if there are different teams or sections, invite each of those to enter! At my old rugby club, the committee, several of the youth groups and every team - from the firsts to the vets - all took part.
     
  • Chat to local pubs and clubs that run quizzes
    There's little point running a quiz that clashes with an event at the village pub. If the pub or club does run quizzes, ask them to promote your quiz on their quiz night and you'll do the same for them.
     
  • Offer a swap with local clubs and organisations
    Offer to send a team to their quiz, if they send one to yours!

2. Set it up properly

You're not playing for the town hall clock, so don't make the questions too hard. 

  • Make sure people enjoy it, and they'll want to come back!
    The first quiz is the hardest, but it'll get easier after that. Make sure people enjoy it by investing extra time in your preparation. 
     
  • Don't make it too hard
    You're not playing for the town hall clock, so don't make the questions too hard. Work out the right degree of difficulty, and remember, you can always make a question easier by making them more specific, like changing "who" to "which footballer", or even "which Chelsea player". 
     
  • Theme your questions around suitable subjects
    If you’re organising the quiz at a running club, you might want a round on sport. As you’re raising funds for the British Lung Foundation, perhaps a round on lung health or medicine?
     
  • Throw in a fun round!
    In the past, we've had rounds that included building a tower out of items from the stationery cupboard or trying to guess the sweet. You can even theme it: at one cheese and wine-themed quiz we had to try to identify 10 kinds of cheese we ate. 
     
  • Consider offering refreshments 
    You could provide a bottle of wine (or two...) per table, or organise for a bar.
     
  • Be strict about cheating
    Nothing causes more quiz night annoyance than people cheating using their mobile phones, so be very clear it won't be tolerated!
     
  • Finish on time
    Don't let the night run long. People may need to get home for the babysitter or catch transport. 

3. Revise your work, and boost your confidence on the night!

  • Read the questions and answers through and make sure you understand them
    If something doesn't make sense, check it beforehand. Nothing spoils a quiz like an invalid question.
     
  • Make sure you know how to pronounce all the names properly
    You want to appear as knowledgeable as possible.
     
  • Bring extra pens and pencils
    Just in case some run out on the night.
     
  • Check the venue before hand
    Is there a sound system that you can use? Shouting gets to be hard work, especially at a lively quiz. How are you going to organise the tables?

4. Have a routine, and go slow

Take your time! Read each question slowly and clearly, wait, breathe, and read it again. Wait, breathe and then ask the following question. At the end of the round ask if anyone needs a question to be repeated. Then give them 30 seconds to finish and swap with another table.

Take your time! Read each question slowly and clearly, wait, breathe, and read it again. Wait, breathe and then ask the following question.

Read out the answers, then swap back so the marking can be checked. When everyone's happy, your assistant (yes, get an assistant!) should collect the completed answer sheets while giving out blanks for the next round. Ask your assistant to add up the scores while you read out the next round. 

Don't forget to take a break half-way through, and remember – the quizmaster is always right!

Get started with your fundraising