Jail & bail fundraisers can be a fun and entertaining way to raise money for a non-profit organization. There are a few different permutations on the idea, but essentially people volunteer to be "arrested" and placed in "jail" and then have to go before a "judge" who sets the "bail" amount. The volunteer "jailbird" must then raise the "bail" money to be released. A jail & bail fundraiser can be done by a non-profit organization staff, or it can be done by a volunteer who then donates the proceeds to the non-profit organization.
Select a time, date and location where the jail & bail fundraiser will be held. This can be done at a restaurant, school cafeteria, church activity hall or even a person's home. The location will need to have a telephone or cell phone and a place for a "judge" to sit as well as room for the "accused" and observers.
The most important thing is to entice supporters who are willing to be "arrested" so that they can then be "bailed out." Some jail & bail fundraisers offer the opportunity to pay a small fee to issue an "arrest warrant" for somebody who they want to see "arrested." Sometimes the "arrest warrant" is used as an opportunity to make up outlandish and humorous charges such as "wouldn't smile" or "talked back to her mother as a teenager."
Once a person agrees to be arrested, volunteers can pick him up and take him to the event location. There, the volunteer judge will set the bail amount, which the volunteer will have to raise in order to be released. This can be done through phone calls to friends and family who pledge to donate either the whole bail amount or a portion of it. Bail can also be raised by begging the people who are attending the event.
Once the volunteer has raised the "bail" amount, he should be released. You will then need to follow up with the person or people who pledged the donations in order to secure his release.
Rita Radostitz lives in Eugene, Oregon. She has written about human rights, health & fitness and interesting people for years. Her articles have appeared in the Austin Chronicle, Oregon Quarterly and on various websites. Radostitz holds a Masters of Science in journalism with distinction from the University of Oregon and a law degree cum laude from Villanova University.