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How to Raise Money for Pageants

22, August 2017

Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin and Miss New York 2018 Rahmeka Cox support Children's Miracle Network. Photo: Miss America Facebook

So, you want to compete in a pageant? Chances are if you are competing in a pageant, there is some sort of entrance fee. Not to mention, you need wardrobe, hair and makeup. Needless to say, those expenses can add up pretty quickly. You may find yourself needing to raise funds to compete in your next pageant. How exactly do you raise funds for a pageant?

How to Raise Money for Pageants

Pageant Planet Fundraiser

Crowdfunding on sites like GoFundMe, are simple and easy ways to raise funds online. Guess what! You can crowdfund right here on Pageant Planet. The feature works just like GoFundMe and like GoFundMe there is a 0% platform fee. Contestants will only pay 2.9% + $.30 per donation, to cover credit card processing. But, unlike any other donation site, Pageant Planet has created this feature specifically with contestants in mind. You can learn more about how to set up your very own Pageant Planet fundraiser by clicking here!


The first step to raising money for a pageant is coming up with a budget. Exactly how much money do you need to compete in this pageant? Sit down and think of every possible penny. 

What are the entrance fees? Is there a required ad page fee separate from the entrance fee? Do you have to purchase a specific wardrobe for opening number or any of the competitions? Are you doing optionals? What are the fees for those? Also, be sure to include things like hotel accommodations, hair, makeup, wardrobe and accessories. 

Once you've created a budget for your pageant, now you know exactly how much money to raise.


The most common way to raise money for pageants is through sponsorships. Sponsorships are monies that businesses give to a certain person, organization or cause, often in return for advertising.Create a sponsorship letter and a list of packages you can offer with assigned prices. Get creative with your package incentives and offer things like advertising in the pageant program book, shoutouts on social media, or offer to come to the actual place of business and make an appearance.


If this isn't your first time competing in a pageant, then you probably have wardrobe that you don't plan on using anymore. Sell your old pageant wardrobe through Facebook groups, pageant resale sites, or take them to a prom and pageant consignment shop

You can easily make a few quick bucks. Never competed in a pageant before? No worries! You can resale old designer handbags or take your old everyday clothes to a consignment store. Some consignment stores will even pay you cash on the spot. That cute skirt you bought last year you've never worn or those shoes that just aren't your style anymore can easily be turned into cash to put towards your next pageant.

Also, consider selling things other than clothing. If you have collectible items, household items or electronic items, you can sell them online through social media or on sites like eBay. You could even have a yard sale at your home. Get the entire neighborhood involved and ask your neighbors to donate their unwanted items for you to sell at your yard sale. You could also do the same concept at a church or school. Instead, though, you could charge each participant a small fee, say $10-$20, for a space at your yard sale.

Classic fundraisers

Nothing beats a good, old-fashioned fundraiser. Sell lemonade on a hot day or sell hot chocolate on a cold day. Host a car wash or a bake sale. These classic fundraisers are tried and true, and they're low cost and often low risk. Search the internet for fundraising ideas and put a twist on a classic. Getting creative will make the fundraiser more fun for both you and the person donating.

Get a Job Waiting Tables

Though it's not a popular suggestion you can just get a job waiting tables and put all the money towards your pageant expenses. Just tell the restaurant what you're looking to do and they will help you create a schedule that is conducive to earning the extra cash needed.

Use appearances to make cash

A lot of pageant girls make appearances during their reigns as local titleholders before their state pageant, or as state titleholders before their national pageant. Consider using these appearances to make some cash. 

Charge a small fee, say $100, for speaking engagements or to judge a pageant. Set a goal of how many appearances you'll need to do a month to raise all of your required funds. Create a media kit to send to different people to get them interested in booking you.

You may want to create an email address specifically for your appearances using your title. An email like [email protected] or any email provider is a great way to keep organized and look professional.

Moving Forward

Think of raising money for a pageant like those Girl Scout cookies you sold as a kid. Think of every dollar you need as a box of cookies. Remember all of those people you sold them to? Ask your parents, your friends, family, your orthodontist and your hair stylist. All of these people are people who can help you reach your goal. Before you know it, you've raised the cash and won the sash! What do you do to raise money for your pageants? We'd love to hear in the comments below!


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