There are several things that you can do that go beyond Cake Walks, Duck Ponds, and Bean Bag Throws. Here are some the things that some of my local organizations and schools have done to help raise money and get the supplies they need.
Prizes are donated by local business or individuals. Large ticket items are necessary to attract sufficient support. Selling tickets can be time-consuming. However, donated prizes can be given to ticket sellers for the greatest number of tickets sold. It is important to time this event so that it does not overlap with other community raffle events. Sometimes organizations combine their efforts to support a larger event. Please check raffle laws in your state before beginning to play this event. This could also be done as a silent auction. That might be easier than selling tickets!!! Silent auctions can rake in quite a bit of money.
Publish your own "wish list" for your groups' special event. The wish list can be sent to businesses, past donors, and other community organizations. Items and cash can be donated to the program. This is a great way to get a lot of those "small" items and a possible way for a group to get together to purchase some of the "larger" items.
Here are some other idea that might work over different periods of time.
Percentage of Business Profits
Check with various businesses to see if they will give part of their profits to your program. For example, a local photographer may give the sitting fee of $5.00 to the program. This event produces small amounts of money, but every little bit helps. These activities require little extra work. Your local volunteers can disseminate flyers to advertise the event. Chuck E. Cheese, Papa John's, to name a few, will give your organization either a percentage (10 to 15% of total sales during one evening) or $1.00 to $2.00 dollars per order.
Check with local malls or restaurants that have wishing well fountains. Most of these places donate the pennies, dimes and nickels to charity. It would be nice to get a local radio station to publicize this event. For one week, ask that all the money be put into designated fountains across the city and go to a specified charity or program. This will give the program "free" publicity with very little staff time required. A city-wide effort of all wishing fountains could generate $4,000 to $8,000 for a one to two week promotion.
Ask a local shopping mall to sponsor a "quarter" rally. This event is very popular and can generate lots of money depending on the size of the mall. Double-stick tape is placed around the interior of the mall from one end to the other. Shoppers are asked to lay down a quarter for a certain cause. It helps to have a lot of publicity with this event such as a radio station broadcasting live and special giveaways from the mall. This event will need a lot of coordination and volunteers to "man" different points on the "quarter walk". It is a lot of fun and definitely gets a large percentage of the community involved.
Another thing that can be helpful is if there are donors that have companies that will match their employees donation. A matching program can be an easy way to help increase funds.
Hope some of this helps!